Writer, Teacher, Editor
I was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, a few years after WWII ended. My father, a doctor during the war, suffered PTSD, which caused me to write about war and its effects on ordinary people.
As a child I loved books. My favourite, The Boxcar Children, by Gertrude Chandler Warner, was read to my grade two class every day after lunch. The story so engrossed me I decided to become a writer.
My introduction to gardening came one Toronto summer when, to avoid the heat, I escaped to my mother's garden. She had me deadhead her flowers. By the following spring, I was planting annuals. Since then, gardening has become one of my favourite pastimes.
When my birthdate and a school acceleration made me two-years younger than my classmates, I escaped by reading rather than joining their often age-inappropriate activities. This reading lead me to study English at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and to Toronto Teachers' College. During my undergraduate years, I became involved in the peace movement in response to the War in Viet Nam.
In the spirit of the peace and back-to-the-land movements, I moved to 160 acres of land in northern Ontario, built a house, grew and preserved vegetables, and planted perennial flowers. I had turned to what I thought was life, Walden-style. There my desire to write and publish became real.
After ten years of living in the bush, I wanted a more urban lifestyle, so I settled in North Bay, Ontario. Since then, I have attended writing workshops with David Helwig, Leon Rooke, Bonnie Burnard, Richard Ford, and Marina Endicott as well as Bronwyn Wallace, Timothy Findley, and Carol Shields before their deaths. I took an MFA in creative writing. I am seeking a publisher for my novel manuscript, "News from the Front", and nearing completion of a collection of short stories with the working title, "Blue Willow Stories." My next project is a young adult novel set in northern Ontario.