Friday, July 31, 2009
Montreal, Jane Austen, and Other Topics
Thanks to Via Rail's temporary price reduction of train tickets, I will be going to Montreal for five days. I can hardly wait to visit one of my favourite cities. There's no doubt that I'll be immediately recognized as a tourist, since my clothing lacks style, I'll have to wear my running shoes, and my smattering of high school French may prove incomprehensible; nevertheless, I know I'll have an excellent time. There are many places I'd like to visit while I'm in the city so I went to the library to get a Montreal Guide. There was only one available - all the others were already on loan to other patrons. Perhaps Montreal is being inundated with les maudits anglais this summer. If so, then I hope Montrealers are still as tolerant as they were on my previous visits.
Before this unexpected opportunity arrived, I had been moping and reading, and fretting of course, as I often do when the Muse takes her leave. I recommend Carol Shield's short biography of Jane Austen, published by Penguin (2001) as part of the Penguin Lives series. If you are a writer, you will appreciate Shield's perceptive comments on writing and on the nature of a writer's life even if you don't like, or haven't read Jane Austen's novels. Though if you do know Jane's work, you will get even more from this book. Carol Shields writes clearly and without any academic frou frou.
And speaking of books and writers, my friend and fellow writer, Jennifer Ross' story, "The Colonial and the Cottontail" is now available in the Northern Roses, Southern Belles Civil War Anthology published by Wild Rose Press. The book is available through Amazon. I had the pleasure of reading and commenting on earlier versions of this story and am happy it has been published.
Now, I need to make a list of things to take on my trip, and of course paper and pens will be at the top, although usually I don't write much when I'm away from my home. Instead, I often get a new perspective on what I need to write, when I return. I hope that happens again, and I'll let you know if it does.