Well, it took a lot of doing, but I got my jungle under control.  Lost count of the compost bags and bundles of vegetation that went out to the compost truck on garbage day.  Thank goodness the men on the truck were easily convinced to take well over my weekly limit.  I’m sure they took pity on me as I stood there asking them to take the excess, covered in dirt, scratches all down my legs from the rosebushes that I got too close to, and sweat pouring outa my skin. “Sure lady, don’t worry about it – we’ll take it all”. Thanks kind men. (Refer to former post, Steve and the Hammer, for the before pics)

Now I can see my beach, my flowers, as well as a bit of lawn back there – I only have grass for enough room for a couple of tents and chairs around my fireplace.  I live in the city but my backyard is a campground, a beach, a shady garden and a patio terrace on the Mediterranean.  I can sit in any spot in my backyard, depending on whether I want sun or shade, to face the city skyline or be shielded from the north wind, to see the full moon passing or to roast weinies in the fire, or to have a peaceful candlelit dinner on the terrace.  The only trouble in my backyard now is the skunk that has definitely taken up residence under my shed.  I thought he/she was there when I left in May but had no time to deal with it – well, now I just hope there isn’t a whole family. And I have to come up with some kind of peaceful way to send him/her packing.

Since I have been home, and once my swollen gland in my neck calmed down, I have been multi-tasking but mostly dealing with setting up the future of Walking with Wolf.  I’ve been sending books out to journals and media for reviews, taking books to bookstores, setting up book events, emailing anyone and everywhere about the book.  I am very excited that sooner or later a real review will appear – beyond the great response from people who have been reading the book, it is important to get some professional support.  My fingers are crossed that any review will be mostly positive.

Now well on my way to being a marketer, public relations manager and distributer, I am on another new learning curve.  I went and had lunch with my friend Ace Piva, a drummer who is building a new career as a road manager for bands, traveling throughout North America.  He has years of experience doing his own publicity and management, getting attention for his bands.  He gave me some great advice, expanding every one of my ideas with his own brilliance, enthusiasm and experience.  We were down on the waterfront where he lives which is only minutes from my home – it was also Mardi Gras parade day, when the Afro-Caribbean community comes out to play.  

It took me back to Cahuita and Limon in Costa Rica.  But on this day, as the calypso and reggae rhythms filled the air, the grey clouds turned black and got darker and darker, even as the colorful feathers soca-ed their way down the street into the Bayfront Park, and then the lightning started zigzagging through the sky.  I danced with the crowd for awhile but as the ominous sky grew scarier, I jumped on my bike and made it home just as the first drop of rain fell.  Within ten minutes, it was a deluge that lasted for hours. This wiped out the rest of Mardi Gras, as well as the day at the Festival of Friends, and no doubt many other outdoor activities on that busy summer Saturday. 

And gave my jungle an extra thrust.

 

For three years I’ve been working as an background performer in local film and TV shoots.  I get called at the last minute by my agent Patti at Stonewall Talent, gather the appropriate wardrobe, and go to wherever I’m instructed usually very early in the morning.  I get paid well and fed, sometimes really well, and hang out all day with interesting, often wacky, people and watch the making of movies (I show up in Lars and the Real Girl and was also in the latest version of the Incredible Hulk).  It gives me a little extra money and although the days can be very long and sometimes boring, I enjoy the work.  My mother didn’t allow my sister and me to be bored when we were kids (“I’ll find you something to do”) and her insistence at evicting that word from our vocabulary has stayed with me all my life.  If nothing else is going on, I watch people.  I look at the trees or the sky.  I sleep.  I daydream.  That’s as close to bored as I get, and none of those things are boring, just relaxing.  Otherwise, I tend to be very busy.  Or on downtime.  It’s all in the attitude. That is how I survive those long days on set, though I find that there is an illness amongst alot of extras that causes them to moan and complain about everything all day long.

In the end, I had a very short day of only six hours (usually we go closer to twelve or fifteen hours) that started at the very reasonable hour of noon in a TV show called Hardwired. We ended up being passer-bys, shooting in Gage Park, the same place I saw my hero Steve Earle play the other night. It was truly a walk in the park. Today I am mailing out books, packing up my laptop, and heading out to Westport, Ontario, to visit my friends and participate in the Westport Music Festival on the weekend.  I’m multi-tasking, of course, taking advantage of a friend with the expertise to do some work on my multi-media presentation for the book launches coming up in September.  I imagine I will disappear from bloglandia for awhile again, but wanted to check in before I go.  All appendages crossed for a sunny, dry day for outdoor music in Westport on Saturday, for a lack of growth in my yard while I’m away, and, as always, for world peace – even with my neighbour, the skunk.

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