Sunday, November 28, 2004

Blame Weisblott

It’s been two weeks since my last post – the longest I’ve gone without blogging since I kicked off this little personal free-association web site back in March. And now, here, some 9 months and 85 or so entries later, I’m still hooked, still waiting to see what I’ll write next. I feel kind of guilty; kind of itchy (not to mention scratchy) not to have moved heaven and earth to make the time to blog since two Sundays ago.
Because blogging has changed my life. True story. I write differently, read differently, but more than that, I think differently – and better (I think) than I thunk before.
Part of it is the excitement of trusting my own intuition – asking: what do I really think about this? (And not a few times, honestly, coming up with an association or two, an original thought or two, that have then appeared elsewhere; not stolen – but minds I admire thinking some of the same things, coming to the same conclusions. It’s heady stuff.)
Part of it is my lifelong love of words and finally having a place to put them other than the back of my cluttered, chaotic mind.
But the biggest part is simply doing it, and by doing it, becoming more adept at doing it and so enjoying it more. It snowballs you see; building upon itself in all the best ways: self confidence, self awareness and self trust.
And it’s gotten me work! A few months ago when I was at the very height of worrying about the very depths to which I imagined myself economically sinking, when I went so far as to actually write about it (another change: challenging myself to be honest and admitting not all in the garden was blooming lovely) I received a lifeline in the form of an email from a complete stranger; a stranger who suggested we get together for a chat – a chat that resulted in my being hired to work on the creative side of promoting the Griffin Prize for Excellence in Poetry. Poetry for heaven’s sake! And not the ‘moon, June, spoon’ sort – but real, literary, international, written-in-a-garret, not-rhyming-type poetry.
The irony is, I had posted a piece that used the fact that I’d never done PR – though it was a recurring theme in my life that it was always being suggested I take a crack at it… even though I knew nothing about it… in fact was convinced it had something to do with not much more than having lunch and being nice…. but beyond that being totally in the dark about it – as a sort of funny (I laughed, but then, I laugh at all my own jokes) repeating chorus throughout.
But the real irony was that when Vicki emailed me to get together, she wrote ‘so why not PR?’ and we were off to the races.
(I’ve had a snack, a dinner – which I cooked – a couple of cups of coffee and a few glasses of wine since then. No lunch yet; but I’m patient. And hungry. And nice.)
I’ve also been distracted from posting by picking up a significant amount of writing work with a magazine set to debut in a couple of weeks. Though getting it wasn’t blog-related, since then, some of my interview subjects have checked out my blog and as a result a few more assignments are coming my way. (There’s a radio commercial running in Calgary right now that I wrote! I’ve voiced hundreds – but it took the blog to be given the opportunity to write one.) It’s touch and go, hit and miss (overused cliché and unimaginative aphorism) but little by little (that’s enough, ed.) it looks as though this writing thing might actually be a goer.
And did I mention I’ve made friends through this experience? There’s the guy who set this thing up – Marc Weisblott( – a guy of immense talent who whilst being led up the garden path by a certain soulless group of magazine folk, spent some considerable time encouraging friends to start up web logs, which he, Marc, would then promote through his connection with the aforementioned soulless souls. The heathens are gone – but I’ve got this blog, and this work and the sense that my life would be unquestionably poorer without it all. And Marc is completely responsible – not really quite the same as the work and resulting satisfaction he was promised by the garden path-perambulating ingrates, but let’s hope gratitude is currency – the sort that can actually pay off some day.
And then there’s Blamb! (Exclamation point mine!) Brett Lamb ( Every time he mentions my site, I get 100 hits or more – and some of them even come back…
There are others – faithful readers (where do they find the time?) who come back again and again, sometimes offering opinions and kudos, sometimes just coming back again and again.
But now all the stories for the magazine (look for Toronto Living Luxury Lifestyle on your newsstands any day now!) are written, the poetry prize stuff is not set to get underway until the new year, and with the exception of some Christmas and PR type parties, my time is my own for the time being.
So I can write again. I can write about the state of the U.S. – though I pray there’s nothing much to say – the frightening upswing in religion-based hatred (and the new focus on a Christ-less Christianity; turns out there’s nothing like as good a chance for peace as taking the Son of God out of the sermon.) There’s the exciting power of the people in the Ukraine (when eastern European countries show more solidarity and courage in fighting for democracy than the Patriot Act-pushing Americans, you’ve got a sea change acomin’ that’s both beautiful and terrifying to behold. Yay Ukraine!) and the selfless heroism of Victor Yushchenko who ignores even a poisonous assault on his very visage, so focused is he on winning the right of the citizenry to free elections.
I might take a crack at the beyond-ridiculous-bordering-on-creepy ‘Greatest Canadian’ free-for-all that couldn’t find a single woman of a stature ‘great’ enough to be included on a list that sports Don Cherry and David Suzuki (the shame of this alone should have shut the CBC up on this pointless exercise) or perhaps opine upon the cravenness of a Carolyn Parrish who takes a perfectly good position (Bush sucks) and renders it null by choosing to hold it vociferously rather than discuss it fruitfully: somebody tell me – what is the point?
And there’s a word that’s been skittering around my brain like a beetle in a bathtub for the past few months – running around, trying to skip up the side and over, but unable to get purchase it just slides down the sides, madly scratching to escape before circling the plughole and slipping down and out of sight again. The word is ‘entitlement’, and it’s a notion that seems to have gained unhealthy purchase lately – so blindly entitled do so many feel these days that dialogue around morality and ethics (not to mention right and wrong) seem to have left the building along with Elvis. I want to write about entitlement. A lot.
So I’m baaaaack – and ready to roll and write again. I’ve missed this so much… too much; so much so, I sometimes don’t know what to think anymore until I blog about it.
I blame Marc Weisblott.

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