This week I'm happy to share a follow up to a recent post I wrote called The Steps of Healing.
Today we hear directly from Author, Vicki Warner, in an interview after republishing her Ebook, Healing Steps: A Workbook For Dealing With Loss.
Maria: When did you first discover your passion for writing?
Vicki: I remember this distinctly! I was in grade four, and my teacher was Miss Todd. She was destined to remain a spinster all her life, and everyone was scared of her, because she favored rapping children on the knuckles with a ruler. One day she read a poem to us about a slave in the cotton fields of southern USA. She asked us to write an essay based on this. I wrote, and she gave me full marks and read it to the class, telling them that was how an essay should be written!
I wasn't very popular after that, because I became the teacher's pet. Worst of all, she kept a copy and would read it annually to the new class.
But I was hooked from then on. Seeing Miss Todd cry as she read my work made me realise how powerful words can be when you string them together. The trick is to feel some connection to the topic, and then find the right word combinations. But as most writers will tell you, that isn't an easy task!
Maria: Do you have any writing quirks you can share with us?
Vicki: I suppose we all have different little habits with writing. Mine is to start at 4 a.m., usually. At this time I will first of all go out to the sunroom, survey the ocean and various boats beginning their work. I go back into the kitchen and make a cup of coffee, then visit my computer. Most often I'll loll in my recliner chair, using my nifty laptop desk. I like to have just my little lamp next to me in the darkness of early morning, and then I write, taking little sips of coffee..."This is my time," I tell myself with a bit of a smirk. And it is. No one else is crazy enough to be doing things at that hour.
Incidentally, this is one of the greatest reasons to have a blog, as long as you write regularly, and keep to a consistent schedule. It just keeps you writing and improving your skills, in my case every week, but even if it's once a month that's fine too, because your readers look forward to reading if you keep to a schedule.
Maria: Where did your inspiration come for your work book on grief and loss?
Vicki: It's not hard to remember this. My late husband died very suddenly from a massive heart attack one Monday morning at 3 am. We'd been married for just short of 25 years, and it was a devastating shock to suddenly be without him. As I forced myself to confront and continue on in life by using small and steady steps it became clear to me that I was doing better all the time.
My workbook was written for others who might be suffering through the process of grief recovery, and just details a month of the steps I followed. It did take me about three years before I could make important, life-changing decisions, but everyone has their own timetable on this. Meantime the steps in my book can be repeated as needed, and it can be a systematic way of cobbling a shattered life back together.
Maria: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your book, and how about when you re-published it?
Vicki: I was surprised to realise how far I'd come in the years after my husband's death, and I wanted to share what I'd learned with others. I was also surprised at the realization of how many wonderful friends I've gained through writing, both locally and all around the world. You've been one of my treasured friends, and wrote a very nice foreword to my book. And then of course our mutual friend, Angelia Phillips of flashpress, has been an amazing help with the newly updated version.
I think it's always good to review your work after some time, and see if it still resonates in the same way. It's a surprise to discover that after all this time there is still only one way to recover from grief... You have to go through the whole process. In my calendar I've included some wonderful quotations that remind us of this. Another surprise was the realization that we all go through feelings of loss on a regular basis, some quite minor, like the loss of hair, or loss of energy. But the process of acceptance and recovery is still the same.
Maria: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Vicki: I spend a lot of time in my garden, and find this is probably one of my greatest passions. I love to spend time with my dearly beloved, and with family and friends. The Sunshine Coast of BC is an amazing place to live, and is an endlessly fascinating place to explore. I seldom go into Vancouver, the largest city closest to us, as everything we need is here, and I have no need to be a shopper.
There are two ways to come and visit here... by ferry, or by air.
My blogging takes up a good amount of time too. I very much enjoy the whole thing of having a website, and I make sure my blog is active.
Maria: What's next? Can you share any future writing plans with us?
Vicki: I have been busy on a novel for a couple of years, and find it quite frustrating. But out of this frustration has come a plan for finishing it! I started a writing group, and have learned so much from others. It's a great way to methodically work on projects, while receiving positive and helpful critique.
I also have another couple of writing projects on the go, and of course my weekly articles keep me on track for working in the future.
Thanks, dear Vicki--wishing you a peaceful autumn season. Hoping my readers will take some time to check out your website as well!
Until next week, sending peace and hugs,
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