Spotlight Piece for Golden Women's Resource Centre
Dreamer, explorer, and writer. Those are the words I’d use to describe myself if asked to limit them to three. I dream up my writing projects while skiing, biking, or on some kind of adventure. My favourite form of writing is reality-based fiction. However, I’ve also published articles in journals and through media outlets. All pieced together, my published work tells a story about how I’ve experienced the world and the changes I think are needed to improve our society. In everything I write there is an element of challenge to a reader’s interpretation of the world. I want my readers to reflect on and question the norms and values that form our thoughts and behaviours.
In my novel, Sky-bound Misfit, I explore gender-based violence within the context of 1980s ‘sex, drugs & rock n’ roll’ culture. My own experience with sexual violence during my teen years left me with an anxiety disorder that greatly influenced my path in life. Writing Sky-bound Misfit was both therapeutic and my way of telling the world that gender-based violence must be more adequately addressed. I explore this topic further in the opinion pieces I wrote for HuffPost Canada (see www.janepowell.org).
For the Women & Art book, I wrote The Door. With this short story, I challenge a reader’s preconceptions about love. We often don’t question our choice in lovers. But really, the choices we make are bound up in cultural and religious values. As the values in our society evolve, so will our relationship with love. A thorough reading of this story will reveal a secret hidden behind a reader’s preconceptions.
In cooperation with the Rocky Mountain School District, I designed and wrote the Golden & Area Local Species Guide. When I was a kid, Park Naturalists encouraged my curiosity about frogs, snakes, and salamanders, which led to a fascination with nature that would only grow stronger. Encouraging love for nature in children and families is key to a more effective environmental ethic, and this is something I want to be part of.
Writing has helped me reign in my thoughts and make sense of the world. It’s also a gift for generations to come, as nothing expresses history better than the thoughts of those who’ve lived through it. Each one of us has a story to tell, a burning issue to address, and the tools to do it. Whether your toolbox contains paint, clay, pencils, paper, a chisel, a camera, an instrument, or a beautiful voice, the story you tell with your creations will inspire conversations that help make the world a better place.