Everything from:writing retreat

Journal of the Plague Year

Since I last posted here, the world has utterly changed. I travel a lot. I used to travel a lot. For years I’ve joked that being Canadian is great when you don’t have to deal with winter. Winter, for me in these years, was a few scattered weeks at home, between trips to warmer places: sometimes holiday places, sometimes my routine business trips to London, Knoxville, New York, none of which experience much snow. My last trip was to a beach town, for a writing retreat. The town’s season hadn’t yet begun and we felt mostly alone on this expanse of sand. We knew about the virus, enough to bring sanitizer and wash our hands a lot, but we hadn’t even heard the phrase “social distancing” yet, flights were still operating normally and a gathering of friends was still a perfectly fine thing to do. It seems like forever ago. But it was the beginning of March. My original plan had been to fly home from this retreat, unpack, repack, and fly out again the next day for London, where I’d be attending London Book Fair: five days, thirty meetings, countless handshakes and cheek kisses in a normal time. But […]

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