Through, Not Around launch

Last night, Through, Not Around was launched. For the first time, I saw my piece in a real live book that I held in my hands. I then had the privilege of reading an excerpt of my piece to the enthusiastic audience. To top it all off, I had my husband, mother and brother there to support me. It was a wonderful night.

Through, Not Around launches tonight

Few people know the details of my experience set out in chapter 21 of Through, Not Around: Stories of Infertility and Pregnancy Loss. The process of writing and re-reading and revising my story has been immeasurably helpful in my journey of healing. I’m eternally grateful to the editors of The 16 Percent for providing me with this opportunity and I’m grateful to all the courageous contributors to this important project. I’m looking forward to reading all of your stories too.
This is also a life goal unlocked, having a piece published in a book. I would never have even submitted if not for Firefly Creative Writing and its incredibly supportive coaches and students. I’m very proud and I’m excited to read an excerpt at tonight’s launch and I can’t wait to have that collection of stories in my hands.

The book is available now on pre-sale from Amazon and you can also ask for it at your local bookstore.

VoicED 2019

I found out today that I will be reading a piece of my writing at VoicED (an evening of poetry, music, dance and community curated by the National Eating Disorder Information Centre).

Here is info on the event:

VoicED is an annual community art event curated by the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) that takes place during Eating Disorder Awareness Week (EDAW). This year, we’re raising awareness about the message “Eating Disorders Can’t Afford to Wait”, while continuing to cultivate a community of hope to those who are living with or affected by eating disorders. By providing a “voice” to those with lived experience, we hope to empower everyone involved to continue to dismantle the stigma around eating disorders.

Please RSVP on EventBrite to save your spot so we know how many people are coming. Tickets will be purchased at the door for $10.00 (adults) and $5.00 (students). 100% of the profits go toward supporting NEDIC’s helpline and instant chat service for people living with or affected by eating disorders.

It’s on February 6, 2019 7-9pm at the Tranzac Club (292 Brunswick Avenue).

UPDATE: the event is rescheduled to February 13, 2019. Same time. Same place.

Mary Oliver (September 10, 1935 to January 17, 2019)

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

 

Writing Retreat, take me away

It’s only four days into the back to work / back to school grind and I’m already craving a break. Thankfully, I’m heading up north tomorrow for a luscious three night writing retreat.

This retreat is the final act of an amazing course called The Big One offered by Firefly Creative Writing. Last year, we spent nine months together workshopping and focusing on our individual projects. Since we couldn’t bear to say goodbye to each other, some of us continued this year with a four month class as well as this weekend’s retreat. As excited I am for the retreat itself, I feel sad to be at the end of this journey with these writers and their characters that I’ve grown to love. But I’m not going to think about that now. We have a whole weekend together. Time passes so slowly on retreat.

Writing retreats with Firefly always hit the spot. I find that my words flow freely when I’m free of the day to day responsibilities. Being well rested is also a big creative instigator. For three blissful days, I will be responsible for no one but myself (with the exception of the one meal I’m prepping with a partner). Without all of the usual external demands, I am better able to be present with myself and know what I want from any given moment and what I need. I sleep more, eat nourishing food made with love and consideration, I read and I write and write and write. And oh how I love the lengthy periods of silence.

Retreats are like a little getaway with myself, where I can check in and catch up; all while in the soft container of Firefly community.