Whoever it was that called this October cold, miserable, and crappy…was right. However there was one day two weeks ago when the temperature broke 24 degrees.
At first I thought it was the weather gods of Canada giving us poor civilians a break, but I was wrong. It was, in fact, the Greek Gods making sure that Jane Bow—the most recent speaker at the Writer’s Reading Series—had the same weather as Crete, Greece, whilst presenting her new book Cally’s Way to the Trent community.
While many claim that they have been traveling all their lives, Jane Bow has been doing it since the moment of her birth. While her family was taking the train from Vancouver to Ottawa they had to detour to Edmonton, for her mother to give birth.
Travelling has thus been a way of life for Bow, who grew up as the daughter of diplomats, and she has been all around the world. However, the place she felt most at home (and the place where she began more than a decade of writing) was Greece. “Greek language is full of life. The energy resonated with who I am fundamentally,” explained Bow.
Cally’s Way took Bow 12 years to write, and is certainly an inspiration for anyone who has worked on a project they thought would never be completed; every writer, at one time another, questions whether their writing is crap.
But after hearing Bow speak, I realized that this is okay; that if writing happens hastily you’re not doing it right.
Bow explained that when she first began thinking about the novel she thought she was going to write a historical novel. “A young women came into my head who had nothing to do with Crete,” she said. Trying to work through the connection between this character and Crete is what took Bow 12 years.
Fellow writers, if you are going to remember anything from this article remember this: just because there are no words on paper, does not mean there is no story.
Stories develop in the mind, they need time to fester and stew before they come to life. I envy those who pick up and pen and can instantly write something profound, or remarkable or outstanding, but I have to remember that those profound, remarkable, outstanding thoughts were likely simmering for years.
These Writers Readings hosted by the English Department are incredible opportunities to her accomplished writers speak about their passion. When asked why she writes, Bow said, “I don’t know, it’s the closest a human can come to flying. It’s who I am. It’s what I do.”
But more importantly these readings are a way for struggling and/or aspiring writers to hear that even accomplished and successful writers face very similar challenges.
These readings are opportunities to ask questions and learn, because every author in a part of this series has something say and something to teach. Bow taught me this: work through the crap; flush it out because it is through this process that we find our Cally.