I’ve never been to a writers’ workshop, so it goes without saying that I’ve certainly never led a writers’ workshop.Â This past weekend, I did both, with the indulgence and patience of four very friendly, patient, and avid writers.Â My friend, Peggy Lampotang, a talented artist, photographer and writer, organized this writers’ retreat with her friend Judy at the beautiful Lakeview Inn on Lake Moira, about two hours northeast of Toronto.
I made it clear at the outset that I felt ill-qualified to “teach” so I would simply be recounting my own experiences with TBLP and how I went about developing, outlining, writing, and promoting my novel.Â They seemed happy with this approach and we all had a great time.Â I truly believe that there is not a single “right way” to write a novel.Â Every writer is different.Â I learned a great deal listening to interviews and podcasts with experienced writers, but I still ended up cutting my own slightly different path.Â All writers do.
Against a pastoral and picturesque backdrop of rolling farmland and forest, with Lake Moira shimmering in the distance, we talked about writing, did some writing exercises, and read to one another.Â Each writer was different but each had engaging and interesting stories to tell, and they all wrote well.Â In the evening, we played guitar and sang together and there was some dancing going on as well (not on my part I hasten to add – I know my many failings and dancing is one of them).
As well, I edited and polished Chapter 4 of The High Road (the working title for TBLP’s sequel) and wrote nearly half of Chapter 5.Â The setting, food, company and conversation were terrific.Â Thanks to Peggy, Judy, Suzanne, Julia and Diane for making me feel so welcome and for sharing your writing.
Here I am avoiding the dancing by playing the house guitar in a photo Peggy took…