“loading up the cart sheer to the brim” by Julia at Nicole’s house


Sunday, January 3, 2016
10:12pm
5 minutes
http://www.bonappetit.com

Tilly-Jean names her new rooster Amelia and asks her best friend, Fannie if she wants to come over and parade her around. Fannie loves parading around Tilly’s roosters but the last one was very traumatic as she was shot in the middle of the parade and nobody can really forget the death of a parading rooster.
Fannie tells Tilly-Jean that she will come over only if she promises to avoid the Overly yard and take the Elmsview route instead.
Tilly-Jean tells Fannie that the point of a parade is to SEE Amelia, not keep her hidden. She tells Fannie that she doesn’t know if that’s a fair condition. Fannie doesn’t like seeing death more than she needs to so she tells Tilly that she will not change her mind and to call her back after she has made an educated decision.

“loading up the cart sheer to the brim” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, January 3, 2016
11:20am
5 minutes
http://www.bonappetit.com

The mastery of the art of failure is hard won
Like any true knowledge it comes with bruises to the
imagination and early mornings of dry mouths and
too much black coffee
Failure is heavier than success
Success is not failure’s opposite but it’s sister

What if we re-imagined the graph that we’ve learned by
heart a thousand and one times?
What if we created with curiosity as a guide?
What if we relinquished stars and reviews and top ten lists
in favour of real full bodied failure attempts?

“going from being very quiet to being very loud” by Julia on the bus to Termini Station in Rome


Monday September 8, 2014
2:37pm
5 minutes
from an interview with Passenger on http://www.billboard.com

I didn’t know what to say so I went from being very loud to very quiet in a matter of split seconds. The timing was precious, and in it I vanished. It engulfed me, the silence. The utmost pretense. The inability to speak, to help, to heal, to advise. Nothing. Nada. Not even one single sigh did I utter. Couldn’t sputter a helpful Hmmm, or a pointed Ohhhh. I was speechless, bottomless, hollow and wordless. I thought I’d be great but I was instead worthless. So the only thing I thought in that very moment to do, was go from being very quiet to being very loud in a matter of split seconds.

“We invite you to relax” by Julia at Toronto Pearson International Airport


Sunday, September 7, 2014 at Pearson International Airport
7:41pm
5 minutes
from some bullshit air transat “discount” lounge voucher

I was eating an eight dollar red quinoa salad (don’t worry, I didn’t buy it. My cab driver, Irfan got it from the grocery store for me because I personally requested him to take me to the airport. The only thing is, I can’t give anyone his car number because he gets really weird about “sharing the love”. But, you know, whatever.) and I realized how easy it is to just mow down on something refreshing and light. I ate the entire tub of it (it was eight dollars, remember. But I always tip Irfan well so I pretty much did pay for it. Whatever whatever,) and I didn’t even feel bad. Except for when the man with the pink tie watched me lick the lid. That was not my finest moment. But then I didn’t care because I was just one person at the airport and so was he, but we weren’t connected in any way at all, and I didn’t owe him sensible table manners. But the point of all of this is that you should make yourself red quinoa salads in advance because they will feed you (and oh so happily) for days.

“Make a lasting impression.” by Julia at the CSI Coffee Pub


Friday May 30, 2014 at The CSI Coffee Pub
4:40pm
5 minutes
L’OREAL ad in Flare Magazine
December 2011


Cool fingertips on my eyelids and that’s how we met
He said, you will change the world with your words
I said, tell me that again and again and again
He said, write me something beautiful–write me something that looks like you
And I died
And I died
And I died
He rocked his head from side to side to a rhythm I couldn’t hear
I said, what song is in your brain right now
And he said, the one you sang to me in your sleep last night
I said, the one about the moon?
And he said, you always sing about the moon.
Cool fingertips on my eyelids and that’s how we fell in love
He said, when you think that you can’t, remember this feeling, this calming
I said, will you come with me forever?
He said, I’ll try. I’ll try to stop time too if you need
And I died
And I died
And I died

“Image Dip” by Julia at the CSI Coffee Pub


Wednesday May 28, 2014 at The CSI Coffee Pub
10:42am
5 minutes
Image from The Sun Magazine

I can’t tell if the sky is blurry-foggy-or if this is just my mind-blurry-fuzzy. I can hear you breathing-panting behind me-your footsteps trying to keep up.
I say, You okay? And it takes a second before you respond-
Yeah.
The road is shining so I keep my eyes down and I hum the song that I know calms you-I wait for you to sing along-start singing along with my calming song-but you don’t. You’re just breathing-panting behind me-and I’m navigating through the dizziness-trying to pinch my left arm hard enough to wake me up from this.
Almost there, I call back to you, but you don’t answer and I’m glad cause ‘there’ is a place that as far as I’m concerned I’ve made up.
I hope I’m not wrong. I pray silently that I’m not.
I reach back to see if I can touch your fingertips but I don’t feel you-I don’t stop, I know you’re still there. I don’t want you to feel like you’re holding me up-
I hum again-I hum louder-
You’re not singing along with me but you’re using my voice as a guide-
Under the boardwalk-I call-Down by the sea-On a blanket with my baby-
and you say, That’s where I’ll be.

“Inn of Olde” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday March 24, 2014
9:45pm
5 minutes
from the sign for Linda’s in Quidi Vidi, NF

She thought she was something that she wasn’t. She was trying, for his sake. “Sure,” she’d said, “let’s do it.” It was his dream to hike the Torres del Paine in Chile and how could I hold a guy back from his dream, or be left behind. “There’s no pressure,” he said, “you have to do something like this for you.

