Write on . . .
I’m busy workig on my ‘memoirs’. I’m not going to thinly disguise my life story as fiction so I know I am headed in the ‘write’ direction. Since I finished my book Rampage:the pathology of an epidemic I have not been writing. I haven’t even been writing and producing plays so it is time to start a new project. After reading The Glass Castle (which is similar to my childhood story)I thought that I have overlooked the day to day experience in my writing. I always focus on the dramatic or the ‘big’ tragedies but my life growing up reads a lot like the above mentioned book. I will also write a new play this year . . . I have to.
Creatively for now I am working on producing and directing The Vagina Monologues March 24th at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium in Abbotsford. Tickets are $20 and will be available at A & D Music on Montrose (there will be other locations TBA) BUT if you bring a pair of new or gently used women’s shoes you can purchase a ticket for $15.
We need the shoes for our March 25 Memory March with a focus on a Shoe Memorial. Display of shoes with murdered women’s names from BC starts at 11 AM. Speakers and vigil at 1 PM in the Civic Plaza behind MCA. This event is to honour the over 4,000 missing and murdered women and children on The List in the book Rampage.
Our non-profit Art Matter’s Society could use some help organizing these events-email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
3 bedroom, updated, stylish laminate flooring, gas fireplace, roof is only 4 years old, hot water tank is only 3 years old. Our house backs onto a beautiful little park–lots of trees, shurbs and plants in the yard; a kind of little zen space in the back.
We are listing the house for $339,900 and that includes fridge, gas stove, dishwasher, washer, dryer and all window coverings. We are even incluidng the 42″ flat screen tv that is mounted on a dark wood stand attached to the wall and a bamboo mirror attached to the bedroom floor, closet built-ins.
We are going to open a funky little art’s business in Port Alberni; a place where we can sell books, do our radio plays and offer local artist’s a place to perform and hang their fine art. Of course I will do theatre and writing workshops and my daughter-in-law Jennifer is going to take on some arts and crafts workshops. Perhaps a recording stuio on-site–lots of big plans. But we need to sell our house in Abbotsford first. If you are interested in a ‘ready to move into’ home in Abbotsford or know anyone who is . . .send them my way.
Summer is almost over and like every Fall we are very busy . . .The Human Made Affair is Sept 24th & 25th (see below) and we are planning on producing The Vagina Monologues again in 2012 March 24th
March 25th join us for The Memory March; a walk, vigil to honour women and children murdered in Canada.
June 8 & 9th, 2012 we will sponsor a new Festival of Artistic and Creative Expression.
Copies of my book at are Murdoch’s Bookshoppe in Mission, People’s Co-op on Commercial in Vancouver and at 3 locations on Vancouver Island; Salamander Books in Ladysmith and at Ten Old Books & Volume One in Duncan. Our you can order Rampage;the pathology of an epidemic from me if you do not live close to any of those locations.
“A Human-Made Affair”:
Art Matter’s Society presents a two day event at the Kariton Gallery in conjunction with the Abbotsford Art’s Council. Saturday, September 24 and Sunday the 25th . Saturday is a global day of 100 Poets For Change where organizers hope that poets, singers and speakers will gather at 11 AM. In Abbotsford that is a TBA location as of yet. The displays and workshops will be starting at 1 PM at the Kariton Gallery.
A Human Made Affair will run from 10 AM-4 PM featuring workshops on ‘made’ items that relate to books like making bookmarks, altered books, steam punk books and there will be workshops on both days on Self-publishing by Penny-a-Line Promotions.
In the evening from 6:30-9:30 PM join poets, writers and performance artists for readings, mingling and conversation.
We are looking for Fraser Valley writers who want to read from their work—there is also an opportunity for their chapbook of poetry or novel to be sold at the two-day event. We are still open to any book-related workshop ideas anyone might want to offer.
