Letter from the Editor. Darcie Friesen Hossack with guest, Gordon Phinn

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Since Solstice, here in the North, we’ve gained a few precious minutes of daily light. Some days it’s hard to tell. It’s colder now, so the warmth of the sun can feel far away. And yet, as certain as the earth’s path through the solar system, the light is returning.

This issue, we are thankful to our consulting editor, Lori Roadhouse, for our theme of Writing Towards the Light. In a season where hope feels all too needed, watching for even these few extra minutes, as they accumulate towards spring, is a balm.

For writers, the literal light can be especially helpful, dispelling some of the inner darknesses that we use to ink our pens. And so, towards that, I’m going to turn over the rest of my space here to our regular book reviewer, Gordon Phinn, who offered us the following thoughts on writing and the light.

Gordon Phinn

GordonPhinnPhoto

Writing Towards The Light

When, as creators, engaged in that endeavor, writing towards the light, our attempts can be envisaged in a number of ways:

(1) We are writing ourselves out of the darkness of doubt, despair or depression, by evoking a more  salubrious state, one perhaps charmed by dashing chipmunks, hovering hummingbirds, shows of spring flowers, the giggly dance of sugar-maddened children.

(2) We are aiming to be our own ambulance out of anger, our own arrow flight to the empyrean where we might live for a few precious and careless moments before falling back to the anxieties of Earth that are all too easy to remember.

(3) We are providing roadmaps to others we assume or suspect are in need of such assistance.  The artist as inspirer or miniature messiah, a domesticated shaman showing the way.  But the way to where exactly?  The carefree?  The couldn’t-care-less?  The haughty castle of contempt?  The humble cabin of contemplation?  The merry carnival of convenience?

As wordsmiths we are often drawn to describing wounds, the ways out of injury into the story of submission and serene acceptance, the escape route out of vengeance and the righteousness of retribution, all so we might repair to that simple gleam of understanding, and knowing how we arrived there, dripping with luggage, and how we let it go and ran through the sand to the lapping waters, to splash and squeal like the little ones around us.

Sure it’s a story, telling and retelling itself to all those who would be activators, audience or armchair critics, the circle completed and begun once again.

Return to Journal

Gordon Phinn has been writing and publishing in a number of genres and formats since 1975, and through a great deal of change and growth in CanLit.  Canada’s literary field has gone from the nationalist birth pangs of ’65 – ’75 to its full blooming of the 80s and 90s, and it is currently coping as well as it can with the immediacy and proliferation of digital exposure and all the financial trials that come with it. Phinn’s own reactions was to open himself to the practices of blogging and videoblogging, and he now considers himself something of an old hand. His Youtube podcast, GordsPoetryShow, has just reached its 78th edition, and his my blog “anotherwordofgord” at WordPress continues to attract subscribers.

Phinn’s book output is split between literary titles, most recently, The Poet Stuart, Bowering and McFadden, and It’s All About Me. His metaphysical expression includes You Are History, The Word of Gord On The Meaning Of Life.

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie is now completing her first novel where, for a family with a Seventh-day Adventist father and a Mennonite mother, the End Times are just around the corner. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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