Upcoming Readings and Events

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Hello, and happy new year! I have two events coming up that I wanted to let you know about.

Next weekend, January 26-27-28, I’ll have an audio installation and open studio in the Art Break Hotel Exhibition at the Westminster Hotel in Dawson City, Yukon. I’m so excited to be a part of this show featuring 9 different artists who have completed work in the studio spaces of the hotel. The show is in conjunction with the (s)hiver Winter Arts Festival. Pop by and visit my studio, hear a recording of a few of my poems, say hello (I’ll be hanging around!)

The following week, on January 31st, I’ll be reading at the launch of the print edition of The Northern Review. The launch will take place at Yukon College in Whitehorse, Yukon, at the college bistro from 5 to 7.

Thanks for all your support!

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New poems in The Northern Review

I’m so honoured to have two poems in The Northern Review, a journal published out of Yukon College in Whitehorse. You can read the poems online at The Northern Review today, along with so many other talented Yukon and northern-inspired writers, and hopefully in print very soon.

 

New Poem on The Maynard

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Hello, friends! My weekly posts are becoming less weekly and more sporadic. This is partly because I’m feeling I have less to say here, and partly because I’m feeling like when I do have writing time, I want to be completely focused on writing new poems, revising old poems, and sending them out to journals. To that end, I’ve decided that I’ll only update here as a way to give you writing news: when I’ve got a new poem being published or if I’m going to be reading in public somewhere.

And on that note, I’m so pleased to be in the Fall issue of The Maynard! You can read my poem, Birdwatching, here. There’s also a recording of me reading it; it’s my first experience doing that. I hope you enjoy it!

Doing it Anyway

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I wasn’t sure if I’d write today. I’ve started a new course with Rachel Thompson, Lit Mag Love, which focuses on refining your approach to publishing in literary magazines. I’ve been working on that this morning, with this blog post nagging at the back of my mind.

In the last two weeks, I’ve felt my seasonal depression creeping in. The sun takes a little longer to rise, now; the leaves have all dropped and the hillsides are bare and grey. Some mornings, there is ice on the pond near our house and the woodstove is going almost all the time. I find the days are more work. It is work just to maintain some equanimity: I feel sadness out of nowhere. I acknowledge it and I try not to let it take over my day. I focus hard on engaging with the kids, on coming to the page and writing each day, on going to the yoga class I signed up for, on reading and on stepping away from social media when it’s too much. It is real work to do each of these things.

It helps to have a name for the thing, and a box to put it in. This is seasonal. This is because there is a lack of sunlight. This is not my fault. I will do all of the things that I know might help me: vitamin D, exercise, light box therapy, maybe talk therapy.

I’ll continue to focus on my writing life. Tomorrow I have a FaceTime appointment with someone who is editing my chapbook manuscript. We’ll talk about her suggestions and my hopes for the work. Next week we’re doing another spoken word open mic at the Westminster, and I’ll read some of my new poems. Last week, in Whitehorse, I went to an art opening and poetry reading and connected a little with the very active writing community there. I’ve decided to do that as much as I’m able. Each of these things gives me a bubble of anxiety, a flutter in my tummy that suggests I don’t belong, I’m not good enough, I’m a big faker. I take a few breaths and do the thing anyway.

It’s a strange place for me to be in, and feels quite new: to be fully conscious of what’s happening internally but not to be swept up in its tide. I’m curious but also apprehensive about this new place. Can I let these feelings exist in me and still continue to do the work of living? So far, I am.

For now, the early morning fog has lifted. The sun is shining through my window, warming me. I’m off to get something to eat before the live video portion of my course begins. I hope you’re doing well with whatever life has sent your way.

 

Resistance

I feel it when I sit down to meditate each morning (something I’ve been able to maintain for almost a month now!) My mind does anything it can to get away from just being still for 20 minutes. I think about the things I have to do that day or the things I did yesterday. I have imaginary conversations, sometimes over and over. I nod off. I glance down at the timer on my phone, wondering how much longer I’ve got to go.

I realized I do the same thing with writing, and how strange that is. These two things that I love, that I have struggled to make a regular part of my life, and when I sit down to do them: my mind runs.

I currently have 5 different tabs open on my laptop. There is a grader sitting outside on the street, idling, and it’s bothering me. I check Instagram on my phone to see if anyone liked the picture I just posted. I text my partner. Even this blog post feels like avoidance of the chapbook manuscript I intend to edit this morning.

We all do this, I know. Maybe it’s that the distractions are safe and easy. Like I’m not going to fuck up my internet browsing, right? But I could really do some damage with that manuscript…and then there’s all the rejection I might face when I try to put it out there.

Moving through it, through the fear and the resistance, is hard. But my morning meditation sessions, where I just sit on the cushion through all of it and stubbornly keep coming back to my breath, help prepare me for all the pushing away I do through the rest of the day. I know this feeling, so strong it’s a physical skin crawl, shoulders shudder feeling. I know I won’t die if I just sit it out, just keep coming back to the page, over and over.

What are you resisting these days, and how do you manage to come back?