Wednesday, 25 April 2018

A to Z Challenge - V is for Victorious in Violet

 I'm just back from a writing retreat. I'm calling it successful -- better than that, VICTORIOUS!

My goals were accomplished.  They were not as lofty as in previous years. I set no word or page counts, no outline, chapter or book completions.
Still, there was a mountain to climb and I climbed it!

I am indebted to Gwynn Scheltema and Ruth Walker for providing such a supportive environment. I am also grateful to my fellow writers at the retreat. There is nothing quite so inspiring, encouraging, and refreshing than to write in community with other writers.

Head and heart, I reconnected with the memoir I've been working on for a number of years.

Saturday morning, I opened the document box that had been untouched for nearly a year. Over the next two days, I sorted through all the bits and pieces it contained. I tossed some junk - multiple copies of the same chapters, irrelevant notes, and three pens that no longer worked. I re-ordered what remained, taking time to explore the stories one by one. And I enjoyed the process!

Monday, my plan was to keyboard the chapters written at last year's retreat, but I found that I had no desire to park myself in front of a laptop. But my "write hand" was twitching for exercise, longing to move a pen across paper. I abandoned the keyboard and picked up my fountain pen. I wrote - not a lot but several linking passages and paragraphs that tied up a few loose ends and secured the bond between writer and story.

In the midst of all this triumphant growth, Monday also brought a violet pall of sorrow as news of the tragedy in the beloved city of my birth unfolded. The apprehension and arrest of the van driver who had mowed down 24 people, killing 10, was accomplished without a single gunshot. Politicians kept their responses low key and the media did not jump to radical conclusions. We all waited for the facts and while we waited, as we were able, we offered care and compassionate support. And the outpouring of compassion continues. This is my Toronto.

Once assured of my family's safety on Monday, I took myself on a walk away from the news. I visited the lads up the hill.

The confident thumps of big hooves, snorts of camaraderie, and the quiet wisdom in those big eyes, did much to comfort my soul.

As I headed back along the lake to the main building, these crocuses seemed to sum up the weekend - victorious in violet.

Tuesday morning dawned with promise and healing colours.

©2018 April Hoeller


  1. Beautiful pics and words. Thank you for being such a great roomy.

    1. Thank YOU! It was a very great retreat on so many levels.

  2. You've been in my thoughts since I heard of the news April.
    Thank you for this 'victorious' post. Your photos drip with tranquility, with hope and a promise of a better future.
    Those crocuses and your retreat treat, those wise eyes and the sunny reeds--it's all so beautiful.
    V is for Vintage

    1. Many thanks to you dear Arti.
      It was the just the remedy for my body, mind and soul.
      Hugs xx