Well, it’s happening folks. FurtherMo turned five this summer with very little pomp and circumstance. I feel like I’ve spent the last two years lost in my obsession to publish that i’ve ignored the roots and groundings of these journalistic posts. Maybe I should re-name this blog to FurtherMo: The Diaries.
And some of you may wonder what the life of real writer is like, and when it is that I might write at all with two children scampering around, between publishing Cargo Literary issues and supporting the man I love run a small craft brewery (drink Upstreet!) . And I guess that some days the answer is vague and unanswerable, while other days i am somehow able to spin hundreds of words into stories and articles, mostly to give them to other websites and creditors and publishing realms.
But I miss just you, my twelve loyal readers, and I thought I would take you through the magical journey of what’s changed in the life of Mo, and what’s about to.
I care more about the particularities of my craft, about finishing sentences and fixing my own scenes that are somehow not working. Weak writing is bad writing. I care more about being the best writer I can be, and less about where I measure up next to others. These are the challenges I turn to at five am at my desk downstairs, even if i have to move family reunion folders and Girl Guide screening applications to do it. This is my work. I know this now, in part thanks to this building below.
I care more about taking care of the writing world I live in, by helping other writers who are struggling, just like the few early editors who I am eternally grateful for because they took care of me. I read dozens of Cargo submissions daily and love finding gems of little essays that sparkle in their own way, but where writers have tried too hard to editorialize.
I think a lot of times, we stand in our own way. If we could only move out of our own way and let our stories pass, we’d probably be set.
What’s also changed is that the are a lot more two year old car seat selfies discoverable on my mobile phone. It looks like someone hasn’t washed his face in about a week. That’s what happens when you’re stuck in an interminable piece of dialogue that MUST be improved, only you don’t just know how yet.
What’s not changed
What’s not changed is the insatiable desire for connectivity and tool sharing amongst myself and other writers, even if we are on different pages, platforms or peripheries. I still need so much guidance and inspiration. One of the ways that I’ve managed to do this is to read for other journals, too, connect with editors and go to conferences. One of my last posts was about Puerto Rico, and I still feel very much like i left a tiny piece of my heart on the streets of San Juan, the place where I discovered that if i just believed it, the world would lay itself out straight for me.
And Cargo Literary was born. (knock, knock.)
Cargo has given me the chance to explore a full world full of writing and writers, not just my tiny office with its spilled juice everywhere. It’s given me the chance to publish essays and poems and artwork that have opened my heart with gratefulness and stung with the salt of tears. The stories are lush, penetrating, and worldly.
It’s also let me pursue my other writerly passion projects, like mentoring young women in Afghanistan through the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. Here I have the honour of reading their current stories, which enlighten me in the ways of the world. How lucky we are to live in Canada.
I am still bound and mystified by the great, island landscape which gives me the opportunity to be born again each season. There are hope in these transitions, and I now look forward to each passage with the clarity and focus of an experience thirty-something year old, not with the roaring twenties drift that I once imagined I would never lose. I am okay with the world, somehow.
I am okay with less than perfect family photos and batty cake pops and the serenity of an autumn trout river. In fact, i am thankful for them, and for health, and security, dance lessons and naps. Even if i haven’t published my first book yet, although that is still in the works my (12?) friends, let me assure you.
So where ever life may take me, then come on middle age, i’m ready for you! Although we may swoop through it’s valleys, life has a way of always taking us back to the top.