Lily Iona MacKenzie's Blog for Writers & Readers

MY BLOG POSTS COMMENT ON SOME ASPECT OF WRITING & READING.

The Ripening
The Ripening:
A Canadian Girl Grows Up

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" Tillie’s grit and ability to face life’s challenges are inspiring, the seeds for later discovering her artist self. Tillie takes readers on a wild ride. Join her if you dare! "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
Curva Peligrosa
Curva Peligrosa

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

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FLING!
Fling!

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

"Fling! is both hilarious and touching. Every page is a surprise, and the characters! I especially loved Bubbles, one of the most endearing mothers in recent fiction. A scintillating read."

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
Freefall
Freefall :
A Divine Comedy

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" These fascinating characters will fill your imagination, defying expectations about aging, art, and what truly matters in life. "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
All This
All This

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" Indicative of the title, the poems in All This range from the conventional lyric/narrative that captures an intense moment of emotion, an epiphany glimpsed briefly out of the corner of the eye, to the more experimental. "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
No More Kings
No More Kings

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

Each finely crafted poem in this powerful collection comes alive on the page while she traces the days’ journeys with a painter’s eye, a musician’s ear, and the deft pen of a poet.

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
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Travelling enlarges us so our previous roles/containers feel tight, inflexible

Recently, my husband and I spent a month in France: a week each in Provence, the Dordogne, the Loire Valley, and Paris. We were looking forward to a true vacation, not wanting to cram our days so full of sightseeing that we needed a vacation from vacationing when we returned home. Since we planned on spending much of our time in three different regions that are known for their abundance of small towns, we IMG_0018anticipated the slower pace of French village life. Except for our Airbnb apartment in the main center of St. Remy de Provence, our Dordogne and Loire Valley digs were in the country where vineyards, groves of trees, forests, and rich farmland surrounded us. We had our choice of hamlets to visit, each offering its own unique character, boulangeries, and cafes.

A few days into our trip, the battery in my watch died. It seemed serendipitous for that to happen because I had left behind chronos time and entered something more liminal—not bound by the time’s inexorableness. My usual routines largely dissolved and following a to do IMG_0043 2list no longer became the main factor in what I did. We ate when we felt like it. Got into our rental Citroen when we were ready. And let the road (or the GPS) lead us to a destination. These were two-lane secondary roads for the most part (though some were single lane!), and they didn’t promote speeding. It was such a luxury to glide along at our own pace, letting drivers pass us if they were impatient with our sightseeing mode. But for the most part, others motorists seemed to share our delight in being in the moment, many of them vacationers like us or residents who had long ago inculcated this more leisurely mode.

Since returning to our Bay Area home, I’ve had the battery in my watch replaced, and I can’t avoid the usual daily routines that eat up so much of my time: watching the news (we didn’t turn on a TV in France!) for more salacious stories about Trump or scrolling the Internet for what the TV news channels leave out; responding to endless streams of emails; IMG_0043marketing my novels; preparing to teach a new writing workshop; planning menus and shopping for groceries; cleaning the house and working in the yard; writing for a certain period each day; and so much more. However, I’m chaffing at these duties, having trouble fitting back into the old ways, the life I left behind.

 

IMG_0098Travelling enlarges us so that the previous roles/containers feel tight, inflexible. So I’ve been trying to make room for reexamining myself in light of this splendid French vacation, trying to incorporate aspects of the culture that I find so civil and healthy, like taking time to sit down and enjoy my lunch rather than eat it on the run. Or making room in my days to just look out the window and enjoy our garden. But it’s not easy to resist jamming myself back into the old ways. Like old shoes, they’re comfortable, though they also don’t fit the way they once did.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks to Prakash Vir Sharma for inviting me to be his first author interview on his blog!

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Discovering Narrative Structure in the Dordogne

3 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Hi Mike & Lily, what a wonderful and relaxing way to enjoy the French Contryside. Love, linda & Jerry

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