Susi Lovell lives in Montréal. Her short stories have appeared in Grain, The Fiddlehead, Stand, carte blanche and other literary journals. She has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Lesley University, MA, and an M.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Université du Québec à Montréal.
Even though I’ve graded any number of school and university students’ papers, exams and projects, I’ve never enjoyed it. That’s an understatement. I loathe grading!
So why did I volunteer to join a judging committee for a children’s writing competition?
I suppose I felt it was a small way to give back to the larger writing community. I’ve been so lucky to have wonderful generous mentors and friends who’ve taken the time to give me advice and feedback.
In any case, what could be so hard about helping judge a children’s writing competition?
A writer friend who had recently moved to Montreal asked me where home was for me. Was it Montreal?
I was surprised how complicated it was to answer that. Yes, my home is in Montreal. I’ve lived here for years. But Montreal is not totally “home.” There are ways in which I’ll never feel I completely belong. For one thing, I only have to open my mouth and people know I’m not from here. I certainly don’t sound like a francophone Canadian. I don’t sound like an anglophone Canadian either.
Where are you from? I’m asked that at least once a week.
But where I came from isn’t home either. That country has changed so much that when I’m there, I’m definitely a visitor. I even have trouble working out which coin is what value when I get on the bus or go shopping.
So is home being with my husband? With my family? Or is it…
I’m clearly not the only one to have trouble pinning down the idea of ‘home.’
The panel discussion “What is Home” at the recent Blue Metropolis Literary Festival, Continue reading →
This week from the Time Capsule: the magazine Canadian Weekend November 1979.
Some things just read differently now. For example the headline: “Wonderful WONDERFUL Wonder Weed“… the article is talking about seaweed.
My favourite article is “Kangaroos Are Peculiar to Canada,” tidbits from student essays compiled by a teacher of Canadian history in the U.S. “There are many animals peculiar to Canada. Just for one, it would be peculiar to see Continue reading →