Search

Gwen Tuinman

Novelist Speaker Advocate

Category

Feeling Nostalgic

Character Therapy

Poet William Stafford wrote, “So the world happens twice—once as we see it as is; second, it legends itself deep, the way it is.” So, the writer first experiences the event, then processes details, and retells the story, teasing out the subtleties to make a point. She holds up the magnifying glass. See, this is how we are! We’ve all been hurt this way.

To have lived an experience is not enough. Writers are led by an urge to re-examine, find meaning, dig deeper. We are forever looking forward, forecasting, reflecting, being present, watching for those fire flies of an idea.

Continue reading “Character Therapy”

Story Behind a Book Cover

When you’re ready to publish your novel, choosing an image for the cover is no small feat—especially when the story is literary and explores a variety of themes. I faced that challenge when preparing The Last Hoffman for publication. Here’s a peek at my journey to selecting an image.

The Last Hoffman is a tale of sacrifice, betrayal and desolation that begins in 1950’s and ends thirty years later in a floundering papermill town where an awkward widower and a young mother band together to overcome their tragic pasts. A lot of the conflict in the story centres around water, so at first I thought of a waterfall Continue reading “Story Behind a Book Cover”

Writing Memoir

I began work on a new memoir essay over the past winter. Cold dark mornings are conducive to introspection. I’d make my 6 am cup of hot water and lemon, then pad downstairs and start the fireplace. Cozied up on the sofa with an artist pad and an assortment of colourful pens, I’d stare into space and take a deep breath. What did I need unearth and grow from? Continue reading “Writing Memoir”

When True Feelings Slip Out

Most mornings I spend an hour and a half reading nonfiction texts and reflecting. Recently, I’ve been thinking about racist views shared on social media. Coincidentally, in preparation for shaping the imaginary world in my next novel, I’m reading “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life” by Erving Goffman. It’s an older publication, but I’m gleaning inspiration here none the less. Continue reading “When True Feelings Slip Out”

Starting to Write a New Novel

I’ve just finished writing a novel. The research phase began while I was still writing a previous novel.  I purchased books, scoured the internet, interviewed people, and to be sure the setting details were just right, I travelled to the geographic areas where the story takes place.

This novel was written over the course of two years during which the characters came alive.  Although couldn’t see them, I could feel their presence, Continue reading “Starting to Write a New Novel”

One Writer’s Room

Virginia Woolf said that a woman needs a room of her own if she’s to write fiction. I’m privileged to have such a room. It’s a snug space that accommodates a desk and chair, a book shelf, and a sofa table. There’s enough space along the centre of the room to roll out a yoga mat and meditate in front an antique stand made by my great grandfather. Through the window this morning, I see espaliered plum trees growing alongside a sprawling elderberry bush. Continue reading “One Writer’s Room”

More Than Enough

I’m an author and also the creator of a womxn’s-creative collective called The Wild Nellies. We perform and exhibit our work to awareness and funds for charities that support women fleeing domestic violence. The mission is dear to my heart, having experienced twelve years of domestic abuse in my own past.

My heart is touched when someone says my writing resonates with them. So when singer songwriter, The Rockin Krolik, shared that my memoir essay, We Are Enough: A Story of Vanquishing Self Doubt, inspired to him write new music and lyrics, I was deeply honoured. Please enjoy his song, More Than Enough.

At a Wild Nellies Celebration of Women event, The Rockin Krolik heard my reading of We Are Enough.

“At that event, she read (…) to the audience; her voice, her own words, her story and courage just drew everyone in and I was deeply moved by it. We Are Enough is raw and real. And, it brought me back to days of my life that were not so bright. Most importantly it had me thinking about my mom and her experience.”

THE ROCKIN KROLIK

Stories connect us with each other. Domestic abuse is a story as old as time, but can be difficult for victims and survivors to tell. Many thanks to The Rockin Krolik for so artfully carrying our story forward on behalf of those who have not yet reclaimed their voice.

The Rockin Krolik
FB IG

During this period of social distancing due to COVID-19 pandemic, it is more difficult for those at risk— to domestic abuse and violence— to safely access help. Below is the signal for help that can on a video call to safely show that help is needed. If you see the signal for help, please seek guidance from counsellors at the nearest women’s shelter.

Courtesy of The Denise House/Sedna Women’s Shelter & Support Services Inc.

Book Release–The Last Hoffman

I’m thrilled to share that my novel THE LAST HOFFMAN is published and available for purchase in e-book and print format. It’s been quite a journey, but I finally did it! There’s lots of  love poured into the writing of this literary fiction/family drama.

Here’s a little ditty that summarizes the story…

In a floundering 1980s papermill town, awkward widower Floyd Hoffman holds a secret that draws contempt from his teenage son.
Continue reading “Book Release–The Last Hoffman”

Seat of the (Author’s) Pants

I’m nearing a finish line. For the past three years, I’ve been researching and writing my current novel in progress—and it’s almost done. The work must be completed before the end of May which is not so far away now. Continue reading “Seat of the (Author’s) Pants”

A WordPress.com Website.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: