Ch Ch Ch Changes

6 Aug

One of the things I find frustrating about FB is the way they keep changing their policies. The newest change involves the ability to automatically post blogs etc. onto your regular FB account. From now on the only way to post automatically is onto a page.
This may actually turn out to be a good thing for me since it will force me to focus on my creative goals, by, either merging my page and profile, or posting from my page onto my profile.
This doesn’t mean I will stop posting possums, or tiny pug noirs, they will just be riding shotgun on my creative journey.

Advertisements

Follow The Yellow Brick Road

8 Jul

How many lives have you lived in your lifetime so far? How many versions of you have there been?
As you sip your morning coffee are you planning an escape from what you have settled into? Have you started buying your “new you” wardrobe, or does the one you already have, serve all the incarnations of you?

I always need new clothes and hair. Sometimes my new path demands a return to a version of what I have worn but my hair is always different. In fact it’s my tell. Whenever you see that my hair has gone from blonde to dark or long to buzzed down so far, that I look like the original Ken doll, you will know that I’m off to find my head.

That’s what we used to call it back in the late 60’s. Only then, we bought an old Bell van and just took off, usually to Vancouver or California. I used to joke that I was off to find my my head, which was last seen going over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Right now I am doing two things that are setting my feet on the yellow brick road. 1. I am working on removing the contradiction between who I am and what I want my life to be. It’s so easy to get twisted up in the things you have no control over that you stop living and start suffering.

Which leads me to 2. I’m reading “Feel Free” by Zadie Smith. Feel Free is a series of essays, articles etc. that deal with everything from Brexit to Dance Lessons For Writers.
I will admit when I first started reading this book, it produced a sense of panic in me, because it appeared to be in direct conflict with all the zen I was trying to find, so that I could access that sweet creative spot , that gives me such bliss. But I forced myself to persevere because I kept remembering the excerpt I had read from it, that made me want to read the whole book.

And I went from pounding heart panic to a serene understanding. Reading the first section of the book showed me, that what is happening here in North America is happening everywhere. It also helped me to understand why, what the solution is and how to let go of all my angst.

If you are waiting for me to elucidate, stop. I have learned that many times the ahhhh moments we receive, only work because of who we are as individuals. But I do encourage everyone to read this book because she is a keen observer and wonderfully articulate in breaking down tough philosophical and socio-political points.

I recently got rid of my cell phone and am loving the freedom. This of course has caused me to examine my other connections to technology and social media. Zadie Smith covers FB in an essay called Generation Why.

I have always had a love/hate relationship with FB. On one hand I have met some incredible people, who are now my friends in real life. I have reconnected with people I have loved forever and follow pages like “Brain Pickings” that introduce me to books like Feel Free. It can be a wonderful place to receive support when you’re blue or terrible things happen, or great things happen, or it’s your birthday, or you’re in love…

But it’s also a mob, a place where despair, fear and anger is magnified. And people feel comfortable expressing themselves with such narcissistic indulgence that if they did so with the person in the room with them, they would be punched in the face. It’s the place where you find out that someone you respected is in truth a racist. or a misogynist. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of closet misogynists there are on FB that all come rushing out whenever you, as a woman, dare to have a difference of opinion, or take a serious view on something they take as levity. I am talking about personal attacks versus discussion or opportunities to teach.

Which leaves me standing with Ms. Smith (I really want to call her Zadie, because I wish we were friends and could discuss the world over coffee or cocktails) wondering if social media elevates my life at all or hinders me from really living it.

While I am deciding I will be posting less and living more. Having conversations face to face instead of interface. My audiences will be in the same room as me unless I start a podcast or have a youtube channel. I will be putting all my energy into making my dreams come true instead of helping Mark Zuckerberg fulfill his.

Yesterday for the first time in years, I was watching a movie and I started imagining a world for a speculative fiction piece, and it was fun. I felt like I used to when I was a child. I felt like I want to feel all the time.

Why I Write & Other Shit

13 Jun

I say I have been writing for over 30 years, but really it has been much longer than that. I have been writing since I could speak in consecutive sentences. I wrote my first novel when I was 5. Well, I would have if my Kindergarten teacher hadn’t taken away 2/3rds of my construction paper. How was I to know that when she told us to go and pick supplies from the art cupboard to make a book, she meant a pamphlet. I guess the confusion lay in the fact, that I was already reading books on my own by then, and they weren’t picture books. So in my mind, I was getting enough paper to write something along the lines of “The Wizard of Oz” but with more cats, and horses made out of the night sky and emeralds.