Contact Gwynne at email@example.com
8 weeks after my book came out, I am discovering like Mary Billy that not too many people care about ending violence against women and children. This doesn’t surprise me, but it disappoints. My book Rampage: the pathology of an epidemic is a heartfelt and serious look at what is wrong with our society and why the violence does not end. Read my new post Can We End Violence Against Women? and check out my other blogspots:
I am interested in hearing your views and welcome feedback. On another note my friends Gladys Radek and Bernie Williams are getting set to walk across Canada again for the walk4justice they founded in 2008. On June 21 Galdys’ team will leave Vancouver and walk to the Pickton Farm in Coquitlam and then carry on to Chilliwack. Complete details should be on the Facebook site soon. I will keep up with the progress on my three sites.
Even though nobody seems to care much about missing and murdered women and children, there are a few of us who refuse to be silent and will continue to call shame on on all Canadians to allow the violence to continue; in their homes, in the workplace and on the streets.
I’ve started to sell books-and getting some great responses. Check out a great site www.humanmade.net-they posted my book info on there. I also have two new blogs to check out.
Two letters I received are below. If you would like a copy of the book please contact me–we take visa and mastercard or you can pay by cheque.
$22 a book plus HST and $5 for shipping=$29.64
I just finished reading Rampage and I have to say I think you did a hell of a job on it. I know you got started on the ‘List’ thanks to Mary Billy but I have to say I thought the way you formatted the names in the book made it easier to digest the sad content.
I am sorry as hell for the women who have been murdered and or disappeared. I am sorry that you have this enormous responsibility of trying to record these terrible events but I wanted you to know I am grateful for the truth of what goes on in our big back yard of a country. My words are small and may not reach many ears but I will keep writing and trying to bring the issue to light.
Your book is HUGE and I know you will keep the faith. Your book, your work, is amazing and I have the utmost respect for everything you do. You are brave and strong and wise and don’t forget how pivotal this work will be to effecting change. Just hang in there, you and Mary will see, I know it!
much love Shelley
I rec’d your book yesterday and read it from front to back last p.m. You
did a great job and I commend you for your tenacity. I certainly identified
when you mentioned how mentally exhausting it is to maintain the list and
try hard not to internalize how tragic these senseless deaths are. I now
realize why at times, I just can’t open the file and begin new postings.
Also, we are on the same page where our thinking is concerned. I agree that
we need both genders to speak against the violence and male bashing solves
Thank you so much for allowing me to contribute to your book.
I have recommended to a couple of people to send away for it.
I feel like I have been hibernating-fall has come and gone and we are in the middle of winter–hard to tell the season’s apart sometimes in Beautiful BC–it is 7 degrees out today. I am in the full planning stages now of our International Celebration of Women coming March 19-as well as the Memory March. We are hoping many walkers will join us in Abbotsford for our walk/vigil.
I have finished my book Rampage; the pathology of an epidemic and will have it at the celebration-an archive of the work that many of us grassroots feminists have undertaken to help stop violence towards women and girls. No easy task, I have been working on it for three years–it is my personal journey working on The List and a record of the work done by many others. I share some stories, facts and statistics but in general the work is meant to archive the names and stories of 4,000 missing and murdered women and children in Canada. A memorial, if you will. I hope that someday, somebody will value the work I have done–appreciate the archived efforts of a few of us and see the importance of keeping a list.
I have many things to reflect on this season; it was a tough and chaotic 2010 and I look forward to 2011 as being productive and somewhat more serene. I think I worked too hard in 2010-well, I know I did. I need to focus on more creative endeavours.
Fall is here–even if we don’t want to believe it-as soon as the PNE is over and the kid’s go back to school, pack away those white shoes and flip-flops, hey?
As usual it is a busy time here at Penny-a-Line–our new publication The Penny Express is going great-I’m teaching Drama starting Oct 15 for Abbotsford Community School (8-12 year olds) and doing some theatre/writing work at The Reach Art Gallery and Museum.
The International Celebration of Women is in the planning stages (March 19, 2011) and we are still looking for women to do workshops or entertain at the event. Art Matter’s is also starting to plan the Festival of Artistic and Creative Expression.
It is always crazy busy in the Fall –I have a feeling this year things may not slow down at all but will try to keep The Rag pages active as I can.
Just keeping you all posted-if you fit the description below and are interested and live near Abbotsford-drop by.
Calling young artists, actors, dancers, writers,
Are you concerned about the environment, poverty, violence or other social issues? Want to change the world?Join us for these free sessions as artists show & tell about how they use arts for change. No arts experience necessary.
Wednesday July 28 6:30-9pm – 14-24 yrs
Gwynne Hunt- writer, director, producer
Gwynne is a writer and playwright who has written and produced 15 plays including the acclaimed Breadlines, Mudflaps and Missing. With writing exercises and improv sketches she’ll spark our creativity.
Lee Kwidzinski—dancer, choreographer
In addition to her award-winning work as a dancer, choreographer Lee has organized dance performances to raise funds for a variety of causes and facilitated community based intergenerational dance projects. She’ll lead us through a creative movement session.
Starting in August, through sessions in music, drama and dance you can participate in creating a social action theatre piece with opportunities from solo to group that will be performed this fall at The Reach.
All workshops are free and run from 6:30-9pm. Light refreshment is provided. For more information or to register simply call 604-864-8087 x111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The YAAH project is made possible by a donation from the Telus Vancouver Community Board
& the support of Prospera Credit Union
“Art is long, life is short, judgement difficult, opportunity transient.” Goethe
This is the fastest moving summer I think I have lived through . . . it is already the middle of July. Even though I published a funny piece on here today about Dog Days-I haven’t had too many of them. We took two of our grandkids camping but if you think that is relaxing, you haven’t squeezed into a tent trailer with a 13 year old boy and 11 year old girl. It seems the only bridge between our generations was our common bond over farting and all the jokes that follow that topic. It was fun though!
Then we babysat our other grandkids; ages 14, 7, 6 and wee baby Ethan who is 15 months old now. We survived four days in a wading pool that kept deflating, or in front of the television singing SpongeBob SquarePants at the top of our lungs. Loads of fun!
I’m still finding time to work on the book due out this fall, Rampage; the pathology of an epidemic, and I am working on setting up my new business-venture–The Penny Express. The weekly new magazine will be a full-time job and done for the sake of earning a living and not so much for the fun of writing (it is not my kind of writing but I will continue to express my true self here on these pages). The weekly paper though is a must-need for our area where the local papers have priced their ads out of the market for the average business owner.
The Penny Express is an affordable alternative and it will be fun to produce-I love to work. We will help support local non-profits like The Abbotsford Pathfinders who will give work to folks with challenges and non-profits like Art Matters who can’t afford to advertise anywhere else. In spite of the fluffy nature of such a publication I kind of like interviewing local professionals and taking pictures for the Smile of the Week. It doesn’t have to be all hard-hitting news. Look for our publication around August 27th in Mission and Abbotsford.
Until my next ‘post’, hope you are having a great summer . . .
It’s already the middle of June and I can’t wait for all the shows, the festival and theatre goings-on to be over. Theatre BC’s, Fraser Valley Zone Festival was a mess-I’m still bruised over the shortcomings offered by Surrey Little Theatre as they hosted this year’s Fraser Valley Zone Festival.
Our play Two Feet & a Heartbeat was well received, got lots of laughs but the facility offered to us was not up to any standard I am used to . . . so to those of you who wandered into the the chaos at the Zone, please come and see us perform the piece again Saturday June 12th at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium, 32315 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford at 8 PM, as part of our festival, F.A.C.E. (run the way a festival should be run) and enjoy this exciting and interesting play.
Once FACE is over, I am hanging out with a good book in my backyard for the rest of the summer. This has been a grueling and exhausting year of one play after another; I have three in this weekend’s festival-MacBethie, Two Feet and Heartbeat and Snippits. If you have ever been a fan of my work you can feast on this Gwynne-fest as Snippits has pieces from four of my other shows; Breadlines, Missing, Mudflaps and Train From Eagle River.
