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Workshop number two

Just got a note from a student who was at the Garden Workshop yesterday: 

“The day was magical for me and your garden a mystical treat.  I was still high on creativity when I arrived home.  I enjoyed the company of the other writers …  You have such a capacity for encouraging your students and inspiring us to excellence in our craft.”  Many thanks.  
This time, while Wayson was away, the superb novelist Alissa York, my colleague at U of T, was our guest artist.  She told us that when she has figured out her story, she puts scenes on file cards, so when she goes to tackle the day’s work, she can just pull one file card and work on that scene.   She also has all her research cross-indexed so isn’t overwhelmed by the struggle to find research or the scope of her project.  I told her that if I’d met her as I was working on my book, it might only have taken me ten years instead of 25 to finish.  (Every time I sat down to work, I felt I was nearly drowning in the size of the project; it never occurred to me to divide it methodically into small chunks, and as for my research – it was a miracle I found anything at all.)
Alissa told us that our creative mind is bigger than our brain – it’s huge, encompassing much more than ourselves.  A wonderful way to think about what we do and the giant self we do it in.
It was a beautiful day for the workshop.  Even the burst of rain midway through added to the adventure – we slung a tarp over the pergola on the deck and stayed right where we were.  I was exhausted by the end, as I think we all were; all I did in the evening was sit watching the closing of the Olympics.  I had the feeling the Chinese didn’t want it to end; the entertainment went on and on.  If only, if only, if only, all that good will, the friendships of those beautiful healthy young people of all sizes, shapes and colours, could be transferred to politicians and governments.  If only the Olympics weren’t a bubble of peaceful international connection in a world of war. 

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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