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Gwen Tuinman

Novelist and Advocate

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Feeling Nostalgic

Underlined, Circled and Quoted

In my book collection, there are so many pages with phrases underlined in pen and keywords contained inside pencilled rectangles or scallop-edged clouds. When ideas resonate, I draw hearts in the margin to later remind myself how intense the connection felt upon first reading. A single heart, two hearts, three hearts. Sometimes I colour them in to make my point.

In large part, my reading is tied to research and personal evolution. Next to certain paragraphs I’ll write notes to myself. This is huge! Or maybe I’ll jot an action to take in light of what I’ve read. A few years ago, I installed a cork board that spans most of one wall in my office. There hangs an envelope marked Quotes/Inspiration. Only the phrases that really hit home are recorded on index cards and stashed there.

Continue reading “Underlined, Circled and Quoted”

The Truest Sentence

There is nothing more daunting—yet beckoning—than a blank page. I wrote this line while journaling in the voice of my new protagonist. Funny how, without intending to, our characters become a writer’s confessor.

Each time I sit down to begin a new chapter or essay, gremlins begin whispering. You’ve lived only one life. How much can you have left to say? I wonder if I’ve milked every original thought in my head. The last piece is surely the best I’ve written. How will I rise to the occasion again? Then I remind myself, that I am a writer and creativity is a sustainable resource. The more I drink from the cup, the faster my creativity replenishes itself. This has proven true again and again. New ideas crystalize, words flow, and a new piece is completed. But the next time I start anew, I’ll look back on that work with fondness, then gaze worriedly at the blank page. What now?

Continue reading “The Truest Sentence”

For Erie Belle

I’ve been thinking of my grandmother lately. Each summer of my childhood, I escaped the forces of home to enjoy two carefree weeks in her presence. This poem is for her. I wrote it following a vivid dream that she’d come back to me. Erie Belle, always in my heart. Continue reading “For Erie Belle”

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