No, my ego has not gone mad; I had to fill in gaps-we just didn’t get enough entries this year and we can’t have a bare stage when we are struggling to pay for the venue. For next year . . .anyone interested in being a Board Member for Art Matters Society? getting involved with organizing the festival and the International Celebration of Women and the Memory March?
As for me, I am not going to think about theatre or planning events until at least September . . . enjoy your summer.
March 26, 2011 join us for an International Celebration of Women and the Memory March!
Saturday, March 26, 2011 at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium celebrate with us . . . at the International Celebration of Women. We will be featuring the work of Amrita Ganguly (writer) and singer/songwriter Gwyneth Alicia Mawlong; both from India. There will be songs, dance, spoken word, poetry, and monologues from many talented women. This mini-conference will include speakers, workshops and entertainment. We are currently looking for women who are interested in forming a new Board (under the umbrella of Art Matters Society) who will organize and plan this day. We are also looking for women who want to apply to perform at this event. (if possible, honorariums will be paid)
Our fourth annual Memory March is being held in conjunction with the International Celebration of Women in Abbotsford; Saturday, March 26, 2011. Please commit to joining us and let us know who many walkers you will be bringing to honour the murdered and missing women and children on The List. (see more information below)
Announcing the presentation of an Art Matter’s Society publication; the book based on five years’s of research Rampage; the pathology of an epidemic will be released this fall. Research and writing done by Gwynne Hunt; with help from some grassroots activists across the country. The book contains over 4,000 names of missing and murdered women and children in Canada, and contains interviews with people who care, and stories of some of the women we have lost. It will be showcased at our new International Celebration of Women. Contact us to pre-order your copy. See www.ragmag.net for more details.
It is so important we continue this work of public education and social theatre.
Art Matters Society
604-859-2407 (Abbotsford #)
Art Matters Society has a rich theatre history;
producing live unjuried theatre
Busy producing, directing, playing . . .there is stil ltime for anyone who wants to join us on-stage June 12 in a monologue, a skit or by reading poetry, tap-dancing or just painting yourself blue and reading the phone book if you want. Although I would prefer the colour red. Hey, give me a shout email@example.com to book your hour to strut and fret your hour upon the stage in Abbotsford, BC.
My children’s play, Macbethie, is coming along great with 8 stellar actors all under the age of 12. They know all about walking shadows and have become my favourite theatre troupe. Still in reharsals for Two Feet and a Heartbeat, we look forward to performing Tuesday, May 25 at the Fraser Valley Zone Festival and then again on Saturday, June 12th. I was lucky to cast a suburb group of actors and think this will be an amazing production.
Doing the shows keeps me off the streets and balances the tough work that I do, alone, in my basement office, struggling to work on the book Rampage, the pathology of an epidemic. It seems I start to move forward then I take a minute to do research and hours later I have peeled away the archive pages to reveal even more murder and violence. Done alphabetically, I am now on Chapter 7, the letter “J’. Under the J, Jane, Jasmine and Judy . . .
Big changes in my life right now . . . less public work and more writing. that is what I want . . . time to express the thoughts I have saved, wrapped up in my ego-self. I am spending more time trying to find the real me, behind the voices in my head, meditating, evolving and growing. Hoping that all that growing isn’t just growing old but enlightened. I struggle. . . .April/2010
The Memory March (Sunday, March 28, 2010) was a sad and poorly attended event; of the thousands of people who knew about it, only 24 of us stood in the cold and the rain and read the names of missing and murdered women and children in Canada. Were the rest of you all home in your comfortable rooms?
Information about the 4th annual walk.vigil went out to literally hundreds of women’s groups, anti-violence groups and agencies that care about violence in our communities and yet none of you turned up . That is like having a best friend die and you deciding to stay home. It saddens me to think that after five years of work on The List and organizing the Memory March that I stood in the cold with 23 other people wondering where the rest of you were.
We had our opening ceremony in Crab Park, walked up Main Street to Thornton Park where the Marker of Change Memorial is. We were expecting that a few people would have gathered to wait for us there, but no . . . no flowers, no candles; only used condoms and dirty needles littered the benches where the names of the 14 women killed in the Montreal Massacre have been preserved.
