I leave a writer

I just said goodbye to the people in my class and some of the other writers that I met during this week. There are poets and novelists and children’s writers that I hope, with some luck, I will maintain contact with.

I came to the program uncertain about myself as a writer and I leave KNOWING that I am one. It is a part of me as my own skin. To not be one is to deny a basic part of myself and listening to people this week talk about their work, has redefined how I will pursue this work.

I spend most of the day wondering around Banff with “Fairy Girl” (she isn’t too fond of this name, but it is how I see her) and, R. The three children’s writers who are writing fantasy books. We hit it off the first night and have continued to discuss various things about our work throughout the week. I admired R’s commitment to his work this week. I was so impressed by his determination and commitment and I really enjoyed reading his piece in class. He has the perfect sense of humour for kids.

The other people I will remember:
The woman who searched for her love of writing, and found it.
A women who took a difficult experience turned it into a novel.
A fellow book seller who is writing what promises to be an endearing picture book.
A woman who is writing a teen book with universal themes that we can all relate to.

We were all gently led by Alan Cumyn – a person who is just simply, using one of his favourite words, “delightful.”

I also will remember the poet who sang a prayer to us last night encouraging us to move forward into our dreams. The poet who took her golden shoes on a journey around Banff (I am sure this will be in some photo exhibit someday.) The poet who had such exhuberance, that she will be remembered not only for her word but for her kindness too.

And my friend, “Poetry Girl” who was such a support to me during this week and for that I am so grateful. As I was finishing writing this, she knocked on my door and told me that the party was still going strong and the writers were singing camp songs. Hilarious.

I have been walking with my hand on my heart trying to cement this experience. I want to take it with me back home so that I can continue on this momentum in my day to day life. So, that whenever I feel just a little bit doubtful, I can harken back to this week and remember the kind words and encouragement so that I can continue in this path of the writing life.

About Melanie J. Fishbane

My novel, MAUD: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery was published in 2017 through Penguin Random House on April 25, 2017. I hold an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Here I talk about my writing process, things I love, and creative people who inspire me.
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