This time last year, I took time off from seeing clients and went on a writing retreat. I wanted to fully immerse myself in my writing and felt I couldn’t do it staying in Vancouver.  


After stopping off in St. Catharines, Ontario, where I joined with my brother and sister-in-law in celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, I went to Montreal to work with my editor, Tereza. We spent five weeks together from February 8th to March 13th, 2020. For me, it was an enjoyable and productive time. I enjoyed getting to know Tereza in person. We found we were in sync with my content and how to share it with my readers. She is a fantastic editor. She takes my writing and makes it flow


At this time, the pandemic was in its infancy and just ramping up. My ticket back to Vancouver was Saturday, March 14th.  On my last evening, Tereza took me out for dinner at one of Montreal’s great restaurants. The next day, I left and remember the huge airport and how “dead” it was. I got home safely and reconnected with my family before restrictions were solidly put in place. Tereza told me that the day I left, Montreal shut down. None of the restaurants were open, and businesses were closed.  


I was happy to get home and happy to be healthy. Because of restrictions, I was not seeing clients and could not even have my family over for dinner. There was nothing to do but write. Tereza and I had not completed the manuscript, so we continued to work by videoconferencing for the next few weeks. I benefited from this unscheduled writing retreat, this time at home.


Fortunately, I live within a five-minute walk from the beach, so I would take walks on my breaks. I was able to see my family and friends outside. Vancouver is a beautiful place to be “trapped” during any season, but it is especially so in the summer. The city is also bike-friendly; there are hundreds of kilometres of well-cared-for bike paths and trails throughout the city and surrounding communities.


With care and concern,

Dr. Bea

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