Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Back in the game

As I write this, I am staring out over a seriously churned up Lake Erie. Yesterday’s relative brightness has been replaced by a slate-grey fall sky and a stiff southwest wind, which looks like it’s going to stick around for a while. No matter.

Apart from a short run and a somewhat longer bike ride this afternoon, I have been sitting at this slightly-too-high desk in a dark corner of my mother’s underused office. The change of scene from my usual Toronto surroundings has been just enough to get my creative juices flowing, it seems. Today, I embarked on yet another grand (suicide?) mission: I sat down and scratched out the first few paragraphs of my (hopeful) next book manuscript -- working title Lake Ontario Stories.

Shifting the scene from Lake Erie to its easterly neighbour has been an idea that I have wrestled with for some time. Outlines have been written. The library has been visited more than once. Still, I wondered whether I would feel as strong of a connection to Lake Ontario, a lake I am relatively new to, as I do to Lake Erie, which was a big part of my childhood.

So I decided to start with something seriously dramatic: the story of the Gibraltar Point lighthouse, whose first keeper, according to local legend, was beaten to death by soldiers from nearby Fort York. Many believe his spirit still haunts the light, which is the oldest on the Great Lakes.

Tomorrow, I will fold up my laptop and take this encouraging start back to the city. Hopefully the almost-daily sight of Lake Ontario will prove to be equally inspiring.

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