I was speaking to a friend today who, at age fifty-five, had just returned from his first trip to Europe. He described the visit as "life-changing" and was obviously exhilarated by his experience. Travelling to new places enriches our lives and opens us up, allowing us to embrace the foreign as our own.
To really get to know a place, you have to spend some time there. I was in Rome for the first time this spring, and though I had studied it for years as an art history major and did plenty of research before going, I see so clearly now that this was only abstract knowledge. I know it in my heart now. Place has a strong effect on us, can leave an imprint on our souls--and some never disappear.
Ami McKay grew up in the corn fields of Indiana, spent her post-graduate years in Chicago and then moved to Scots Bay, Nova Scotia. A radio-geek at heart, she has written and produced documentaries for the CBC's "Outfront," "First Person Singular," "Maritime Magazine," and "The Sunday Edition." She is currently spending many feverish and passionate hours editing the manuscript of her first novel, The Birth House.
Joanna M. Weston was born in England and now lives in Western Canada with her husband, three sons and two cats. She is a full-time writer of poetry, short-stories, children's books and reviews, and has published internationally for many years in journals and anthologies. Her middle-reader, The Willow Tree Girl, was published online and in print in 2003.
Originally from Victoria, BC, Janis Blyth now resides with her family in North Vancouver, where she produces her art. She graduated from the University of Victoria with an honours degree in fine arts. Janis has participated in numerous solo and group shows and her artwork can be seen in public collections around Vancouver. Janis also showcases her work at the Red-Rooster Winery, in Penticton, BC.
Patricia Robitaille (editor for this issue) is a Vancouver-based communications consultant and member of Room of One's Own editorial collective. Patricia is a public relations consultant and works with a wide range of local and national clients. She is responsible for Room's publicity.