The last three Memorial Marches have been uplifting in some strange way; maybe because we had between 80-100 each year and it seemed like soon the ground swell of concern would bring out the numbers of people who care but this year I realized that the only two people who have been to all four marches (besides me) are my husband and my sister. Some of them, like my daughter have been to 2 or 3 but only the three of us have been to them all.
Every year I do The Vagina Monologues to raise awareness; in 8 years and 23 performances we have cast hundreds of women; women who audition and tell me they care, that they are wanting to be a part of The Vagina Monologues because they want to end the violence. Of hundreds of women who have promised me year after year they would be at the March, only four of our current cast showed up; none from previous years.
Why is it so important? Why do I care? What kind of message are we sending? The point of the Memory March is honour all women and children, not because they live in a specific postal code or are endangered because of their race, all women; the grandmothers, the suburban housewives, the children who live in nice communities-all gone. Killed by domestic violence while they slept in their beds, butchered like slaughtered hogs, stabbed, poisoned, shot, strangled, beaten, brutalized, burned . . . gone, they are all gone.
The List only has 4,000 names on it because we are an unfunded, grassroots society and I am the only person working on it these days. We know by Statistics Canada documents that around 200 women are killed every year; since The List officially began in 1990, that means there should be around 4,000 names on the List-but that is not counting children and some say there are at least 100 children killed a year-add another 2,000. Our List contains missing women and children and several names (if not at least 300-400) are pre-1990. It is my guess that The List to be updated successfully requires hundreds of more hours of research and input-there are at least 3,000 names missing from our List that should be around 7,000.
Mary Billy got tired after 10 years when she turned 70 and felt her health was in danger. I’m tired now, after 5 years and at the age of 60. Where is the government accountability to keep track of women and children who are gone?
Millions of dollars were given to the Sisters in Spirit campaign and while I don’t doubt they have done good work with that money; their focus is the 500 missing and murdered Aboriginal women only. Why isn’t somebody keeping track of all women and children. To be honest, I seem to be the only one.
I guess that explains it then doesn’t it? Why there were 24 of us this year . . . nobody does care.
Three super events coming up that are keeping me busy; the benefit showing of The Vagina Monologues in Vancouver, the one in New Westminster and the Memory March. Every year I go into these shows thinking I am tired of doing the monologues but every year I see the impact it has on the audiences and the women who perform the pieces. It is ‘the’ message about ending violence against women and girls.
I extend that work further by keeping The List-started by Mary Billy; compiling a data base of murdered and missing women and children across Canada. Mary started it in 1990, a year after Marc Lepine killed 14 women dubbed the Montreal Massacre by the media. When I took over Mary’s Femicide List she had 1, 865 names on it; names she found by cutting them out of newspapers, day after day as she sat at her kitchen table. I have researched her list and added names by connecting with other ‘list keepers’, researching the Internet and adding names as they are sent to me. Today, we have almost 4,000 names.
Two wonderful women; Dawn and Nancy come in to my office every Monday and have been helping me edit the process, adding the names to the laminated sheets of names we carry at the Memory March. It is sad work and I appreciate the company after four years of doing this on my own. We wear the names and honour the women and children by doing this. I believe that if they are not forgotten, that future women and children may be spared the brutality. If we do not speak about the rampage of murder in our country, we cannot end it.
Too many grandmas have been butchered by grandsons, too many moms killed by sons, and too many wives brutalized by their partners. Statistics claim around 100 children are killed every year; 200 women. Almost one a day-in this fine and civilized country. We should all feel the shame thisbrings on us for allowing the abuse of women and children to carry on.
I am working on a book and will be ready to publish and tour, speak to groups who care by Fall. Rampage, the pathology of an epidemic is over 20 chapters long and tells my journey of doing this work; and the stories of other grassroots workers who work alone, trying to do the job that government agencies should be doing–keeping track of the damage, the dead, the lost. At the end of every chapter I have listed the names, told some of their stories. It is a compelling read-I believe, an important piece of work. I do it because I want it documented.
