Thursday, December 31, 2009

BenchMark: Spring Eternal

Some time ago, I started a blog theme covering the Liberty Village art benches.  I got a bit sidetracked, as seems to often happen with my blog topics, and after covering 3 of the benches, somehow the topic got lost.  So with renewed enthusiasm I am picking up where I left off and will continue my series on the art benches in Liberty Village. If you missed my past blogs on "The Benchmark Program" or want to refresh on what they are and the ones already covered  you can read them here.

I will add that this year 4 more new art benches have been added within our village.  I think that is fabulous and I applaud our BIA for the initiative. 

I am going to present one or two of the Liberty Village Benches in my blog every Thursday morning in each of the following weeks. So stay posted for future installments!

This week we are going to have a look at Bench #10 on the BenchMark Map, at the corner of Liberty Street and Jefferson, kitty corner from the Liberty Cafe and locatedon the south east corner of the Lambert Stadium property.

Titled "Spring Eternal", it is a cheerful summer reminder at this time of year.  It is another of the benches created  by Miklos Legrady, who has 3 works of "bench art" placed in Liberty Village.  I will cover his next two benches in the bench blog coming next Friday as they are a pair of adjacent benches and should be covered together.

Spring Eternal is sponsored by CLEAN AND BEAUTIFUL CITY

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reflections As The Year Draws to a Close

I have always spent the last few days of every year in a reflective mood and always start the first few days of the year asking myself what do I need or want to accomplish in this  coming year.  This year I have been very pleased on the whole and  find myself with a great deal of feelings of grattitude and accomplishment.   Life is good.

Obviously, it could always be better - for instance, my ad in Craig's list for a "significant other"  has remained unanswered this entire year!   But in other ways the year has been spectacular!  This year has been the year I vaulted myself forward in a major way with my writing objectives and got my first draft done for my novel - thanks to NaNoWriMo. I have had a great deal of success in areas of my career (finally got around to the "badge of honour" - my PMP certification) and have racked up an award winning year as far as nights out listening to live music and just having fun.  One could not ask for (much) more.  Well... as I said earlier ...

So it is clear that one objective for next year is to progress this messy collection of 53,000 odd words into something I might allow someone else on the planet to read and critique.  I have so much excitement for the concepts and ideas that I have played with in the novel that I will probably be able to ride on that excitement as an incentive to get past the next nasty bit - the realization that there is a heck of a lot of work required to get the darned thing presentable.  I hope I can manage it given that I will not be quitting my day job.

Next year I must also  prepare for some major traveling in 2011.   I have only 1 more year to get ready for my Camino pilgrimage through Spain.  That means hiking the Bruce trail to get my hiking legs in shape and to get used to the weight of a heavy pack.  I will also need to start planning finances and equipment.   I may also even try and sneak in an extended Cuban trip next fall to breathe in the culture and take those Spanish lessons.  My trip this month just whet my appetite in that regard!

Another objective for next year is to figure out what to do with my new condo which apparently will be ready for me sometime next winter.  More on that in an up coming blog!

This is also the year I (for the first time) announced myself in a group setting as officially working on writing a novel.  Interesting to think that there are so many more writers now, as it is so easy to "self publish" - via the internet, if a novel is too ambious a project for you a blog is easily done.   You are then entitled to call yourself a writer.  Nevermind that you don't get paid - that is why other folks who do get to insert the adjective "Professional" in front of a noun describing an activity one might do as a hobby or as a vocation.   This year, I officially became a writer (unpaid, of course LOL)  as I have a draft of a novel ongoing and also have been publishing a blog for a full year now.  Can you see me smiling?

To throw some cold water on the idea of being a writer go here.  I like the first sentence in the last paragraph "Any real writer will tell you, you don't quit your day job to pursue writing. "  I guess I am on the right track.   

Thinking about writing got this tune rolling around in my brain.  

 From Wiki:
"Paperback Writer" is a 1966 rock song recorded and released by The Beatles. Credited to Lennon/McCartney, the song was released as the A-side of their eleventh single. The single went to the number one spot in the United States, United Kingdom, West Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Norway. Written in the form of a letter from an aspiring author to a publisher, "Paperback Writer" was the first UK Beatles single that was not a love song (though "Nowhere Man", which was a single in the U.S., was their first album song released with that distinction).

Paperback Writer
(John Lennon, Paul McCartney)

Paperback writer (writer, writer)

Sir or Madam, would you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It's based on a novel by a man named Lear.
And I need a job, so I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

It's a dirty story of a dirty man,
And his clinging wife doesn't understand.
His son's out working for the Daily Mail,
It's a steady job, but he wants to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

Paperback writer (writer, writer)

It's a thousand pages, give or take a few.
I'll be writing more in a week or two.
I can make it longer if you like the style.
I can change it 'round and I wanna be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

If you really like it, you can have the rights,
It could make a million for you overnight.
If you must return it, you can send it here.
But I need a break, and I wanna be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

Paperback writer (writer,writer)

Paperback writer (Paperback writer)
Paperback writer (Paperback writer)
Paperback writer (Paperback writer)
Paperback writer (Paperback writer)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I'm Bbaaa - aaaacccckk

Do you remember the character Russell Casse (the pilot) in the film Independence Day?

In the film Independence Day, humanity triumphed over the aliens as our race faced a dire end as our existence on this planet was threatened  by the monstrous weapons in the "death ships" slowly orbiting the planet and destroying everything in its path.  It has been well over a decade since that movie was released in 1996.  I remember watching it many times as it was a family favourite and each time there was an uplifting feeling at the end when the main characters watch debris from the mothership enter the atmosphere like fireworks.  We always cheered as the aliens had their asses kicked in this movie.

I felt a similar emotion at the end when watching the movie Avatar, but I was rooting for the Aliens this time.

While the movie is being praised mostly for its special filming and 3D effects and the animation, that is not the most interesting aspect of the film, in my mind.  Not to say that the visuals were not stunning and well worth the price of admission.   As far as the visuals are concerned, it is in the same league as the Star Wars movies, perhaps even in its own league given the innovative filming techniques.   For more detail on the techniques check out wiki - suffice to say if these filming techniques catch on we should have some interesting movies coming up in the next few years..

I dare say that this is a movie I will want to see more than once and in a theatre equipped with the IMAX 3D because of the excellent 3D effects.  

Warning:  SPOILER ALERT:  skip the next paragraph if you have not seen the movie and want to be kept in suspense about the plot and outcome.

