Hope is oxygen, and random stuff leading to New Years…


1. A worthy pursuit is capturing JOY (and HOPE) and sharing it with others. Buddy Breathing is about sharing HOPE. An example of sharing JOY is Jump for Joy, a ‘project’ blog by a Canadian born photographer. Her project is to capture photos of people expressing joy while leaping into the air! People from all over the world, including many Canadians. I smiled often at her photos, proof that JOY (and HOPE) is contagious!

2. Speaking of photography, I’m excited to share that my son Malcolm is launching a photo blog. He has some amazing shots in his portfolio… coming your way soon…

3. So, here we are mid Christmas season and feeling a tad… bored? It happens when so much emphasis is placed on prep for THE DAY, and then THE DAY comes and goes and there isn’t much to do anymore. You’d think we’d be happy about this. Why is relaxing into the moment so difficult? But it is. Have we forgotten already the magic of a winter’s evening on the ice… just last week?

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4. Poetry… how best to share it, market it, send it out into the world to live and breathe. Many differing opinions, many options to consider and do nothing about getting it out there. So, 2013 is the year of setting my poetry free (publishing). I begin by attending a Patrick Lane January workshop at Honeymoon Bay on Vancouver Island, more learning, more writing and serious goal setting. Then the rubber hits the road. Writing is work. Writing poetry is work. Selling poetry will be even more work. As always, you’ll be the first to know the details!!!

5. Naming gifts has been something sustaining this year. Beginning with reading Anne Voskamps book, One Thousand Gifts, and awakening my soul to gratitude in every great and small thing in my first naming post, I managed to name 445 gifts in just over 6 months. Not 1000, but well on my way. A daily naming would get me there, but that’s not the point. For me it’s about remembering to be thankful, and that’s not full time or all the time, but the sometimes that are slowly growing closer together.

6. Almost at New Year now, I pause to remember what has been gained, what has been lost this year ~ a sweet friend passes away too soon, eldest son grows up, goes away and comes home again, middle son graduating, daughter fledging, husband loves, survives heart attack, we make changes, eat healthfully, exercise more, parents visit, peer mentors emerge, old friendships deepen, poems written, contests won and lost, publishers say no and no thanks, Pop-Up-Poetry launches, I live and learn and lean into what God would have of me.  I still consider a Soli Deo Gloria tattoo. Life continues…

Thank you for the path you’ve walked alongside me this 2012. It’s a privilege to write for you and imagine you reading my words, considering things I mention, and I get SO EXCITED when some dear person says something back to me! My heart LEAPS! May you continue to find HOPE here, and beneath it all, the foundation of God bearing up the life of this very ordinary woman.

All is well with me. In borrowed words, “all is grace

Lesley-Anne SDGDSC_0485

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The precipitous perils of writing


National Poetry Month Display @ Forest Hills

National Poetry Month Display @ Forest Hills (Photo credit: mySAPL)

I write because… I feel better when I do, worse when I don’t, especially during the grey days of February. I feel like I’m supposed to write, that it fulfills something in me when I do. Writing is cathartic, gets the inside out, stops the slow simmer-spiral down, provides the occasional epiphany, allows for conversations to develop, promotes transparency, builds bridges, finds community. All that and more.

“Writing is a struggle against silence.” ~ Carlos Fuentes

But where I write/publish (and what is safe, yes, there is a very real element of professional safety involved around potential copyright infringement etc.) and what disqualifies me from further publishing of my thoughts-work-art is a very real concern these days. It causes a bit of angst for me and I don’t quite know what to do about it.

This year, when CBC announced their annual “Canada Writes Contest”, rules clearly stated that any work previously published in any form, including on the internet, was not eligible for submission. Bummer. Big bummer. And I’ve noticed an increasing number of Literary Publications that have this qualification in their submission guidelines.

Yikes, I thought… so much for blogging my poetry, my essays, my words, when it is clearly disqualifying me from serious literary activities. Or, does that really matter?

There is an inherent tension in the life of an artist… the hard wired need to express what and who you are, and then while you are busy doing just that, at some point, the thought crosses your mind and then becomes a small voice repeating itself over and over, expressing the need to expose your work to others. Then to further complicate things, the dawning realization that the ‘work’ of getting projects out there to others is quite complex and filled with dead ends and wrought with politics and costs and the days and the weeks and the years pass and you suddenly wonder, if this traditional route of getting out there is really working, is really worth all the trouble… I mean, is it? What is the point of writing if nobody is ever going to read what you write?

I used to share my poetry openly and with abandon here on my blog. Tuesday Poems were… every Tuesday gifts to whomever dropped by to read them. Then after the “Canada Writes” disappointment, a bit of fear set in, and I reluctantly quit posting poems. The haunting question remains… what if I’m giving it all away for free (because poets can expect to make big bucks once they are famous, right!!!), what if publishers consider any form of any draft poem published online out out out of the question too. Simultaneous submissions aside, if it’s online and free for all to see, then would any discriminating publisher want it? Would they?

