Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I'm high on migraine medication. I resisted taking it for 12 hours. Why I do that I'm not sure but this morning when I woke up with one side of my head clamouring to secede I finally caved and now my head is a party and the rest of me is a few beat behind in the music. That's okay. I'd rather that then civil war.

I am going to wait to work on my novel until I come down though.

I had something important to write but in the time it took for this page to load it scampered away. In my current mellow state I'm cool with that. In fact it probably wasn't that important anyway.

The only thing I really am aware of right now is that I can't believe secede is spelled that way. Really? It looks wrong but spell check assures me that it isn't.

I wonder what it would be like to live my life in this head-space. I don't think it would work very well. I'd never get anything done because nothing seems that urgent to me right now. I'm very glad I don't have to work like this. I've been lucky in that I rarely have had to work in a post-migraine state - although I did do a show like this once and thought everything in the first act was extremely hilarious. Which was okay. I was supposed to be full of Christmas Spirit and though I was probably a little too relaxed it did help me sing better.

Well, with that profound thought, I'm going to go wait for this to wear off. If anyone walks by my house and hears Christmas music sung very loudly at least someone will know why.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mennonite Wedding

Today I was awoken by the ringing phone. It was my dad, phoning to tell me that another of my girl cousins was getting married. To put this is in a bit of perspective, on my dad’s side I have – let me see, now – 33 cousins, 16 of whom are girls. (In counting I just realized to my shame I don’t know all of my cousins names. I know I haven’t seen some of them for over 10 years but that still seems a bit pathetic. Oh well. Back to the main story.) In the last year, three of my girl cousins have gotten married and it is a sport with my parents to phone me and make me guess who is getting hitched next. I haven’t guessed right once, until this morning, which is all the more impressive because I had only been awake for maybe two minutes.
My dad doesn’t much care for the future cousin-in-law’s family, and neither does his brother, but it’s my cousin’s opinion that matters and apparently she likes them enough to tie herself to them for eternity. She’s getting married in the new year and it looks like another wedding (4 for 4) that I’ve missed. I wish it wasn’t so.
“At least her mother can stop stressing about her girls not getting married now,” my dad said. We talked about the customs and commonly held beliefs of his family’s sub-culture. Holdeman Mennonites vary, or so I am told, wildly from one region to another, so perhaps my family’s pocket is not the norm. I know that I have a hard time understanding how any one can believe 25 and single means you’re reaching spinsterhood, but that is a common perception and I have at least one cousin who is getting to that tipping point.
It was so neat to hear my dad talk about the culture of his youth. I don’t think I’ve heard him talk about it much, and maybe that’s why I feel so disconnected from that side of my history. His perception is so fascinating, because he was a part of it and now he has distance from it, but he understands the culture and their way of life and how they think in a way that I never can because I’ve never lived it. He came close to being a member of the church. The night before he was to get baptized he went out drinking. When he came home he told his family he wasn’t going to church and went to sleep. He has said that it must have been a huge scandal for his parents, particularly his mother, to bear. But he’s glad he didn’t join. It’s made it easier for us as a family. He were never a part of the church so he never had to be excommunicated; our idiosyncrasies and odd behaviours are more acceptable because we don’t have that stigma.
I’m glad I wasn’t raised in that culture, even while I feel a hole from the disconnect – I’m glad I was raised with the understanding that my life could be more than a rush to a wedding and children, with some time spent teaching or nursing while I waited for the groom to appear. And I’m glad that I could spend time unsupervised or chaperoned with guys. I don’t understand how young people even get to know each other before they get engaged when they can’t even spend too much time talking to each other in a group setting without someone interfering in case things get out of hand. It doesn’t make sense.
And I’m glad I got to hear my dad talk this morning. It made some sense of one side of my history. I’ll have to talk to him more about it. It makes more sense coming from him than from my family who are immersed in it; one, because I wouldn’t know where to begin that conversation, and two, because he understands where I am too.
It was worth losing ten minutes of sleep, that’s for sure.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Moving On

I don't have much to say. I'm using my creative writing energies in my novel - I'm at 32,500 words heading towards 50,000 - and I know I haven't been here much.
I'm just enjoying life. The snow. Seeing friends. Knowing everyone I see on the street. I'm enjoying it while it lasts. Because it won't last forever, and while I'll miss it, I'm excited about the next step too!
Off to the world of my novel, now. I'll be back, I promise - November doesn't last forever either.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Scam Artists

In short: if they can't spell, they probably don't represent a legitimate business. Finally I know it is a good thing that I'm such a snob when it comes to a properly formatted/spelled letter!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Such a Novel Time

I recently learned that November is National Novel Writing Month (shortened by some to NaNoWriMo). Writers from all over the world (or nation, I guess - except I'm not sure which nation this is in) dedicate themselves to writing a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.
I signed up to do this and am 11,000 words or so into a story that has been riding in my head for eight years.
Good thing for my characters I learned about NaNoWriMo, wouldn't you say?
It isn't always easy to make myself sit down and write - sometimes I downright avoid it but so far (and it's only been a week) I've done it every day and after I'm done I always feel like I've accomplished something even if I think a lot of what I've written is crap. The good thing is as part of the quest to a finished first draft you aren't allowed to edit. Editing is for December. So even if I think my work isn't up to par I can't do anything about it right now. That's very freeing.
Well, back to work. I have a few hundred words to go today before I sleep.