passion, reason, truth, wisdom

… and wizards shouting in towers.

(Yesterday it was rainbows, butterflies, inadequacy and madness.)

I feel too old to credibly muse on any of these things.

I feel too young to know anything about anything.

Between school and social media, life is all opinions, all the time. It freaks me out. The truth is not one thing; there are so many contexts and filters and legitimate perspectives. I cannot possibly reflect them all, and putting thoughts in boxes labeled ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ makes me shudder.

I know I can be strident, or seem that way. I get excited about pretty much everything and that passion bubbles over when I share my thoughts. But I don’t believe passion makes me any kind of credible. In fact, more often than not, it’s been used as an excuse to dismiss my point of view.

School is forcing me to take myself seriously, which is both traumatic and empowering. Most of the time, in academic terms, I’d rather pretend my opinion doesn’t exist and hide behind the comforting armour of Technically Correct. It’s safe, but kinda boring, and it doesn’t leave much room for creative discourse.

Unfortunately — or fortunately, I still can’t decide — creative discourse is basically the driving force behind the entire program I’m enrolled in. Read, respond, write, discuss, write some more. The other day, I confessed in a message to a friend that I was procrastinating on a book review because I don’t feel qualified. I don’t feel qualified. To write an opinion piece. About a book I’ve read. Which reality breaks my heart a little bit, when I pay attention to it.

Homework involves a lot of frantic pacing, mild panic, the ranting manufacture of Reasons This Assignment Is Stupid, occasional throwing of pens, and, eventually, actually completing the assignment. I’m learning to surrender to the process.

wait, where was this going?


Among the homework assignments for the week, a writing prompt, stirring up thoughts on process and intent, learning to make strategic decisions, weaving narrative through a landscape to represent or invoke a character’s inner journey.

So I’m pondering.

What do I need to tell you, to tell you what I want you to know? What do I need to show you, to reveal what I want you to see? What do I want you to see? I don’t know. Most of the time, I really, absolutely do not have a clue. And I find this embarrassing. Distressing. Real writers have plot — they know where they’re going. At the very least they have a general destination. They write with intention.

Most of the time, I don’t. I don’t want to tell anyone anything. I am no great dispenser of truth or wisdom or even entertainment. I’m not here to represent a movement or an identity or an era. I’m just here. I’m just me. Sometimes the noise of being here and being me demands expression. It’s nothing more or less significant that that.

As writers we are all on a quest: to reveal, to illuminate, to express, to communicate something. But once we put it out there, we can only hope it will be received as we intend. Maybe the act of expression is enough for our part, and we don’t always have to feel responsible for the interpretation.

I dunno. To be fair, I don’t generally have a whole lot of power over the thoughts when they’re in my head, so I don’t expect to have any control over them once they’re expressed. (This particular blog post was yet another attempt to tell you about school. You can see how that went.)

Just, y’know. Pondering. Whatever.

School’s great. In case you were hoping I’d get to that, any time soon.

progress, of a sort

Being happy strides hand in hand beside self doubt, general uncertainty, ridiculous questions about worthiness and value.

Life’s a jumble. That’s okay. Just keep going, y’know?

So. I’m a writer who doesn’t want to write, with such a pathological fear of my own voice I’ll do pretty much anything to avoid it.

I’m also the most contrary human being on the planet.

Clearly, a full time program forcing me to write, all day every day, several days a week was the only rational choice.

Really, I just want to survive the program and settle into a quiet little life as a back room proof-reader somewhere. My long-suffering, endlessly patient and entirely awesome professor of design and computer applications will vouch for the fact that no typographical or grammatical error ever escapes my notice. Ever.

Orrrr, maybe I’m hoping endless exposure will break down my resistance, and eventually, some far off day, I’ll be able to
just . . . write things.

Yeah. It’s a long shot. But that’s okay.

Actually, I was fairly prolific for a large part of That Silent Phase, when I wasn’t really silent so much as off-the-record. I wrote a bunch of stuff I don’t even think I hate, sort of, but then I probably would if I made it public, so.

love and grammar

Sooooo … we can skip the preamble, maybe, about where I’ve been for the better part of the last 10 months, or I can make a super vague summation and then refer to things with my usual haze of allusion cloaked in thick verbiage or we can just refer to it as That Silent Phase and move on.

It wasn’t all bad. I flew to Georgia for a week and played at fairy tales in a tiny cottage, came home wisteria tangled and sun dappled, with a new preference for orange blossom honey in my tea.

But it was definitely a whole lotta not good. I’m pretty sure there is nothing new to be gained by exploring the fallout of yet another series of disastrous romantic choices. In the final analysis, the current conclusion is that I am essentially broken and fundamentally incapable of recognizing a functional romantic partnership. So, best put that game back on the shelf and leave it there.

Which is fine because I have new things to think about.

Truth be told I’m pretty sure for me the prevailing motivation in all things is to be contrary. I never want the rules, only the exceptions and I will choose what is wrong every single time with a bloody minded sureness that I can make it right.

Unless we’re talking grammar. You only get to break the grammar rules if you understand what they are and why you’re doing it.

an odd sort of beginning

I keep trying to convince myself I don’t need a partner, or a love life. I’m pretty sure I’d be perfectly happy living in a house full of books with a lifetime supply of tea and no people for hundreds of miles.

Except then who would I bake cookies for?

People are weird. And scary. They want things and they take things without asking. They push and they coax and they manipulate till I can’t remember where their needs end and mine begin. I’m not always good at defining my lines or standing my ground.


People are beautiful. And creative. And gorgeously messy. They build things and make things and dream things and I want to wrap my arms around every single one of them, kiss their sweet cheeks and let them know just how perfect they are.

I need to learn. I know this. I need to learn what I want and what I don’t, how to say so, and how to enforce it. It’s scary. It makes me tired. I’m overwhelmed by the possibilities. I’m afraid of the risk. I don’t like to stand still when I’m uncertain. So much easier to stir the pot again and find a new challenge, rather than work out the one that’s in front of me. I might fail and get hurt. I might succeed and get hurt.

I think it might be worth it. Eventually. Probably. Maybe?

I don’t know.

Have a cookie.


Hello darlings. I know it’s been a while. I’m sorry. I’ve been writing elsewhere, to cause less alarm with my chaotic stream of consciousness. But I’m still here, weary and worn and ready for spring. I suspect that applies to the lot of us. I’m trying to surface and feel celebratory. We have survived winter, even though it doesn’t feel like it as the snow piles up today.

And: I am enrolled in the Algonquin writing program for september, with my spot assured this time. Good and solid progress.

But life is still a cascade of overwhelm and introspection, and waiting to see how things set in motion will unfold.

We all know how I love waiting.

it’s okay. we already knew i was crazy.

Distancing thinking from writing, writing from self

character identities from self identities

stories from realities




I get impatient furious full of vitriol with myself, because I can’t find my writing voice, weave strands of wordthought into eloquence or sensibility or any of what I want to express. It’s just not there.

… too many fractures and fragments and facets that sometimes make it impossible to remember which me is real today, unfurling tendrils that extend from unconscious to conscious and I don’t know how to gather the scatterings to form a cohesive kind of being, too many thoughts unthoughts places times and if I can’t find the girl who belongs in this world, how can I possibly orchestrate the ones who live in my head?