I have had a busy February. Working with the Consumer Initiative Fund as a liaison manager to oversee peer-run projects, including programs and services for mentally ill persons. Going to a fabulous retreat. Hitting the pool. Walking miles upon miles just for the exercise. Meeting a friend for coffee. Taking long hours to edit a series of stories. Entering writing contests on Secret Attic after being published in their September 2008 magazine issue available at

Waiting to hear if my submission to Front Magazine was accepted on the topic "Disciplines." Publishing my monthly column called "Musings by Sandra Yuen MacKay" at Waiting to hear from a local small press editor about publishing "My Schizophrenic Life" about my recovery from schizoaffective disorder, a combination of schizophrenia and a mood disorder. And also waiting for a reply from an agent for my collection of three novellas tentatively called "3 Women, 3 Lives."

With all this waiting, I prepare myself for rejection. Writing submissions may easily get rejected or put in the slush pile. Those that are lucky, talented and good at marketing are the authors who succeed. It's part of having a professional attitude to not take negative criticism and rejection to heart. Writing is healing for me. It's part of what I like to do. To be published for payment is exciting but is really icing on the cake, for me anyways.

I attempted to write 2 stories for another contest, but after some good advice from my friend, decided my approach wasn't going to work and shelved the contest for now. I think trying too hard doesn't work. 

I successfully found a date to meet two others to plan for a short presentation at the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists conference in June which was tricky because our schedules conflicted. I worked on my part in advance and hope the others agree with what I prepared with a few alterations. I also planned a talk with another Sandra for a class of occupational therapists at the University of British Columbia for next week.

I did work on 2 or 3 paintings. I have come to the conclusion that creativity cannot be forced or rushed in art or writing. To paint, I have to be in a state of utter concentration and focus which usually means I forget what time it is, or when to eat. 

Also I worked on some pencil and ink drawings on greeting cards to sell at the Mother's Day Art Sale put on by the members of the Art Studios. This organization offers art and writing classes to persons with mental illness. In the past, I taught creative writing there, and worked as a Traveling Art Assistant to mount art exhibits by the members at places around Vancouver. I act as secretary at planning meetings and also volunteer and am part of the fundraising committee. 

Still I made time to watch "Lost," "24," "Fringe," parts of "American Idol," and the Oscars. I thought Hugh Jackman did a fairly good job. However, I'd rather have seen clips of the nominees acting rather than hearing accolades from past Academy winners in their category.

My husband has hounded me to write some reviews on this blog. I hope to be able to do that in the near future. So welcome to my blog!

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