My earliest memories are of the stories my grandfather told me on our walks in the mountains. He told me about his childhood growing up in Vancouver: days spent hunting pheasants with a slingshot in the forest along the Fraser River. Days spent with his dog Rufous and his pet screech owls: Morley, Fezzywig and Scrooge. There were other stories too: stories told at bedtime about best friends Danny the Mouse and Sam the Dinosaur fighting the creatures of the Terrible Forest.
I won my first writing competition when I was sixteen: Access Radio’s Alberta High School Storytellers. My story, “The Christmas Gift,” was produced as a radio play, I was interviewed on air, and I was paid $150. That early recognition gave me the confidence I needed to pursue my writing.
I’ve written for textbooks, periodicals, weeklies, online publications, and anthologies (see my Bibliography). In 2013 I completed my MA in Environmental Education and Communication through Royal Roads University, and now I teach in the Bachelor of Communication Studies program at MacEwan University in Edmonton. My book, Weaving a Malawi Sunrise: A Woman, A School, A People, was released by the University of Alberta Press in November 2015.
My most joyful writing development has been joining two small groups of writers who each meet once a month to critique each other’s stories. The groups have re-energized my storytelling. I’m looking forward to good things to come.
Read more about my writing projects here.
Weaving a Malawi Sunrise is available for purchase through the University of Alberta Press, Chapters/Indigo, and Amazon.com.
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Check out my latest blog posts…
5 Books to Read if You’re Writing a Memoir Pt. 3: Of This Earth
Of This Earth: A Mennonite Boyhood in the Boreal Forest by Rudy Wiebe The first time I read Rudy Wiebe’s Of This Earth, I knew I would come back to it when I was ready to write my own memoir, and I did. Listen here: Wiebe writes mostly on subjects related to Canadian history. He…
Tickle Tickle Little Tum: A Look at Robert Kroetsch’s Likely Story
In my post on One Native Life, I said that by the time we reach the end of Wagamese’s memoir, we realize the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I also said that Robert Kroetsch performs a similar trick in his memoir, A Likely Story (although he uses very different techniques). Listen…
Five Books to Read if You’re Writing a Memoir Pt. 2: One Native Life
Listen here: One Native Life by Richard Wagamese You’re more likely to know Wagamese for his fiction: Indian Horse was published in 2012 and made it to Canada Reads the following year. In 2017, it was released as a movie. But we’re here to talk about memoir, so let’s discuss One Native Life. Wagamese is…
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