Life Update

I’m Karen J. McLean, and here is your Karen’s Life Update for the morning of Thursday, March 24, 2022:

I heard the birds greet the dawn this morning, the first time this year. I am usually at my desk at dawn, and today was the first time they sang and I heard them. Spring is here, regardless of the weather forecast.

Trying out a new morning routine here, Chez McLean. Doug left Piper in the kitchen when he left for work. As she continues to age, it has become pretty much impossible for me to be at all productive with a geriatric border collie trying to boss me around because she’s bored.

I love her to bits, and I also have things to do — like online meetings and writing and stuff that requires what little concentration I can muster.

My plan is to spend quality one-on-one time with her when I go collect her after lunch. So if this works, it will be beneficial to both of us.


Currently Listening To: Duran Duran’s “Rio” on Apple Music’s ’80s Dance Party Essentials Playlist

Currently Reading: Sarah Polley’s Run Towards the Danger.

Current Hat: Brown Walden Pond ballcap featuring Thoreau’s sketch of a scarlet oak leaf.

Current Writing Project: A short memoir piece about the summer of 1989, to be submitted to my local critique group and then on as part of my application for a Canada Council grant.


Day 24 of the March SOLSC 2022

This post was created as part of Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Challenge

You can view other writers’ contributions via the comments here.

Confessions of a Creative Book Club Ghost

Way, way back in the mid-1990s (you know, before the turn of the century), I met a woman named Kathy in our local writers’ group.  I’m not sure which one of us stopped attending first, but we sort of lost touch for about ten years.

The city in which I live is not terribly large, though, and once you have met somebody with a similar interest as you, you tend to know what they are up to until meet them again.

Such was the case with me and Kathy.  And I am glad, because somewhere around the Autumn of 2010, she sent me an email out of the blue.  Kathy was forming a “book club for creative types,” beginning with Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, and would I be interested in joining?  I immediately said yes.

Since then, our Artists’ Circle has been studying two or three books together each year.  Well, the others have.  I have a tendency to join in with a great deal of enthusiasm.  But by Week 2, I am behind.  By Week 3, I stop sending my weekly check-ins in a misguided attempt to “catch up first”, and by Week 4 …  Let’s just say I have yet to complete one of our twelve-week book studies.

Well, Gentle Reader, it’s that time again.

This week, we are beginning to read The Hero is You (Kendra Levin) together.  This is the group’s second time working through the book, but my first, because … Well, you know. 😉

It’s a really neat book, with thought-provoking exercises and lines that make you think, and I enjoyed the idea behind it — likening the development of a writer to The Hero’s Journey.  But I can’t help but chuckle as I sit here reading the subtitle: “Sharpen Your Focus, Conquer Your Demons, and Become the Writer You Were Born to Be.”

(Can we just say I’m a late bloomer?  Second time lucky?)

So after I read some of my fellow Slicers’ posts in the next hour, I will settle in with the book and begin the journey again, side by side with my fellow creatives.

And now — thanks to making myself accountable to you, Gentle Reader — I am looking forward to finishing the journey this time.


This post was created as part of Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Challenge

You can view other writers’ contributions via the comments here.

A Wintry Tuesday

(This post format is from The Simple Woman’s Daybook.  I thought it was a great way to “take a snapshot” of my life today.)

Looking out my window … I see a lot more snow than I did last Tuesday.

I am thinking … about the creative writing courses I will be offering online shortly.

I am thankful … that I received my weekly injection this morning, so hopefully I will feel better in the morning. 🙂

One of my favorite things … is Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby ice cream, which I last had in 2019.  (Not available here in Canada. *pout*)

I am creating … some planner stickers this evening to fit my Passion Planners.

I am wearing… my pyjamas already.  Don’t judge. 😉

This week, I am

reading … Do the Work by Steven Pressfield.
watching … bobobrains’ Sims 2 streams  on Twitch
listening to… Duran Duran’s Big Thing and Liberty albums.

I am hoping… that my LottoMax ticket wins at least six figures in the draw tonight.  Then I can install a special Door Dash slot and dumbwaiter and not have to go out to buy groceries until Spring.

I am learning … about OBS and streaming on Twitch, and video editing of Zoom sessions.

In my kitchen… you will find three cats intently watching the bird feeder.

Board Room:  My “Well-Used Words” board on Pinterest.

Postscript: I fell in love with these amazing pottery dishes today.

Shared Quotation:

Write while the heat is in you. When the farmer burns a hole in his yoke, he carries the hot iron quickly from the fire to the wood, for every moment it is less effectual to penetrate it. It must be used instantly, or it is useless. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.

—Henry David Thoreau, Journal, 10 February 1852

A moment from my day:  I spent some time up at Rockwood Park this morning with this handsome fellow.


Closing Notes: I quite enjoyed this format!  I think I will do it again sometime!

Slice of Life Writing ChallengeThis post was created as part of Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Challenge

You can view other writers’ contributions via the comments here.