ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

#AtoZChallenge - BLOGGERS WERE CHILDREN TOO! - C is for Cathy (Life on the Muskoka River)


Hello!

Regular followers and visitors to this site will know I'm using BLOGGERS WERE CHILDREN TOO! for my theme this year. I hope you're enjoying reading about bloggers, some you know and some you may not yet know, as they respond to some prompts I sent out. I've been so grateful for their responses as it helped me to get to know them better, admire their stunning cuteness as babes, and delighted me with random facts.

Thank you Adult Bloggers for your heartfelt responses. Thank you readers for visiting my posts. I hope you'll leave a comment and if you'd like to follow the link to my respondents' blogs they'd be delighted to meet you.

Rock on A- Z Challenge. (Click to read more posts...)

Yesterday was Laura Bambery...

Today:

C is for Cathy (Life on the Muskoka River) Olliffe-Webster



I WAS BORN IN:  Weston, Ontario, Canada. Back then, Weston was its own town but it has since been gobbled up by the megalopolis that is Toronto. I think it's now simply referred to as "the west end." My first two years in "the Big Smoke" is the only time I've lived in a city.

I GREW UP IN:  My father was a railway engineer (for the Canadian Pacific Railway) and because of his job we moved frequently. I grew up in two places, mainly - Midland, Ontario (on the shore of Georgian Bay (on Lake Huron, one of the Great Lakes), about two hours north of Toronto) and then Markham, Ontario, which is only about a half hour north of T.O. 
  Midland was a rowdy northern frontier kind of a place. People either worked for the railway or for lake freighters. It was a mix of French Canadians and red-necked white folk, and they all liked nothing better than a few beers at the hotel in nearby Port McNicholl.
  Markham was "small town" in every sense of the word when I lived there. A farming community, it was conservative and straitlaced and really rather boring. Since I left it has become a bedroom community for Toronto and is now huge and unrecognizable. Like Australia, Canada is a relatively "new" country and is still being developed.
  My parents also had a cottage on Twelve Mile Lake in the Haliburton Highlands, about two-and-a-half hours north of Markham. We spent every summer there. I learned to swim, waterski, canoe and how to french kiss. It was the best place on earth.


MY FAVOURITE HOME WAS IN: The cottage. (Sigh.) I wish my parents hadn't sold it.

MY BEST CHILDHOOD MEMORY IS: In Grade 4 I won first prize for poetry in a class contest. There were also prizes for essay writing and storytelling. All three winners were taken to the A &W drive-in restaurant for hamburgers - in my cool teacher's extremely cool 1967 Mustang convertible. I don't know what was sweeter, the root beer or recognition for my writing. But I'll never forget cruising with the top down on a warm summer evening in June.

MY WORST CHILDHOOD MEMORY IS: There are so many: the time my boyfriend's mother caught us necking on the couch; the time I ran away from home; one of the many, many fights with my father... but I think the worst was this - I was at my uncle's cottage, hanging around with a neighbour girl. We had fun, I think, until we got to fighting over something. God knows what it was. Anyway, I shot my mouth off to the kid, made her cry, and then marched off in an indignant, dramatic huff. I got back to my uncle's cottage and my mom said, "where's your beach robe?" I had left it at the girl's cottage. I begged my mother not to make me go back but she insisted, probably to teach me a lesson about being mean and nasty. So I slunk back with my tail between my legs, apologized to the girl and asked for my robe back. The girl's mother gave me a lecture that was so sharp that I can still feel its sting.


TODAY I LIVE IN:  Bracebridge, Ontario, on the banks of the Muskoka River. I live in a tiny log cabin built in 1880. It was one of the first homes built in this area. Bracebridge is in Muskoka, the heart of Ontario's cottage country. In the summer it's where the rich and famous come to play and it's not unheard of to spot Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, Mike Myers or Shania Twain on the quaint main street. I made a fool of myself, once, cornering Myers in a boutique. I was such an ASS. He looked scared but he didn't sue. :)

PROUDEST WRITER MOMENT:  When I finished the 50,000 word goal in NaNoWriMo. It was a spectacular feeling.

RANDOM FACT ABOUT ME: I'm shy and always nervous meeting new people. It's like I'm afraid they'll find out what I'm REALLY like...



Cathy Olliffe-Webster is a writer and graphic artist living in a 130-year-old log cabin on the banks of the Muskoka River, near Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada. She shares her life with husband Dave, sons Angus and Sam, two cats, a squirrel-sized dog and an almost-finished novel.. Visit Cathy @ http://muskokariver.blogspot.com.au/


I hope you enjoyed learning about Cathy. Now tomorrow tune in the read about Michael di Gesu's childhood along with the Insecure Writer's Group post.


If you have a moment, pop across to RomanticFridayWriters where you'll find a flash fiction story every day! Today's is a real tear jerker.






37 comments:

  1. Hello Denise & Cathy.
    What a fun post. Love the red car! Thanks for sharing.

    Day 3: Cosmopolitan Flower

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  2. It was lovely getting to read about Cathy, Denise!

