February 4, 2020
My apologies for the drunken, overwrought letters, mailed to made up addresses. Like notes in a bottle. I have been clean& sober for forty-four years. And I guess this is another too long letter to the world.
You might recall that in those days I was with a guy who was trying to write a play. The good news is I am a writer. I still feel like a fraud when I say, “I am a writer” Who would’ve thunk, I would start to submit my work in my late forties and upon occasion get published.
I live in downtown Toronto but have been staying on the Opeongo Road in Renfrew County in my sisters and partners log home. One might say I am on the lam from COVID19. More on this in an another letter. I am trying to tell you so much in so little time.
A collection of my short fiction, THINGS I WILL TELL YOU WHEN I AM DEAD was published by HIDDEN BROOK PRESS in the summer of 2017.
I did not give a copy to my mother, who died in her sleep. at age 98, in her own bed, three months after my books THINGS I WILL TELL YOU WHEN I am dead wasreleased. My father was killed in an explosion, at a nuclear facility, when I was two moths old and my parents were two shy of their first wedding anniversary.
t took sixty years to get to the bottom of what happened the day my father was killed. I have not written about his accident or life. He does show up in my fiction.
It is not for a lack of trying. I have poems and other pieces scattered about.
In early March, my mother’s youngest sister died at age 95. After a fine Ottawa Valley funeral for Celina Bridget, I returned to Toronto
I left the Ottawa Valley at age eighteen but have always secretly called home. With two many trees and rocks, I could not live there, but loved the Ottawa Valley state of mind in my own mind.
My mothers younger sister had asked me to promise to never write about her mother’s mother. My great grandmother, who died in a psychiatric ward in her forties. Her husband was a well loved and remembered Ottawa Valley character.
With aplogies to my aunt, I am going to write about my great-grandmother.
A trip to Honeymoon Bay on Vancouver Island to attend a writers retreat was cancelled.
My father grew up in this area and my great grandmother and her family was born and lived her life in the area of the Opeongo Line.
My bedroom is on the second floor and when I look out the window with a view of the Opeongo Road and Lake Clear, in my imagination I see my father, wearing a fedora, fishing in the lake.
My great-grandmother from her grave recognizes me and is saying “Write a story about me. A play was written about my husband a hundred years after he was born. I’m relying on you.”
Some mornings, I am afraid to look out the window. I am afraid I will see all of them. Or feel their presence. The Irish ancestors who first came her to settle, my father, my boyfriend who died four years ago and on and on. It may sound weird & pretentious. But it is true. I
I feel as though my melancholy & grief is waiting for me on this Opeongo Mountain. ( I hasten to mention, it is an Ontario Mountain.)
Ruminating on what I am not writing could also be a useful purpose of this blog.
Or writing stories about my father& great grandmother and post on this blog.
Four years ago, my long time boyfriend, died from cancer. I know I am a bit long in the tooth to call him such a word but he was opposed to the word partner.
I started this yesterday on forth anniversary of his death. Although it is a day later, I am leaving the date. During these pandemic daze days, time, dates. weeks & months seems only a nod to what life used to be like.