Friday, September 28, 2007


The month is rushing by at an incredible speed and I have blogged less than ever since blogging fever overtook me. I think for me, it is still about seasons changing and transitions. I'm looking for the ledge to the next level. My mind has never been busier, creating and networking. I perform too but that's not really part of my preoccupation now. No I'm thinking business promotion and marketing, SUSTAINABILITY. I like that word.

I like to think and I like to pray. Sometimes my prayers are just my thoughts and in all this I hope I am finding the path through the complexities of my creative and productive life. I trust I am daily approaching the light.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Eden Mills

Stephen signing books at Eden Mills
It's one week since the Eden Mills Writers Festival at the Hamlet of Eden Mills. For the first time, I saw the opening ceremony and not just a poster of it. I saw the sunshade bearers holding up their fanciful umbrellas in mustard yellow and red following the Mayor/ town crier who rang his bell every few steps or so. And of course we applauded the speeches given in the car park of the community centre.
The reason I actually saw the opening was because I was in Eden Mills early to attend church, on the invitation of Dr. Mary Rogers who subsequently hosted my books and me at the church tent, set up for the festival. It was a moist grey day and chilly. It reminded me of the UK. But I was in a great mood because Maureen had accompanied me. Where Maureen goes, adventure follows. Our day was eventful in many small ways but I must make a note of the readings we heard.
The first reading was by Stephen Henighan, writer, professor of Spanish literature and my friend. He read from "A Grave in the Sky" which will be launched in Guelph on September 25th. Last year Stephen and I listened to Sandra Sabattini and Margaret Attwood read from the same lectern at "The Common." Incidentally they all read short stories. Is that telling me to try short stories next, hmmm....
Later on I listened to Lawrence Hill read at "The Mill" from "The Book of Negroes". I had missed his reading at Waterloo earlier in the year, although I later bought the signed book from Wordsworth, the book store. I heard another reader whose famous name I can't remember, and finally I heard Edeet Ravel, my friend and writer read from one of her Pauline books at "The Mill". This year, for the first time, I missed out on the Jenny's Place readings for children. However, I stopped opposite Jenny's place to say hello, to Renna Bruce who writes the Jazlyn J series. I bought two of her books and had my caricature done by Robin Oakes, cartoonist/illustrator.
More or less that was my day at Eden Mills, except I met Chris Wilson, Janet Ragan, Jo Ellen Bogart and Eddie, singer songwriter, Bea, dancer, and Evelyn, who has a road named after her family in Eden Mills. I also met Nathan and Zadok, two dogs, and Malachi and Hannah, two cats and Elizabeth and Donna two women who shared the tent with us. I ate Rice Masala at the Bombay Cafe stand and begged Maureen for some of her butter chicken, but the coffee run out, which wasn't good on a moist chilly day. There were friends and laughter and hugs and weatherproof jackets and as usual I enjoyed my day at Eden Mills.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Performance of "Rhythmic Joe" to djembe at St Marys Storytelling Festival. It's my back!

It's no wonder I haven't blogged for a while. I am in transition. Transition, reminds me of child birth, it describes a moment in labour when the cervix is very nearly effaced and all the mom's impulses are to bear down and push. Everything is ready, well almost, just a bit of cervix which is rapidly giving way....what a moment! The pain, the anticipaton, the anxiety the madness......

I have sent one manuscript to the editor, I have had two returned..."we kept it so long because we thought it was worthwhile, so it had to make the rounds for all those who read for us. We found them both worthwhile, especially one, but in the end we are a small publisher and we are not able....." end of quote, beginning of disappointment. No! Hope! It's a good ms. and now I know.

My poetry is back too with much useful critique...hmm, but there is more hope. And am waiting for news of the big manuscript. I keep so much hope and courage in my chest. Someone said if we kept bees in our chests they may turn our failures into sweet honey. Who can keep bees in their chest?

This week I have reworked Griot's Journey, performance DVD, into a manuscript and now I work in secrecy on my new idea. It's the BIG one! I work within stolen time because the season has changed already and I have began classes, and performance.
TRANSITION....tension, anxiety, madness.

Other things are changing too. I will be giving up stuff close to me to attain to new goals as I come close to certain facts. Someone said for Vision you must look out of the window, and for Mission, into a mirror. I looked into the mirror and now I must change.

TRANSITION...imminent happenings. Vision won't change but it could grow. Mission may change as we see better, and if that doesn't, strategies definitely should.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


recently at their prom and.....
Still on the journey of seasonal change: the kids are back in school. Last Sunday we drove five hours to leave our eldest at university. What a hodge podge of emotional soup as we found our way about and got him registered and settled in his house and then met with long time friends, who we hope will act as surrogate families for him. Not that he is wishing for that, at his age it's all about freedom from family rules but hopefully not expectations. Support is so essential, I keep telling him, particularly for my peace of mind...ha ha.

Speaking of support, we found the university welcome so assuring and supportive. Helpers everywhere, and so willing, lugging luggage cheerfully while hiphop music blares from ghetto blasters, identifying the area as youth zone! I am still in transition, folding his left behind stuff, praying twice daily for him and still connecting with the support staff, I'm building all around him. I pause and laugh, I remember when I was just beginning university in Ghana: what an absolute blast it was and I never once felt my parents' anxiety, after all I was the fifth to go. They had seen it all before!