Yes, I’m a Writer, at last
If pressed, I’d say a writer is what primarily defines me to myself although not everyone I know would see it that way – except my posse of fellow writers who keeps me company while I plunge my fingers into the sticky dough of a first draft.
What kind of books do you write?
I write poetry and fiction with poetry being the primary genre. Poetry wasn’t my first choice. Writing an epic novel on the scale of Gone With the Wind or War and Peace held greater appeal. At fifteen years, I wrote a tale of two slaves struggling to build the great pyramids in Pharaoh’s Egypt. I showed a chapter or two to my parents at the dinner table. That was as far as that tale travelled along the publishing trail.
At university I didn’t know how to go about becoming a novelist. Hard to believe, but in the 1970s writing courses were rare and MFA degrees in creative writing hadn’t begun to surface. Instead, I studied for my Masters in Library Science. The profession paid well, let me work with books, and, hopefully, I’d catch the writing gene through osmosis, as I breathed in the seductive smell of books in the stacks.
Then in my thirties I got into yoga and meditation and had what you’d call a spiritual breakthrough and out poured the poetry, unbidden but the source of such delight I couldn’t let go. Some people get religion; I got poetry.
What have you published?
For many years I wrote technical manuals, newsletters and training guides for librarians coping with the wave of computer automation that swept the profession in the late 1970s and 1980s. Technical and business writing was fun and it paid the bills. I was “published” by The Financial Post, Geac Computers, the Council of Ontario Universities and Southam Business Communications.
In between the technical writing I continued to absorb the writing craft, especially poetry. I attended workshops at York University, the University of Toronto, University of London (UK) and attended the Arvon Foundation workshops held in Devon, England. A reputable literary journal in England picked up two of my poems for publication for which I received the Canadian equivalent of about $3.00 a poem. Finally, I was a published poet.
In 2010 I published my first collection of poems entitled Inland Waterways: Poems from a Peaceable Kingdom through the independent publisher In Our Words, Inc. [Insert link to IOW web site]
Since 2010 I’ve focused on writing a mystery novel The Mythology of Anna Stone [Link to page about novel]. I completed the novel in August, 2017 and am currently seeking a publisher or agent to represent me.
My next work-in-progress will be written in the prose poetry genre.
Where were you born?
I was born in Toronto a fifth, sixth or seventh generation Canadian, somewhere back in the time of the Empire Loyalist migration from the U.S.A. For those who want to know where I really come from, my heritage is English, Irish with a dash of Dutch. Although I’ve resided in Winnipeg, Halifax, Montreal, Australia and England I consider Toronto my home base and Canada as the peaceable kingdom where I had the supreme good fortune to be born.