Finding a Voice

Saturday, March 31, 2007

what Asian country should you visit?

Surprise, surprise.

I even answered the first question about favorite Asian food with "curry."

Go figure.

You Should Travel to China

China can satisfy your craving for many travel opportunities in one trip.
You can hang out in modern Shanghai, walk along the great wall, or visit sacred mountains.
What Asian Country Should You Visit?
posted by Colleen McCubbin at 2:09 PM 0 comments

Sunday, March 25, 2007

ladybug on the piano


Last night there was no freeze, so today the air felt quite warm and fresh from the start. The sun has been shining and the snow has been vanishing all day, flooding some corners of our little town in every way. The loveliest sign of spring was a ladybug on the piano keys in church this morning.

She like the bass clef best and I tried to play around her, knocking her off only once. She flailed upside-down on the little ledge in front of the keys until I rescued her on my fingertip.

Ladybug! Ladybug! Fly away home.

Your house is on fire. And your children all gone.


As of March 12th I am now officially "39 and holding."

I was amazed at how many people remembered on the day and emailed or phoned. Of course Lamb, who shares the day, called and we sang "Happy Birtday to us."

I worked at the homecare office and worked on my thesis most of that evening (the deadline was looming), but stopped for a simple, tasty supper, with the most unique "cake" ever. I've almost entirely eliminated sugar and wheat from my diet, so Mom called forth her endless creativity to design a visual feast in this original meat pie. She used some wheat-free crepes as "crust" with a quinoa-and-meat filling in the middle, and decorated it with sour cream, salsa, shredded cheddar, red bell peppers, Spanish onions, and a plastic cake topper. Brilliant. And very tasty, especially with extra Spanish onions!

birthday meat pie, detail


Carol: yes, the thesis IS done, which makes the spring weather seem all the brighter! Dwayne Uglem likes it so far and has made some suggestions for "substantive changes," so it's a good thing we postponed the defense. In addition to rewriting, maybe I'll even get my taxes done before leaving for 'Port!

The thesis was too big to email to my thesis readers, so I posted it on a webpage for them. I'm not quite ready to give out the URL--one day soon after the April 9th defense. Looking forward to unveiling it!

Enjoy the springtime!

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posted by Colleen McCubbin at 7:37 PM 1 comments

Thursday, March 22, 2007

not in Caronport today

Awhile ago I said that my thesis defense would be today in Caronport. Fortunately, the defense has been postponed to April 9th. After participating in Spiritwood's Grand Ole Opry this past weekend and picking up a couple of extra shifts in the homecare office, I would have been too exhausted to drive 5 hours to Caronport, defend, visit with dear friends, and drive back. This is much better timing!

Well, I need to get out of my office, as the drywallers are here and they want to come in and do some mudding. Dust, dust, dust, dust ...

First day off in a few weeks -- whatever shall I do with myself? How about reading and laundry and singing with mom. That's plenty.
posted by Colleen McCubbin at 10:55 AM 1 comments

Thursday, March 08, 2007

transforming conversations to print

"As we attempt to transform conversation to print, we must radically intervene--'mess around with what is said' to show clearly what is meant. ... We must present [our narrators] well in writing and not patronize them in doing so."

"Next edit and contextualize, rearranging to create a coherent and tight narrative. Editor needs to be ruthless. Beware of tangents that are off the point."

-- Suzanne Mulligan, "IOHA CONFERENCE MASTER CLASS – Editing for Oral History Publication" (notes on a Master Class by Linda Shopes), at

I am working on my second-last narrative. It was the first one I edited it many months ago, then a few weeks ago, and looking at it now the weaknesses are dreadfully apparent to me. It's more factual than readable -- not enough life in the tone. The first shall be last. This is why it's important to leave time between writing and rewriting -- time often brings perspective.

I was in Prince Albert for health region training this week and had tea with my cousin, Heather Persson, Managing Editor of the Prince Albert Daily Herald. She has been reading my blog and said that as a journalist she sometimes envies how much time I have to think about the voices of my interviewees. The similarities and differences between her work and mine are fascinating: journalists specialize in quick turn-around from interview to print, oral historians have the luxury of time to ruminate and rearrange before publishing. Audience and purpose are other points to ponder.

But a longer treatment of these themes will have to wait for another day ... my "baby" is calling.
posted by Colleen McCubbin at 10:55 AM 1 comments

Saturday, March 03, 2007

my CD: isn't that fun?

Received an email today and immediately decided to forward it to my blog. (Emailing posts is a delightfully convenient recent discovery. It saves the time of logging in and navigating webpages, allowing remote posting!) Last September I left 6 CDs at McNalley Robinson Booksellers in Saskatoon. A couple of months ago my friend Janina wrote this to me:

" Jasmine and I had a special time just the two of us and we went to McNally Robinson and saw your CDs in the rack where you can listen before you buy.  It was up too high for her to see so I put the earphones on her and she said, "oh!  I like this song!".  She doesn't quite get how cool it is that someone we know has CDs for sale in a real store, heehee."

Jasmine is one of Janina's 6-year-old twins. (Or are they 7?)

So, here's the email of the day:

Jordon Cooper wrote:
Hi Colleen,

I was browsing in McNally Robinson the other day when the music that
was playing sounded familiar.  I went by the music desk there and they
were playing your album.  It sounded great.

I hope all is well and everyone is surviving the winter that will not end.



posted by Colleen McCubbin at 1:33 PM 0 comments

Cna yuo raed tihs?

Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe tuo fo 100 anc.

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it.
posted by Colleen McCubbin at 12:30 PM 1 comments

Friday, March 02, 2007

thesis defense scheduled

The final draft of everything thesis is due March 15th.
The defense has been scheduled for March 22nd for 10:00 a.m.
If you're in or near Caronport on that day, the defense is open, so you're welcome to attend.
The topic, in case you haven't heard, is "Oral Histories of Women from the Early Days of Briercrest."

Home stretch! Please pray for me: focus, discipline, clarity, etc.
posted by Colleen McCubbin at 11:31 AM 0 comments