It is a great movie full of action heros and villans. As you learn about the Navi way of life you come to identify with this alien race and how they value every living thing on their planet so when the battle scene arrives you identify totally with the poor Navi and want the nasty humans to get an ass whipping in the battle for the Navi's home and sacred ground.  Of course we cheer on  Jake Sully, our hero, who ends up changing sides and organizes the Navi to defend themselves and overcome the invaders.

There is so much symbolism in this movie that we go away from the theatre thinking about nature, biodiversity and how we treat the planet and the creatures which inhabit it. It the scene where they were bulldozing the home tree there is some pretty obvious parallels with the bulldozing of the Amazon Rain forest and the displacement of the Brazilian natives who live there.

That the film has been in production since 1996 is pretty amazing. James Cameron, who gave us Titanic, is certainly a director of great vision and talent.  He wrote the scriptment upon which the film is based.  Avatar was officially budgeted at $237 million (although rumoured much more was actually spent) and has grossed an estimated $232,180,000 Worldwide on its opening weekend, the ninth-largest opening-weekend gross of all time, and the largest for a non-franchise, non-sequel and original film. Two more sequels are planned.  They will be carting their profits away in wheel barrows for sure.

It is is another movie for my all time favourites list, right beside Independence Day.

For trailers and video clips go here.  For the official film website go here.

Oh ya - the opening title - I am back to blogging after a long period of intermittent and infrequent activity.  Last month's excuse was the NaNoWriMo and this month it was my Cuban holiday and then Christmas which kept me occupied elsewhere, but now I am back at it and am going to try and do some daily blogging for a while to get back into the swing of things. Of course in a few weeks I will be working on my 2nd draft of my NaNoWriMo novel, so maybe not daily blogging at that point... but we will see.

Hope everyone out there in the blogsphere had a wonderful Christmas (or other) holiday!  The first leg in our holiday season is now over and leg 2 - New Years - is nearly upon us!  Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A bit of this and that - is it December already?

RIP NaNoWriMo 2009

It certainly has been a while since I have written a blog - the entire month of November saw only 4 blogs and now we are one week into December and this is my first blog of the month!  However, as you know I have been a bit busy with the NaNoWriMo thing.  If you have been returning to my blog to check my progress you might have noticed the little icon to the right creeping up in its word count until last weekend it exceeded the magic count of 50,000 - the number of words necessary to say I had "won" NaNoWriMo.

Before I write anything more about the experience, let me first stand on a soapbox and announce that I will not be selling autographed copies of this work in any of the coming months.  It was an exercise in speed writing a first draft - nothing more.  While I am still very excited about the ideas I generated in the month I recognize that I have a major job ahead to turn this first draft into anything I would let any of even my most trusted friends read, let alone submit to a more critical audience.  I plan on letting the draft marinate until at least mid January when I will dust it off and decide how to proceed.

I was able to use the "speed writing technique" to develop lots of plot ideas although it certainly is not my preferred manner of writing.  I  learned to leave my "inner editor" outside and just write to build on ideas and this was very freeing but left me with an uncomfortable sense of disorder and a lack of satisfaction relative to my novel.  I am sure that I will need to rewrite it in its entirety.  However maybe many of the ideas contained in the current version would have been lost as I backspaced and rewrote paragraphs if I were not speed writing.  

I have in the month of November gained a new respect for authors and the difficulty they have in practising their craft.  I was listening this morning to a podcast featuring Joyce Carol Oates talking about her novel The Gravedigger's Daughter.  She said that she found the first 6 weeks of writing a novel the most stressful and difficult.  I am encouraged that maybe the 2nd draft might be somewhat easier.  I won't be giving myself any deadline on that exercise for sure!

And Joy of Joys - I have planned a sort pre-Christmas holiday at a resort in Varadero Cuba!  I had originally thought of flying into Havana and staying at a Casa Particular (a sort of government regulated "home stay" program)  however discovered that I could buy  one week at a 4 star all inclusive 45 minutes from Havana for about the price of air fare alone.  I am feeling of need of pampering and there are advantages for a single lady to stay at a place such as that... So I will leave my Casa Particular adventure for my next visit to Cuba - when I plan to stay at least 3 weeks in order to take some "immersive" Spanish lessons.  This particular resort is about an hour closer to Havana than the other Varadero resorts so I will be able to go into Havana and sight see as much as I like (I have direction for taking the bus!)  - but of course I will be lured by all the other "all inclusive" activities at the resort.

I am leaving in 1 week - so will only be able to manage maybe one more short blog before I leave town.

RIP  Québécois Filmmaker Gilles Carle

I first became acquainted with Gilles Carle one day when listening to the CBC Radio morning show, The Sunday Edition.  Gilles Carle had been one of Quebec’s most talented filmmakers with a career spaning from the 1960s Quiet Revolution and the Québécois cultural explosion until the mid 1990s when the effects of Parkinsons disease caused him to retire.  The radio documentary focused on Chloé Sainte-Marie , his companion of 28 years, who had been caring for this increasingly frail man in their home since the late 1990s.  She was obviously still very much in love with this man 34 years her senior.   It was a heart warming story of love and devotion and I must admit I am a sucker for such things.  In the week before his death Chloé opened  a long-term care facility in his name for sufferers of Parkinsons. The Maison d’hébergement Gilles Carle was inaugurated Nov. 7.

It was very appropriate that they rebroadcast the documentary today to mark his death and as a testament to Cloe's continued devotion to him to his dying day.  A state funeral was held Gilles Carle at Basilique Notre-Dame in Old Montreal on Saturday December 5th.

There is no entry in the English Language version of Wiki for Gilles Carle however there is one in the French Language version, which if you go here you can see a Babelfish translator version in English.

You can view films by Gilles Carle online at the National Film Board Site here.

Chloé Sainte-Marie is a great artist in her own right and has several albums to her credit.  Her most recent album launched just this year, Nitshisseniten E tshissenitamin (Je Sais Que Tu Sais), sung in its entirety in Innu. The words and the music are of the song writer and performer Philippe McKenzie.  The Innu are among the First Nations of Canada. They have maintained a vibrant folk music culture, which of course involves dance and percussion-based music.  Chloé brings her own special touch to these songs.  Having discovered it for the first time today and having listened to the samples on iTunes, I have added it to my Amazon Wish List.

