400 words on The Book of Kind Words. I’m kinda cheating and writing the preface, but it’s writing, the alternately hectoring and beguiling style of my homilies.

New mattress seems fine and I’m not sorry I bought it – it’s amazing how they can cram this thing into a tiny box..  I am having *a* regret about the dulcimer though, I’m going to have to get somebody to sand off the fret buzz for the low D. In time, in time; I’m otherwise reasonably happy with the new instrument and have already set to work on a choon. She shall be called Rowena, or did I mention that yet. Of course +2 people know why but that’s my lot in life, to forever be playing to the smallest clique in the room.

I’m at a pivot point in my life and I need to clarify what to concentrate my efforts on but of course there are a million projects (40, eckshully, real ones) and I am but one puffed up goldbrick. 

Not been editing

3,000 words on Honey on the Moon in total – I’m working on it every day –  only 85K to go har har.

Mattress arrived today.

I ordered and received an appalachian dulcimer from Robert Worth and it ALSO arrived today, 60 bucks customs due excuse the fuck out of me.

I will stop spending money now; thankfully payday is Wednesday.

Feeling much lighter

I edited AND wrote yesterday (SOTW and HotM respectively) and practiced mandolin, and worked a shift, and did a shop, and felt gross and slept too much.

Now I’m feeling really kinda okay.  I was still getting migraine signs until a couple of hours ago, but I think it’s lifted and I’m much more cheerful.

There are apparently 113 fire trucks at the Cherry Street Fire in Toronto right now. Toxic smoke would be even worse if it hadn’t been raining off and on through the night.


I can’t sleep

I thought I’d do a bit of a core dump.

Why do I want to write? “Find the why and you’ll find the way,” says Michael T. Sheehan.

It seems an absurd question. Once I mastered letters, they were indeed my servants. I can make them line up and do things other people do not even attempt to do, especially not in the length of time I generally give myself to do it.

I write because I can. I write because characters sidle up to my mind and kick my ass and breathe in my ear and get anxious, anxious I tell you, when I don’t get them right. I write because I briefly visualize something interesting, (it has to be brief, as my powers of visualization are not great) or synthesize two or three pieces of recently discovered tech or science into a McGuffin. I write because I’m in love with someone else’s characters, and I want them to have a thousand first kisses, a thousand first sensual caresses, a thousand first ‘no, you say what you were going to say’ moments. The awkwardness and pressure of first lust, that wickedly funny burgeoning that fires HOLY FUCK along every synapse and ends in sticky cuddles. I write because until the editing starts, it’s fun. I write because even when it’s not fun, it’s worthwhile.

I write because I can spell. I know that sounds stupid, and spelling is nothing on talent, Chip Delany and Gerald Durrell being classic examplars. But I can see the words and they are as solid and real as bricks, except of course no one else can feel that way. I write because I’ve had a lot of experiences, mostly good, and I want to share them. I write because villains are trite, heroes are hard, and outwardly unremarkable people are anything but. I write because I fantasize a lot, about a lot of different things. I write because I am interested in just about everything except keeping my room clean.

I write because I don’t have to clean my room when I’m writing.

I write because I want to sew a bead on the things you think when you’re in the process of changing your mind about something. I write because I love talking, and I love dialogue. I write because I can say what I want to say about things that are important to me.

I write because nobody sees the world the way I do, and yet with each passing year I get more like everyone else. I don’t understand how that works, I may never.

a house

Having a house means that I can put up unexpected guests, and I’m good with that. Much love and hugs to the ones needing shelter…

First two hours of the shift last night were gross, the rest was okay.

It’s a beautiful sunny but damned windy day. There’s still power out for 8000 customers in the lower Mainland, but that’s far less than 6 hours ago, when the wind was blowing a gale.


Thank you to Tom for being Customer 31 for Midnite Moving Company.  Also to Tom and Peggy for feeding me lunch (stew with dumplings, leftovers but who the hell cares, Peggy cooked it) and THE BEST strawberry rhubarb pie I ever et, no fooling.

