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Summer Camp For Writers

Before I get this entry started, I must rectify an omission I made in my last entry.  When I wrote about my time in Hamilton I neglected to mention that I stayed for two nights at the Inchbury Inn, which is a wonderful bed & breakfast run by Doug and Solange Trudel.  Those of you who read this blog know that I tend to stay at B&Bs when I'm traveling and have written about many of the terrific places I've stayed at.  I am happy to say that the Inchbury Inn ranks right up there with the best of them for comfort, affordability and all around hospitality.  The inn is really Solange's baby and she runs it with great care.  Her breakfasts are delicious and her friendly demeanor brightened up the mornings.  If there was anything I needed, she and/or Doug were always happy to help out.

My last night in Hamilton was spent at the home of writer Jean Rae Baxter and her playful terrier Robbie.  Jean has published a few books and is connected to the Hamilton reading series Lit Live, which is how I came to be billeted in her home.  On a free afternoon I had, Jean was happy to drive me around Hamilton to show me some of the sights. We also took a drive to nearby Dundas for the the buskers' festival. 

Since returning home from Toronto and Hamilton, I have been pushing ahead with my novel.  I am under the gun to get this draft finished in time to send it to my agent, whose reading period ends in September. So I have roughly six weeks before the just-under-the-wire deadline and I have to say I'm feeling the pressure.

That said, I am off to Antigonish, Nova Scotia next week for the annual Great Blue Heron Writers' Workshop.  This will be my fifth consecutive year there, which makes me think I should be getting some kind of diploma or something.  I will be in Alistair MacLeod's group (this being my second time working with him) and, as usual, I am expecting a terrific week of literary socializing and work.  Being at GBH, or at most writing workshops for that matter, is much like being at summer camp for writers.  Writing, being the solitary activity that it is, means spending most of the year holed up in my office, so it is always refreshing to meet up with other like-minded souls and share our similar obsessions.  Just call us word nerds but don't call us late for last call.

This year GBH is offering a free day during the workshop week, which happens to fall on Friday July 3rd.  I'm taking that opportunity to make a day trip to Halifax to do a reading at Frog Hollow Books, 1459 Brenton Street (their brand new location), at 2:00 p.m.  Hope to see you there.