Tag Archives: Writing Menopause

Writing Menopause and a Spring launch!

Actual physical copies of Writing Menopause: An Anthology of Fiction, Poetry and Creative Nonfiction arrived at my house the day before last, which was also the day that the cherry blossoms in my part of the world reached their peak. I wandered under the blossoms completely happy, book in hand, glad with the world. A totally satisfying moment. cherry blossoms April 17

It’s spring and puddle-wonderful, to steal a phrase from ee cummings. You might think this book should have come out in the fall. I’m glad it hasn’t. For too long, menopause has been considered an an autumnal moment of the ovaries. Even worse, women have been considered worthless as our reproductive capacity ends. As though that is all we are.

Five years ago or thereabouts when this book began, I was quite certain that by the time it was done, I would be menopausal. I am not. I’ve been menstruating for 43 years. That’s a long time. If I said I’d been married for 43 years, I might get congratulations. If I retired from a job after 43 years, I might get a gold watch or at least, a pat on the back. I expect no kudos for 43 years of menstruating but let’s face it, it hasn’t been a picnic. It’s a lot of work. I’m weary with it and I’m ready to retire.

When menopause finally happens for me, I will relish it. Bring on the cherry blossoms. Bring on the renewal. Bring on whatever it is that’s next. I’m ready. And when it happens, I’ll have this book and the community it has created to guide me through the change. Take a deep breath. Spring is here.  And so is Writing Menopause.

Join us at our launches if you can:

Calgary at Shelf Life Books, 1302 – 4 Street S.W. on May 25 at 7pm.

Featuring Rona Altrows, Jane Cawthorne, Shaun Hunter, JoAnn McCaig, E.D. Morin, Steve Passey, Roberta Rees, Lori D. Roadhouse and Rea Tarvydas.

Edmonton at Audreys Books, 10702 Jasper Avenue on June 9 at 7pm.

Featuring Margaret Macpherson, Lou Morin, Shirley Serviss, Rea Tarvydas, Jane Cawthorne and E.D. Morin.

Inanna Publications’ Spring Launch in Toronto at The Supermarket, Kensington Market, 268 Augusta Avenue, on June 14 at 6:30pm.

Featuring Jane Cawthorne, Merle Amodeo, B.A. Markus, Leanna McLennan, Gemma Meharchand and E.D. Morin.

In conjunction with three other Inanna Publications new releases!

Kingston at A Novel Idea, 156 Princess Street on June 15 at 7pm.

Featuring Louise Carson, Colette Maitland, B.A. Markus, E.D. Morin and Jane Cawthorne.

With all of our launches, we are grateful for the support of Inanna Publications, the Canada Council, the Quebec Writers’ Federation, Shelf Life Books, Audreys Books, The Supermarket and A Novel Idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing from Scratch

Just as someone who loves good food might yearn to cook, my deep love of books has burgeoned into a need to make them. At first, I thought that meant I had to create books from scratch. I like this analogy. Writing starts with scratches, a few tentative pencil marks, a word or six and it grows from there. That’s how my notion to write a novel started. I’m not finished it yet, but while I’ve been at it, I’ve created a couple of other books not quite from scratch and I’m finding this work equally satisfying. I don’t have to can the tomatoes (or grow them) to make a good sauce. If what I love is creating books, editing is as satisfying a way to get there as writing. It’s not starting from scratch but maybe that’s why I enjoy it so much.

I’ve always joked that I’m a re-writer more than I am a writer. Scratching those first words onto the page never comes easily to me, but crafting them afterwards is a joy. I recently had the wonderful experience of editing the work of over fifty other writers for an anthology I created with my friend and colleague E.D. Morin. It’s called Writing Menopause and it’s been picked up by Inanna Publications who plan to bring it out in Spring, 2017. The book is a literary anthology and the variety and high quality of work that writers submitted was inspirational. As we worked to shape the anthology, I was able to do the parts of “writing” that I like the best–revising, editing, crafting–in collaboration with the contributors and my co-editor. (And I also contributed my own piece, a short story I’ve been working on for six years. Like I said, writing is slow work for me.) One day it occurred to me that the things I find most difficult about writing like starting with the blank page and the need to work alone for long stretches of time disappear when I’m editing the work of others.

Another editing project is at the printer. I’m on my way today to check the first proof and the excitement I feel is no different than when something of “my own” gets published. The book was written by my friend Tanya Coovadia. It’s called Pelee Island Stories. These are linked short stories all set in Tanya’s childhood home, an island in the middle of Lake Erie. Tanya trusted me and my fellow members of the Crabapple Mews Collective with her work, and again, I’ve had the incredible pleasure of working collaboratively with her and with the other wonderful editors in the collective to create a magnificent book.

Books are beautiful physical objects that last far longer than we do. They speak to us while we’re here and for us after we’re gone. They reach toward immortality. Being part of making them is a labour of love for me, even when the book has someone else’s name on it, or lots of other names on it. Whether I make it from scratch or not, this is work I love. Next up after my MFA, I think I’ll take a course in book binding. I’ll probably love that too.