She’d never been so hot in her life and her thighs were chafed and her heels were blistered. He was happier than she’d ever seen him, smiling like it was the best day of his life. “It’s the best day of my LIFE!” He said, as he stretched in their tent every morning. She groaned. “Come on, trooper,” he pushed her shoulder, “let’s make breakfast…” She wanted to bite him, to punch him in the stomach, to push him down as he sped down the trail faster than she could. She wanted to break up with him, the reason she was out here in the first place, the reason she was tired and sore and angry. But, then what? They had seven more days to go.

“Touch anywhere” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday March 23, 2014
5:14pm
5 minutes
the Air Canada seat screen

When I meet Ray, he comes to his turquoise door in a red, velvet sweat suit, the hooded jacket unzipped to just above the convex beginnings of his belly. He wears wraparound sunglasses. He dies his hair a dark auburn and combs it a bit like Elvis. “Hi Ray,” I say, like I’ve done this before. “Come in!” He says. He shows me around his bungalow that looks like it belongs in Greece, or Las Vegas. Ray lives in a suburb of Buffalo. My friend Kitty tidied up Ray’s garden every spring because he liked to have big barbecues for his neighbourhood and wanted it tidy. His house is organized in its overwhelming chaos – stacks of phonebooks and newspapers, but the newspapers were bound. The recycling is in piles of “like” thing (frozen pizza boxes were collapsed neatly and stacked together, for example) but looks like it hasn’t been taken out since 1998. He was a chihuahua named, Franny, which, if I’m not mistaken, was also the name of his wife.

“You want to be just interested enough” by Julia at her kitchen table


Monday March 17, 2014
11:54pm
5 minutes
from an interview with Barbara Kingsolver

Don’t let them hear you breathing or whimpering. I know you think it’ll help you establish a presence but it will only make things worse. They don’t want to think of you as a human being as bad as that sounds. They love knowing you can smile on cue no matter what’s going on inside. You can do that can’t you? Well the breathing thing is an obvious one..I mean, breathe, don’t die, but do it subtly. It’s got to go under the radar, completely undetected. And don’t cry because then you don’t look tough. And you can’t show any tears or they’ll eat you up. People don’t remember strength but they do remember weakness. That’s because they automatically start to assume you can’t handle even small situations. They think you’ll need handholding and they don’t want to hold anyone’s hands. If I were you I’d try not to sneeze either. I mean get that stuff out of your system before you walk into the room. And if you’re one of those people who get triggered by the light? Don’t open your eyes.

“I believe that life is…” by Julia at the CSI Coffee Pub


Wednesday March 12, 2014 at The CSI Coffee Pub
10:07am
5 minutes
A writing group warm-up led by Dianne

I believe that life is made up of tiny insignificant dust particles that when stitched together form a quilt of all the moments we pretend we don’t see–or pretend don’t even exist.
I believe that when we close our eyes in the middle of a moment, we capture it better, giving over to the shutter bug in our insides that is in charge of all the remembering.
I believe that life is this: tiny moments, tiny dust, tiny realizations every second– that when we allow them, transform into not so tiny anythings…but the best kinds of love, of want, of joy, of happiness, of pain, of mess, of sorrow, of learning, of flying, of forgiveness, of seeing.
I believe that life is longer than we let it be and more important than we sometimes treat it, that John Steinbeck’s East Of Eden has the secrets to the universe, to this life we’re jumping in and out of, and that if read slow enough and in the right light, we see the God that we wish we knew.

“I believe that life is…” by Sasha at the CSI Coffee Pub


Wednesday March 12, 2014 at The CSI Coffee Pub
10:07am
5 minutes
A writing group warm-up led by Dianne

I believe that life is like a snail, dragging its own slime, dragging its own house, sometimes getting stepped on and crushed and sometimes living on a sea wall, undisturbed, for five hundred years.
I believe that life is connection to the dead and dying, the remembering, the saving, the fighting for what’s been lost and is not quite yet lost – the great plains toad, the whippoorwill, blue walleye.
I believe that life is words in black ink on a lined Hilroy notebook purchased for ten cents at Staples by my mother.
I believe that all there really is…
I believe that all there really is…
I believe that all there really is
Is love
And breath
And change.

I believe that it’s all messy, and music, all teeth and bone, all muffins baking in the oven, all indulgence, all balance, all now.

I believe that “life” is “now”. From now on, in fact, from hereon in, in fact, my “life” is my “now”.

“Hooded Shawl” by Julia at her desk


Thursday February 6, 2014
11:40pm
5 minutes
the Circle Scarf tag
American Apparel


I can remember her smile, her eyes underneath that hooded shawl. She was some kind of–don’t worry; I won’t say it. I won’t say that lame thing you expect. She was something, though. Her name was Wanda. What a name, am I right? Wanda with the big blonde hair and the face that matched her daughter’s identically. From all of the plastic surgery, obviously, but I didn’t care. I didn’t care about how she could have passed for her daughter’s younger sister, even. It just didn’t bother me at all. What bothered me was the scar on her chin that looked like someone had tried to remove the bone by going through the skin. She was beautiful in every way, including that scar, but it just made me sad to see it is all. That a thing like that could have even gone through pain at some point, some unstoppable pain completely and utterly beyond me, in her lifetime, was the single most troubling thought I could have. Wanda. Oh, that name! I almost hate it, it’s so awful, and yet, instead, I hear it, and I think to myself, That woman could be named Tree and I’d still love her with my whole being. Wanda, Wanda! I am transported back to a day where a name like that was a dream come true!