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  3. Some great memories, here! I've always wanted to go to Ontario, so I am a little jealous! :D

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  4. Did you fall into an Austin Powers skit? Or beg him to? I think most writers are shy when meeting people in "real time". Anyway, fun interview!

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  5. What a terrific theme! I loved learning about Cathy. I can certainly sympathize with the worst childhood memory. I had to go back to a friend I fought with after I left my radio. So much for dramatic exits.

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  6. Denise,

    Sorry I didn't make it yesterday!

    Appreciate the stories!

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  7. Seriously, Denise, I read all these great stories and think my version is a bit bland. Not really. ; ) But I know my story and all these wonderful bloggers are new and delightful people!

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  8. Illuminating profile! So cool that your best childhood memory was for winning a poetry contest and going to the drive in. I used to love going to A&W.

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  9. I am drawn to Cathy and her life. I relate to her childhood memories, both good and bad. And I can SEE where she's living now and it sounds wonderful. I'm glad, Sis, that you got her to share here. I'm now heading over to her place...

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  10. What a cool theme, Denise! And Cathy is always a fun read, no matter what she's talking about.

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  11. I follow this blogger, of course I do! She a fellow Canadian. And a hoot to read. Thanks for doing this series.

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  12. I enjoyed this. I can relate to the fear of people finding out what I'm really like . . .

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  13. Hi Denise. What a fun theme. Enjoyed learning about Cathy too.

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  14. Denise, this is SO MUCH FUN!!!!!
    Thanks so much for doing it (how much can I say so much? NEVER ENOUGH OF THE MUCH!) and thanks to everyone for your lovely, lovely comments.
    Hugs to all and happy A to Zing!!!!

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  15. Great post as usual.

    Winning NaNo is a great feeling and good writing memory. :-)

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  16. Super post about a super blogger.
    Lookit how cute Cathy was. No surprise she started this whole writing thing at a young age.

    What a great theme.

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  17. Hi Denise .. such fun reading about Ontario - and Cathy's journeys and childhood around the Lake etc .. her present house sounds wonderful!! 'cept I don't like the cold much ..

    Cheers Hilary

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  18. Hi, Cathy! I enjoyed reading about your life. Here is a little bit of mine. I lived in both country and city during my growing up days. Got caught by the principal when I was only six imitating him. He had a mustache and I was outside with some of my classmates near the well. I had pulled some of the yarn out of the top of my tobaggan and had put it underneath my nose, holding it in place with my upper lip, and talking like him. He walked up behind me. Ha. I thought I was in big trouble for sure, but not.
    Ruby

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  19. It's great to learn about bloggers through these posts. :)

    NaNoWriMo is a lot of fun--particularly when you cross that 50k mark!

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  20. She is a character! But a really cool character. And rednecks in Canada? This Southerner sends hie condolences.

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  21. Hi all. Glad you've enjoyed reading about Cathy. Isn't she a hoot! A lovely person.

    Denise

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  22. Nice way to spread the love to other bloggers. I'm trying to visit all the blogs in the A-Z Challenge.

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  23. It's wonderful getting to know Cathy. Living in a log cabin sounds wonderful.

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  24. Great theme, Denise!

    Cathy- the Muskokas are such beautiful country! Some of the prettiest lake country in the world (I think) :)

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  25. Thanks so much Denise! It's lovely to meet another Canadian blogger!

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  26. Your theme is such a great idea. I'm glad I stopped by. http://1000wrongs.blogspot.com

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  27. Wow, that's some story about the fight and having to return to get your robe.

    I can't imagine living someplace so rural. Nice look into your life, Cathy.

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  28. I loved the memories, lol. You could have been me. Are you as rural as I am? I don't know if I was following before, but I am now:)

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  29. Love these stories, such a great idea for the challenge! I'm off to visit Cathy and Laura from yesterdays post :)

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  30. What a great series, Denise.

    Hi, Cathy. I grew up in Western NY and spent a lot of time in Southern Ontario. My grampa was a railroad man.

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  31. I enjoyed Cathy's stories and pictures. She took me back in time and showed me American life.

    Thank you Denise and I'm checking out Friday Romantic right now.

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  32. Oh yes, that was awesome. Fantastic series Denise. I'll go check out the other two - I'm not consistent with blog reading right now, but I'll catch up as I can.

    Fabulous, creative idea for the A-Z.

    ......dhole

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  33. My favorite part of this bio is when Cathy confesses to being shy. I think many writers are shy. The photos add an interesting dimension to her story, especially that wild red car.

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  34. For all her shyness, she comes across as a spirited individual who speaks her mind. Enjoyed this peek into the goo ole days.

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  35. what an interesting article, Denise. I enjoyed it.



    Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

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  36. Thanks all for your comments on Cathy.

    Denise

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  37. Where Cathy lives now sounds just perfect. I'd love to visit Canada one day.

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