Thursday, August 27, 2015

My "Staycation" Summer

For the most part, I've had a "staycation" kind of summer (who invented that word anyway???). Other than a trip to the west coast of Vancouver Island in early July, I have been firmly planted at home.

It's not that I didn't want to go somewhere — I would have happily visited Haida Gwaii, the Great Bear Rainforest, Desolation Sound, the Saskatchewan prairies where I was born, or even Newfoundland! All of these places have great appeal for me.

It's just that the sun was shining brightly in our fair city, the sidewalk patios by the ocean were inviting, the garden was in full bloom, and visitors were arriving in town to see us. So, it became a summer at home.

Added to the list of reasons to stay put were a series of small but necessary projects including: updating my website, writing a teacher's guide for my latest book and re-organizing my computer's filing system.

But there is satisfaction in getting these jobs done and looking forward to the fall where I will spend most of my time (I hope) writing something new. I have cleared the decks! No excuses now.

And with thanks to my dad, who is also a writer, here are two great quotes. The first is from C.S. Forester, who penned The African Queen and many other titles. He said, "A man who writes for a living does not have to go anywhere in particular, and he could rarely afford to if he wanted."

And the second quote (again via my dad) is from William Faulkner, the Nobel Prize winning author and stay-at-home writer, who said, "I have travelled far in the town of Oxford, Mississippi."

As I've discovered over the years, we writers can easily wander in our imaginations. No need to book a trip anywhere!


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Festival Fun (Looking ahead!)

The program to the Vancouver Writer's Fest arrived in my mailbox last week and it has been fun looking through the wealth of festival offerings. Lots of great authors are coming to town to wow us with their new books. It's exciting!

And from our very own city, are some wonderful authors too. Congrats to my friend and colleague Tanya Kyi! You can read about her festival events here.

I'm a festival member and one of the benefits of membership (a bargain at $25 a year) is being able to buy tickets before they are released for general purchase.

The pages of my program are now flagged with a zillion brightly coloured sticky notes marking the sessions that interest me most. The difficult next step is to narrow down these choices into something more manageable. Help!

(Member tickets go on sale on Sept. 1. Tickets for the public's purchase on Sept. 8.)

The festival is in late October, so it's a long wait — but it is entertaining to contemplate the fall readings schedule as we amble through the remainder of this hot, dry west coast summer. (Where is the rain???)


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Dreaming of Rain

Here on the west coast, we live in a rainforest, and are used to rain of every variety: from a fine mist to gentle showers, or from a steady sprinkle to pelting cloudbursts, and even torrential monsoon-like downpours in the long days of winter.

Why do we love the rain? Our trees and plants grow thick and green. Our gardens flourish. We taste the moisture in the air. It just seems right.

So how are we feeling with a three-month drought? Days and days of no rain? It feels very strange indeed.

Our lawns and gardens are brown. The air is dry. We get up in the morning and scan the sky for gray clouds and a sign of rain. There are none to be found.

I used to think it would be wonderful to live in a place like California where the sun always shines. I'm not so sure anymore.

I love the rain. I miss the rain. I hope to see some soon.