A wee solstice manifesto

I woke up this summer solstice morning overlooking Strawberry Creek, 80 km south of Edmonton, to begin a 4 day writing retreat offered by the Writer’s Guild of Alberta.  While I have a wonderful building to work in, I have chosen to sleep in my tent, rather than the building.   Very unusually for me, I was up with the sun today.  My morning practice of awakening my body is complete and I am ready for a day of writing.

I arrived last night, and it has occurred to me that one of the things I am writing is a manifesto for the city – a manifesto that articulates how we can organize ourselves for an unknown future by creating a habitat, cities, that serve us well.  It is not lost on me that I have left the city to write about the city, but this is not anomalous.  The city is always in relation with its region, and perhaps being on the edge of the city has a perspective worth taking in.  I suspect it has.

I wonder what I will see as I work beside Strawberry Creek?  What is my wee solstice manifesto for the next few days?

The purpose of my writing is to explore our relationship with cities and how we influence one another.  We create cities and they in return create us.  In this process, I recognize that as I write I will find people who are on the same exploration.  I write for folks on the same learning journey.

As I write, I will give everything away.  Writing here, publicly, I commit to hold nothing back.  I will share what I find, whether that be in the form of questions, new information and ideas, sketches, poems, links, guest bloggers, videos, and the like.  I will collect, synthesize and share.

I wish to bring people together to talk about cities and what we are building for ourselves.  I am formulating more precisely what I mean by this as I write.  Over the course of this retreat, I will:

  1. Finalize my latest book proposal for publication.  I will send this proposal to New Society Publishers by Monday, June 25, 2012.
  2. Prepare material in advance so I can continue Nest City posts every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday throughout the summer.
  3. Determine the “products” I can offer my readers for free.  As I wrap up part 1 (Chapters 1-3) shortly, there may be a synopsis piece I can create for readers.
  4. Figure out how to refresh this website to accurately reflect the work I am doing now.
I have a post complete and the bell has just rung for breakfast.  This is a day unlike any other.




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