Monthly Archives: November 2002


I’m surprised at how excited I’m becoming at the thought of settling down tonight with my book in my hands, reading from page one all the way to page two hundred and thirty-five. With a cider within reach, and a cat or so at hand, perhaps. Some candles; good music; maybe a little bit of incense… mmm.

The 1/2″ binder, however, is definitely way, way too small. Methinks I shall meander over to the pharmacy and buy a 1″ binder while dinner cooks.


So I�m printing out my novel as we speak � er, as I type. I�m also handling a ton of communication for the magazine at the same time, plus researching. The ability to multi-task is a good thing to have in my life. As for the printing, well, most people would hit the Print button and then ignore their machine for a while. I, however, have to print in twenty page increments. I know what happens when you hit the Print button and walk away. I wrote a thesis and printed it at two different times � namely for first submission, then after my defence with three words changed, for the printers to bind. The potential for disaster is unreal.

I picked up a new package of paper, and a binder, and a whole slew of plastic protector sheets, and I have a sneaky suspicion that the binder is already too small, looking at the stack of paper growing steadily beside it.

I notice that my printer is pausing for longer periods of time between pages. I wonder if it�s getting tired. I miss my old printer, the trusty workhorse that transformed my thesis into a physical, tangible entity. I thought it ate ink, and the cartridges were increasing in price so I got a new one. Ha. The new one consumes ink at an alarming rate, and the cartridges are even more expensive. Well, live and learn. I keep being told by people that small laser printers are more than affordable now; well, that�s something to think about in the future. Far, far in the future.

While I�m researching museums on-line (someone thought up a Soci�t� des mus�es qu�b�cois, and created a fantastic web site, much to my delight � isn�t that wonderful?), I�m also catching bits of my novel as it comes out of the printer, and I stack each batch on top of the last set of pages. It�s good. Know how people say, �If you�re passionate about something and you truly love it, you�ll communicate that love and that passion to others�? If I can pick it up at any point and become interested, and enjoy it, then I�ve done my job.

I�m seeing mistakes and left-out words that I hadn�t picked up before, though, while I edited the novel on-screen. I�m also seeing my ink levels plummet, so I�m keeping a watchful eye on my printer utility. Hold on, little printer, hold on� just another forty-seven pages�


I saw The Matrix again last night, and if/when I ever take on personal students for this whole spirituality thing, it will be one of two assigned viewings, along with The Empire Strikes Back. Why? Because it talks about the nature of reality, and how you can affect it once you�ve broken out of the preconceived notion of how things work. It�s all about the Force; it�s all about understanding that the Matrix is a construct. Absolutely fascinating.

I also saw SWEp2 this week, for the second time. I don�t know; maybe my expectations were much, much lower than my first viewing, but I enjoyed it more this time. Yes, the acting is horrible; yes, Lucas can�t write dialogue to save his life; yes, the two key leads have absolutely no chemistry whatsoever (gives a whole new meaning to �We�d be living a lie!�), but the overall storyline (i.e. the discovery of two armies being positioned to take over � er, help the Republic, yes, help them, I mean) is decent. Too bad the ultimate execution of that storyline is a hatchet job.

I taught the first part of a two-session class last night, and once again, I feel like I didn�t get through to them. There were questions throughout the workshop, but overall I get the feeling that they were unimpressed. The first half of this class is a lot of information, in preparation for the nuts and bolts next week, and it was apparently interesting and new to most of them, judging from their reactions� and yet, they left giving off an air of �this isn�t what I wanted�.

Teaching is an excellent way to discover that you didn�t know as much as you thought you knew. Well, that�s not exactly what I mean, but it does feel like that at times. Allow me to rephrase the thought: Teaching challenges you to redefine what you thought you understood perfectly well. There�s always someone who asks a slightly skewed question, and when you answer it you have to sit and think for a moment, and then try to express what basically amounts to a feeling or a belief in new words. It�s especially sensitive when it comes to a personal perception of magic and spirituality, because, as the colloquialism says, your mileage may vary. Actually, in such an intensely personal experiential situation, your mileage will vary. Your experiences with how your thoughts flow, and your perception of how the world around you functions, will be vastly different from the next person�s. We�re lucky we can communicate at all, or agree on anything; I think the amount of compromise we tacitly allow would surprise us all if we broke things down and really managed to compare worldviews.