I quite enjoy her album Parle Moi, which I have in my personal collection.  This video following is from Parle Moi and features some nice graphic artistry as well, which I understand was filmed in her attic studio in her home. 

Where the Hell is Matt?  A Good Times Video

Now for a completely different tone, I have been doing a lot of browsing of "backpack traveller" web sites and warn everyone that my wanderlust will only be contained for a year or two more.  I have bumped into the "Where is Matt" internet videos on more than one occassion, and in case you have never seen one - here is his 2008 offering.  I find watching his videos make me very happy thinking about the travels which might be in my future.

My "Be Happy" Inspirational Video of the Month:

If you are intrigued then here are a few more things to check out:

Where the Hell is Matt - his web site:

How he got people out to dance with him badly

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Is it Half Finished or Half Yet to Write?

For those of you who have not been following my blog too much I feature today 2 pictures from my Toronto Liberty Village Condo and also 2 pictures from my Collingwood Georgian Bay Condo.  The first two are taken from my Toronto residence.  I have the most wonderful view of the downtown and of Lake Ontario from my bedroom window there .  These are Toronto at sunrise.

The last two pictures were taken this morning at my Collingwood Shangri-La.  I have been retreating here to write every weekend.  The weather is still warm, but we are "at the ready" here for winter.  All the boats have been taken out of the water at our little marina on Georgian Bay and are all tucked away snug in their winter berths.  I am sure snow will be in the forecast before the month is out!  I know the folks ready to escape to the Blue Mountain ski hills up here are praying for early snow.

NaNoWriMo - Half Way to the Finish Line!

In the tradition of the glass half full thinking - I was working full steam today to make sure I was at the midway point in my word count - 25,000 by the midway point  in the number of days - Nov 15th i.e. today.   I let out a big cheer when I reached this point at the noon hour!

I am feeling like I have climbed a mountain and having reached the peak, look down the other side and recognize that it might be a lot harder slog to go down than it was to go up.  I can see the other side of the mountain and the valley below signaling the finish line, but I do have an equal distance yet to travel. So, having felt a fleeting moment of achievement and joy, I am steeling myself to continue and finish my journey on this NaNoWriMo event.

It has been a lot more difficult to meet my writing targets on a daily basis.  Writing a novel is hard work even if writing generally comes easy and one has an expansive idea with lots of things to write about. 

With that I will take my leave and get back to my characters who need me to take them on the remainder of their 50,000 word journey.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Am I Writing Drivel Or Is This Just The NaNo Way?

If you have not been following my blogs of late, you should first go here and learn all about NaNoWriMo.

Today was a very productive day and I feel a bit better about getting back where I should be with my word count.  However, I am even more not liking this speedy style of writing. Maybe it is the control freak in me, but I like re-reading and revising as I go along. It just seems more the right way to do it and end up with something that might be reasonable. Since I have just been speed writing -brain to finger -  no inner critic or editor engaged at all (I tied that part of my brain up in the back shed!!) ... I have this fear that I am writing utter nonsesnse and that it will just be a big waste of time in the end because I will toss the lot. Maybe it is just that habits die hard or maybe I am writing a pile of bum wipe! :( Time will tell!!

However, I will stick with it if only so that at the end I have given it a true test. Besides, I read my pep talk letter which came today from Gail Carson who amongst all the other gems of wisdom in her letter says:

Now, seriously, not fictionalized, with all the earnestness I can command, here is the only important piece of advice, which is crucial for any speed of writing, any kind of writing: Do not beat up on yourself. Do not criticize your writing as lousy, inadequate, stupid, or any of the evil epithets that you are used to heaping on yourself. Such self-bashing is never useful. If you indulge in it, your writing doesn’t stand a chance. So when your mind turns on you, turn it back, stamp it down, shut it up, and keep writing.

Gail Carson Levine's first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a 1998 Newbery Honor book. You can learn more about her writing at

I must say those pep talk letters which seem to arrive every other day are wonderfully helpful for keeping up morale!

  I happened to look at one of my new fav bloggists Adventures in Navy Wifing who today wrote as her blog topic "Writing Fast and Well".    She writes a blog I always try and sneak a peak at because she often has great tidbits - funny bits, eye candy and novel writing advice alike.

I happened upon this bloggist as she was featured on the site as someone who did her first NaNoWriMo last year and has published several novels since then.  (Actually this woman seems an incredible word machine - and pretty funny as well.)

Now back at it for me! - I need to break the 15K barrier tonight and I have another 600 words to go!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Lost in My NaNo Novel and Writing My Way Out...

Seriously off track in my word count and seemingly writing in circles :(  I have lost my trail in the plot!!!   Is this madness?

And Now from the national bureau of silliness - a musical interlude and a few chuckles:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

NaNo Observations...

Got home after 8 and my brain is mush after a stressful day and I have less than no motivation to work on my NaNo novel. Instead I thought I would write a few observations and note that until yesterday I was ahead of schedule and promise in front of all the Blogisphere that I will catch up over the weekend!

I must admit I am finding it difficult to change my writing style from contemplative and re-read and edit as I go along (= too slow to finish in a month) to the stream of consiousness, write without reading and editing style. I keep thinking that what I am writing will be crap, lack cohesiveness and will be rambling and boring...

However, in order to finish 50,000 words in 30 days you pretty much have to leave behind your inner editor and just forge ahead and brain dump. I am hoping to be pleasantly surprised at the end of the month that I have been able to capture some splendid ideas, even if I have to re-write the entire sucker from scratch...

So I was a bit down on the whole thing until I got today's "pep talk" email. The organizers of the NaNoWriMo thing have it all figured out. The way to keep us motivated is to send encouraging notes to all us NaNo participants. It is day 5 and already I have received 2 of these emails. The latest email is from the author Jasper Fforde. In essence, he affirms that the result will not be good, it will probably be a stinker - but as a consequence of doing this I will learn a lot and be a much better writer at the end of it - and it will be a remembered as a great month of fun.

So far, it has been a bit short on fun, but I should probably partake in a few of the silly NaNo events, such as Sunday's "Subway write". So the deal is that all the Toronto NaNoWriMos will gather at the Finch Subway station at 1 pm and all board the same car at 1:15 and we all work on our novels as the train takes us on its circuit. Hmmm, a bit silly, but what the hey...

Incidentally, I am updating the little NaNoWriMo widget at the right each day when I finish my day's writing. Your encouragement through comments cheering me on are very welcomed.

