Slow & Steady

A (LONG) Message From the Owner

Writers! Summer is here! This morning, I hopped on my bright pink and yellow bike to head to the store and scoop up a few items. The wind on my face was heavy with the scent of wet earth and sticky heat. I was sweating even with the air blowing around me! I arrived at the store, and realized I’d forgotten my mask. This has been the state of my mind these past days…laden with too many things, old and new worries, and the consequence of a too-full mind: forgetfulness! And so, I turned around, rode home, grabbed my mask and finished my tasks under the smile of the bright July sun.

Every day I tell myself: go slow and steady, Vanessa. Breathe. I make long lists and most days cross off less than half of the things to do. Writing this blog post has been on my list for weeks. I mean that, weeks. The truth is that in the year and a half that we’ve been in this pandemic, I’ve changed. My writing habits have changed. My family life has changed. I’ve embraced the shift in speed to something slower and more holistic. I’ve enjoyed (very much) driving less, a different kind of planning, and the curious feelings of life without a distant future. For how can one plan when our time has become blocked into chunks of ‘lockdown’ and ‘phase’ times?

Though the writing room has been closed, I have still been inside. Cleaning, cooing, calming the space. Moving the furniture around. Dreaming up a new business model. What’s that now, you ask? Well, yes. You see, before the pandemic, I was caught up. I was desperate to fit into a business practice that pushed me to do more, more, more. I felt a pressure to be like, to look like, to feel like the ‘other’ businesses around me…this push was coming from the loud voices in my head comparing me to…well, everything and everyone. I was flailing. I was panicked. I was exhausted. And then, a forced STOP.

After the fear subsided (though it still rears its fangy head), and I accepted this new, unknown-ending fate, I gave myself the time to reflect on what I’d done. Who I was as a business owner. Who I was as a writer. What did my head want? What did my heart want? Could there be a common connection? I was relieved that all the workshops and classes I’d spent days and days preparing were cancelled. Of course, I was sad about the collaborative losses, but I knew in my heart that those connections would stay strong (and they have!).

So I leaned into the quiet. To the slowed pace. I took out my old notes and journals and re-examined what I wanted Gertrude’s Writing Room to be. I used the space to write in. Just. Write. Just be in the space and look out the window, take a walk in the park, eat, listen to music, and write some more. And I opened up to the world of virtual communication (though I was very apprehensive), and I began to take on editing jobs, and to work with writers one-to-one in ways that were invigorating and passionate and motivating. These choices have resulted in a robust client roster that keeps me working hard, learning and paying the bills.

I remembered walking the streets of Paris and feeling the words of Gertrude Stein floating in the air like flour dust. How her home was open to writers, artists, musicians, friends – that it was a SPACE to be in. And my heart opened wide like the lettuce heads in our garden – Yes! Yes, this is what I want too. Writers and artists and musicians and friends in the space.

So I’m doing things differently now. I’m embracing the slow-pace, remembering to plan time to reflect and find joy. There will be less workshops, fewer classes, and a hope that writers will come into the space to write, read and find community. We are not stopping our creative pursuits or collaborative endeavours, oh no! We’re just, taking our time. Going with a flow that keeps the connection between my heart and my head in a healthy energetic exchange.

Our workshops will be longer. Our classes will be too. We’ll be leading writing retreats over weekends, and giving you the opportunity to use the space for writing retreats you create too. Our one-to-one sessions will continue virtually or in the space; whatever suits our schedules and comfort level. We will take our time. We will communicate a lot. We will figure things out in a safe, steady, joyful way. We are trying things on, and if they don’t fit, we’ll fold them up nicely, and choose another adventure to play in.

You’ve been so patient thus far – thank you! We hope to begin to see everyone again as the summer months move forward. For July and August we are trying on new hours to see how they fit you. In September, we’ll slowly slide into offering workshops and classes, and begin to plan winter retreats that will lift your creative spirits to new heights.

This is where I’m at. This is where we’re at. I hope that over the summer, we can find time to write and read and catch up in the writing room.

Oh! And I’ve hired a new staff member! Her beautiful face will smile at you below with details about her. There are new items for sale and an order of new t-shirts and logo swag is on its way.

We look forward to seeing you in the space soon. Ahem, and as for the state of my too-full mind, vacation begins tomorrow! I will bow into the bliss of relaxing, looking at home decor magazines, swimming, walking, and doing a three-day writing retreat in the writing room!


Gertrude’s Writing Room will be open for writers on Wednesdays and Thursdays in July beginning the week of July 12, 2021. We will be open from 10am until 3pm. Up to 8 (eight) writers are invited to gather in the space at our various writing oasis’. Choose a desk or a table, sit outside at the bistro or grab a quilt and a portable writing desk and head into the park to look for a perfect tree to sit under!

JULY 14, 21, 28
JULY 15, 22, 29

Take a look at our new writing desks and spaces, and our hourly rates by clicking HERE! *NOTE OUR SPECIAL JULY & AUGUST RATES = PAY WHAT YOU CAN!

August hours will be announced shortly, and will include some evenings and weekends too!

Introducing Sunlight Staffer Mariette!

We are thrilled to announce Mariette as Sunlight Staffer!

Mariette Jones, Licensed Unity Teacher, took early retirement (she likes to say rewirement) from the Windsor-Detroit Borderlink (Tunnel) on June 1, 2020. Since then, she has
been exploring what it means to facilitate, teach, encourage, empower and inspire from an online presence, mainly in the form of short videos on You Tube (LOVE SPEAKS!) and longer sessions on Zoom.
She is especially passionate about mental and emotional health, and she has taught classes, facilitated book studies and delivered speeches on these topics, as well as on spiritual principles at Unity Spiritual Centre of Windsor.
Rambo and Brown Sugar are her bedmates when hubby goes dutifully into work on the night shift. Her favourite loves, besides kitty cuddles and husband hugs, are poetry, chocolate ice cream and moonlit nights!

Mariette has been a part of the Gertrude’s family for some time now. She has a gorgeous smile that explodes out of her star-bright eyes! She is the creator and host of Love Speaks by Mariette, a weekly youtube show where she bursts love and wisdom. Her poetry is spiritually guided and taps into the deep heart of nature, love and her sweet sense of humour.

Mariette will be bringing her sunlight to help keep the writing room organized, cleaned, welcoming and compassionately open to all. Her enthusiasm and passion for learning and playing will infuse the space with a beautiful, refreshing energy!

Welcome and thank you, Mariette!

I can’t wait to see you!

Love, Vaness