Friday, December 9, 2011

mistletoe harlequin / Mr Darcy: the ultimate centrefold

December. Snow. Christmas. Trees. Red. Green. Mistletoe. Harlequin? 

Christmas party season: this afternoon I got to wear my new black sequine-y shirt, drink wine with nuns and archivists and get lost on Mount Saint Vincent's campus. The walk to the Sisters of Charity building is up a hill with sparse trees on one side and cookie cutter Mount residences on the other. As I walked dusk approached and all the neighbourhood crows gathered on a few dead looking trees cawing to me and each other, a true murder of crows, a council of crows, beautiful, ominous, festive?

Sure why not. 

Tonight I get to work on writing a harlequin novel with new pal Jaime who has actually read romance novels and can follow the strict structure the genre requires.  I will leave on party clothes for romance writing brainstorming / wine drinking / cookie eating / egg nog dunking experience.

Past writing teacher thought I should write for Harlequin. She thought I had the imagination but could use a little structure, she assumed I was a romantic (true) and that I had read romance novels (false). Most girls have I suppose, the romance genre isn't limited to Harlequin. I love Jane Austen and her books deal primarily with love and relationships, sisters, parents, lovers. An old boyfriend actually duped Jane Austen a pornographer of the written word, Mr Darcey the ultimate centrefold; surely her writing was meant to entice fantasy of true love and the effortlessness of virgin sex. 

Our main character is named Finn and he's a construction worker from a broken home. Let's see where this goes...Darcy in a hard hat?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

SPEAK! / red plaid

Heya tonight is Speak! Word Iz Bond event at the Company House (this site is never up to date, eek but it gives you a taste of what its all about, their Facebook page is more reliable :)and I am going to be performing during the open mic, time permitting!

It has been a productive writing day for me. The script TRAILER TRASH *finally* goes out tonight to all my lovely actors, I have been waiting for it to be perfect, but since we know writers can edit forever and still never be satisfied, I have decided to let my (horror) baby out into the world. It is about time. Sigh.

Babies have been quite a theme of late. 

Tonight I am planning on performing "Baby Mama/ Lit" a piece I shared with my lovely writers' group The Wired Monks a month or so ago. It is silly and fun, here's a taste:

"I don't wanna be your baby mama / but that don't mean I don't wanna / be pregnant with your stories / forever/ or whenever / I feel like letting them drop / pop pop / pop goes the weasel/ to save the damsel in distress / but her hair's a mess / and she's not his type / would up too tight / anyway / I'm big with them / synonyms / of wild free sex / forbidden texts / to tell your mother / you'd never fuck her / whatever Oedipus says / you bow your head / to the power of it all / my belly to fill up to devour / pretty pictures in rhyme / it's time...

My piece "I am cigarettes and I hurt babies" may also be on the agenda for tonight. It is new and may need a few tweeks but it feels fitting anyway:

"I am cigarettes and I hurt babies
and not just the ugly ones
bloated bellies and scabies
but the perfect ones too
with all their fingers and toes
and rosy cheek glow
I hurt them too
because I can    thank you
Philip Morris..."

Today also feels like a red plaid day. I have a long wool skirt and a houndstooth scarf that when worn together make me feel like a hunter or a lumberjack. Not too shabby methinks.

Poetry is not dead but rather vocal and maybe a bit angry or angsty. Amen.

Do something nice today. While doing research on cigarettes and of all things gang rape (don't ask, a long story, I need some horrible graphic research for a piece I am working on), I found too many atrocities on the Internet. Surprise, surprise. So hug a stranger, maybe wear pink instead of sombre black and grey and think how lucky you are not to be imprisoned for political and spiritual beliefs, all that Occupy stuff aside, you are alive and I am pretty sure you got to eat today. 

Love each other.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Digging through the garbage for returnables/ worth the effort

Writing is hard work. This has been said. This will be said again.

Writing is also terrifying, uplifting, hilarious, insightful, mood-altering, vulnerable, deletable, lasting, and relentless.

