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Emily T. Wierenga | How Writing Saved My Life (and Giving Away My Debut Novel)
Author Guest / April 4, 2014

I was the little girl who had chubby cheeks and a mushroom cut at seven years old. A smattering of freckles on my ski-slope nose, and corduroy skorts—a shorts and skirt combination–sewn by my Mum because we had no money, my dad in seminary to become a minister and working part-time at the skim milk factory. I didn’t speak until I was four, because we moved to Africa when I was two, and I was too busy eating mangos and watching the beautiful Congolese people to learn their language, but when we came back to Canada I began to find my tongue. And at seven I began to write poems, the kind that told the paper how sad I was because I had no friends. We were homeschooled and I’d moved ten times by then, and a seedling shrivels up if it has nowhere to plant roots. My blue ink scrawled across the page and maybe if it were pretty enough, maybe if the poems rhymed, maybe then Dad would see me, and Mum wouldn’t be so tired and we wouldn’t be so poor, maybe if I put them into words, good things would happen. They didn’t, and no matter…