Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, March 20-26, 2016

Holy shemoley! Lookit all the Writerly Goodness!

Ok. This is big news around here. Sudbury has a new poet laureate, and its first woman in the role, my awesome soul sister, Kim Fahner! The Northern Life. And here’s the interview she did with Markus Schwabe of the CBC’s Morning North. She had a cold, but it’s still a fabulous interview 🙂 She’s on her way to Banff right now to work with the wonderful Mr. Lawrence Hill!

Jane Friedman points out the pros and cons of maintaining a personal profile versus a professional page on Facebook.

Susan Spann advises us when a book is considered out of print. Writer Unboxed.

Jed Herne guest posts on The Better Novel Project with The Half-Blood Prince guide to question arcs.

Michelle Hoover writes an excellent guest post for Writer Unboxed on the duplicity of a character’s desire.

John J. Kelley explores the art of the plausible for Writer Unboxed.

Barbara O’Neal discusses the matter of talent. Writer Unboxed.

C.S. Lakin offers three ways to keep readers reading past page one. Live, write, thrive.

Tiffany Lawson Inman explains how to build dramatic momentum in fiction. Writers in the Storm.

Janice Hardy explores the ebb and flow of plotting a novel. Fiction University.

K.M. Weiland’s back with five more ways to trim your novel’s word count. Helping writers become authors. Later in the week, she helps us choose the right protagonist.

Kate Elliott gives us the tools to write women characters into epic fantasy without quotas. Tor.com

Awesome: How do we write about diversity when the word has lost its meaning? With Daniel José Older, Ashley Cassandra Ford, and Tanwi Nandini Islam. Elle. (Really? Yuh-huh.)

Steve Kettmann: On knowing what to leave out. Medium.

Victoria Mixon shares her super-easy formula for creating a blurb.

Ruthanne Reid points out the two most important words for writers: don’t quit. The Write Practice.

Kerry Lonsdale writes an open letter to writers at every stage of publishing. Books by Women.

Kameron Hurley ponders her sales.

J.K. Rowling shares rejection letters on Twitter to help beginning authors. The Guardian.

Jamie Raintree explores how to decompartmentalize your art.

Anna Lovind bares herself in this post on the process of creative transformation.

Dan Blank shares what he’s learned from 30 days of vlogging.

 

Thinking about a writers’ retreat? Sarah Selecky gives you a place to start looking.

Madeleine Dore offers 50 ways to take care of yourself in the arts. Performing Arts Hub.

Robert J. Sawyer shares his creative process with Inverse’s Lauren Sarner.

Where five Canadian authors read. The Globe and Mail.

Buzzfeed lists 21 German words we should be using in English.

Victorian doctors thought reading novels made women incurably insane. History Buff.

On the other hand, art is proven to have mental health benefits. The Butler Collegian.

National Geographic lists its top ten book stores in the world.

Daniel José Older: Notes on love and revolution. Guernica Magazine.

Brainpickings shares Charlotte Brontë’s love letters.

The Telegraph lists ten novels with titles from Shakespeare.

Shakespeare’s skull stolen from grave. BBC.

15 Welsh myths and legends. Wales Online.

Michael Boyle and Daniel A. Kaufman wish Babylon 5 a happy birthday. This is one of my all time favourite series. The Electric Agora.

I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted!

See you Thursday 🙂

Tipsday

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Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, June 14-20, 2015

A couple of fraught issues to start you off today, and then we move through psych and science to some feel-good at the end.

Jon Stewart on the Charleston church shooting:

The RCMP report that there have been 1,118 missing or murdered aboriginal women since 1980. CTV News.

13 brave, indigenous women share their stories of how they almost joined the missing. McLean’s.

Delilah S. Dawson isn’t going to tear you down. She’s going to build you up. Whimsy Dark.

Can diet shape your mental health? Gives a whole new meeting to ‘you are what you eat’ 🙂 The Globe and Mail.

The genetic link between creativity and mental illness has been found. Collective Evolution.