Support our work by attending The Vagina Monologues this year and walking with us on March 28. Gather in Crab Park (Portside Park) at 2 PM, walk up Main street to Thornton Park (Vancouver) with us-stand at the vigil, hear the names, remember . . . see Memory March page for details. Quit pretending that violence is what happens to someone else.
*Tickets for the Vancouver benefit showing of The Vagina Monologues are available at Beckwoman’s, 1314 Commercial Drive & 2651 E Hastings; also at Biz Books, 302 W Cordova St-$15 for the Wise Hall production, 1892 Adanac Street/8 PM Saturday March 27-tickets and doors open at 7 PM.
*Tickets for the Sunday, March 28th production are available at the Massey Ticket Centre at 6 PM for the 7 PM show or in advance at www.masseytheatre.com
$18 (plus service charge)
*See Memory March page and join us before the Sunday show!
Everybody’s going green., learning to live green for life and jumping on the vegetable wagon. This is a good thing but we’ve seen it before. I went green in the 60s, 70s-had a lapse of no-name madness in the 80s & 90s but am back on the green wagon. We’ve heard it all before but I think now there is more urgency and this time it is not such a grassroots movement, but a serious commitment from people who are in a position to change the world.
Eating organic and going green are becoming mainstream. But for those of you who are still dabbling; recycling when it’s sunny out, eating salad when on a date to impress, buying bottled water but only as a fashion statement, using organic make-up because you think it is cute when you say, “I have to save those poor little bunnies from being used as test subjects” –these facts might make the change a little easier
Why eat meat, when . . .
- 16% of the world’s greenhouse gases come from the methane created from flatulent livestock and methane is 23 times more dangerous to the atmosphere than carbon monoxide is.
- Growth hormones and antibiotics fed to livestock and fowl are causing diseases in humans.
- Slaughterhouses and even barns use enormous amounts of energy to stay in operation.
- Our water systems are contaminated by manure and fertilizers.
- Grazing lands take up more than on-quarter of all the ice-free land in the world.
You don’t have to give up all meat; just try to eat more organic, or eat less meat. A useful website is www.veg.ca
Use Fair Trade Products, because . . .
- Chocolate is created under terrible conditions using child labour and deadly chemicals.
- In West Africa where 70% of our cocoa comes from, the yearly wage is about $100 a year and children are working under awful conditions so we can eat a chocolate bunny for Easter.
Cocoa Camino is a Canadian company that imports fairly traded chocolate products; check out the website www.lasiembra.com
Why use organic dairy products?
- Enocrine disrupters are found in non-organic milk products which gets stored in our fat and causes problems with our hormones.Try cleaning products and cosmetics that are organic or solutions you can make up at home that are non-toxic because . . .
- There are 23,000 chemicals registered for use in Canada and at least 300 more chemicals are approved every year. Industry does not have to prove that a chemical is safe before it is introduced into a product in Canada.
- Methyl, ethyl, propyl, butyl-an ugly foursome used to preserve make-up. They can alter hormones and cause skin problems.
I think I took an entended holiday . . . back to work for a few weeks now. I have two friends who come over every Monday and work on the List with me. We’re getting busy around here; the Penny-a-Line Players and Art Matters Society organizing four benefit showings of The Vagina Monologues. See those pages for audition inormation and I am currently casting for my play Two Feet and a Heartbeat.
I am always looking for writers to send in some interesting stuff-best to email me with your article ideas or completed articles firstname.lastname@example.org
It is a hopeful year, time for a fresh start and for completing dreams. That is why I am focusing on my own plays this year. Writing has not been a relaxing passtime for me for many years. It is, work . . .work I love, but it is still work. Rampage; pathology of and epidemic should be finished by Fall and it is my goal to get all my plays on-stage or with publishers by Fall. You have got to make those writing commitments, along with all the other resolutions.
