Saturday, October 10, 2009

Revisions and Feedback

I recently got back from attending the Banff Centre for the Arts where they have a number of writing programs. The most commonly known ones being 'Writing with Style' and 'Wired Writing.' I attended the 'Writing with Style' program and workshoped my story, originally titled 'Story of a Dead Man', which explores the memories of a man who discovers too late that life is too short to make choices for other people.

The most amazing part of my Banff trip was the realization of how much I pull from my surroundings when I'm writing. There were two aspects of being in Banff which I drew on especially. The first was the train. Every few hours (during the night and day) a train whistle would ghost across the campus - which was wonderful as I love trains. The second thing was the Graveyard. The Graveyard lay just a few minutes walk from my dorm room. I saw it the first day when I went for a walk to check out the land. I love graveyards and I was especially fascinated with the stonework construction of two of the cairns. (which I originally thought were garden sheds..oops!) After two days I got the first sentence of my revision, which now begins in Grey Mountain Cemetery (in the Yukon) and has a train whistle.

More information on the writing programs at the Banff Centre for the Arts can be found at

Aside from various programs in Art, Writing, Music and other programs the facilities are wonderful including a climbing wall (which is 30' tall and totally cool to play on), a pool, gyms, basketball courts, hiking trails and beautiful mountains. Just don't plan on getting lots of sleep as most of the students in my group (including myself) had difficulty sleeping. However, despite that, it was an experience which I would definitely repeat.

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