Meet Our Members: Ted Haas

Ted Haas lives in Lloydminster and has been writing for public presentation for decades. He lived north of the Arctic Circle for 10 years among people who used English as a second language. They told him he was easy to understand … whew!

As a grandfather, Ted loved “rassling” with the 6 – 10 year olds (bestest fun ever).

As a mature writer, Ted “rassles” with bringing characters to life on the page, whether they are in his two young reader books or the general fiction novel that is just about ready for the printer.

He opened a little business called blueturtlebooks. It’s on Facebook but needs work (which he has recently made connections with somebody to do, as he’d rather chop wood than rassle with social media). Also, his website is presently being built. And Ted occasionally publishes “fridge” calendars. The issue for 2018 is old pioneer-era sheds with occasional brief phrases of his poetry scattered throughout. His granddaughter designed it.

Describe your workspace.

I work in a small spare bedroom. Shelves along the outside wall. Some of my books are on them – in need of organization – and some “things” that I keep handy for no reason at all. A storage unit is in the closet. My laptop is on one of the first “computer tables” that were made. A 4-drawer file snuggles in the corner. There are a couple favoured photo/art frames hanging someplace. And I’m forever trying unsuccessfully to organize my space.

Describe a typical workday

I no longer have a typical workday. But when I did, I wrote after swimming numerous laps in the pool and then going to one of two coffee shops in the morning where I listened to black coffee white noise. After lunch I stayed home.

List three of your most favourite things in your workspace and why they are meaningful.

I could say that the books I’ve used for research are prized possessions. But then, if I’ve enjoyed any book, magazine or download and made it to be my friend by scribbling in it, they too are prized possessions.

I also found a favourite pen (not that I write with it). Although it’s a bit too short for my liking, the other features cover that with shadow. It’s stainless steel, fine point black ink which seems to be of higher quality. They last forever (I think. Time will tell). I got mine at Staples, branded Zebra … and I don’t lend it around.

How do you develop your story ideas? Do you use an outline, let the muse lead you, or another technique?

Story ideas come as I write the first sentence, which comes to me, um … ah … I’m not sure when or how. But I’m always carrying that pen and a pocket notebook to note a word or theme, a phrase or edit. If I used an outline, the characters would choke.

If you were forced to share your workspace but could share it with anyone of your choosing, who would it be?

Share my workspace? I couldn’t live with the distraction.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve heard or received?

Two supports that have helped me are my own application (although I suppose they’ve been used by others, as well): “strong by choice,” and “I write for love, not money.”

I’ll conclude by saying that when I sit down to write – I. Feel. Good.

 

Thanks to Jennifer Chambliss Bertman for the use of her Creative Spaces interview questions.

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