Looking Back, Looking Forward

It is morning here in Banff, Alberta, and the sun has just risen over the mountain I look at all day. I’m eating sand cake for breakfast, which I saved in a bowl for the very purpose of satiating my morning sweet tooth. For the past three weeks, the world has been divided in two. In my world, there are the pines and elk and gophers and artists and playwrites and mathematicians and writers and poets and sculptors of Banff, all of us caught up in a valley of thought, protected from the world by craggy mountains still tipped with snow.  In my research for my book, I came across this image by Natalia Goncharova. It’s the set design for the 1926 production of the Firebird and suits my novel-writing mood.

Beyond the mountains lies the rest of the world where earthquakes rumble, elections disappoint, and, thankfully, semesters come to a close.

When I do get back out there, back to facing the world and its hopes and concerns, I will think about teaching and about this little website, and I will wonder what I could have done better here and what seemed just about right.  Perhaps you’ll take the time to let me know? All responses are anonymous, so feel free to be frank, or friendly or both. Say Hi, too, if you wish!

Happy Summers to all of you. Adventure far and wide, but find a good place to sit and think, too.

Au plaisir,



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