Friday, October 9, 2009

In Praise of a Slower Life, Canadian Thanksgiving, and Kit Courteney

I enjoy all your blogs. At times, caught up with my own writing, it's difficult to read them all. Along with my favorites, there are new ones constantly presenting themselves through my Google deliveries, and there just aren't enough hours in the day. Regardless, there are certain blogs I must read. They're not always about writing, but they are insights into the writer.

And so I designed my own special award for blogs I hate to miss. I'm going to send one out every week or so. They involve no rules to be carefully followed, no requests for forwarding and linking. Do with them what you will; honor your favorites.

The first is for Kit Courteney. She always makes me smile (rueful ones at times). It makes no difference to me whether or not she displays it, or if she chooses to send it to her own favorite blogs.  It's just my quiet little token of esteem. Thank you, Kit.

I'm at the 34% mark of Summer Must End, and suitably pleased with myself. The house is already a little messy, because of my computer time, but I'll take a break this weekend and have a tidy up. Nothing much else to report on the writing - the characters, as usual, have now taken over, bullies that they are. I'll let them go until around Christmas, and then I'll reign them in. They'll probably kick up a fuss, but, in the end, I'm the boss.

I found a very nice editorial at Huffington Post on the need to slow down the fast-paced life. Even in my corporate days, I was never really good at running about, chasing my tail a lot of the time, for that special salary, but I was efficient at appearing to be a quick mover. Of course, it was necessary in my role to multi-task, but I didn't enjoy it. I'd be useless in today's Bay Street office. I figure - whatever I'm doing - something is bound to suffer if I'm not dedicated to the task at hand. I like to get deep into each project, submerge myself in it, and that's how I work best. Sadly, in my family life, this was impossible. As a single parent, I juggled a demanding job and the demands of three young children. I'd get home exhausted, facing meal preparation and cleanups, getting the kids to complete their homework, take their showers, get off the phone! - all that stuff -  and I wasn't always in the best mood.  At times, they missed out.  I was an Absent Mom - there in body only, and a cranky body, at that. It saddens me now, but I can't turn back time. (And they don't resent me for it.)

Today, with our technological accessories, our constant need to be in touch, to be on top, seen as savvy, it's even harder. I feel for you, especially you moms. Read Arianna's post on Carl Honore's book, Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed, on the latest movement to save you from your harried life. Certainly never let your kids miss out on you. Turn off your phone tonight, stop surfing the net, and, just for a while, salute Buddhism, and be in the now for them. While you're at it, teach them how to do it, too. And don't forget to take some quiet time for yourself. And then find time for the writing. Superhuman, aren't we?

I've included a link here for a yet another article on e-publishing that I think you should read. It's a calm, simple observation of that other world through the eyes of agent Richard Curtis. We traditionalists get tired of seeing all the stories about Vooks, but we should stay on top of the subject, all the same. It's one thing to be perceived as elitist, quite another to be ignorant.

It's Thanksgiving weekend here. Canada's own celebration is based on a different historical take to that of the U.S. In fact, its early establishment as a civic holiday involved a lot of controversy. All that nastiness is well behind us now, and we enjoy our long weekend, appreciate the beautiful fall colors, and continue to be very grateful for where we live, and - in my case - it's all done without a turkey in sight. 

See you next week.

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Quotes to Consider

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, Either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing." ~Benjamin Franklin

"Well behaved women rarely make history."~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”~William G.T. Shedd (1820-1894), theologian, teacher, pastor

"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." ~Franklin D Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd U.S. president

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), essayist, poet, philosopher

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
~ Wayne Gretzky