I wrote all the way through my childhood. I wrote plays for hand puppets. I attempted a Nancy Drew type novel but with real ghosts, not people pretending to be ghosts, so that they could find the hidden treasure in the old house undisturbed, and my heroine was never a blonde.

I penned a series of fairytales and science fiction stories. Basically, I wrote everything I wished I could be reading. It wasn’t because I didn’t love the books I did read. It was just that I wanted more magic, or less logical explanation for the magic. I wanted my science fiction to be all aliens with no humans. I wanted my little girl characters to be as interesting as adult characters, just shorter. This is still something that defines my work.

Until I hit adolescence, and then I wrote to try and understand the people in my world and myself because at the age of eleven, just like Alice, I fell down the rabbit hole, only I didn’t end up in Wonderland, or maybe I did. Regardless of the shit, there has always been an abundance of magick.

I do not write because I love words. I write because I am obsessed with communication and I am fascinated by people. This holds true for what I read as well. I will never be a grammar fascist because I will do backflips in order to understand what someone is trying to say to me. I have no problem translating missing commas. I will even resort to drawing pictures and playing charades if need be.

Writing helps me process intense emotional experiences, my reactions to people, their behaviour, personalities, society, politics, ad infinitum and in many cases to resolve them.

If I can turn pain, rage, humiliation, into something so genuinely funny that it becomes relatable and not merely self indulgent then I have reached my creative goal.

I don’t believe there are no original ideas. There may be universal themes but there are always new directions to take them. There are always new things to be learned from an old stereotype.

A couple of months ago, I decided I was going to be a full-time writer/performer. I have not given myself a deadline. I have given myself a commitment. I am working out a structure, teaching myself about the business side of art, changing my outlook on money, creativity and  leaving the door open for magickal possibilities. Am I scared? Sure. But that’s why I became Danger Girl, when she is afraid she merely applies lipstick and laughs. I have 12 tubes of MAC lipstick in various shades including one called Lady Danger.

XO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 May

I will be restarting this blog as of June 1st.

62 Going On 63

13 Apr

Tomorrow I will be turning 63, or as I like to say 9. I decided about a month ago that I was going to stop identifying myself with a number. It has nothing to do with being afraid of death, or being age phobic, I think of it more as being Age Neutral or Generation  Fluid.

I don’t know if everyone hits this. I know some people who stopped living with a capitol L a decade ago. Now they are just passing time until they kick off. I can’t imagine feeling like there is nothing more to experience or that all the best is over. And yes, in some ways this surprises the shit out of me because I am not a sunbeam. I am a complete failure at the Law of Attraction because I can’t live my life with rose coloured blinkers. I can’t ignore injustice or cruelty. I have to fix things and not just paint them buttercup yellow. And honestly I don’t think you have to pretend the crackheads you are tripping over are daisies in order to attract positive energy.

But despite all of this, I wake up every morning happy and looking forward to the day.

Has anything changed since my last birthday eve post?

My hair is dark again.

Now considering that dark is pretty much my natural colour with the exception of some silver at the temples, it took me forever to get used to it. It was the weirdest thing. I got incredible compliments from friends, clientele, strangers… and I do mean incredible and yet I found it such a shock looking at myself in the mirror. This lasted for about a month and yet at no time did I have any regrets. Somehow I just knew that there was something I couldn’t quite see yet, but I needed to trust that I was going to.

Going dark was like taking off the cloak of invisibility.

Last July I performed one of my favourite shows, Faery Tale Confidential, in my friend Serafin’s bay-windowed living room. I was terrified for a couple of reasons. The first was that I had almost convinced myself that I was incapable of memorizing and the second was that the audience was only 5 feet away from me at any given time and they were all pretty discerning. And I especially didn’t want to suck because a lot of these peeps had never seen me perform and had always believed in me regardless so… no pressure. Hard as it was, I exchanged my fears for trust in my ability to make this show magick.

Can you see the theme here? Yep. I needed to learn to trust myself. And let me tell you, now that I do, it makes being Danger Girl a whole lot easier.

That evening was a life changer for me. I am still learning things from it. In fact Friday and Saturday I learned from two separate people how much they value that experience.

So my next lesson is placing value on my work and not letting it mummify inside me.

