Friday, September 22, 2006


Let them eat cake!

We had a great party on Saturday night. This was the "OMG, Paula Jane's finally finished her Master's degree" party and it was a blast. My Mom, who could give Martha Stewart a run for her money, insisted on making all the stuff for the party, so we had veggie trays and fruit, snacks, crackers and cheese, and six cakes. Yes, 6 cakes. At the end of the night it was very much like that Bible story about the fish and the loaves - we seemed to have just as much food as when we started (in spite the best efforts of 30 hungry party-goers), and we actually did have more wine than when we started because people brought bottles and didn't drink them. We seduced them with non-alcoholic punch that promised maraschino cherries in the bottom.

The cakes were 2 Carribean Rum cakes, a pan of brownies, lemon bars, and 2 double-chocolate cheesecakes. The cheesecake was a huge hit - it was lovely. I will provide the recipe to anyone who wishes.

Honestly, all we really did all night was sit around and eat while I revelled in the fact that there are no more revisions to be done, no more research, no more anything. The electronic copy is on file at the library, the print copy is at the bindery, and the official letter from graduate studies telling me I've met all the requirements is stuck to my fridge. Life is good.

The best thing about the party was that I really felt that everyone who was able to come was genuinely proud of me. That's a cool feeling, especially when it's people you work with or friends. Your family is supposed to be proud of you, but it's really nice to hear it from your friends too.

I also got gifties because I have the coolest friends. I got a Batman figurine that lights up and has fancy wing-movement action from a poet-friend who drove many hours to be there. Bats was attached to a bottle of wine with the charming name of Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush, and I got a book of pseudo-haikus too. My friend Craig presented me with a bottle of Painted Turtle wine, a Publish or Perish blank journal, and a slightly more grown-up version of my dollar-store tiara. He always makes me feel like a princess. It's important to have at least one male friend (that your husband likes) who thinks you're wonderful. I also got a lightsabre that lights up from another friend, Tim Horton's gift certificates, lots of cards, and a turtle watch from my mother.

If you're wondering about the turtle theme, well ... it did take me six years to finish the damn degree, so it's kind of a joke, but there's another story too. I'll tell you sometime. Another friend gave me Zippy the Wonder Turtle, a plush graduation turtle complete with hat and diploma. I really need to take pictures, or at least check what's on my camera. Craig was the official photographer for the evening. He, Zippy, and the camera disappeared for quite some time, so I'm almost afraid to see what's on there.

All in all, it was the best celebration I could've asked for. Things wound down sometime after 1 am, and not everyone could be there of course, but it was still a great celebration.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Poetic Tetris

I've been fortunate enough to have a poem accepted to Hagios Press's new anthology Fast Forward: Saskatchewan's New Poets (Spring 2007), and it reminded me how complicated the revision and editing process gets for poetry. N0t that it isn't difficult for fiction, or any kind of writing, really - just coming off a thesis which seemed to be made up of endless revisions tells me that.

But poetry revision is alarmingly like Tetris. You change a word, one word, and everything shifts. You move something and it changes the way the lines look, the way words sit next to one another, the way they sound. Then you start moving other words, shifting line breaks, re-thinking word choices, and before you know it ... chaos. Or creativity. Depending how you look at it. It's one of the best parts of working with words on a page.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Business Cards of Truth

For about two years I've had business cards that list my credentials: B. A. Hons, B. Ed., M.A. I got them partly as incentive to actually finish the M.A. - they're nice cards, very professional, bright and colourful. But every time I've handed one out, I've had to point out that I don't actually have my M.A. yet. I've gotten very good at spontaneously generating synonyms for "not done yet" - forthcoming, pending, imminent. Any day now. Seriously, it's so close the light at the end of the tunnel is giving me sunburn.

Well, finally, the cards no longer feel like a lie. My thesis defence was last week - it went surprisingly well considering this was the Murphy's Law Master's Thesis (if anything can go wrong it will) - and once the copy is in to Grad Studies, as far as the university is concerned, the degree is mine. The ceremony in October to actually give me that elusive piece of paper is just the icing on the cake.

It's a good feeling.

Monday, September 04, 2006


In the beginning ...

... silence.

Well, only for a little while. I'm quite sure once I get my feet in the blogging waters - assuming the waters are free from sharks and other pointy things - I will be quite comfortable spilling my thoughts into virtual space.

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