So it’s Sunday

I’m a little more adjusted to being back from Canada, I guess, although no less nostalgic for my time there and kind of wishing I could go back. I’d like to, at some point, and hopefully it won’t take another three years like it did last time, but for now I’m sort of getting the hang again of being in New York.

Of course, I’ll be traveling to Texas in a couple of weeks for work. I’ve booked my plane tickets and rental car and everything.

It’s taken me a little while to get back into the swing of things, writing-wise, to recapture whatever momentum I was hopefully learning to build (if some days not actively building) in Banff. Part of that was my writing group getting canceled last weekend, and part of that was just the weirdness of returning after two weeks. But I’m back on the horse, and if not writing a lot yet, at least writing, and moreover finishing things.

I finished a story this evening, a flash piece I think I still need to trim about a hundred words from before sending it out. Meanwhile, I’ve got a couple of other stories — one written before, then other at, Banff — out for consideration elsewhere. The waiting to hear isn’t fun, nor are the rejection letters, but those rare moments when a story actually clicks, then falls together? That’s worth it.

My writing group wasn’t canceled this week, and I actually like what I wrote there too, but I think I’ve decided to stop posting those works in progress here. Partly because they sometimes do become actual works in progress, something I might want to expand and adapt and, eventually, submit. I don’t know that a short selection from a rough first draft posted here precludes me from doing so, or that it could reasonably be considered a reprint — which most places won’t buy — but I think I’ve decided to stop taking that risk.

Hopefully that will just give me added incentive to finish stories and sell them if I want anybody but my writing group to see what I’m working on.


I’m going to admit, my own writing has suffered this week, as I’ve struggled to adjust to not being in Banff.

A big part of it, obviously, is the return of the morning schedule — having to get up at a specific hour each day and go to sleep at a reasonable hour the night before. I’d be lying if I said that hadn’t kind of kicked my butt all last week, and that I didn’t miss being able to sleep in a little should the need arise.

But the truth is, I just plain miss Banff.

It was a week full of catching-up projects at work, and planning for more travel at the end of October, this time for work, to Texas. And my sister visiting from Texas this weekend (along with her husband, dog, and new cat), so that we could take our parents out for a long(ish)-planned anniversary dinner.

And then there was that brand new issue of Kaleidotrope that I launched on Wednesday.


I’m really happy with how the issue turned out. But, frankly, it’s a little amazing that I got it — much less anything — done this week.

I need to get back into the groove of writing. That, or I need to go back to Banff.

Back from Banff

I had a wonderful time in Canada.

I’ve been back in New York since Sunday evening, and I’m still not entirely settled into things just yet. I keep waiting to wake up and discover that I’m still on vacation, still in my comfortably care-worn room in the Banff Centre’s Lloyd Hall. Two weeks was just enough time, I think, for two weeks to feel like not enough time at all. It went by incredibly fast.

I don’t remember my last trip there, in 2011, racing by quite as quickly — although, sure enough, my record of the trip suggests that maybe it did. Certainly, Banff is beautiful country, surrounded by mountains and nestled inside a national park, so leaving it behind is never going to be easy.

Seriously, I took a lot of photographs while I was there. (They do seem to have added themselves to that album sort of randomly, I should perhaps warn you.) You could probably walk around doing almost nothing else. There are parts of Alberta, and certainly the parts of Banff that I saw, that are ridiculously beautiful. As I noted earlier this year when I watched Passchendaele, there are parts of the country that are just achingly beautiful. Two weeks surrounded by mountains did not convince me otherwise.

I got some writing done — one story’s already been rejected once! — took in some great scenery, met some interesting people, saw some elk along the way, and got to hang out some with Heather, who I’m going to say may be my favorite Canadian. (I mean, I met Chris Hadfield once at a book signing, and he seemed nice enough. But let’s see the man brave sitting in this chair.)

I’m really just tempted to point you in the direction of those photos, along with my Twitter feed for the weeks that I was there, rather than try to recap the entire trip here. Let’s just say it was a wonderful time and I am sad not to still be there.

Oh. Canada.

I am having a marvelous time in Canada.

I didn’t plan on ignoring the blog altogether, at least not the same way I actively planned to take a break from my Tumblr and my work e-mail. (In the case of the latter, I changed my password just before I left the office last Thursday and refused to memorize it.) It’s just turned out that way.

Granted, most of the regular visitors to this blog follow me on Twitter, where I’ve continued to blather, or have themselves actually been here in Canada with me. So posts here, even if I’d had the time or inclination, would have mostly just been repeating myself.

Still, it’s good to write these things down.

I arrived in Calgary on Friday evening, after a pair of pretty uneventful flights. On the way, I read about half of Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice, which I’m really enjoying. I may get around to finishing it on my return trip. (Although I do leave at 6 in the morning, so…)

I spent a good block of Saturday afternoon walking around downtown Calgary with Jocelyn, who offered to be my tour guide for a couple of hours while I was in town. The last time I was in Calgary, in 2011, I saw basically none of it, so it was nice to have the company and see a few of the sights. (That those sights included things like a flame-throwing octopus — fresh from Burning Man, apparently, and in town for Beakerhead — was just an added bonus.)

I had dinner, then, with Heather, who it was great to see again — even if I did feel like I should be using the servant’s entrance to visit her palatial estate. (My own room was nothing to sneeze about, quite lovely, but still.) We grabbed breakfast the next morning as well, and then I was racing out the door to catch the bus to Banff.

Which is where I’ve been since Sunday.

And it has been ridiculously beautiful here. Seriously, the cold weather I was warned about so far hasn’t really materialized — though it does feel like early fall — and it really is impossible not to be impressed by the gorgeous scenery. There’s just so much of it! I went to a geology talk-and-walk yesterday, given by the Banff Centre’s Director of Customer Service Jim Olver, and I still don’t quite remember how many mountains are around us.

And, despite a crazy-making evening during which my Chromebook died on me and I ran around (with Heather’s help) trying to get it to work again, the writing has actually been going well.

I finished a short story yesterday, then threw caution under the bus completely and decided to submit it somewhere. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen, they reject it? (Oh my god, they could totally reject it. What have I done?!) It’s a goofy little piece, but I had fun writing it, so we’ll see.

I’m not yet settled on what’s next, though I’ve got a few stories in the pipeline and almost another week and a half to work on them here.

Did I mention that I’m having a marvelous time?



Friday, when I leave for two weeks in Canada, seems both very close and very far away.

I’m trying to get a number of ducks in their respective rows at work, so that I can be there, happily swimming along, when I get back at the very end of the month. October, if not the rest of the fall, promises to be incredibly busy, and I will not be checking work e-mail while I’m away — this is a rule — so I at least want to kickstart the machine before I head out the door.

I’m also trying to figure out how to pack, both for the local weather — which this week seems to have lost its mind — and for the amount of time I’ll be there. It should be noted that I am not good at packing nor do I enjoy it…which might be at least part of the reason why I’m still living at home ten years later. (Just saying, me.)

And I’m also trying to finish a short story I’ve been working on. I got less done last week than I might have liked — my parents were away, and that always tends to disrupt my schedule, if only because I’m up in the middle of each night with the dog — but tonight there was some good writing. I’m still hoping to finish it, if not send it out somewhere before I leave in now under three days. But we’ll see.

Finally, I’ve more or less wrapped up the editing for next month’s new issue of Kaleidotrope. I’m still waiting on some feedback, and a bio, and I need to figure out the art — of which I’m still getting little — and the whole horoscopes thing. But those are some more ducks that have been relatively well lined up, I think, and will be easily tended to when I return.

What I really want to know is: how is it only/already Tuesday?