Hmmm, where was I?   It was a stormy night when blah blah blah blah... (is it fair to up the word count by a few blah's?)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

John Irving On Writing and the Start of NaNoWriMo Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the first day of effort on my NaNoWriMo Project. For those you who haven’t read my previous blogs on NaNoWriMo and want the details go here.

This week has been a week of contemplation… I really did not (yet) progress any further my novel plan, and I admit I am not as prepared for writing the novel as I would prefer. However,  I am much better prepared mentally and this blog is in part to explain my epiphany as it is to tell you about some neat things which have been happening in the City.

Toronto's 2009 International Festival of Authors

This week has been the week of the International Festival of Authors in Toronto and our city has been host to a great number of renowned authors who are front and centre in the media as much as involved in the IFOA events such as readings and author panels. The Globe and Mail has done a great job of covering these author events and I would suggest checking out the dozen or so pod casts recorded at the events to see if your favourite author is included.  The Pod casts can be found here.

The highlight of the Festival is tonight’s event where the Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalists, authors shortlisted for the richest literary fiction prize in Canada, close the IFOA reading from their books. Kim Echlin, Annabel Lyon, Linden MacIntyre, Colin McAdam, Anne Michaels are the 2009 Giller Prize Finalists.

As a consequence of all these literary events we have had lots of author stuff going on and in the news.  Last Sunday I listened to one such event,  a radio interview with John Irving on Michael Enright’s Sunday Edition on CBC Radio 1.

CBC's Michael Enright's Interview with John Irving

I listened with great interest to the program, eager for any secrets on novel writing that he might reveal and there was more than one ah ha on my part. Aside from that, which I will deal with in a moment, John Irving came across as warm and calm in demeanor as well as articulate and insightful. He spoke as one who has reflected a great deal about how he approaches his craft and in general as a man whose opinions were carefully thought through before being expressed.  I guess this is to be expected as spent many years as a University Professor.  I liked the man.

The most pressing topic for discussion during the interview, was the nature of his latest novel, Last Night in Twisted River. It’s protagonist features a man who's a lot like Irving himself – it is set in New Hampshire (not unique for a John Irving novel, admittedly), the main character is a writer who has a cottage on Georgian Bay and studying with Kurt Vonnegut at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. These are all things one would discover reading John Irving’s bio – but was the novel really meant to be about John Irving? Apparently not.

Entwined in the ensuing discussion was the concept that what is revealed about this novelist in his novels is as much about what they don’t say about him as it is about what they do say about him - if you are interested in more you will need to listen to the podcast - it is an interesting line of thought.   Of course we all know that novelist use bits and pieces of their life circumstances and the people around them – but that does not make it autobiographical. To put it in the way we often see rolling across the screen when seeing a movie, “any similarities with people living or dead is just a coincidence” particularly true if the work is published as a fictional novel.

As mentioned, I was eager to hear John Irving tell us about how he crafts a novel. I was very surprised to hear that it normally takes him 4-6 years from planning to completion.  Wow, I guess my novel is going to be a longer project than I had previously thought.

Most interesting was that he does not start the first draft until he is able to write the last sentence of the novel. When he starts writing the draft he is re-telling a tale that he has entirely thought through. He says that after he writes that last sentence he is able to write and complete the entire novel without changing more than a semi colon in that originally written last sentence! He absolutely sticks to the rule that if he cannot believe he has really written the last sentence of the novel he will not start the first draft. I was very impressed – he must have his novels extremely well planned out!

That got me to thinking I am not even close to being ready to start my novel by his standards… I still haven’t even gotten as far as the ending. I have managed to put those thoughts aside – after all nothing ventured nothing gained. As one of my friends pointed out when I discussed this with him – I can always just kill everyone off as the ending LOL…

In truth though, for me I think there is a greater danger to never start the novel because putting off starting with the excuse that more pre-work is necessary.  I am not John Irving – so I won’t let my lack of an ending stop me from throwing my hat into the ring with the 150,000 world wide who have registered for NaNoWriMo this year and who will write the first sentence of their next Novel tomorrow morning. Incidentally, last year there were 1,700 NaNo participants in the City of Toronto alone! But I digress…

A second interesting bit of information is that he writes his novels using pen and paper and types them on one of several IBM Selectric Typewriters he owns.  He believes that the keyboard allows one to write too fast and (my words) the writing gets ahead of the thinking.  Hmm, have to think about that one.

The last nugget of information which I found very interesting and insightful had to do with the role of re-writing in getting a novel finished. John talked about the years he spent involved in college level wrestling and how it taught him the discipline of practicing some small detail until it was precisely correct in its execution. He said this helped give him the stamina for a lot of rewriting – successful authors have to accept the fact that much of their time is spent rewriting their novel. He said that after he finishes a first draft he will rewrite it completely 3 or 4 times!

This certainly helps put into perspective what I can accomplish in writing my first draft of my novel in November. If I will need to plan to re-write it entirely several times, I should just spend the whole month getting it done, getting the creative ideas to flow through my fingers into the written page (ok, displayed screen)  and turn off “my inner editor”. If I don’t focus on how I am saying something, but just telling the story however it might come out, it will be easier. Not to mention removing one distraction – the desire to rewrite a paragraph until it says exactly what I want it to say, which will surely eat up lots of hours, if I can use my blog writing experience as any measure.

After listening to the Irving interview I felt less pressured to produce a "good" product and more interested in just going through the process and seeing how creative I can be with my ideas and letting my story tell itself - whether I cross the finish line with completely written novel of 50,000 words ready to share with friends is not the point. I will worry later about turning it into a "good" novel and proclaim now that I will not share the first draft with anyone.

If you want to listen to the CBC interview of John Irving, it is available on Podcast here. To see what wiki has to say about him go here.

Cuban in London's Blog and the Zadie Smith Essay

Before I end this blog, I really have to spend a paragraph or three telling you about another blog which has been helpful to my state of mental preparedness. A Cuban In London is a blogger I follow on a regular basis. A side from his regular contributions in the music, literary and opinion category, he has a regular Tuesday feature I have been following.  CiL has been sharing with us, by installment, an essay by Zadie Smith, called What Makes A Good Writer?

I can't include any quotes from her essay in this blog due to copyright restrictions but she did express a thought which particularly resonated with me.  She said, and l paraphrase here, novels are all unique but they share the ability to command our attention and take us out of our ordinary lives. (please see CIL's blog and the 8th installment which deals with style and quality for the quote I am referring to.)

