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Sara General

The last month went by in a blur. A giant university sized blur. This is because we took our baby on her first road trip to Western University where I attended the summer session of my master’s program.

I have to admit that the week before we went, I really didn’t want to go and was seriously lamenting the fact that the course wasn’t available online (as some sessions had been in the fall and winter terms). I was loving the life the baby and I had up until that point: cuddling all day, reading books, writing in journals, cooing at one another. But I’m very glad we went.

London was our little family’s first travel adventure. We stayed in a repurposed hospice that was one of the stranger hotels I’ve ever been in, but it had incredibly fast internet (the joy of fast internet when you live in the bush) and I managed to watch the entire first season of Witches of East End – which I loved.

And as always, I learned a lot from my incredible classmates who all lead such full and busy lives. They are a colourful group of educators: teachers, parents, aunties, artists, writers, actors and community members. They care. They help. They wear multiple hats. They’re going to do even more amazing things than they already are from this time we’re all taking to reflect on the work we’re doing. I have a ton of education thoughts brewing, but I’ll save them for an education post.

All in all, we’re happy to be home. Travelling with a baby was tricky for us newbie parents. As my boyfriend said, “I feel like London chewed us up and spit us out.”

Writing With A Newborn

I thought my writing life was going to undergo drastic changes after the baby joined us but actually, I’ve found that it isn’t that much different than it was before she came. I think that’s because I’ve always worked full time and if I wanted to write, I had to make the time to do it. And believe me, I have to make time to do it. Writing feels good and it makes me happy.

I did however take a break from writing (and blogging) while I was in school because it was just too difficult to try and write anything but assignments during that time, but now that the baby and I are settled back at home again, I’m trying to have more of a routine.

I have super modest writing goals (500 words a day) and most mornings, I manage to surpass that. I’m currently working on a story with a teenager protagonist – something I’ve never done before. It makes me think I should reread some Christopher Pike. I always thought he had really great teenagers in his stories.

I’m still not sure where this story is going – I started it with only a name (Cora), but I think that's okay. Stories always seem to take on a life of their own when you write every day without fail, or at least, that’s how it seems to work for me. I’ve heard this time and time again from other, more experienced writers and it’s true.

Routine is Queen.

A stack of editing awaits me. I plan to spend the rest of August editing and editing and editing. (Another reason for the modest word count goal – I want to finish the other projects I have lying around on my tabletops).

This includes a story concept I’ve been working on for 5 years. Over the course of that time I’ve changed just about everything about it countless times: format, perspective, characters names. More than once, I thought about letting it go but I just...can’t. I want to share it. It may not be perfect - but maybe it doesn’t have to be? Maybe the story’s path is different than what I’ve been trying to make it be.

In any event, my goal for this story is to make some artistic choices about how to present it and then set that story free in the world before the year is out. It would be amazing if I could do it for my birthday in September, but I’m just not sure I can manage that – or can I? There’s only one way to find out, I suppose!

Until next time, happy writing everyone!