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  • Writer's pictureFrancine Cunningham

Life update: post summer 2016

Hey! It's me! I am blogging again. Hopefully.

So this summer has been pretty OK. I went on a trip to Montreal, my first visit to the city and the province of Quebec. I was there for some training for my trip up north to a Cree community as an artist in residence for January and February 2017. If I look earlier on my calendar I was in Halifax for the Canadian Museum Association conference and before that in Chicago for the National Art Education Association conference and a quick side trip to Calgary for my sisters baby shower.

But other than that I have been here in Vancouver working on my writing, illustrations, swimming when I can in Kits pool. Just living life. I have recently starting juicing again to help boost my brain power for writing, I'll let you know how it goes.

And what about my writing?

The wonderful folks over at The Canada Council have granted me the time to work on finishing the first draft of the non-fiction manuscript I am working away on. The first essay from it was published in the summer edition of The Malahat Review and was on the topic of my anxiety. I got the idea for this manuscript in January of this year and have been working away on it since then. Research, writing, taking to my family, research again. I love the topic, epi-genetics and mental illness, I love that I am doing something unknown to me, genre wise, and I love that it's coming together so easily. Kinda. Well easier than my novel did. Once I get this first draft down I am going to let it simmer for a few months, get into a revision, and then start pitching it to places.

I am also finishing up the last story in a short fiction collection I have been slowly adding stories to for the past couple years. This last story is looooong, like at least 10,000 words long but I think it's a great way to end the collection. I am exploring my fascination with organ donation, life after death, and loneliness. If I can stick to my schedule it will be ready for me to start submitting it to publishing houses by the end of the year so fingers crossed.

I am also going to be in Banff for five weeks this winter working on hopefully the fifth and last major revision to my YA novel. Its been a year since I've even read it but I have pages and pages of notes from some amazing editors to dig into and I also really want this book to shine like it is supposed to shine. I believe so much in Sage's story that I want the world to read all about her. I want to start submitting it to publishing houses in January.

As you may have noticed the thing about me is I work on so many different projects at once that of course they all finish at the same time. So I am going to be in like hustle pitch submit mode come January.

I have some poems forthcoming this fall and one of my favourite short stories I've written so far coming out in December. The publisher asked me to do some illustrations for it so I am working on those now and I am super excited.

I am also doing some illustrations for a zine I wrote and hope to sell in my Etsy shop this winter.

So all these projects equal Fran being a busy little bee. Add in custom orders for my artwork and dreamcatchers, making stock for my shop and life in general. Keeping busy is what I like. My granny always tells me that the key to a good life is keeping busy. Don't waste an evening not working on your beadwork, or sewing. That's her advice.

I hope to read more in the final months of 2016, spend a few hours every non-rainy day walking in parks and by the beach to save up all the good fall vibes. Crunchy leaves. Frost in the morning. Before winter comes whistling in. Throw in a few grant applications, submitting all my dormant stories and poems, and catching up with friends - I hope to have a super rad fall.

Falling in the webs of atomic spiders,


P.s Atomic spiders are the orb weavers that take over all open spaces in the fall here in Vancouver. They have crazy hard shells, grow huge and their web silk is strong! They freak me the f out. They are the one part of fall in Van that I dread. The return of the atomic spiders. A rant by one FRan B Cunningham.

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