That was an interesting month, probably the first time I’ve gone a month without even trying to write fiction since I seriously started to work on my writing in 2008. I did only contracted pieces for pay. I hadn’t intended to stop blogging for the month; it just kinda happened. I’d feel guilty about it if I could, but the truth is – I needed that.
It took some pressure off in a difficult time. Our well froze a few weeks ago, and we had no water for over two weeks. This is the first time ever that the well has frozen. Yes, we’ve had pipes freeze before, but this time it was pipes and the pump and the well. The pump cracked in two places and David tore it down and rebuilt it with replacement parts. Then he spent hours over the next couple of weeks priming, thawing, digging, thawing, priming…We hauled drinking and cooking water in a five-gallon coamping drum and used the indoor fish pond for flushing and washing and for water for the poultry. It seemed to take everything we had just to keep going.
We weren’t the only people in the valley whose well froze, and even in Sault Ste Marie there were lots of frozen pipes and homes without water. I know we were lucky in having the indoor pond, because otherwise we’d have had to haul everything. It was hard to feel that way in the middle of it all. But, you know, it’s all research, and much of what I felt and thought will inform “Here be Dragons” when I get back to it.
For now I’m back into Kiar’s world, preparing my query material. Sunday I attended a workshop on getting published. It was led by Brian Henry, whose website Quick Brown Fox is a goldmine of information for writers. Brian is a really good workshop leader; personable, easy to listen to, humourous, informative and always in control of the room. Here’s Brian with my friend Angie Gallop at the conclusion of the workshop.
The main thrust of this workshop was how to find and get an agent, and participants were invited to bring their query letters. I brought mine for “The Swan Harp”, and I’m so glad I did. In addition to the great workshop, Brian did a really useful and helpful critique of every query letter that was brought. Four of the twenty-six of us brought them, and I’d say that the critique I got improved my query immeasurably. That alone was worth the cost of admission, as they say.
So, back to work, starting tonight on the drive in.
And thanks for your patience, because I really needed that break.