This is my first entry so maybe we should start with an introduction of sorts.
[removes Werther’s Original and clears throat]
I’m Mr Ormsby and thank you very much for dropping by.
I write about the people and events who enter my personal space on a regular basis so that you, the reader, can decide whether or not my views regarding this life are justified. And just so we’re clear: don’t expect it to be in any way accurate or truthful because that’s no fun. In fact, I’ve always taken issue with that Commandment because I feel it restricts the naturally creative among us who, when the occasion calls for it, display a natural flair for embellishment, be it returning swimwear without the receipt or spicing up one’s court testimony.
This year I started teaching in a new school so I haven’t had time to get to know everyone. On top of that, it has been pointed out to me more than once that I have replaced a very popular member of staff who left “before he was ready to go” (I don’t even want to know). This, now I’m only guessing here, might explain the slights I received in the form of gifts from my Secret Santa: a Yankee candle (they know I’m Canadian), a voucher for 10 free tanning sessions (I’m ginger) and Maltesers (choking hazard). It’s the anonymity, of course, which is the appeal of Secret Santa but if I had to wager money on it I’d ascribe this unpleasant undertone to Jerry, our racist librarian. But I digress…
My true love is words: punchy ones, crunchy ones, tricky ones and icky ones.
I love to chew words then blow bubbles with them.
I also love finding the perfect rhyme. To me, and you purists are going to hate this, poetry needs to rhyme. Well, mine does anyway. I mean, could it be worse reading free verse?
See what I just did there?
(they hate that)
In my blog you’ll find humorous poetry, vignettes, characters and outrageous word play along with the odd sober moment.
I hope you laugh ’til you fart.
P.S. Here’s an interview with yours truly if you’d like to know more:
The Chamber Magazine, March 19th, 2021
I grew up in Toronto where upon graduating university I landed a job as a copy editor for a legal publisher. The work was poorly paid and mind-numbingly forensic with no room whatsoever for any creativity; we were basically word accountants. Upping sticks, I moved to the UK where I’ve ended up teaching high school. It can be a tough gig some days but the kids are insanely creative and there are always lots of opportunities for laughs with them. Often what I hear during the day inspires my writing.
What is your greatest accomplishment as a writer so far?
My greatest accomplishment to date would be starting my blog and sticking at it. I wrote loads when I was a kid, edited the newspaper at university and almost went into journalism so writing’s definitely in the DNA. And then finally, just over a year ago I got off the pot and started my blog. To date, I’ve posted a collection one publisher has called ‘eclectic’- it’s a mixture of humour, horror, poetry, prose, essays and opinions – which has attracted an equally eclectic readership. I’m proud of my efforts and honoured that others consider it worth reading.
Why do you write?
I guess I’ve got lots to say. Sadly, few of us are gifted orators and writing offers me the chance to get my points across without being interrupted. I’m not a very brave sort but when I write I become a superhero who’s unafraid to pull out the creative big guns and tackle anything. I use different styles and voices I wouldn’t normally get away with at home or at work; it’s very liberating being a homicidal demon one moment, then a camp Martian in hot pants the next.
What is your writing process? (Any favorite places to write? Any interesting quirks, traditions, or rituals you may have? How many times might you revise something before being satisfied with it? Besides you, does anyone else edit your work? etc.)
I’m writing this on a laptop with my dog snoring next to me on the sofa. Years ago I used to rise early and write until noon, after which I spent the rest of the day making revisions. These days, however, I can write day or night. I’ll often write and then take the dog for a walk so I can mull it over without seeing it. Usually by the time we’ve returned home I’ve ‘pictured’ what I need to do and make the necessary changes. And I revise constantly, often searching days for the right word until I find it. It sounds tedious and it is, but it’s essential because I rarely do anything right the first time in life.
Do you have anyone (friends, relatives, etc.) review your works before you publish them?
As more friends read my blog they’re becoming braver with their criticisms which is invaluable when it comes from those you trust. They’re catching everything from typos to non sequiturs which is surprising because all of them were raised outdoors.
Could you give us an idea of your upcoming works without spoiling anything?
My blog contains the prologue of a novel entitled The Abomination which you’re featuring. It revolves around the First Nation peoples of Canada, the Church and a lot of cultural rituals we no longer notice within our society. It’s a supernatural thriller and I’ve written about half of it so far. Right now I need to kill a character to further the plot but I can’t bring myself to do it. I think I would have made a terrible vet.
What do you hope to achieve as a writer?
I would like every one of my students to have to read my work and then sit a five-hour exam on it. That would be poetic justice after having had to read all of their stuff over the years. Other than that, like most authors I simply wish to become widely-read because I’m not writing a diary. That’s it, really.
What advice do you have for novice writers?
Write about what you know and research what you don’t know before writing about that. And don’t be intimidated because someone’s already covered what you were going to write about – what you have to say may spin the whole thing on its head. In this life, we have few opportunities to break rules without ending up before a judge; writing has no rules except those you impose upon yourself, so impose as few as possible and go for it.
What do you feel are the most important resources a writer can use?
Honesty: draw ideas from all around but don’t take what doesn’t belong to you.
A decent vocabulary (or a thesaurus): make every word count because the readers deserve it.