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Gwen Tuinman

NOVELIST

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writing life

On Time Elasticity and Writing

Last October, my husband and I moved to a rural property. Since the spring, we’ve planted a small apple and pear orchard and started cottage gardens. We’ve also dug fruit beds and created sixteen 5 x 15-foot market gardens. These projects are labours of love that require daily watering, weeding, and staking. Already, I’m harvesting vegetables and the task of food preservation begins.

I’m also a novelist dedicated to production goals. My inner critic natters in my ear. You’re not spending enough hours with your butt in the chair, it says. But when I step back and analyse the actual facts, I realize that in spite of this new diversion of my time, my output is the same as in winter when hours were more abundant.

This is cause for me to think about time.

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Writers Fighting Resistance

Creative process and flow. I’m forever curious about the practices and self-talk that writers undergo to reach that special place where the story rolls out like a movie in their head. The flipside of that splendid flow is the quagmire of resistance. I’m also interested in what holds writers back. 

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The Auction Barn

Last fall, my husband and I moved to a rural one-acre property in Ontario’s Kawartha Lakes region. Farmers fields surround us and from every direction we see where the earth and sky meet. At night, stars are visible in the natural darkness and howling coyotes often lull us to sleep.

We also found unexpected pleasure in a local auction barn nestled on a nearby sideroad. About once a month, a blend of antique and contemporary pieces is auctioned off. Visiting there is a writer’s field trip. I’m always on the lookout for artifacts I might incorporate into my novels or short stories. We’ve seen Model-T Fords, Persian rugs, rustic cross-country skis, 200-yr-old furnishings, dishware, and collectibles.

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