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Gwen Tuinman

Novelist

Dressing to Please Ourselves

I recently saw an Instagram post that asked, “When will the pandemic end? I just want to know if I should by pumps or more pajama pants.” We’re taught to dress for the occasion, but in past months we’ve been dressing for functionality and perhaps as an involuntary reflection of our mood.

Clothing, women, mood. Don’t we all have stories about this?

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I Knew I Was a Writer When …

About fifteen years ago in my pre-author life, I attended a creative writing workshop held at Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, Ontario. At the time, I was an educator who’d never put stories to paper. Even so, I recall my enthusiasm for the chance to learn how artwork could launch students’ writing ideas.

The instructor led myself and the other teachers through collaborative writing exercises for which a series of grand oil paintings served as inspiration. To close out the day, we watched a short film produced by our instructor as an introduction to a live theatre piece. We were to watch and then write whatever came to mind.

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Believing Each Other Into Being

I’ve begun knitting a new pair of socks in brilliant teal. Already I have a feeling they’re not for me, but for someone else. I can’t envision their face yet or connect my hunch to a voice. No one has requested socks from me. But still, I know. Knit, knit. Pearl, pearl. My earbuds are tucked in and I’m listening to the podcast On Being with Krista Tippett. She’s just quoted a line written by poet, historian, philosopher and author of Doubt, Jennifer Michael Hecht.

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