Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!


I'm daydreaming of spring...
 

But it still snows...


 it snows...

We're snowed under...

A bit of gymnastics...

and a dream of the Arctic...

Better get ready to ring in the New Year...

Happy New Year 2013 from Montreal !!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Darlings,

Open your hearts to joy. Love yourselves and your loved ones. Share a bit of your soul with the souls of the world, big or small (but especially small).

Be healthy. Be merry.

Also, be naughty, but be nice! (Santa’s watching!)

Have the best Christmas ever!

Here and there, I‘ve found images of vintage Christmas and they are my gift to you...

Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

That Moon

There was a strange Moon that night
(that night when I was looking for you)
-not even poets would’ve known what to make of it-
red rimmed and pallid
with eyelids of dark clouds, ever blinking
like a giant eye in the sky
as if all the things from beyond
were peeking at Earth
Maybe lovers still exchanged vows
still made promises
by its silver light
seeing only dreams and celestial beauty
oblivious to such alien evil
No ghosts, no witches, no vampires
could scare me-
only the utterly alien cosmos
only the cosmic cold breath
of things unsayable
crushing my bones crushing my soul
watching me watching us
from up there

I was looking for you
my somber, my lost one
and I was alone and I was afraid
under the light of that Moon
I wished
how I wished to be
the squirrel
that squirrel who stole
the last apple from the apple tree


Friday, October 19, 2012

Counting



A ghoul or two
have come to you
You only took
three seconds, or four
to open the door
Five ravens, no, six
began flapping their wings
Wisps of mist,
seven, eight,
rose from the grave
Then she came
with nine whispers, or ten
Oh, the terror, oh, the pain
of seeing her again…

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Say You Were I


say I was you and you were I,
say your pretty face,
your fancy thoughts
were squeezed,
were squished
inside this convoluted room
that you could never leave,
and you would taste the world
with tiny, tiny eyes--
from your clumsy, sluggish path
would you look up in
fear that I,
like this careless,
unavailing god,
would
step on you?
whose universe would be
more grand?
or would they be entirely
the same,
just different
vantage points?
which one of us would have
more right to live?
to thrive?
how would you answer that
if the flamboyant girl were I
and you were
(just)
an enigmatic snail
dreaming
on a leaf?


Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Thing with Feathers


A bit more than a month ago, I was searching the net for inspiration for a title for a short story I had just written (I’m really bad at titles) and I found this poem by Emily Dickinson. I thought I’d share with you…

Hope is the Thing with Feathers
by Emily Dickinson

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.


Thursday, August 09, 2012

Are the (Occasional) Highs Worth the (Many More) Lows? or Giving Up is Tempting



Writing stories has been a most important part of my life ever since, at twelve I believe, I read "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" by Jules Verne. Imagining fantastic adventures was my way of living them. I wanted to be a speleologist, a palaeontologist, a marine biologist, and archaeologist, an astronaut. I wrote, wrote, and wrote about that.

Over the years, I have started many novels, which I never finished. However, that never actually seemed important. I have always written for my pleasure. For the thrill of living many lives at once. I never worried about publishing my work. That made me light and carefree. I was also very young and the future stretched endlessly in front of me.

Yet, sometime during the past few years, something has shifted. I got older, of course. The thought of seeking publication has acquired a more tangible shape. The future, also, suddenly appeared finite –as it truly is, unfortunately- hence adding urgency to all my actions. Instead of being hopeful, I have become impatient, anxious. Except for the moments of complete trance, the writing has become (a bit) painful with apprehension. Just a little bit.

I buy a lot of books. However, I rarely go to bookstores anymore. I love books, I adore books, but seeing them all together like that makes me sad. It discourages me big-time. That’s because I can’t help thinking: What are the chances of all these beautiful, colourful, wonderful, shiny, published books to be bought and read by (many) people? I would say, rather slim. Except for the best-sellers, of course, which sell best because, well… they are best-sellers.

Then, there’s Amazon, with so many more books, all kind of books, including a lot of self-published books. While I’m not eloquent enough to express my admiration for these people who wrote their novels and published them, one way or another, I also cringe when I see Amazon best-selling ranks into hundreds of thousands or millions.

Don’t get me wrong. I still find an exhilarating motivation in seeing other people’s accomplishments, especially those of my blogging friends. Maximum kudos to all of them! I do not feel one drop of envy, please believe me, only admiration.

In this sea of books, I feel so lost. I’m not even capable of finishing my novel. I’m too stupid or too lazy, or both, to even finish one novel. I’m too overwhelmed by OCD – what else could it be this obsessive polishing of each sentence, this endless pondering of the logic of each plot element – to go from one paragraph to the next. I couldn’t agree more with whoever said first that perfectionism breeds paralysis. I’m really fighting hard to snap out of it.

