Introductions
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This thread is for us to get to know each other. Feel free to post anything other members may find interesting about you and your writing career. Welcome to the group!
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  • Very happy to have found this site. And this group! Since my stint in Grade Three, I've told anyone who would listen that my future was in journalism. I had big dreams of covering the human stories in war-torn regions (loved the idea of laying in a ditch and whispering into a camera while wearing a bulletproof vest and armoured helmet). Those dreams morphed into a "calling" as an editor. After ten years at a newspaper, I decided to make a creative switch to graphic design, then moved into communications roles at several non-profit organizations. At this point, I'm hoping to create a cozy little corner in the writing and editing world that I can affectionately call my own. This means all those excuses I've used in the past - "life is just too crazy right now" or "I'm too stressed about work" or "let's walk down to the dairy and get an ice cream cone" - are history. Stoney Creek in Southern Ontario is the place I call home (45 minutes south of Toronto and 45 minutes north of Niagara Falls). For more than 13 years, I have been happily cohabiting with my significant other, Roy. I read across all genres of fiction, including s/f, fantasy, chicklit, suspense, mainstream and classic. Looking forward to Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood. Nothing thrills me more than a dark tale about humanity's eventual demise.
  • This has to be a quick hello to all, as I'm about to head out the door and into Essex County, here in Southwestern Ontario. Along with my notebook and camera, my husband David and daughter Erin will be with me. It's a wonderful Fall day with streaky grey skies, drizzle and golden leaves everywhere....if I'm lucky there'll be a crowd of crows hovering around the Hitchcock Motors Billboard and I'll finally have my camera with me when I need it! toodle-loo for now /sal
  • My very late response… the weather is sunny, sunny, sunny… and has been for the past few days… which makes for a stunning fall day! I'm working on an article for iQuest on Women's Health… specifically their new program which involves bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Fun, wow! Not really! dianejwright said:
    We're writers of all forms and genres here. What's everyone working on at the moment (and what's the weather like outside your window? Inspiring?)
    /djw
  • Hello fellow Canadians, I'm writing from Kelowna, British Columbia, about 4 hours east of Vancouver in the beautiful Okanagan Valley which is renown for fruit growing and wine production. I live here with my husband of 22 years and our 3 children, plus one large and loving dog. Life is good… we moved here over 16 years ago from Toronto and a decidedly urban lifestyle, but have found a lovely way of living here. Now we visit Vancouver or Victoria when we need an urban fix. We're rooted down now. I began writing about 5 years ago, although I've been a prolific reader my entire life. Some say I love books more than people!!! Poetry has become my favourite style of expressing my voice, and I maintain an (almost daily) poetry blog as well as another blog about life in menopause and other forks in the road. Writing has become a lifestyle for me… although I must say there are never enough hours in the day to fulfill that entirely. Being wife, mother and domestic goddess takes time! But, the writing in it's various forms and purposes is something that I try to work in each day, and it keeps me balanced, mentally healthy and spiritually whole. Sounds a bit strange maybe, but I do find that expressing the deep keeps me afloat! Six months ago I launched a writer's network that has become a good thing in many respects… bringing some amazing women into my life. I do struggle with that though, when a certain level of complacency occurs within the membership, and one wonders if it's worth the time and effort??? I'm not sure of the answer, but I keep on going until I know I should stop. I write freelance sporadically for newspaper and magazine and web, and was a contributing writer in one collection of stories with an Australian author. It was also my pleasure and honour, to compile and edit a book in honour of a dear family friend who just passed away in May. 'Buddy Breathing', self-published, was a celebration of his life before and during his struggle with ALS. I have permission to repurpose this book as an ALS fundraiser in the future, should I feel drawn to do this. It will be great getting to know you all. Warmly, Lesley-Anne Evans
  • Hello. I’m writing from Vancouver. As for the weather: cloudy, but I anticipate a perfect mix of sun and clouds. I’ve just written my first novel, a genre-spanning mystery, with a dose of romance and the paranormal. It’s set in Vancouver and a fictitious town north of Whistler. I’m currently seeking an agent. While I work on the sequel, I moonlight as a lawyer. Writing fiction is what I’ve dreamed about doing for as long as I can remember. The stories I dream up are usually too complex to fit into a short story (or maybe it’s that I’m too undisciplined and long-winded). So, the novel is my favoured form of literary expression. In the past seventeen years, I’ve started three novels, but had failed to complete one until recently. The project that I finished was started 3 years ago, but I didn’t do much on it until this past February, when something I can’t quite identify removed my writer’s block and gave me inspiration. After not working on the novel for a year or more, I picked up the story and I couldn’t stop writing. I’d come home after a long day at the office, excited to sit back at my computer and write. I’d dream about my characters at night. I’d think of them as I walked to work and in every spare moment I had during the day. I’d keep a note book beside me to jot down scene ideas and fragments of conversations. I almost completely gave up TV, and became more of a hermit that I already was. But I was really enjoying myself. At the end of June, I quit my well paying job at a big law firm in favour of doing part-time legal contract work, and creating more time in my life to do the things that fire my soul. Now, I get to focus my paid work on the aspect that I enjoy the most: legal writing. In the past I’ve won three national (law-related) essay contests and have published articles in constitutional, family and criminal law. I suspect/hope that in the months and years to come that I will be able to support my fiction “writing habit” with my legal writing. Of course, I will always dream of writing that bestseller... I grew up in both BC and Alberta. After high school, I moved to Ottawa, where I did a degree in Biology and then worked for government. I came to Vancouver to do a master’s degree in Environmental Studies, and then worked as a consultant for a few years before going to law school. Along the way, I’ve held many diverse jobs: caregiver for disabled children, soldier, dance instructor, laboratory assistant, report writer, house painter, cashier, research assistant, actor, law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada, and janitor ... to name a few. Lots of fodder for future characters! Enough about me. It’s good to meet you all.
