Writing on stone

I just finished a new essay based on old notes. Writing takes time. Writing works with time.

In this case, the taking of time is particularly appropriate. I wrote about Writing-On-Stone Park, the greatest collection of First Nations rock art in North America.

Writing on Stone - Old Man River, Alberta

Writing on Stone – Old Man River, Alberta

The park itself is in the wind-and-water carved valley of the Old Man River, in southern Alberta, dropped into the flat Canadian prairie. Here, nature has written its own story in the rock, even before the earliest humans started to write their stories.

This week I was working on final edits to my essay, with one eye on approaching deadlines for a variety of writing competitions and publications where I might submit the work. This is the writer’s life – push hard for a deadline, then try to put the essay or story or poems out of mind for months.

In the process of editing, I shared what I hoped was a nearly final draft with writer friend Jessica Kluthe. We writers are always hoping that reader / editor feedback will be enthusiastic and without reservation. Most importantly – without revision.

In this case, I was initially dismayed to read that Jess liked the piece but had suggested edits: more work! After sleeping on it, I realized that the suggestions would strengthen the essay. So they are now done. Feels good to get a work polished further – it always does – but, man, the polishing itself can seem never-ending.

So, very shortly, the essay will be sent on its way. While it awaits publication somewhere, sometime, you can always enjoy the real thing – take a trip down to southern Alberta and Writing-On-Stone park: writing for the ages.

image courtesy Mfitton’s Flickr stream


  1. Lorne Daniel says:

    Update: my Writing-On-Stone essay was published in issue 4 (Feb 2013) of Earthlines magazines (UK) here: http://www.earthlines.org.uk/Content%20issue%204.html

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