I’m at the Banff Centre for the Arts right now, doing a self-directed writing residency. I applied to come here so I could finish the last last last (for now) draft of my thesis novel, which has come back from lovely brilliant wonderful beloved advisor with, thankfully, many many tickmarks in the margins, but still a little work to be done.

I started a new full-time job 2 weeks ago and I know I’m going to love it, but I’m feeling jangled generally with that, and a new long commute, and packing for my boy’s and my upcoming move, so removing myself from distractions for a few days seemed a good idea and is turning out to be thus. I do wish the wireless connection wasn’t quite so good and that they didn’t have The Food Network!!

I’m blissed out today — could be related to the amazing buttermilk pancakes at breakfast, but I think it may also be just being here. Everyone’s here to work.  Last night I heard drums in one direction and violins in another (no, not an orchestra of cannibals — just people rehearsing). And I am working well. The bliss could also be due to my grand entrance to this province. When I knew I was coming to Banff, I emailed Susan, who lives in Calgary, simply to ask if she wanted to grab lunch before I headed to the hills…  the next thing I knew, she’d organized a lunch for 6 writing friends, conducted an amazing and calorie-laden tour of her favourite places in Calgary (Choklat! Ohhhh…), driven me up to Banff with a stop in Canmore for more calories and to meet the brilliant and prolific Hazel Hutchins, introduced me to some lovely Writers’ Guild of Alberta  people also on retreat here at Banff, and best of all, surprised me with a visit from Darcie of Kelowna (this is out of chronological order, mind you! Darcie was there with Susan to meet me at the airport) — we’ve all been corresponding  since graduating from the Humber Creative Writing program in 2006 but never met. Gawd, we laughed all day. And ate.

Maybe I’m blessed out. Have so many great people in my life and am so lucky.