Reeling after returning yesterday from the Sage Hill Writing Experience. I am now officially an experient! And honoured to be so. Man, I swear I’m a changed woman, all charged up and ready to complete the final draft of my novel. I think I must still be running on the adrenalin I felt every day while at St. Michael’s monastery-retreat. It did get quiet now and then but each time I left my room, I encountered a fabulous writer, or two, or three, all of us on the same wavelength. They get it. We get each other. We’re a bunch of maniacs. Student. Teacher. It didn’t matter. We quickly formed an alliance, a fraternity, not unlike the Franciscan monks hosting us. And there is nothing like being parted from one’s crutches! Sage Hill removed me from reality. Thank Christ. How long will it last? I am so overwhelmed, I can’t possibly depict it all. So much happened within each day. I will start by recalling some of the most robust memories, and go from there.
My Sage Hill cohorts started calling me New York after a drunken local yokel at the Lumsden bar turned around, pulled down his bright yellow aviator sunglasses from beneath the brim of a formidable black felt Stetson to holler, “Hey New York! I looovvve yer hat.” It is a stunning chapeau, reminiscent of the one Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast At Tiffany’s, and a bit out of place in small-town-Saskatchewan but it keeps the sun off my face so very well. “I like your hat,” I replied, which was true enough. It was one of those tense moments when you’re not sure how things will go. The dude could be benign or he could be psycho. How is one to know? And I kept thinking, I’m just as small town as you are Buster. So I was a little irritated with my pal Leesa (Dean) when she said to him, “Why don’t you trade hats?” I know she was just having fun, but I told her under my breath not to escalate the situation. If she’d been thusly hatted, she could react any way she liked but not when I’m the one in the guy’s sights. The rest of us played it cool, me and Gerry and Susan (Stenson) and Anna and the yahoo soon roared off in his pick-up. Then we all went inside to play pool, Team Doritos and Team Mosquito. I took the last two winning shots! In a dress and heels no less. I was shocked though I may have hustled them a little. “It’s been so long since I played.” It might be a bit like riding a bicycle. Then the goofy guy’s cousin came over and apologized for his antics earlier and bought us a round, a pleasant way to cap a pleasant evening.