  • Hello fellow Canada-dwellers! I'm working on a creative nonfiction book rooted in my PhD dissertation and my own childhood experiences, about how children develop political ideology and the concept of 'ideological environment,' which I coined to describe the range of viewpoints and perspectives one has in one's environment. Most adults keep a pretty narrow ideological environment (i.e., ideas that accord with their own beliefs), and in my book I explore how parents make choices about their children's ideological environment, as well as how that ideological environment might impact children's own development. I'm pretty stuck right now and haven't worked on that book for a few months, so to break out of my rut I'm thinking of writing a novel inspired by my crazy family in the period 1985-1991 (age 11-17), and specifically a girl's relationship with her eccentric father. I've never written fiction in any significant way, so it's a pretty big stretch for me, but I'm thinking of doing NaNoWriMo, so right now I'm brainstorming as many memories as I can from that period to help get me started in coming up with a structure that would work for the novel. My greatest challenge is writing every day. I can be such a slug! I've lived in Vancouver since 2005. Before that I lived in the US, Japan, Spain, England, Switzerland, and Israel, but I am Canadian, even if everyone thinks I'm American :D Good to meet you all! Peace, Yael
  • Eileen Whitfield said:

    I can't believe you write novels, Jha. Who do you admire in fantasy and science fiction?

    Apologies for any errors. I'm on migraine meds! (thus no pain, but lots of blur.)
    I'm more surprised when I meet people who don't write novels, to be honest! But yeah, I write novels. I've done NaNoWriMo 6 times without a single loss, and hoping for a 7th win this year, even with the 9-5! My favourite sf/f writers are Asimov, Ursula Le Guin and David & Leigh Eddings. I used to like Tolkien but the Eddingses are much more diverse in their fantasies. I'm looking to get into reading some Octavia Butler at some point.
  • Sorry ... I seem to have submitted a blank comment! The weather outside my window is serene, and a cloudless evening is falling. Still, the "muse" has been elusive. But I've had to learn that ANY writing, no matter how disjointed, can yield one good phrase, one interesting angle. So I spent the afternoon developing a section for my bio of Buster Keaton (which has a fast approaching deadline), jotting down adjectives and thoughts that are parts of the mosaic, believing that in the end, nothing goes to waste. I'm also starting an essay on the acting of Mary Pickford for the Library of Congress, who are publishing a volume of essays about her. I truly adore writing about this, as it relates to my past career as a performer, so the writing draws on my own memories of acting was well as my views on MP. I haven't read everyone's links and blogs yet ... will tomorrow! A song from 1916 has been in my head all day. When I dream about writing a fictional screenplay about that period (and one which can introduce Mary Pickford as a character) I always hear this song. The film I dream is about the start of modern celebrity, which I believe began with the advent of movie fame (MP was the world's first movie star). I've read many screenplays, but I don't have an instinctive feel for their structure, even though I seem to have an instinct for building biography But in biography I don't create the story ... instead I try to make a real story feel new and irresistable. When I try fiction, I can imagine the start and the finish but it's the middle that wanders terribly. The playwright Moss Hart used to call the second act (in his day, plays had three) "the soft underbelly of playwriting," and at least for me the middle is the danger point in any kind of narrative.-- Diana and Bianca, are there some books about classic screenplay structure that you recommend? Or do you think that rather than reading books to advise me, it is better to simply keep imagining and exploring through various drafts? I have never had a creative writing class (I envy you that, Jha) but I'm afraid I can't afford one and don't have the time. Anyway, are there basic texts about building screenplays I should read? I can't believe you write novels, Jha. Who do you admire in fantasy and science fiction? Apologies for any errors. I'm on migraine meds! (thus no pain, but lots of blur.)
  • dianejwright said:
    We're writers of all forms and genres here. What's everyone working on at the moment (and what's the weather like outside your window? Inspiring?)
    /djw