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Know Your Passion
Submitted by Gloria Troyer November 25th
I started writing when I was eight years old. It was the year that I learned cursive writing. This is a perfect example of where handwriting has almost disappeared from the school curriculum due to technology.
My parents bought a ten acre hobby farm when I was five years old. I lived in an idyllic countryside home where I was allowed to come and go as I pleased. Living with access to open fields, forests, streams, and hidden ponds in the woods, provided me with an overabundance of stories.
At that time I was the neighborhood story teller. Many of my anecdotes were based on fantasy and make believe characters. I had learned the art of story telling from my maternal grandmother. I wrote down most of what she said but it was difficult for me to translate since her first language was Hungarian. She had immigrated to Canada in 1927, traveling alone with my mother, who was six month’s old.
In high school my creative writing was solidified when I got an A+ on a fictional essay I had written in grade thirteen. In 1970 I started University. I had crossed the threshold of living rurally to one of an urban life. I had to shelve creative writing for another time.
For the next twenty five years I wrote exclusively for academic publications. I was a contributor to more than five textbooks, several well known journals, magazines, almanacs, and newspapers. I also wrote technical manuals for the University of Guelph.
I left my job at the University in 1996 due to ongoing illness. I was eventually diagnosed with Librarian’s Lung. In 2000 my life took a dramatic turn for the worst when I developed encephalitis. The toxins that were still in my lungs broke the blood barrier to the brain. Living with Acquired Brain Injury has many challenges. I kept on writing.
A part of my brain opened up where I could write scientifically. I submitted my first story in 1997 to the CBC radio program called ‘Quirks and Quarks’. I it called ‘Librarian’s Lung’. I continued to record, broadcast and eventually write for CBC (online) World News, about Health. The staff cuts ended my freelance opportunities.
As technology has advanced and almost all of my writing is digitally available online, I have noticed a lot of plagiarism. I could make decent money when writing for paper copy; those days are long gone as we are heading faster than ever towards a paperless world.
In 2010 following my mother’s death I used my grief to write a creative children’s book for age’s nine to eleven. I used my mom’s name in the book ‘Beatrice and the Snow People’. I self published it. Most of the sales have been as an e-book.