Done. Done!

I am done. First draft of the novel was finished last night, in the quiet of the studio. So, so much work. I ploughed through it this last week, piecing together the work I’d already done, thinking about the story and the characters, and writing new material. The writing I’ve done here — the last third of the book, basically — feels like a truer, more authentic voice. There’s a marked difference (to my eyes, at least) between it and the earlier work. But now that I’ve found that voice, I think I can hold onto it, sustain it through […]


Banff has been magical. I’m more than halfway through my residency, and I’ve been chased by deer, started by pine martens, and nervously looking out my window for the grizzly bear the Park Service has warned us about. Bear 148 is wandering around the area, eating people’s jack o’ lanterns and looking for berries. Which is just fine until you realize, as my friends Chris and Sarah say, that there are at least 147 other bears out there. I’m sleeping better than I ever have at a Banff residency, and writing well. I had a meeting with my editor (over […]

Tucked away at the Banff Centre.

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 […]

Heading home.

The saga of a writing residency in the mountains draws to a close. The writer packs up an enormous suitcase and heads home. I did laundry last night – washed everything, folded it up, and packed up my enormous suitcase. I’ll be heading out this evening on the Brewster bus, coming back to Calgary. It’s been such a good residency – I still can’t quite believe that I managed to finish my novel while I was here. Woke up this morning to quite a lot of rain, and even a little bit of snow mixed in with it. Though they’re […]

It’s been good.

The continuing saga of a writing residency. The writer takes a day off. Oh, and the ping pong match? It went ahead as planned. The Writing with Style team didn’t show up, so we were the victors by default. I will point out, however, that we would have one, because the pong is strong in the Leighton Artists’ Colony. Very strong. Saturday was quiet – post-finishing quiet. Baby Banff (and his parents) came to visit me in the studio, and then we went out to lunch. It was lovely! It’s been a quiet day for me. With the novel finished, […]


The continuing saga of a writing residency in the mountains. The writer accomplishes her task. I finished writing the novel last night. I wrote steadily through the day, and stopped for dinner, and came back to the room and wrote a blog post. Then I went back to work, and I wrote and I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. I finished around eleven. I thought there would be dancing and singing in the studio when I finished – I was sure of it. But when I actually did finish, I just sat back and looked at what I […]

Trying to recruit ping pong players.

The continuing saga of a writing residency in a round cabin in the woods. The writer attempts to recruit players for the tournament and frets about the completion of her novel. The ‘stylistas’ – the Writing with Style workshop group – has responded to the ‘colonists’ – the Leighton Artists’ Colony group – and the ping pong challenge is on. Saturday at 6:30. I’m trying to recruit colonists to play. It’s harder than you’d thing. Or maybe not as hard as you’d think: artists, poets, and writers are not generally all that big on sports, and to us, ping pong […]