A Perfect Spring Weekend

After a Donald Maass workshop on Saturday (more on that later), I headed up to Lake Louise for a family holiday. The weather is amazing – hot, perfectly clear sky, and a really high avalanche risk as the spring melt begins.

This morning: snowshoeing at Bow Summit, on the glacier parkway, just past Bow Lake and Bow Glacier, the headwaters of the Bow River, I think.

I’d forgotten the great joy of spring skiing – being on snow in warm, warm air. We snowshoeed across a meadow and then into the trees. Later I rested, stretched out in the sun, on my jacket laid out across the snow, the mountains stark against the deep blue sky.

We’d been warned to get up there early, while the snow was still crusty. By 10:00 it was soft and getting harder to snowshoe across, so we drove past Field to Wapta Falls, ate and hiked in summer heat, and then stopped at Emerald Lake on the way back. We’ve now done a snapshot tour of Banff and Yoho National Parks.

Tomorrow: a quick trip into Kootenay National Park. Many Rocky Mountain trails (most?) are unsafe at the moment, because of the avalanche risk. It’s especially bad as spring started last Thursday, and the temperature is summer-warm, and the show is melting and sliding. Our next hike will be at Marble Canyon, with cleats for the ice, because it’s not at risk of avalanches, and the view is astounding.

Maureen

 

About Wordfest

Most of the time, being a writer means being alone in a room. I don’t feel lonely, because I’m hanging out with my characters, but it is a delight to hang out with real people, sometimes.

Wordfest is all about hanging out, with people who love books and writing and story. First, the audiences: the kids in the sessions in Calgary, the grade 12 creative writing class that drove to Banff from Kamloops, the 10 year old girl at the Mentoring session who came up from Calgary with her dad, because she wants to be a writer.

And after five Wordfest days in Calgary and another five in Banff, I’ve gotta say, it’s such a pleasure to hang out with writers. To talk about books and writing, and to discover I’m not the only idiot-writer who manages to be without a pen far too often.

I’ve met writers of every kind of book, from all over. Most are Canadians, but I met Anne Perry (mystery writer) and became good friends with her biographer, Joanne Drayton (from New Zealand). Joanne and I drove out to Lake Louise with another new friend, Julie Wilson (author of Seen Reading, voyeur of what other people read). They were thrilled by the lake, the rock slide, the snow and hot drinks after our chilly walk, and the little squeaky animal that followed us along the rocks.

I brought home a stack of new books; I had to restrain myself to buy only seven.

And, once again, I realized how special the Banff Centre is. It’s a remarkable setting for writers, a writerly place, somehow, and it inspired us all to write and to talk about books and story and the act of writing. It’s brilliant, and it was a delight to be there again.

Maureen

From the Banff Centre

12 Oct 2012, 10:57am
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Wordfest Readings

I’ve finished my three Wordfest sessions, and did them all without losing my voice to a hovering cold. The first was at Vertigo Theatre with Cyndi Sand-Eveland, followed by two school visits. It was fun meeting Cyndi and seeing how we played off each other in our session – and  I was even more pleased to get into the schools the next day.

I like to really connect with the kids (I couldn’t even see them at Vertigo, because of the stage lights.) It’s one of the joys of meeting with kids, for me. And at the schools, we had enough time to invent crazy stories, which the kids love as much as I do.

Tomorrow I’m off to Banff, to hang out with writers and have some quiet writing time. At least, writing is what I’m planning for, but I’ve heard there’s a lot of partying…

Maureen

12 Jul 2012, 8:18am
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I’m going to be at Wordfest!

It’s finally up on the website, so I can announce – I’ll be one of the authors at Wordfest in Calgary and Banff this October. I’m thrilled!

They asked if I’d also go to Banff and I said, Of course! I love Banff. The Veil Weavers takes place in Calgary and then up into the mountains near Banff, so that’ll make it even more fun. Maybe I’ll see you there…

Here’s the Wordfest link for BookRapport, the section of the festival for children: http://www.bookrapport.com/

Maureen

Castle Mountain, west of Banff

 

25 Apr 2012, 3:08pm
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April in the Rockies

We spent a lovely day in the mountains. A rare morning fog hid the view as we drove west, until it lifted in a patch to show us a stunning mountain peak, visible through a hole in the fog as if it was a portal into another world.

Lake Minnewanka was still frozen; we explored the ice and discovered fascinating ice crystals, carefully packed spears of ice that broke from each other when we kicked at the ledge of ice.

 

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