Why Finland’s teachers are different. The Guardian.

They’ve discovered the compound responsible for ‘old person smell.’ Mental Floss.

The link between stress, creativity, and orgasm: Naomi Wolf writes about the vagina in her new book. BrainPickings.

Take a look at this adorable octopus. What are scientists thinking of naming it? Adorabilis 🙂 BoredPanda.

How jellyfish put themselves back together. The National Geographic.

How does a creature reproduce when it’s actually four creatures? On man o’ wars and other siphonophores. i09.

Kayakers have a close encounter with a whale 🙂

Dogs will snub people who are mean to their owners. IFLS.

Kangaroos are lefties (and why handedness is rare in animals). The National Geographic.

I shared a post a few weeks ago about how mice were shown to have inherited their parents’ fears. Well, here’s another article on the subject. Science Gymnasium.

NASA is one step closer to its mission to Europa. i09.

Dr. Michelle Thaller: We are all dead stars. The Atlantic.

Yes, androids do dream of electric sheep. The Guardian.

Darwin’s grandfather once thought up a plan that would destroy the world. i09.

The Barra McNeils and Ashley McIsaac in Windsor:

Hope you have lots of great ideas this week!

See you Saturday.

Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Jan 18-24, 2015

A first-person account of the Paris rally. Psychiatric Times.

Redefining mental illness. The New York Times.

Drink more tea. It’s good for your mental health. The Canadian Mental Health Association.

Love this comic from Everyday feminism on body policing.

The Huffington Post. The surprising cause of addiction—it’s not what you think.

The LA Times reports on the dangers of sitting all day. One of the reasons I now have an adjustable desk at home.

Why you should take notes by hand instead of by lap top. Lifehack. This is how I do all my conference learning these days. I listen, take notes by hand, and then transcribe those notes later in a blog post. That’s three exposures to the same information by three different methods. Do I remember more? You betcha!

Jane Friedman shares ten resolutions for a saner internet—and life.

The potential quantum effect of parallel worlds on our own. Mother Nature News.

Thanks to the Hubble telescope’s latest and highest resolution picture, you can now get new perspective on how vast the universe is. IFLS.

How could I resist this piece by National Geographic on animal commuters?

Keep on learning! It’s the only way to live 🙂

See you Saturday!

Thoughty Thursday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Nov 9-15, 2014

Last week’s big publishing news in The Globe and Mail: Where is Simon & Schuster heading?

What Amazon’s strategy may mean for publishing today. Someone saw this coming. Rebecca Allen. The Digital Reader.

Are there things more important to writing than talent? Anne R. Allen says yes. Yes, there are.

Roz Morris explains how a good editor helps you to be yourself.

How much realism does your novel need? K.M. Weiland.

Pantaphobia. That’s it! Fabulous post on Writer Unboxed about fear and the writer by Myra McEntire.

Sometimes, you’re going to hate your work in progress. Read Chuck Wendig’s thoughts on how to get through it (over it? around it?).

Young writers working together to reach their NaNoWriMo goals. CBC.

Can you afford to be a writer? Deborah Mundy for The Toronto Star Books.

Why writing shouldn’t be your first career. ALLi.

Neil Gaiman’s eight rules of writing. Brainpickings.

Anne Lamott on the true gift of friendship and the uncomfortable art of letting yourself be seen. Brainpickings.

Virginia Woolf on how to read a book. Brainpickings.

How to build a fictional world with Kate Messner. Ted.ed.

 

How writing fiction is helping people with mental illness. CBC.

That’s all the tips I have for you this week.

See you on Thoughty Thursday!

