Feel the love! It's always a pleasant surprise to see something other than Toronto bashing in the media. You've heard the Newfie jokes; it's been said that the thing that unites Canada is a universal hatred of Toronto (or the Americans -- to which some people reply "same thing"), and you hear a lot of criticism of Alberta's "Rednecks" in the news. If you listen to the media, it sounds like we're a nation of backbiting grouches.
This essay by a former Western Canadian now living in Toronto is a hint that the silent majority of Canadians are compassionate and happy enough about themselves that they see no need to bash any other part of their country. It's a refreshing read.
And, no, Toronto is not perfect. And, no, Toronto is not the centre of the universe. But it is my home, and I'm proud of it, just as anybody should be proud of the place where they came from. As a proud Torontonian, I've had nothing but respect for the grace and history of Montreal and the beauty of the prairies. One of the things I want to do before I die is tour the rest of my country, and it's good to know that most of the people I meet will not hold my home town against me.
I joined three others from Kathy Stinson's writing group yesterday at the Mostly Organic Cafe. It'll be the last meeting we have until January 6. It's doubtful that we could get even four of us out over the Christmas holidays and, perhaps with January 6 being in the New Year, we may get other members showing up, starting fresh.
The new cafe was a much better venue to sit and read at than Williams Coffee Pub. It was cozier, and the music wasn't nearly as loud. We were able to hear each other speak, and we got a lot out of the readings that way.
I read the first chapter of The Young City, the third book in the Rosemary and Time sequence. It went over quite well, although it looks like I'll have to tread a bit of a fine balance between the fantasy and the romance. One listener thought there was too much kissy-kissy in the first chapter, while another was happy with it. Things do get toned down in subsequent chapters as the action pans out.
Fathom Five is almost a year old, now. I completed the first draft back in August, and extensive revisions have been made since. I'm now at the stage where I just look at the story and tinker with it. When you hit that stage, it's time to set the book aside and move on. The story has become too close to you, and you need at least a month's break to see the larger picture again.
So, now seems the perfect time to return to The Young City. I was almost 15000 words into this story before I ran into research difficulties and Fathom Five clamoured for my attention again. Reading over what I've written, I see I need to do a lot of tightening. And although I have the rough plot of the story down, the pacing is off. The story develops in clumps -- Peter and Rosemary fall through a hole -- Peter and Rosemary look for shelter -- Peter and Rosemary live with Edmund and Faith and try to find their way back home -- then Aldous Magnate enters the picture. It just doesn't flow naturally.
I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually, and the end result may be completely different from what I expected when I started out. Witness Fathom Five, wherein Ariel turned into a major character by the end of this tale, and she wasn't even going to be in this story at first. Sailors, a truly underwater world, and so many other elements were dropped. This is the process of creation, and it's part of the fun of writing. Truly, when you start the organic process of growing a book, you never know quite what you're going to get.