Commentary – A note from my vacation

Jeff Burgar

So what does a writer like myself do for a holiday?

What do I do after after a steady stream of newspaper copy, week after week, month after month, and year after year?

What do I do for a break?

Well, as most authors will tell you, we mostly keep on writing!


Of course, this is in between those stints of poking at the keyboard for hard cash.

So, we watch television or internet news to pick up an idea or two.

Plus of course, much pacing or staring moodily out the window, a technique I read about in an author’s workshop book.

This holiday from work, the pacing and staring, was interrupted.

I know this because my trusty Libre writing program told me.

There before me, on screen in black and white, was my last effort at the Great Canadian Novel.

Before I say more, let me tell you I have probably close to 50 such “efforts.”

I actually sort of maybe finished one of them once upon a time.

75,000 characters it measures.

To compare, this column measures about 2,900 characters.

Sadly, this column might be much more interesting than that opus I put together.

Take my word for that.

It is unlikely those 75,000 characters will ever be seen by anybody.

As I was saying, my holiday from my regular opinoning about the news of the day was interrupted.

Real work intruded.

Broken websites need fixing.

A new website needed creating.

Programmers in Bangladesh needed talking.

How to use a new camera needed figuring.

A cranky old Android phone needed cranking.

And of course, some fishing and yard work.

All such interfered.

Fishing in our house is not a day off or a holiday.

It happens just about all year, except for the months of bad skating.

Yard work also happens steady if it is dry and warm.

All of the above, and much much more, stalled my best efforts of hitting the holiday keyboard, pacing, and staring moodily out the window, deep in thought about my book’s main characters and his and her problems.

It has to be said. All personal problems fade to nothing in the face of Afghanistan. Or those folks in hospital or those dealing with family issues or all the other problems that can befall any of us, at any time.

I think however, there is also light at the end of the tunnels. Some people think the world will continue on.

Our nation’s prime minister has called a completely useless federal election. He must think, despite his seemingly best efforts to break up Canada, this country will survive another few years anyway. So he wants to be its leader. Also, names are already being announced for the jobs of councillors in the upcoming Alberta municipal elections in October. These fine people are optimistic there will also be a country, or at least, a province, to lead into the future. Good for them.

If our leaders of tomorrow have such confidence, I guess I can too.

So back to “work.” I see a window needing staring through.

Share this post