One thing I have taken away from this thought  is that there is a great breadth of room for novels of all types and as different as night and day – I might add this is true for all creative mediums and means that no one approach or style or genre is any more or less than the other.  I smile as I recall one friend who was surprised that I would want to write sci fi  or another when I said I wanted to try a romance - both implied by tone that it was a lesser form of novel than I should attempt.

Each week when the next installment of Zadie's essay arrived, it has given me reason to stop and think about the art and craft of writing and the effort I am planning to undertake starting tomorrow.  I appreciate the genius of CiL as recognizing the essay as something which needed to be shared with a wider audience and his efforts to do so and I look forward to the remaining installments.

I won’t review more of Zadie Smith’s essay here, suffice to say that I recommend a read of the blogs (which started early Sept and runs for about another month or so each Tuesday). Go here to start at the first installment.Part 1 of Zadie Smith's Essay "What Makes a Good Writer"  Also, don't skip the reader's comments they are always interesting and often better illuminate and add to thoughts expressed in the essay itself.

And So For November!

For the month of November I will resist the urge to give you more than a progress report on my NaNoWriMo effort, but I promise a full accounting of the month’s madness in a few retrosopective posts in December!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Days Fly By - is it nearly November?

I have to apologize to all those folks who popped by in recent weeks, wondering why this blog seemed frozen in time... actually frozen in Nuit Blanche - Sleepless Night, to be precise.

It seems time has gotten away from me. Trips up north to my Collingwood hideaway, long days at work, NaNoWriMO planning (yes - the madness starts next week), wonderful nights out listening to some fabulous live music at my local Liberty Bistro and what can I say? The weeks have slipped by.

The picture above is my favourite spot when I go up to my place in Collingwood - the Gazebo at the end of the sea wall.  I took this picture as the sun came up last weekend.  Sure is nice 

I am preparing for my NaNoWriMo month.  I will sum up to say it is an International writing motivational event - aimed at challenging anyone who wants to write a novel to get their finger out and spend one focused month doing that.  For those who are not familiar with this you can go here to find out more.  I have been busy for some time trying to plan this effort and weave together some ideas I have for a futuristic (almost) sci fi novel I have in mind.  I am not nearly as prepared as I feel I should be at this point.  Therefore this post will not be as long as it might otherwise.  But I did feel the need to pop into the blogsphere and provide a bit of an update about my whereabouts.

But before I pop back out into novel planning land I will spend a few minutes absolutely raving about the wonderful music I have been enjoying at the  Liberty Bistro.   I have written about Liberty Bistro and the music I have enjoyed there a few times.  The other blogs were all about the Tuesday open mic nights there where Rude Jake rules.  More recently I have been going on a Wednesday night when Noah Zacharin reins supreme.

These nights have been wonderful with not only great music by Noah Zacharin himself, but also an assortment of other musicians who seem to pop by and just amaze with the talent at this small village bistro setting.  It is a little like sitting in your living room with a bunch of friends who all coincidentally are musicians.   The music is always great and the mood cozy,  and the musicians and patrons warm and friendly.  Usually there are more musicians in the audience than "ordinary folk" like me.  It is a special treat when Noah decides to accompany whoever might be on stage at the moment. His guitar skill always adds a lot to the performance.  This week I was particularly pleased when Noah decided to do a Leonard Cohen tune - it was great. 

Just a few of the musicians at recent Wednesday evenings which deserve special mention are  Onofrio Virdo -who is incredible with his wonderful classical/Spanish guitar and   who also plays at the local second cup on a Wednesday night;  Rehan Dalal who graced us this week with his fabulous blues guitar and vocals ths week and just blew everyone away.

In any event, I must stop blogging and get back to novel planning - NaNoWriMo is only a week away!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

One Sleepless Night or Silly Night -- Nuit Blanche 2009

Nuit Blanche is Toronto's annual night of art in the street and I set out last night to enjoy and experience all it had to offer.  If you did not read my last blog which gave an introduction to Nuit Blanche, you might like to do that first before reading this blog.  

"Nuit Blanche" is translated as "Sleepless Night" not "White Night" as one might think, as Nuit Blanche is a term of French idiom.  Having spent 8 hours last night out partaking in the event, I suggest that this night is not only sleepless but also pretty silly, even stupid, due to two factors.  Firstly there has been an overwhelming success in attracting participants - evidence that we Torontonians are starved for events which promise a good time. Secondly, there is just not enough good art in the event - even thought there were reportedly over 130 installations involving 550 local and international artists.

As my blog of last week mentioned, I was quite looking forward to the event as I had enjoyed it last year.  I set out at about 8:00 p.m. and did Zone C, which is in Liberty Village.  All of the inner streets in the neighbourhood were closed to cars and it was packed with people - all having a great time.  The rain had stopped and there was a full moon and it wasn't very cold.   I very much enjoyed the art, but there seemed fewer works of art in the immediate area and most were imo "on the fringe" of artisic effort.

For instance, in the Metro Grocery Store parking lot there was a work titled "Take Shelter".  It consisted of a great many cases of tined food which was  being arranged by the participants supposedly to be the basis of a shelter.  Seemed like a bunch of junk thrown around in the parking lot and a waste of good food.  I hope it was donated to a food bank, but I am not sure that the needy would understand why the tinned goods they were receiving were so covered in dirt.  Of course, idiots roamed the streets as well, so there were a good number of tins thrown around in the part across from my condo, even though that was a good 2 blocks from the installation.

There were a couple of interesting things which I most enjoyed, notably:

In the Metro Food store the sound of an approaching aircraft and the lifesized shadow of an airplane projected on the ceiling made a statement in the work titled Invade - acknowledging that we now have a different reaction, post 9-11, to an airplane in close proimity overhead. As one shops, one can imaging how improbable it would be to hear a plane at close range and it does create an uneasy feeling.

Through the passageway in the Liberty Village Market Building Attrium there were dozens of paper bag covered people who, as you tried to pass through, provided a heartfelt apology for being in the way.  Kind of made you feel good to hear so many people saying "I am sorry" to you.  This was The Apology Project.

Fire and Sausage - if art has to be silly, I like this version.  There were well over 10 stations set up throughout Liberty Village where there a couple of barrels set up with fire as cooking areas, complete with seating around the "campfire".

