In the Failure category goes the TD Book tour. I didn't make the list. It's my first time applying so it's not a huge surprise, still I was hoping. Only three Alberta writers made the cut. Twelve Ontario writer were hired, that's half the roster. Makes me think they might get more funding from out East. So, if I want to get on the list next year, I'm going to have to work extra hard. Three spots isn't a lot.
Teaching this summer taught me so much. Mostly, trust your students. Listen, be flexible, have fun, and go with it. The kids were great. We made movies, plays, TV stations, commercials and all kinds of other things. I love working with kids.
I've been challenging myself lately. I now have expanded to working with adults. People trying to change their lives from hard living to a more positive forward facing life that hopefully will be softer. It's a tough slog for them. Therapy, counselling, education, and my class - creative writing. That didn't go well for the first few sessions. They weren't getting what I was trying to do and I wasn't getting what they wanted. Head butting ensued. So I asked my writing club kids. They gave me some great ideas and suddenly everything clicked. It was back to listening to what the adults wanted and needed instead of me assuming what they needed. They were there to do therapy not to become the next short story writer. So I changed my focus and things snapped into place. Listen - it was the biggest thing I learned this summer.
But I'm a writer. That's my identity - So did I write? Oh wow! I wrote like a demon. I thought I would never see the sun at times. I wrote a whole novel in a month and a half. I wrote a play in 24 hours and saw it on stage a week later at the Calgary Fringe Festival. I wrote comics and a giant board game and poems and stories. I played with words and played words with others. My whole summer was words. And then - it happened. A novel I've been wanting to fix for a couple of years suddenly sprung into my mind with the solution to its problem. I haven't quite got to putting it to paper yet, I'm waiting for the rewrites of Stupid to come through, but I'll be working on that next. I just need a little breather. Some time to do other things like make salsa and jam, draw and paint, and watch cartoons. I've even read a few novels and a poetry book lately. It's kind of nice. But don't worry - I'll be back to writing soon enough.
Until my next blog - have a great fall and have fun with your words.