Life in progress


Qwerty makes Quasimodo (and other long words) Quicker

First, thank you to Ritu for helping me find the title of this post. I don’t think I could have done it without you.

That said, what want to talk about has nothing to do with the title. Which is nothing new, so let’s carry on, shall we?

The day Notre Dame burned, Alex came home from school and asked me why I was sad. Having no way, with my limited vocabulary in sign language, to tell him what had happened, my first thought was of Disney’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame.” So I showed him a picture of the movie, and of Quasimodo at the top of the spire. When he saw it fall in the videos online, he understood.

I’ve been in so many grand cathedrals over the years–Canterbury, St. Pauls and Westminster Abbey in London, Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal, and yes, Notre Dame in Paris, among others–that it’s difficult to remember many specific details of any of them. But the sense of awe when stepping into such a church, of being surrounded by its history, leaves an indelible mark on the soul. When I saw Notre Dame burning, I went quickly from shock to denial and then to grief.

Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

When all is said and done, Notre Dame is an object. No lives were lost–not even the bees on the roof–which is a miracle all by itself. Still, one can’t help but think we’ve lost so much more than a material thing. Places like that are alive with the spirits of everyone who has walked through their doors.

On a lighter note …

My middle son, Christopher, who is autistic, didn’t start talking until he was four years old. In order to help him out, we bought him computer games to play. There was one, featuring Elmo, that had a mini-game in it to aid kids in learning the alphabet. And it worked! Chris began mimicking Elmo’s voice. For a long while he refused to put sentences together himself–everything he spoke was a line out of a game or a movie. But I distinctly remember one of the first questions he answered independently was, “What is the alphabet?”

Chris quickly answered, “Q W E R T Y U I O P A …” all the way to M. Because he learned the alphabet at the keyboard.

Fascinating how the autistic mind works.

Thanks to the three lovely ladies who gave me my three “Q” words for today’s not-A-Z post. You’ll find their links under the words “Quasimodo,” “quick,” and “QWERTY.”

I don’t need any suggestions for “R” words for tomorrow’s post, because I’ll use SoCS to fulfill my non-duty of writing a non-A-Z post. Watch out for my request for “S” suggestions tomorrow!


SoCS – Opposing Feelings

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s much easier to lean towards negative emotions when I’m sick than positive ones. Frustration, fed-upness, anger, even depression make themselves known more readily than calm and contentedness. And yet it’s in my nature to be positive. So I’m even more at odds with myself. Balance is lost – tipped in the wrong direction for me – and so everything is “off.”

My eyes seem to be better today. I won’t spend as much time as I usually do online; I’m afraid my eyesight troubles will come back. But I’m finally getting Alex’s cold now. The sore throat… no, not even. Just tickly. I’m trying not to start coughing lest I not be able to stop.

One thing I am happy about – I got tickets to see Rush in concert in Montreal in June. That’ll be fun. Something to look forward to – and I shouldn’t still be sick by then. Maybe even my shoulder will be better.

See what I mean?

I do suppose it makes sense, to concentrate on the negative when you’re sick. If it doesn’t hurt, you don’t think about it. Until I mention it, for instance, you’re probably not thinking about your teeth. So why should it be any different with emotions? In order to realize I’m content, I must think about the fact. If I’m angry, I know it. If I’m ecstatic, I’m probably concentrating more on what is making me so than the actual feeling. It’s all about mindfulness.

How do you feel? And how often do you feel what you feel?

Badge by: Doobster at Mindful Digressions

Badge by: Doobster at Mindful Digressions

This post is part of SoCS:

Love Is In Da Blog

And Love Is In Da Blog:

Join in both today!


A Huge Resource for Writers!

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before! Here I’ve had this amazing, fantastic way of studying the human condition for years without realizing it.

I’m always going on about body language and facial expressions, and the importance of them in writing not only to fill out a story with what is believable, but in finding characters in the first place. It’s by observing people that we get our ideas, and if we can read people’s body language, we can often see what they’re thinking. Scenarios abound!

There’s a good reason that this is one of my Deaf son, Alex’s favourite shows on TV. People in it are genuine and there is no speaking. The language is universal. What is it?

