Monthly Archives: September 2017

A Boy Named Kim

Hi there,

Like you, I’ve been keeping an eye out for the latest in the threat of nuclear war.  Terrorist attacks seem to pale in comparison to the thought of complete annihilation of a country, namely, Japan.

A good friend of mine is from Japan, and she has family and friends there still.  The world seems to be getting smaller.   It feels like we have more contact with people from all over the world.  (Maybe that’s a Canada thing?)

It suddenly came to me that the threat of dropping a nuclear bomb on Japan is doubly-cruel. The Japanese know all-too-well of the effects of a nuclear bomb.  This is a mild image compared to others.

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I don’t really understand the thinking behind these weapons. Well, I kind of do.  Fear. If other nations have nuclear weapons that can be used against us, we need to protect ourselves by having nuclear weapons too.

The military know that if you go into a hostile situation with your weapons raised, it’s going to escalate the hostility and lead to violence, greater violence.

There are some that believe the best way to kick-start the economy is by war.  I most definitely disagree with this belief.

I don’t really know how to kick-start the economy, but I’m 100% confident that we, as human beings, can come up with something a hell of a lot better than war!

Or, maybe the solution is much simpler, stop giving boys girl’s names.  Kim?  Maybe if he had a strong name, like, oh, I don’t know,  George, David or Donald,  the world wouldn’t be thinking and worrying about nuclear war.  (Okay, maybe not ‘Donald’)

My theory may have a few wrinkles in it.

I don’t know about you, but I think I’m just going to keep praying.  I think of a Rohingya man in prayer (having to leave everything behind due to heavy persecution) praying, they can only look to Allah to save them.   Agreed.   So we too, must look to God, Allah, Jehovah, Yahwey…

God is our anchor, hope and peace in all of this uncertainty.   There’s always been conflict in the world. Europe has apparently not been gone without a war for more than a seventy (70) year period.

It’s baffling really.  Do we continue to fight wars because we don’t know anything else?  Are we really that greedy?  That fearful?

Human beings have created the need for soldiers. We’re the problem and yet we do nothing …

Well, I’ve really backed myself into a corner. This subject is quite depressing.  I would welcome any thoughts. Maybe we can start a forum – Ideas on how we can really put an end to war, and create sustainable peace.

To lighten the mood a little, here’s Johnny Cash singing, A Boy Named Sue.  🙂

Blessings,

Ellie

Writer’s Blues

Hi there,

I think I may have the Writer’s Blues.  (That should totally be a song!)

I just received a comment asking me for tips on how I clear my mind to write.   I realized the biggest tip is to just start writing, and edit later.  (I’ve also discovered how much I hate editing.)

I really do beat myself up a lot over not writing enough, not editing, not being disciplined, for coming home from work with a head ache, and from being tired at night.  (As though I can control a headache or waking up on Saturday morning with a migraine!)

It definitely annoys me though, the feeling that I am not being productive on the days where I can be productive.

I’ve tried to set deadlines for myself.  The problem with being a writer is that it’s all about self-motivation.  And, there’s a million and one other things I can be doing, like watching Stephen Colbert!

I think we all need to set goals, as well.  And, then celebrate the milestones!  Be happy for yourself!!  Pat yourself on the back.  Do something nice for yourself to celebrate your achievements, no matter how small or insignificant you think they are – they are not.  Your accomplishments are worth celebrating!

Find an accountability partner, someone who will check in on you and ask you about your writing.  The person will be completely tickled when you write a little blurb in the back of your book about how you couldn’t have completed your project without their help.  🙂

Writing is hard work.  People don’t realize this.  But, it does make me feel like a real writer when I am talking about the process of writing and the difficulty of letting go – you can always change a word here or there –  the work is never completely finished – EVER!!

Anyway, someone said he was listening to an interview with Leonard Cohen and the poet, singer, songwriter, said the exact same thing.

Yep, me and Leonard – like two peas in a pod!

I think it’s for this reason, I also love going to writer’s festivals.   While others are listening to the plot of the novel, etc., I am listening for the gold nuggets of writing.  How does this author deal with distractions?  How does this other author deal with motivation? etc., etc.

When a friend asked me what Mary Walsh’s book was about, I said, “Uh, it’s kind of about a girl from Newfoundland and Labrador.”  But, Mary said she’s always wanted to write a book ever since she was a little girl and now at 65 years old, she’s published her first novel. Inspiring!  She also talked about the difference between real life and novels.  They’re different, according to her editor.

For instance, the character leaves home to really save herself.  In the original story, Mary Walsh’s character does not return home for her younger sister, but her editor insisted that the character must do this!  Mary argued that in real life people do not go back.  They save themselves.  The editor argued this is a novel, not real life.

I’m guessing the editor won the argument.

At any rate, I picked up a golden nugget – a few in fact.

I would also recommend listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Ted Talk, called, Your Elusive Creative Genius.  See below.

I hope some of this advice helps you to sit down and write.  You CAN do it!!

Blessings,

Ellie

 

Whoomp!

Hello Readers!

Whoomp! There it is.  (I am ageing myself.)

