How it all started…

When I was little, my dad read poems to me that he had written; some of them were quite profound to a little girl. That was what began the expansion in my mind and my curiosity about words. He treated me to a thick scribbler and a box of pencils so I could write down my ‘funny thoughts’, as he dubbed them. This is how it all began for me, when I was just eight years old. I wrote poetry. Beautiful sing-song verse.  

I spent hours at the library in New Westminster, completely absorbed in books. I experienced writing episodes where I was doing my best to keep up with the thoughts that were exploding in my head so I could quickly write them down. Poems literally dropped down from my mind to the paper with little or no effort. I didn’t have to do another thing to them as they were fine just as they were. I couldn’t explain it and I couldn’t claim it either. For many years, I just kept my scribblers and odd pieces of paper in a file and the contents never saw the light of day. Unfortunately, they were all destroyed in the great flood of 1996 when the water tank sprang a leak. No worries. By that time, they were all word processed into books.  

In my twenties, I wrote several songs, but raising my children and a really satisfying singing career was how I used my creative energy. I was happy and felt grateful to learn more about photography, how to hand-build pottery from clay, working with liquid embroidery, and how to create acrylic paintings.  

In my thirties, I began to draw together all my scraps and little booklets then put them in some order. I felt timid, but I did begin to read some of it to my friends. Encouraged by their responses, I entered many contests and amassed many rejection letters. J I sat on this for a while and contemplated if I really wanted to pursue this writing craze. There was never a time that I totally stopped but I could never really get started either.  

My late thirties, forties, and fifties saw an avalanche of words, which never ceased to fall out of my pen. I amassed several books – for kids, recipes, humour, short stories, and lots and lots of poetry. I’d begun a greeting card business and wrote all of it myself. I joined a writers’ group called Women and Words. We offered readings in our communities and sold our books. There was always lots to write about so I did.    

At 49, after my Mother passed, I decided to write a book called ‘The Life of Vi’, but felt I didn’t know enough about her. So, I wrote my memoir on sticky-notes while working at an office fulltime. I’d write the note to get it out of my head, so I could work, stick it in my purse, then word process them after supper. The book is called “Fragments of a Shattered Soul Made Whole” and ended up being over 252 pages long. That’s a lot of sticky-notes. Through writing this book, my mother’s story was told incidentally from age 17 to 67. Most of what I (specifically) knew about her is in there. Our stories are so intertwined.  

I’ve taken many writing courses, (most recently, How to write a great novel and How to write a great script), studying Writing & Publishing at SFU, and enjoying various workshops all over the lower mainland of BC and online.    

I began my writing journeys pencil to paper, used a typewriter in high school, then on to cigarette packages, scraps of this and that, sticky notes, and finally word processing, which I can easily and elegantly do on my laptop.    

When I turned 62 (Jul 2013), I joined the Port Moody Writers’ Group and was with them for five and a half years.  I became a member of the Federation of BC Writers again.  

I’ve created a women’s writing group called “Coquitlam Word Wranglers – rounding up the syllables” and we were meeting every other Tuesday afternoon in Coquitlam. That ended when my participants moved to other areas.

With the virus going full swing right now (Feb 2021), I now meet with Writers Apart on Zoom for a weekly visit. In between, we critique each other’s work and send our notes on email. Another group I’m a member of meets every month. One month we enjoy a social and reading and the next time, we have a speaker or a workshop. All of this happens on Zoom.

I can’t ever see myself not writing. I think my head might explode. It is a cathartic, contemplative, meditative, exhilarating, wonderful experience. I don’t know where I’d be without it.

Love Lyn

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Member of the Federation of BC Writers

Tri-City Wordsmiths

Writers Apart

Member of Crime Writers of Canada

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