30 November 2022
It was a quiet month. Not that I didn’t keep busy but for a change, outside demands did not overwhelm. The highlight for me was celebrating Remembrance Day outdoors at the cenotaph.
I’ve missed the mass gathering. As far as I can recall, prior to COVID Grant and I have not skipped any since we moved to New Westminster in 1996, except for the year we were on Vancouver Island visiting family and attended the Courtney commemorations. Two isolated years of dressing up and standing at attention in front of the television may have had the same intent but lacked a level of satisfaction. Like it was just too comfortable.
This year, the turnout was impressive in front of New Westminster’s City Hall (who knew there were so many beautiful dogs in this city!), the weather was sunny, and I’m happy we got to include our twin grand-babies and their mother in our ritual November 11th post-cenotaph lunch. This year, we went to Boathouse Restaurant at the quay.
Throughout the month, I did spend a fair bit of time planning my writing projects for 2023. The novel I birthed from my 2013 TWS experience begs for attention. Not one of my approximately 20 pitches to agents and editors failed. All but one asked me to submit a sample but none picked it up. That agent was intrigued and referred me to a colleague she felt would be more suited to it.
So, I know two things: my topic is relevant, and I can prepare a convincing pitch.
I’ve left the novel incubating for a few years while I completed my memoir, a most illuminating process. In January, I plan to resurrect my fiction manuscript, implement feedback from the publishing industry and some insight I gained while writing non-fiction, and tweak the story. Give it the care it deserves.
Another writing project has nagged at me since long before my novel was even a twinkle in my eye: My great-grandmother’s story. Granny, (Agnes Rankin Watson) was a strong, resilient woman who died the year I was born. All my life, every anecdote I heard of her filled my imagination and once the box of her documents came into my possession, her story became an overfilled balloon ready to burst. Now, it’s time to act and all fall I’ve been wrestling with how to share the story of a woman I have never met.
Sharing her narrative should be fun rather than all consuming, so I’ve decided to try something different. In January, I will give her a page on this website and let her tell her own story in short snippets – or blog-posts. If she omits details, over exaggerates, or raises questions for readers, they can voice their concerns in the comment section and Granny (with my help) will do her best to alleviate them.
The format will be fluid and will adapt as we go. Wish me luck …
***Watch for an introductory post from Granny next month.
THIS MONTH’S PHOTO:
I’m happy to announce that my room of my own is now usable though I’ve not quite settled in. The door may not be hinged yet but I do have a table, stool, Granny’s comfy antique rocking chair, and lots of good lighting. I’m fine tuning as I go.
(Note the little flower pot on the windowsill – compliments of Grant)
AN EXTRA PHOTO THIS MONTH:
FIRST BIG SNOWFALL
I wanted to share this picture showing the front of our house on a main thoroughfare that had traffic creeping along well into the night. Sometime after 3:00 am it cleared. Trust me, I watched.
THIS MONTH’S SKETCH:
I hate to admit that I fell short in the sketch department this month. I did attempt one mid-month of a Blue Heron but the results were more than dismal. Instead, I’m sharing an old drawing, one that feels relevant right now.
THIS MONTH’S READING LIST:
I was aiming for four or five but only managed to complete three. (Pats self on back anyway).
Arthur Conan Doyle – The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902)
Betty Lambert – Crossings (1979)
Chelene Knight – Junie (2022)