It’s a long time since I wrote anything in this blog. Truth to tell, I thought I was done. It’s four years now since I was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer—prognosis that I would possibly be dead in months. I’m alive simply because I have a mutation that’s only found in 11% of white non-smoking women (the percentage going up to 40 if you’re a female Asian non-smoker). The mutation makes me more responsive to treatment, of which I have had plenty. I kept working but somehow always with a sense of finishing things off. I’m still in a place of “who the hell knows?” but I keep failing at dying. Exciting things are happening. My job entails getting the word out. So, here we go again.
And what is the cause of all the excitement? First, any day now, a contract for a new book will appear in the mail. The contract will be with Running the Goat Books and Broadsides located in Tors Bay, Newfoundland. The book will, I think, be called To See the Stars. It’s a collection of five short stories, linked by the central character, a young woman named Edie Murphy. She starts out little more than a child, living in an outport, in 1906. Life takes her first to St. John’s and then to the garment industry in Lower Eastside New York City. She’s caught up in some major events of the era--the first ever strike of women, a terrible factory fire. She goes places I haven’t but I know her, not just because I’ve created her but because she was born of my family’s history, far off in England but feeling so much the same.
Second, there’s Written in the Body. That's the CD I recorded earlier this year for Storytellers of Canada’s StorySave program. You can see the stunning cover image, designed by Annette Hegel and featuring me in a school play at the age of ten, above. The CD itself works through the interweaving of a literary story by the English writer Sara Maitland about a ritual in which a young man must dress as a woman to hunt seal and the tale of my own childhood longing to be a boy. Written in the Body has sparked big dreams within me. More to come on that. In the meanwhile—purchases: http://www.storytellers-conteurs.ca/en/shop/Jan-Andrews-Written-In-The-Body.html. Digital downloads: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/janandrews.
Finally (for now anyway), Jennifer and I are busily planning Stories from the Ages: REDUX. Sunday evenings in January, there will be Wonder Tales, told at Peter Devine’s, a lovely pub in Ottawa’s market area. At the moment we’re in the process of lining up the tellers. More to come on that as well.
Yes, I have reduced energy. Yes, I have some pain. But life is life. It keeps on keeping on. Maybe I’ve had to learn to adjust my sights. Maybe there is grieving but grieving never will be all of everything. There are simply too many interesting things to be doing.
I guess I never got out of the game, not really. I just stopped blogging. REDUX for that also. REDUX, REDUX, REDUX!