Archive | Nature

Retreat

Last weekend, J. and I hauled our shabby little tent-trailer, purchased two summers ago from a guy in Thunder Bay with hardly any teeth, to Bakers Narrows Provincial Park near Flin Flon. We camped on the Canadian Shield. J. wanted to find the path in to One Portage Lake, which, rumour has it, is stuffed full […]

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In Training

I’ve never been a sporty girl. In elementary school, I got out of gym for what seemed like months for reasons I no longer remember. There I’d be, sitting on the stage like a wuss, probably reading a book. I was the one who got picked last in team selection and usually managed an injury. […]

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Buenos Dias from San Miguel D’Allende

This morning I sat, watching a little yellow bird with black and white barred wings feed on the hibiscus blossoms. I was preparing the workshop I’m giving on revising creatively this afternoon before we explore the botanical garden up the hill from San Miguel. Already, here for only one full day, this town has absorbed […]

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Heading ‘Home’

Yesterday, J. and I got the maps for the 70-kilometre hike we’re planning to do from Loch Ness to the Isle of Skye this summer. It’s a bit like the journey to Mordor, with brown trout thrown in, which made J.’s eyes light right up. The last 16 kilometres are, shall we say, a wee […]

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Time Out

If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. And because I’m up to my eyeballs in chapter rewrites (still pushing to finish before the holidays, despite not meeting my deadline of this past Monday), knitting, TWUC stuff, and trying to get packages organized so they arrive before Santa in Ontario, all you’ll […]

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Dark Beauty

Last year, I worked for awhile with a guy who grew up in The Pas. We talked often about the danger of the place (not because of the people, but because of the sheer power of the surrounding wilderness). It was taking me awhile, I confessed, to get accustomed to the understanding that all around […]

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Firelight Interview Series: Donna Besel

I first encountered Donna Besel in Flin Flon, Manitoba. She was up north with a couple other writers giving readings, and I remember how she spoke of her growing understanding of her work being rooted in the boreal forest landscape. Since I’d started writing my way back into the Canadian Shield – my own formative […]

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A Walk In the Woods (and a Giveaway!)

In Calgary, this past spring, I had the real pleasure of reading Leo Brent Robillard‘s fourth novel, The Road to Atlantis. The publisher had asked me to blurb it, which means to give it a tidbit of praise they can use on the cover, and I’m usually careful with these things so I didn’t agree until I’d […]

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From the Depths

Just over a week ago, I had one of those mysterious, meaningful moments that seem hard to explain. It happened back home, in Ontario, the place my husband J. and I returned from on Tuesday after a fulfilling yet intense time away. We ranged far: from the Muskokas to an island out in Georgian Bay to a day-trip […]

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Spring Draft

The world has changed while I’ve been here. Last year, I saw the spring arrive in Saskatchewan, while writing poetry for two weeks at the Sage Hill retreat. This year, it’s Calgary, where the leaves have begun glowing as if lit by an internal light, as Ian McEwan describes it in Enduring Love which I […]

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