Sunday, 8 March 2015

Things Are Different, Yet The Same

Hi Friends,

I thought I'd check in with you and let you know that I'm still alive, I'm still writing, and I'm still unemployed (smiles). Although I haven't been in an office environment for the past few months, I did use my time wisely by writing, editing, polishing and querying my latest novel.

I also re-purposed thrift store finds, expanded my cooking skills (I still chop slowly and carefully, though), took lots of pictures, rearranged the furniture a dozen times, and generally morphed into a well-rested and happy person.

I also ventured out of my comfort zone and accepted a short gig as a set and props assistant at a mini-series shoot in Midland, Ontario. In the dead of winter, we shot footage for a U.S. TV series about Saint Kateri. I hand-built rosaries for 17th Century Jesuits, and moved candles and feather quills around on set so they'd show up perfectly in the camera frame. I kept a native warrior warm between takes with a wool blanket, ran back and forth in the snow to retrieve forgotten props, and picked up the director's clipboard when he forgot it in the slush. Ah, the life of an assistant, with a glue gun in one pocket and a staple gun in the other.

Later, I volunteered with DAREarts First Roots, where my sister Cathy Elliott helps native youth by visiting reserves and organizing week-long workshops involving the Arts. The kids - with guidance from musicians, filmmakers, playwrights and artists - create musicals and plays, make great art and short films, thus reconnecting them with their heritage in positive ways.

A few weeks ago, we put together a special Feast to celebrate Indigenous cuisine, with Top Chef Canada finalist Rich Francis teaching local kids from my old high school to put together a wonderful meal for 100+ patrons. I helped out by taking photos and videos of Rich guiding the students through the process, put down my camera to chop carrots, made table cloths for the venue, and helped organize the Silent Auction.

My not-so-secret foodie alter ego took a front seat during this exposure to great cuisine. Thanks, Rich, for treating us to delectable dishes using moose, elk, venison, wild rice, squash, blueberries, and more.

In other news, my beloved Toast Bitches suffered yet another setback. The publisher that took them in announced their closure a couple of weeks ago, and they returned the rights to me. I'm not sure what I will do with my Bitches. They didn't get a lot of exposure despite my efforts - twice - but perhaps in the future they will get a new lease on life. Or not! After all, a writer's goal is always to move forward.

I have started another book, which I am sure will contain intrigue, humour, a bit of sex, and either horses or hockey. Or both! Why the hell not?


Jed Cullan said...

Sorry to hear about your book and the publisher closing. Very disappointing about them. But things will turn around and you'll do great. Good luck with the new project.

Sandra Cormier said...

Thanks, Jed!!

Janet Ursel said...

Sounds like you've been using your time well. :o) Glad to hear you're well-rested too; life is so much easier to take that way. And you got an entire novel done from nose to tail in just a few months? :-o

Sandra Cormier said...

Well, Janet... the novel was more like waist to tail, but I got it done!

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

You've kept the passion, my friend. Writing fiction is probably the most wonderful alternative to real life in existence. :)

Sandra Cormier said...

I haven't lost the fun yet, Bernard!

Leigh Paul said...

I just discovered your blog, Sandra, after visiting the Water Cooler. I have enjoyed reading of your adventures, both as a writer, an artist, and otherwise. I plan to buy a copy of each of your books, one by one. Recently, I wrote a short story, "Devilish Delights," which is in production and should be released this month or next. I'm working on a novel, now, which I may send to an agent. Please keep writing novels and blog posts. We enjoy them both!

Leigh Paul said...

Sorry to hear about your Bitches, Sandra. I know what you mean about moving forward, but I hope you will find a home for them along the way.