"Spin" in aviation training: a "stall" or loss of lift, a subsequent nose-down spin, the specific actions required for recovery, and the feeling, after recovery, that you could tackle absolutely anything!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Checkin' In.

There was a difficult day. Everyone has them. 'Seems the gauntlet was thrown down as my eyes opened in the morning. Nothing was working. My ideas, goals seemed ridiculous and the world, well, I just couldn't figure it out. There was no point, it seemed. I was not making the headway I wanted. And outside, the air was cutting cold, thrown carelessly by the wind, and armed with stinging, sharp snow. In a fit, I shrugged off my useless efforts and left them in a sullen heap on the floor. I put on my jacket and headed out through the storm  and to a movie. The theatre is a bit of a walk from where I live so the storm had ample time to make me uncomfortable, that is until I got to Philosopher's Walk, a thin, forested park set low behind UofT's Faculty of Law, Faculty of Music, and the ROM. Because it is low, and sheltered, the wind was blowing over top and dropping the snow gently, instead of bludgeoning it as it seemed to be doing everywhere else. It appeared a scene from Narnia, or some special place with rich, thick duvets of granitic, sparkling white laid everywhere. It was beautiful and I was thankful for the respite from the wind. I could hear my own breath, the crunch of snow under my feet, and then- then I heard the silkiest sound coming from a trumpet somewhere in the music building. Someone was playing Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition: Promenade." I stopped. It was so beautiful. So lovely, as if they were playing it just for me, to draw me out of my difficult day. As if someone said,
 "Here she comes! Play it now! Remind her that there is, most definitely a point!"
 It was as if God was just checkin' in to sort me out. Whatever it was, there was most certainly a magic to it. I may never forget it.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Glenn Gould and Me.

I can not wait for this Death Match to be over. I've been listening to Glenn Gould and the English Suites, and pacing. Gould is pure genius, no question. I am a struggling writer, no question here either. Again, it's completely my fault for entering the contest. But as I was pacing and letting Gould's brilliance wash over me, I think I finally realized the problem I have with it: the Broken Pencil Death Match is disrespectful of the discipline. It takes advantage with the lure of the prizes and belittles the sacredness of the creative process with the insulting, juvenile tactic of hourly voting. I could never imagine Glenn Gould having put up with something like this. I'm not, by any means, putting myself on a par with him, but I think there is nothing wrong with respecting myself as he did, as any profoundly focused artist/creator should. I was going to write here that I have learned nothing significant during this tiresome week, but that's not true: SELF RESPECT.  That IS significant. 'Took a whole week to put words to it, but thank God I got it. Thank God indeed.

Thursday, 23 January 2014


Sorry everyone. I'm embarrassed by the Broken Pencil Death Match Short Story Contest. It's such an obvious scoop of email addresses. I was so excited to be a finalist and then, well, once I realized that it wasn't about the writing at all, it was about who had the biggest contact list, I was quite angry. Now I'm just sad that I didn't see it. But now I know. I will never be a part of anything like this again. No more voting. Ever. I apologize.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Short Story Contest:

Everyone to http://www.brokenpencil.com/deathmatch-2014 starting on Monday. Vote every hour, if you can, for me!
"Dent-O's Taste-O'-the-South." Comment too!

Friday, 17 January 2014

Appalachian Spring.

Why is it that Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring can leave me sitting, weeping on my kitchen floor?