Shake and Bake 73: Boons and Blessings Abound!

Shake and Bakes are my quarterly check-ins (CHICKENS!). They used to be weekly – but this year they are happening in line with the moon. I use these posts to … shake out the happenings of my work and my  life in general in an attempt to Shake off the bad and Bake in the good. It’s about … gratitude, paying attention and by the moon.

~~o~~ 1st QUARTER – Ice Going Out Moon ~~o~~

The River is still frozen...
The River is still frozen…

WILL the  Ice Go Out this moonth?  We shall see… we shall see…

Hullo my pretties.

It’s a melty Monday morning and I come to you with such news!

As you know, if you spend any time over here in my wee dusty corner of the interwebs… I am a writer who lives up in Northern Ontario. I am … hmm…. let us say a 1/3 of the way through the second draft of my second novel.  I live with my sweet Raggedy Man (who is a playwright) in our shaky shack on the Kebsquasheshing river.  We love the shack. We have an awesome woodstove and a handpump off the back step that gives us fresh and tasty water.  We have power, a phone and highspeed.  It’s cold sometimes, and the winters are long but we count ourselves entirely blessed to be able to live and work up here.

Money is often a problem.  Let’s just tell the truth.  It is OFTEN a problem.  As it is for most Creatives who often have to do take on Job-Jobs to pay for food and shelter.  The thing we crave the most is… TIME TO WORK.  Time and energy and focus.  Freedom.

And thus…. my fabulous news.

Last December, I pulled together an application to the Ontario Arts Council Writer’s Work in Progress Northern Competition.  And…. last Tuesday, I heard that my application was successful!

I was down to 240.00 in the ole bank account – and … more truth be told, I’d run up some credit.  You can imagine my knee melting relief when I tore open the envelope.

I bought groceries and gas for the car.
And yes… a bottle of wine 😉

Aside from the much much needed cash, support from the Ontario Arts Council, The Saskatchewan Arts Board,or the Canada Council gives me an incredible boost of confidence and… validation.  Knowing that a group of my peers read my work and found it worthy of support is PRICELESS.  I’ve sat on juries and I know how tight the money is.  As a jury member, I’ve fought for projects and artists I believed in.  It fills me with so much gratitude to know that the jury found Sanctuary (and me) promising enough to give me this huge boon of time to work without the constant Money Panic hanging over me.

The support also gives me a kick in the pants – motivation wise.  I see this as a contract between the OAC and myself.

I always think of writing as “my job” and I work hard.

I am also, as you may have noticed, still incredibly OTHER focused and I work even harder when I am working FOR SOMEONE ELSE.  So when I receive support like this – I shift into a higher gear.  I am supported… held up… and encouraged to produce something WORTHY of that support.

Here’s hoping I am up to the challenge!

That Woodpecker who came to call last week sure had a surprise for me, eh?  I will take this opportunity and work my hiney off!  I will I will I will finish this book and see that it makes it’s way out into the world.



And now… on we go….


 Reviewing my Intentions for this Moonth

and strengthening ACTIONs

My main intention this moonth is:

To simply show up each day and see and hear and taste and smell and …          BE with whatever the day offers up.

Θ (theta) earth – home – touch

  • Being back at the shack after four months in town feels awesome.  Especially being here for the grand MELT.  I plan to keep on slipping on those groovy green rubber boots I bought at the 2nd Hand Store and … Walk the land.  Each and every day.

Φ (phi) air – relationships – scent

  • Deep breathes are in order while out on those long rambling walks.
  • Fresh smells conjured by a nice Spring Cleaning would also be welcome.  I shall aim to do a bit of housey cleaning each day this coming week.

Χ (chi) fire – work – vision

  • Again and always I learn and relearn that my most important job is to Show up to the page.  Every day.  Even if it is a short shift – I need to do a bit of work on the novel every every day.  To keep the flow going and to fend off the DREADS.
  • There are GRAND FULL AND HUGE days.  Those are the best.  But there are also days when LIFE bumps up against WORK and it can be hard to find the focus and energy to do even the two hour minimum I like to do each day  (see the post called The Deals We Make With Ourselves). The support from the OAC will help with this – because now – I AM WORKING FOR THEM as well as mySelf.  YAY.
  • And a secret note to mySelf –  Pam…. trust the magic.  It will be OK.  You need to let it flow.  Don’t forget that you aren’t ALWAYS the boss of them.  They will show you the way if you just give them their heads…SOMETIMES.

Ξ (ksi) water – health – taste

  • Taste your food.  Eat slowly.  Eat well.  I continue to work on this.
  • The eating breakfast thing is going amazingly well thanks to LIFT.  It’s really working for me to check off the habit each day.  And I lurve getting “props” from all my Lift pallas. (Palla is a word coined by the fabulous Lia Pas meaning, simply, a female Pal.  We like it and intend to use it until it becomes common usage.  Feel free to join us.)

Ψ (psi) quintessence – spirit – hearing/listening

  • I continue to “listen (and watch) for the animals this month.  See who comes and what they bring.
  • This week we’ve had some partridge (ruffled grouse) and squirrels galore.  Tracks from rabbits and the fox – though I haven’t seen her yet with my own eyes.

Looking up Ruffled Grouse… I found the following over at Spirit Lodge….

From Ted Andrews book Animal Speak:

The ruffed grouse reflects that working with new rhythms and new movement will be beneficial to opening a new flow of energy into your life. Dance and drumming would become wonderful tools to open new realms for you. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and take dance lessons, but simply practice and develop your freeform expressions. You will be surprised at the changes in your own energy. See yourself dancing into new patterns and realms within your life.

If the grouse has come into your life use the dance. Focus on something you want to change, manifest, or desire, and create your own movements that reflect it. Perform it to some drum music. Then watch how quickly the energy begins to flow for you. If performed with the right intention, you will see results in less than a week.

… To those to whom grouse comes there should be a marking off of sacred space in your life. Make sure there are territories and areas you do not allow others. This enables your own natural rhythms and movements to create for you without too much outside interference.

I built a drum many years ago.  I haven’t used it in a long while.  I think it’s time to bring her down and … start again.


Before I go – I want to give a shout out and thanks to Tina and mercmes who wrote me and told me that the lovely RAVEN with the moon I posted in Shake and Bake 68 was created by Kerri Ann Crau.  I’ve fixed up the post to link back to her.  You can find more of her work at

That’s it for me gang.  Happy Monday!


Thanks for stopping by.

May your week be full to the brim with boons and blessings.

Go easy ~p

6 Comments on “Shake and Bake 73: Boons and Blessings Abound!

    • Thanks Jean… I’ve been sort of … stunned … for a few days. So happy. So grateful.

    • Hey Hols Thanks much. It really is a shot in the arm. And a kick in the pants 😉

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Ailish Sinclair

Stories and photos from Scotland

Cathy Standiford

Historical fiction, poetry, essays

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