Saturday, September 22, 2012

Old Post Resurrection: I Hate My Muse!

Driving home today, I got the strong, overpowering fragrance of fresh cut alfalfa hay. It hit me like a strong draw on a pot plant, and I had to pull over for five minutes and just lay back and sniff. I love, love, love that smell. It’s what I like to call a “hay-high”.

Unfortunately, it also got my mischievous little muse squirming about in my brain, giving me ideas on my book. Now, the little winged insect never plants these treasures when it’s convenient. Oh no. She plants them like light weight seeds only sprinkled lightly on the soil so that the briefest wind can blow them away as I rush home before I forget them. At my age, I figure my memory has about a five kilometer radius, and I was about forty-five kilometers from home.

Of course, my almost getting a speeding ticket was all for naught. After unpacking my groceries, including the half thawed butterscotch ripple ice cream, the little wench disappeared back into her hole and I was left with confused, muddled prose. If I ever get my hands on that sneaky little fairy, I’ll wring her bloody neck!

What she had planted there was absolute beauty in words, too. Ah well.

Have you ever had that happen? You have no way of typing it when this brilliant idea hits you, and you can’t even travel back to medieval times and write it down on paper and pen because you never thought to put them where you can reach them. Do people still use pens?

My least favorite time for an active muse is three o’clock in the morning. You wake up, again with the next Pulitzer Prize in Literature playing out in your dream-soaked brain, but you are in that “body stone” that comes with that time of night. You know you should write it down. You know you have to get up and record it for prosperity before it fades with complete wakefulness, but darn it, the pillow is in the perfect position, the blankets wrapped around you like a custom made cocoon.

Sure enough, you drifted off again, only to have it fade with the dawn. It’s gone. And that naughty little fairy muse is nowhere to be found! Thank heavens it doesn't happen often.

I think she only likes car rides. She mocks me with her head hanging out the window, her tongue dripping saliva all over the upholstery. As soon as I pull into my small town and race dangerously down the main street in a frantic attempt to get home, terrorizing my poor neighbours, poof! There she goes, with the poplar fluff flying about like summer snow. I can still hear her tinkling laughter in the branches.

Do me a favour, will you? If you come across a “muse trap”, pick it up for me. I’ll pay you back.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Canadian Tribute to 9/11

We will all remember that terrible day. No matter where you were, in the U.S. or Canada or anywhere in the world, it impacted all of us.

An RCMP Mounted Police is shown at the Beechwood National Memorial Cemetery, beside the monument in rememberance of the Canadians lost in the September 11th attacks at the Beechwood National Memorial Cemetery

The Sept. 11 attacks killed 26 Canadians. I felt the need to give them names, to acknowledge their existence in the world. So here is a too brief look at each one.

Michael Arczynski — The 45-year-old was from Vancouver. He and his wife, Lori, raised in Montreal, had three children. Lori gave birth to a fourth child, named for his late father, after the attack. He also left behind three daughters from his first marriage.

Garnet (Ace) Bailey — The 53-year-old director of pro scouting for the National Hockey League's Los Angeles Kings was a native of Lloydminster, Sask. He died aboard United Airlines Flight 175. He was a veteran of 11 NHL seasons as a player. He joined the Edmonton Oilers where he was a linemate of teenage phenomenon Wayne Gretzky. He is survived by his wife, Katherine, and son, Todd.

David (Barky) Barkway — The 34-year-old executive, who lived in Toronto, was in an office on the 105th floor of the north tower. He was in New York with his wife, Cindy, on a business trip. He left behind two young sons, one who was born in January 2002 and named David after his father.

Ken Basnicki — The 48-year-old father of two lived in Toronto. He was last heard from at 8:55 a.m. from an office on the 106th floor. His wife, Maureen, was a former flight attendant grounded in Germany at the time of her husband's death.

Jane Beatty — A native of Britain, Beatty, 53, lived in Ontario for more than 20 years before moving to the United States with her husband Bob. She had just celebrated her fifth anniversary of surviving breast cancer. She had two grown sons.

