Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Freedom to Leave


One of the things we expect as a matter of course in a democratic country like Canada is the freedom to leave. There are some exceptions, such as minor children without parental permission, or people under police investigation, but generally speaking if I wish to travel or emigrate to another country, I don't have to worry about asking permission from the Canadian government. That is the sort of thing that happens in authoritarian countries. It is the sort of thing which happened under the Nazis in Europe. (I recently went to a talk by a survivor who spoke about it being illegal for Jews to leave occupied Belgium or France.) Trump is demanding that Central American countries adopt authoritarian policies. What happened to supporting freedom and democracy?

Friday, February 1, 2019

Women in Horror Month

I have written a guest blog post for Colleen Anderson's Women in Horror Month series. She will be putting up a new post by a different guest each day.

colleenanderson.wordpress.com/2019/02/01/women-in-horror-jennifer-kennedy

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Poem Online: Cleft

Wax Poetry and Art has published a poem of mine, which won first place in their Canada Poetry Contest: http://waxpoetryart.com/canada/2018/kennedy.html

You can read the poetry on the site for free: the link that says 'Click here to See All New Published Work' is a good place to start. If you find something you really like you can order a printed copy of it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Upcoming Events

I have a few things coming up in the next month or so.

This Friday, April 13th, my storytelling group is holding our annual concert. In honour of the date, we have a theme of 'Oh, So Unlucky', and we are trying out a new venue: Common Grounds Cafe. Registration is though the library:
http://engagedpatrons.org/EventsExtended.cfm?SiteID=2270&EventID=331810&PK=

I am also busy rehearsing for a show with St. Albert Dinner Theatre. They will be running two one-act comedies on Thurs/Fri/Sat from April 26 until May 12. I am in 'A Mad Breakfast' which is a madcap farce set in a boarding house c. 1930.
Details on that are at: http://www.stalberttheatre.com

And, as usual, Magpie Morris Dancers will be dancing at dawn on May 1st at the gazebo in Old Strathcona. We've also been invited to a couple of events later in May.


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Waxwings


I never really believed in the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus, though the idea of them had a certain magic for me as a child. As a parent, I have enjoyed playing out these bits of theatre to mark the turning seasons, but even the magic by proxy of sharing them with my children has faded as they have grown older. And yet when the waxwings come, it feels like the arrival of some seasonal spirit: a visitation and a benediction. I never know when they will come, or even for sure if they will. The crabapple tree stands through the winter with its dark red fruit softening in the cold, untouched. Then one day, late in the winter, when other sources of food have grown scarce, the waxwings arrive. This year the first I knew of it was a shadow darting across the bathroom curtain, then another, and another. I pulled the cloth aside and saw them all over and around the tree, and my heart lifted. Some were perched here and there on the branches, pecking at the fruit. Some were down on the snow, eating the crabapples that others had knocked loose. Waxwings are lovely, sleek birds, delicately coloured. They fly gracefully, seeming to slide on the air. They are dignified rather than noisy for the most part, although I witnessed a brief dispute over a favoured perch on one of the times that day that I came to a window to watch them. I was grateful for their visit, and took the time to enjoy it, knowing that they would soon be gone, not to return until next year.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Playwriting Update


I posted in mid-February about the 28 Plays Later challenge that I was trying out. I think part of the reason I decided to write a post about it was that I felt I was losing enthusiasm a bit and hoped that putting my reasons for taking part into words might help. Well, the fact is that it didn't really. Although the challenges that followed did take me to some interesting places, on the whole I found that my interest level continued to drop, and in the end I only got through the first 24 of the 28 challenges. I would still highly recommend 28 Plays Later: it was wonderful in a lot of ways. I might even try it again myself another year.

So, what about results? I am still writing, but not as much as while I was doing the challenge. I think it has helped a bit to get me into writing mode, but it did not magically cure all my writer's block issues. (Darn!) I haven't done any more scriptwriting since finishing, having felt more inclined to get back to fiction and poetry, so I can't say yet whether it has helped with that.

One thing I found interesting was that I ended up writing several plays that involved clowns or physical comedy of some sort. I'm not sure if this is the influence of Deadmonton lingering on, since I spent quite a few hours there last fall as various creepy clown characters. I didn't write anything I would describe as horror, though: funny that the clowning would rub off more than the creepiness.

Mentioning Deadmonton sort of leads into the other thing I wanted to mention. Another idea I had for what might help me with scriptwriting was to get involved with some more theatre projects, preferably ones with people who knew what they were doing, as opposed to things I organized myself. So, when Emily Pole, one of the other Deadmonton actors, posted that she was holding auditions for a couple one act plays that she was going to direct for St. Albert Dinner Theatre, I decided to put my name in. The result is that I have got a part in a really fun little farce set in a 1930s boarding house, called 'A Mad Breakfast'. We're just starting to rehearse, and so far I'm enjoying being a part of this group very much.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Poetry Incoming. . .


My narrative poem, 'The King in Red' is going to be a part of the upcoming 'Alice Unbound' anthology from Exile Editions. Here is a link to the announcement from the editor, Collen Anderson, who truly went above and beyond the call of duty in working with me on my submission:

https://colleenanderson.wordpress.com/2018/02/22/release-of-alice-unbound-beyond-wonderland/

I also expect my poem, "Cleft" to appear soon on the waxpoetryart website, after it was selected in their Canada Poetry Contest.