Some of my writer friends lament the existence of their old journals, unpolished stories, teenage poetry and B- papers on the origins of the species as though they were physical sign post failures of mind and spirit. I wrote this, this was true once, what did I know? They have promises from loved ones to burn and destroy upon death, the only words left the publishable ones and the epitaph. The writer is both extrovert and hermit - read my words but only when they are perfect and know I had something *important* to say. It is so easy to paralyze oneself for fear that words and images will be taken out of context, will mark the writer as illegamate, as ignorant, as foolish.

I have allowed myself to be paralyzed. But just for a little while.

I quit writing every few years as though that will somehow make things better, as though writing is an addiction to seek therapy for - I've done it, sought therapy, burned poetry, stopped buying pens and pencils, tried to shut off the stories that come and come and come, relentless beasts! Story will not go away no matter how hard I try, no matter how I try to demote her as  some sort of mental deficiency - Doctor I have these voices in my head...

My beautiful creative writing teacher at U of T, Elizabeth Ruth, made it clear to me, how dysfunctional the writers internal world can be. It is a gift and a curse and there is nothing more satisfying than getting down on paper what has been puttering inside one's head for minutes, hours, days.

There has been a piece that has been particularly dominant the past little while and I don't want to write it but I know I must because it will torture me otherwise. It leaves me feeling dark and vulnerable but maybe when it hits the light and the page it will become something else something multi-faceted and not at all as scary as I imagine; this is the truth for most things, fear of the unknown.

There is a soft spoken man in my neighbourhood who gathers returnable bottles for exchange. My roomie and I leave a bag outside for him. I met him for the first time today while I sparred with a crossword puzzle. He said, "Lady, you've got to know what you are looking for, digging through the garbage, well you know it's worth the effort."

I couldn't agree more. I want to share something with you...


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Zine-tastic / Mine (found)

Hfx Zine Fest ( a part of Hfx Pop Explosion) was this past Saturday and I am totally inspired by all the lovely ladies and gentlemen to rekindle the flame of zine making in my heart. Yes, I used to make zines. And yes they were mostly for me and kinda sucked but still they hold a special place as a part of my teenage angst years that went on for way too long.

Coming home after eight years away, I have rediscovered shoe boxes and shopping bags full of bad poetry and lame short stories and drafts of my first novel called Mine in which nothing really happens but the narrator can't sleep and likes to watch ants and hates happy people. \

Excerpt: "Mine" / Martha Tuff c2000 This is where the main character has a job interview and I try my hand at dialogue, oh dear.


Bachelor degree”

In what?”

Does it really matter?”

Do they all cost the same nowadays?”


No, I guess not”


Neutral, fairly agreeable”


Sparky? Like a flame?”


Like the fire dog?”

No... funny. I like that. Why do you wanna work here?”

Nice architecture”

Anything else?”

I need to get out of the house”


I want to learn more about this town.”

And why is that?”

Because it is my town. I grew up here and I know nothing of it.”

Oh really?”

Sure, why not?”

And you think it is important to know about the town where you grew up?”

Yeah, how else are you going to know who you are, if you don’t even know where you came from, what geography is in your blood?”

Good a reason as any. I’ve heard better but I’ve also heard worse.”

Oh, yeah?”

Yeah, can you type?”



I guess so.”

What do you mean you guess so?”

Is 90 words per minute good?”

Ummm yeah sure. With or without mistakes?”


Look of forced approval.

Ok, yes I can type.”

I’ll see you Monday morning. Nineish”


Punctuality isn’t worth much anymore as long as you get your work done I don’t really care. And if you could do it from home, I’d say good for you. Monday morning.”

Sure, thanks”

What the hell are you thanking me for?”

How delightful. I have also rediscovered handmade button jewellery, my collection of rocks *not* found on a beach and rusted metal anything. I used to wear rusty metal on necklaces that would turn my skin green and I thought it awesome.

So zines. Yes. I will make again. And it will be special. And maybe I'll share them this time.