They picked me up and dropped me off too, so I really felt like visiting royalty. PEGGY AND TOM ARE GOING TO BE GRANDPARENTS AGAIN and I can’t say any more than that until later but really, it’s great they are being such successful organisms.

I’ve ordered a new mattress, it should arrive later this week.  My current mattress will get moved to the top of the bunkbed, which will make the cats happy, and I’ll get a hopefully flatter and more comfortable sleep – the old mattress is very hilly. I’m really working on having better sleep hygiene and I have to say I’m getting more and better quality sleep than I did before I was working, but also I feel sometimes… like I’m literally sleeping away the day, and my friends never know when to call me.

Something else happened with respect to work this week. I just learned that if you don’t enroll within 30 days of becoming eligible for benefits the payout is limited to 100 dollars for the first year.


LIKE FUCK YOU FUCKING FUCKERS. I didn’t get a reminder, not nothing, and there’s nothing in the employment contract about it, just that I’m eligible. I mistook it for 6 months, but it’s 3.

I should make another list… the last list made me super productive for the day.




Work is pissing me off so bad right now I almost quit in a rage, but I’ve calmed down a bit.  I need a job, but not necessarily this one.

It’s just tiresome that’s all.  She mumbles into her phone, I ended up in a yelling contest, she came downstairs and we thrashed it out. It’s exhausting.

I know where the morgue is now. I walked one of the housekeepers past it, as they hate going over to the Sherbrooke Centre at night and I ain’ ascairt.

Productive errand day, thanks Jeff for the loan of the vehicle. Project GET ALLEGRA SOME HENLEYS is now concluded; I recycled all the AA batteries; I picked up rilly nice treats, replenished the beer, got my fave soap, got another eye mask since I couldn’t find my old one. I also got two loads of laundry done, had a lovely long phone call with Tammy and slept a lot

The Trail

Walking the trail is a many stranded thing.

Some sing as they walk, the cheerful filthy songs of the schoolyard, or pop hits, or hymns from various traditions. Some go alone, some in silence.

A few are carried. There are portions of the trail where a chair will go, but not everyone’s that lucky, to have someone to help. Babies and toddlers go in slings, all the time. Then, by tradition, they need feel no pressure, as adults, to walk the trail. It’s a strange combination of infant and adult baptism, as a Christian explained it to me. I never understood baptism except as the delight taken in overwriting the expulsion from water that marks the creation of a human, not-breathing to breathing. This water is more important than that water, it opens a gate to heaven.

I will take the trail, for it is life. There is water there, a dozen icy springs where you can replenish your bags, and you can collect the rain that falls in the grim half of the year when the sun hides and only comes out once in a while to pick through its reflection in puddles.

Old people go when they’re told they’ll die soon. Some get better; some are carried off feet first.

The guides and the search and rescue people are, for the most part, worthy of the trust we put in them. The rangers who care for the trail, and collect a share of the take from the trail and the park that sits at the southern end, are a quixotic, taciturn bunch.

I’ve been told they are mostly ex-military. One of them is the largest properly formed man I ever saw. I could not claim to have met him, for we never spoke. Walkers later say, ah, him, the huge one, but not one of us has an anecdote or a witticism. He was silent, and let his companion do what talking was needed. Some say he can’t speak, but I doubt that. I think he has found congenial work, which matches his desire to speak.

I met only one who’d speak for any length of time, but I have walked the trail more than once, so I’ve had more conversations than most. This will be my sixth attempt. I broke an ankle the last time. I am choosing a more popular time of year now; I am taking a radio.

The attendants and rangers go up and down the trail as need calls.  Walkers start in the south and go north, and we all come back by boat, sometimes gaily drinking on deck, sometimes grimly puking below. This is true whether we do a half trail and get off at Corso Bay, or get off at the traditional end point, Rashid Inlet.

