Torrance…of Words?

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

It’s such a wonderful, agonizing, Kubrickian sequence: the slow approach to the big wooden desk and the typewriter and the neat pile of manuscript paper. We’ve never seen what’s on the paper; all we’ve seen is the man, Jack, who’s a writer. Jack, who’s found the perfect place to start that novel. Only, as the camera soon shows us, he hasn’t.

The Toronto Islands are no Overlook Hotel. I’m no Jack. And yet, as I prepare to head out on a ferry tomorrow for a solid week of writing and critiquing, I’m kind of scared. We almost certainly won’t be snowed in (but oh my god, there is a hedge maze!). There will likely be no Big Wheels or dead twin girls or elevators pouring blood. But will there be blank pages?

I wrote my third book on the streetcar to work. I’m writing my fourth (and maybe fifth) books on Thursday nights at a pub. I am emphatically not someone who requires a Walden Pond to sit beside before she can write; in fact, I’ve been known to write while Pub Stumpers Trivia Night has been going on ten feet away. The only “full-time” writing I’ve ever done coincided with my full-time mom duties, which meant that I had to wedge the writing in around all the others things in my life that were noisier, hungrier and more redolent of diaper.

So this is it: the first time I’ve ever taken five days off work to GO AWAY AND WRITE.

I’ve just upgraded myself from “kind of scared” to “terrified.”

There’s a lighthouse right next door. It’s supposed to be haunted. There’s a resident cat. There’ll be other writers—heck, there’ll be my husband. I’m hoping for one big storm, and some wine to go with it. For one sentence that features the word “Ariadne” and survives the ferry trip back. For a goofy email from my goofy daughter.

And anyway: the Island may have a hedge maze, but I have a minotaur…

Not the Overlook

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Photo by Rebecca Springett

Release Date - October 2015

Published by: ChiZine Publications

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