Thursday, 28 July 2011

So What Next…

       After what I had experienced as a teen while reading science fiction and fantasy and what I had witnessed with my female science students as a teacher I thought it was time I did something to make a change. I decided to sit down and write.
         The ideas were in there, albeit jumbled up at the time. It took painstaking hours and many late nights at the computer, since I thought I would forget what I had in mind to write, I had to ‘get it out’ somehow. It was out of these incredibly therapeutic writing sessions that my ideas blossomed into what would become the Strange Days series or what I affectionately call the Lizzy Books. A part fantasy, part science fiction series of novels with a strong female lead character, and other strong female minor roles that would make Lizzy’s world surprisingly well rounded and feminine but strong.
         I remember sitting at my computer one night thinking that ‘this is all just a strange dream and these ideas will never go anywhere’, but my homunculus, that little voice inside me told me to keep going, to push onward, that what I was doing would make a difference, if not now then someday when the time was right.
         I close with this thought. I have learned over the years to trust that ‘inner voice’, it has helped me on so many occasions and is the reason why I am sitting here typing my thoughts down at 3am in the morning when I thought for the umpteenth time that I would quit the writing, yes stop and put it aside. To you Bear, and any other aspiring writers out there, trust your inner voice, don’t give up, and don’t forget to read. Hey, who knows you might decide to pick up one of my books sometime.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

A Writer Needs to be Passionate About Her Craft!

         I feel that I should start my story with my first full time teaching assignment at a local adult high school. During that time I was surprised how many young women felt they couldn’t do science, as if there were some genetic factor that made them lesser scientists and the young men better ones. This was a problem I had to explore further.
         Earlier on I thought it was due to lack of female role models (there were and unfortunately still far fewer female science teachers than there are male science teachers, I hope the number changes). But as I explored the issue further I found that not only were there fewer female teachers (I remember going to a science teacher’s conference and being the only woman in the room with 10 other men and that happened repeatedly at professional development sessions), but also there were next to no female scientists mentioned in textbooks, or the curriculum. Like my science fiction experiences as a teen, these female students couldn’t find themselves within the text.
         I made one very important connection over the years as an adult high school teacher – role models and images of self in context mattered. I embedded positive female images within my curriculum and I also brought the great “what if” and “why” questions of science fiction into the classroom. The impetus for my life’s work was born in those moments!

Friday, 22 July 2011

I Couldn’t See the Forest for the Trees

My love for fantasy and science fiction took me to so many places in my imagination. These were the rich and colourful places of a child and teen. I had such a vivid imagination, as my mother would often remind me, given that learning disability I told you about earlier. Some things that appear to be a difficulty can be turned into an opportunity, I like to say that it’s all a matter of perspective. My vivid imagination turned out to be a blessing for me. 

I would read so many stories in my favourite genres and not be able to find myself as a young woman in those stories. Sure, there were minor female characters in there somewhere, but in the science fiction and fantasy classics of Heinlein, Asimov, Tolkien and others, strong female leads were hard to find. Since I hadn’t discovered Ursula K. LeGuin’s writing by that point I was perplexed and disappointed that I couldn’t place myself as a strong young woman within in the text in any significant way. Little did I know it then but the leopardess within was crouching with keen awareness, ready to take a grasshopper sized leap when she was ready… but that wouldn’t be for another twenty years.

PS. I have to laugh here. When I put this text through a spell checker I got the correct spelling for Mr. Heinlein’s and Mr. Tolkien’s name and even though I had spelled Ms. LeGuin’s name correctly the name wasn’t acknowledged in the spellchecker, go figure.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Where to begin?

Part of me wants to start writing about the stories I wrote as a child and how they ultimately ended up as secrets in the garbage can. If you want to read more of these details and others I will have them on my website

But my real love for writing came out of my passion for reading. As a teen I had a learning disability that few people knew about. I would read and reread passages because my eyes and brain wanted to skip halfway down the page. It was a task that left me feeling less than adequate when I would find others in class, my family or my friends reading the same passages and be well ahead of me in much shorter periods of time.

I soon discovered short stories and better yet science fiction short stories! I loved science and nature as a kid. I was delighted to read about far off realms in fantastical lands, the stuff of which fantasy and science fiction are made. I knew I had found my reading home and was spellbound to the point that my eyes stayed right where they were supposed to be!

Friday, 15 July 2011

My First Entry

Well I finally did it! I've gone ahead and started my own blog. It was a bit daunting at first reading the fine print here and making sure I wanted to thrive there... or anywhere for that matter.

I want to write about my writer's journey, my travels through my daydreams, fantasies and realities as a new writer starting on her path. I hope you have some time to join me in these experiences...............

...but it would seem I have some catching up to do. I've been writing for myself for some time now and am at the stage where I need to set my babies free so that they can go out into the universe. Only then will I be provided with those exciting moments when I can experience what wonders they send back to me.

My next few posts will be filling in my own back story, with some pictures and other fun stuff. So, hope you hang on for an interesting and fun ride!