Monday, November 30, 2015

November kicked my butt, literally...

Happy end of November! It flew by and left me in its wake...

I know I have been busier in my life, but it has been awhile!

November in the writing life is NaNoWriMo, where thousands of writers worldwide endeavour to get 50,000 words on paper (the approximate length of a short novel).

Happily, I achieved my goal, and was rewriting a book that is giving me no end in grief, and as of the end of November, I have probably written 80,000+ words. Phew.  I'm not saying they're 80,000 amazing words, but they are on paper and that's the first step!

I also had my very first colonoscopy in the midst of all of this. And a terrible cold. At the same time.

Why'd I get a colonoscopy? Well my dad had colon cancer in his late sixties, so my doctor and I felt a baseline was in order.

They are not fun, but here's the thing:

1) you get to spend a lot of quality time in your bathroom, which reminds you of odd jobs someone ought to be doing and gives you a lot of reading time. During the day in which I drank the dreaded goop I managed to finish a novel, so hard to complain.

2) your bowels are your friend. So I got to talk to two lovely doctors about them (the doctor and the intern) and sort of felt like I was in an episode of Grey's Anatomy. And thankfully, all is well down below and I don't need another one for ten years. Surely within ten yours I won't remember the goop. It's like childbirth, right?

These guys were kind of like my two doctors and I was definitely over-acting....


Really, my horrible cold was much worse than the colonoscopy, all things considered, and the inconvenience is worth it in order to have piece of mind.  And there are many good videos you can watch in advance so there are no surprises. I highly recommend the one with the undulating psychedelic colon. Someone put a lot of thought into making that video and they made the prettiest and most mesmerizing colon ever!

What else is new in my life? Well, I am in the throes of Christmas shopping, still writing madly and counting the days until my son comes home for Christmas (for the record, it is 19 days).

I have also begun "The Watching of Holiday Movies". So far we have done Die Hard and Love Actually, which makes me realize that Alan Rickman is really Mr. Christmas...

How about you - what have you been up to? Do tell!  Anyone else ever had a colonoscopy?

xoxo wendy

Saturday, November 14, 2015


We can never understands the minds of those who can so mercilessly and so easily take the lives of others.

We can only respond with love and empathy and hope for better days ahead.

Paris is the city of my heart. I love it unabashedly and I love the people who live there. Parisians are often accused of being rude or cold or unsentimental. They are none of those things.

The images of last night - the terror, the anguish, the unstinting heroics, the sports fans leaving the stadium spontaneously singing Le Marseillaise - are etched in my soul today.

Many of the locations were mere blocks from where Barry and I stayed in September. We walked those neighbourhoods and adored them. We will do so again. And like my friends and other favourite city, New York City, Parisians will not be bested.

But today they can use our prayers. As can those who commit these acts of atrocities. Peace on Earth.

Je suis Parisienne.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Those Marketing Families who get me every time...

Tis that time of year again.

You know: the one where the big corporations develop compelling marketing campaigns that make us want to buy their products.

Doesn't everyone want to be more beautiful, look more ravishing, dress the best, and have meaningful family moments all at the same time? I know I do! :-)

The kind of marketing I am most vulnerable to this time of year is marketing that portrays happy families. I grew up in a relatively happy family, and my parents gave good Christmas, but we didn't live in that big old farmhouse surrounded by horses and dozens of cousins (although I did get to visit such a world when I visited my friend Nancy!).

The first time I remember being "gotten" by the marketers was those Folgers coffee ads. You know the one - Peter the son sneaking into the house and surprising his family at Christmas, making the coffee...

I am particularly susceptible to it this year thanks to my son being away at University.


Damn, that makes me teary just looking at the still!

But this year, Lands End has been able to push all of my buttons. Have you seen their catalogues?

That beautiful extended family, home to see Grandma and Grandpa, who are the new kind of Grandma and Grandpa: hot!

Ah the beauty! The joy! Thumb through the catalogue and you will find yourself yearning to be invited to the fake grandparent's house (Look - it's Barry and Wendy, in from Canada!) If Canadians succeed at sentimental hockey and Tim Hortons advertising, then Americans own Thanksgiving and Christmas - or at least their marketers do.

You all know I love Christmas. Always will. I do find myself in that weird in-between season of life - grown-up children, no grandchildren, which makes Christmas fun, but perhaps not as magical as it was when my kids were younger. And this week is the anniversary of both of my parents' deaths (convenient of them in some ways, cruel in others) that makes me think of happy families and cozy Christmases.

So hats off to you Lands End. I have discovered I need a fire engine red cashmere pullover and tartan scarf. I need to make twice as many desserts as we can possibly eat. I need to make my son make me coffee as soon as he arrives home in December.

And we say we are immune to marketing...

How about you? Any advertising attracting you these days?