I’m not giving up. No way. No matter the outcome, I will still be fooling myself and pushing myself because the “highs” are definitely worth more than the “lows.” And I will never be able to be just a reader.

Oh, Jules Verne, what have you done to me?


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Summer in my Garden


strange things happen
i become smaller and smaller
sister to the small things
 

i scurry with chipmunks
hop with grasshoppers
scare crickets with my fiddle


i congregate with blackbirds
to steal the raspberries
before the children come out to play
then hide in a petal
to watch their eyes grow wide


i get drunk on petunias’ perfume
bumblebees invite me to dance


at dusk
i fall in love
with a butterfly

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

On Book Reviews

I like reading book reviews, the good ones and especially the bad ones. I can extract a lot of useful information from them, on character and plot development, on readers’ expectations. I read them on Amazon, on GoodReads, and on other few sites that publish reviews on a regular basis.

Being written by people, reviews are subjective so they have to be taken with a grain of salt. However, the reviewer’s dislike or ignorance of a genre shouldn’t mean a bad mark for the book.

I mostly ignore the good reviews, especially when they are overly enthusiastic. Sometimes, they look partisan, as if written by friends to give a boost to the ratings. But even if they are sincere, too much praise feels kind of syrupy. When the praise, however, is backed by a thorough analysis then it becomes useful.

Of course, many times the bad reviews are prejudiced too and you can tell the reviewer hasn’t even read the book carefully. There are also the self-righteous reviewers who think they know everything about how somebody should behave, fall in love (I’m reading a lot of YA lately) and generally react to a given situation, on the principle that what they would or wouldn’t do is a universal rule. But people are extremely diverse and, although we all partake in the same human nature, we each might take a different bite out of it. If a character in a book annoys you because of how she behaves, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the author is a bad writer, maybe quite on the contrary. In real life, there are stupid people and intelligent people, cautious people and rash people, etc., etc. If we would all be the same, then where would the fun be?

For good or bad reviews, you have to know how to read in between the lines and, in the end, of course, form your own opinion. I love reading excerpts to get a taste of a book, and I have bought many books after doing that. I have also borrowed books from the local library and then bought them because I loved them so much I had to have them. There are books that I cannot put down and have to force myself to put them down, because if I don’t then my stay in their universe would be over too soon. And there are books (I can still count them on one hand’s fingers) that are simply not palatable to me and that I had to put down unfinished.

I know it is very difficult to write a useful book review and I admire those who can. I’ve tried it but I’m not gifted or patient enough to dissect on paper the whole justification behind a simple “I like it” or “I don’t like it.”

I can read, though, read, read, read. And this is a small sample of what I have piled up on my nightstand… (rubbing my hands in gleeful anticipation)



It even makes for nice little almost-poem…

Midnight in Rosary

Hold me closer, necromancer
Die for me,
Shipbreaker,
Our Lady of Darkness,
shatter me
across the Universe.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring is in the Air (and Update)


Do you recognize the view?

Yes, it’s the East River down there in a pigeon’s-eye view from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.

Can you tell that I’ve just got a fresh dose of Manhattan? I’m heartsick now that I’m back in Montreal, but also exhilarated and very eager to write (again). Maybe, hopefully, some of that frenzy that is New York City has rubbed off on me.

I must say that the outlining hasn’t gone that well. (Outlining’s a bitch!) I knew it, but I didn’t want to jinx it. I’ve (re)discovered that the moment I try to put on paper more than the sketchiest of ideas, I become totally blocked. The ideas chase each other around the back of my head and refuse to be chained down on paper in an orderly manner. The story is all in my head and has to be written the way it comes to me. What my brain cannot hold is quite likely to get lost.


However, I did a lot of thinking and re-thinking, and I got some direction from my dilemmas, and my confidence in being able to finish what I’ve started feels a bit timid yet also resilient, like a snowdrop at the end of winter.

These beauties are in my kitchen, not in my garden, but still… spring is in the air.


Last but not least, I wish to thank all of my friends who wrote comments on the previous post. May your kind wishes and thoughts return to you thousandfold. I feel ashamed for answering this late -it's not at all in my nature to be this rude- and I really, truly, deeply apologize. I have you, all of you, in my heart.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year


I hope it's simple and bright, sweet like new hope, round with fulfilled wishes, puzzling, loving, shaking with laughter.
For you, for me, for everyone.
Happy New Year!