As a kid, I knew I wanted to be a writer. But as a good friend of mine says, that’s like saying you want to be a unicorn. The path to getting there can seem mysterious and foreboding and most people will tell you it’s impossible. Sadly, a glittering, magical horn still eludes me, but it turns out that being a writer is in the realm of possibility. I have taken a somewhat rambling route, including undergraduate and graduate degrees in Creative Writing/ English Literature and a period of several years supporting myself exclusively by making handmade dolls. I have taught English to university students and adults, edited several novels, and finally, written and published my own. I don’t believe in telling kids that they can’t do something, or that they should get a ‘real job’ and do what they love as a hobby. I believe they can be unicorns!
So, when my son seemed to be shrinking a little every day that he returned from Kindergarten, my husband and I decided to pull the rug out from under ourselves and try homeschooling! We felt completely unmoored at first, but were thrilled to find that there are so many inspiring, generous homeschooling communities and philosophies out there. Over the years we have cobbled together a routine that works for our family (most of the time!). An eclectic combination of Charlotte Mason-inspired, child-led learning with some lovely poetry teatimes and LOTS of reading aloud.
Originally from Toronto, I now call Cape Breton Island home. With the ocean on one side and steep, dense woods on the other, this is a beautiful, wild, windswept place that provides me with a lot of inspiration for writing. Most days I am awestruck by the beauty of it all and wonder how I got so lucky. But as it is also winter for almost six months of the year here, I sometimes I grab my husband by the shoulders and cry out in despair (“What were we thinking?!?”).
When not writing or homeschooling, I still make dolls under my alter ego, Black-Eyed Suzie.
I also love to read, paint, garden, hang out at our local library and make elaborate homesteading plans for ‘someday.'