Tag Archives: Geography of Now

Join me in the Geography of Now


Hello, lovely one.

Two years ago I created my first online course, Geography of Now. I’ve decided to run it one last time this Spring.

Geography of Now is six weeks in length and will run from Monday April 10th until Friday May 19th. Every weekday you’ll receive, via email, a lesson along with a photography or writing prompt. It’s completely up to you to decide which ones you’d like to complete; you’ll find the pace that’s best for you. All you need is the camera in your phone (or a fancier one if you wish) and your favourite combination of writing implements: journal/pen or computer. We’ll have a secret + private Facebook group where people can share their photos and writing + comment on the work of your classmates if you’d like. My very favourite thing about both Geography of Now and Poet Laureate is the community created by the people in the course. The cost of the course is 75 USD.

If you’ve been itching for a CREATIVE PROJECT,
if you’ve been feeling a little blah and need an INJECTION OF JOY,
or if you want to spend more time NOTICING and FEELING GRATEFUL,
this would be a lovely course for you.

This will be the last time I’ll run the course in this way. It may be available as a self-study but I think the magic of this program is in the alchemy the participants and I create in our shared space on Facebook.

Pop on over here to learn more about the course + sign up.

Please contact me if you have any questions about the course.


What is the Geography of Now?

What is GON

Registration opened today for the Geography of Now.

This six-week eCourse begins on Monday 11th of May. There are 25 spaces available in the class.

In the end-of-course survey, I ask participants to define what this course is. The responses to this question have made me giddy with joy and, more importantly, I believe these insights may help you if you are thinking about taking the course.

The Geography of Now is…

“An amazing 6-week online course where you get an email Monday to Friday with a short discussion and an assignment to photograph things, write about them, think about them and become more aware of your surroundings.” ~ Mary Wallace

“The yoga of creativity.” ~ Cheri Rauser

“A safe and thorough exploration in gradual, thoughtful, do-able exercises to stretch and explore different themes in writing about self, other, present moment, photographs, beauty, aspiration and play. A very well organised, fun journey of self exploration and online community support. Hats off to Monna for her beautiful design, and effervescent vigilance with our March 2015 group. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience.” ~ Jenna McAsey

“The Geography of Now is a course in daily reflection and mindfulness. It helped me to look at my local area with new eyes – kinder and more adventurous.” ~ Anita Wadsworth

You can learn more about the course and register here.

I love this course; it’s the online class I’ve always wanted to take!


Geography of Now starts March 9th


To be at home
where you are,
to notice,
to photograph,
to write,
to feel grateful.
To fall back in love
with your life.

That’s the Geography of Now.

The course starts on Monday March 9th.

Learn more here.

Letter to My Inner Editor


The thing about you,
Inner Editor,
is that you always say
you’re just trying
to help.

That’s your story.

But you arrive
way too early
for the party.

You barge right in.
You never ring the bell,
take your shoes off
at the door
or use the lovely slippers
I’ve left out
for my guests.

You walk through
my writing house
{that fragile little space}
with your muddy boots
and your six pack.

I watch you
grow big
and bloated
on my writing fears.

Shame is your favourite dessert.

But you are not welcome here.
Not yet.
Take your beer and get out.

After I’ve finished my novel,
my glorious first draft,
I’ll invite you back
but we’re drinking champagne
and you will have to wear those slippers.

My writing house,
my rules.



I’m from long days spent laying in fields of tall grass.

I’m from hay and straw
and rubber boots
and more cows than people.
I’m from a long tree-lined laneway
canopy green in summer
where once my middle sister
challenged our dad
to a race and he ran so fast
it felt like magic.

I’m from a small black dog named Poncho
(the result of an inter-species tryst
between a French Poodle and a Mexican Chihuahua)
who loved to cuddle
but suffered terribly
at the sound of bursting balloons.
We discovered this fear
at my parents’ New Year’s Eve party
and I learned that people
could be divided into two categories:
People who wanted to pop more balloons
and those who wanted to help the dog.

I’m from Anne of Green Gables,
Harriet the Spy,
Little Women,
and Nancy Drew.
I come from the Vernon Public Library
where I’d sit on highly glossed hardwood
and read
until it was time to go home.
I could take out as many books as I wanted.
Librarians have always been my friends.

I’m from yellow and white checked curtains
on the windows of my 5th grade classroom.
I was always staring out the window.

I’m from my grandparents’ camper
and a trip to the Provincial Park at Fitzroy Harbour
with all seven grandchildren.
We assembled meals in the tiny kitchen
like playing house.
In the wavy heat of long afternoons
we walked barefoot in the river
and collected the roundest smoothest stones.

I’m from the hockey rink in Metcalfe
where my friends and I
witnessed the Jets and Hawks battle
and discussed important matters
which players were the cutest.

I’m from the epic bonfire at Diana’s house
the night we graduated from high school
and from toast and jam in the morning.
The last time we were all together.

I’m from novels as a food group
and early morning lectures
with professors who were once Jesuit priests.
I’m from figuring it out
later than most
that not everyone likes school.

I’m from the kind heart of a man
who carries an orange knapsack.

I’m from passports and visas and packing and moving and searching for things I already had.

I’m from salsa dancing and being mugged in Cali
and Christmas posadas in the hallways of school
and Mexican folk art and chilaquiles in San Miguel de Allende.
I’m from buying avocados at a market in Barcelona
where the woman always asked
what are you making
when will you make it?
I’m from cava and green olives.
I’m from tuk-tuks, phad thai and mango
and a South East Asian city of angels
where I’m a happier tourist
than a resident.

I’m from a land of extraordinary suns
rising over Mount Fuji.
I’m from Family Marts and the art of bowing
and eathquakes and tsunamis,
from courage and
the preservation of order
in times of immeasurable loss.
I’m from courtesy
and harmony
and Hello Kitty.

I’m from introversion
and taking risks.
I’m from the Internet
and writing novels.
I’m from long decadent talks about the meaning of life.

I’m from making and collecting art.

I’m from travels.
Pablo Neruda’s houses in Chile,
falling down houses in Valparaiso,
broke-down palaces of Budapest.
The golden light in Rome
and sexy green Cyprus trees in Tuscany.

I’m from Paris.
{Surely, in some other life, I must have lived there.}

I’m from luck, hard work and gratitude.
From hope.

Hope, long days, fields of tall grass.


Geography of Now: Scholarship Winners

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Giving this course away is such lovely fun!

I’ve discovered that I like giving things away so much that it may prevent me from becoming a great business person. {I can live with that.}

Two people received two nominations each so I have offered scholarships to both of them.

Congratulations to Hiyori Takashima and Zoe Page.

This six-week e-Course begins on Monday 19 January and you can learn more and register here.

I’d love to have you join us.


Geography of Now: The Scholarship

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The Geography of Now begins on Monday January 19th and I thought it would be cool to offer a free scholarship for the course.

If you know someone who would benefit from this scholarship, email me at monnamcd@gmail. Please write me a paragraph explaining the reasons why your friend or family member would appreciate this creative opportunity. Please include their name and email address. Please note that you must nominate someone else and, in order for your nominee to really participate in the course, she/he needs to be a Facebook user.

Nominations are due by midnight EST (Ottawa and New York City time) on Monday 12 January. I’ll announce the name of the scholarship winner on my site on Wednesday 14 January.

Here is the trailer and here are all the lovely details of the course.