June 1, 2008

Writing Tips from an Island Mom

As some of you may know, we recently ran a writing contest on the McGill-Queen’s University Press Facebook site, on the subject of writing and mothering. Our winner was mom/writer Annette Yourk, of Quadra Island, BC, who will receive a free copy of Double Lives. In a recent e-interview, Annette said:

I live on Quadra Island, between Vancouver Island and mainland B.C. Seventeen years ago we bought five acres of raw land here and began to build. We were pretty broke. The first manifestation of our home was a fourteen by twenty-four foot cabin with no indoor plumbing. My workspace was a three foot length of one by eight board laid across an open drawer of the bureau - a change table by day. It was just enough room for the keyboard of my borrowed computer. Since then we've built additions off each side of the cabin. We have plumbing! My workspace includes computer, table, filing cabinet, a bookshelf, cork board and an opening window. Still no room-of-my-own, though. Sigh.Mothering has certainly figured in my work, especially in the total-immersion periods. Relationships overall, with people and places, figure prominently in my work. My tip for mother-writers seeking a place to escape to is make it accessible. Being able to slip away at short notice will trump the most fabulous and inspiring location. I have this wild fantasy that I will retreat to Twillingate, Newfoundland and finish my novel, but I'm not holding my breath. My biggest wish for the world’s children is that the adults in the world stop saying "it's up to the youth to fix this mess," shake off global mono-culture and materialism, and start living in authentic relationship with each other and the earth.

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