The 21st Century Journal
(Look for inserts in this color to see January 2018 updates and comments) As a writer I find the most important thing to me is options. By keeping an open mind to the way the world is progressing, I can explore new avenues and expand my writing portfolio. Journal writing is something I do (life has a way of challenging us to keep up with good habits…) and although the computer is less connected to my creative soul than the paper and pen, the Internet (it’s now accepted that Internet doesn’t have to be capitalized…) and blogging opens the door to the World Wide Web (do we really say this anymore???) and 21st Century writing opportunities.
The introduction of blogging to me – I know it’s been around for a while – started mid-2009. I was just so in to keeping the little journal and pen process that it took time to convert over to the computer writing log. Now that I have started, I absolutely love it. It brings a whole new life and dimension to my writing. (an alternative perspective…) I am able to share thoughts, ideas, stories, and my style with more people and in more venues. It is good to get feedback and comments on your writing, good or bad – it helps us grow as a writer and hone our craft.
Picking up blogging actually forced me to change the focus of my online writing journey to not just be about my own writing and artwork, but to use it as a platform to encourage other writers. Through posts that share the writing life experience and links to others in the global writing community, writing becomes universal in a whole new sense. We can connect quicker with an audience and, over time, develop a following. As writers we have a commonality we don’t have to explain. By sharing our passion and exploring others’ blogs, we make our own work better because we become open to the creative differences around us. If we make our obsession about the craft, we get more out of it in the long run. (In saying this, however, do not try to be like someone else – be unique and find your own style and voice in order to be true to yourself and your creativity.)
About Linda… this is interesting. The original interview was in 2006. I posted it as it was saved and have added in my January 2013 answers to share my development, growth, and even show where the “need to work on” spots exist. It’s an ongoing process – my writing life, my journey. (Now check in with January 2018.)
Interview with a Writer…
Q: Tell us about the very first piece you recall writing.
A: There are others because my mom often finds little things we wrote as kids …one piece I remember though and can still quote is a Junior High Haiku:
“A weed can grow free
But someone plucks the bloom from
…a beautiful rose.”
No change here in my 2013 recollections although going through some paperwork has confirmed I loved to write verse for cards I drew on special occasions. (No change and as the years go on, I am sure I will lose memory, not recall more … LOL)
Q: Did your teachers think you were a gifted writer?
A: I was always encouraged by my teachers especially when it came to writing or art because those were the areas in which I tended to excel. Language Arts and later, English classes always were a favorite. I loved to write short stories in Junior High and had a whole binder of them often times sharing with classmates. I had a very supportive Grade 9 Language Arts teacher and we did produce a “quasi booklet” of poetry… I still have it
No change here in my 2013 insertion – I classify all those special teachers as mentors who encouraged growth and expression of a passion. (No change.)
Q: How do your family/friends feel about your writing?
A: I have a very supportive circle of family and friends who I know would like me to succeed at whatever I do. They realize that it will happen (being published) sooner or later because I have the determination required to eventually get where I want to go.
They have witnessed my growth as a writer as I continue to prove this was what I was really meant to do – my most cherished memory along the path is the declaration one day a few years ago when my mom said, “You really are a writer.” She read my blog every day. Some of the friends I’ve met along the way who share my passion for words just don’t realize how much I appreciate reading their words and how much it inspires my own creativity. (One of my novels, Power Struggle, I dedicated to my dad because it involved the Alberta electricity industry and we both work/worked in that one way or another. He did mention one time it was a favorite of all books I’ve given him. Dad passed away November 22, 2018. I miss both my parents and it’s hard to realize they are not there anymore for the milestones.)
Q: What is the most extreme thing you have done in regards to your writing?
A: Move to Toronto. April 2005 saw me pack up my car with choice belongings and head east ~ alone ~ to see what I might find in the big city; what contacts or connections I might make; what success or failure might display itself there. I would not change my decision to strike out and try although I am really glad to be back in Alberta. As for contacts… I found out you had to be “in” with the crowd or really dig to find yourself and although I want to be published I also had to work to live… so it came with a price... one I am still paying for to this day.
That sounds negative but it really isn’t – it’s just one of those life lessons. Everything has a cost – you move, you miss, it costs money and many other things you can really measure. It was a hard lesson, but I derived good things from it that I would not exchange. (Nothing too extreme since. Perhaps, it’s time to do something more adventurous in writing. Hmmm. I wonder what?)
Q: What did you gain from that experience?
A: I gained an appreciation for the “things take time” and “be happy with what you have” philosophy.
Still trying that one… Something that takes work daily is the positive appreciation for what you have. After the bad year we experienced as a family in 2017, I can certainly say this has become easier because the important things (or people) are not guaranteed.
Q: Do you have a favorite piece of work? What is it about? What inspired you to write it?
A: I would have to say that my favorite piece of work involves a time of searching, a time of questioning one’s place in the world, a time of wondering if and when things were going to go the way you wanted them to. "Keep on Smiling" began as a poem but evolved to a short personal essay, spawning variations in the short story format. It is about meeting a special person that sets the level of expectation for all other meetings to come in my life. It is about love lost. Later, it became my way to express personal growth by realizing the search has never really ended. It epitomizes the “me” I have become.
Since this interview I have worked on many different pieces and draw something from each. I love my Shakespeare work and hope to publish it this year – it’s been a while but it’s like I don’t want to release it just yet. Keep on Smiling is one that still brings philosophical thought on the “what-ifs” of chance meetings. The wondering still exists, but I don’t get all upset about the way things have worked out anymore. Trials and tribulations in the relationship department have come and gone. There is no partner in my life, but that doesn’t mean I have given up. It means, I guess, that I am content as I am. YES! I published An Elizabethan Affair and am considering a sequel. All mentioned above are still favorite pieces and I am sure there will be more to come.
