Giant spider in my studio.

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.


Upon on Sulphur mountain.

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.

Saturday morning.

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.

Saturday morning.

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.

The sunset.

Out for a walk.

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.

Such a view.

The meals:
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).

3 thoughts on “Giant spider in my studio.

  1. I did see a few ducks, I think, along the trail, so I guess that counts. I don’t think I was looking to be ambushed by a bear or mountain lion, so much as just see a deer or moose from a respectable distance. (Although, word is, even the deer there can be fanged and bloodthirsty. Even some of the Centre’s outdoor furniture apparently has a taste for human flesh.)

    I can hardly complain about the gorgeous weather during my stay, although I am a little disappointed that I left just as the weather was genuinely turning towards fall. Especially since summer seems to have rallied here again and will likely not end until November…2075.

  2. Achingly, breathtakingly beautiful scenery there. Moose can be annoyingly and dangerously aggressive — I’m glad Ms. Moose was not.

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