Failures of Creativity

I identify as a creative person. Always have. It’s remained a constant thread through my life, though the expressions thereof have shifted over the years.

Taking this most recent degree has been characterized, for the most part, by having to put down most creative pursuits – unless I can do it more or less on autopilot on the infrequent occasions I watch TV, it’s hard to make the time. This has led to me turning out a truly ridiculous number of crocheted blankets and scarves, and little else.

Except writing. Continue reading

Conferences, interpersonal encounters and unexamined assumptions

I’ve been neglecting this blog to focus on my thesis, but this needs saying. Some of the thoughtless, unexamined ways relationships frequently get discussed really bother me, and a recent comment directed at my partner and I has stuck hard in my craw.

First, a little context.

My partner, a long-time lover of tabletop RPGs, went to GenCon with a friend this year. On the second-to-last day, he was on his own for dinner and ended up being joined at the table by a woman. Long story short, she departed when his companions turned up, but not before leaving him with her phone number and an unambiguous invitation to use it. Continue reading

Mount St. Helens and the Paths Not Travelled

This morning, I came across a wonderful series of blog posts on the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens over at Dana Hunter’s Rosetta Stones blog. Her enthusiasm for the subject matter is infectious, and sent me right back to my own childhood fascination with the event. I remember my family going to the interpretive centre thereabouts of 1990 and my awe at the incomprehensible devastation still rawly evident on the landscape. For a while, vulcanology and plate tectonics joined my abiding interest in paleontology, faltering only when I exhausted the supply of kid-friendly geology books in the local library. I still get giddy at the sight of folded mountain strata; it’s one of the reasons I miss living in the midst of a mountain range.

My excitement in reading those blog posts carried with it some anger.

As a small child, I had a deep and abiding interest in science. It started and stopped at the library. While my parents never actually discouraged me, it never went beyond that. Continue reading

Relationships are built, not granted.

My partner’s sister is pregnant. This child-to-be represents the first in either of our families. His sister and parents are more than a little excited about it, and the relational titles have been flying.

I’m more than a little uncomfortable with this.

This isn’t the first child to have entered my life; friends of my partner and I have a son who is now coming up on three. I was dubbed ‘Auntie’ to this child as well, and though it felt strange even then, I didn’t give it much thought.

That’s changed. In the last couple years, I’ve been spending a lot of time sorting out how I think about relationships and define ‘family.’ It’s illuminated why certain relationship constructions make me squirm inside. Continue reading

Valentine’s Day and the Problem of Undue Weighting

Yesterday evening, my partner related to me how his co-workers had been giving him flak. His crime? Unabashedly proclaiming that he and I aren’t doing anything ‘special’ to mark Valentine’s Day tonight. It is apparently beyond belief that he has not been spending his time making restaurant reservations, shopping for jewelry or plotting to scatter a path of candle-lit rose petals throughout our home. Surely he’s lying about our mutual lack of interest in such shenanigans. Continue reading

When Writing Steps From the Life of the Imagination Into Hope for the Future

I’ve had a novel percolating in the back of my head for the last several years. It keeps threatening to bubble over, but the demands on my life have kept it largely contained. Nevertheless, it has grown characters, a world, and the seeds of a narrative. I’m not sure whether it will ever become a full story or remains scattered between notes and neurons, but up until a few years ago I never believed I would ever apply on a Masters degree either.

The two are interlinked in my mind. Continue reading