Tipsday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Oct 26-Nov 1, 2014

Last week, it was the attack on Parliament Hill that was the big news. This week, and many would say even eclipsing last week’s drama, is Jian Gomeshi. If you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, I’ll just let you catch up.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/jian-ghomeshi-host-of-q-no-longer-with-cbc-1.2813670

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/10/26/jian-ghomeshi-cbc_n_6050220.html

http://sexgeek.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/poor-persecuted-pervert/

http://theovercast.ca/real-take-away-message-news-jian-ghomeshi/

http://ellebeaver.com/2014/10/27/how-not-to-react-to-jian-ghomeshis-pr-statement/

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2014/10/31/jian-ghomeshi-and-the-women-he-knew/


 

When reporting harassment, you are not the problem. Mary Robinette Kowal.

The secret dual lives of people with mental illness. Behold.


 

To counteract all that: The science of happiness. Soul Pancake.

 

Ursula K. LeGuin on aging and true beauty. Brainpickings.

The first taste of freedom of six animals caught on film. IFLS.

The World Trade Centre ship mystery solved. IFLS.

Debris from Amelia Earhart’s plane found. IFLS.

Notebook from the Scott expedition discovered and restored. IFLS.

Archaeologists discover mystery fairies and a buried pagan cross in Wicklow. IrishCentral.

What happens to blood when viper venom is added to it. Rare.

Can we get Ebola from dead bodies? Ask a mortician.

 

NASA spots jack-o-lantern in the sun in time for Hallowe’en. IFLS.

NASA 360 presents: from science fiction to science fact.

 

The warped astrophysics of Interstellar. Wired.

Michio Kaku talks about the possibilities of the future. YSNews.

Scientific explanations for monsters. IFLS.

The creepiest looking animals in the world. IFLS.

These are some creepy photos. Whether or not they are truly ghosts captured on film, well, I’ll leave that up to you.

Video of same:

 

The Celtic roots of Hallowe’en. Jodi McIsaac.

 

A squirrel drunk on fermented pumpkin attempts to climb a tree . . . Cottage Life.

Penguin bloopers 🙂

 

Daniel Radcliffe raps for Jimmy Fallon. Huffington Post.

Get thoughty with it 🙂

See you Saturday!

Thoughty Thursday

Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, Oct 19-25, 2014

Thoughty Thursday is all over the map this week. It’s just the kind of week we had, here in Canada.

This was the big news in Canada last week: The lone gunman who attacked Parliament Hill. CBC News.

Mother Jones on how we did with the reporting of the incident.

Our heroes:

Nathan Cirillo The Toronto Star

Patrice Vincent CBC

Kevin Vickers CBC


 

You are your own damned permission slip. This post is one of the reasons I love Justine Musk. You go girl. Hell, I go, too!

I don’t even . . . Why are people making such a fuss about Renee Zellweger’s new look? Plastic surgery shaming? WTF?

Your brain on dreams, with Michio Kaku. I love this dude. Big Think.

End the stigma surrounding mental illness.

 

The Business Insider posts 20 tips for sitting at your desk without hurting your back. I had an ergonomic assessment at work a few weeks ago and the video aligns perfectly with what I was told.

Fibromyalgia isn’t “all in the head.” The Liberty Voice.

The Cryptik Movement speaks about the consciousness of trees. This is really something.

I’m not afraid of spiders, but the Goliath bird-eating spider makes me shudder. IFLS.

The tagline heading around with this next IFLS feature was, the Scottish invented sex! A Scottish fish, that is 🙂

The strange beauty of the deep ocean. IFLS.

Are we getting closer to a green energy breakthrough? IFLS.

A working hover board? Back to the future! IFLS.

The real cyborgs: where wearable technology is taking us. The Telegraph.

Lindsey Stirling does a steampunk western video for Roundtable Rival.

 

Sadness, now. Photographer says goodbye to her beloved pooch after sixteen years.

See you Saturday with more WWC 2014 reportage (I hope).

Thoughty Thursday

The one where I post about Dad: A life sentence with mortal punctuation, part 9

You may have noticed that I didn’t post in my series last week.  Truth is, I needed a break from the angsty.  While I feel that this series is important to write, and that I have come to a point in my life that it is necessary to purge certain things, all this exposure of my tender bits is difficult for an introvert like myself.

