Picnics Beside Ramsey

                         migration partners

                     how quickly they grow

                               the goslings

How Not to run a Website

I am not the most consistent poster in the world, I am even willing to say I have not posted nearly often enough here on the land that tech built. I always promise myself I will do better, but you know how it goes. A day-a week-a month slips past and you remember, Oh yeah, I was going to…

Tonight I added a page to my headings, it’s three lines at a time. I talk about my haiku writing and bring you up to date on a few things. Like the little chapbook by the same name, three lines at a time. When I say little, I mean just that. Physically the book is 4 x 5. It has 44 poems, some published-some new. Yes, I’m flogging it. No writer should be a shrinking violet when it comes to selling their wares and I am offering this book for $12. — how cool is that? Please read the longer doc under the heading–three lines at a time for contact information and so on.

Be well, be happy. If you’re bored with life, check out my podcast: The P.L. Pod available on the Greater Sudbury Library Website, Anchor and Spotify.

The P.L. Pod. with Vera Constantineau, is now available on Spotifyhttps://open.spotify.com/show/6RlEsUjZBkH79261w9kFfp

When The Gap Grows Too Wide

Hello! Let me apologize for the nearly year-long break I’ve taken from this website.

Anything I say will seem like an excuse, nevertheless, I am going to fill in a bit of that blank by saying I was busy, I kid you not. I wrote blog posts for a friend’s website, wrote essays, wrote poetry and wrote short stories. I hosted a lovely launch for a book that I am extremely proud to be a part of. Titled Against Death—35 Essays on Living, this book was edited by Elee Kraljii Gardiner and published in 2019 by Anvil Press of Vancouver. Against Death went on to be nominated for several awards. What a great feeling to have a small toehold in a success story such as this book.

I took a university course for the first time in my life and learned much. The course, How to Edit and Rewrite Your Novel, was offered online through UBC and led by Annabelle Lyons and Nancy Lee. Have I put my new-found knowledge to use? No, and do you know why? I was busy.

One of the personal essays I wrote years ago that was published in Women’s World Weekly came back around at the end of 2019 when it was republished in a special limited holiday production called Angels Among Us.  

I spent some time learning how to write a new form of Japanese writing called haibun. In essence, haibun is a prose piece of writing with enhanced thought added in the form of a haiku. My first published haibun was in The Haibun Journal of Ireland. Have I done others? Well, yes, I’ve written more of them because they combine two things I love, short prose and haiku. Have I pushed to publish more? No, did I mention I’ve been busy?

In March of this year I was chosen to fill the shoes of previous poet laureates, Roger Nash, Daniel Aubin, Thomas Leduc, Kim Fahner and Chloe La Duchesse. As Greater Sudbury’s Sixth Poet Laureate, I made a game plan and was thinking ahead when Covid19 stopped the forward movement. I know what you’re thinking, I wasn’t so busy then, was I? You’d be right. But then there was all that isolation to contend with.

So, I got busy writing Covid19 poetry, isolation poetry, and questionable future poetry. Where will all of this end? With a vaccine, of course. We just need to social distance, wear our masks, use our noodles and good things will come, as they do, to those who wait.

My circle of ten, includes members of the Copper Cliff group of writers who used to meet at the library. The other day we had a socially distant gathering in my side yard. It was great.

Now that my website is secure, my motivation has been found, my garden is planted and growing, I will be more likely to keep up to date. Unless I get busy, because we’ve seen what happens then, the gap between posts widens and widens.

Enjoy the sun and enjoy the photo spread!      Vera

Sitting Like Peking Duck

Out in the Open

I’m sitting with a friend at an outdoor event and this guy comes over, butts in to our conversation.

We don’t know him, but he starts telling us his life story. Like how he was retired and got bored. Got himself a job delivering Chinese food. Sometimes an eight-hour shift, sometimes a four-hour shift. Says the four-hour supper shifts are the worst. Says after four hours of Chinese food deliveries all he wants to do is go home and relax.

You know I had to ask.

“When you get home after that four-hour shift delivering Chinese, do you ever, like an hour later, ever want to go for a ride in your car?”

He says, “Nah. I’m good.”

…And Here’s Why

Yesterday I was cruising the parking lot at a retail outlet looking for a spot to (obviously) park. I passed a car in the handicap section a couple of times and I noticed that the driver was sitting in it.

Never mind that, if you are going to sit outside the store you don’t need to take up a spot, you can park elsewhere leaving that dedicated space for someone who really needs it, but that could just be me.

Actually, this person had put their seat back a smidgen and was fast asleep. At least, for the first two passed I assumed asleep. On the third pass I began to worry. The number of times I’d seen this person, it was with a mouth wide open and zero movement on their part. I was considering my 911 option when I lucked out. A car pulled into the space in front and to the right of the open mouthed recliner.

He moved! So, not dead.

In my opinion, you should think twice before grabbing your forty winks in the handicapped parking section and here’s why. People (that would be me) will at some point think you are dead. That’s some scary stuff. I think you should do your napping at home.

IF I’D KNOWN THEN

I just spent an hour in the kitchen buffing the tarnish off the silver tea set. We bought it (with the best of intentions and love) for my sister-in-law and brother-in-law on their 25th wedding anniversary. If I’d known it was going to be returned to us after their deaths, I might have gone for the china set instead.

Similarly, writing. I might have decided on another path if I’d known what a lot of work and metal angst writing was going to give me. I have come to terms with the rejection, you have to have a tough skin in this business. I’ve also conquered my demons when it comes to confidence. I know how much I like my writing, but there’s a whole other world of people out there who may have a different opinion on every single word I write. I’m okay with that too. After all, mostly I write to entertain myself, why not? When I pull off a short fiction or a poem that works, I feel great. That’s why I write. Word inspired dopamine. If you write, it’s highly likely you know what I mean. There are just those times when things are clicking along and you know you’ve hit the right tone.

I’d like to say that I’m inspired by the arrival of Spring, but I can be inspired any old day of the year. I hope it’s the same for others.

Happy writing.