Q: What is your writing dream?
A: Several projects are in the works but I have always had the "great Canadian Novel" syndrome. I know someday I will write one. I would also like to see a screenplay come alive on the big screen. I want to publish books of poetry; I want to write words that produce feeling and someday when I am dead and gone others will quote me and use my words as we use those who have passed before us.
All is ongoing – although my writing dream now involves encouraging others to follow their dream. In their achievement I find success. I have published the novel although “great” is in the eye of the creative beholder. I intend to review the screenplays and get them out there again – maybe this time they’ll be accepted. Poetry. Oh, poetry. Yes, I want to do that, too. I write lots. I feel like I write nothing. I write for work (government and business), but I need to write creatively. Working on the “time for my work” this year.
Q: What interrupts your writing most frequently?
A: My tendency to move… stuff packed in boxes is not too easy to access ~ work would be plentiful if I had a permanent desk. P.S. I would have to add that matters of the heart tend to either increase or decrease my inspiration ~ passion takes a hit or is greatly energized… just depends ~ love lost or found?
It’s been some time since I handed out the old heart – at the time of writing this interview I would have just begun a 2 year dive into an off again on again relationship that would have me questioning myself and why me and recovering, again. Although it didn’t really interrupt my writing as it freed me from the exhausting efforts, it had me moving, changing jobs, and “questioning love’s purpose.” That’s off. And staying off. Doesn’t affect me or my writing. Lately, death and illness have affected me more than moving or matters of the heart. In saying that, I guess the heart breaks more losing someone to death than to just breaking up. Dealing. Moving forward. Have moved again in 2017, too – but to a much better atmosphere and setting so I expect that will contribute greatly to my creativity and happiness.
Q: Who is your favorite writer? Genre?
A: I read in many genres to familiarize myself with what is out there and who is writing it. Non-fiction is a big part of my reading. Personal growth is important ~ never stop learning! I have several books by Dr. Andrew Weil and Natalie Goldberg. I love to read other’s poetry … and aside from the obvious, Mr. Shakespeare, Robert Frost is a much-loved favorite.
No change here except I add to my list of favorites all my Dream Write Publishing authors – I love their stories! (Ditto)
Q: What are you working on presently?
A: …poetry, novel, screenplays, short stories, journal… whatever I can, whenever I can. I would really like to get back to the series of “rider” poems I am working on… they have such vivid images and, of course, involve horses.
I add to the list blogging and web site content; a new job in 2008 introduced me to writing for corporate planning and government presentation; I have also published 2 E-Books – one YA adventure fiction, and the other a tribute to the Bard, with writing life experiences and tips. Working on my next projects, which include a children’s book and a sequel novella and novel to previously published works. Poetry books. Screenplays. And I do a lot of drawing – so I love to illustrate work. Photography. Yes, always.
Q: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what genre do you find most inspiring?
A: Not as a general rule… I like the “quiet” inspiration or the natural surrounding noises of outside ***not sirens, horns, kids yelling, car engines… etc., etc.,*** so urban living just doesn’t cut it in the music department. BUT when I am painting or drawing, play me the Lord of the Rings soundtrack…
Same – no music while I write. Add to the list: soundtrack from Shakespeare in Love, Cavalia, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Phantom of the Opera. (ditto)
Q: Do you have a quote from something you have read or are writing that you would like to share?
A: "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist." ~ Pablo Picasso. This mantra is one I try to always live by: learn the rules…learn the ways… learn what others have done . . . then be yourself and don’t be afraid of doing so.
Same. Add “freeing the creative spirit” used on my Facebook author page, and this blog site. (consistency and continuation…)
Finish this …Shakespeare is...
...the greatest writer who ever dipped quill in ink and scratched words on parchment for all the world to quote, read, act, live, emulate. He lives on in so many ways ~ kind of the "Elvis of Literature." Even though someone always manages to raise questions about the authenticity of his works, he is forever in the history books as a truly great inspiration to many of those who have followed.
Born and raised in Edmonton and Sherwood Park, Linda feels right at home with the Writers Circle and all the happenings with The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County. Although poetry is her passion and has been the mainstay of her writing for many years, screenplays, novels, short stories, and non-fiction articles have filtered in as well. Dedication to the craft means there is a constant learning, sharing, and creating cycle that revolves around the writing life: always learn new things to hone your skills, share time and expertise with others to promote their work and achievements, work on your own creativity to produce new work. The balance, of course, shifts from one to another, but it’s always there in one way or another and, with that, Linda feels there is a forward momentum in her writing career. Her dream is only a step away. (October 2006)
Linda J. Pedley discovered through life experience and a few wrong turns that writing is supposed to be her journey because everything that expresses this passion has proved to be the “write” path. Her dedication to the craft involves a constant learning, sharing, creating cycle, and she is encouraged and inspired by working with others to discover their “write” potential. (September 2010)
In 2010, Dream Write Publishing was established as a vehicle to help promote and support fellow writers and authors. Today, the small business represents work from over 40 authors and has a catalog of 90 books. No, it’s not a traditional publishing company, but the consideration for an author and their rights goes way beyond what any traditional publisher could offer. In 2012, Linda was nominated and received the Pride of Strathcona award for the Arts, Culture & Heritage category in her community. As an active co-founding member of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, and a director on the board, Linda continues to promote the literary arts at events and conferences in and around Sherwood Park. She evens writes once in a while, too! (January 2018)