Sunday, February 10, 2013


I am almost done editing all my stories, and it feels surreal.

This has been a project that I have thought about, worked on, feared, been excited about, and created since August. I think I may have even conceptualized it in July, when I was still interning as a reporter for the paper.

So far, I am happy about how things have come along. I learned so much throughout the last almost six months with interviewing different girls about their lives. I learned about them, and I learned about me, and I am mostly proud of the fact that their stories run through all of the stories I have put together for this collection. They are in all of them, not just one, and I feel as though I have done their life experiences justice. 

I actually showed some to Mara, my friend who I blogged about a while ago now, because I feel as though her experiences pop up in many of the stories, probably the most out of all the girls I interviewed. She said she was proud of my work and it was a really nice experience being able to show her as we drank wine in her apartment and talked about what it really is like to be a young woman in our day and age. 

I am conceptualizing the rest of the photoshoots and I am super excited because a friend of mine, who also works at MAC, knows a woman who has a really cool look (and life story) and she has agreed to model in two of my photoshoots. That a task I am happy to say I got down because I was worried I would not be able to find someone who is older to pose in photos, since most of the people I know are around my age. 

Also, for one of the photoshoots I have coming up this week, I have to create the illusion that the model has freckles, since the character in the story has freckles and although the freckles play a small part in the story, they are very symbolic of the relationship the character has to her mother, as her mother has freckles, too. 

So, I leave you with this, which is a photograph taken this weekend as I was working at MAC with my friend Robyn. I am on the left and these are the freckles I created on my own face, in preparation for this photoshoot:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I have a third rough draft written now, and I am starting to tackle the rest, and some photographs.

At Vietnamese Paradise
Speaking of which, I scouted an amazing location to take some pictures. It is called Viatnemese Paradise and it’s a small venue in Winnipeg that looks awesome inside, with the lighting and the disco ball and everything else.

I was feeling better early this week so I went out with a friend and she took my picture there, in front of the chandelier.

I will be done the rough drafts of most of the stories by next Wednesday, and the photos will all be done shortly after that. 

It’s pretty cool to watch this slowly pulling together. I was really scared at first but I have worked on the blog and the ideas and I am getting more confident that I can do this. 

I will continue to post until everything is done, and I will try to arrange a launch so those who have been reading and following the progress of the project can see it when it’s done.

P.S. Remember Mado? It's her birthday today!!

Friday, January 25, 2013


I apologize for not blogging last week, but I was involved in a serious accident.

I went to get my hair bleached at the salon I go to regularly, and I suffered a chemical burn up the back of my scalp after the stylist applied the bleach to my hair. 

My scalp is covered in open blisters and I have been stoned on painkillers for a week straight, along with a number of other medications. 

When it happened, I was rushed to the Emergency Room by a friend of mine. He was kind to me, and he told me it was going to be alright but I couldn’t stop sobbing. 

I tried really hard to stay calm but it was the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. They treated me immediately when I came into the ER, pouring ice water over my head and putting a wet towel on it and providing me with painkillers.

It was equally painful, although in a different way, when all of my hair fell out in my hands in the bathroom of a dingy Safeway when I was released from the hospital and went to fill my presciptions.

Although, looking on the bright side, something good came from this: if there is anything that can speak to a story about female standards of beauty in North America, it is this story. I truly felt what it was like to be far outside those standards, with swollen eyes from crying, a quarter of an inch long hair, and drowsy demeanor from all the medication. 

I also had the opportunity to feel like what it’s like to have someone care for me. 

Here is a picture I took to represent how I was feeling when I could get out of bed a few days later. I have some other ones that I am planning on using in the collection.

By the way, I never said this yet but I have always meant to: I reeeive most of the feedback through Facebook messages so I wanted to thank everyone on here for reading and telling me their thoughts.

A few days after being released from the hospital, with my head wrapped in a scarf I will have to wear for a month after losing my hair.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


As of now, I have two rough drafts of stories done.

I wrote about one being what one believes about oneself, and in the story the character is a smoker who continues to smoke because she believes herself to be the qualities, both positive and negative, that define the classic example of a smoker.

She also smokes because she misses her mother, who passed away from cancer-related smoking, and in the story the cigarette takes the form of a character named Sigourney.

I also completed a story about role models, using the interview I conducted with the sex trade worker I met a while ago. That one was hard to write because I was not sure what details to include, and what to leave out. 

At least I am making progress. If there is one thing I have learned in Creative Communications, it is not to be a perfectionist. It is best to simply get out a written draft, even if it feels like it’s being vomitted out, and then start to work on it. At least you have something to work with at that point.

I will continue to seek inspiration and to have fun with my creativity and to write my stories. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013


I am posting a picture of the photoshoot I did most recently for the collection.

I had a friend of mine model, and she was a perfect subject because she models nude for local art classes, and she is familiar with how to use her body to convey different messages. 

I felt as though I was truly part of an artistic collaboration, and I am thinking of using the photographs to accompany the story about one being what one believes about themself, or female standards of beauty in North America. It will be an opportunity to use the menstrual cycle as a symbol of youth and health, rather than something to be grossed out by, or something that is frowned upon.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


I am very excited to report that I conducted my last interview for Late Bloomers!

My subject was a young woman, around 25, who throughout her life maintained a very difficult relationship to her mother, who suffered from mental illness.

She told me some really sad details about her mother acting angry and sad all the time, as a result of depression, and only saying goodnight to my subject while sleeping. My subject told me she would crawl into her mother’s room every night to say goodnight, because even if her mother was not awake and possibly did not mean it, she wanted to hear it. 

I think the interview is great for the story I am going to write, as a theme many young women can probably relate to is a difficult relationship with their mother.

I am relieved in a way to have this inteview done, but this means I have to start the writing process which, admittedly, is getting a little easier.

I wrote out some plans for the structure of each story today and I am going to continue to work on it. I am hoping to come up with some rough drafts by next week so I can submit them to my advisor at school and get them edited. I also have a photoshoot planned next week, so I will post a sample photo from it most likely. The concept is a little risque so I am hoping for feedback through comments and messages.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I apologize for not blogging last week -- Hanukkah usually doesn’t get very busy around my house but this year we had a lot of guests passing through.

My mother gives my brother and I each a few small gifts for the holiday, and one of the gifts I got (after asking for it a million times) was Eminem’s Recovery CD.

Slim and Hallie
I am conflicted about my love for Eminem, and especially the way he has inspired Late Bloomers. 

I hate that his music is violent, and I hate that the violence is usually directed towards women (I have a hard time listening to Stan all the way through). It would appear Mr. Eminem, as MJ used to call him, goes against many of the things I strongly believe in.

However, I admire his honesty. When I listen to his music, I believe what he says. He reveals himself through his art honestly, and it takes courage to do that. I also like listening to him because he makes me consider the role of autobiography in art, which is something I have given some thought to when it comes to my own collection of short stories. I have asked myself how much I should let my own personal experience be part of the collection, in addition to all the inteviews I have conducted. 

I am also very interested in and impressed by and in love with his brilliance as a lyricist. I love how he can make the word fuck sound beautiful, and the world love sound evil.

Well, I am going to listen to the CD now again for the fiftieth time since I’ve gotten it. I can’t get enough of the real Silm Shady.

p.s. It’s not on Recovery but listen to When I’m Gone, and watch the video. His best work in my opinion.