What I did on my summer va… no, wait.

It’s been more than a little while since I was last here. For those of you who keep track of such things, sorry about that. My list of excuses is long and varied, but suffice it to say that a to-do list at least as long as my absence has been the primary culprit. I’ll try to be a bit more interesting here. For the moment, here are a few highlights – and lowlights – of the last few months:

I’m home from SiWC 2011, still deep in the post-conference hangover stage. Everything went better than I could have hoped. We met great new presenters and old friends alike and the atmosphere was amazing. At one point on Sunday afternoon, I stood in the quiet of the second-floor hallway when everyone was happily engaged in workshops and had a lovely quiet moment of satisfaction for a job well done. It was an excellent feeling. This year’s conference was an incredible amount of work thanks to big changes for us administratively and the added stress of sharing the hotel with two ex-presidents – Clinton and W – on our master class day, and, of course, all the security they require. But in the end, everyone got to class and everything went well. There’s nothing quite as exhilarating and exhausting as the conference, especially now that it’s the culmination of a year’s hard work. I need to take some time to reflect on all that came out of it before I can talk too much about it, but it’s what’s taken up many of my waking (and sleeping and should-be-but-can’t-be-sleeping) moments.

Thanks to accountability fiends Isabelle and kc and a punishing writing schedule, I finished a complete draft of my novel in August. I’m working through an edit now, polishing what needs to be polished and making an important character more sympathetic, but apart from making it shinier and – hopefully – more attractive than it was when I wrote “the end”, it’s done. It was just as good a feeling writing those two words this time as it was the last. I hope that never changes.

This summer included writing, time on holiday with our best friends, and a very quick trip to visit my friend anovelwoman at her cottage with mutual friend kc dyer. It was a most excellent trip, not least because I’d finished my draft and could travel guilt-free, knowing I’d reached my goal. And because anovelwoman has The Best family ever.

In sad news, the beginning of the summer was the end of the battle for my friend Leslie, who succumbed to cancer on Canada Day. It was the note of bitter in a summer of sweet, and I think of her often, remembering her every time I drive into New West, see something from Star Wars, or look in the face of either of her young kids.

That’s a little bit of how I spent my summer and the beginning of fall… it’s a quick update from someone without the mental capacity to do laundry, let alone write, but it’s a start. How are things with you?


  1. Deb
    Oct 26, 2011

    Congrats on finishing your novel! So sorry on the loss of your friend. And best wishes you find your equilibrium soon. I’m still wobbly and I did not organize and manage the whole darn thing. Kudos to you!

    Take care,

  2. Kathy
    Oct 29, 2011

    Thanks, Deb. It was a highlight of SiWC for me this year that you were able to come.