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Gwen Tuinman

Novelist

Failure and Failing

Failure hurts. We spend untold amounts of energy doing our best to avoid it. The process of failing is doubly painful for those of us raised by women whose worth was measured by their efficacy as housewife and mother. Their children’s accomplishments ticked boxes on their performance appraisal. Our failings were their failings. Perfectionism was the fix. Continue reading “Failure and Failing”

Belonging to the Journey

“When you plan a journey, it belongs to you. When you begin a journey, you belong to it.” After reading this African proverb in a friend’s Facebook post, I drew a quick breath and my heart opened up. Words that resonate carry such power.

So often, we engineer plans to orchestrate a project or life event according to our vision how things should go. Sometimes the universe has bigger ideas. Our creation expands beyond what we imagined, and unexpectedly carries us forward on its own energy. We cling, wide-eyed and uncertain, to its sweeping tail. The horizon is obscured by fog and around every corner is a new corner we can’t see around. Continue reading “Belonging to the Journey”

Pioneer Women and the Importance of Their Work

I often contemplate the lives of women who lived in the past. Since girlhood, I’ve always been drawn to stories of yesteryear and so it seems fitting that in the novel I’m currently writing, I inhabit the lives of fictional women characters from the 1800s. To accurately reflect their daily existence through story telling, I comb through historical texts to develop an understanding of women’s lot in life—joys and sorrows, the restrictions they navigated, and in the absence of today’s technology, the never-ending day-to-day work of caring for a home and family. Continue reading “Pioneer Women and the Importance of Their Work”

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