Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Waiting for spring

Haven't been here since the start of the new year – not so new anymore – but here's hoping that it goes well, especially for those who've been in the habit of passing by and sometimes stopping to leave a greeting. Geoff, thanks for bigging up the blog. You know I think your blog is both a work of art, and a great work. I continue to be deeply impressed by how much you accomplish. Fragano and jdid, hope you are both thriving. Martin and I spent most of the last three months in the US, visiting with granddaughter and her family, having done what we could to help them move house and settle in – not an easy thing in North America where continental lifestyles have a real impact, and to pay a visit, great distances must be covered by determined driving through all kinds of weather. Never mind. "Ef you waaan good, you nose haffe run." We enjoy Zoey enormously and the young parents will have to keep a broom salted and permanently upended behind a door if they don't want us to take up residence. I've been working hard, among other things, revising a pre-reader and some early readers intended for the Caribbean classroom. One of my publishers has 'eaten' 2 others to become the number 2 publisher in the world (Pearson bought the educational portion of Harcourt Ed., and is now number 2 internationally, to Scholastic's number one.) It's part of a consolidation of ownership and prerogative in publishing that really isn't a good thing for us readers, but no one seems to care enough, so it's been going ahead full steam for a long time now. I enjoy writing and compiling language arts textbooks enormously, but it has all kinds of hazards! The interests of Caribbean children need safeguarding, though, so I expect I'll be at it until I'm decrepit. I'm also working on the collection of sonnets, LITANY ON THE LINE, and was pleased to have three movements from the book shortlisted in the Poetry Section of the 2007 Canadian Broadcasting Commission (cbc) 2007 Literary Awards. The shortlist was 30 out of 1153 entries. The collection also got an Ontario Arts Council Works in Progress Grant in the last go-round, so I'm encouraged to think that perhaps folks aren't dead set against traditional forms of poetry. (Fragano, I can see you smile.) I've got to sign off soon, and go have my hair cut in preparation for a photo session with French photographer Pierre Maraval who is mounting one of his human landscapes (called MILLE FEMMES and composed of a thousand Toronto women in the arts) for the Luminato Festival to be celebrated here shortly. Outside it's blustery and overcast, and though the trees are feathering, one wonders when spring will get here. Quickly, before I go and because we live on a planet, not in any likkle place, Barack Obama's speech should be read by every literate person, and listened to by those who aren't literate. If that's all he did in running for the Presidency of the United States, it would nevertheless have been more than worth it. Here in Canada, I am ashamed to say that Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister, kept the lights on in both his residence and office during Earth Hour. On behalf of all Canadians, I apologize to God and his Creation, the people of Earth, and their unborn children. More soon. Be well, happy and at peace.