It’s feels like a gift has been given (the world wide web way of sharing words/art/ourselves) and then taken back. And that really isn’t a very nice thing to do, whether it’s a pony or a candy or an opportunity? How is posting online any different from reading work aloud in public places? Or posting broadsheet billboards of my poetry old school style on posts and walls and street signs? Or, sending a hand written poem to a friend? If I share my written work any way whatsoever, is it considered used and tired and not worth publishing in a traditional sense? I’m confused. And a little bit angry.

I’m just laying this all out there today, in hopes of starting a conversation, discussion, around this topic. What do you think? What are the underlying issues?

Testing the waters,

Lesley-Anne

I forgot…


Poetry

Poetry (Photo credit: Kimli)

Such a simple excuse reason, and it happened so easily, so quickly, so sneakily, that it almost went undetected. Until I realized upon a slightly closer examination of my inner/outer attitude and my focus that I had completely LOST IT! I mean I stopped keeping track, I stopped counting and naming and writing down the things that I am thankful for. And guess what happened then, I FORGOT TO BE THANKFUL.

My life is often plagued with forgetfulness. What appears as a life changing idea one week becomes a vague recollection the next. I’m full of good intentions, full of them. And I am such a good starter and such a bad finisher. How about you?

So, after taking a week out for Centrum Port Townsend Writers Conference, and having limited my writing to poetry and to editing poetry and to learning about writing better poetry, my “one thousand gifts” list became a must-do -later-but-can’t-do-right-now kind of thing until I got home. Home again, I post once full of the fullness of my experience and gratitude for all of it and then… yesterday… I realized I’d stopped altogether. One week after being back home with my beloved ones and not one addition to the list of gifts. NOT ONE!

I’m telling you this because I want to be entirely up front with who I am and what I am capable of. And not capable of.

Anyway, I’m going to start again. Or should I say, re-start.

295. a memory that works often but not always

296. a new idea that is still a good idea

297. family around the dinner table

298. friends who drop off cookies to my kids when I am away

299. friends who drop of banana bread to my kids when I am away

300. a husband that supports my creative growth as a writer

301. brown dog swimming in the pool

302. decorating plans with my best girl

303. friends on the porch, wine in the glass

304. watching my girl treat my boy to a clean truck

305. pentunia party of colour

306. huddled under the porch in pouring rain

307. a novel based on facts I know nothing about until now

308. worship hands up voice open heart wide

309. reading a magazine in the shade

310. the grace to re-start

Dragging my feet, lifting up my eyes, sometimes in a fog,

Lesley-Anne

Port Townsend's downtown waterfront in the fog

Port Townsend’s downtown waterfront in the fog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I used to be a blogger…


There was a time when I blogged on a regular basis, saw lots of people drop into my blogs, linked my blog from my facebook page, and utilized the social networks I am part of to spread Buddy Breathing as wide as I could. And now, well, now Facebook has made some changes, and I’m no longer visible to all my ‘friends’ unless they choose to make me visible. And, I’m just not in a place where I want to ‘work’ my blog, spend hours making connections with people on their blogs, commenting on their writing which means reading their writing so that I can comment intelligently on it… I’m just not able to prioritize it right now. So. maybe it’s time for a little holiday from blogging… a bit of a break…

Another issue that’s come up recently is that whenever I share a piece of my poetry here, or anywhere else online, it’s considered ‘published’. That’s rather annoying to me, as much as I want to share my words openly, I don’t want posting my work here to undermine or prevent my ability to enter competitions, or even submit said work for publishing in the more traditional sense. So, the thrill I’ve had for the past 40 Poetry Fridays is somewhat muted by this fact.  Again I wonder, is it time to take a little hiatus from the blog?

I’m somewhat undecided, sitting on the fence, really. Processing, listening for some clearer direction, inspiration, or maybe just a new way.

So, I write about the Top (10) reasons why blogs fail… and wonder if mine is failing, or if I am?

My brother and his wife are currently blogging their trip to Iceland… lots of beautiful photographs, little bits of words, and it works. It’s interesting, fresh every day. Maybe I’m just tired, or distracted?

I am fairly certain that I need to re-purpose this blog… refocus my efforts. I hope you will stand by while I do that. But, if not, then thank you for all your visits (all 7676 of them). You’ve inspired me thus far, you really have.

For now… “adieu“. For how long… I don’t know yet. But I will be back some day.

Keep smiling… keep believing in the hope you have… keep on keeping on. Soli deo gloria!

Lesley-Anne

p.s. if you want to keep in touch, just drop in and leave me a comment… or, find me on facebook. Either one works for me!