Joseph Collison — Collison was born in Toronto in 1951 and moved to New York City. He was unmarried. He is buried in Mississauga next to his parents.

Cynthia Connolly — Connolly, 40, transferred from Montreal offices to New York in 1999. She and her husband, Donald Poissant lived in Metuchen, N.J., with their Airedale-German shepherd, Shadow, and pet cat, Obi.

Arron Dack — The 39-year-old father of two Dack was born in England, but moved to Canada with his parents in 1970. At the time of his death, he lived in New Jersey. He is survived by his wife, Abigail Carter and his two children, Olivia and Carter.

Frank Joseph Doyle — The 39-year-old Detroit native lived in N.J. with his wife, Kimmy Chedel of St. Adele, Que. He was an American citizen whose parents were from the Ottawa valley, and he had a home in Canada left two children, Zoe and Garrett.

Christine Egan — The 55-year-old Health Canada nurse epidemiologist from Winnipeg was visiting her younger brother's office in the World Trade Center. Egan was raised in England and moved to Canada in the late 60s. She taught at the University of Manitoba and received her Ph.D. Egan also had a love of Canada's North, where she had practised as a nurse. Nunavut nursing students.

Michael Egan — The 51-year-old immigrated to Canada in Montreal and moved to New Jersey. He left behind his wife, Anna and two boys. His sister Christine, visiting him in the towers on that day, was also killed in the attack.

Albert Elmarry — The 30-year-old moved from Toronto to the United States in 1999. He left behind his wife, Irinie, who gave birth to a daughter six months after her husband was killed.

Meredith Ewart and Peter Feidelberg — The Montreal couple moved to the United States in 1997 and married in March 2000. One month before they died, they returned to Montreal for a second wedding reception with family and friends. Ewart was 29, and Feidelberg, 34, lived in Hoboken, N.J.

Alexander Filipov — Filipov, 70, was born in Regina and lived in Concord, Mass. He was killed on American Airlines Flight 11, just days before his 44th anniversary. He leaves three sons and his widow, Loretta.

Ralph Gerhardt — The 34-year-old lived in Toronto but had an apartment in NYC. His girlfriend was also killed in the attacks.

Stuart Lee — Lee, born in Korea, grew up in Vancouver and lived in Manhatten with his wife, Lynn Udbjorg. He was 30-years-old.

Mark Ludvigsen — The 32-year-old native of Rothesay, N.B. moved to the United States with his family when he was young. He and his wife of three years, Maureen, lived in Manhattan.

Bernard Mascarenhas — The 54-year-old native of Newmarket, Ont. He left behind his wife Raynette, a son and a daughter.

Colin McArthur — The 52-year-old Glasgow native moved to Toronto in 1977 and in Montreal in 1986 after marrying his wife, Brenda and became a Canadian citizen. The couple relocated to New York in 1997.

Michael Pelletier — The 36-year-old grew up in Vancouver, BC. He left behind his wife, Sophie, a three-year-old daughter and one-year-old son.

Donald Robson — A Toronto native, he had lived in the United States for 20 years with his wife, Kathy. He had been planning 24th wedding anniversary celebrations with his wife for later that day. He was 52 years old.

Ruffino (Roy) Santos — a resident of British Columbia. He moved to New York in the late 1990s with his wife. He was 37 years old.

Vladimir Tomasevic — He lived in Toronto with his wife, Tanja, who still has a shredded piece of his trousers. He was 36 years old.

Chantal (Chanti) Vincelli — A former Montrealer. Vincelli lived in Harlem with her cats. The local grocer named her the Harlem Princess and the name stuck. She was 38 years old.

Debbie Williams —  A Montreal native. She and her husband, Darren lived in Hoboken, N.J. She was 35 years old and left a new born daughter.

Let us remember all of those almost 3000 first casualties of the War Against Terrorism. May we remember to never let it happen again.