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Monday, August 28, 2006

ON THE MOVE!

MONDAY, August 18/06

On Friday evening I got a peek at my new apartment. I met with my 'landlords', Jeni and Joe, for my very first viewing. (Til then I'd only seen Joe's apt. on the 3rd floor of the condo building.) Jeni brought along a bottle of champagne to celebrate the handing over of the keys!

My new home is on the fourth floor, S.W. corner with a balcony view overlooking pleasant neighbourhood gardens, west view of the city skyline and north view of the mountains. I can just visualize me sitting out there doing all my writing and perhaps painting too. The apartment is full of light, enhanced by skylights in the kitchen and bathroom. Everything is newly painted in a shell white with off-white carpeting. There's a built-in window seat by the bay window and in the bedroom, a built in dresser (all white, which will match my other bedroom furniture). My Moroccon-colored saffron and blue wicker pieces and my wicker couch with the burgundy Turkish patterened cushions are going to look splendid in the living room!

The kitchen is far more spacious than the one I have and has the window opening to pass through to the dining area or use as a counter with bar-stools. There are all the appliances, including dish-washer, microwave, and in the laundry room a washer-dryer. What luxury!
There's lots of shelf and cupboard and storage space too. I won't have junk crowded all around me like I've had in this old place that didn't even have a basement storage. I even have my own parking space in the secure underground parking (where I'll leave my bike as I have no car!).

I won't officially move til Sept 17 because of this up-and-coming trip to New York. But I am already starting to take a few small boxes over there and as soon as my friends with cars are available I'll start moving stuff by the car-load.

Tomorrow is the arbitration meeting regarding these current landlords, the Dragon Lady and the Pussy Cat, and I'm not looking forward to it except to make sure their dishonesty is made known to the arbitrator. And also to make sure they don't pull off any funny business and try to cheat me out of money like they did with my friend Sofie.

I know the new place will be much more condusive to creativity, with far less disruptions, no daily visits from the cops because of problems caused by the people in the apartment block across the street, no obnoxious neighbours and mostly reliable and kind landlords who are friends of mine. Everyone is so happy that I have found a comfortable and beautiful place to live. (No more cockroaches, mice and stinky hallways!) I know I'm going to be very happy there!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

BLOGGING

SATURDAY, August 5.

Some people on this blogspot have been writing memes on the subject of "Blogging" so I thought I'd join in, just for fun.

When did you start blogging and why?
I started keeping an on-line journal (public) about six years ago on a site called www.rememory.com
I have always kept a written journal (for more personal and day-to-day writings) but rememory also had a contest section where you could enter little stories and win points for so-called prizes. That's what got me started writing my Memoirs. I've tried a couple of other on-line diaries but I always returned to rememory until finally one day it disappeared. Then it was recommended I try blogspot.com. So that's how I got here. Meanwhile, rememory resurfaced and I sometimes still write there too, although most of the familiar on-line friends there seem to have vanished. Now I'm meeting a new set of on-line friends and readers!

What don't you talk about?
On rememory I started a collection of memoirs called "Confessions of a Black Sheep". I think I have about twenty-five of them so far. These are sometimes 'intimate' stories of adventures in my life, but I don't always write the racy details. You'll have to read between the lines for that!
I don't think my kids would like me broadcasting all the naughty bits. In fact, when I wrote the series called "The Shipping News" I didn't go into explicit details about some of the escapades my friends and I had during those days when we were 'wharf rats' partying on Greek ships (my introduction to Greece and Greek men. Humahuma!) My girlfriends were disappointed and said they were too 'tame', those stories, and they wanted me to add in the details. I haven't done so as yet. I also like to rant now and then but I'm careful where I do it as I don't want to offend people by sounding 'racist' or whatever (because I'm not, but at times people (like my landlords) just infuriate me and I totally disagree with their policies and/or politics -- such as Bush and his gang including our Canadian Prime Minister and Tony "the Puppet" Blair. )

Are you and your blogger persona the same people?
Pretty well. Besides rememory.com I have three different blogs here on blogspot.com. One is "Living the Writer's Life" and that's focused mainly on me as a writer. "Conversations With Myself" is a place for trivia and ranting.
"Travel Through History" is my travel blog which I've found very useful as I am a travel journalist and I am inclined to add a lot of preliminary info and details to my travel blogs which I can use later in stories. My 'rememory.com' journal is also a place to discuss daily events and issues that are of interest or concern and I write in it mainly just for fun or to vent.

How do you use blogging to build friendships?
I met a lot of interesting people on rememory.com and a couple of them still message me regularly. There was a woman I met there who used to correspond with me regulalry, also exchange personal phone calls and snail mail. She was a writer too, and a very sweet person. One day she disappeared for awhile and when I phoned her it turned out she'd had a stroke. (She was under a great deal of personal pressure in her marriage and that must have brought it on as she was only in her 40's.) We had a few correspondences after that but I believe her motor skills and perhaps her memory were damaged. Then she disappeared altogether. I haven't heard from her since and wonder if she had another stroke and/or died.
Very sad, as I enjoyed her friendship. Since I've been writing on blogspot, especialy "Living the Writer's Life" I've connected with several other writers and this is a valuable connection for me.

How would you describe your writing style?
In my rememory journals, and Conversations With Myself, I write in a more casual style, more in the way I talk to my pals, with idioms and slang etc. On Living the Writer's Life I plan out the entries and use appropriate quotes, sometimes segments of my work-in-progress. I refer students in the writing classes that I instruct to this blog as there are usually some tips for writers along with stories of my own journey as a writer. My main genre is historical fiction, though I'm also a travel journalist and playwright. I think Living the Writer's Life reflects this 'voice'. Travel Through History is set up not only for the reader's interest but for my own information as I am a published travel journalist and use the information I have recorded there later on when I want to write a travel article about my adventures. It's also an easier way to keep my friends at home informed when I'm on the road, than trying to send everything over e-mail.

I believe Blogs are an important part of a writer's life as well as a way to motive writing and record aspects of your life. And it's fun sharing these stories and making connections with your readers.

As for my blog name: It's not totally an alias. And in fact I plan to use it for my historical fiction pen-name. "Wynn" is a Welsh name and a sort of short-form of my first name "Winifred" (not the one I go by) and "Bexton" is my mother's Saxon-sounding surname. "Ruthaki" is a Greek diminutive of my given name. And I'm also known sometimes as "Ruthita"