The holidays are approaching and I find myself hard at work on The List; a list of over 3,000 names of missing and murdered women and children in Canada. I wish that all I was doing was preparing for family gatherings and celebrating. This time of year, between productions and teaching workshops, is, however, one of the few ‘down’ times that I have and so I try to get as much on The List done as I can.
It is depressing work. Yesterday, I found 50 names I had never seen before. I keep finding more and it makes me aware everyday how far I have come on this journey, and how much farther I have to go. I am working on the book Rampage; the pathology of an epidemic that we hope to publish in the Fall of 2010. I have two wonderful volunteers who come in on Mondays now and edit and cross-reference the lists. I don’t know how long I can keep them. People usually burn out and have to move on.
I know that once the ‘book’ is complete I will feel satisfied that there is a bound copy of the names and a tribute to the frontline workers; a record of my journey. It is the only way I can honour the 10 years of work that Mary Billy put in and the 4 years of work that I have logged on The List. Why is it so important?
I have nightmares that if I die someone will throw all of the work away; all of Mary’s newspaper clippings, all of my Internet research and the List itself will vanish and we will have nothing to show for the solidarity of the researchers; the friends I have met over the last four years. Wayne Leng, Barb Mills, Chris McDowell, Pat Kelln, Martin Dufresne; they all work on The List and dozens of others whose blogs I have found and partial lists I have rescued. I can’t turn back. I need to know that all of the women and children have a place in history; warriors for us to remember.
It is my hope that we have a REAL national day of mourning for all of the murdered children and women; not just a handful of people remembering the Montreal Massacre or a few brave folks trying to Take Back the Night. Schools should be closed, everyone in Canada should recognize and feel sorrow for the dead. We should bow our heads in shame.
I have promised my husband that this year I will stop working on The List a few days before Christmas and leave it alone until after New Year’s Eve. I will try but there is so much work to be done. By the end of January I am in rehearsals, teaching classes and doing ‘outside’ work . . . so I will try to holiday and work; a nice healthy balance.
Problem is, there is nothing healthy about doing this work. I can’t sleep at night, I’m angry and sad. Maybe when the book is done, I can let go of some of the pain. I know that I will walk away for a week or so over the holidays . . . I know that I can. I have six grandkids, that’s how I keep the ‘work’ and reality in balance.
For now, it is back to work . . . take a break, back to work, and on it goes; trying to stay sane doing crazy-making business.
November is here with the rain and wind and the H1N1 panic . . .people are either adopting an ‘I don’t give a damn’ attitude or they are hibernating, afraid to go in public. I reluctantly had my shot, and no, I didn’t step in line before anyone else; I am the main caregiver of someone with a challenged immunce system. I have to admit though, since I got the shot I feel better; safe, protected and grateful I was able to get the shot . . .just in case the worst is coming.
It’s a terrible way to live; being frightened of the flu. A lot of us are becomming germ-a-phobes; teaching our children to scrub up like a doctor before surgery, and that’s just before dinner. When you go to the doctor’s office, all the toys and magazines have been removed and antiseptic cleanser is at the door, on the counter, and people are wearing masks. Not that it will stop you from getting the flu but it will stop you from spreading it. Until my 7 month old grandson’s flu shot kicks in I will wear a mask around him. Why take the chance?
I find that the panic is causing a lot of people to feel depressed, worried and I can only blame Health Canada for that. Why cry ‘wolf’ then not have enough bullets to kill the crazed beast? I adopted the attitude in the beginning that it was all hype and nonsense but now I am as worried as the folks who lie awake at night and fear the worst. My family is split; one half in quarantine, the other half laughing about having an H1N1 party so they can all get infected at once and get it over with. I don’t see either half as right or wrong. It is all insanity.
I can only hope for the best. I can only pray the fear is being spread for our protection and we will all, in the end, sleep better at night, knowing we’ve had our H1N1 shot and will survive another winter of germs.
See you in September . . .
