Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day Five of my in-house writing retreat - ten thousand hours to success!

With only the briefest look at this schedule I know I am paying no mind to it. I will spend today, like yesterday, driving through the manuscript. The rest will have to wait. In fact, the only other time I will take today will be to carve out a few more days to focus on the packages before the month is out.
Last night's dinner was so wildly good - I won't tell you everything we ate but the main dish that I had, was roasted free-range chicken breast with greens, button mushrooms and fresh potato gnocchi. What that menu description doesn't say is anything about the sauce it is all nestled in. OH OH OH!   As soon as I took my first mouthful I remembered why it is simply worth it to go to a REALLY good restaurant. A reminder of what food can be when it is elevated far beyond the really good - for we eat very well, here at the ranch. They say that an expert is one who has done 10,000 hours of work on their craft. Well, I'd say that Fid's wonderful chef, Dennis Johnston, has done that and more.

Now to get to my ten thousand hours of work.

Udate - 5:30 PM - and I'm thinking this retreat is here-by over! Man oh manly man, this was a rough day. Like walking through mud. All because I had to change a major plot point - no, a minor plot point - I had to change something and the something I had to change was hard to figure and it led me into a veritable mare's nest of new research - did you know that First Nations people are far more prone to having their bones broken than us other North Americans? Well, yes they are, and heart attacks, diabetes, and so on and so on. I did some more research on residential schools (for those of you in other lands - over 150,000 kids were taken away from their parents from the mid-1800's to the late 1900's) Residential schools, with the aid of church and state, obliterated languages, abused many, many children- physically and sexually - many suffered malnutrition and other problems not normally seen on these fair shores. Yep. In Canada we've been undergoing a wonderful painful but beautiful process called :

"the truth of our common experiences will help set our spirits free and pave the way to reconciliation."
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has a mandate to learn the truth about what happened in the residential schools and to inform all Canadians about what happened in the schools. The Commission will document the truth of what happened by relying on records held by those who operated and funded the schools, testimony from officials of the institutions that operated the schools, and experiences reported by survivors, their families, communities and anyone personally affected by the residential school experience and its subsequent impacts.
The Commission hopes to guide and inspire First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples and Canadians in a process of truth and healing leading toward reconciliation and renewed relationships based on mutual understanding and respect.
The Commission views reconciliation as an ongoing individual and collective process that will require participation from all those affected by the residential school experience. This includes First Nations, Inuit, and Métis former students, their families, communities, religious groups, former Indian Residential School employees, government, and the people of Canada. 
Since my book is about the karma that in part led from residential schools, it is important that I fully grok this. That means that although this day was hard, I have met my mandate to proceed with care and my novel will take the time it requires.
I've already started blocking out more all day writing retreats. GAAAAH!


Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - That meal sounds delectable! I'm so glad you savoured it :-). I'm loving the progress you are making here. You're inspiring me to consider an in-home writing retreat of my own :-).

Hart Johnson said...

10,000 hours, eh. So at 10 hours a week, that is 1000 weeks, or 20 years? And I've been at this since 2005... so I am on my 7th years... guess I should figure out a way to fit more hours in, eh? The meal sounds GREAT!

KarenG said...

"in-house writing retreat"-- love that phrase!

DeniseCovey_L_Aussie said...

Man, I couldn't get past that delish meal. Bring it on. That should get the juices flowing.