In the last instalment, I wrote about some of my encounters with death I had during the sixteen years in which I sorted my depressive condition.

About Dad

I love my dad and that’s in the present tense because even though he’s gone in the physical sense, he’s still here with me every day.

In order to tell the tale of his last two years of life, I have to give it context and that begins with his birth.

Dad was the youngest of three brothers and in those days, they lived out at long lake.  Doctors still made house calls for deliveries and that day he was running late.  The woman attending my grandmother, I’m not sure whether she was an actual midwife, or just a family friend, but she told my grandmother to keep the baby in until the doctor got there.

In the story I was told, she said, “cross your legs.”

When the doctor eventually arrived and my father was delivered, he had a brain bleed (subdural haematoma) and almost died right there.  He was given a poor prognosis, but he survived.

Dad was subsequently diagnosed with epilepsy as a child and was on medication from a very young age.

When I was very young, I was his darling.  We’d watch wrestling on the weekends and he’d let me wrestle him on the couch.  Good times 🙂

Then, he fell off the car-port roof, and was hospitalized for a while as a result.

In the years that I was catching all the typical childhood diseases: chicken pox, measles, and mumps (that was terrible, I had them one side at a time so it lasted twice as long as normal 😦 ), by dad was hospitalized for various other reasons.

He had his gall bladder removed.  He developed a hiatus hernia, which was initially mistaken for a heart attack.  He had surgery for that too.  A haematoma developed after that surgery as well.

At home, he’d return from work absolutely exhausted, collapse into his recliner, and fall asleep before dinner was even ready.  After dinner and the evening news, he rarely stayed up late, or fell asleep in the recliner again.

When I hit puberty, things changed again.  I don’t think Dad really knew how to relate to me after that.  His sarcasm became biting, not only with me, but also with my friends.

By then, the malignant hyperthermia had been detected in my family and he had to get tested for that.

Only a few years afterward, Dad suffered his breakdown and was hospitalized for three months as a result.

The spectre of mental illness

For a while, Dad was doing well.  He was getting regular talk therapy and attending a support group.  He started walking everywhere: down to the corner to pick up groceries, out to his get-togethers with the support group (they had coffee klatches outside group).  It seemed, for all intents and purposes, that he was improving.

Then the therapist he was seeing indicated that their sessions would be coming to an end.  Dad should look at trying to get his life back on track, maybe going back to work.

There was a problem with that though.  His employer had disbanded his work unit and there was not job in Sudbury for him anymore.  He couldn’t imagine trying to start over and I’m sure he had anxiety attacks just thinking about it.

Plus, he’d successfully gotten on a disability pension and was, I think, comfortable not working.

Soon, he stopped attending the support group and he stopped walking.  He gained weight and developed sleep apnea.  He also got prostate cancer and though a combination of hormone therapy and radiation put the cancer into remission, Dad suffered the usual after-effects of prostate issues.

His behaviour became more erratic as he went through his manic and depressive phases.  When he was manic, he’d spend like crazy, buying things from the Shopping Channel and Readers’ Digest.  He’d enter every charity lottery he could and spent hundreds on provincial lotteries.

Toward the end of one of his manic cycles, he’d always get struck with buyers’ remorse and his guilt took an odd turn.  He’d start to accuse my mom of trying to leave him, or of hooking up with one of his friends.

When he was depressed, he slept much of the time and tried to undo his financial miscarriages until the next manic phase hit.

My mom was taking care of him as much as she was taking care of my grandfather.  And she was still working.  I worried about her.

Even after my grandfather passed away, Mom didn’t seem to get much time back for herself.  Dad demanded (without really understanding that he did it) every bit of her spare time.  Mom started to go out with friends more as a respite from his illnesses.

By then, he’s also developed an arrhythmia that required the insertion of a pace-maker and was in the early stages of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF).  He started to fall and though his knees required replacement surgery, he was too overweight and his doctor wouldn’t authorize the surgery.

