My Mediocrity is Saving the Planet

December 20, 2008

Seamus does some eco-friendly editing.

Almostgotit has a catchy by-line for her blog: “With every failure my reputation grows.”

It is in that spirit that I have entitled today’s blog entry.

I occasionally snivel about never having made any money from writing. My writing doesn’t reek that badly, I whine; how come other people get published and I don’t?

Umm… because I never send stuff out?

But wait! Here is a much better, far more virtuous reason, brought to you by the World Wildlife Federation. I recently received an e-mail from them, inviting me to pledge to reduce my use of paper. Here is what they ask:

I will:

* Print documents only when absolutely necessary.
* Proof documents on my computer screen rather than printing.
* Print everything double-sided.
* Stop picking up leaflets, fliers and other advertising
* Mail back advertising catalogues
* Recycle all paper I use
* Ask for recycled paper products
* Invite a friend to join this action

Do you see? By blogging, which demands on-screen proofing, requires no hard copy or covering letters or envelopes, and wastes no space in bookstore flyers or literary reviews, I am not exhibiting a fear of rejection but rather am unselfishly doing my bit for the planet.

And that’s what you can tell your friends next time they ask.

PS: If you’re interested in this latest WWF campaign, go here and click on “Stop the madness of wasteful paper consumption”.

Serious Turtle

November 28, 2008

Today I got an e-mail from the World Wildlife Federation (I always feel the need to spell it out in order to distinguish it from the World Wrestling Federation) . They periodically ask their members to send a letter to a world leader or sign a petition on behalf of dolphins (who have a really hard time with ballpoints) or something similar. So I send, or sign. It’s easy enough to do, and I feel good supporting this organization.

Today’s e-mail is just a little different. They are asking for photos “featuring your eyes” to symbolize the idea that “the whole world is watching.”

Well, last year in my Drawing II class, we had to make watercolour self-portraits. Just the head. We were to sit with a mirror as close to our face as possible without going cross-eyed, and put in every little line, shadow, and plane that we saw.

Just as well my vanity is not invested in my looks.

Anyway, I thought I would use a crop of that watercolour. Here now, for your glee, is How Turtle Sees Herself:


Scary, n’est-ce pas? Though somewhat mitigated by the purple background.

But wait! I cropped in further. Then I played with the colours.


What do you think? Serious enough? Do you like the earth tones? Would you want this hanging on the wall behind you while you’re working at your computer?

The Envelope, please! (this morning’s entry cont’d)

March 31, 2008

The Envelope, Please; digital watercolour by aka Lavenderbay

Poochie’s daddy. Georgie’s mummy. Three members of the family-run hardware store. An executive director. The crossing guard. The co-op office manager. The health food store owner. The dollar store owner. My barber. Niall’s mum. My mum. The neighbours three flights up. I knocked on doors, I bought light bulbs and organic chocolate bars, I stopped acquaintances in the street. Because it’s raining today, the dogs aren’t out for more than a moment, so a number of dog parents that I’d been counting on didn’t show up. A few other possible contest judges weren’t around either, for one reason or another.

Nevertheless, everyone I did manage to catch — twenty people in all — were good sports. Some chuckled at the idea, some asked if I wanted a donation, some told me turtle tales of their own. One dogparent remembered a snapping turtle the size of a footstool that lived under the cottage dock when he was a kid. One of the hardware store owners said that his childhood chums would take a small painted turtle from the Riverdale pond, care for it for a year, and return it the next summer. Someone said that in Indonesia, people pat a carved wooden turtle to leave their worries outside with it before entering a home.

Many people had automatic favourites when they viewed the ballot sheet. “It’s gotta be ‘Tiny Tim’!” “It has to be ‘Seamus’!” Often they said why they chose a name.  “‘Spike’ will give it some protection.” “I think ‘Shelley’ is a sweet name.” “‘Myrtle the turtle’ rings a bell somehow.” “Ha, ‘Sandy’ like a beach!” “I like ‘Micmac’; do you know the aboriginal legend that the world was built on a turtle’s back?”

Seven entries; twenty judges; not a single entry that wasn’t chosen by someone. At first, in fact, with each ballot a different name was chosen, and I wondered if I would end up with three votes for each name. Finally, however, there emerged a winner:

It’s a boy! His name is Seamus.

Please let me know, Livingisdetail, what topic you would like me to write about. I owe you 500 words.

For everyone else, I’m willing to award a second-place prize: give me a word, e.g. “Checkers”, and I’ll compose a limerick for you. I think everyone deserves a prize for participating. Thank you all! It was a lot of fun.

Follow-up Photos — and a Contest

March 24, 2008

Here are two updates on my entries of March 12 and 13.

at the end of a perfect day

1. (See “Long Winter’s Journey into Spring) After more than a week of house arrest and puny little walks around the block while his leg was healing, Cardiman got three days in a row of hikes in the woods — two in Owen Sound and one here along the local river. Friday’s hike was an hour long; Saturday’s and Sunday’s were more like two each. All that fresh air and exercise has been doing both him and me a world of good.


2. (See “Cute and Conscientious” and “Symbol of the Turtle”) Guess what? All three species of my family symbolically adopted a baby sea turtle in my honour! Here it is now, reading my latest entry. I think there should be a name-and-genderize-the-sea-turtle-stuffy contest. Winner gets…umm…uh… How ’bout, winner gets to name any topic, and I’ll write a 500-word tale about it? Deadline March 30!