CJ and her great love, Anthony Quinn.
Last November Dave farted in bed and, needing to escape the fumage, I started a blog.
A couple weeks later, Dec. 18, I was mindlessly hitting Next Blog and came across Mostly Other Things, a blog written by a Duluth, Minnesota writer/artist named CJ Hodges MacFarlane. This is the story I came across: #fridayflash "Family Ties."
I was mesmerized by this story. Amazed. As someone who has battled her own demons with depression, I saw myself in this beautifully written story.
I commented on the story, bookmarked it, and returned to the site every day, hoping this CJ person might have written something else.
But weeks went by and nothing was added.
I wondered what was wrong, why this person would have written something so heartwrenching about depression, then disappeared.
I wondered if this writer had passed on.
I had to know.
So on January 6, I wrote another comment: "Loved your story. I check every day to see if you've written more. No pressure, though!"
I guess CJ wondered who her new stalker was because she popped over to my blog to see who the weirdo was. That very day she had been out hiking and taking photos of ice. Posted on my blog was a photo of the frozen Muskoka River.
"Huh," she must have thought to herself, and posted this comment on my blog: "Beautiful photo! I just spent a day on Lake Superior taking ice photos so it's interesting I should come here and find these. (Hiya, by the way. You had left some lovely comments on my blog about my writing and I didn't even see them until today - always remiss, that's me.)"
If you check the links, you will see her photos are way better than mine, and you will also see a photo of CJ herself.
She impressed me right away as a person of substance.
And, damn, she is a fine writer.
Next thing you knew, we were stalking each other.
She even dedicated *ahem* a post to me. (awwww......)
We began chatting regularly and I found myself drawn to her quirky, forthright sense of humour, honesty and fairplay. Plus, she's just cool, plain and simple.
One day I asked her what this #fridayflash business was all about. She told me and I thought to myself, nice, but I'm not a fiction writer.
Then, one day, I didn't have anything to write about so I made something up. I told CJ and she got all excited, like a mother who found out her daughter was just engaged to a rich oil sheik. She set me up with facebook and twitter and Mad Utopia and egged people to come over and see my blog and she was wonderful.
Suddenly, people were reading my story from all around the world.
It just blew me away.
I was also amazed that I had storytelling in me. I was surprised how easily it flowed. Maybe it's not perfect, maybe it needs polishing, but darn, it's addictive FUN.
And, on top of all of this, I was suddenly exposed to other writers from all over the world, people who dig writing and reading as much as I do. Really talented writers, like Marisa Birns.
I don't know Marisa like I have come to know and love CJ, but she reminds me of my new friend because she writes like no tomorrow, no holds barred, honest writing about controversial topics. There are no punches pulled, it's all gut-wrenching emotion told with restraint and power and it's really, really good.
When Marisa passed the Sugar Doll award to me, I was blown away because she even knew I existed.
A few months ago, I didn't even know what flash was, didn't think I could write fiction and had never heard of CJ or Marisa or the host of fridayflashers who have made my life so interesting.
So, I thank Marisa for the honour and I pass the award on to CJ, who deserves it unreservedly, and had better post it soon or I will not be happy. (Not like me, who let this slide for a couple of weeks – sorry, Marisa, I've been busier than a one-armed paper-hanger.)
Part of the deal is telling 10 truths about oneself.
I am very boring, but I will try to make this as painless as possible.
1. I am engaged to The Perfect Male.
2. I have two really honestly wonderful sons who I love beyond reason.
3. I am proud to be Canadian.
4. I love my mother and my family.
5. I miss my late father.
7. I am emotional and have a strong sense of right and wrong.
8. I have work that I am good at and that I enjoy.
9. I am loved.
10. And right at this moment, you could say I am as happy as I have ever been and probably ever will be.
And yet, there are times when the tears spring to my eyes, moments like these.
While that makes little sense, it is what it is.
And I own it.