Saturday, May 30, 2009

Black Fly

The Black Fly, the little Black Fly, always the Black Fly no matter where you go....

Try to hike with the dog. Return screaming.
Attempt to bike up the road, race back cursing with bleeding neck and little black bodies in my teeth.
Dive into my kayak and madly splash and paddle my way to the middle of the lake.
The incessant black cloud of sucking horror can not be blown away. It cannot be out raced. It continues to crawl into my hair, up my nose, in my eyes, ears, down my pants. AGGHHH!
I sit at the computer and scratch my red welts and count the weeks left to train.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Judges comments

I received a letter with the news release from the Writers' Union of Canada contest along with a full page of comments from the Judges. It was so encouraging to read the positive feedback, especially for something I wrote about DOGS. Please check my website to see some of the gems I sifted out. Here is my favorite comment:

"This piece follows the ancient pattern of longing fulfilled by surprise satisfaction. (The hero looks for a treasure abroad, and finds it under his own hearth stone.) All story patterns are old; the charm is to make them new by setting and detail and I think this story succeeds, with one exception. I would like to have had some sense of where the story takes place on a map. Other than that, details are abundant as are the special terms of jargon associated with the pending event, which adds verisimilitude. The names of the dogs, like an inventory of heroes in an epic tale, add colour and substance. Their various attitudes are winningly described. The moment of realization - most short stories lead the reader to an epiphany of some sort - is terse and convincing, linked by the term "magic land" to the longing introduced in the second paragraph, associated with the orange bib, making us realize how appropriate the title of the story is."


Monday, May 25, 2009

Dogs everywhere

How do you get 4 neurotic dogs in one picture? After 28 shots, you might get one where you can see all of their faces at the same time so that's good enough.
Looking after a few dogs this week. It was a fight for the bed last night, but my husband and I won. Just barely.
Paddled for 4 hours today up Raven Lake. My kayak and I are still getting to know each other, but already I have a serious crush. Seven more weeks to train.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

P&H Capella

Spent the day yesterday at Whitesquall Paddling Center and took out various kayaks for almost 3 hours. Finally decided on this Rockstar. It poured rain most of the day which was perfect since I had the place to myself and with the winds, I could really check out the tracking. Managed to not tip while testing my edging and bracing skills. This puppy felt like a comfortable pair of jeans.

Four sinister rejections were silently waiting for me in my inbox when I got home. But not much could burst my NEW KAYAK bubble.
Heading out tonight to join the Manitoulin Island Kayak Club for an evening paddle. Hopefully I'll get the first scratch in her then I won't have to be afraid anymore.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Frosty Kayaks

The kayaks are shivering this morning in their glistening coats. Happy Victoria Day! Brrr.
But put on the neoprene booties, the wetsuit, the Gortex paddling jacket, the gloves, the lifejacket and the little black beanie, and slide into the seat.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Count down to the Great Expedition

8 weeks left to train our guts out for the circumnavigation of Manitoulin Island. Approximately 270 km. We plan to do this in 9 days. We also plan to still be talking to each other at the end of the journey. Going tomorrow to pick up a new, fast kayak. Hopefully faster than Denis's kayak. Stay tuned.

And one more acceptance this week made for a very giddy couple of days. Stories for Children Magazine will be publishing my Sled Dog Tale in December. I can't wait to see the illustrations for it! Since I'm starting to catch on to the writer's life, I'm now bracing myself for the crash in the following few weeks. Preferably not in my kayak.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Finalist in Writers Union of Canada

I feel like a writer today! I got a phone call from the Writers Union of Canada. I'm a finalist in their POST CARD competition. Every time I think about it a little smile sneaks up. Check out the press release!
And here's the magazine. It's finally out. My first published article. Small, half page little thing, but big rewards.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

the best thing mom

I've been saving this for my last post of the "Best Of" series mostly because I had no idea how I was going to pick just one thing that is great about my mom. But here goes...

The best thing about my mom is she's the most optimistic, giving, looney, habitual, nervous, thoughtful, compassionate, committed person in my life.
She's a warm tornado of vibrant, compulsive, zesty energy whizzing past people leaving wide smiles. I look to her as a role model for inviting more love into my heart. You can see when she's in a room that people are drawn to her selfless sparkle.

Starting next week, I'll be beginning my count down to the Great Kayak Expedition. Circumnavigating Manitoulin will be a grand challenge. That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. (?)

Yesterday my first published article came out in Adventure Kayak magazine. It was so thrilling to see my name in print. I actually got a little stage fright thinking of my memoirs that will be coming out next month!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The best thing about...waiting

The best thing about waiting for 2 weeks for any emails regarding my writing submissions is when I get two acceptances in one day! The bad news is they were for the same article. Who knew that SEVEN months after I submitted my sailing story, Crossing Huron, they would finally answer me. And why did they take seven months to respond? They said they get a lot of submissions. I did send them a quick email in January - 3 months after I submitted the article - and asked if they had decided yet. What I should've done was say that if I don't hear from them in a week, I'd be submitting it elsewhere. At the time, I felt that sounded rude and I didn't want to get on the wrong side of an editor at this young stage of my writing career. So now I'm certainly on the wrong side of two editors. So clever!
In any event, I've learned a lesson and I'm still writing. And still waiting...