Tag Archives: Skriduklaustur

Icelandic Web Album Live at Last

Finally my web album from Iceland — including the inspiring and sometimes frightening, yet visually gobsmacking drive through the eastern fjords in the wintertime is up — I haven’t spent anytime identifying the different places, but some of the images are astounding and worth a look. At some point when the craziness that is Christmas dies down, I’ll do the edit.

Any for all of you off work sleep late, eat lots, ski and/or lie in the sun. Read, read and read some more. Merry Christmas.

More common to fly than to drive

More common to fly than to drive

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Egilsstaoir — East Iceland: Write, write, write

This is possibly the windiest place in the world, but it is also one of the most visually stunning places I have ever visited. As I sit at my computer, on the top floor of the Gunnar Gunnarsson residence at Skriduklaustur in the Fljotsdalur Valley, I am looking out at an enormous yellow field flanked on one side by steep snow-covered mountains and on the other by a massive lake — I don’t know the name of this body of water, and if I did, I couldn’t pronounce it anyway, but I do know that it is home to a giant worm, much like the Loch Ness Monster or the Ogoppogo in British Columbia.

The isolation here is challenging to get used to, and when the wind howls and batters my windows, I find sleep to be almost impossible. On the upside, I am writing for hours every single day and my novel is beginning to really take shape. My friend and editor extrodinaire, Joy Gugeler, is going to ‘pop in’ on her way to Toronto in a couple of weeks and I think she will be quite pleased with the progress made. I can’t wait to see her — it will be so excellent to have someone to talk to and I think I will be able to sleep knowing that there is someone else in the house.

James is in London — just a stone’s throw across the Atlantic Ocean and it makes me feel good to know that we are in the same time-zone.

I walk every day, but am reluctant to venture outside at the moment in case the wind picks up again and I get blown away like a leaf…

There are no big predators here — only reindeer and fox — so walking is stress free and enjoyable, and although the roads are very narrow, the few drivers I have encountered are polite and respectful.

Every night at 22, there is an English language program (most often from the UK, but sometimes from the States) on our one channel, and this, for me, signals the end of the writing day and the time to kick back and prepare for the long, dark night ahead…what a baby, but it’s the truth 🙂

I really enjoy the lady who runs the Klausturkaffi in the basement of the house — and when she isn’t here, I miss her presence and the aroma of fresh baking that floats up the stairs to my little apartment. In fact, I think I might pop down now and see what’s cooking.


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Grant Application Result: Unsuccesful — Thanks Mr. Harper

Well, the Tories claim that their recent funding cuts to the artistic community in Canada will have little impact on Canadian artists. Not true. I did not get my travel grant to attend a six week residency in Iceland (probably one of the most expensive places in the world to fly to), even though I would be fulfilling the obligation to promote Canadian Arts internationally.

Oh well. I guess I’ll find the money from the meager income that I make — and be thankful that, at least, I no longer have to work for minimum wage to support my writing “hobby.”

See the Grant Application Details:

Discipline Writing and Publishing
Genre Children’s (Text)
Specialization Writer
Medium Book

Purpose To attend a six-week residency at Skriduklaustur, Iceland from November 14 to December 10, 2008.

Amount Requested $2,500.00

Travel Details
Event Writer in Residence
Destination Skriduklaustur (Iceland)
Date(s) of travel November 14/08-December 10/08

Grant Application Result
Decision Unsuccessful

The assessment committee for the program, has recently completed its deliberations. We regret to inform you that your application was not successful. Committee members were asked to review and evaluate each application and to make grant recommendations based on the assessment criteria published in the program application guidelines. Because of the limited funds available, the assessment committee’s decisions had to be made in an extremely competitive context. All committee decisions are final.

So, I close my eyes and wish for:

    A philanthropist
    A lottery win
    A lucrative option on a book
    A new government
    A miracle

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