A lot of people have been posting maps of where they’ve been in the world, via the map generators at World 66. Hey, I like going places, and I like maps, so I might as well do it too.
Here’s where I’ve been in Europe:
(Obligatory link: create your personalized map of europe)
As you can see, there are a few glaring exceptions. I’d like to visit Spain and Ireland sometime soon, as well as the countries along the eastern Adriatic coast. Plus I’ve had a very long fascination with Scandinavia (in Particular, Norway and Sweden), and I’d love to visit St. Petersburg, Russia.
Here’s where I’ve been in the United States:
(Obligatory link: create your own personalized map of the USA)
I’m less concerned about the gaps in this one, although there are a number of places I’d love to re-visit (California, New York), and I’d love to see some of the landscape in the south-west, such as the Painted Desert and the Grand Canyon.
Here’s where I’ve been in Canada:
(Obligatory link: create your own personalized map of Canada)
One honking big gap there. Sorry about that, Saskatchewan. Nothing personal.
I haven’t been boycotting Saskatchewan, I’ve just never had any reason to go there. And lest you snobby urbanites think there’s nothing to see in Canada’s breadbasket, guess again. “The land of living skies” has a lot more to it than just fields of wheat, at least according to Tourism Saskatchewan. And incidentally, I’d love to stand in one of those wheat fields where everything is flat and seamless all the way to the horizon.
There are plenty of smaller things to look at too, such as Wallace Stegner House, in Eastend Sask. Stegner was one of Martine’s favorite writers, so why wouldn’t I like to look at his house? Well, his parent’s house actually, as Stegner only lived there for a few years when he was a kid. But hey, as writers, Martine and I qualify to rent the house at the special artist’s rate of only $250 a month. That’s only $125 each!
Then there’s Saskatoon. Who wouldn’t love to visit a place called Saskatoon? I once heard that Saskatoon has more bookstores per capita than any other city in Canada. Perhaps that’s what prompted Yann Martel to pull up stakes from Montreal and spent a year in “Toon town” as a writer in residence. Apparently he liked it so much he decided to stay. Just think – I could stop in for a visit and tell him that I did indeed reach the rost of maxus.
But I can’t honestly say that Saskatchewan will be my highest priority when it comes time for my next vacation. Rather, my hope is that someday, something will come up that gives me a specific reason to go there, such as a trade show or a conference of some kind. Maybe a writer’s workshop. Once there, I’ll do what I always do on such excursions and take some extra time to look around and learn about the place. After all, that’s the only reason I know my way around such luminous cities as Cincinnati, Minneapolis, and Orlando.
So how about it, Saskatchewan? How about a grant to go to one of those workshops? Does the Saskatoon Public Library need another writer in residence? Any Prairie folk need lessons in how to make a nice Spanish paella under that endless blue sky? I’m your man. You can find me here at the Blork Blog any time you want.