Monday, June 26, 2017

Writing my life — Chatham, Black River, Montreal, Halifax

“Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.” — Gloria Steinem

There are people in my life who feel this way and I admit, it resonates with me too. In fact, I started Each New Day to encourage myself to write, if not every day, at least regularly. I noted that I was spending a lot of time commenting on other people's Facebook posts and thus, in effect, losing my observations some of which, I said in that first post, "were researched, others that were well-thought-out and carefully written."

So I wanted to keep track of what I was thinking but also, I wanted to write almost every day. We were still living in our house on Duncan St. and although I sometimes suggested that I was in a rut, I was really just keeping to a carefully maintained routine. I'm a night owl and I always wrote my blog posts late at night. It seemed natural then. I wrote about the issues of the day or something wonderful I'd cooked that day or a short reminiscence about a recent trip we'd taken.

We moved in October, partly because I wanted a change in routine — which I happily got. I'm still a night owl but for some reason, writing blog posts at midnight doesn't come naturally to me that way it did last year. Who knows why? Don't mind me; I'm just thinking out loud.

Something else happened. I discovered I liked writing about my past life, memoir-style writing. It turns out that my readers like those pieces too. My most-read piece — by far — is a little story about a lake in the woods near Chatham, NB, where I grew up. Close behind are stories about things I lost when our house in Black River Bridge burned; a sweet story about the legendary ball-player, Billy Daley; and a three-part love story about the boy who disappeared.

My problem is, I have a lot of stories partly written but I'm out of the habit of getting my writing done and published every day. I'm confessing this because I want to change my behaviour and it's a well-known fact that if your confession is public, you pretty much have to follow through.

Meanwhile, one of the small but interesting projects we began in our new place is that we take a photo at the same time and place every day, just to watch the world change around us. Because I often tried to be at the window at noon anyway, to see the puff of smoke when they fire the Noon Gun (and hear the boom, which takes a second or so to get here), we decided to take our photo at noon. We started the photo series on March 20, the Spring Equinox. We haven't missed a day yet.

The photos I'm showing you here are one month apart, the last one being June 21, the Summer Equinox. When we started, we took the photos from inside, through the window. The weather is now beautiful and we take it from outside on the balcony.

We would definitely be aware how our scenery changes even without the photos. It's rather nice to watch it happen consciously and intentionally though. I'll be sure to show you more photos, as time goes by. You wouldn't want to miss the ones when we're so socked in by fog you can't even see the hotel.

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