The beginning of the end

On March 4, 2010, I was part of the training team at work and away training.  I got a call to my hotel room late at night.  Phil had had to take my dad to the hospital.  Nothing life threatening.  I was coming home in another day, in any case, and so it wasn’t a situation where I would have to come home, but he just wanted to let me know what was happening.

When I got home, Dad was already out of the hospital.  He was agitated and focused on financial matters.  He’d taken to bed instead of doing his taxes and Mom was worried.

Things got stranger from there and on March 18, 2010, we had to call the ambulance to come get him because he refused to leave bed and refused to eat or take his medications.  Earlier in the week, he had once again been obsessed with their financial situation.  He kept telling Mom that he’d bankrupted them, and while she assured him that was not the case, he kept insisting that she had no idea what he’d done.

At first, Dad was in what was referred to as “ground psych” at the soon to be closed St. Joseph site of the Sudbury Regional Hospital.  Due to his intransigence, he was catheterized, put on IV, and fed food and medications by syringe.  He had to wear diapers as well, because he wouldn’t get out of bed, even to go to the bathroom.

Mom and I visited daily and tried to get him to eat.  What made my heart hurt the most was how he screwed up his face like a little child and clamped his lips shut, turning his head away from the spoon.  This was definitely not my dad.

He continued to say crazy things, that the police were coming to get him; that they were going to have a news conference and put him up as an example of government fraud.  At the same time, he insisted that he didn’t need to be in the hospital.  He was still convinced that he’d bankrupted himself and Mom (not possible as Mom had separated her finances years before because of his manic spending).  He kept asking if we were living on the streets yet, had the bank not foreclosed on the house?

He thought his “fraud” so widespread that it even affected Phil and me, though we were both working full time by this time and doing well by all accounts.  I even told him that we had enough to support Mom, if she needed it, but it made no difference to Dad.

From ground psych, Dad was transferred to the Laurentian site of the hospital on their psychiatric floor.  It was determined that he had suffered a psychotic break, and though not violent, was living in delusion.

We still visited him daily and though still stubbornly clinging to his delusions, Dad eventually started to eat, got off the IV, and through our insistence started the process of getting the catheter removed and out of his diapers.

The psychiatrists on the floor could get nothing out of Dad after a while.  He decided that he’d just not talk about his delusions anymore if they got everyone into such a fluster.  They transferred him out to the medical floor as they could do nothing more for him, and he didn’t appear to be a danger to anyone.

On the medical floor, Dad succumbed to C-Difficile not once, but twice.  He was very inconsistent with his toileting, and remained in diapers.  He was so weak that he couldn’t get out of bed unassisted anymore.

At that point, we were in the position of having to get Dad into a nursing home.  The hospital couldn’t continue to care for him as a patient.  He’d already been there for five months.  Mom couldn’t care for him at home, as the hospital initially suggested.  There were stairs, and she couldn’t lift Dad on her own.  Home care could be inconsistent, and would only cover so many hours in a day.  What would happen at night should he fall or something else take place?

So, we had a family conference with the attending physician, the social worker, Mom, Phil, and me.  Dad seemed to understand what was going on and didn’t object to it.  Mom would have to do some financial manoeuvring to make the arrangement work.

You see, as soon as Dad was in the queue for a nursing home, he was considered an “alternate level of care” patient.  Even while he was in the hospital, he’d be charged the ACL rate, which was about what a nursing home would have cost.

Mom had to file papers for “involuntary separation” so that she and Dad could file their taxes completely separately, for the first time since they were married.

In ensuing weeks, the social worker guided us through the process of selecting a nursing home, and every time my mom signed a form, we were careful to ask, what does this mean?

Dad was transferred again to the hospital’s ALC facility while he waited to be placed in a home.  It was fall by then, and Dad caught C-Difficile at least twice more.  Mom and I became very adept at gowning and gloving before we went in to visit him.