That was fast; it is almost October. I want to encourage our readers to send in their stories, artwork, letters, concerns and joys. It seems odd not to have published a print issue of The Rag this Fall. Holding the tangible copy in my hands gave me huge satisfaction. However I did not miss the business side of publishing; selling advertising and attending events to promote the publication.
I love being able to update the rag-ezine when I feel like it, without all the long hours of editing and stress. To support these pages we do need to sell ads though; so if you want to share your product or service please let me know and we will help you connect with our readers.
Missing will be over soon enough and the work of creating a new children’s play begins, The Wonderful Miracle of the Sugar Plum Fairy, will be my fifth children’s play and will be presented December 19th.
I love the fall; my favourite time of year. Let us know, here at the rag how you are doing . . .we are just a post away.
It has been a difficult summer; transitions and healing. I’ve been wondering at karma’s bite on the ass all summer, trying to reflect on what I could have done differently and it made me feel isolated (for awhile). Then I woke up today and remembered that I don’t live in a vacuum. I have, in fact, tons of people who care about my life and the work I do. That made me stop and reflect some more on how I have been caught up in my own misery and forgot the ‘work that I do’.
I can’t wait for September or the winds of change to blow away the blues . . . hell, I’m on it. Back to work on The List (and it has been a bad summer), back to work on my writing and producing. Missing will be in rehearsals soon, Creative Art Play will be starting and I am currently working on some skits for a conference on Tuning Into Our Teens.
I would like some input from my readers on how they survived this summer. Good stories and bad-let’s share our stories. Send them to email@example.com
The Festival is over, the Rag has been put to bed and a new adventure has begun with this Rag-ezine. I’m working with the Abbotsford Community Summer School doing two productions of my play Summer in the City.
We are always interested in your submissions and I look forward to seeing new work come my way. We will continue to reprint archive articles from The Rag and of course we will publish new ones come fall; so keep checking these pages, they change often.
Have a good summer and ‘metaphors be with you’.
We’ve been publishing the Rag for six years and I would like to thank all of the advertisers, the writers, the readers and those who assisted in getting the Rag out.
It has been an interesting journey; satisfying, and relevant but I think our work is done. It is time to take the timeworn advice on the front cover; ‘do not let words get in the way of action’.
I’ve been dabbling in causes all my life; wearing them about my neck like the strands of an an albatross necklace; first this cause and then that one. In recent years all of my energy and focus has been working to end violence against women and girls . . . is that even possible?
The Rag has helped to raise awareness but the amount of work that goes into keeping it going is taking it’s toll on the other projects in my life; that and rising publishing costs, a lack of advertisers and distribution costs forced the decision that it is time to stop.
We introduce our on-line magazine; the Rag-ezine at www.ragmag.net. We will continue to accept poetry, articles and pictures from our readers. We are not going anywhere, just changing the format that we use to keep in touch with our readers.
I feel that with the pressure taken off of me to sell advertising space, I will have more time to focus on the ‘work’.The List has been updated and the database is complete, but it does require constant research. I am working on a book that we will publish in the spring of 2010. The book, Rampage;the pathology of an epidemic,will be available to order from our website before the end of next year.
Rampage is about the journey of working on The List; not just mine, but other people who have contributed; it is about the irony, the rage and the love that has filled my life for the last four years of doing this particular work to help end violence against women and girls.
In the book, I have listed all of the names, told some of the stories and talked about the frustrations of doing this work. But the most important aspect of this work is that a complete list of over 3,000 names will be archived and a suitable tribute will have been recorded. I believe that this has to be done; this is part of our history and it is hidden away in police files and court records.
I want to put more energy into community work; not just the Memory March and producing plays about ending violence, but I want to spend more time working with children; offering artistic and creative support.
Most days, I find myself in a classroom doing improv with kids, women’s writing workshops and working as a mentor and instructor. This work is as important as the Rag, if not more so. I am sad I will not longer be ‘getting the rag’ out but the free time will be filled with more love, laughter and community work. And no doubt my six grandchildren. My newest grandson born April 15th and is keeping me busy. I gotta tell ya, grandma is not ready to retire but I am sure ready to move on.