Ignoring Messy House

Posted on 18 January 2004

I was working in the store a few days ago and Ann Hamilton, a journalist (best known for her sports’ reporting) came in and we talked of this and that and then she began to quiz me on Rob and said she’d like to write a story about him.

“Is there any chance he’ll get an Academy Award nomination this year?”

“I doubt it,” I replied. “And if he does, it’s my story.”

She requested that I email his resume and I did.

I forgot about this conversation until this morning and then, from where I don’t know, came the idea for a story about Rob. I went onto the internet and punched in his name and found several articles about this man that I’d never seen. I began to write a lead to an article about the year Rob was nominated for an academy award. (The timing is perfect and as I wrote an article at the time that was published in two small newspapers, the bulk of the story is already written.)

Is it fair, I wonder, to steal someone else’s idea for a story? (If it works, I will contact her and confess.)

Yesterday, Marlene and I had a meeting with Ramona, director of UBC’s Writing Centre to discuss this year’s French writing workshop. (Ramona is lovely – she looks too young for her accomplishments – creating the writing centre and implementing many of its courses – plus teaching a number.) She also looks weary. She has just moved into a new apartment, is trying to furnish it, and has already spent four hours at her university job before we arrive just after noon.

Marlene has brought a French feast – cold meats, cheeses, bread, salad, and grapes – which Ramona adds to – and so we sit and munch and discuss the possibility of doing two workshops this summer. Ramona is optimistic that enough participants will register to cover expenses as she has already had four inquiries from a mention of the course in a brochure. Marlene would like to do a repeat of last year’s autobiography or rather “life-writing” course and then create a new one (I don’t know if the content is secret or not so I’ll not tell yet) and I, the newcomer to this sort of business, sit and listen and am quietly optimistic and already planning the logistics of finding accommodation. We will decide the dates by mid-week.

After a quick trip to Granville Street, I dropped Marlene at her home, and returned to mine (hoping for a bubble bath and a dinner of popcorn and wine) to find Helen waiting for me. We went to the store and she read from her notes. Walter had hired a Feng Shui designer (also a fashion merchandiser) to try to improve business and unfortunately her appointment was at the same time as my writing meeting. Helen went as my representative. She was impressed. The woman is 6′4″ – impressive in itself – and suggested simple ways – like moving a plant, painting a wall red, changing our sales corner – to increase business. She also messed a little with my window and wall displays – not much – enhancing outfits by adding purses and jewellery. For the most part, I liked what she did – very Leslie in many ways – and her ideas will help at the Seattle market that Walter, Helen, and I will attend at the end of the month. (The clothes we ordered for spring are just starting to arrive. One skirt we all loved and that I put in the window Monday have all sold, save one – a great reasurer that we are buying well.)

When Helen dropped me off, I settled into the couch to watch “Love Actually” but I had hardly begun when Rob, Gill, Shirin, and her dad arrived – they were supposed to go to a light show but were too late so returned to watch a movie – and so I gave up my place and the four watched “Lost in Translation.” I watched a little but was so tired, I snuck away and went to bed. (Besides this was to be a fathers/daughters night.)

Today, I have Dialogue. And will return to my writing. (I’ve decided to ignore messy houses.)

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