A few years ago, after moving to Southern Alberta, I was set to settle into a writer’s life– hiking in the mountains, paddling, fishing, wandering wherever the road led and writing. But on several hikes, I thought, Is this all there is? It wasn’t satisfying. I felt there was more to do. And I couldn’t write.
I decided to enrol in university and complete a degree in English Literature. I felt that it was the only way to grow as a writer. There is nothing like pressure to make me write. Looking back, I have written an astonishing amount including many essays for courses.
Over the past week, I compiled and submitted two poetry collections. One is a poetry collection for children, and the other is a poetry collection for adults. I wrote about 130 poems over the past three years. There are 14 in the children’s collection, and 91 in the adult collection. I also submitted another children’s book manuscript for consideration.
I was happy to have two poems accepted for the (M)othering Anthology last year (forthcoming from Inanna Publications in 2022), and to have been accepted for a project called “Art In Conversation” hosted by Arts Council Wood Buffalo for which I earned a commission to produce a short story called “The Penny.” In addition, a picture book manuscript is accepted for publication with a small press, forthcoming in 2021.
My goal for 2021 is to edit several of my rough-draft novels, two of which I worked on for university creative writing courses. I also need to edit my collection of columns, which will become a memoir.
The past few years have had incredible challenges, too, but I do not dwell on those. Instead, I see how much my family and I have grown over these years, and I am thankful. And I hope now, finally, I can settle down and have a productive writer’s life.
The southern moon beams over the pastures
and the grass is slightly browning as a cool autumn evening puts it to sleep
All the trees say hello
One by one I touch their needles
and thank them
for coming to live with us
I wish them more growth
I know it is not too much to ask
they are already stretching taller
They drop their needles to feed the soil
where a labyrinth of burrows
are full of furry flurries in preparation for winter
I think of Emily’s blue-bottle buzzing when she died
but I’m nowhere near
for I have come
back to this southern moon
where I have living
I hope 2021 will be full of good health, joy, and success for you and for me. As I heard recently, there is enough success to go around.