Just for Laughs Gags.

Here you can find any range of spontaneous emotion: surprise, outrage, confusion, bewilderment, joy, disappointment, fear… the list is almost endless, and every single bit of it is spontaneous.

For example, a young guy in a car pulls up to a stop sign and a pretty girl crossing the street waves to him. She proceeds to write her phone number on his windshield with a lipstick and does the international sign for “Call me!” While he’s still sitting there, a guy comes up to the car and squeegees the number off. The guy in the car has gone from happy and flirtatious to panicked in a matter of seconds.

Or in this, a young boy lays down a “hole” on the sidewalk and a man falls into it. The looks on the observers’ faces are priceless.

You can find hundreds of them online at Just for Laughs Gags own Youtube channel. They are each under two minutes long and not only can you watch them with the sound off, I recommend it.

This is truly a wonderful resource for anyone studying body language and many of them are hilarious; even if you’re not looking to observe human behaviour, watch them just for laughs!

I encourage everyone to go to Youtube and watch a few. Share the titles of your favourites in the comments. I’d love to see what you think!


How Random

I live in a town where dog poop is front page news. It was thrown over a fence. In tiny baggies, no less.

I shit you not.

In other news, I’m still working on the article which will reveal the person behind “Boy Series…” I want it to be perfect. In fact I don’t think I’ve worked on any short piece of work this hard, ever. I hope someone actually reads it. 😛

It’s still as cold as a polar bear’s poo … thrown over a fence … Never mind.

My mind is too muddled by all the things going on in real life.


What random thing happened in your life today?


Dangerous politeness

Being polite in this town I call home runs rampant. So much in fact that it normally takes twice as long to get through a four-way stop because everyone is insisting everyone else go first, regardless of who gets there first. Today takes the cake though.

I was sitting in a long line of cars at a red light waiting for it to go green. Finally we get to go (it was a long light); I was behind a Cavalier. We were almost at the light when the Cavalier almost rear-ended the pickup truck in front of him. Why did the pickup stop at the green light we’d been waiting so long for, almost causing an accident? To let a pedestrian cross in front of him on the red.


As the population in this town ages – I believe it will be half empty in the next fifteen years – it seems that many of the drivers lack more and more the concept that the rules of the road are more important than being nice. And it’s scary! I’m trying to teach my son to drive around town, but it’s unrealistic. The first time he leaves town and goes to a big city he’ll be run into and over top of. There is no such thing as aggressive driving here. I actually had a ball when I went to Montreal last month, getting to experience that again after so long. At least when everyone is only looking out for themselves you know what to expect.

This little town with all its nice people is, I think, the most dangerous place I’ve ever gone out in public. Unless I’m walking of course.


Ah, a weekend to edit

As a writer I need time to myself. I need the opportunity to be able to think and imagine without distraction. I have to say it’s even more difficult now that I’m working on the second draft of my novel; the writing, when I was fully into it, could sometimes be done even amidst the chaos that is my children.

Every other weekend, typically, I have this time alone when the children are with their father. What I think annoys me the most is that it takes me a day to simply wind down from the twelve previous days I’ve had to take care of them. They leave on Friday night, but it’s usually not until sometime late Saturday afternoon that I am in a state of mind where I can sit and concentrate.

So why am I not working on it now? I’m coming up to a major edit and this post has been bothering me, niggling in my brain to be written.  This is me, getting it over and done with. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

I also wanted to say that, writing a novel makes me feel a bit like this guy:

The Eye, by David Altmejd

The Eye, by David Altmejd

Disturbing, isn’t he? I found him at the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal two weekends ago. The hands are my characters, wrapping themselves around my brain and wanting to get out; the hole is the feeling I have as I pour forth my entire being into my writing, onto the pages.

I hope my writing talent is worthy of such sentiment. If it is, I’m sure to be successful.


Back from vacation


Me, before my vacation

I just returned home tonight from a lovely four day stay with my dear dear friend Dori, in Montreal. I had so much fun!

How much fun did I have, you ask?

I had so much fun, I didn’t even miss the internet!

HA! Take that, internet!

Now I need sleep. Nighty-night.