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Gwen Tuinman

NOVELIST

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novel

Writing and Waiting

Writing involves a lot of waiting. If you’re a fiction writer, you know exactly what I mean. First we wait for the spark of an idea, that miraculous vibration felt in our core when a song or an image or a turn of phrase tells us this is the one. This is the kernel of truth upon which we can build more truths and a fully inhabited world. Yes, this could be a novel. We snatch up the nearest pen and paper to jot ideas before they dissipate. To miss recording them would mean more waiting.

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On Writing a Picture of the Whole World

Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “I am trying to make, before I get through, a picture of the whole world—or as much of it as I have seen. Boiling it down always, rather than spreading it thin.”  As a writer, his sentiment about rich story content is at the forefront of my mind. I strive to bring something of value to the page hoping to engage readers, if only to evoke their own introspection on the heels of my own.

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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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