The continuing saga of a writing residency. The writer professes her love of a bookbag. Other writers disclose troubles with flies and ants. The writer confesses to a giant spider in her studio.
Lots more writing today. The temperature has been dropping – warmish this morning and afternoon, with the sun, but the wind is picking up and the forecast is calling for cloudy days and some rain. There’s a community canoe trip planned on Thursday for the artists (me! that includes me!) but I’m not sure if I’ll go….will have to wait a little while to see how the weather turns out.
There was a Blue Rodeo concert last night, and I came back to my room just as the concert – in an outdoor amphitheater – was wrapping up. Strains of ‘Lost Together‘ floating towards me as I unpacked my ‘go’ bag from the studio – it’s my Melville House Press bookbag, which is quickly becoming my beloved bookbag. I fill it with a notebook, slippers, ebook, and iPod and speaker before I leave my room in the morning, and pack it back up and schlep everything back in the evenings. Not that I mind in the slightest.
With the cooler weather approaching – and with me forgetting a down vest at home – I nipped down to the town to buy a vest I’d seen in the western store. It’s doing the trick nicely.
Also interesting – almost overnight, the stand of birch trees just outside the studio have started to turn for fall. Now I have splashes of yellow just out the corner of my eye. Very pretty. No sign of the pine marten today. Too windy for him, I suppose. There’s been a warning sent out about aggressive elk, though nobody has seen one yet. When Fred and I were out horseback riding last week, he was a teensy bit disappointed not to have seen any wildlife. I didn’t have the heart to say that I was quite glad that we didn’t!
The timbre of our dinners has changed with Fred and Hugh (mathematician and poet) have left. Gabe and I have met Arturo Vallejo, who is also here in the Leighton Colony. He’s a writer from Mexico, working on a new collection of short stories. We’ve been talking about our studios. Arturo’s seems to have a lot of flies. Gabe has carpenter ants. I have an enormous spider – which, truth be told, I haven’t seen for several days. But trust me when I tell you that it was huge. It really was. I think it’s still in here, and I’m not going to go looking for it.
Hard to believe that I’m entering my second week at the Leighton Colony. It’s so surreal: this incredibly beautiful cabin studio, a little round house that reminds me of something you’d find in Hobbiton (it’s even built very close to the side of a hill, though not quite in it). The privacy and the space to work, the strange feeling as I walk by a sign that says ‘Leigton Colony – visitors by appointment only,’ cross a small wooden bridge, and then step out onto a gravel path that winds through the pine trees.
It is the perfect place to be writing a fantasy novel. It is. I feel incredibly lucky to be here, in this studio.
Even if there is an enormous spider somewhere in here with me.
Breakfast: bowl of cereal and yogurt.
Lunch: Lemon cous-cous, ham with peach (not a combination I’d have tried, but it was nice), cooked carrots.
Dinner: an enormous hamburger (and fries) at the Maclab Bistro (it was good to escape the communal dining room for an evening).