We asked some Canadians what they do when they take a summer break from writing award-winning novels, playing music festivals or being business titans. Turns out, the same as everyone else (with a couple exceptions).
Author of award-winning novel The Golden Mean
Travelling in Oregon and Washington with her husband, seven-year-old daughter and five-year-old son
We drove down to the Oregon coast and met up with some of my husband’s family and spent a couple of days in Seattle on the way back -- campfires on the beach, just watching the kids run around collecting shells and being very happy in the sun.
We drove down to the sand dunes in the south of Oregon and went sand-boarding. It’s like snowboarding but you do it on sand. You rent boards, like snowboards, and climb up these dunes. I don’t even know how to describe it properly: The dunes go on and on. You climb up these hills and you can either sled down or you can put your feet in it like a snowboard and snowboard down. You have to wax them, like a surfboard or a snowboard. The kids were much better at it than me, I mostly watched them. It was really fun seeing them do it.
We went crabbing at Rockaway Beach, a little town on the Oregon coast. You go out in a boat and you put down crab traps and you pull them up and pull the crabs out and mostly throw them back because they are too small. We were out for about two hours, just going from trap to trap, so each trap would be out for 15 or 20 minutes and you would usually catch something in that time.
I just got hired into a permanent position at UBC. I have been teaching in the creative writing program as an adjunct but I just got hired as a full assistant professor so I have been moving into my office and learning the ropes of the new aspects of the job. That’s been a lot of fun. Sitting in class and dealing with students will be the same, but there will be more admin stuff. But They’ve given me my own office. It is the first time in my life I have had my own office. I have got my happy place now, so I have been trying to set it up and get my books in here. I am having my Virginia Woolf Room of Her Own.
Giller and Orange Prize prize nominated author of Half-Blood Blues
Travelling to London, England, Toronto and Moosejaw, Sask. with her husband and their one-year-old baby
It’s been a crazy summer for us.
At the end of May, we started the summer off by going to London, the three of us [Edugyan, husband Steven Price, who is also a novelist and a poet, and their daughter who turns one this month (*Aug 21*)].
It’s always fun to go overseas with a baby; it was a bit of a nightmare trip, but we got there, and there was a bit of a heatwave on, so that was also a bit tricky, but it was a really nice week. I was there to attend the ceremony for The Orange Prize for Fiction, which was really lovely. [Edugyan was a finalist for her novel Half-Blood Blues.] I really love my British publisher; and it’s always good to go in and chat with everybody.
Where else did we go? I taught at the Humber School for Writers, so we went to Toronto for about 10 days - and again there was a heatwave; the heat seemed to follow us everywhere. At one point it was really tough on the baby, and she just screamed the whole night. And I remember going into teach after I probably had 55 minutes of sleep. But that turned out to be was one of the better classes. So maybe this is the key!
We were home for about three days after that, and then we turned around and we were both reading at the Moosejaw festival in Saskatchewan. That’s a lovely festival, with really engaged audiences, and I’d never been to Moosejaw before. It’s a very interesting town: all the old buildings, the sort of Al Capone mythology surrounding it.