Archive for September, 2007

Fall is the the air: celebrating the other New Year

September 27, 2007

fall streetEven though it’s been many years since I finished school, September still feels like the start of a new year to me. The freshening of the air, the shift of colours, the crackle of fallen leaves… all these things spark a sense of anticipation, excitement and new possibilities.

Is it a contradiction to feel a sense of new beginning at a time when crops are finishing, leaves are dying and much of nature is readying to sleep away the winter? Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated in the fall (Sept 12-14 this year). In the Jewish calendar Rosh Hashanah begins the Days of Awe, a time of introspection and repentence leading up to Yom Kippur — a time of looking back over past mistakes and planning changes to make in the new year. Maybe there’s more reason than the start of a new school year for celebrating the “New Yearness” of fall.

Here’s a haiku my friend Jean-Pierre wrote as his summer holiday in Canada came to a close last week:

geese are migrating
chased by autumn’s cold harvest
flying to Japan

And here’s one his friend Dave added:

geese fly in circles
no destination planned
a little like me

Where does September find you headed? For me, it’s getting ready to launch my new book…

Eye holiday reading

September 4, 2007

story notesOne of the frustrating things about being a writer is not being able to get the ideas out fast enough. I’m usually working on one story, have a backlog of old story ideas, and am continually getting new ideas, as well as adding to the notes on the old ideas. It seems to be working out the same for the blog. I’ve got a backlog of things I’ve been meaning to write about and keep getting new ideas and photos I want to post, but I just can’t seem to get to them.

For me, it’s not just lack of time, it’s also lack of eye stamina. I have an eye muscle condition called intermittent exotropia, which is made worse by fibromyalgia. Basicly, this means I have a hard time keeping my eyes focused on anything close up, I get bad eye strain and can’t do all the writing, reading, art, etc. that I’d like. To work around the problem, I use large print on the computer screen, take a lot of breaks, do looser forms of art, and do my reading by listening to books on tape or CD. Not being able to read or write everything I want is very frustrating, but at least there are a lot of good books available in audio format these days, and it’s always nice having someone read to you. Author Jean Little once told me that if she regained her sight she would still continue listening to audio books, because she enjoys them so much. I feel the same — especially when there is a good reader like Jim Dale, who does the Harry Potter books.

Anyway, I’m at the point where I need an extended eye rest if I want to regain enough eye-ability to write my next book. So, I’m going to attempt to keep away from the computer for at least a few weeks. If you’re a regular to my blog, I hope you wont give up on me (and I apologize for not visiting your blogs for awhile), and if you’re someone stopping by for the first time, I hope you’ll check out some of my earlier posts.

If this was a radio station I’d be re-brodcasting the “best of..” segments while I’m away. In lieu of that, here are links to some of my favorite earlier posts:

June haiku (and haiku’s party roots)

Disappearing song birds

Manga me

Cherry blossoms in Vancouver and Japan

Serendipity and the perfect book (how I found some of my favourite books)

Chinese New Year

Bird brains and trickster tales (includes a raven story)

Three-legged crow

Quest for the Lucky Cat

Bad hair day and Emily Carr’s ghost

A flurry of haiku

The truth about rats

Biker birds (why people love or hate crows)

Call of the wild (my first post, which I thought would set the tone for my blog)

Harry Potter on CDThe books I’ll be listening to over the next few weeks: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (I pre-ordered the CD version ages ago, but it got lost in the mail and only just arrived), The Plague, book two in the Feather and Bone Crow Chronicles by Clem Martini, and Hoot to Kill by Karen Dudley (read about Karen Dudley’s eco-mysteries here).