Titled "Small Mercies", it was a social sculpture simulating the aftermath of an apocalypse by ecouraging people to sit and talk and by dispensing tin cups of hot chocolate, sausages cooked on a whittled tree branch and (to the lucky few) a small blanket.  The statement that was made that in the aftermath there are small mercies as we share what is left.  The idea was thought  provoking, the execution was very practical (it was a cold night) and it did generate a sense of community and and fit into the  overall theme of the event.

 Across the street from my condo, a pair of contruction cranes were moving in unison to the sound of music.  It was called Dancing Cranes.  Interesting for a moment or two only.  Construction cranes have a very limited range of movement and speed - it would be stretching it a few miles to say they "dance".  Not high on my list of favourites, although the thought was good, just not a lot to work with.  You can see the full moon in the sky above the crane in this snap.

After seeing everything there was to see in Zone C, I set out for Zone B and the south end of Zone A at about 11:00 p.m.  At that point my opinion of the event changed from somewhat arty and mildly silly to definitely just silly and a bit annoying.

As I walked from Liberty Village to the downtown core, the streets were very busy, but this is to be expected as the Club District is between these two points and of course 11:00 is peak line up time outside all of the clubs.  So the sidewalk was filled with pretty, young things with short skirts and young men, with optimistic faces looking expectantly at the eye candy, waiting patiently to be granted access to the join the fun.  I don't expect this was any different tonight than any other Saturday night, except in the heat of the summer, it would be even more crowded in this section of town. 

After a 20 minute stroll through the club goers I got to downtown streets, normally not so crowded as in the Club District, the streets were either closed or gridlocked and there were wall to wall people. I wandered the area in a big circle to catch the most events, I was very disappointed.  There were so many people that it made it impossible to see any of the art without a very long wait and there were just (as the evening wore on) too many drunken teenagers out and about. 

I quote from one observer who had posted a comment on the web:
"Ratio of people having fun to drunk sobbing teenage girls with things spilled on their dresses = 1:1 at this point in the night." FROM: ASHLEY CARTER
TIME: 3:10 A.M. (ADDED AT 3:15 AM)

Even discounting the drunken teens, who were not lining up to see art, I might add, there were too many people.  The event had attracted far more participants per work of art than it could handle... long line ups to see any of the art and far more party/circus/fall fair or just plain silly events were being held than there were real identifiable "works of art" to view... The downtown area seemed the central spot for things silly.  An example below was in the Toronto Bus Terminal Station where men in cages were wrestling.

Bay Street, in Zone B was closed between Front and Gerrard (about 2 KM) and it was crammed with people - but the main attractions were the food vendors and two carnival rides which had been set up and were operating (for free!).  Not art in my book, but I guess because it was free it was deemed "participation art".

At our City Hall there was a crowd gathered which I suspect might have surpassed in number the folks that gather there traditionaly every year to count in the New Year.

  The attraction?

A large suspended set of lights which were programmed to flash 4 letter words or letter combinations.  Every time it changed the crowd called out the work in unison.  Art?  You tell me!

One thing was sure everyone was having fun.  I guess us Torontonians are easily amused.

I did like the Monopoly Game that was going on in a storefront of the Toronto (Stock) Exchange Tower.  They were playing for real money and folks had dressed up for the part and there were a few notables playing.

You can see set of participant photos and comments here to give you a full sense of the event 

 I must also in this report give the Nuit Blanche organizers kudo's for a great iPhone application and website which not only allowed one to set up a route in advance and pull it up on your iPhone, but also allowed us to find the nearest art installation to our current location, fetch related information for that particular piece and also to vote for favourites.  It was quite good.

On the not so well done category was garbage collection - bins were overflowing everywhere, and I heard someone say that Bay Street was a corn field this morning as there were so many corn husks discarded up and  down the street where the corn cob vendors were plying their wares.

So next year, I don't think I will make it a sleepless night (it was well after 4:00 a.m. when I got home last night!), and just do my own Liberty Village area and retire at a sensible hour and leave the late night drunks and silly things to every one else, in favour of a good night's sleep!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Nuit Blanche

Next Saturday night art lovers and merry-makers alike get to stay up all night as our City transforms itself and many of its public (and not so public) spaces into backdrops for contemporary visual art (with just a touch of performance/participation art to add spice). It is the 12 hour night of celebration called Nuit Blanche.

I cannot do a better justice to the description of Nuit Blanche than provided in its 2009 Web Site from which I have taken the following:

Nuit Blanche was originally conceived in Paris, France in 2002, in an attempt to bring contemporary art to the masses in public spaces. Now universally translated as 'Sleepless Night', Nuit Blanche brings more than a million people to the streets of Paris every year. In 2005, Paris organizers contacted the City of Toronto's Special Events office with an invitation to join the ranks of approximately six other European cities producing similar all-night events. The international success of Nuit Blanche continues to build each year and has expanded its reach beyond Paris to Brussels, Rome, Bucharest, Riga, Madrid, La Valette, Portugal, Tokyo, Montreal and Leeds - each offering its own version of the all-night art extravaganza.

Toronto was the first North American city to fully replicate the Paris model, and has inspired similar celebrations throughout North America, including San Francisco, New York, Miami and Chicago.

At its core, Nuit Blanche is a 12-hour event with a mandate to make contemporary art accessible to large audiences, while inspiring dialogue and engaging the public to examine its significance and impact on public space. Nuit Blanche is both a "high art" event and a free populous event that encourages celebration and community engagement. From sunset to sunrise city spaces and neighbourhoods are transformed into temporary exhibitions. Unusual or forbidden spaces become sites of contemporary art open for all-night discovery and rediscovery. Cultural institutions, from museums to galleries to artist run centres, open their doors and offer free access to contemporary art. The everyday is suspended as the city's landscape is changed to welcome a variety of artistic experiences.

I attended last year's Nuit Blanche and enjoyed every minute of it. In a way, the art takes a 2nd place to the atmosphere. For the most part exhibits are outdoors and it is night. The crowds are thick (at least in the first 6 hours - I confess I did not stay out all night- and it is a party atmosphere. It reminds me a little bit like Halloween as everyone is out wandering around in the dark and what we see in the way of these works is often way out there - entirely out of the ordinary. I think in some ways these works stretch the definition of art. However I remind myself that these are created with no utilitarian purpose in mind - the works are designed only to elicit some response from the observer, so it must be considered art, in its more broad definition. I daresay, there are always admirers of the most "out there" pieces and who am I to judge what is and what is not art?

