Sweet Little Something 0

May 23, 2015

Hello! If you are new to Sweet Little Something, here’s how it works: one of us posts a picture from our week – a moment, something noticed, an image worth treasuring – and the other leaves a comment, haiku or link inspired by the photo. Leave your thoughts, notes or poetry in the comments below. We love to hear from you! H & R xo

From Hannah:

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From Ria:

From childhood pie of disgust

to chocolate party addiction,

we have come a long way.

 

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The Stories We Tell 0

May 20, 2015

“The truth about stories is that’s all we are.”

Thomas King says this in his wonderful and though-provoking The Truth About Stories. I love this idea, the simplicity of it and how it nudges you slightly off-balance: We are what? I’m not going to try and tell Little e this when she asks one of those endearingly existential questions all three-year-olds ask (aside from the gem, “Why is the bug still dead?”). But when she’s older and we wade (pardon the pun below) into something closer to a philosophical discussion of life and narrative, I will. Because I love looking at life through different lenses and this one is close to my heart, of course, as a writer. I tell stories for fun (and sometimes for a bit of a living), so I know this to be true: I am made of stories. Narrative is what makes me me. Not just the narratives I make up and write down, but the ones that I have lived through, whether I tell them to others or keep them inside for myself (or have even forgotten completely). I am only the sum of my experiences, the stories that I have been a part of.

 

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I marvel at the stories Little e, and now her brother, The Tiger, are living through. Small ones like the trip a couple of toys make together to the end of the garden or big ones like a recent trip to the Emergency Room at 2 a.m. involving miraculous sedatives. Those are part of the accumulating narrative bank they each will carry with them for their lives. Some I am a part of, but many I’m not.

One of my favourite times to tell and hear stories is when we’re hiking. When I was a kid, I spent huge chunks of family hikes telling myself (or unfortunate others) long, rambling stories, fictions I made up to make the going more fun. Now I can’t wait for my children to become storytellers as we walk. Storytelling and journeying are such perfect companions. Not just because together they get you there faster (though that matters less to me now), but because the rhythms of movement become the rhythms of story. It’s somehow easier to lose yourself in a narrative that’s being told when you are walking alongside the teller.

 

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Sometimes I eavesdrop on Little e when she’s playing with her menagerie of plastic animals. The foundation of narrative is already there–she uses repetition, emphasis, dialogue tags (he said, she said), climax and resolution. She tells stories in three dimensions–to herself, to her toys and using what’s around her to illustrate and enhance, like a play. This is how Thomas King is right: we are made of stories. They have been with us, have been us, since the beginning. What we tell people about ourselves, how we describe our lives and experiences, is just personal narrative. It’s what happened. It’s how we came to be. Without stories, we aren’t us.

 

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XO

Ria

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Sweet Little Something 2

May 17, 2015

Hello! If you are new to Sweet Little Something, here’s how it works: one of us posts a picture from our week – a moment, something noticed, an image worth treasuring – and the other leaves a comment, haiku or link inspired by the photo. Leave your thoughts, notes or poetry in the comments below. We love to hear from you! H & R xo

From Ria:

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From Hannah:

Two kids in a field:

One says to the other

I like your fur.

 

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Wish You Were Here: Toronto…Again! 1

May 13, 2015

 

 

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Hello from Toronto!

I’m back in the big city for the Forest of Reading festivities (check out last year’s amazing trip, and my enormous belly, here) because my novel, The Opposite of Geek, was nominated in the White Pine (teen) category. It’s been such a lovely trip, yet again. Great food! Great views! Great people! There’s nothing like being up on a stage in front of hundreds of excited book fans to make you feel like an author/rock star. Thanks for a fantastic time, Toronto (and stellar readers)!

XO

Ria

 

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Wildly Simple : Woodland themed Birthday Cake 0

May 13, 2015

 

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B1 and B2’s birthdays are just four days shy of being exactly two years apart. In the same month as their birthdays we also celebrate our wedding anniversary, my sister’s birthday and, this year, the release of Season of Salt and Honey. Plus, we normally have overseas guests and family staying with us. Which means April is a muchos busy month at our joint. Last year, with less on my plate, I didn’t even attempt an invite-friends-party for the girls. And I ordered birthday cakes from Little & Friday instead of making them myself. It was only afterwards, as I flippantly explained to someone that we “skipped the girls’ birthdays this year” and watched the horror wash over her face, that I felt the guilt start to steep. I scrambled to explain that we didn’t really “skip” them, we’d just opted for a very small, family-only party, see…? But the horror didn’t fade from her expression. I resolved, then and there, to a) have a invite-friends-party next year and b) make them both cakes. Gawddammit.

 

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