Friday, November 4, 2016

November Editor's Post by Claire Caldwell



Good morning, Heartwarmers!

I hope everyone had a fun Halloween earlier this week and that your November is off to a great start. Congratulations to our November authors on their releases!

I’m excited to be on the blog today because it’s my chance to say hello to all of you after returning to Romance HQ at the beginning of October. As many of you know, I took a three-month leave this summer to be the writer-in-residence at the Pierre Berton House in Dawson City, Yukon. I thought I’d share a bit of what I was up to while I was away from my editing duties.



Dawson was the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush, and the town is steeped in both that history and the much longer history of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in people. It’s a beautiful, eclectic, welcoming place just brimming with stories and interesting characters.



The lovely Berton House is located in Dawson’s “literary district” (a stone’s throw from poet Robert Service’s cabin and a hop, skip and jump from the Jack London Museum). I didn’t encounter any writerly ghosts, but the hundred-and-fifteen-year-old house did make some pretty weird noises.



I spent most days at this desk, working on my second poetry collection. One theme I’m exploring in this manuscript is the experience of “pioneer” women, from those who made the arduous journey to the Klondike in the 1890s to present-day off-gridders.



I’ve also been writing a lot about what it means to be a woman in the wilderness, and what better place for research than the wilds of the Yukon? I was lucky enough to get out on several excursions and take inspiration from many breathtaking landscapes. Here I am backpacking on the Grizzly Lake Trail in Tombstone Territorial Park (note: I did not encounter any actual grizzlies).



(But I did later see a black bear from the safety of a car!)

I definitely fell under the spell of the Yukon and am so grateful to have had this experience, but I’m excited to be back in Toronto--and back to working on your wonderful stories!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend,

Claire 

36 comments:

  1. So glad you're back. Pictures are lovely and the area looks like a wonderful place to explore. Hope you'll have future success with your second poetry collection.

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  2. The pictures are beautiful. Glad you had a good, productive trip!

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  3. Fun and productive...a sign of a good trip. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photographs. As for the bear, I'm happy you saw it from the safety of your car. He looks big!
    Congratulations to all of the November releases!

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    1. Yes, he was quite a big guy--I was definitely grateful for the protection of the car, but we still moved on pretty quick once we got a couple photos!

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  4. What a wonderful and unique experience! Thanks for this snapshot of your time in Pierre Berton's cabin in the Yukon - very envious!

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    1. Happy to share! :) Thanks for your comment, Janice.

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  5. Your writer-in-residence retreat sounds fantastic, Claire! Thank you for sharing the experience and the pictures.

    I very much look forward to reading your second poetry collection. I often joke with my husband (at least he thinks I'm joking) that I would have loved to have lived in pioneer days. Of course, anyone who knows me knows I love the wilderness (including Bart the black bear who used to be a regular visitor at our cottage)!

    It's nice to have you back.

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    1. Thanks, Kate! Sounds like we share an understanding of the call of the wild. :)

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  6. What a great experience, and wow--that bear photo is awesome. It appears to be beautiful country all right. I'm sure your pals at HQ are very glad to have you back, though.

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    1. Definitely, Roz--and I have to say one of the best parts of being away is getting to come home! :)

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  7. I want to know more! How many writers in residence were there? Were there brainstorming sessions? A mentor? What was your AHA moment. It sounds like soo much fun.

    Pamela

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    1. Heh, I definitely have more stories--didn't want to get too wordy there ;). I was the only writer-in-res, actually, and there were no official mentors, though I learned a lot and gleaned plenty of inspiration from the people I met in town. The whole summer feels like a series of AHA moments, but one of the best parts was being able to write, uninterrupted, day after day. It's so easy to underestimate the power of a routine!

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    2. Cool. One of our libraries does a writer in residence, so that's what you were doing. I was picturing an intense three month retreat :) Day after day, eh... I am soo jealous. Today I've written on my laptop on my kitchen table, at a picnic table at a trampoline park, and at Peter Piper pizza. The joy of being a Mom with a deadline LOL

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  8. What a wonderful experience for you. I'm sure you'll always have great memories. Welcome back.

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  9. This sounds like a wonderful adventure. I haven't been to Alaska, but would love to go. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, Shirley--it was definitely an adventure. I'd highly recommend a trip to the North! :)

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  10. Welcome back, Claire! Sounds like an amazing experience. I imagine there was inspiration everywhere around you. I would love to see this place. I think I've read everything by Jack London. He's one of my favorites. Good luck with your next poetry collection.

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    1. Thanks, Carol! I agree--Jack London is so great. I especially love his story, "To Build a Fire." (even though it kind of freaks me out!)

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  11. Awesome country, great experience! And ah, that uninterrupted time to write. Can't beat that. Glad you had such a terrific summer.

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  12. Wow, what a blessing to have that wonderful experience. Hubby and I have been there and it is gorgeous scenery. Being there does kind of set you back in time. I love the wilderness areas. Your hike looked fun and exciting. Glad you didn't run into any bears. smile Thanks for sharing your memorable experience.

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Sandra. It totally is like going back in time, isn't it...hard to believe I'm still in the same country, even!

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  13. That looks amazing!!! So glad it was a great experience for you. And welcome back!

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  14. Here's the thing: who cooked for you??? Please tell me someone cooked for you? THAT would be a writing retreat. (And yes, everybody, VERY glad to have Claire back!!!)

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  15. So happy for you! What an amazing experience. But I am selfishly glad you're back! Can't wait to see how this experience impacted your poetry. :)

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    1. Aw, thanks Amy! I definitely missed all you authors while I was away!

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  16. This sounds like a dream trip. I love being in the wilderness and feel very lucky to live in the rugged Adirondacks with lots of great trails, rivers and mountains. Everyone at Heartwarming is so glad to have you back!

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    1. I have heard the Adirondacks are beautiful--they're definitely on my list of places to visit. How great that you can experience them every day! :)

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  17. What an adventure, Claire! I'm sure it's one you will never forget!! I love your poetry and from the photos I know you are filled with inspiration. However, we are all very happy you are back!! Wahoo for us!

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  18. Oh, that looks so exciting! I hope you enjoyed every minute.

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  19. Sorry I didn't make it to commenting yesterday! What an incredible experience, Claire. I love the photos and I can only imagine how inspiring it was for your poetry writing. I loved your first book and can't wait for your next collection to release! So happy you're back!

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  20. Thanks for sharing your experience, Claire. What an honor to be writer-in-residence! Sounds like a very rewarding and inspiring time.

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