You should make one too:

Hug a stranger! Make a friend!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Today the internet came on and the phone works and I can post without resorting to a Starbucks' wifi spot. Just couldn't do it. Why do all Starbucks' smell like burnt milk and diasappointment?

Things are coming together. The Halifax Pop Explosion rocked Halifax and I got to rock a bit myself to Montreal band The Suuns ( at the Olympic Centre on Saturday night. Techno trance-y I fell in love with their sexy beats and roomie Tati was in heaven. I am starting to see familiar faces even if I don't know all the names yet, and there's a definite comfort to Halifax that I have been missing. Where else would I find myself in a new African restaurant on Gottigen where new friends Shelley and Ann would keep me company, drink coffee and eat cookies? I mean these amazing women make food and art, shared their creative voices, gave me directions and made me feel at home. I guess I am, home, that is.

Last night was AFCOOP's film screening of their One Minute Film Program ( featured at the Bus Stop Theatre ( It was a great night with an assortment of a dozen films on a variety of topics, love, poverty, environmental issues, war, waiting, cake and fatal spaghetti. I got to meet some great guys waiting in line and the film makers were sweet. I am looking forward to meeting some of the organizers to get some input on renting equipment for my movie Trailer Trash.

Trailer Trash, how I love you. The script is now complete and with working internet magic I will be sending it out to my beautiful actors. I have really had fun with this project so far, through many re-writes and efforts to make the characters interact just *so* I've decided I really want to get my actors in a room and see what they can do. I believe in the power of improv. And fake blood. I need to make buckets of the stuff.

This past week I also got to go hang out at The Hub ( lovely friend Gia and hosts Brent and Julia. I think this is a wonderful space to work for all sorts of artists and freelancers. I mean I saw two guys with beards, two laptops and two beer looking completely blissed out at 4pm on a Friday afternoon. Count me in.

This upcoming Thursday I will be spending the evening with lovely writers as part of the Wired Monks Writers Group ( Last time I shared some spoken word ("Baby Mama Lit" and "Things") and I think this time I'll share a story or two from my neighbourhood collection, which I have decided to call (despite its potential complications) "Mother of three killed in front of house while trying to rescue dog" and other stories of the neighbourhood. I mean, its a grab, right?

Now that the internet is in my very capable hands I will also be posting some items to my Etsy shop MarMade. I have some knit, jewellery and magnets to post. I will let you know when its all ready for visitors - gotta get some models to pose for me.

Big hugs. Love each other.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

MarMade in Halifax


I'm here. Finally. And it feels good.

Let me tell you why:

(a) I have returned to Nova Scotia after 8 long years in Toronto and have re-discovered how beautiful the province and how wonderful my family and friends.
(b) I have met delightful people, artists in all senses, who make me feel that I have made the right decision in returning and putting my creative energy into full force.
(c) I am so inspired it hurts.

The whole blog realm has been lost to me of late. My last blog "No More Toxic Village" was a way for me to express my move from small town to big city and lost its pogniancy early in 2007. I like that it still exists albeit in hibernation and I'm now back where I started from.

I start to move my stuff to Halifax into a darling apartment with a darling friend Sunday and will continue the process calmly and gradually for the next week or so. I am so lucky that this move can unfold slowly and simply, a complete change from my chaotic and sporadic life of a few short months ago.

My goal is for this to be a place to wax poetic about Halifax and the glorious people I meet and spend time with as well as a link to my creative pursuits. I have some great stuff to share:

- My Etsy shop of the same name will be up and running soon with handmade accessories and other cool stuff.

- I'll also include insights into current writing projects with excerpts from my latest collection in draft (temporary title: This is where we live - stories from the neighbourhood.)

- I am also working on a movie (draft title: Trailer Trash - put it in the bin, an amateur horror flick to be filmed in Masstown, NS and Upper Stewiacke, NS) with some great people, script to be sent out soon!

So I'll see ya later. We'll have coffee sometime.