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Gwen Tuinman

NOVELIST

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Contemplation

On Confidence and Little Victories

“If you don’t understand how valuable you are, you will always accept what is given to you.” These are the words of Celina Caesar-Chavannes from her book “Can You Hear Me Now?”. The sky opened up when first I read them. Her next thought aims straight at us. “We (meaning women in particular) are often humble people who find quantifying our skills and experience—our worth–daunting.”

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Hats: A Love Story

I used to dislike wearing hats. They didn’t suit me. Millinery shops would draw me to try on hats. I’d pick a style shown in magazines, the type of hat that should be worn by women I admired—the sort who laughed with abandon, ate life like it was a juicy apple, and never second guessed themselves. When I looked at my reflection in the mirror, the hat occupied the entire frame. I disappeared.  

The first hat I ever wore was a baby bonnet secured with an under-the-chin bow. In spite of burgeoning liberation of the 1960s, mothers didn’t wheel hatless babies around town. What would people say?

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A Boy, a Toy Chainsaw, and a Buddhist

There’s a route I walk through my neighbourhood when I’m trying to think and sometimes when I’m trying not to think. More often than not, I circle the loop solo (if you don’t count the characters of my novel riding on my shoulders). When other humans cross my path, I nod and give the smile that says, “Way to go, you’re out in the world.” We’re mostly introverted, hence the early hour of our stroll. But once in a while, the sidewalk presents a bubbling extrovert. What can you do but take notice?

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