Monday, March 29, 2010
This is an internet collection of recordings of poets reading their own poems. Writers from e. e. cummings to Roald Dahl to Sylvia Plath to William Butler Yeats and T. S. Elliot are featured. Some performances [Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes and Stevie Smith come to mind] are absolutely fucking fantastic.
Today I am playing editor. This is my editor's shirt. Entries are coming in, and they need to be read attentively. It's very good practice for me to comment and consider the work of other writers. I'm learning both how to express my opinions, and how to go about improving a poem or a story.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
If a desire to get up to watch the sun rise, finish a book, and eat ice cream with maple syrup for breakfast is a measure of happiness, I am happy. And happy after a night that seemed like it would never end, a night of panic and uncontrolled shaking and crying. After midnight, my mum talked to me on the phone and Tim held me until I went to sleep. I would not have appreciated it a year ago, I would have been embarrassed. Lately that kind of self-sufficiency is stupidly impossible, not even counting the psych meds, but I feel safe.
Friday, March 26, 2010
For more than a month, I have been working on two poems. One of them is at least eight months old now, the other, six months. I feel like I am killing both of them. The twentieth draft is not as exciting to write as the second draft. Still, it's a new method for me, to aim for perfection as well as brio. I like working carefully.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
We went to Calgary yesterday for Tim's brother's [Ben From Calgary's] latte art competition. We stopped by The Naked Leaf on the way, to buy tea for our wedding. There will be Apricot Black, Milky Oolong, Japanese Cherry Blossom, and Mint Black tea. I labeled them with threatening messages, so no one at Tim's house will dip in to the leaves before May 15.
Ben wants to make roasted lamb and polenta for a wedding supper, Ros wants to make pistachio and rosewater pastries, my aunt wants to buy loads of flowers, Laura wants to clean house, Kaylin wants to lend me a dress, Rob from English wants to cater, Tara wants to take pictures, my parents want to give us money, and Tim's parents want to pay for his suit.
Everyone I know is wedding and breeding. No breeding for me, thanks, but wedding is alright.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Grant MacEwan University puts on noontime math lectures every second Friday. Sometimes I skip Economics, and Tim and I go. At the end of every lecture, cards are distributed with a math problem to be solved for the next lecture, and everyone who hands in a solution during the next two weeks wins a box of doughnuts. Yesterday I got my doughnuts [horrifyingly, I was the first girl to submit a solution all year] for the first formal proof I've ever written. I'm inordinately proud of it, so here it is:
Show that for every prime number p, where p does not equal 2, there exist integers a and b so that a 2 - b 2= p.
- for every p such that p > 2 and p is prime, p is not divisible by 2 [by the definition of a prime number], so p is odd
- every odd integer can be expressed as 2 times an integer plus 1; thus:
2n + 1 or n + (n+1)
- for every set of two adjacent integers n, (n+1), where a = (n+1) and b = n,
a 2 - b 2
= n 2 +2n + 1 - n 2
= 2n +1
- every odd integer can be expressed in the form a 2- b 2 = p. Since all primes > 2 are odd, for every prime p, where p does not equal 2, there exist integers a and b so that a 2 - b 2 = p.
I can't remember where I left off the story of our apartment-hunting adventures. As it turns out, they were all for nothing. My Opa, who owns the building where I have a little suite now, told us two weeks ago that the apartment below mine and twice the size would be coming available on April 1. When we went to look at it, we were horrified by the squalor of the present tenant, which included a five-high stack of boxes of pizza pockets, unrefrigerated, but managed to notice that the suite itself is pretty nice. I'll move in at the beginning of next month, keeping my garden and maybe setting off a bleach bomb. Tim will move-in in May. I'll try to borrow a camera and post a tour sometime soon.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Today is the first day of my twentieth year. I'm engaged to be married, and nearly two semesters in to my bachelor's degree. But "I am a genius and I have work to do" (W. D. Hamilton):
- electronics and electricity
- Dr. Seuss
- evolutionary biology
- every day
- short stories
- blog and journal entries
- growing things
- submitting work
- saving money
Here I am looking rueful at school. Nobody entered my contest! This is disappointing, especially since I know so many of my blogging friends are writers. Laura tells me she ran out of time to perfect some new work. Hoping some of the rest of you did as well, I am extending the deadline to April 1 [Fool's Day], and extending the field of consideration to creative writing of any kind.
In other news, Emily of Thoughts and Biro Sketches is back from her honeymoon and posting again. Hooray!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
I have just sent off a thesis statement, with 2 hours to spare. My English assignments are typically due no later than 3 am, which is apparently when my professor begins her day. This will be my last paper of the year, worth 20 percent of my mark. I'm arguing for a death/descent to Hell/resurrection motif in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner". If the essay is good enough, I'll win 500 dollars.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Alex, who had become convinced that he was about to die, was suddenly discovering with joyful grief exquisite phenomena he would not be there for. His parents, who didn't know, bought him a bicycle for his birthday.
He nearly choked blowing out the candles. To think this was his, Alex's, last birthday party, that he would not grow up, that he would not even be around to howl over the loss of himself. His parents' cheerful congratulations broke his heart. He was determined to convince them of how excited he was for their present. But when it was brought out, he did not need to convince them of anything. He forgot his death entirely for the first hour that he had the bicycle in sight.
When he remembered, he was alone, in the backyard about to take it out in the autumn streets for a maiden spin. A wild, hateful fury rose in his throat at being dragged away from all of it: the green paint and black wheels, the tall frame, the complicated gears; his own steering arms, his growing legs which would have pushed the pedals and taken him and the gorgeous machine anywhere he wanted to go.
Alex jumped over the seat, sobbing. His ride in the cold, smokey air was long and full of events.
His mother was concerned when he reentered the house, because he rambled and gestured. "I was a bicycle person, my brain was in my hands, on the handlebars, I had legs and wheels, I could do all sorts of things I'll never do again. I went so fast, but I'll never go so fast again, and I didn't know people could go so fast without an engine. I was like an engine, because I had a machine, and someone made the machine first, but I'll never make a machine first!... And no one will see me as a bicycle person, going so fast, doing those things, ever, ever again!"
She gently pushed him to bed, though he stayed awake, stricken, mourning his death as he would never mourn anyone else's.
In fact, Alex lived through the night. In the first light of morning he sat up exhausted in bed, not knowing what to do with himself.