Thursday, 21 May 2009


I'm a writer who feeds on where he is at the moment of writing. This has happened for so long I've lost touch of whether I write like that because it's important or I think it's important because I write that way. Yes to both, I suppose.

This comes up again as I work at the Stegner house in the Frenchman river valley of SW Saskatchewan on material about Hillsdale, the Regina subdivision where I lived through my teen-age years and where I live again now. It's been dry work--partly because of the stage I'm at (preliminary exploration of approaches, voices), partly because I'm physically distant from the phenomena of the place.

Meanwhile, yesterday I turned to revisions of material I wrote out here at the Stegner house two years ago. Material full of wind, river, cottonwoods, swallows, light, town, etc.--most of it written out among those things. Damned if I didn't feel twice as alive as a writer, now that I was zipping along that more immediate connection between word and world.

Or maybe the difference is that my literary buddy Stan Still is in Eastend, and not (yet) in Regina.

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