Nurses redoubled their efforts to get Dad out of his diapers and physiotherapists tried to get him up and out of bed.  Sitting upright for a while was all he could manage.  He never supported his own weight again.

Eventually, Mom received the news that Dad would have a bed at Falconbridge Extendacare.  We went in for the intake meeting and left with a mass of reading material.  The place seemed ideal, though.

If Dad could eventually get mobile, even in a wheelchair, there was a pub (the main floor dining room was taken over by a musical group for the evening and they’d be allowed a beer if they wished), an interdenominational faith service several times a week, and an activity room with everything from the internet to flower arranging courses, and they kept canaries and parakeets for the residents.  There was a garden to putter around in outside if he wanted as well.  If he wanted.

The move took place in December of 2010 and Mom and I were impressed with the care he received there.  She still went out to visit him every day, but back in the summer, I’d cut back my own visits to 2 or 3 times per week.  Because of my training obligations, there were some weeks in which I couldn’t visit at all.

Things again began to look good for my dad.  The care was far more consistent at the nursing home, and they were fitting him for a wheelchair.  Mom and I were trying to figure out what his plan would cover and how much extra she could afford to pay for one when Dad set his heart on having a motorised wheelchair.

On Monday, April 4, 2011, Dad was zooming around the halls on what was to become his loaner chair pending the fitting and financial approval for the one we would purchase.  That night, Mom and I were called out to the nursing home.  Sometime after he’d been put to bed, Dad’s CHF went into overdrive and tried to drown him.

He was labouring to breathe, in-and-out of consciousness, unable to speak.  He’d shake and moan from time to time.  The doctor and the minister both came out to talk to us.

Dad was a DNR, that is, no extraordinary measures were to be taken to preserve his life.  He was declared palliative and all medication but those used to keep him “comfortable” were withdrawn.  Mom and I set up a vigil with one of Mom’s friends.

We stayed with him throughout the week and many friends came to visit him.  After the first couple of days, Dad didn’t regain consciousness.  Though I brought books and my laptop to help pass the time, I often sat and just watched him breathe for stretches, held his hand, changed the cold cloths on his head and behind his neck, swabbed his mouth with a damp sponge.

On April 9th, Mom came to relieve me for the evening shift and I went home to bed.  Just after 11, she called and told me to come back right away.  Dad passed away before I got there.

I was still able to say goodbye, though.  What was more important was that I had spent the time with him that week, bearing witness as he taught me what it was to die.  Really, he was showing me all along, and I treasure every moment I spent with him, even the difficult ones.

In memoriam

This is what I characterize as my season of sorrow: from the beginning of March, when he started to show signs of his psychotic break, through March 14, his birthday, March 18, the day he was admitted to hospital, April 4, the day he took his turn for the worse, April 9, the anniversary of his death, and April 15, the anniversary of his funeral.

In a maudlin mood, I might extend that as far as Father’s Day, but a month and a half is enough time to dwell on death.

At his funeral, I read the following poem.  Afterward, I created the picture and we had copies made for the family.

ArtofFloating

The picture is one of my dad tubing at my uncle’s cottage. Sadly, we have no pictures of him floating.

 

Dad had a nigh on miraculous ability to float.  He could lie on his back in the water, put his hands behind his head, and just float, head, belly, and toes all poking above the surface.  He was unsinkable.  My cousin swears that he caught Dad sleeping that way.  I like to think of my Dad floating away in the afterlife, still unsinkable.

I chose The Water is Wide by Connie Dover as a song for the funeral recessional as well.  Though it’s more of a love song, the water theme prevailed.  While Dad’s gone before her, I like to think that he’ll be back for Mom with the boat when the time comes.

Sadly, I couldn’t find a version of the song to share with you, but I encourage you to give it a listen.  Connie Dover has one of the world’s most beautiful voices.

Next week, the final episode of a life sentence with mortal punctuation: Thoughts on Happiness.  That’s where I’ll tell you a bit about what my experiences with death have taught me about living.

Have a great evening, everyone.