The main problem lies in the fact that students expect a cut-and-dried, tried-and-true method that will work no matter what, and I can�t give it to them. I can tell them what works for me, but I have to stress that without experimentation, they won�t know what works for them as well. Most people seem to think I�m hiding wisdom of the ages from them when I don�t hand them a solution tied up with a pretty bow, and they can get quite snippy. I know the human mind is innately lazy, and I know we shy away from work, but honestly, you get back what you put in. If you take the time to meditate on your personality, and how you truly perceive the world, and how you interact with it, then you will be better equipped to choose more efficient and successful ways to make changes in your life.

Or maybe that�s just me. Maybe there is a way to �hey presto� it all, and no one�s told me yet. Wow. That would really invalidate all my workshops, wouldn�t it?


Go, NaNos! Only three days left! Write! Write like the wind!

Speaking of writing, I’d blog more, but I’m up to here with magazine stuff, teaching stuff, and work for Sunday’s concert…. and a bad back again that’s making computer work a literal pain.


Normally I love CBC Radio Two.

But I really, really hate Peter and the Wolf.

I’m going to go put on MLG‘s RSW: Jedi Prophecy soundtrack (Volume One). That will erase every tiny bit of the horrible story and the irritating repeated musical motifs from my mind.

Speaking of Volume One, there was talk of a Volume Two a while ago….

Memorial Concert Reminder


Typically, as soon as I solve one health problem, another crops up. Now that I have new glasses and have miraculously solved my mysterious low-grade perpetual headache, my back has begun acting up once more. It’s becoming more and more difficult to move around; lying on the floor is pretty much the only way to ease it. Good thing I have those new glasses so I can get a clear view of the ceiling.

I don’t know what it is — I’m doing a lot of computer work and cello playing, sure, but that’s no different from my activities of the past two years. Is it the weather, the cold-to-warm-to-really-cold spells we’ve been having? Am I developing arthritic symptoms in my spine that respond to seasonal change?

The osteopath hasn’t done much for it the past two times I’ve seen her; evidently I shall have to really stress the pain and the precise location for her next time I see her in late December. I thought I had done so during the past couple of visits, and for the rest of the day things seem all right, but a day or so later the pain creeps back. I’d go back to her sooner, but that financial thing’s in the way again. I’m just trying to take it really easy and watch how I sit, how I carry things, and so forth.

Speaking in passing of my cello, in case I missed you in my e-mail announcement (or if you have no clue who I am and are in the Montreal area next Sunday!), here’s the concert announcement:

I know, it seems like only yesterday that I did a concert, but it’s that time once again…

This Sunday, December 1 at 7.30 PM, the Lakeshore Chamber Orchestra and guests will be presenting a program called “Tributes to Andres” in honour of our conductor who died in an accident almost three months ago. Included in the program are a dramatic Prelude and Fugue by Handel, Albinoni’s Adagio, and selections from Mendelssohn’s first symphony and the Beethoven symphony we played at the Canada Day concert that Andres enjoyed conducting so much. We will also be playing an intriguing arrangement of a Latvian folk song, arranged by our late conductor himself.

The concert will take place on the West Island once again, at St. John Fisher church in Valois (which was the venue we performed at last January). The church is located at 120 Summerhill, corner Valois Bay Avenue, in Pointe-Claire.

Tickets are $10 per person, children 18 and under are admitted free.

Both the 204 bus and the 203 bus from the Dorval station pass nearby (for the 204, get off at the corner of Belmont and Broadview; for the 203, get off at the corner of Valois Bay and Belmont); a map is always useful too.

This concert is going to be packed with people paying their last respects, so if you’re planning on coming I advise getting there early so you’ll have a seat!