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I am a product of the turbulent 1960s, a transitional generation to say the least [for those of you doing mental math right now, that means I'm only 25 in spirit]. I'm part of the population raised by Depression survivors and Baby Boomers, but shaped by Social Activists, Hippies and Disco. Growing up, I always felt caught between tradition and self-expression, between doing what was expected of me versus following the truths dictated by my conscience and common sense. That battle of head vs. heart rages on to this day. I'd like to think I'm winning - most of the time. My quirky sense of humour and a staunch refusal to abandon my "inner child" or to close my mind to new ideas remain my strongest weapons.
I watched a lot of TV as a kid. Some might say too much. I also sat way too close to the TV set. Perhaps too close. I wanted to escape to other worlds and lose myself in other people's dramas, whether they were black & white or in living colour. At times, I would be so tuned in to a show, that I'd completely filter out the actual world around me. People could stand next to me and yell directly in my ear, and I wouldn't hear them until the end credits rolled or someone pulled the TV's plug.
As I got older and had more experiences to draw upon, I found myself creating roles and tailoring conflicts in these favoured fictitious worlds. Eventually, I began forging worlds, characters, and conflicts of my very own. My imagination provided me the ultimate escape...and the journey didn't cost a cent! Believe it when you hear: "the best things in life are free." Some clichés are undeniably true.
As a teen, I was bitten by the travel bug after an exchange trip to France, a holiday in Hawaii, and a road trip to Saskatchewan. Once I completed my undergraduate degree, I traveled more and gained a much better global perspective from the local people and fellow travelers whom I met in New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Spain and Peru. Of course, most of this enlightenment predates the Internet. What I went out into the world to find as a twenty-something is now no further away than the nearest keyboard and Wi-Fi signal. Thanks to Google, the world is literally at my fingertips!
Career-wise, I worked in the financial sector until I realized that I was a zombie in a mind-numbing, dead-end job. Unfortunately, imagination alone doesn't pay many bills, and working to pay bills doesn't leave much to the imagination. So I went back to UBC to get my B. Ed. and migrated to teaching, a career in which I could be creative and interactive.
As for my attempts to break into "the writing world" over the years, the scripts and manuscripts that I submitted never got passed the editors or agents who praised my writing ability, but didn't see profit in my work. Of course, I rationalized the rejections: things happen when they do [or don't] for a reason. The trick is sorting out the reason. If I were meant to be a published writer, it would happen when it was meant to happen.
Now that digital publishing is challenging its traditional counterpart, I'm ready to take another run at self-expression. With any luck, I won't be accused of chasing windmills.