Monday, February 19, 2018

Found in the Drafts Folder (Part II)

In which I share some of the puzzling things I found in my drafts folder, blog posts I started to write and never finished, and which are now devoid of context or conclusion and, therefore, baffling to me:


There's a scientific law which states that if there's a piano sitting in a room full of people, and if it is not being used and if it is old and creaky and dissonant, it will attract the person in the room with the least musical ability. 

- May 2017 (I can't remember what piano in what room full of people inspired this.)


I don't usually run errands in the evening. 

- November 2017 (Must have run an errand in the evening that night.)


Overheard from the other room:

Barclay: Uh, maybe we shouldn't drum with knives.
Sullivan: Why?
Barclay: Because this is a home, not a circus.

- September 2016 (Typical.)


I'm at my parents' farm in the living room on a

- December 2012 (I know I'm me, but when I found this post I couldn't help but wonder if I died right in the middle of writing it.) (AND WHAT WAS I ON, I MUST KNOW!)


The month of December was like a dinosaur. It was like a T-Rex or a Pterodactyl that just came out of nowhere and bit my head off.

- January 2013 (I am ridiculous. I am sorry.)


I was wearing three sweaters and a parka {the one with fur around the hood} and my yellow toque and my thickest black scarf and my pink mittens {the ones with the bows} and my black boots {the ones with all the buckles} when I showed up at Brad and Theresa's house this morning.

- November 2012 (I actually totally remember this day. It was great. And cold.)


The car clock read 3:40, or something like that. Something early. Ante Meridiem. I was stopped at a red light, waiting for no one, and the streets were empty and the sky was very, very black.

I got to make the first tire tracks in the new snow. The best time of the day is actually the middle of the night.

This night was weird and different though. I was on my way to my friend's house to watch her kids so that she could go to the hospital to have her baby.

- November 2012 (I remember this night too. AND I remember what song was playing on the radio. Tegan and Sara's newest one, "Closer." I had never heard it before.)


i was sitting on the floor, legs folded up like an origami crane, pulling things out and sorting them into two piles: junk and good stuff.

one thing that i don't understand about myself, or anyone else, is why i ever put "junk" into the closet instead of into the garbage in the first place. why did i keep this paper with just stars doodled all over it? why this card from a friend i don't even remember being friends with that says, simply, "happy birthday, suzy"?

but soon i come to a big black book, and upon opening it, i know instantly why i kept it. and i know i can't ever throw it out.

- July 2012 (I have no idea what it was.)


Probably enough for tonight.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Found in the Drafts Folder (Part I)

I noticed tonight that my drafts folder is bursting with unfinished blog posts. I'm not overly surprised; I'm kind of an...aimless writer. My "writing process"—be it a blog post, an essay, an article, or even a book—is this:

I make coffee, I get chocolate.

I sit in a comfortable place. I adjust the lighting. I pick the music.

I position my hands on the home row.

I take a deep breath.

And then...who even knows? I wake up on the other side of the city, disoriented and dressed in different clothes. It's four weeks later. I've written five hundred thousand words, and I don't know where any of them came from or if I put them in order or where they ended up. I don't know what half of them mean; I just like how they sound. I have words in my hair and in my socks and twittering around my head like when a cartoon character gets hit in the head with an anvil or falling piano. I feel worried that other people have read the things I've written and are going to feel worried about me right back.

You think I'm exaggerating, but you should've seen how I went about writing my book. Probably every person who has ever written a book or read a book or seen a book in real life would cringe if they knew (should I be admitting this on the internet?).

The truth is: I didn't even know who or what the book was going to be about until after I'd already been writing it for a while.

Day one: I made coffee, I got chocolate. I sat on my bed, opened the blinds, put on Cloud Boat. Positioned my fingers on the keyboard, took a breath, and typed Chapter Three at the top of the blank document.

I didn't have a scene in my head or anything, I just knew I didn't have any good starts in me that day, nothing that would make a good Chapter One or Two. I didn't have any good endings either. Nothing climactic enough to be near the end, even. I didn't have any characters to introduce or any good initial incidents. It was just a rising action kind of day, and I wanted to write something set in a living room, and I don't even know how to explain why. It's like food cravings, you know, sometimes you want spaghetti and sometimes you want blueberries and sometimes you want anything so long as it has lots of cheese on it.

When it came time to write "[she] said", a name dropped onto the page (er, screen) and I pictured the person who could belong to that name. I liked her and I kept her. At some point, the whole thing developed into a story with a beginning and an end. I don't know how it happened though.

Where was I going with this? Surely I didn't set out to paint myself as a terrible, thoughtless writer who should not be entrusted with a laptop?

Oh right, the drafts folder. I was going to share some of the puzzling things I found there, blog posts I started to write and never finished, and which are now devoid of context or conclusion and, therefore, baffling to me.


This one is from an apparently very long week in November of 2015. I wonder why it was so long?

It has been a super long week. 

I mean, this week has lasted twenty years or so. 

This week was five thousand miles long.

This week was long enough to require some kind of special building permit from the city just to keep it in my yard. 

What a long week.

I guess I've been in kind of a bad mood for most of it. Sometimes people are in bad moods, though. That's fine. 


And I started this one the next day, a list with only two things on it. I wonder if I just couldn't think of other things. I can think of other things now.

Things People Do And Feel Embarrassed About But Shouldn't Because Everyone Does Them:

1. Wearing a toque instead of washing hair
2. Wandering the aisles of the grocery store an hour before suppertime with iPhone in hand listlessly googling "Easy Good Fast Supper Ideas".


