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Friday, April 19, 2013

Unpacking the Writer ► A New Name; A New Look

Aunty Em Ericann
When I was leaving Canada 9 years ago I told several people that my goal was to become a nationally known pundit under the nom de plume of Aunty Em Ericann. I did that.

For 8 years I became, for all intents and purposes, Aunty Em, entirely subsuming my identity under which I had already earned a writing reputation. It would have been far easier to have used my reputation as a writer, but somehow this writing project appealed to my warped sense of humour.

I have been a freelance journalist for the better part of 40 years. I got my start writing record reviews, eventually moving on to magazine work, investigative journalism, various words-for-hire projects. For ten years I worked as a Ventriloquist (News Writer) at Citytv. I have long joked that I have done every kind of writing there is, except greeting cards.  Not to blow my own horn, (if not me, who will?) but merely to explain what became a tangled mess in the end. However, as a professional writing project, the longest, greatest, funniest, most interesting, challenging and hardest I ever had was creating the Performance Art character of Aunty Em Ericann. Who knew she would eventually be hired to write for NewsHounds? When my editor agreed to let me keep the nom de plume, I was thrilled.