What do a writer, bagpiper and Muppets have in common?

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 7 April 2014 | 4 Comments

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Life lessons crop up, emerge, or even squeal in the most unlikely places, an everyday gift to each of us. The fine print that our logic often ignores is being open to the lesson, even when the cold sting of rejection and churn of duty urges us to close up, sign off, and pretend it didn't happen. I nearly did that this past weekend but there is no ignoring bagpipes, especially when the piper is peeved. It went something like this. I spent the day at a trade show with a couple dozen other authors and several dozen avid readers, and it was terrific. For this solitary vocation, it was a necessity: getting out of the house, meeting other authors face-to-face, perfecting the pitch as visitors browsed for hints and swag. But in the glare of the house lights, fuelled by coffee and chocolate and recycled air, doubts emerged with each passing hour. Clearly I was the worst writer there, the least interesting, the lowest in sales, called 'author' not because of talent or promise but because I paid the fee and showed up. Now the warm goodbyes of strangers-turned-colleagues, some fresh air and a nap sent the doubts on a bit of a hike, but it took the Muppets to send them packing. More about that in a minute.

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handling rejection: the gem in the Mire

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 29 October 2013 | 3 Comments

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             I just finished a call that a month ago would have had me wringing my hands and fighting back tears. My quote was too high. My services will not be required. His exact works: "I'm going to pass." This after being highly recommended by a dear friend who did this job in the past. 

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From the gardening trowel of babes

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 10 June 2013 | 7 Comments

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I spent a lovely evening with my son at a gardening class a few nights ago. It would have been cheaper to take him out drinking. We'd at least have payback from the empties, unlike what I'll get when these plants follow the proud tradition of those who have been potted before them, which is up and die.

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Lessons from a Dingbat

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 3 June 2013 | 5 Comments

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Another piece of childhood was buried this weekend with the passing of Jean Stapleton. God love her, she made it to 90 after a career in a profession known to take more than it gives. Jean's characters on stage and screen were rich, vivid and plentiful, but to me and millions of fans, she is best remembered for the life she breathed into Edith Bunker. 

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The Need to Get Dirty

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 30 May 2013 | 9 Comments

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When one does not know what to write, it is a time to get dirty. 

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Think, Work, Stop. Honouring your Creative Cycle.

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 15 April 2013 | 0 Comments

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   I heard this weekend that playwright Neil Simon wrote for seven months of the year, rested for five. Why? He was honouring his Cycle of Creativity.

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Longest night: Day of Doritos and Gratitude

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 18 December 2012 | 0 Comments

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Longest Night. For winter-loving folk it sings a chorus of skis and hockey. For me, it is Shortest Day, SADS on a stick, jabbing me with icy spears of dread while growling threats of carb cravings and cabin fever that even the writer's cure-all - wine - can't silence. But this year it may be different. And I have my muse to thank.

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From the mouths of babes and their favourite shirts

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 17 December 2012 | 10 Comments

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It was a Sunday morning fight I just didn't need. Morning comes too early anyway, and the battle between my warm cozy nest and the rigid hardwood of a church pew was raging in my head long before Youngest Daughter twirled proudly in her self-made Sunday best: jeans and a T-shirt. Now, I have accepted that my willfull third-born will no longer tolerate the sweet dresses and matched outfits of toddlerhood. Main goal today is to get her to church with a Christian demeanour still intact. The Lord doesn't care how you look as long as you show up, echoes in my head. Jeans I could live with. The shirt, however, was another story - a tiny pink tee with Tootsie candies proclaiming Let's Roll!, guarded defiantly by its eight-year-old owner despite its faded fabric, cracked decal, and seams meant for a torse two sizes smaller. Bravely, I suggest another shirt. Eyes darken and lips extend in a pout that will ease only after someone cries. With a single bead of optimism, I align three lovely shirts on the bed, extolling their virtues as an auctioneer wooes his audience. This one has a butterfly, see? And this one is purple; you love purple. A glimmer of hope, and the pout relaxes. Maybe purple would be okay. It is my favourite colour, and the Advent candles are purple.

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No time to talk, my brain is getting a massage

Posted by Jennifer Hatt on 27 November 2012 | 1 Comments

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That is what I told myself the other day when a crowbar couldn’t wedge another event into my calendar. Massage was the most soothing word I could think of to keep my brain from dissolving into quivering globs of gelatin.

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