by the big land

The Labrador Creative Arts Festival is almost in its fortieth year, the oldest of its kind in Canada. Every night there were spoons, a fiddle, a snare drum, guitars, more stunts in overstuffed living rooms, everyone piled and sprawled and feeling fat and thrilled and rich, looking at each other bleary-eyed and spinning, all of us teetering on the edge of sickness. Keep going.

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next you're dazzled by the beauty of it all

Teaching teaches me, though to call it 'teaching' isn't quite right. But maybe it is. I always start off heavy, with a cast-iron pot of the required stuff of aperture and directional light and focusing modes. I begin as a school marm, a hardass, because I still believe inspiration is rootless without the language to self-diagnose. Then we play, and I sprint from one shoot to another and it's exclamation marks all over the place, and that's when they teach me.

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man melts crayons with red hot ball of nickel

There is always that pull, when I'm with the kids, to be making money. And when I'm making money, to be with the kids. And no matter where I am, to be writing something that someone might publish. Every other writer seems more devoted, more disciplined, more daily. But I have to call the electrician; the carpenter; somebody to bury the power cable. I have to get the shed finished. People are coming.

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