Motherlands and the Ongoing Trials of the Writer

"Writing takes a great deal of sweat. [...] It's during the painstaking redrafting process that the music of [the] work emerges." - Underline magazine (Summer 2017/2018), Penguin Motherlands is based on real people’s lives and history. As such, I owe it to the memory of my mother and grandmother to portray them as dynamic if sometimes flawed women of their generations. The documentation available generated myriad questions, some of which crept out of the shadows. And what I discovered was very confronting. My grandmother's legacy to me, was a small dark stone that lodged in my heart at a very early age. It sat there silently for decades until I started peeling back the layers of our collect

GRAPHIC IMAGES, CHEESE SANDWICHES, ALAN BENNETT & ISABEL ALLENDE

BREAKING NEWS: What's the fuss?? Recently, a woman friend proclaimed her next creative project would be a rather confronting one. My antennae went up. Was I hearing right? We, the coven, gathered around, our tea (and coffee) cups rattling dangerously, to hear what had sparked that idea. Apparently, she had unexpectedly received a photo from a man she rather liked. It was, to say the least, unappetising,-- a privacy violation (although unintended, we think, in his case). In sum, she proclaimed it “about as interesting as a stale cheese sandwich,” which set us shrieking with laughter. “For women, the best aphrodisiacs are words.” - Isabel Allende LADIES, GENTLEMEN: WE ALL NEED A LAUG

COLLAGE MACABRE, GARGOYLES and FLYING THINGS.......

Let the Neurotic Symphony Orchestra fly you into the realms of mysterious Paris, gargoyles and Dystopia, on this dream-like music..... Recently, I caught myself reflecting on visits to France, gargoyles and quite unexpectedly, channelling the macabre. All of which set off alarm bells. Can a person actually 'OD' on Margaret Atwood???? Shouldn't I be sufficiently sated with the mad world of Oryx and Crake" of the MaddAddam trilogy?? But no, in foolhardy fashion, I plunged wantonly into her latest dystopic novel "The Heart Goes Last." (As if our recent election didn't flush out enough scattered dystopia!) Well, personally, I am convinced that Canada's premier author, Margaret Atwood, can me

NORDIC NOIR? FEMINISM? ... what's the connection?

Dear Readers: Check out the brilliant links and clips below, from the Coen brothers' film, "Fargo." The connection? Not really sure… but there are plenty of powerful Swedish, Danish and Norwegian women in their brooding police dramas…. like (my preferred) Swedish version of Wallander. There was something quick and vulnerable about the young artist who played his daughter and side-kick Linda aka Johanna Sällström. Unfortunately, at the moment when she was just hitting her stride, she succumbed to the all-too-common Nordic Noir syndrome herself. Sadly missed. Vale Johanna! Anyway, if you have never met Swedish writers Marianne Fredriksson or the mighty Vilhelm Moberg, listen up!!

Not-So-Tranquil Adelaide

I fell hard as I ran across the park one oven-hot March afternoon. My right leg whacked against two tree roots blanketed in drought-affected debris. I found out then, that a music festival is not always fun and South Australia's capital, Adelaide is not always tranquil. Passers-by helped me up and brought me an ice-pack. Nothing seemed to be broken and my favorite Chilean artist would soon perform. I fretted over the ice-pack but the St John's team whisked me off to their tent behind the stage. Swearing I was able-bodied, I quickly escaped and huddled under a shady tree in front of the stage. As dusk drew in, the concert progressed and the circumference of my leg doubled and redoubled in dir

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