Showing posts from February, 2024

Retreat and Return

As someone who lives in a rural home with another writer, with a great deal of choice over my workday, one might wonder why I would attend a writing retreat. What would I possibly need that I can't get at home? Why would I pay someone a fee to go somewhere else to do what I can already do? For many years, for those reasons, I didn't go. A local informal gathering of writers has been meeting for long, intensive self-directed weekends for years. I never understood the appeal. Yet now, I'm just back from a writing retreat.   The drive out. The view over Lake Marie Louise, toward my home, which lies beyond more land and a bay of Lake Superior. Why did I go? What happened to change my mind? Well, life, mostly.  I first went in 2020. My first book, REVERBERATIONS: A DAUGHTER'S MEDITATIONS ON ALZHEIMER'S, had just come out.  The experience of focusing intently on that one manuscript--short essays--had been extremely productive for me. I'd benefitted greatly from exchan


Last October 14, the Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal ran the following review by their longtime arts critic, Michael Sobota. Here's one of my favourite lines: "There are, indeed, a lot of dead people in Making Up The Gods." It makes me laugh every time. And he's absolutely right! They are, as he also notes, VERY important to the choices living people make. Levity aside, I'm very grateful for Michael's review. It's always nice to hear from someone who understands what you were trying to do! And Michael approaches all of his reviews with great generosity of spirit, which adds positivity to the local writing community. Thank you, Michael, for all you do!  ____________________ Marion Agnew's first novel, Making Up The Gods, is a quintessentially Northwestern Ontario story.  It is an exhibition, a celebration even of where we live. We follow three very different but readily recognizable characters for a few weeks in early spring.  Simone is an elderly widow