I’m a true blue, born and bred, dyed in the wool Canadian. I was raised in Barrie, Ontario, located about an hour north of Toronto. I’ve lived for the most part in central Ontario my whole life. I attended college in Hamilton, then lived in Toronto for a bit, and moved back to Barrie when Lynn and I got married.
After being in Barrie for about 7 years, we high-tailed it out of there and lived in a small village for 17 years while raising our family. Currently, we’re residing 50 kilometres north of Barrie in the northern part of Simcoe County in a smallish community on the shores of Georgian Bay.
However, our goal is when I retire, and which I desperately hope will be sooner than later, is to move to heaven on Earth, otherwise known as Prince Edward Island on the east coast of Canada.
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
I think most people might be expecting an answer that deals somehow with the physical or cultural aspects of where we live, but the greatest thing about the place I call home is my family.
Home is a refuge. It’s the place I know that is always there and regardless of the circumstances of the day that I may find myself surrounded by, I always have the warmth, comfort and solitude of home and Lynn.
Now, having said that, our community sits on the shores of a large body of water called Georgian Bay and within a 30-minute drive or even less, we can essentially be in the middle of nowhere.
All of which is perfect because we are both extreme outdoor enthusiasts.
What turns you on creatively?
One would think that asking, “what turns you on creatively?” would be an easy question to churn up a response to for someone who does a fair bit of writing.
Ninety-nine percent of my writing comes from a place deep within my heart and soul. So, to answer I would have to say that life, living, and my collective experiences are my creative catalyst. Sometimes the ideas stem from a picture that my photography, award-winning wife Lynn has captured; often from past experiences; sometimes from things that I’ve read or from events happening in the world.
I have a definite and spiritual connection to the outdoors and nature and my writing stems from how nature and my experiences with life intersect on some bizarre, yet unique plane.
I write from the heart based on my own experiences and challenges in coping with many emotional aspects of life. I find when I approach writing like this; it resonates and connects with readers dealing with many of the same issues.
What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
I have a lot of favourite words or words that carry an intense meaning for me, but the one that sticks out the most is “believe.”
Over the past several years or so, I’ve come to the realization that if we only believe or have belief in ourselves, individually and as people, we would be capable of great things.
The question though becomes how does one define “great things.” Here “great things” is defined as any way you want. I think the key for all of us though, is to define deep within our individual souls and hearts what “great things” connects true or resonates with us. Whether we think so or not, each one of us is capable of something spectacular.
The problem I feel for many is that “belief or believing” in our own inherent capabilities has been, for lack of a better word, beaten out of us through life, living, the people around us and worst of all, we’ve beaten it out of ourselves.
Not sure this sentence has a true poetic ring to it, but it does sum up the word “believe.”
“Lack of belief in ourselves is the only thing that stops us from believing we can be one step better tomorrow than we are today.”
What is your pet peeve?
If I think about this for a moment, I suspect that I could list a few “pet peeves.” The one that bothers me the most has little to actually do with me but seems that I’m often on the receiving end of it. It is people who complain about some particular circumstance in their life, but never do anything about trying to rectify it.
The one that rears its ugly head most often are those around me who complain that they have “no time” or the ever-popular “that I’m so busy, that I’m completely stressed out.”
From all vantage points, for most of those “complainers,” this would seem the easiest to deal with. Apparently, it isn’t.
Without going on a 500-word discourse, the people I know seem to relish languishing in the “no time – too busy” universe. Unfortunately for the rest of us, telling everyone within earshot they’re “so busy and completely stressed out” and doing absolutely nothing to help themselves out of the predicament they’re in.
What defines Glen McKenzie?
The thing that defines Glen McKenzie, is “what you see is what you get.” Having gone “around the track” more often than I care to count and logged as many years as I have, I’m for the most part at the point where “what you see is what you get.” I have to admit though, I have a weird and quirky dry sense of humour that most people don’t get, although there are a few who do.
Since beginning this writing journey with more earnestness and intensity, I’ve gone back to places that I honestly thought were back in the past and done with. As such, part of my “definition” of whom I am, is that writing defines for me… growth.
And growth always involves discomfort, conflict and ultimately triumph.
As I write from my heart; from those deepest recesses of my soul, there has at times been many uncomfortable moments. Those difficult and challenging aspects from my past have been a catalyst; the spark that has ignited a desire to take a step towards a better tomorrow.
Writing and sharing have allowed me to take steps forward to grow; to challenge myself and hopefully along the way challenge and help others to grow and take a step forward in their own lives.
A +50-year-old(although very young at heart) hiker; canoe tripper; adventurer and outdoor enthusiast who enjoys craft beer.
Hiking, canoe tripping as well as other outdoor adventure activities, can be seen as a metaphor for living. Both are journey’s filled with scores of good and not so good steps. Highs and lows; successes and failures.
Over the years, have realized that spending time in the outdoors pursuing whatever type of outdoor activity you choose opens up a wonderful and life-changing array of lessons on living and ourselves if, we are willing to stop, observe and listen.