Boarding Demolition

They’ve torn down my old boarding house – and it’s so strange to see it…gone. It’s been dredging up a lot of memories for me and many other former residents of MacNeill House.

I went to Branksome Hall with my twin for our last year of high school when our parents had moved to England. Contrary to our concerns, Branksome and the boarders welcomed us warmly, and we are still friends with many of those girls today. More than from our other high school – the regular one we attended for years and loved too.

Branksome is where we became city girls, and learned to think about the globe, act in plays that felt like professional productions, and debate. I believe my average jumped 16% just from the nightly required two and half hours of study. I got into every university I applied to. And I attended no less than 5 formals/proms in gorgeous dresses thrust upon me by my generous roommates.

Branksome belongs to that mystical time when we eased out of girlhood, but not too quickly. Since then, I’ve loved any drive down Mount Pleasant where I could point out the window of our old room, which we had kept open all year and learned to let the roar of traffic lull us to sleep. It’s vanished now, along with the luggage room and the trunk of books I left down there, always thinking I would go back one day and collect them. I know they are building something new and wonderful, but I will miss that window to the world.

Writerly Outreach

In an effort to stay focused on the writing drive generated this summer and push forward, despite it being September, and June such a long way away, I have been reaching out and connecting with other writers and friends from the Humber School for Writers 2012.

It’s hard to believe that it took place more than two months ago – and the diverse reports back seem at odds with the experience of my own small group. Most of us found the period afterwards to be pretty prolific and the writing came flowing out. In my case, pages got edited/revised. Others found themselves blocked and unable to write.

I also managed to start writing some brief vignettes for a new project, so I met my vow of at least beginning to write something new, before summer’s end, even while I am still mired in revisions for the big novel manuscript.

Positive Writing News for Me:

I met one writer friend to catch up over a great dinner, and she took a nice chunk of my novel to read and give feedback on. Her feedback was wonderfully encouraging and specifically helpful in suggestions.

I hosted two other writer friends who will form a more official writing group with me, and we will meet regularly to exchange and workshop sections of our novel manuscripts. I like them and admire their writing, so it seems like a perfect fit.

I participated in a reading for writers, hosted by another alum of the Humber School, where everyone in attendance was invited to read some of their own writing. I regretted not being able to stay for the whole event, but it was an excellent idea, and I hope these continue throughout the year.

In other news, I’m working on another scene/index card revision. We’ll see if that yields any sizeable segments for slashing.