by Marcie Schwindt
photo by Marcie Schwindt
My goal this summer was the same as every summer—to finish one novel and start another, and for me, that meant it was time to hit the road. I love the hurry-up-and-wait rhythm of road trips, the exploding energy of the explorer’s spirit when the car finally stops and everyone pours out. Some years, the road trips are short getaways. Harbinger’s Kiss, for example, embodies the trek of the weekend cottager. This year, my family went further afield, soaking in Atlantic Canada for two whole weeks. I’m hoping to get two novels from that experience, though only one story has formed itself enough at this time. What inspires you to write? People, places, things?
Marcie Schwindt loves to read and write fast-paced, character and travel driven stories. She writes under the names Marcie Schwindt, Marcie Walker, and Amber Willow and can be found on Twitter @marcie8
by Diane Attwell Palfrey
As the summer approaches and we shift into a hiatus from the Cambridge Arts Centre – it becomes increasingly more difficult for me to push myself to write. Instead of regular meetings motivating me, or nature being the catalyst for fodder, I find myself completely distracted by the great outdoors. There is so much to do, smell, see and consume.
Also, work never slows down during the summer months. If we’re lucky, we might squeeze in a few days away, but it’s always a last minute plan. So as I try and find summer in every single moment – writing is pushed to the back burner.
If only I was disciplined enough to write down my thoughts and ideas as they pop into my head. Often I’m not home when absolute brilliance strikes (no exaggerating here (lol)) and usually there is no pen and paper handy. Refusing to give in to texting, I will never send myself memory joggers via cell phone. It’s my emergency only tool and most of the time it’s never turned on.
Every summer, I tell myself that I’ll make a concerted effort to write pieces worthy of “poet laureate” status. (Insert delusions here) But every year I am reminded that my summer commitment holds up as well as most of my New Year’s resolutions. So this year I’m giving myself total permission to take the summer off. All that creativity can store in my memory somewhere and if I’m lucky enough to remember it the next time I feel inspired – then so be it! If not, then I’ve removed a sometimes unattainable goal that I set for myself. NO MORE GUILT! And I’ll enjoy a summer of hiking, BBQ’s, family and friends and possibly some time away. I’ll breathe in the scent of backyard laundry blowing in August winds. I’ll smile at the ice cream truck rolling down the street with that familiar ring and sounds of children running after it. When I sit in the park listening to local artists fill the air with various kinds of musicality, I’ll be mindful that I am totally in the moment and that possibly these cherished memories were never meant to make it to the printed word. Maybe they are simply meant to be momentary pleasures and my neglect of my craft is just another part of my summer break.
Permission given – to write – or not to write! There is no right answer. It’s all a gift!
To all members of the CWC – I wish you all a glorious summer filled with exciting adventures.
Diane Attwell Palfrey is a poet and prose writer and a long-time member of the Cambridge Writers Collective. Her poetry has been published by the Waterloo-Wellington CAA, Serengeti Press, Craigleigh Press, Hammered Out, The Ontario Poetry Society, Cruickston Charitable Research Reserve/RARE, Calvary Assembly, & several editions of Ascent Aspirations Anthologies. Diane was also the 1st place winner in the 2009 and 2010 Cambridge Festival of the Arts – Poetry Contests.