Riding the rails and receiving critiques

In front of York University’s iconic Central Hall

At the beginning of September, I shouldered a bag and hopped a train from Zürich to Paris, the first of many trains as I travelled to York and Kent in England and on to Antwerp. The Interrail app tells me I took 14 trains over 2,779kms and logged more than 22 hours on the rails.

The big draw in York was the Festival of Writing, where I hoped to get feedback on my novel-in-progress, and finally visit the school where I did my two-year Postgrad Diploma in Creative Writing. Tacking on some sight-seeing afterwards, plus catching up with friends in southern England and Belgium, rounded out a week and a half of travel.

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Selected short reading (vol. 6)

I completed my PGDip coursework at the end of June. (phew) And earned a more-than-satisfactory grade on my final assessment. (giant phew) Which means I’ll probably graduate from my two-year creative writing program with distinction. (giant yay!)

Now that I’m free of assigned texts or genres, my tastes have morphed to creative nonfiction — at least for short-form pieces, I’m devouring not-too-serious novels, too.*

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The cost—and the lesson

I’ve made a dumb mistake. I’ll be on my way back from Sargans at 2pm instead of at my appointment. The email I sent my physiotherapist earlier today was not cheery.

After three and a half years of taking Swiss trains, I got on the wrong one today, costing myself 2 1/2 hours, upwards of 30 CHF, and a missed physio appointment.

Ugh. I was not meant to be in Sargans.

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Stay a while, crocodile

My knee situation* continues to make some of my favourite yoga positions less than awesome (I’m looking at you, child’s pose), but thankfully there are plenty of ways to modify — and lots of alternatives.

My current favourite is a restorative version of crocodile, with plenty of support and no scary teeth!

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“Be the Queen”

Entrance to a bathroom in France (W-C Publics) with 'Je pisse donc je suis' in cursive writing and a silhouette of Queen Elizabeth II superimposed in the lower right corner

People celebrated 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II on the throne last weekend with street parties (it looked cold in the UK!), reminiscences about her reign (like this secret 1970s lawn chair party in Manitoba), scones and Pimm’s, and staggeringly expensive memorabilia.

My memories related to Liz are much more, um, visceral. Yes, I mean related to intestines or digestion.

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Selected short-story reading (vol. 5)

I’m just weeks away from the end my Post-Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing and feeling out of my depth reading stage plays and film scripts and TV treatments. This term is all dramaturgy and I’ve taken solace in short fiction.

As the photo of me reading as a child demonstrates, escaping into story is nothing new—and I’ve got three more absorbing reads to share.

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Softening into spring & summer

Laura's smiling eyes with a background of fluffy pink feathers
Photo taken at Sonja Lackner’s incredible exhibit in 2021

I’m teaching two more online yoga classes as part of the current series. Both will use lots of props to create wonderful nests—although probably no pink feathers!

I won’t be teaching over summer, so this is the last chance for a while to join me live on Zoom—or enjoy the recorded sessions anytime over the weekend.

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