niche blogging

Has it really been a year and a half?

 Ottawa earlier this year

Ottawa earlier this year

Good Lord.

Though I am certain no one will notice, and might care less if they do, I am going to blog again. However, I am done with the subject matter of yore. I have no more to say about any of it.

I am going to write about now.

Now in Canada, Alberta, the world at large  – should I fancy to – and any other delightfully off-beat thing that catches my attention.

So, to catch up those dear readers, who might have graciously allowed me to gather dust on their feeds, I am a Canadian.  All of 13 days.

Unsurprisingly, I feel exactly the same, which confirms my suspicion that I was clearly born the wrong nationality.

I am a Liberal.

Okay, that’s not a surprise, but what is new is that I joined the Liberal Party of Canada.

They give you cards. To carry. Red ones. Numbered. Seriously.

And I here I thought the phrase “card carrying liberal” was just some random saying.

I joined the party not quite a year ago after spending several months following its new leader, Justin Trudeau.

It hasn’t been easy.

The last time I belonged to a political party officially was in the very early 90’s though it could easily have been the late 80’s. I am not certain when the state of Iowa began allowing people to register as Independents. I dumped the Democrats as soon as that option became available and have militantly shunned allegiance since.

Belonging is a trap not a privilege, and it strips you of your right to think for yourself. Slowly and those who belong would argue that this isn’t the case, but it does.

However, Trudeau … didn’t make me roll my eyes … or question his sincerity, but I will say that I have little doubt that he is being slowly assimilated and one day, he will be a full on politician, indistinguishable from the rest. On that day, my little red card will join other memorabilia in the scrapbook labeled “things I did once but am over now – no judging”.

How do I know Trudeau is doomed? Because he isn’t Superman. In fact, he is a little bit on the scrawny side, and despite his ability to take an actual punch, everyone has their kryptonite. There are no messiahs out there just waiting for a chance to save the world. If six years with Barack Obama for a president taught me anything, it taught me that. But, Parliament Hill (the seat of the Canadian government in Ottawa, Ontario) is like the Overlook Hotel. In the battle for your soul, it will win if you overstay within its walls.

I think most overstay.

Although it has not been steadily downhill with Trudeau since he allowed himself to be shorn like Samson, I have come close to cutting up my pretty red card on several occasions.

Most recently the party’s gleefully opportunistic suddenly flip on the Israel and Gaza issue sent me into a “seriously!!” rant that only my husband got to enjoy, which set me to pondering a return to blogging that lasted the summer and here I am.

Meanwhile …

Life is life. I draw and paint now. I re-learned to crochet. I teach yoga with an ease that astounds me though I don’t know why. Teaching is like breathing. Try as I might, I cannot quit it.

Rob is Rob. Wise and wonderful.

The children continue to be themselves in ways that delight, exasperate and make me proud.

I nearly have a novel finished.

No, for reals.

A political thriller.  A kind of Jack Reacher meets the West Wing. With some romance. A bromance. And, of course, terrorists. How could there not be? Only in Canada. Alberta, mostly.

When I am ready for a few beta readers, I will let you know. January-ish, I am thinking.

Oh, and I re-started my Twitter account.

Yeah, I know. Twitter is ruled by the vapid and intelligent interaction is often meme’d an ugly death, but I have found the Alberta politically minded to be more discussion leaning and tolerant of diversity than those I ran with in the States. There are a few mean girls (aren’t there always?)and a whole lot of bleating sheep, but that’s to be expected in a public space. And while the Canadian pundits are a bit full of themselves, they occasionally crawl down from their towers to engage with the serfs, which is something that doesn’t happen in the southland at all.

And that’s it.

I found this publishing opportunity via another blog called Mommy Writes. I am not the best writer on demand, although I am improving, but I thought I might be able to pound out a couple of pieces that would pass muster for this anthology. I have to say, I am in awe of niche bloggers. They manage to find topics that are so simple and yet so full of writing potential and therefore interesting to a vast audience. Me? I am too egocentric I guess. (What?! NO argument at all? Thanks, so very much.) I just write about any old thing that pops into my head, flits across the day’s headlines, dances in front of my eyes on the dvd. I am just a topic of the nano-sec kind of girl.

I run across writers too who spread their blogging out over several blogs so as to create a separate space for each specific type of reader. That way no one has to wade through blog entries on say…potty training when they really come to read about the blogger’s latest outdoor trysting spot with his/her significant other. It’s a really good idea but as someone who ran three blogs simultaneously – and was basically using the same post for each blog – I can’t wrap my mind or my meager talent around it. I have enough to do furnishing this blog with material and writing my fiction and creative non-fic for, hopefully, publication in a print forum someday.

I have run across online opportunities that seem challenging and fun, but nothing has come of them yet either. Rob reminds me that I shouldn’t expect too much too soon. Good (or not so is my fear at times) as I might be, everyone starts out at the same place and that is what “aspiring” means. And okay, my aspirations are great and varied, so it stands to reason that my doubts sometimes match. But I am working on a great story idea now, courtesy of a conversation with my husband about the current food shortage in the world, and I have solved a problem with my serial sci-fi stories and just need to sit down and apply my solution. I saw an opportunity to write for a feminist/activism blog (yeah, I know I say I am not a feminist but I have been quacking too much of late) that if I am lucky might allow me to write a piece or two. I sent a query and am waiting to hear back and waiting and waiting and feeling a little like the red-headed step-child in the process.

The realist in me therefore is planning for the fall and applying with the school district for a library assistant or teacher associate position. Anything but teaching in my own room really. Applying for a teacher’s license is doable but only if I want to take a Mickey Mouse course or two to satisfy some Franco requirements that the province just added to the to do list of new teachers. The course requirements variation from province to province (state to state back in the U.S.) is the worst kind of pandering to regional universities. It’s all about sucking a few extra bucks out of you and not about helping you be a better educator. Digression though. Rob thinks a job will also help “socialize” me a bit and it probably will but I have always found that for the most part, work friendships often don’t survive the job by much. There have been but a handful of exceptions in my life to that rule and I treasure them, however, they by and large are situational.

I am also going to put in an app with the city of Fort Saskatchewan. I am still bummed about missing out on that cool museum job but I didn’t have my work permit in time to apply. My massage therapist tells me to inquire about the posting to see if it was filled. Her husband works for the city and apparently many of their postings go unfilled due to the lack of qualified (read “educated”) applicants. We are still in a boom economy up here and anyone with the tiniest bit of education is working for the oil companies in some capacity. However most of the jobs that go begging are in the service industry or the medical fields.

It’s dumb to be glum about what is really a great life just because I can’t write for anyone but myself, my husband and the handful of people who come to this blog (and thank you, thank you my loyal followers and commenters especially – I love comments. They make me feel less like an idiot screaming into the vacuum of cyber-space). I just want a chance. Catch a break. That miserable Catch-22 of “experience” is biting my bum in the most unfair way.