My YA Novel / On Writing / Parenting

Summah-time…Notes from Summer House Shields

July has cometh! Currently, I’m engaged in a common summertime Shields’ family past time – the kids, the dog and I are in my bed each on our own devices (yikes). We are pyjama-clad and snoozy…the kids watching movies while I write on my laptop. I can smell the wet grass and soggy soil on the breezes blowing in through the open windows. I love smelling the mornings in the summer.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I blogged…life has been busy. Last weekend I was on Pelee Island for a writing workshop and reading. It’s been, I think, three years now that I’ve been invited to participate in the Pelee Island Music Series organized by the Windsor Feminist Theatre family. I love it! It’s my reason to get to the island – which I’ve come to love like a soul-home. I stayed at The Gathering House again, and had the whole place to myself. It was super great!

This year I was asked to offer a 2-hour workshop as well as do a poetry. Yes please! I prepared a workshop on The Writer’s Process and had two lovely women attend. We laughed and wrote and learned together. I was (am) so grateful! The poetry reading was moved to the Pelee Island Winery (rainy weather and hungry mosquitoes) so I read to a solid, attentive crowd. It was so wonderful. The kind of wonderful that makes you feel like you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be, doing what you’re born to do. I read new poetry to new ears and old poetry to ears that requested it! And it was all followed up by the musical mastermind who is Trevor Malcolm. #amazing!!

Last year, I spent my time on the island riding a bike around, swimming, reading, writing poetry and pretending I was a single teenager with all the freedom in the world. But this year was all about work. I promised myself I would finish a poem that is due for the next Scattered Ecstasies event with Sho Gallery, edit a poetry manuscript I’ve been hired to edit, and BAH-BUH!!! – work on my novel!!! Oh how my heart was yearning to get back to her pages. The patience of my characters is outstanding. I did all of these things in the delightful and completely inspiring location of The Gathering Place.

And so, from the moment I stepped on Jimaan early Saturday morning to the moment I stepped off late Sunday night – mama was working on her writing. And. It. Was. Divine.

Here’s a photo essay…

As you can see, I did do some galavanting. I do hope to return to the island with the family this summer. It’s such a gift!

What else has been going? Well, it’s summer so the house and our lifestyle is reflective of this fact. There are always kids over, lots of sleeping in and staying up late, visiting with friends and family, swimming lessons Mon-Thurs (!), an increase in hotdog and hamburger intake (not to mention chips and ice cream), and for the life of me, I simply cannot keep up with the floors. They are covered in dog hair, dirt, grass and, well, family life.

I’m managing to continue to edit a little bit each day. The novel is alive and well. (More on this in a forthcoming blog!) I’ve even sent a package to a potential agent. Just awaiting feedback. #GAH

I still feel a little as though I’m behind on things. I still have to get the podcast for Mouth Piece complete and into the inter-world. I still want to blog about my experience at the Writers’ Union/League of Canadian Poets joint conference…and then there are all the books I’ve been reading that I want to tell you about. I just got Harper Lee’s new book and I cannot wait to read it! (Finishing up J.K. Rowling’s Casual Vacancy first…)

I hope you’re all having a lovely summer. Keeping it real and love-filled.

Cultivate each moment, I tell you.

 

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