Depression is the New Black

Happy New Year. It’s half-way through January, and I still don’t feel like I’ve landed in 2015. I was late to the party. I don’t know what the rest of the world was up to over the holidays and transition into the new year, but I was deep undercover. I mean literally under my covers, not eating, shuffling around like a zombie, and then alternating between uncontrollable anger and despair. My condition might have been a side-effect of inflammation combined with “perimenopausal rage.” It might have been S.A.D. and a disconnection from Spirit… or any combination of the above. At the time, it didn’t matter. I was in the relentless grip of the “Grenade Monster” (launching its violent attack upon me and my world). Almost every person I have...

RIP Poetry Angel: for Marty Kruse

I’ve been avoiding my blog because I don’t know what to say. The usual stuff has been superseded by a friend’s death. My throat hurts when I try to speak. I’ve been floating around my day in a sad happy sad. Life is so amazing right now. I’m living my dream. And yet, underneath it all is a current of sadness for friends and family lost. Each new one reminds me of the others until I go all the way down the line to a boy from my high school who died of cancer. JD was the first friend of mine to die. We had barely graduated. My Seattle poetry posse has lost a second member. Both to cancer. The first was poet and videographer Gabrielle Bouliane. A few days ago, we lost dear poetry angel, Marty Kruse. He was the kind of guy who would...

Mid-Week Mourning Poem (for Victor Gato)

If you are new here, hi, hello. I generally leave a weekend writing exercise at the end of the week and post a new piece of writing at the beginning of the week, but today I’m bringing you a mid-week exercise and a poem. I haven’t blogged in a while because my cat was very sick and it became clear several days ago that he wasn’t going to make it. It was that delicate time when one has to decide in the cat’s best interests rather than one’s own. It was time to let him go. I find the periods of my life when I am in mourning to be inspiring creatively. In particular for poetry and song. Emotional pain might not feel “good” – but it’s powerful stuff. I’ve learned to just be in it. This week the workout is to write a “3-Stage Mourning Poem.” By “stage” I...

for Gabrielle Bouliane (1966-2010)

Gabrielle’s last live reading. The poem below is the best I can do right now… and it doesn’t feel like enough. How, ever, can words communicate what is ripped from the heart. I feel like I should watch this video every day, so that I remember how to live. for Gabrielle Bouliane (1967 – 2010) you disappear on a full wolf moon but not really in the age of a technology you shaped from, created you send messages across miles and friends echo that feisty stance, fiery angel, oh, poet, gift-giver, love-master, my hours in your presence are locked, sealed and delivered  – – my dream-memory days and nights spent on projects for literary minds together building a factory to keep those hearts alive smoke breaks outside the office in rusty...

Artless PSA by BC Filmmaker

It’s happening across north america, the tendency to let arts funding go (in schools, in our cities) when in an economic crunch because it isn’t deemed vital to society. Here in BC the government has been steadily making ridiculous cuts to arts funding and will continue to do so over the next few years. This is so short-sighted on so many levels. Not even taking into consideration how art enriches our lives, the arts and cultural sectors and B.C.’s creative industries generate $5.2 billion each year and employ 78,000 people. I’m one of them. And so are most of my friends. What kind of mixed-message is BC sending when in its bid for the 2010 Olympics, our government boasted about our province’s vibrant arts and culture scene? A friend...

Blake Snyder – R.I.P.

If you haven’t heard yet, screenwriting guru Blake Snyder died of a heart attack yesterday. He was best known for his Save the Cat books and workshops. The news is so strange to me, so unexpected. First of all, he was still pretty young. I have many friends around his age. But also, he has been so present in conversations lately. I just saw him at the PitchFest in L.A. and we were talking about brining him up to Vancouver for PitchMarket. He was one of the most popular screenwriting teachers out there. I had some personal differences with some of the things in he said in his book, but he had some excellent pre-writing and writing exercises. He also inspired thousands of writers and not many out there can say that. He was also a genuinely nice man. Someone...