The Daily Blend

Writing to make connections

First Poetry Chapbook – New Canadian Writer

Roadside with yellow coltsfoot

Janet L Fraser, Yellow, 2014

It turns out that blogging is a habit that’s not too hard to break. After shooting myself in the foot by posting at a rate that was more frequent than the thoughts worth sharing and interesting events in my life, I ran out of material. Life kept me from creating new material for a while and then I was just out of the habit. I think it’s sort of like documenting your work – a very useful practice but no one really wants to take the time to do it because they’re so busy doing whatever it is they do.

You may be glad to hear that over the last few months I’ve done some real writing work. Attending several sessions of the Ottawa International Writers Festival, including a poetry workshop (more about that another time), was a First After Fifty. Hearing other writers read their work, buying and reading books of poetry, and listening to panel discussions about writing gave me hope that there’s an audience out there that is interested in reading the sort of thing I write.

Fresh from that experience, I sat at my desk with a goal of producing my first poetry chapbook. I focussed on two things: revising every poem I’d ever written, and writing a bunch of poems based on ideas and fragments I’d collected over I don’t know how many years. A vacation intervened to foil my 2016 NaPoWriMo plans but I got back to my desk this week. Today I can tell you that I’ve made proof copies of my first poetry chapbook filled with some easily accessible work. (Yay!) Paper copies will be available in the next few day to anyone who asks for them. You can pick them up from me or send me your postal address.

On another note, I’ve dusted off my sewing machine and am altering some clothing from the ’70s and ’80s so it’s vintage to wearable now that it’s back in style; after that you’ll see more work on the Ocean Quilt.

Welcome back, Friends of the Blend! Welcome back, me.

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On hiatus

Dear Friends of the Blend,Animal tracks in the snow - on hiatus

Fate has intervened to put my blog on hiatus until the complications of life get sorted out. Don’t worry, all is well. Learning the ins and outs of blogging was consuming all my writing time and energy, leaving little for my main collaborative writing project. Fewer posts will be the norm just as soon as I get some other things done over the winter.

In the mean time, thanks for reading.

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Snowshoeing First After Fifty

Like almost every kid who went to public schoolSherburne celebrates Winterfest with snowshoeing in Ottawa in the 1970s and 80s, I’d been snowshoeing with my class a couple of times. The snowshoes available at the time were traditional wood and gut shoes. I’d enjoyed snowshoeing then but hadn’t tried it again.

Since then, the only winter sport I’ve done has been downhill skiing. My husband taught me to ski the year I turned 19. You may love winter sports. You probably get out there and skate or ski or board every chance you get. You may even ski from right outside your door every day. But this was a bit of a stretch for me – I’m not in any way athletic.


You can understand then, that my family was surprised when

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Mulled Wine for Christmas Cheer

With the holidays approaching we can all use some tips on festive fare for entertaining.

Mulled wine with fruit and spices

Unique and special here in North America, mulled wine has been a staple winter drink in Europe for centuries. My introduction to it was on a cold, grey day – in Germany – in February.

My husband and I were on a business trip to attend a trade fair. One morning at breakfast we were told the market was worth a look. We had a few hours to spare, so we walked through the cold, grey streets. On the cobbled square, behind a huge steaming pot, stood a cheerful woman ladling out hot, spiced glühwein (gloo-vine). One sip and I was hooked.

Fast forward to a few years ago

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