This last year has been full of art, performance, music, fulfilling friendships and being comfortable in my own skin. I am feeding my head, living almost entirely in the present and slowly but surely erasing my comfort zone. I have discovered Maggie Nelson, Joan Didion, Underpass Park, I got to see Yayoi Kusama, fell in love with Nish Dish and thanks to my friend Shaun, dancing.

XO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lizzie Violet Loves Zombies

16 May

She also loves the 1920’s. This makes perfect sense, since she has the same wild, exuberance, sass and hair colour as the “It Girl”, Clara Bow.

Other things she is passionate about are silent films, Morticia Addams, knitting (she has her own Etsy store. http://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/KillerKitschDesigns featuring gorgeous vintage knitting patterns from the 1920’s -50’s) Toronto’s independent music scene, horror and spoken word.

In fact Lizzie won Now magazine’s 2015 Readers Poll “Best Spoken Word Artist.” Which doesn’t surprise me because she has performed at Nuit Blanche, Plastacine Poetry, Wordspell and the Secret Handshake, to name a few.

She has been published in some of Canada’s finest literary magazines like Carousel, Nest and NorthWord.

If you want to see her read live, she has a wonderful gig with another redhead Heather Babcock called “The Redhead Revue.” Their next date is 8:00, June 10th at the Imperil Pub, 54 Dundas Street E.

This year was a landmark for Lizzie because she became a full-time writer. She is working on a novel called Freaks and Grimm. It’s a ghost story and I am dying to read it.  She is collaborating on a short horror film with October Young, a project so secret, I can’t even give you the title.

The thing I love most about Lizzie, besides her incredible talent, is her generosity as an artist. I don’t know anyone, who is as supportive of their artist friends as she is. Lizzie constantly promotes her peeps on Twitter, Facebook, her blog and word of mouth. She does this tirelessly and sincerely.

Her writing is brave, dark, sometimes funny, often chilling and always memorable. Check out and like her FB Page “Lizzie Violet- Writer” and share her creative adventures. You won’t regret it, this is her year and she’s going to fly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside Looking Out

7 May

If you know me, you know that I spend a lot of time in my head. I have done this most of my life. I have very clear memories of analyzing situations exactly the same way I do now, when I was just starting school. And I often wonder if I was the only child in the playground experiencing existential angst.

To be honest, I don’t think I ever identified as a child. This used to get me into all sorts of trouble because it never dawned on me that I needed to ask permission. I lived my young life based on the premise, that since I was able to make a decision, I was able to follow it through. So when I heard an intriguing conversation on the other side of the wall, I climbed the wall and joined in. If I didn’t want to be at school anymore because the teacher hurt my feelings, I walked home. I would play with strange children, go to their houses even if they did not live in my neighbourhood, (one time it was Chinatown) and spend the day with them. Nobody had any idea where I was and it never dawned on me that I needed to tell them.

I used to wonder why I was like this, but now I realize, that I was never considered a child, by those who raised me. I don’t think this was intentional. And I don’t think they ever considered the consequences, because they couldn’t.

I believe that our ability to navigate life successfully comes from the nurturing, or lack of it, we receive growing up. I grew up with extremes. I can’t say I was neglected, or unloved because I wasn’t, not all the time. I was both loved and hated. I was neglected and smothered. I was lauded and torn to shreds. I was supported and opposed. This is what happens when your mother has Borderline Personality Disorder. It wasn’t her fault. She was simply incapable of being a mother to anybody.

But it did leave me scarred, and as they say “whatever doesn’t kill you, leaves you scarred.”

Therapy helped a lot. I would be completely unaware of grey without it. When you are raised in a world of black and white there is no midrange, you have to learn that for yourself. I can’t tell you how peaceful greys are. I’m not a fan of extremes. I try to avoid them, occasionally get drawn into them, have no problem walking away from people who have no midrange.

Sometimes I wonder if I will ever reach a point where I am not having to unlearn a pattern that fucks up my life. Will I ever be able to have a healthy, relationship with anyone, who is not a cat? Will I ever have ambition? Will I ever have continuity in my writing? Will I ever be comfortable living in a world that keeps getting smaller and smaller? Will I ever stop sabotaging my dreams? Will I ever stop doubting myself? Will I ever just write? Is being exhausted after working 8 hours an excuse or a death knell to creativity?  I am going to throw on some Monk and see.