Regardless, it is a fun night and there are lots of interesting things to see!

In any case, as I said, I attended last year and have included some of my last year's snaps in this blog.

For me, this is another perq of living in Liberty Village, as I am in the heart of "Zone C" - one of the three areas in the City which serves as a focal point for many of the installations. There are over 130 exhibits and 36 of these are within my neighbourhood - Liberty Village.

I am busy tonight planning my route - there are some neat tools at the Nuit Blanche web site - and it is interesting to review the various installations which are planned and press the "add to my itinerary" button to ensure I have my route planned out well in advance.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Collingwood Shangri-La

I have for the last year pretty much been a city girl. I do have a getaway place, which in previous years I would trek up to every weekend all summer. This year, and much of last year, that has not been possible, since I have my place "on loan" to my parents, who needed a place to bridge the time between when they had sold their country home last year while they were waiting for their Toronto condo to be built. They are getting on in age, and it was just time to be closer to family and to remove the burden of exterior home and garden maintenance.

Next Monday they move into the condo they have been waiting for all this time - and, for a brief few weeks I get my Collingwood Shangri-La back. I say a few brief weeks because I just may have lucked out with an extra 3 week fall rental from Thanksgiving through early November. I rent it out for ski season every year and that rental starts early December and runs through April. I really cannot justify having 2 places when there is just one of me, so it helps that I call it an investment and rent it out part year. So not much time for me to enjoy it this year, however next year I will be up their without fail every weekend starting in April. I am also going to get myself a kayak, so I will be out on the lake a lot as soon as it is warm enough.

I was browsing through some photos today and reminding myself what a paradise it is up there. As I drive up on a Friday evening, I can just feel the stress seep out of my bones. It is heaven. Bella and I walk out to the end of the sea wall and sit for a few minutes upon arrival as our arrival ritual every time. She and I could be very happy in retirement some day up there.

One of the many things I appreciate about the Collingwood Area, is the diverse geography. The Niagara Escarpment is within sight - the Blue Mountain Ski Hills are in view from my doorstep - an enchanting sight at night in the winter when they are lit, let me tell you. The wonderful huge expanse of the blue waters of Georgian Bay are also just steps away. Collingwood has lots of great places to shop, eat and entertainment of all sort as it is a 4 (ok - 2) season resort town.

I have condo in a resort style gated community of stacked condos, well serviced with a Community Centre with all the amenities, including tennis courts and a marina on the Bay. That aside, there is one other thing which my location affords me - I am just across the road from the Georgian Trail which interconnects with all sorts of other area trails of varying terrain and difficulty for hiking. You can see by the map below, how many trails there are in the area.
Whilst going through some pictures I came across a bunch which I took while on a hike along the trails from my Shangri-La at Rupert's Landing to Sunset point. To illustrate the route better, I cropped and enlarged the above map to show the area I travelled. I trekked pretty much from the left top shoreline to the right most shoreline in the map below. It was a great day, windy but warm. Half way along it got cloudy and a storm threatened, but the bad weather held off until we got home. I shall have to get in a few fall hikes whilst I have the place in the coming weeks!

The slide show audio is from Ingrid Michaelson's tune "Far Away"... it has been a while since I have been able to spend some "quality time" at my Shangri-La, so it seems right now "Far Away"... He song makes me smile as I listen and does provide a little extra ambiance to the photo gallery.

A Taste of African Blues and the Blue Men of the Sahara

On the way home from work today I heard some new music which really wowed me. When I got home I had to find out more about the band and their music. It was so distinctive, lots of electric guitar (and please note I am not a major electric guitar fan), a little trance like, lyrics which were not english, and I couldn't place the language or the style of music. When the announcer said the band was Tinariwen and the tune was Tahult In, I had to find out more. I made a mental note to look up the song on the Radio 2 playlist (their songs are posted) when I got home.

Therein started a musical and educational journey for me and a new dream for my life list. I would like to share this musical find with you. It may not be quite your cup of tea, but I quite like the music and the story behind it is intriguing

Firstly, let me give you the Reader's Digest regarding the band and their music. It isn't really a band, per se, but rather an extended family of ethnic Tuareg people from Saharan Africa, within the country of Mali.
To quote Wiki:
They play in the Tishoumaren ("music of the unemployed") style, and sing mostly in the French and Tamashek languages. Their songs mostly cover the subject of independence for their people from the government of Mali. They are said to be the first Tuareg band to use electric guitar...

Tishoumaren as a musical style diverges from some traditional styles of Tamasheq music in that the group of performers is, first, much smaller (10 or so, as compared to about 30), and second, among other factors, the music is based around the sound of the electrical guitar. The style has grown in popularity, much in line with the growth of Tinariwen's popularity, as they are regarded as the first Tamasheq group to feature electrical guitars, and thus as the originator of the style.

Having said that, have a listen and see what you think.

I also found several You Tube videos with Tinariwen accompanied by various famous guitar men. I liked this one featuring Carlos Santana with Tinariwen performing "Amasskoul" at the Montreux Jazz Festival

As I looked through the You Tubes available on this band I discovered most of them were documentaries. There is quite a story behind this people, their music and their struggles. If you have a little bit of time I would highly recommend watching this 2 part video to gain an appreciation of what is behind this really soulful African Blues music.

Documentary on the Band and Their Music:

Part 1

Part 2

Whilst browsing through the You Tube Videos for Tinariwen (mostly documentaries as I said), I found a Video describing the Festival in the Desert. When I saw the You Tube about this international music festival, which is held in the middle of the Sahara Desert, I was blown away. Gosh it would be fabulous to go there! The Festival au Désert (Festival in the Desert) is an annual concert in Essakane, Mali, showcasing traditional Tuareg music as well as music from around the world.
So now I have another item on my "life list". I would love to travel to North Africa and attend one year.

If you like this music and want to see another amazing You Tube of the African Blues Music Try these two You Tubes
Festival in the Desert:
Part 1
Part 2

For the Tinariwen web site go here

Incidentally, I did decide to buy their album on iTunes. I feel not only like I have bought an album, but also like I have sent money to aid Africa.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sunrise in September

These days, it is easy to wake up before dawn. I guess that is the thing I dislike about fall the most, shortened days and increasing hours of darkness. I find it harder to spring out of bed when it is still dark. I will find it more difficult still in December and January, when it is cold as well as dark, so I am glad for our great September weather and the fabulous sunny days we are having.

