I live in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, an island, and the most easterly point in Canada. I grew up in a small fishing community on the island’s south coast by the name of Harbour Breton. After completing my high school years, I moved away from my little outport and travelled to the capital city of St. John’s to attend university. Eventually, I found my way toward a career in legal studies and became a Paralegal which is my current day job. Plot twist, I have since moved from the city where I work and now live in a small community just 30 kilometres away. The ocean was calling me back.
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
I could write a whole book on where I live. But, to provide an answer I will answer as I think most would when asked about their home. That the island of Newfoundland and Labrador is the most beautiful place on earth. Biased as I warned, only, if you were to someday plan a trip here and see for yourself, you would 100% agree with my claim. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are kind, caring, friendly, giving, and hardworking people. We have a rich deep history passed down from descendants of the English, French, and indigenous to name a few. The latter being a part of my very own linage (Miawpukek First Nations). Then, you set all of that on an island scattered with huge mountains, wide-open valleys, saltwater bays, freshwater rivers, beaches, forests, wildlife galore, and tiny ports that seem strategically placed. Yeah, that’s where I want to live.
What turns you on creatively?
Life is my muse to creativity. If you had the opportunity to read my poetry, or read some of my posts on my blog, Earth to Ash, you would learn that about me right away. Almost all of my work is inspired by simply existing and living a life somewhat internally. My tag for my blog is “A collection of my thoughts, feelings, and emotions of the world around me.” My existence up to this point has provided me with creativity to last three lifetimes and if tomorrow was my last day, you would find me in another life somewhere writing about it. Give yourself fully to a moment and the moment will give you back even more.
What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
When I see this word, I immediately think of my Grandfather. Quotidian inspired a poem that included both the word and my grandfather. Thoughts of my childhood always sitting an earshot from him and his old friends as they spun yarns in the afternoon sun on their favourite rock. Here’s a stanza.
“Quotidian stories they share, sitting shoulder to shoulder. Those confabulating chaps with their doddery routine, fidget on a bench of stone.”
What is your pet peeve?
My answer is a two-parter. If it’s with writing, well, it’s when people do not understand how important it is to capture an idea when creativity strikes. Writers are a unique breed, give them their space, please. And, if it’s in general…slow walkers. I hate slow walkers.
What defines Ash Douglas?
Wow, I have never been asked that before in my life. I believe Ash Douglas can be defined as someone who has a big heart, an old soul, and an everyday smile to go along with it. But, in keeping with the theme, I think writing has become something that can define me more than anything else. To think that something that I have created, something that I have written can change someone’s life is surreal. People contact or tell me all the time to say how they have been inspired, entertained, or touched by something I have written. I get blown away by that every single time. Like I always say, “I don’t claim to be a great writer, but I am sure enjoying the journey of becoming one.”
Writing is a huge part of my life. I eat, sleep, and breathe it. I consider it not only my passion but also my therapy. I’ve collected a lot of paperback journals over the years, and while they have served their purpose in allowing me to collect my thoughts, feelings, and emotions of the world around me. I knew there’d come a day when it wouldn’t be enough, I knew I had to start sharing my work in the digital universe. Transcribe this world of ours through my eyes. One way I can do that is through my poetry.