So, I’ll hop along the blog
hop long after I’ve been
tagged by Kathleen Wall!
My post may not be
long, but it will not stop
hopping along the blog.
And to tag two more
would be Ariel Gordon
at the Jane Day Reader
and Pam Bustin. Hop
on the blog hop and tag twice!


What am I working on?

Everything and nothing. I’m working on doing a few readings from my recent book (this week I’m Alberta Bound), writing for my day job (advertising, workshop blurbs) and the occasional poem. Mostly I’m editing a manuscript that incorporates powerful women and ekphrastic poetry. And hair and art. It’s a mixed metaphor of where I’ve been, what I’ve done, combined with where I’m going and how to get there. I’m attracted to what haunts me and I write about it to make sense of why.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

It doesn’t.

And it does.

I’m me and write like me, and not like anyone else (I believe that our personalities shine through in all our creative endeavours). My imagination sometimes gets carried away with metaphor and simile. I sometimes make incomprehensible leaps that cause the people who read these leaps to look at me strangely. I like to play with language, and with themes of things that obsess me. I never want to write the same poem twice. I want each poem to stand alone, and I want each book to be different. My work comes as much from who I am, as from all those around me.

Why do I write what I do?

Well. Good question. I always wanted to be a great novelist. I wrote nothing but fiction and short stories when I was a teenager, often incorporating classmates into my stories, but somewhere in that time frame I also wrote some really abstract (yet interesting to me) poems that managed to wind up on the Youth page of the Western Producer under the pen name of The Mad Dr. B.

Mad indeed.

And almost a decade later, I took a class by Dave Margoshes at the U of R extension alongside Bernadette Wagner and June Mitchell, and somehow I still didn’t want to write poetry. Then a few years later, I decided to finish a degree it seemed I never started, working my way through school, and kids, and housework, and all the rest of the details.

And somehow in all that work, I began writing poetry. First came small poems, with short lines, then I worked my way to longer poems. The poems moved out of my head and onto the page with ease, often building within me while I was working, or trying to sleep. I finished writing one book only to start another, and then another. Right now I have two manuscripts on the go, and I’ve still not written my great novel.

What’s my creative process?

I don’t believe I really have one, but maybe not having one is like having one.

I think a lot, not always well, and not always in the direction I should be thinking. I read a lot. I write down what/how others write/say that I like and play with it. I take it apart and I put it together.

I’m drawn to brightly coloured objects and things that shine.

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.”

I’m attracted
to words and puzzles

cracking the alphabet up
and putting it

back together
again and again.



Thistledown Press is publishing my third book of poetry. Here’s the details about my Regina launch (SLATE Gallery is located 2048 Halifax St.). See you there!                                   RedCurls-posters




Is nearing its publication completion and with that delightful process comes the always adventurous journey of choosing a great cover image. My publisher Thistledown Press didn’t disappoint me when it came to picking the cover image and I was fortunate to have a hand in gathering various images provided by Brazilian artist Virgilio Neto. As Red Curls is musing about the lives, loves and art of Egon Schiele and his mistress Valerie Neuzil, it was important to me to have a cover image that reflected art about art, a musing of muses. Neto’s work, I believe, encapsulates the desire behind creating art in a way that is reminiscent of Schiele’s work.

And: The poems, well, they’re messy and wet–they watch the audience watch them with I’s all their own.

And: Set your calendars for the Regina launch on October 8, and stay tuned for more details. As the tour builds I’ll post the dates and cities along the right.

Fueling March On

Winter fuel. That’s what I call the few extra pounds I’ve put on this long winter. Not that this winter is any longer than any others–where I live it seems it’s winter three quarters of the time, with a bit of heat thrown in to relieve the monotony. Fuel could be food for the mind, but this winter’s been a dry cold, with not much writing and not much desire to write much of anything.

This year, like any cold-bound place, the ice will break, the dam will be free and the world will spin me around on an axis that I have no control over. What that means is that I will have a new book of poetry out this fall from Thistledown Press. I have laboured over edits with the help of Jeanette Lynes, an editor with a keen eye. The manuscript awaits the next phase of production, this process of writing for more than five years nearly over, this winter chinook blowing out the season, the work waiting like a youth for spring, that will arrive on the tails of the fuel that feeds us all. Words have a way of growing. 


I feel like I should be a radio announcer: We interrupt our regular scheduled programming to bring you this latest groundbreaking news.

Only I’m interrupting about nine months of no writing on the blog.

And for my news. Something new and old–an interview with me has been posted online. I’m looking forward to next year’s launching, reading, and general conversations about this book. 


And now back to our regular scheduled programming.


2013-01-24 16.46.05…on the heels of yesterday’s reposting of my last post about retreating in the wilds of Banff (this is a picture of Kim Williams, the photographer that took my picture for the Banff Centre Blog), I thought maybe I should give everyone a bit of an update. Yes, I’m still sitting in the bowels of the ship as I write this, two more days, then back in the little red car (which I might add is pretty darned dirty after highway driving through storms and snow to get here, and quite frankly who wants to stop working to drive your car to a car wash), though with a Chinook coming through I may have the sun roof open, and some new tunes blaring on the stereo. One cd I’ll be playing is from Jenny Eriksson called The Marais Project.

