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Monday, August 27, 2007

Life Gets in the Way

Sometimes life gets in the way. MikeyZ and I were supposed to hop a U-haul and make a cross-country cash-grab, stopping at every ex hippy’s paradise along the way, visiting old friends and greasy spoons too. CMcC was supposed to maybe join us.

Life got in the way. There were babies to feed and jobs to secure and begin, and most of all U-haul screwed us in the form of a 250 percent price increase. It’s seasonal. This is busy season.

I have this memory of barrelling across eastern Canada, my dad at the wheel, me on the navigation tip, belting out Blondie as we rode. There was a flat tire, three days travel, half the time now allotted by U-Haul’s insurance sharks. It may or may not have happened like that, but it’s a fine memory.

I wanted that journey as an adult. I just wanted that self-sufficiency, and to bond and cement relationships that need not end, play my music loud and watch the road unfold, no hurry or worry.

Life got in the way. Turns out it’s cheaper to hire a moving company. They make life easy, load up your junk, haul it over, unload it too, all for a third the price, and that includes coffee runs, gas and insurance.

Saves us a trip back to the people trap. Saves us a bundle, and time too, and a lot of labour.

Except I was looking forward to that labour because it would have been communal, with those old-fashioned friends of a fading era. And I was looking forward to that last trip back to make some visits with folks who I saw too little of this summer, and I'll see even less of them now.

But you gotta move forward, backward never as Kwame Nkrumah said. Life moves forward fast, and it still gets in the way.

[Post-script: the moving company screwed us too. They underestimated the weight of our stuff based on our description of it. Bottom line, the price tripled, so it's about the same as U-haul would have cost.

I may still be back in the Toronto area at Thanksgiving. Our good friend Kerty is getting married. Miia can't take the time off work but I may yet be able to make it.]


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Novel News

Hi folks,

I finished the second draft of my novel a while ago and now have several readers scouring and improving. In the meantime, the Ghanaian paper I worked at has published the first bit of it, which is fun and adds some credibility for publishers I hope. See the excerpt here.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Good News

I've just been offered (and accepted) the position of Director of Programs atPhoenix Youth Programs in downtown Halifax. You can read up more on the agency here. I'm excited to be working at such a great organization with such a fantastic reputation.

So, here's keeping my fingers crossed that I can transition into the organization well, do good work, and find a real place in my life and work there. My job starts September4th.

Thanks to all of you who, over these last months especially, have been so supportive of us and of ourlives and work. Thanks also to Lorraine, Chantal and Maureen for the references you've provided (Maureen even sent an emailfrom an internet cafe from Yellowknife while on her vacation!). Thanks to our families for always being ready with good advice and constant support. And thanks to the rest of you for all your kindness and generosity, in an infinite number of ways.

Much love,

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Follow-up Title Poll

So, we have two runaway favourites from the suggested titles, which also happen to be my favourites to date. I have altered one slightly to strengthen the language and image. So, just to see if it makes a difference, please tell me 1) which of the two you prefer, 2) why you prefer it, and 3) what you think the novel would be about based on these titles. Here are the two:

God and Other Dirty Sceptics

Living in the Dirt