Thursday, October 11, 2012

Objects in mirror are closer than they appear

I have been thinking. A coffee-green tea- knitting sort of thinking and today is so beautiful you would swear there was some sort of God behind it. And there probably is. What I've been thinking about mostly is connections - so many in Halifax everyone a friend of a friend and isn't that delightful to look at your neighbours and know someone you know who knows someone knows and loves them. It is humbling. Especially when your downstairs neighbour writes flowery notes in old-lady handwriting that says I'm too loud when I walk around my apartment at night in my slippers. Someone I know loves her and I guess that's enough for me.

Writers group is tonight and I'm hosting, happy to fill up my little apartment with such amazing people. I'm not sure what I will workshop tonight, but I thought I'd share a bit of a piece I wrote with you called "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear":

You are closer than I even remember, your lips my lips, your eyes my eyes, your eyebrows twitch and lift like mine I am confused you are a fool and I know it, I know everything, everything you can do I can do better.

I am better than you.

No you aren't.

Yes. I am.

We aren't the same, no, we aren't but still it feels like you start where I start and there is no distance between – not even breathing room – and everywhere you go I go you follow I lead I follow.

I can't even miss you cause how can I miss myself. Tell me. How.

There was never a doubt you would find me despite the woods, despite the heat, despite the dark, despite the hour. I can never hide from you even with the camoflague from the Military Surplus store. They assured me I would be invisible among the shrubs and bushes, long grasses that keep the pheasants covered until they squeak and flap and the guns shoot and it's all over. You don't like guns, their cold steel barrels, their empty sockets full. I don't like the sounds they make, I prefer fireworks or thunder and lightening storms.

I didn't come home for four days eating berries and drinking from streams using leaves as blankets and moss as my pillow. It was okay to be here – away from you – I thought it could be okay as long as I didn't die cause there would be no leaving you in heaven, we'd share the same wings wouldn't we. God is like that, right. You said so yourself one night when I had mistakenly locked myself in the bathroom and you had to break the door down and explain to our cranky landlord that it was a life or death situation and you'd help him install the new one and even mow the lawn for the rest of the summer, no questions asked. Ask no questions you told him with your eyebrows, he gave in and you obliterated the dandelions for the season with a sputtery old lawnmower with a rusty handle. I didn't tell you it was a mistake, the latch caught all on its own, I felt trapped, wanted to get out, crawled into the bathtub and put my warm cheek against its cold porcelain and feel asleep while you splintered and shook. You scared the shit out of me you silly little muffin dragged me from the tub and put me to bed and I wouldn't have woken if you would have left me alone to have dreams of toilets on stilts and old men with plaid shirts and grey faces. Never leave me, don't you ever even think of leaving and you held me so tightly my ribs ached.

I could smell you you said when you found me huddled against an old tree trunk, rings too many to count, older than me and wiser. I didn't sing even though I wanted to, I had to be quiet. You have to be quiet when you hide and breathe slow and shallow belly barely moving up and down to give it all away. When bears come, play dead. You could feel me warm from a hundred yards away you said and you picked me up and took me home and I didn't have to explain because you already knew. I can never be too far away from you. You will always know where I am, there is no point in hiding even though its fun. You don't like my silly little games do you. 

We don't need any mirrors, they just distort everything and make images too crisp, too real. You just need to look at me and I just need to look at you. You will always tell me if I have broccoli in my teeth and I know if my hair's a mess by just looking at your head windswept. We broke all the mirrors, didn't we, that night when the snow was heavy and thick and made us feel like we were in a cave with bears and raccoons and rabbits. Mirrors are just glass you know, easy as pie to break and no bad luck either. All the splinters in the garbage bag looked at each other and got confused, reflection reflected and we laughed. We taught mirrors a valuable lesson. Stop looking. I'm right here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I write a lot about dogs. And blood. And death. And teeth.

This is part of a story "Break Your Teeth" that I am going to share with my writerlies tonight. Thought I'd get back into the blog thing now that its almost winter again...

Teaser, just a little taste:


But the teeth were the first thing. The teeth were unmistakeable, long and sharp and white, so white they dazzled. I remember being dazzled, stopped in my tracks dazzled, the first time I saw them, huge, not quite fitting into my beautiful husband’s beautiful mouth, distorted by bones that didn’t belong. It was dark, the lights were out, but still those teeth gleamed. The moon shone in through the window and my husband’s teeth gleamed in response, gleamed with pleasure “the better to eat you with my dear.” He turned to me in the bed, warm, warmer than he had ever been, and his big shiny white teeth gleamed. His mouth opened wide and he let out a yelp that I didn’t recognize. He held me down and licked me all over, nipped at my fingers, nipped at my toes, but licked me all over. My skin was raw in places from his tongue. He slept like the dead when he was done.

His teeth make impressions that they shouldn’t, his body heals from the scratches I give him instantly. In the morning, the morning after, he is smooth and unblemished. Every morning he awakes anew. But the marks stay on me, they stay and they stay. The bruises get deeper, more purple, more yellow, more red, his powerful fingers marking the same place over and over again. I am a map to his neediness. He can find his way by the pin pricks all up my arms, the punctures his teeth make. My body is a salty river, taste me. 


Monday, January 30, 2012

Writing Happy & Martha gets a real job

There is something to be said about being happy and being quiet. For me, a happy mind is a calm, peaceful one; I live in the moment and accept the contentment of the day. I don't have to tell myself stories to make it through the figurative or literal snow and rain. While always optimistic when I am truly happy, I am also quiet. And I probably sigh, you know the good sigh that comes from deep within and has a bit of a high pitched squeak to it, a lot.


I've been happy lately and of course I am not complaining. I have wonderful family and friends and I have met a lovely young man who makes me giggle and feel special. I even got a job! A real one! In publishing! As Production Editor for a small Canadian publishing company located here in Halifax, I get to keep editorial and production projects on track and in doing so get an insider's view to the entire process from idea to book in hand. I even have some of my own editorial projects, more in the upcoming season, and I am delighted to work with authors and see a story come to life. It really is delightful.


And I feel like a bit of a cliche - writer can't make it as a writer so she becomes an editor?

Please pray for me that this is not my fate - please pray that I may provide guidance to wayward writers and in turn help bring my own stories to Can Lit Magazines and Anthologies - dare I dream big?

I've been missing my own stories, so caught up in the real life peace and happy and quiet of my world at the moment. I may have to do something dreadfully dramatic if only to write about it. I promise not to start fires.

Who really wants to read about happy beginnings, middles and endings?