Meet Our Members: Judith Silverthorne

Judith Silverthorne is an international award-winning author of numerous novels for children, some of which have been translated into other languages, plus a picture book, a YA novel, and two adult biographies. Judith teaches writing classes, has presented hundreds of readings and writing workshops at libraries, schools, and other educational institutions, and has given many presentations at conferences and literary festivals. The love of nature, people, and history inspire her writing and help shape many of her books. Regina-based, she loves to travel the world acquiring knowledge of cultures, exploring mysteries, experiencing significant events, and the everyday lives of people, which she weaves into her stories. For more information about Judith and her writing see: https://judithsilverthorne.ca/

 

Describe your workspace.

I mostly write at my dining room table where I can gaze out of the large-windowed balcony doors to a delightful view just above the trees across the city. Beside and behind me, I have my living space with over-filled bookshelves and artwork, (and the usual furniture pieces too, though they are often covered with books and papers). As an empty-nester, I live on my own in a 6th floor apartment near a beautiful inner city park.

 

Describe a typical workday.

Now that I’ve retired from a full-time job, almost as soon as I get up, I start writing on my laptop. I can be there for hours before I realize I should probably eat, or exercise, or do something beyond sitting at the computer. (Actually I used to do this when I was regularly employed too, only then I had to tear myself away to get to my job on time.)

I do eventually stop to eat, go for a walk outside or on a treadmill, answer emails, and converse with friends and family. But most of my day is spent writing and researching, and editing, and then writing some more or planning a variety of projects. I continue to write in the evening, if the mood strikes me and the energy lasts.

 

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

Did I say how much I love my large balcony windows? The sky is always changing as is the weather and these inspire me. I also love having the doors and windows open during warmer weather to have fresh air, and the wind rushing through. I love the openness of my living-dining room space.

 

Do you have any rituals in your work habits?

Not that I’m aware of, although maybe automatically heading to and sticking at my laptop is a trained habit?

 

What do you listen to while you work?

Only the muse in my head. Music distracts me. Either I get nostalgic or I want to get up and dance and then I’d never get any work done.

What is your drink and/or snack of choice while you’re working?

Water, water, and more water, and occasionally snacks like apple slices with almond butter. Sometimes a trail mix or a handful of nuts perk me up. When I do remember to have a meal, I’m often eating while I work too.

 

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

My characters tell me where they want to go and what they want to do…I just follow along, writing about their actions.

 

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

If I was forced to have someone sharing my workspace, I might never get any work done. I’d probably be so busy chatting with them, sharing our work, discussing writing, and other related topics. I prefer to be on my own though probably several of my closest writing group friends would be fine. They’d likely keep me on task.

 

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

Keep writing, and read what you want to write, and write some more.

 

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

 

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