Canada Writes hosts several writing challenges during the year: fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry. These contests have a $25 entry fee but the pay-off is huge: six grand for the winner and a two-week stint at a writing retreat in BC.
The runners-up also receive several thousand dollars. I entered the fiction category earlier in the year and am currently writing some poetry which I will submit by the deadline, which is the 1st of May. I am writing a series of poems about Victoria Stafford, the eight-year-old Woodstock girl who was murdered three years ago. Her murderer is on trial in London right now and the reports in the paper are so heartbreaking. I'm not sure why I even read it. I skim the article and then I feel sick and find myself thinking about it constantly during the day. This cannot be good. Such lack of humanity and sadistic tendencies in her murderers; I think this child needs to be remembered differently. My poems will not be graphic or disturbing; I am going to try to write about her death and life using different points of view. I'll admit that the subject is unsettling and I can't actually believe that I am writing about it, but I think it can be done and done well. Whether I am the poet to do this is another subject of course, but I'll try. Jack Kerouac's advice is to write "only what kicks you and keeps you overtime awake..." and while he is referring to something that is joyous, I think that the opposite also holds true.
Canada Writes also hosted another writing contest recently - the April Fool's Apology Twitter Challenge. Yes, this Luddite signed up for Twitter and figured out how to tweet. Wretched Twitter; I am of the opinion that most people over the age of 35 are clueless. From what I have gleaned from my interactions with Twitter, one can get realtime updates from celebrities, groups, politicians, authors etc. that one "follows". All of these updates are less than 140 characters in length and you can get them sent to your mobile device. I don't really get the Twitter phenomenon; obviously, it's not for me as I can't think of anyone that I need real time updates from except for maybe my family; however, I can apply this same logic to Farcebook and I am still a sucker for that, as embarrassing as it is to admit.
I entered the April Fool's contest and CW actually liked one of my submissions. This is the one that is included on the long-list:
I'm sorry for yelling "JIM" during our lovemaking. I thought you'd laugh. I shouldn't have worn your Mom's wig either. Sorry. #canadawrites
I read a bunch of my other submissions to the family around the dinner table last night and while RB liked this one the best, the kiddies liked:
How was I supposed to know that you had a maggot phobia? I didn't mean for you to actually eat one! Forgive me? Kisses.
We'll see if I make the shortlist.
My husband is a teacher at Saunders Secondary and every year, the school mounts a Cancer Campaign. In 2011, the school set a new record by raising almost $63 000.00! That's amazing. Some of the hardworking students at the school have made a video which they've posted to Youtube:
Richard is featured at 3:15, for those who do not wish to watch the video in its entirety. I think that these students have done a fabulous job! I hope that they kick cancer's ass!