The Daily Blend

Writing to make connections

Photography page and Georgian Bay Cruise 2016

For your viewing pleasure, I’ve added a new page to The Blend: Photography.

Yes, after years of resistance, I’m acknowledging that I do, indeed, take snapshots and make some arty images. There seems little point in making images without sharing them. Since I want to do that and keep my right to control them, they’ve become part of The Blend.

Please bear with my initial attempts to create some albums. I’ll get the hang of it at some point.

Here’s the start of the first one: Georgian Bay Cruise 2016.

A clock without hands on a disused dock with a hoist hook dangling above and some reeds growing in the water below.

On Cruising Time

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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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Sisters and Writing

It is often muse or genius that sparks a project in an artist’s consciousness. If the artist has, or goes about acquiring, sufficient related life experience to fuel that spark, it will grow into a fire that nothing will put out.

Scattered computer keys

Janaka Dharmasena/

Such a project has a life of its own that the artist must either express or be consumed by, one way or another. It’s a sort of possession, one with a visceral grip, that won’t let go until you’ve spilled your guts and interpreted the signs whether or not anyone has enough interest in the art or the artist to pay attention. This is an experience I’ve had only with writing poetry… until now.

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What You Need to Know About Starting a Blog

The first thing you need to know about starting a blog is that you’re going into the publishing business. Mostly, you are doing it alone. And, I’m going to tell you two more things about starting a blog. They are both sort of scary, so if your resolve to start your very own blog is at all shaky you may want to stop reading right now and go take a confidence course on Udemy or chat with a supportive friend.

Us and Them

If you’re writing for an audience, not just for yourself, you’re competing with thousands of other publishers to have your blog read by a significant number of people. Yes, I said thousands, and not just thousands – hundreds of thousands, maybe millions. Sounds less like a business you want to get into now, doesn’t it? Some of these people are like you and me, they just want to let other people know what they’re doing, make a connection, gather a group of people around them who are interested in whatever their quirky point of view happens to be. Others are individuals or groups who are in the business of publishing; when these guys get going, they even sweat branding savvy. It will take you and me years to find as many readers as they pick up every month.

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