Some of the new music groups to check out: one is the Thin Edge New Music Collective. Cheryl Duvall, Ilana Waniuk (both based in Toronto), German accordianist Olivia Steimel and Montreal flautist/composer Solomiya Moroz are leaving Banff today and heading west to tour Vancouver and Victoria so if you live out west, check out one of their concerts.  If you’re in Toronto, check out the hot new jazz band Allison Au Quartet. And there was the exciting Steinberg Duo that has been recording and premiering Philip Sawyers Violin Sonato No. 1.

Some of the other musicians I’ve met are  Matty Poon from Victoria and his project Musetta Stone, Pierre Dercyz of Los Angeles, Christina Katsimbardis from Australia, andAlaistair Putt of London. Of course, I’ve met many more–and probably will continue to meet even more in the next few days.

All this music needs some words–on that note, time to write another poem.


2013-01-12 13.06.42

The act of moving back, withdrawal. I’m sitting in a ship named Elsie on a mountain in the Rockies. Elsie’s a modified fishing boat (thanks to architect Richard Henriquez’s  redesign and generous donation) where I’ve withdrawn from “normal” society to immerse myself in a world of the arts (retreat seems a bit of an oxymoron, as I’ve not withdrawn so much as entered a liminal (it always amuses me that the spell check doesn’t recognize the word liminal) space).

It was cold when I arrived on the tail of a storm that left winter enthusiasts extremely happy. I drove my little red car onto a parking lot behind Lloyd Hall one week ago today and have not had to get back in it since. My days are spent at the computer, my feet resting on the side bench, and I research various items and ideas for the poems. I’ve set the goal of a poem a day. So far I’ve managed to fulfill my goals.

The wind is up today, but it’s plus 3 outside, with sun and snow dropping through the trees outside my window. My studio space is secluded from campus, nestled among the evergreens, the elk, the deer, and the chickadees, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to pull away from the daily activities that make it so hard to focus on the creative process. I see my fellow artists occasionally, often at lunch and dinner, and we converse about our progress. It’s inspiring to discuss how we work, and how we work in different mediums. How we proceed and how it is we do what we do. We’re making connections that may often last a lifetime. We’re reflecting daily on art in an environment that encourages and promotes artists and art.

Of course, there are distractions such as mountain hiking, hot springs, musical rehearsals and concerts, even shopping if I were to let myself be so distracted (me, shop, how absurd), but these are not so much distractions but part of the retreating process. Food for the mind. Energy for the words. It’s all part of the experience of my retreat at Banff Centre.


This is one of the great views from the house on the prairie where I recently enjoyed three weeks of writing time. While the wind howled relentlessly, I created enough work to keep me editing until I can get away again! According to the owner of the property, this little shack never used to be underwater, but with all the rain and snow of the past few years, a small slough grew behind the barn. I prefer to think of it as the drowning house.

Wolverine No. 340-20120916-00060


…okay, actually the postcard doesn’t ring at all, but it does take about two weeks to arrive. I’ve always loved old cards, everything from postcards, to valentine’s, to birthday greetings. When I was young, I would play with the saved cards my mom and dad received from their school days. There was something remarkable about the artwork, the paper, maybe even the sentiment. Every so often I will stock up on old postcards to use as writing prompts, or just to put up in my space. I love the quality of the old sepia tones, the intriguing sentiments on the back. Today as I was reading about the Lost Art of Postcard Writing I was remembering the Robert Olen Butler book Had a Good Time:Stories From American Postcards and how fascinating the stories became when fully explored.

A friend of mine, Annette Bower, another Regina author, understands the thrill of the postcard, and although she might not always send me one in the mail, she’ll often give me one out-of-the blue, with a picture on it that relates to something I’m doing or writing. Another writer friend  Kris Brandhagen sent numerous postcards while in Europe all addressed to the house on the corner of the street and avenue but no house number, and I received all of the postcards, albeit very late. One card spawned a poem, which in turn spawned a manuscript, which in turn… .

Perhaps the internet is our postal service and our blogs/social media work like the postcards now. Instant pictures, instant text. But although I have the tactile sense by writing my blog, it’s not nearly as exciting as getting a postcard in the mail. I still love going to the paper store, touching all of the different papers, notebooks, and cards (I often wonder if I’ll get tossed out of a store for touching the paper in inappropriate ways (is that possible?)). I still buy paper and cards and mail them every now and then. I don’t think writing postcards or any card is a lost art, but appreciating the time and slowness and the excitement of the physical object is lost in a world of instant media.

Lost: unable to be found.

Found: having been discovered.

Postcards: a card for sending a message by mail without an envelope.

Consider this your message.  In turning the post over, perhaps you’ll see the picture.