In 2008, I booked myself a hotel for the night for a DIY writing retreat, after being frustrated at not being able to afford a traditional retreat, and also too impatient to wait for one I could afford. I’d been meaning to do it again since then, and last weekend I finally did. Here are my thoughts about my DIY writing retreat, what I learned, and what I’d do differently. (READ MORE)
February 29, 2016: A few months ago, I visited Ottawa and went on a guided tour of Centre Block (which is one of our Parliament buildings, for those unfamiliar). It was very interesting to see all of it, but my favourite was the Library of Parliament. There were many gasps from my group when we walked in, and I was definitely one of those people.
I mean, just look at it! (READ MORE)
It’s been fall for a few days now, and it’s probably the third one in a row where I can look back on my summer writing and actually feel fairly impressed. Usually, summer is terrible for my writing. In my part of Ontario the summers are scorching, humid, and long. Many people love this, but I tend to wilt and become sluggish and annoyed. In the past this has meant my writing becomes sluggish too, and I don’t really produce much of anything at all. However, since the year I started writing my first novel, not writing in the summers simply wasn’t an option. It just wouldn’t work. (READ MORE)
There is a middle-aged woman in the building behind mine who I relate to. She has a big comfy chair by the window, and she likes to sit in that chair with her computer or a book or a crossword. There’s a lamp right next to the chair and a desk across the room, but she forsakes the desk for her comfort zone. I like her style. In the apartment above her, a cat often sits in the window and it hasn’t waved back at… (READ MORE)
Overheard, in a book store: “Must it be rhyming couplets?” “Oh, yes.”
The boy crosses the street towards the School for Bad Children. It is cold but his jacket is unzipped and hangs from his shoulders. He calls cheerfully to his waiting teacher, “I just saw some of my old friends but I walked right by them!” And I think of all the worlds of meaning in this scene and that sentence. I am going to recycle the following: Some kids from the elementary school near my workplace have been installed as crossing guards. They stand at… (READ MORE)
Recently I went down a Sisters of Mercy-induced nostalgia spiral, and this particular nostalgia spiral was of a different sort than usual, because it led me to a time period I’m not used to feeling nostalgic for. In high school I used to listen to Sisters of Mercy, but I also listened to all kinds of things. I used to look forward to ’80s “Retro Night” on the radio each Sunday, but I also dove headfirst into the short-lived swing revival of the ’90s, and… (READ MORE)