Friday, September 30, 2011


I heard a really great interview with Olympia Dukakis over the summer on Q. She said she didn’t like doing movies until she did Moonstruck with Norman Jewison. She said she “got it” on that shoot (I’m sure the Oscar helped a bit). I’ve always approached things that if they were meant to be that I would enjoy them. Writing and music and theatre are things that I love even if I only am so so at doing them. I couldn’t figure in university, if this was who I was meant to be, why I wasn’t enjoying it. I was reading books that said you bring your own happiness to the moment, but I couldn’t do it.

This year after five years of being in a culture less town, some of it my choice to keep culture at bay, I joined up with some story tellers. I said I would like to tell stories and we agreed that I would listen to the first couple. Last storytellers night when we drove into the parking lot of the coffee shop I felt my skin tingle I wanted to tell a story so bad.

“Next time, we said on the way home, was ghost stories.” I was sad, I didn’t know any ghost stories.

That Saturday D_______ and I went to the library book sale, that’s where you can get a big box of books for 5 bucks, I came out with two boxes-- after promising my friends there would be no more books until I read some that I have.

A note on the book sale, never have you seen two grown women so happy, we would hold up a book and yell across the room, “Look what I found.” Or “Are you interested in this?”

There was an Anthology of Ghost stories. So I picked it up. When I got home that afternoon the first story I opened was about a lift operator in a hotel. I used to work at a hotel. So I read it and within an hour I turned the lift operator into the room service girl and I had my story.

At our meeting I told the story tellers I had a story. “So tell it.” They said. And I felt alive again, like I had gotten hold of something that was missing. All this time I haven’t hated the arts, I've been searching for my own Moonstruck.

A time to get what I love and love what I get.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Naked Emotions

There is a call to board
Flight 712
Move around me
Talk around me
They are all different
From me

I want to board
But I am lost

Can you tell what I’m thinking
By the look on my face
Can you read my thoughts
They are so simple now
I hate you
I love you

There’s no one here
Who "just knows" what I need

There’s a blankness
To this moment
It’s safe near the wall
The brush strokes
Hold comfort

I sit in a corner
And watch what others do
See how they react to things
That way I’ll know

I only do what I have to
To survive
One less step
And I wouldn’t be a person

My emotions are naked
I follow the couple in front of me
When I hear him whisper to his wife
“I’m boarding 712 as well.”

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Looking out the Window.

On a warm, rainy September evening a girl sits in front of her fan reading Ingenious Pain. The fan is in her bedroom and she sits on the chocolate sheets looking out the window. This is the alternative to going to the stinky tavern on a Saturday night. Two men cross the parking lot in front of her window. They are laughing and stumbling over their feet, a beer in one hand and a joint passing between them.

One is walking about a foot in front of the other, leading the way between the puddles and the shiny pavement. The leader is weaving in and out, stopping and starting and the second one is following and doing the exact same only a few seconds behind. They are both in black jeans and leather jackets. When they pass under the street light she can see they are in their early twenties. Their pale faces show they are from the university housing complex, their complexions reek of a macaroni and cheese diet.

On the other side of the parking lot are the trees that lead into the forest and there is a young woman just standing out of the way of the street lamp. She has red curly hair and a bottle of J&B. When she holds up her hands to them I can see her fingers are covered in blood. As she moves forward I figure she must have rubbed her hands on her face, as there are smudges across her rosy cheeks.

The leader pulls the twigs away from the path the red haired girl came out of the trees. They entered the forest behind my parking lot. They march into the forest for about ½ a mile they seems to sober up as they go along even though they are still drinking. They come to patch of forest beaten down by deer and other wild animals and the occasional Friday night fire.

There is a sweet smell to the area and the air is colder than out in the parking lot or between the trees. In this place we know that the season is no longer summer. In the centre is a body, in jeans and a leather jacket a joint still burning in his hand a beer spilled by his side.

This is s writing exercise I like to do, I took the opening of Ingenious Pain and made it my own, using Andrew Miller's words as a guide.