One more, for now, because this post is getting stupid long. This one is from last year, when I was feeling pretty impressed with myself (and rightfully so, I think; I just wish I could remember which four events this was in reference to):

There's probably a GIF for what I'm about to say. I'm picturing a gymnast running full-speed towards a springboard, tripping at the last minute, falling forward, tumbling head-over-heels onto the springboard, catapulting into the air and somehow executing and landing some kind of fancy triple-front-flip thing.

That's exactly how I feel when I accidentally double-book myself and somehow am able to do both things. So imagine how I feel when I quadruple-book myself and make it to everything.


I wonder if I would be better or worse at writing if I were more methodical?

Monday, February 05, 2018


Sully's first imaginary friends were four grown men named Mario, Raligi, Charlie, and Myles. They had a band, and held band practise in my living room all day every day. Once, I accidentally called them "kids" which was how I found out they were grown adult men. Sully was really offended on their behalf.

"The Guys," as Sully called them, came with us everywhere. When we got into the car, Sully would ask me not to drive until The Guys were all buckled in. Raligi always rode on the roof, Charlie in front beside me. They lived with us, slept in the living room, ate meals with us, etcetera.

Last August, Sully informed me that The Guys had moved into their own house down the street. I don't see a lot of them anymore, though they still drop by occasionally to jam with Sully.

A couple of months ago, Sully made a new imaginary friend. His name is Jemano (sometimes pronounced Ja-may-no, sometimes Ja-maw-no).

 I was brushing my teeth the first time he came over.

Sully appeared in the doorway of the bathroom. "Mom, my new friend Jemano is here."

"Who?" I am always caught off guard when Sully tells me there's someone in the house.

"Them!" He pointed into the living room.


"That's Jemano's last name. Them. Jemano Them. He's my cousin and friend. He's a carrot cutter. I met him at the Rush concert."

"A carrot cutter?"

"He cuts carrots."


"That's his job, cutting carrots."


Jemano doesn't live here or anything; he comes over about once a week. He sits in the living room, cutting carrots. I mean, apparently. You'll remember: he is imaginary, which makes him darn near impossible to see. But Sully says he sits in the living room, cutting carrots.

There's not really anything else to say about that; it's just that Jemano Them was here this morning, cutting carrots, and I thought it should be written about.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Bookcases: A Free Write

I'm just going to do a stream of consciousness free-writing thing, because I've been a little blocked this week and this usually helps. Ahem:

I've got a latte and a handful of chocolate chips. I'm sick; I should be drinking water and eating, I don't know, ginger root and cloves of garlic. But if there is one thing I know about being an adult, it's that I'm not any smarter than I was as a kid, I'm just more aware of my stupidity now. And there is no one here to enforce wisdom. Tale as old as time. C'est la vie. Viva Las Vegas.

I organized my bookshelves today. Reorganized them. Before, they were arranged by genre and then by colour within the genre. But lately, I've been looking at them and thinking, "This is very 2008 of me, this whole rainbow book thing." Plus, my book collection is getting...big. I bought 14 books the other day (more on that later) (or, if you follow me on Instagram, more on that before).

So today I took them all off the shelves, piled them in stacks all over the couches and piano bench and chairs and coffee table and floor, and sorted them into genres and then by the authors' last names.

Sully helped, and that was cute and fun.

I like this better than the colour thing, I think. Fiction A-B is on top of the piano. Fiction B-T is on the left bookcase. The bottom shelf on that side is taller and has my cookbooks and music books. The right side has non-fiction, divided into categories, and then a tiny memoir section, and then a short stories and poetry section. Then there are coffee table books (I love a good coffee table book), and then young adult fiction, and then textbooks.  Fiction T-Z, in case you were worried, ended up on the shelf behind the couch, because that's what makes sense for me for now.

This is the thing I like about book organization: it only has to make sense to you. You're the only one who has to like it or find it useful. And, I mean, that's true of all home organization/decor things. It's just that now we have Pinterest and design blogs and now we're aware of all these rules about fashion and function and the "right" way to hang pictures and arrange furniture.

You know what I say to all of that?

Well, hey, here, I just so happen to have a helpful analogy!

I'm sick. I should be eating ginger and garlic and drinking water, but I'm having a latte and chocolate. I am fully aware of what I'm doing "wrong" and I really couldn't care less, because I'm happier with chocolate than garlic cloves, and I will survive.

And that's how I feel about home decor.

Stream of consciousness: ended.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

A Favorite and a Surprise

Winterruption happened again last weekend—a three day music festival right in the middle of dreary Saskatchewan January. I'm so thankful for it every year; having something to look forward to in the coldest, darkest part of the year is almost vital.

The great thing about RFF events is that I generally go into them knowing about half of the acts, and the ones I don't know become favourites. Like, last year, I hadn't heard of Begonia, and now I LOVE HER. I was so happy to hear they were bringing her back for this year's festival. They could get her every year and I'd never be mad about it.

This is her latest EP; it's incredible—and even better live.

Saskatoon's Close Talker ended up being this year's surprise, which was kind of funny. I'd heard of them before (my cousin Sarah actually starred in their music video [below] last year), but hadn't really given them a solid listen. Their live show was so great, though, the exact right mix of heavy and intricate. I'm a brand new fan.

Waking Up (Official) - Close Talker from Shoulda Danished on Vimeo.