I don’t have to turn in my pirate hat, do I?

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Today is my last full day at the Banff Centre – the bus company is sending a cab to get me in tomorrow afternoon, and then I board the bus at the depot…and then back to Calgary. I had every intention of getting up early this morning – really, every intention. Didn’t quite work out that way. I was very nearly too late for the breakfast buffet, and when I checked my meal plan balance, the screen popped up with a ‘your meal plan is running low’ message. Danger! Danger! Gah!

Mar 18, 2009

So I had to call and add more money. Again. I felt a little sheepish about it, because even though I know the plan only covers two meals a day, I feel like I must be taking in monstrous amounts of food to have run through one hundred and eighty dollars’ worth of buffet dinners. Silly. I know. What was even more embarrassing was saying that I’d called yesterday about it…the kind man at the Registrar’s Office pointed out that it was two days ago. Where does the time go?

Mar 18, 2009

I’m a little stalled out on writing today. I worked on revising that short story yesterday, and I think it’s done. I think so. I danced around my boat for a while (remembering to close the windows so I could sing to along to Sinatra’s ‘Please Be Kind’ at the top of my lungs). When I was done, I looked around the boat with a ‘whew, what next?’ kind of feeling.

What next?

I’m trying to see if I can’t get a start on another story. I’ve been writing short stories for a while now – thinking about a novel doesn’t seem to be conducive to grad school, working full-time, and the care and husbandry of self and cats. At my dinner the other night, Brian suggested that it’s possible to have a writing career and work at the same time, but that it meant the sacrifice of something else – social life, he suggested. Television. Or both.

Mount Rundle

I’m okay with that. I don’t have a raging social life to begin with…so it’s more a question of not pursuing one, I guess. Susan’s take on the question was that it’s important for writers to buy time for themselves – whether you work or not – so they can focus on their work. I like that idea – that you need to parcel time up and use it for the task of writing. It feels right. She’s beautifully inspirational; quite an honour to listen to her.

He and Susan also think I should write about my office life. Brian’s words: ‘you’re sitting on a gold mine.’

Mount Rundle.

Oooo. Now there’s the kicker. I’m too chicken to try to fictionalize my work – what if my bosses read it? I’m trying so hard to be a good worker bee. It’s one thing to complain (a little) about cubicle life…in a very general, nondescript way. But to write about it? Even if it was a composite sketch? I’m not sure. I confess that I’ve thought about it. But that’s all I’ve done.


The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages was here today, to make a funding announcement – more money to arts training centers (like the Banff Centre – yay!) and an additional bump in funding to the Banff Centre’s Playbill series. I went looking for the press conference, but I got a little lost.

Well, a lot lost, actually. And I didn’t put my coat on (it looked warm out, but it wasn’t!), so I was freezing. I did find the minister’s car, though.


I was all set to take a picture of it, but it suddenly occurred to me that photographing a federal minister’s car could be one of those things that lands you a visit from the RCMP. So I took a picture of the parking sign instead. Obviously my ancestors were made of sterner stuff than me.

So I went back to my studio. Sadly, the minister did not have time to make his way to the boat – Jim offered, but he had somewhere to be, and I can vouch for the fact that his car was parked quite a distance from where I am.

I went for a walk this morning, too. I still haven’t found any Fisher cats. The author of the note, Chris Cannon, emailed last night to say that there were indeed problems with Fishers cats coming aboard (including one he called Lieutenant Piney). That was in ’07. I did find some giant deer, though.

They were lying in the snow, looking for all the world like they were talking to each other. About what?

Giant deer.

“So I says, I says, listen, I’m not your dear!”

Giant deer.


Giant deer.

“I know. The nerve of it, Louise. There nerve!”

Then they stared at me, and it occurred to me that if I stuck around, I could be in for a fate worse than a visit from the RCMP for photographing a minister’s car (which I did not do).

So I went back to my studio.

There’s a kayak making demonstration today, but I think I’m going to take a pass and just soak up my last day in the boat and think of something nice to write in the guestbook. I have to hand in my keys tomorrow, so I want to dance around in the boat a little more, sit in the captain’s chair for a little while longer, and wear my pirate hat just a few more times.

I don’t have to turn in the pirate hat, do I?

Oh, man. I hope not.

Mar 18, 2009