Keepin’ It Real

Hi everyone! It’s the middle of March Break…and we’ve managed to do a little ‘breaking’ so far. Last night the fam and I did a small stay-cation at a downtown hotel with a pool so the kids could get a swim or two in and we could sleep in big, clean beds without two giant dogs joining us. (No offence to the pooches, but sometimes it feels good to get into a bed with only humans in it! #spreadyourlegsoutwide)

It smells and looks like spring outside. That is kinda making my spirit lift a bit, but it’s also giving me this weird almost-headache and making me choose between stopping all this work I have to do and go walk outside or keep working. For now, I’ll keep working. But how about I put on a timer and stop to walk when the time runs out as a nice incentive? Yes. Okay. Here goes. Timer is on!

So, work. Well, I’m very close to announcing a load of new workshops and classes at Gertrude’s Writing Room for Spring and Summer sessions. It’s a lot of work, but then I can sit back and breathe a little once I make the announcement. I do enjoy all the planning and collaboration, but it’s a lot of work!

My biggest challenge is that I’m not scheduling in time to do my own writing. I have a deadline that I have to meet for my new poetry manuscript, and it’s hanging over me like a noose. I really want to stop everything and work on it…but there are other deadlines that need to be met before that one. So, I have to be very disciplined with my time. Like right now, I’ve given myself just over an hour to do ‘work’ but then I must stop to take a quick walk, eat, then get back to work. I hope to be able to work on my own writing later today, but if I’m being honest, it’s the last thing on the list and I very well may not get to it. Even after the amazing writing retreat I just had, what, two weekends ago? I’m still struggling to make time to work on my own projects.

Do you do this too? Weigh all the things you have to do and push some things aside knowing that you will get to them…and you’ll just deal with the stress of giving yourself less time to get these things done? It’s weird. There’s always this clock and this scale in my brain constantly doing the time math and the priority math (I don’t do math well, mind you! Mind me?), and I pretty much listen to what their outcomes/projections are.

Yes, I’m making time to read and meditate. I’m making time to do yoga, but that’s a bit harder. I’m sleeping enough, though I still wake a bit tired in my bones. The thing that is bothering me the most is the rolling in my tummy that doesn’t seem to stop. My body wants to feel stress and I’m constantly having to talk my guts down and tell my belly to take in the air I’m giving it – to relax. This work is good. These plans are good. There is enough time. I’m saying ‘yes’ to things I want to say ‘yes’ too…and sometimes, but it’s more and more rare, I’m still saying ‘yes’ to things I don’t really want to do. But I’m working on this.

I wonder when I’ll be truly able to wake up feeling like I’m ready and willing to face each day with my mind and my body feeling joy and gratefulness – and not worry and wonder about how I’ll fit everything in. How do you feel when you wake up in the morning?

I’d like to tell you about the storytelling even that I was a part of for International Women’s Day. It was in Detroit at MusicTown, a wonderful hub for musicians and artists to share their talents.

It was the Fear of Oxygen event I was very proud to be a part of. Myself and six other storytellers told stories about overcoming fear – and learning how to breathe better. It was hosted by my dear friend and Moth host, Dameon Wilburn. OMG – we both have pink hair! And organized by Minito Reasor, creator and director at Girlfriends Glasshouse Empowerment.

I told the story of my extraordinary failure doing a TEDx talk. This was the first time I spoke on stage about the incredible experience I had doing a TEDx, and it felt amazing to be back on a stage and not have an out of body experience! I was nervous. I was having pretty terrible negative self-talk the days leading up to the event. The demon woman who tells me I’m fat and ugly was working overtime – but, all the nerves and negativity was kinda perfect because I knew I could beat it. I gathered my strength, put on clothes that made me feel ‘me’, and let the stage calm me. I feel at home on stage – and I let the space, the kind audience, the power of the event and my love of storytelling guide me. I heard laughter and cheers. I felt empowered and confident. I felt redeemed!

I have been in many classrooms over the last two months. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you to the League of Canadian Poets for the grants I received for three full-day workshops! It sure feels great to be paid to teach workshops and be a member of the league!

I love sharing poetry with kids! They are so shy and vulnerable yet brave and gifted. I know how hard it can be to get up in front of your peers and share your writing, but these courageous kids did it every time! And their writing was breathtaking! I have to say that one of my favourite parts is hearing the students applaud and cheer for each other. It’s part of the lesson, actually. I have each student come up to the mic and say their name – and they get wild applause after from their classmates. It feels good – for everyone. And it’s important to take in the love!

I’ve got a blog up on the LCP site. Another edition of The Writing Parent. It’s on the art of negotiation. Huh. Good timing! If you’d like to read it, here it is! 

There are a few events I’ll be part of this month. Then April is National Poetry Month, and I’ll be doing some more event during that month too! I’m planning events into September. #toofarinadvance

If you’d like to join me and the other folks who are participating in the following events – we’d love to see you there!

UPCOMING EVENTS!

Saturday, March 23, 2019 – The Prayer Box – Daily Writing for your Spirit 

12-2pm @ Gertrude’s Writing Room – Still taking registrations!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at 8 PM – 11 PM – Windsor Poetry Slam

 

I’m the featured poet for this month’s Windsor Poetry Slam event. If you haven’t had a chance to see the slam poets of Windsor – step right up! They’re fascinating to watch and even better to support! Let us know you’re coming!

FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE HERE.

Saturday, April 13, 2019 – Small Press Book Fair @ Th Green Bean Cafe

11am – 4pm – I’ll have a table set up and I’ll be selling stickers, book plates, t-shirts, gift certificates and more! Come to this wonderful gathering and see all the amazing people in our literary community! Let us know you’re coming! Facebook Event Page here! 

And…there’s a local cable show called Scribes & Songsters. I was interviewed about Gertrude’s Writing Room! If you’d like to take a look – click on the video! In the episode, author Ryan Jones and musician Francine Honey are also featured.  Don’t be alarmed at what happens to my face! Some mighty splotches take over. Can’t explain to you why that happened.

So there you have it! Busy and busy but doing my best to stay positive!

Enjoy this muddy transition into spring. 🙂

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