My friend, Ginny

In my younger years I often wrote poetry.  Before I graduated from Penticton Senior High school in June of 1971 I submitted a thick binder of poetry to my English teacher asking for her input.  She said some of them were very good, others needed to be developed.  Undeterred I kept writing and found as I grew older that my interests began to encompass story writing.  My great love is writing for children, so in 2000 and 2002 I took Children’s Literature courses to improve my craft.  I struggled away writing and sending to editors that seemed a good fit for my stories.  It wasn’t until my good friend Sharon Mierke suggested I write adult stories for adults first that I began to have some success.  I am ever grateful to her for a push in the right direction.
 My first two pieces published were  personal experience stories first about my mother, “Helen and the One Eyed Horse”, and second about my father, “Lesson Learned, Less is More”.  Then I wrote an article about raising orchids, “Anniversary Orchids”, which filled the need of Reminisce magazine.  Next came a novella entitled Lady By The Lake. My fascination with Okanagan Salish peoples resulted in my winning 2nd place in the Fantastic Short Story Contest with, “Something Precious Meets N’ha.a.tik”,  and honorable mention in the Mysterious Short Story Contest for “Weegit’s Moon”.  My most recent published work has occurred within the last month.  It is a memoire about my father and life on the farm entitled, “One Hundred and Sixty Acres”.
Why do I write?  Could it be an obsession?  I can sum it up in six words.  I don’t write, I don’t breathe.  Whether on not Editors like my stories I must write.
I am currently at work on an historical fiction loosely based on my great grandfather and his family’s experience of losing their wealth, in England, through bad investments and their trek across the Oregon Trail to the Okanagan trail where they finally settle near White Lake, in the south Okanagan, to take up a life of ranching.   My first draft is pouring out and is so inspiring I hate to leave it even when it is the wee hours of the morning.  But leave it I must for I care for my mother who is slowly digressing with Alzheimer’s and must get rest if I am to continue on the next day.
Thank you for letting me bend your ear.  May you too enjoy the horrible fascination of telling stories, even if no one else likes them.
Virginia Laveau.

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