I’m looking out into a winter garden, trying to turn regret that it will be months before the crocuses push their way through the snow into glad anticipation of a season of hunkering down to write with no distractions from beyond the window. First there is December, and the joy of having all three children under the roof again for a few days. Then blessed January, with retreat to Banff for a week in the Leighton colony, and not a single other commitment to mar that calendar page.
Then, it begins again, with a round of teaching:
U of C Cont Ed, Creative Writing I Jan 26- Mar 30
introductory creative writing
Calgary Public Library Writers Weekend Feb. 5; “You Are Not Alone” a presentation on resources for writers
at the Central library
U of C Cont Ed, Getting Published Feb. 12 (with my cohort and friend, Barb Howard)
A Saturday seminar on markets, query letters, agents, publishers, grants, all the messy business.
Alexandra Writers Centre “Shape Your Story” Feb 25-27
A weekend intensive fiction workshop.
And in the spring — a new book. Here’s the blurb on The Boy from Oolichan’s Spring catalogue:
In 1959 Ray and Daisy Cook and their five children were brutally slain
in their modest home in the central Alberta town of Stettler. Robert Raymond
Cook, Ray Cook’s son from his first marriage, was convicted of the
crime, and had the infamy of becoming the last man hanged in Alberta.
Forty-six years later, a troublesome character named Louise in a story that
Betty Jane Hegerat finds herself inexplicably reluctant to write, becomes
entangled in the childhood memory of hearing about that gruesome mass
murder. Through four years of obsessively tracking the demise of the Cook
family, and dancing around the fate of the fictional family, the problem
that will not go away is how to bring the story to the page. A work of nonfiction
about the Cooks and their infamous son, or a novel about Louise
and her problem stepson? Both stories keep coming back to the boy.
Part memoir, part investigation, part novella, part writer’s journal, The
Boy, is the author’s final capitulation to telling the story with all of the
troublesome questions unanswered.