To heck with silent night; it’s more more like silent morn!

Photo copyright Ev BishopWow, when I wrote my column for The Terrace Standard this year, I knew my Christmas would be different this year, but I had NO IDEA that I’d be the first one awake for a very long time (Well, except for the cat who is being exceedingly weird. It’s like she knows there’s a large can of Turkey giblet mess for her own festive feast purposes later!).

Anyway, the tree is brightly lit, the coffee is brewed (ahhhh) and while visions of sugar plums dance in my son and hubby’s head, I am amusing myself online (Yay, the luxury of Christmas Day Internet browsing!) and trying to restrain myself (All I wanna do is break into my ho-ho sack, a.k.a stocking!).

If you’ve managed to sneak some merry Christmas computer time, I’d love for you to peruse some of my recent Christmas thoughts: “What We Give” published by The Terrace Standard, December 23, 2011 and/or “Deck The Halls With Memories” which was just reprinted in The Cloverdale Reporter‘s Old-Fashioned Christmas Magazine.

Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope your day is special in every way and that you enjoy the blessing of family and fun and food and peace in whatever order they come!

Annual Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day!


I just learned about this new “annual” day and I’m stoked! As my own kids are getting to the age where they’re often busy (though my daughter at least would never say no to a trip to the bookstore with me), I’m using it as a great excuse to hang out with my two of my sweet little nieces. We’ll each buy a book, then go for a coffee shop treat—and after that, I think we’re heading to my sister’s to make Christmas cards all afternoon. They’re almost as excited as I am!

How about you? Had you heard of this day before and are you planning to celebrate it? I’m definitely planning to make it an annual tradition (because I don’t go to bookstores enough, lol) because it’s fun, yes, to have a special day, but also because bookstores are important and I don’t want them to disappear from our towns and cities. Buying books online is great, but you tend to shop already knowing what you’re looking for. Browsing bookstores (and libraries), you discover stories and authors absolutely brand new to you. If going to bookstores isn’t something our kids do now, it’s not something they’ll do as adults—and the chances that they’ll only read what’s “popular” will be all the greater. And did I say it was fun?! 😉

Find out more about Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day at http://www.takeyourchildtoabookstore.org/

Quiet Daze

I wish I had some great graphic to post: a sprawling barren desert—its emptiness broken only by the odd three-armed prickly cactus here and there and errant ball of tumbleweed bumbling through every so often. (Add a whistling, lonesome soundtrack too.)

Or perhaps, more in keeping with a landscape I’m familiar with, perhaps I should insert a deep dark night with no recognizable landmarks, everything swathed in thick white snow—the only movement, the only sound, the occasional tree branch failing under its load, bending or breaking in a wet, heavy swoosh.

In both those scenes, the viewer would feel nothing was going on—and in both those scenes, the viewer would be wrong. Somewhere deep below the apparent nothingness, life would be stirring or going on full tilt—or, at the very least, hibernating, waiting for the exact right combination of natural elements to spring it forth. (Insert two new images here, please: the legendary bloom of desert flowers that occur after rare, precious rains and whatever greening, blossoming spring photo you have handy.)

That’s the case with my writing life these days too—outwardly things are pretty quiet, without a lot of news or action or ideas to go on about. Yet inwardly, I feel like I’m on the cusp. Any day now, new energy will flood through me, refreshing me and bursting my current projects to completion. Any week, new ideas—mere murky presences, buried deep in the compost of my mind for now—are going to sprout, and going into 2012 I’ll be overcome with plans and enthusiasm and questions about what’s to come.

But for now (Turn up the volume on that whistling, lonely gunfight showdown tune again.) I’ll just have to wait in eager (if quiet) anticipation.

Thanksgiving 2011

In just a little while I’ll be heading out to a second day of Thanksgiving feasting and I’m hoping I can do the spread justice, as I’m still full from yesterday’s imbibing and merrymaking at my house.

My stomach isn’t the only thing that’s bursting, however. As corny as it is, my heart and mind are too.

My dad, though unfortunately not—and maybe not ever—out of the woods, is, however, home again after many months away. Having him back and looking well and feeling energetic and a bit angst-ridden because he’s chomping at the bit, wanting to do stuff is amazing. He has a great appetite and is more than up to visiting.

And one of my oldest and dearest friends is up visiting from The House in Spruce Grove, Alberta—and another of my most kindred spirits is arriving from across the pond later this week.

My little kids (actually not so little) are healthy and thriving. My husband and I are enjoying autumn and the crisp air, vivid colours, and food prep (Mmmmm, blackberry jam, smoked salmon, pickles and huge batches of homemade soups for the freezer) that come with it.

Writing inspiration has been more plentiful than ever lately (two new novel ideas, and schemes about a putting together a poetry chapbook), I’m almost finished the second draft of my latest work-in-progress, and I’m preparing to head off to SiWC 2012 in ten days—yay and yay!

There are always hard things in life and some seasons that are tougher than others. After a few particularly gruelling months, coming together with people I love and consciously focussing on and celebrating the good things—the blessed things—that co-exist with the hard ones is wonderful.

Whether it’s your Thanksgiving month or not, I hope little things happen this week that remind you of all the good in your life—particularly if you have some not-so-good stuff you’re dealing, too.

Happy reading, writing, thinking—eating.

🙂 Ev