Tucked away at the Banff Centre.

By Heather Clitheroe - October 24, 2014

I promise that there is, in fact, writing going on. Really. Truly.

But also a trip up to the top of Sulphur Mountain. Lunch in town with good company, and then a trip up the gondola where the rain turned to snow.




Lots of snow. These tourists were pretty excited about it:


And we managed to catch the eclipse, which I was pretty excited about:



So the plan for today is more writing. I have a meeting with my editor in the morning on Google Hangouts, some laundry going, and a plan to write like the wind. The novel feels like it’s coming together. I’m starting to see the characters are going, finding new connections for them (largely as a result of that walking meditation — the third part of that trip was to stand and listen to the whisperings of the story, which was inspiring in ways I didn’t expect).



I’m starting to think that I just may emerge from this studio at the end of next week with a book.

Back in Banff.

By Heather Clitheroe - October 22, 2014

I am happily ensconced in another residency at the Banff Centre. The last for this year (I’ve applied to go back in January; waiting to hear on that but I’m not too worried). The weather is still very autumnal. Cool and crisp, a bit rainy. A bit of fresh snow up on the mountains. I went for a hike with a guide yesterday, but otherwise, I’ve been working away in my studio.


It’s such a privilege to get to be here. The writing is going well.

Banff Centre redux.

By Heather Clitheroe - October 18, 2014


I’m packing up the rolling suitcase again and making my way west, to the Banff Centre. I was there just three weeks ago, but it feels like it’s been much longer. I’m going out there to try to finish the novel.

That is perhaps the most exciting and terrifying thing I could type. But I’m going to try to do it. I have my notes, my outlines, a diabolical plot, and the characters fixed firmly in my mind. Now all I have to do is complete the execution. Get the fire started, so to speak. I’m on vacation for the next three weeks, and I’m going to try to squeeze everything I can out of the project. And still take some time to lie about, reading in my pajamas.

So, packing. Naturally the cat is lying on anything dark.

Happy Thanksgiving!

By Heather Clitheroe - October 13, 2014


We had a lovely turkey dinner last night: turkey, potatoes, turnip, peas and carrots, stuffing, and apple pie for dessert, as our guest didn’t care for pumpkin. The pumpkin pie is for today, with the turkey sandwiches.

Amazing to think that this time last year, I was still preparing to go back to work after surgery, worrying about how it would go.

Today I’m going to lounge about, read a Georges Simenon mystery (the translated Inspector Maigret novels are being rereleased by Penguin, hurray!), and do some writing. It’s the perfect way to spend the holiday.


By Heather Clitheroe - October 11, 2014


Another week comes to a close; I had dinner with a coworker (we’ve decided we’re now friends first and coworkers second) and then hopped on the train to head out to the burbs for Dungeons and Dragons night.

It’s a happy routine I have. The steady pace of the work week, the writing I do in the mornings, the gaming nights with friends. I’m shortly on my way back to the Banff Centre for the second installment of my autumn writing residency, and that will have its own routine: of writing, of meals, of looking at the mountains. I’m going to go out on a guided hike while I’m there (there’s no way I’d walk in the woods by myself).

Tomorrow is our Thanksgiving dinner; I’ve got Monday off to read and work on the novel.

Catching the eclipse.

By Heather Clitheroe - October 8, 2014


I didn’t get up to see the full event, but I saw the tail end up the eclipse as I got ready for work — the moon still partially covered in shadow, eaten up by it. A lovely way to start the day: a wondrous, beautiful thing.


It was over by the time I left the apartment. Off to start the day, get on the bus, shuffle to the back. Life continues.


By Heather Clitheroe - October 4, 2014


The first week back at work went quickly, but whew, it was a busy one. Meetings almost every day, and the long slog through emails. Still, I’ve kept the momentum I gained at Banff going and I’ve been writing steadily. Not nearly as much as I do in the mountains, of course, but reading through what I’ve written, and working on a new scene.

I’m heading back to Banff in two weeks. Hardly seems real, I’m so lucky.