Summer and Writing

Summer came this week: sunshine, temperatures in the low 20’sC, and neighbours emerging from winter hibernation. The daffodils are blooming.

It’s the month for me to canvass for Five Counties Children’s Centre, the facility for our area which helps children of varying abilities with physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and learning problems of all kinds. I started yesterday.

The official launch date for The Child on the Terrace-July- is fast approaching and I am doing a final read-through for typos, run-on sentences and so forth. A book trailer is next on my list.

I’ve been reading Syd Field’s Screenplay: The Fundamentals of Screenwriting, a book that is often recommended for its chapters from character to story-line. All useful for the novelist as well as the screenwriter. Thinking about Sequence, the linked actions that together form a section of the novel, with simple names like The Chase, or The Escape, helped me with developing a cohesive plot. This is my second time through the book, only one of many to come, I’m sure.

At some point, a novelist has to consider writing a synopsis which is a marketing tool. Jane Friedman wrote an interesting blog on the subject with a number of useful links added. Check out her number 1 pick,  How To Write a Book Now for a step-by-step guide to the synopsis. As well, Scrivener’s outline function can be very handy when it comes time to write it.

The Write Life is another site with unexpected resources, like this week’s 21 Places to find Blogging Jobs.

That’s about it for this Sunday in May.


Ottawa cancels funding for Toronto theatre festival

Ottawa cancels funding for Toronto theatre festival that presented terrorist play – The Globe and Mail.

Cost cutting is one thing; denying funding because a bureaucrat or politician is making decisions based on what some one said about a piece of art without actually seeing it is quite another. The first is just the way it goes; the second is a governmental attempt to control the arts, and indeed freedom of speech. Does the Harper government think that it was elected to make artistic judgements for all of us?

Saudi women: Some brave women of Saudi Arabia continue to make incursions against the status quo, the latest one aided by her husband, an imam, who taught her how to drive. It still astounds me that countries need to have religious police. Not that the same thing didn’t happen in the history of western nations, but it was several hundred years ago. This is the 21st century, and a woman in Saudi Arabia can’t leave the house without the permission of some one with male genitalia, her guardian, lest the dreaded religious police intervene and cart her off to jail.

A lovely weekend here, warm and sunny with a breeze to keep the bugs away, and a country to live in without fear. Happy Canada Day.

And now the funding cuts.

Women’s groups decry Tory funding cuts – The Globe and Mail.

Eleven women’s groups have had their funding cut in the last two weeks , plus three more who are  silent  for fear of further repercussions, according to this article in the Globe and Mail today. All these cuts were then followed by Senator Ruth’s advice to “shut the fuck up”. The Globe in its editorial supported the notion that there are other ways to support women’s health besides focussing on the reproductive issues.

They just don’t seem to get it. All the other measures don’t matter if a woman is burdened by a pregnancy every year. The body just wears out. Reproductive choice is the starting point, the foundation for women’s health. Not much worry about heart disease if you die in childbirth.

The Globe makes the valid point that there are other conversations worth having. Are we only allowed one at a time? And does the Tory caucus decide which conversations we can have when, and only the ones that don’t offend them?

New rules ‘a big, big hit’ to Canadian magazines – The Globe and Mail

New rules ‘a big, big hit’ to Canadian magazines – The Globe and Mail.

The Globe and Mail reported this morning on the new rules for small magazines in this country. Small means fewer than 5000 circulation. That criterion leaves only Macleans, Chatelaine, and perhaps one or two others. Oh,and those, mostly from the west, such as The Western Producer, which specifically target the farming population. No other niche in our culture is important to the Tories. In fact, judging by their approach to anything cultural or historical, if the book or magazine or film or painting or photograph or music doesn’t involve business, it isn’t of any importance what so ever.
This present legislation recognizes the needs of only the farmers, and western farmers at that. I imagine the polls show that they are Tory supporters.
What’s next? Are only those museums devoted to the history of the Hereford, or wheat, or oil going to get support?
And one last thing. The final decision on who gets funding rests with the Minister and his decisions are irrevocable. No wonder Harper thinks we don’t need Parliament. He’s turning our government from a democracy into a quasi monarchy, with himself as king, giving his ministers total power and leaving us with no recourse. He’s started with the arts. Where will it end?