After I had written P.C. Post, Ben S. Harper tweeted, No MacDonald No Canada.  Yep, thanks to this MacDonald guy from Scotland, Canada is all about the beaver, the BB-Q, the burger and the beer.

Image result for sir john a macdonald

I’m not sure the person who tweeted this message is Ben Harper, the son of former Prime Minister (and Conservative extraordinaire) Steven Harper, but I instinctively knew and felt there would be a backlash by the recent push of taking down statues, changing signs, names of schools, etc.

I don’t even think it’s a Conservative / Liberal / NDP thing.  I think it’s a Canadian thing.  And sometimes, it’s an Immigrant thing.

I was recently having a conversation with a group of people, of various backgrounds (mostly Canadian) and someone said, “They (Aboriginals) do not pay taxes.

I let out a sigh…I had just finished watching the series 8th Fire hosted by Wab Kinew, where he said, “I pay taxes.”

All things considered, it was actually really good timing.

I related this little bit of truth to the group and encouraged them to watch this CBC series.  8th Fire is Native prophecy that says we (Natives and Non-Natives) must come together in this time to make peace with one another.  (I am paraphrasing from memory, so apologies if this is off a bit).  I’m not sure the series says what will happen if we don’t reconcile and make peace with one another, but I’m going to safely assume that it’s not going to be pretty.

Maybe we should start by stating the obvious.  The one thing we can all agree on, whether we be Natives, Canadians – old and new – is that we really love this country and believe that we can do AMAZING things.  We can show the world what reconciliation and loving your neighbour looks like.

I have to believe that the majority of Canadians are decent, and that our comments and beliefs are simply based on ignorance and lack of education on the subject of Native peoples in this country.   I sincerely hope that these beliefs are solely based on our lack of understanding, and not our lack of care, compassion or empathy for the First Peoples.

That said Canada, I would encourage you to watch the series, 8th Fire, see link below, and give these few books a read.  I know we’re all busy, but instead of watching brainless reality television, why not try something different?

Here’s my suggestion list:

  • Keeper’n Me (Fiction) by Richard Wagamese (My absolute favourite Aboriginal writer!)
  • The Inconvenient Indian (Non-fiction) by Thomas King
  • A Coyote Columbus Story (Fiction) by Thomas King
  • An Army of Problem Solvers (Non-fiction) by Shaun Loney and Will Braun

Link to 8th Fire:

http://www.cbc.ca/8thfire//2011/11/tv-series-8th-fire.html  (You’ll have to scroll down to the bottom to watch the four (4) episodes.)

I really hope you’ll consider reading and watching this series.  It’s an important first step to understanding.

If you’re hesitating, my question to you is this:  When has the government ever really gotten it right when it comes to reconciling Aboriginal peoples and Canadians?

I think it’s up to you and me. Or, as Ms. Piggy would say,

You and…

Image result for ms. piggy moi

Blessings,

Ellie

A World Without Borders

Hello Readers,

I’ve been pretty annoyed by everything that is happening in the world.  (But, at least it’s got me blogging again!)

Given my annoyance, I have some suggestions on how the world would be a better place. Here they are:

  1.  My first recommendation is for world leaders to stop acting like they’re 12-years old. I’m not just talking about Donald Trump, here people.  What about Vladimir Putin and his, ‘Oh yeah, you’re going to kick us out of our diplomatic posts in San Francisco, etc., Well, we’re going to kick the same number of American diplomats out of Russia + 1.  Take that Donny.’  Really?  And, then there was the American-Russian race to the moon. Don’t even get me started…
  2.  My second recommendation is to erase all the borders on the planet. Everywhere.  Just take a giant erasure and go to town.  Let the kids do it. It’ll keep them out of your hair while you’re watching Game of Thrones.  Here’s a picture of what that would look like:

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The reason I would argue for a world without borders is this:  If we continue to look at people as being from this place or that place, different from ourselves, and not as human beings, we will NEVER get anywhere.  We are inter-connected, whether you like it or not. We share the same universal need for unconditional love, acceptance and are likely in need of some form of healing.

I once spoke with a German man, whose family fled Germany after World War II.  He said, “People do not want to leave their homes, families, communities, lives.”    (See all you anti-immigration people, if you just told your governments to make the world a safer place to live,  and did not tolerate aggressive acts, no one would come and live in your WASPy or pure European-blooded country  – Note sarcasm.)

All that to say, people do not want to have their lives uprooted and move to a foreign country.   For the most part, people are forced to leave due to the circumstances.

That’s about all I have to say on the subject.  We’re all in this together, like a sports team, whether it be cricket, baseball, football, American football, hockey, we’re going to have to work together eventually, so why not now?

Otherwise, it’s looking like China is on the cusp of becoming the world’s next super power.  Just look at the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, calling for the U.S. and North Korea to cool it, saying, “Dialogue, negotiations and a political settlement are the fundamental ways of solving the Korean Peninsula’s nuclear issue” (Washington Post).

President Xi may be our best hope at present for peace.

Until we get our act together, that is.  Come on, People of the World!

Although, there is a little part of my Canadian self that thinks maybe it’s Canada’s time to be a World Superpower!!!    Check it out:

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Clearly a sign from above, eh?*

Blessings,

Ellie

* The question is rhetorical.