I haven’t given much time to blogging over the past several months. Seems I’m more caught up in getting my life back to normal. The writer-in-residence gig was fantastic! I’m grateful for the joint initiative of the Saskatchewan Arts Board and SaskCulture Inc. and the funding provided by the Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund for Sport, Culture and Recreation to make it possible. The residency was an opportunity to do a lot of things I have always wanted to do, including giving back to a rural community and to solicit and edit work for an anthology. A GIFT OF THE PRAIRIE: Writings from the Southern Shores of Last Mountain Lake gave several writers in the area their first publication credit as well as their first opportunity to give a reading of their work. How wonderful that would have been when I was growing up in rural Saskatchewan! And, SaskBooks gave the book a lovely review, too! If you’d like to purchase a copy, contact them or the Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre (LMLCC).
Though I worked with other writers during the course of the residency I also had time to do my own writing. My new work continues from this hot place, in a way. The “love-whisper of the creek” in the last poem of thp refers to my love of Wolverine Creek which is one of several smaller streams that flow into Last Mountain Lake. The LMLCC sits on the southern end of the lake, as does my inlaws’ cottage where we’ve spent a portion of each summer for the past 25 years. And, as a child, I spent a lot of time on that lake; our farm was just 20 miles east of it. Suffice it to say that the lake and the Qu’Appelle Valley feature in some of the new poems.
However, I’m nowhere near finished the manuscript! But I am on retreat at St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster, SK to consider the feedback I’ve recently received on the manuscript and to write some new poems. Im also hoping to get some revisions to a children’s manuscript I’ve been working on with the Regina Public Library’s writer-in-residence, Art Slade, while I’m here. And yes, retreating here in the cold of February is part of returning to normal. I think this is my 15th year of doing so, give or take a year. It’s a gift of the prairie, too. 🙂