Posted on 10 June 2007

Strange day – overcast and cool – and again I don’t want to take the time to write here but will to remind friends and family to write their blogs. I love catching up on their thoughts and doings this way. But there isn’t, I whine, enough hours in the day to do what I want to do – and I’ve been so busy this week with family. For the first time in a long time, I’ve been immersed in the lives of my sisters.

The one who was locked out of her house continues to be disillusioned by her husband. When he finally agreed to give her her mail, every envelope had been opened.

A second sister flew in from Toronto to help me organize our parents’ anniversary party. She’s the politician, great at brain-storming and writing speeches and it was wonderful to have her input. We now have some grand plans for our Irish celebration in a Greek restaurant.

In our last hour together – why does this always happen at the end? – we disagreed about an event and she, over-worked, began to cry. And her tears drove me to tears and so I agreed to handle the event her way because I didn’t want to upset her over such a small matter – at least, to me. And then she gave into me. But the tears reminded me of family dynamics and how we are our most vulnerable within our nuclear family. I read somewhere that if we can be ourselves within our original family group than we have achieved some degree of separation and are more our own person.

A third sister had a special evening to celebrate the opening of her new business venture. As I was the designated driver, I did not enjoy the excellent champagne but did enjoy the festivities and learning about the sophisticated equipment for the clinic – all to do with dermatology. And then I met a writer who has just completed her first novel and has received her first rejection. I told her I was working on my first and she asked how long I had been working on it.

“Oh, around seventeen years,” I answered, feeling foolish and dim witted.

Her mouth dropped open. She thought the two years she had taken to write hers excessive.

The next evening, one sister and a sister-in-law of one of my sisters (gets complicated) went to a reading, put on by Simon Fraser, where we met Vaughan and Shirley. There were four students reading their work and one published author – Sasha Su-Ling Welland reading from her non-fiction “A Thousand Miles of Dreams: The Journeys of Two Chinese Sisters” about her grandmother and grandmother’s sister who were feminists way back in the nineteen twenties. One settled in San Francisco, the other in London. Sasha punctuated her reading with many asides and I especially loved it when she said that it had taken her seventeen years to write the book.

Today, early, I returned to my novel as finally I have a day – it’s 2:35 p.m. and I have yet to dress – to immerse myself. The section that I am working on has to do with stream of consciousness writing which led me to sites on the internet about Andre Breton and his realization “that only the unconscious offers the marvellous.” I want the marvellous in my book and so I sit with my journal and Mont Blanc and let the writing flow, hoping that my unconscious will provide some devilish text. I think it was Iris Murdoch who said that good saintly characters are boring. We need vicious vile villianous ones to make things interesting.

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