Late Again

Late Again

while she was sharing

he was late again

the meeting had already started

he entered quietly

nodded apologetically

found a seat

after squeezing past

people already seated

took off his coat

put it on the back of his chair

sat & sighed apologetically



how sorry he was to be late

to disrupt the meeting

to have all eyes on him

she fumed

while we waited for him

to get settled

so the meeting could resume


he had

once again

sucked all the attention to him

he was an attention seeking sponge

always late

making a quiet entrance

acting as if he was sorry

while was thriving on the attention

she deserved

but was unwilling to be as obvious

in getting it

Don’t let genders distress you too much as I’ve seen this scenario play out many times with positions reversed & with same genders in both roles but to keep things simple I chose she & he. Attention seekers show up in this way in many settings: recovery meetings, writing workshops, even spokenword events (there they think whispered apologies allow them to disrupt whomever is performing on stage).

I sometimes think the late-comer doesn’t even realize that they are attention seeking but there are just bad at time management & if we don’t like it then the problem is ours for being demanding, over-sensitive perfectionists. Writing about this piece reminds me of a monthly writers workshop I tried many years ago.

The first part was for introductions & various publishing announcements & questions about such announcements. There would a break for socializing after which the workshopping of pieces would begin. The less time spend on introductions etc the more time we would have for the workshopping. One of the participants, X, a long time member, was frequently late & when X arrived we would end up going over all the announcements & answers to questions X would have, questions that had already been answered. 

The result would often mean the time for the actual workshopping of material would be cut in half. Worse yet, to me, was when we looked at X’s submissions any critical comments would result in ‘you don’t understand’ followed by explanations or ‘you clearly aren’t my target audience.’ After about 6 months of this I moved on. X was right I wasn’t their target audience.

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Holding Back


Holding Back

it’s a tricky opportunity to maneuver

holding back

yet needing to step up to the plate

at the same time

not wanting to be a show off

while needing to establish one’s ability

not wanting to impress

to pull attention to oneself

to such a degree

that others are threatened

that the teacher is looking

to you for approval

rather than the other way around

the power shift is never productive

better to

let the facilitator hold the responsibility

keep the show off as quiet as possible

even though

every time I open my mouth

I seem to be showing off

if I don’t participate

I come off being silently judgmental14bluechair01This was another run at that first law only in a less public context. It springs from various (spell check wants me to say ‘arduous’) workshops I’ve participated in over the years. Some of this is observational of how others have interacted & some is how I’ve learned to interact myself.14bluechair02I am not shy in these situations & am always willing to be the first to contribute but I have learned to pace myself in different ways. I hold back on my ‘history’ revealing only what is relevant at the moment. In those inevitable introductions I no long mention my performance experience beyond most recent. I’ll only talk about other workshops if asked. 14redchair03There is always a pecking order in workshops -= people who know the ‘teacher’ & who may have then multiple workshops with them before, people who know each other, people who aha been taken a workshop & sometimes even people who have never written before who get either swamped & can’t keep up.14redchair04There’s often someone who has to prove they are better than everyone or that they know more then the ‘teacher.’ I love workshops where I don’t know anyone, not even the leader. It allows me to be anonymous, someone with no history. Though introducing myself as creates its own set of expectations even bro they hear anything I haver to say about writing (or whatever the workshop is about).

I don’t consider it a success, more like notes to toward a longer less self-centered piece. Sometimes the prompt runs out of steam. I would find a sense of ending if I considered performing or printing this piece. Prompts of Power

sooncover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

October  6 – Thursday Toronto, 7:30 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.hotoct

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo


December – Thursday Dec 1st – Toronto, 8 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.divine


Early 2017:

my first local feature in over a year: location date TBA

it came in

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm startgames

June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –


check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015:


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh?

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

The Killer Dappled by Sun

view of my window

The Loyalist campus remains unchanged from last year – small ripples but nothing major – getting decent lunch food still remains a challenge unless one really loves bread  – Tim Ho’s is fine in the morning but Subway for lunch 5 days in a row could lead to me skipping lunches & losing nano-grams of weight.

This year, for the first time, I’m in residence “D” – the one residence building with no name. It’s very cold – I like a bit of a/c but its too cool here for kicking around, indoors, in shorts & a tee-shirt – sweat pants & hoodie are musts.

view from my window

First day of workshop was meeting others. Of the 12 in the class 8 of us have taken workshops with Rosemary a few times before. 2 men, 10 women . In the mornings we’ll be looking a the “whys” of being a novelist & also at marketing. To warm us up to each other we did a couple of writing exercises in the afternoon – one of which was to write a great opening line. Here’s mine:

My sister, Misty, who hasn’t spoken to me in years, leaned over my father’s coffin to whisper in my good ear, “Which of us kills mother?”

Real workshopping began Tuesday. I signed on to be one of the first in the hot seat with the section of Lazarus Kiss I posted here last week

Day two sort of over – I’m out of out the classroom but still have pieces to read over for workshopping tomorrow. Even by this second day it is very clear that ePub is changing the nature of the industry so that what we are learning about marketing & paper publishing is altering as it gets said –

Mine was the first piece workshopped – a good kick off – because it moves so fast some were a bit confused, some were lost because the excerpt comes from the 3/4 point in the manuscript – but overall they were impressed, challenged & in some cases laughed out loud when they first read it.

I tried to set the example of listening till everyone had commented before responding to a few things – I assured them that the violence of the scene wasn’t typical of the story but that the humor was. I’ll look at the written comments in couple of months when I do the next round of revisions.


here’s the one of the ‘Killer’ series that I used as my workshop one-sheet biz card:

The Killer Dappled by Sun

the killer flexed his hands

warm playful sunshine

wrapped around his fingers

he squeezed

but couldnʼt grasp the light

couldnʼt hold it   stop it   control it   harm it

the light was safe from him


he found comfort that something

was safe from him

he couldnʼt murder the light

there was a limit to his power

he was human    he had frailty


he looked around

shadows light danced on faces

chattering mindless

anyone of whom he could kill

one of whom he would kill soon

with hands that basked

in the gentle caress of the sun

they would find a throat

they would take the light out of those eyes

of people who were slaves to a system

of comfort for comfortʼs sake


well heʼd put an end to someoneʼs comfort

the killer was a liberator

and he would liberate one by one

until he was free

it would be good to be free

free of the need to liberate

the need to kill


once he had quenched that thirst

he would be free to enjoy this life

this world

this moment in the sun