There are a handful few who walk, and climb, and crawl, across Hell’s Head, the most northern tip of the Island; it’s an excruciating, narrow trail, so dangerous that there are portions guides will not work. There are much easier paths set back from the ocean, but the oceanside affords views and camping not matched anywhere else in the world, to match the agony of getting situated; during the solstice one feels as if one was ‘hanging in the sunset for an eternity before dark finally steals across the ocean’. Or so says the man asked to say it by a camping equipment company.

Many people refuse to walk the trail, even though in some ways it has become an unsubtle badge of, if not citizenship, then civic participation. We must have more in common than being human, apparently, to feel some kinship. If we choose to plant our commonality in an activity that those who feel a horror for nature, its fecund rot and indifference to human scale, will shun, we state what we’re about.

This is a strange world, and we’re trying to make it into home. The trail is beautiful and its vistas, lookouts, waterfalls, outcrops of jagged rock, caves and hot springs are a string of precious gems along a prosaic string of, in spots, difficult hiking.

The first steep incline is called the Grampskiller. My grandson told me not to die on it.  I told him I wouldn’t dream of it. I go alone to think, to breathe, to plan, to grieve. I go to find something I lost, meet someone I miss, perhaps meet the being which has shadowed me since I first walked the trail.


My guts are just killing me. I think I’m going to take it easy tomorrow.

2 in the morning. Another 5 hours of my work week left and then I’m going to go home and crash like a Lalique vase shoved off a shelf by a cat.

Mother’s Day delayed reaction meal

Keith and Paul took me out for a delayed Mother’s Day meal – it was yummy. Later Paul gave me a lift to work a bit early and we chatted for a good long while in the car. Thank you Paul!!

Lunch tonight at work was home made bean salad (one can rinsed cannelloni beans, one bunch cilantro chopped, one bunch parsley chopped, handful of pecan halves, chopped scallions) and leftover (comically greasy) Cantonese food.

And somebody left about 10000 calories of blueberry cheesecake in the fridge, which I am currently hoovering down along with some tea.


I’m in one of those weird spaces

After thirty-six years, I have stopped interacting with yet another friend (and they were friends with each other, the last one I lost – they even travelled together). I was having problems with her from the moment she came into my life, but kindness and an ability to tolerate bullshit and being very passive about things kept her in and out of my life. Anyway, she defended racist speech. I got very troubled when she went to some organization or other to ask for a Metis card, and then I read Chelsea Vowel’s “Indigenous Writes” on the subject and kinda went WTF? If you’re not born to that specific Red River culture then you’re of FN ancestry but calling yourself Métis is heaps wrong appropriation. She’d argue the point, but I’ve unfriended her and any emails she sends me are going into the bit bucket in the sky. I can’t stop her from calling me, and I imagine once she’s no longer stony broke that’s what she’ll do.

She has been claimed by a number of FN families, and good for them. I wish them joy of her. She has not been able to safely or healthily live on any FN territories, nor make a living. Not that I’m doing a special job of living on Sto:lo lands, but I’m not trying to appropriate a culture that is not and cannot be mine; nor do I defend the word gypsy in public

I woke up, sweating, thinking that I must go into work early, and found out that my predecessor on shift was planning on leaving, relief or not, at 10:30. By dint of running like an idjit I got here at 10:35.

I’m going out to brekky with Sue tomorrow, ever supposing that I actually get relief at the correct time, and then apparently me and Paul and Keith and Jeff (if he likes) are going to a good noodle place in New West for an early dinner. Also, apparently there’s a new family practice doc taking new patients in New West, if anybody needs one. Dr. Michelle Zeng, ForeMed clinic.

Mudders Day

I got to see Alex on Mother’s Day.  God, he’s so precious.  He insisted on pinball. We made him wait for 5 minutes (good for toddler souls to learn how to wait) and then he was off downstairs. He played both the STTOS and the Xenon game. We asked him if the creature on the Xenon game is a robot, an alien or a cyborg and he insisted it was a cyborg. Hearing my grandson say sf words while playing pinball HEART GO SPLODEY.