The bright side of this is that most days from now until next spring I will see the sun come up - at least, on the days the sun shines. This morning I took the time to take some pictures of this beautiful sight and set it to some music, I think fitting music for a brand new day - a day full of opportunities and full of wonder.

I am quite surprised at the south/north distance the sun travels in a year. In the middle of winter I can watch the sun rise over the Toronto Islands a good deal south of the location the sun rose today. At the summer solstice the sun rises around the corner of the building to my immediate east, just out of sight. This distance is even further than the two opposite points on the the headline picture in the slideshow above.

The Queen Street West Annual Art Crawl

Tomorrow starts the fist day of the Queen Street West Art Crawl, which runs over the weekend. I plan to take several long leisurely strolls over the weekend to see it all. The outdoor art show and sale is centered around Bellwoods Park but there are also events and exhibits all the length of the Queen Street West Strip from Spadina to Roncesvales - a very large area. It will take some time to experience and appreciate the work of the 250 participating artists.

Also this weekend is the final weekend of the Toronto International Film Festival, however, I understand tickets involve multihour line ups - just not my cup of tea, so I guess I will satisfy myself by viewing all the trailers on the TIFF web sight.

Marie-Pierre Arthur

Again my CBC Radio 2 station has blown me over with a new Canadian talent they are giving air time to. Her name is Marie-Pierre Arthur and the song they have been featuring is Pourquoi. The melody is up beat and perky, her voice clear and melodic and happy and the lyric has grabbed my interest (but I can make out only a dozen words. (I have not been able to find the lyrics on the internet :) From reviews on the net, I understand that her lyrics are poetic. Having pulled up her CD on iTunes and listened to the rest, I am a fan.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Poetry, Jazz and Toronto Skyline at Night

Days end and another wonderful day it has been! Spent a good deal of the afternoon sipping beer with a friend on the patio of a pub watching the world walk by on the Queen Street Strip. The Toronto International Film Festival - or TIFF as it is known, started on Thursday and lots of beautiful people are out and about. The TIFF is among the world's foremost film festivals and it is 10 days of glitz, glamour and fun here in the city. I have a list of maybe 20 films I really would like to see - sadly, I suspect I will not get out to more than maybe one.

After my fabulous afternoon, I wandered home with great intentions of working on my novel, but got sidetracked taking some photos and reading my book. LOL... and reading blogs and also writing this one... However it still is not late and so next I spend an hour or three novel planning.

I keep saying this, but at risk of rolling eyes, I will again say how lucky I am for where I live and what I have. Even if now and again, I moan out loud for want of my Prince Charming, I have to admit, life is good.

Tonight I am happily working away in my home office (a recently re-acquired 2nd bedroom which was vacated by my daughter who is happily living not too too far away) enjoying the view to the east. Wish I could bring you as spectacular night picture as my eyes behold, but that is just not possible with my camera and camera skills...

This is the best I can do - it does give you some sense of the of the Toronto night skyline, but of course, you will need to come visit if you really want to experience its beauty!

Poetry and a Love Story

I just finished reading Canadian author Elizabeth Smart's book of poetic prose "By Grand Central Station I sat down and Wept". For the Wiki on this fascinating author go here.

The original was published in 1945. I have a 1966 reissue of the book, with a forward by Brigid Brophy describing it as one of the half dozen masterpieces of poetic prose in the world. Incidently, her preface to the novel provides some excellent insights into Smart's prose. The novel is both an ode and a lament to Smart's utter surrender in love to George Barker, an English Poet. It was written whilst she was "away" to birth the first (of four) illegitimate children he fathered by her. Their affair was to last her lifetime. It is a epic tale of a love so consuming she is driven with it blindly and without control. Somehow, in her prose, Smart is able to marry stanzas of poetic words testament to the heady, passionate and intense love with the very mundane day to day business of living. A slim volume of 112 pages, I devoured it in two short sittings.

Interestingly, it appears that while George Barker was on the receiving end of such searing love for so many decades, he had a very different viewpoint on it. He wrote a counterpoint novel of prose in 1950, The Dead Seagull. I have not read it, but suspect by the title that it was not of the same mood as Smart's novel. Barker, in my mind, is an undeserving recipient of such boundless love. Through research I found he was as much remembered for his numerous love affairs and fifteen children by several different women as for his very large body of poetry. It seems that he was prolific, and not only in the literary sense.

Interestingly, I was able to obtain Smart's book second hand through Amazon for $1.65. Barker's book (also poetic prose) is selling for $116. Both are out of print. I would like to get a copy of Barker's to read - from my research it is a "must read". I will have to check out the library.

I found a quote on The Dead Seagull from an anonymous reviewer on Amazon:

"...these two novels are as convenient as they are breathtaking. As you may probably have guessed, i cannot recommend these novels enough. In fact they would be in the top ten of all novels i would recommend concerning mid 20th century literature."

And now some very wonderful Jazz Music:

I have been captivated by an artist who has been getting air play on CBC's Radio 2. Her name is Melody Gardot. According to Wiki:

Melody Gardot is an American jazz singer, writer and musician who lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was disabled at 19 after being struck by a car while riding her bicycle and began writing music after using music to aid her recovery. She has been influenced by such blues and jazz artists as Janis Joplin, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin as well as Latin music artists such as Stan Getz and Caetano Veloso.

This You Tube video includes 3 of her songs and illustrates the range of her repertoire and her utterly sweet yet Jazzy voice. I am enchanted by the first song, Les étoiles.

Les étoiles

Les étoiles les étoiles les étoiles
Dites-moi étoile, pourquoi je vous regarde?
Les étoiles les étoiles les étoiles
Dites-moi, étoile qui vous regardera?
Les étoiles les étoiles
Si seulement je savais
Dites moi étoile de qui obtenez-vous la lumière
Les étoiles les étoiles
Vous qui êtes belle dans les cieux
Dites-moi étoile, qui vous donnera l�'amour?
The stars the stars shining up above
Tell me stars who will give you love
The stars the stars lights of white and blue
Tell me stars why I look to you

More Air Show Pics:
A previous post included pictures of the Air Show from my viewing last Sunday. I did take some more photos on Monday and caught a pretty good shot of the F/A-22 Raptor which is the United States Air Forces' fifth-generation fighter aircraft. It really looked incredible in the sky - I can't but help post these two which both show the general shape of the aircraft and also how close it was to my condo as it flew by.

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