Looking back, I truly couldn’t have asked for a better place to finish off the first draft of the book Carol’s Lives.
It was in late May, 2018, invited by Lorraine and Daniel, I went to a small riverside community called Saint-Paul-de-L’île-aux-Noix in Quebec for two weeks, a perfect place and length of time to finish the book that had taken me too long to finish.
On the shore of the Richelieu River, 45 minutes away from Montreal, I got up every morning, settled in the screened gazebo, and opened my laptop. It felt like a boathouse, with an enchanted canal and the Richelieu River all around me. Here I was 10 kilometers away from U.S border and 500 kilometers away from New York, writing about that hectic and sentimental life in Manhattan, in a peaceful and quiet setting. It felt surreal. A lifetime had come to an end. Here I was again.
For two weeks I did nothing else but write. My body and mind felt quite relaxed sitting and writing by the riverside everyday, yet my heart could ache with the darkness and hardship in the life of Carol and Rick. Like the wide river itself, peaceful and calm in the morning and evening, often full of waves following the whims of the wind in the afternoon, yet never giving any indication of the direction it flowed.
The act of writing was very smooth and inspirational. Words flew onto my computer screen as I watched the ever-changing sunlight drifting over the water and the procession of boats going in and out of the canal and down the river.
Across the river I could see Fort Lennox on the island called Ile-aux-Noix, a fortification still standing on a structure that was completed in 1829. History must have witnessed battles here. But right now, it has all come back into this single moment of peace where my finger hit the last key on the first draft of my book.