There’s something you should know about me

Photographic illustration of a near-death-expe...

Photographic illustration of a near-death-experience. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve almost died … twice

Both times, I was under the knife for what should have been straightforward surgical procedures: a tonsillectomy and an appendectomy.  Both experiences changed me profoundly.  How?  I’ll share that with you in future posts.

I’m reopening the confessional category of my site, My history as a so-called writer, with a series that might strike you as a little morbid.  It’s about death and how it’s shaped my life.  Originally, this was to be a two-part guest post on Monique Liddle’s Bends in the Road, but since them it’s metamorphosed into something a little bigger, and I hope, better.

Yes, I’ve had a couple of near-death experiences, and my father and grandparents have all passed, leaving their marks on my heart and soul, but I’m not just talking about actual death here.  Mental illness and addiction, which I think of as two kinds of personality assassination, have also had their affects on me and my family.

If the ‘you-who-wants-to-live-in-this-world’ dies, even metaphorically, how can that be any better than actually dying?  It’s a question, I believe, that leads many to the depths of depression and suicide, which may seem like the logical conclusion of such ruminations.

I’m starting this series with Bell’s Let’s Talk initiative in mind as well as my impending bell-talkpersonal season of sorrow: my father’s birthday, the anniversary of his admission into the hospital for what proved to be his ultimate decline, the anniversary of his death and funeral, followed by Father’s Day.

I also thought this was a timely topic after listening to Michael Enright’s interview with Bob Ramsay last Sunday on CBC’s The Sunday Edition.  Bob died on the operating table, but didn’t have the typical near-death experience that most people report.  In fact he didn’t remember much of anything at all.  You can visit the link above, see some listener response, and listen to the podcast yourself.

Finally, I’m reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project.  I picked it up on the recommendation of a friend and have been reading through it.  It’s a little slow going for me, since I’ve gone through some of what she writes about in my own way previously, and because I just can’t relate to some of the other experiences that she writes about.  I hope to share some of my  insights on happiness throughout this series as well.

On that note, this past week, I read Justine Musk’s blog post on the pursuit of happiness.  I think she has some valid points.

My encounters with death (physical and spiritual) have informed my development as a creative person and shaped the way that I respond to various negative events in my life.

What I’m hoping to accomplish

This isn’t supposed to be purely confessional or self-serving in any way.  I am a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) kind of gal, but to be honest, I expose myself as a means of defence.  If I share too much information (TMI), people tend to react in one of two ways:

  1. They never ask me a personal question again and generally leave me alone, or
  2. They understand I choose to share the deeply personal or embarrassing details of my life in an attempt to deepen my connection with the people who are important to me.

It’s a way of knowing who your friends are and of deepening your relationships with the people who mean most to you.

Doing this on my blog has been a bit of a mixed blessing.  I blogged most of my embarrassing, personal stuff early on in Writerly Goodness’s existence, thus ensuring that few people would actually look at it.  I wasn’t really risking much, but I also had no idea if this was the kind of subject material that would resonate with my readership.

I’ve mentioned a few times in various posts about how shy I am.  It would be very difficult for me to speak about these issues in a face-to-face kind of way without getting freaky and spastic.  This has happened, though.  It wasn’t pretty.

So now I’m pulling out the big guns again in an attempt to connect more with my friends on the interwebz and in the hope of sharing something of the themes and interests that inform my writing.  I’d like to start a conversation about these issues without getting self-indulgent because I think they are important to many creative people out there.

It’s an experiment of sorts and I’d love to hear from you.  What do you think about it?  Would it be of value to you?  Would you be willing to put yourself out there, along with me, on this crazy journey?

Let me know.  Please keep in mind that I moderate all comments and I have the dreaded day job.  If your comment doesn’t show up right away, it’s because I haven’t had a chance to review and respond yet.  Rest assured, I make every attempt to respond in a timely manner.  Your comments are important to me 🙂

Writerly Goodness, signing off.