"Rogers unbuttons language like a verbal vamp." - John Moore, Vancouver Sun
Our guest WOOFer/Verbal Vamp is author/poet/performer/
songwriter/journalist/editor (what did we miss?!) Linda Rogers. Along the way she carved out time to also get married and have three children, who have since blessed her with three grandchildren. She lives in Victoria, B.C., Canada, and is the author of numerous novels, children's books, books of poetry, songs...well, the list goes on and on. Please follow this link to find out more about Rogers' amazing work not only expressing herself creatively, but her committed efforts to empower children around the world.
Sit back and enjoy her interview, one she titled ...
WOOF: Although you were from a writing family, you were sabotaged at almost every stage in life when it came to developing your writing career. What made you persevere?
LR: I never knew what other people wanted from me because I hadn’t bothered to figure them out. I sometimes did what I was told and sometimes didn’t. That is the game. As I hadn’t figured myself out either, I had nothing invested in being anything except a good mother and now a good grandmother.
Even though I am a big blabbermouth my grandson recently told me I was trustworthy and that he told me things no one else would hear. WOW!
I do have a huge compulsion to talk, to share stories and ideas. That is primal. There is no ego in it. I haven’t ever taken the trouble to figure out why anything about myself. I always thought the world was a lot more interesting. I love the world.
My mother gave me pencils and paper to shut me up when I was a small child. That worked. I am only quiet when reading and writing. Otherwise I am talking singing, buzzing. Maybe that is perseverance. I also like to get to the bottom of a story. I think PK Page once called me inquisitive. That wasn’t a compliment, even though I choose to take it that way.
A lot of the obstruction was gender stuff. Men don’t like women who are smarter than they are, unless they are very secure. I am married to a secure man. He is not threatened. Probably he is smarter than I am.
WOOF: We're very interested in hearing more about this "opera-singing" ghost. Can you single out a particular experience?
LR: Funny you should mention the ghost. I cleaned her house yesterday, because my youngest son and his family are moving out. It is a big old MacLure (well known architect) house built by a musical family. One of the family members was an opera singer called Georgina Kent. Georgina was not thrilled about her early death, so she hung around.
We read about her in the city archives after she showed up, particularly in the bedroom of my eldest son, also an opera singer, which had been the nursery for her children. She told him her name on his Ouija board and blew out candles. She also laughed when people had sex.
We often heard Georgina singing, but the sex part was very memorable.
WOOF: Your works range from novels to poetry to songwriting to children's books. Do you have a favorite genre? Why?
LR: I honestly don’t think I do, although, because I am the Victoria Poet Laureate at the moment, people are more inclined to describe me as a poet. Because of the job, I am more focused on poetry, mostly initiating projects like getting inner city kids to write, setting up a popal program with schools in other countries, collecting books and school supplies for kids in a South African township school, organizing art, dance music and poetry exhibitions and readings and editing an anthology of poetry and visual art called Framing the Garden.
I am not ignoring my other children. Soon, in addition to a poetry collection called Muscle Memory, I will have a new novel The Third Day Book, the second in the Empress Trilogy, and an album of songs Ruin and Beauty, written for the band Light Sweet Crude.
You could say I have faves of the moment. Some ideas come as stories, some as songs and others as poems. They fold themselves into different parts of my brain.
I don’t favour any of my children either. They are all different.
WOOF: In a recent piece on Leonard Cohen, you wrote, "For me, he has always been the priest of the impossible possible." The impossible possible. That phrase is haunting. Please explain.
LR: Cohen has spent his life banging his head on some kind of prayer. Poetry is prayer. Sometimes it helps make the impossible possible. Sometimes the possible impossible. That is the paradox of life. We are touched but not touching. We are touching but not touched. Life is hunger. The beautiful thing about Leonard Cohen is that he seems to have figured out that real joy is not in longing, but in being, where we transcend the need to be or have more than we are. That is the possible. He may have to stop writing!
WOOF: Is there anything about this time of your life you savor so much you can hardly speak about it? Do tell!
LR: Everyone in my family is well. Everyone in my family laughs. I wish the world were like that. I savour the blessings and try to relieve a small part of the suffering of others who are not as lucky, but I no longer believe in magic solutions, and gilded answers. The world will create problems as fast as we find solutions. That is the other side of grace. It has its own fascination. I am becoming a watcher as well as a doer.
WOOF: We suspect you will never use up your wealth of talents. How do you expect to continue expressing yourself in new, creative ways?
LR: My body will use itself up eventually. That is the way it is meant to be. I have escorted loved ones to the last threshold and it is beautiful there. I expect to keep on encountering beauty. It will continue to astonish me. Even if, when something prevents me from writing, I will continue to experience it until it is over. I’ve used up quite a few trees and it will be someone else’s turn to write about their time on Earth.
We want to thank Linda for sharing her insight into the many facets of her fascinating life...Visit her website for more on Linda. Let's hope she'll visit us again with more Geriatric Rambling!