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Gwen Tuinman

Novelist

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Delving Deeper

A Call for Temperance: Canada 1800s-1900s

In the early 1900s era during which my novel in-progress is set, patriarchal power frustrated women’s need for social change, specifically prohibition and ending domestic violence. We’d yet to attain the right to vote and in Canada, women were disallowed from holding public office because we didn’t qualify as “persons” under the definition set forth in the Constitution. Research deepens my understanding of the characters whose stories I tell. I’m feeling their aggravation.

When women unite, mountains move. How true this was when women spearheaded the temperance movement, an international campaign during the 1800-1900s to end social issues stemming from widespread alcohol abuse. Too often, Canadian women and children were impacted by a host of ills associated with alcoholism: domestic violence, poverty, disease, family breakdown, immorality, unemployment and workplace accidents.  

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Healthy Soil: The Answer to Climate Change?

Following traumatic events in my life, I’ve sought therapy. I needed to find my inner voice, my true north. What I appreciated most about these sessions was the therapist’s restraint in telling me outright how to fix my situation. Instead, she guided me toward discovery of answers buried inside me the entire time. I couldn’t dig up those truths alone because they hid beneath layers of history, pain avoidance, and the distracting minutiae of daily life.

Oprah says when things go wrong, the universe whispers to us. If we don’t pay attention, it speaks louder and louder. We’re all hearing the volume turn up on the climate change issue. The earth is suffering the effect of trauma. When humans mistreat the environment, consequences of climate change fall squarely on other humans. We’ll find answers to heal what we’ve broken. Have faith.

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Unwed Mothers and Maternity Home History

A character in my novel, The Last Hoffman, is in trouble.  She is pregnant, young and unmarried. Should she raise the baby? Should she give it up to a childless couple?

(Please enjoy this Wellspring Podcast of Unwed Mothers and Maternity Home History)

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