Daphne has more than a decade of experience in the newsrooms of Toronto, most famously as a lifestyle and entertainment reporter at the Toronto Star. But six years ago, after a spiritual retreat, a wedding, and a baby, Daphne let her byline lapse and turned to fiction writing for sanity’s sake. She studied at Sarah Selecky’s kitchen table, and online with Peter Levitt. Daphne finally figured out how to write endings by reading the Swiss-German modernist Robert Walser. In the summer of 2015, she independently published a novella in the tradition of flânerie called Walking With Walser. She studies publishing at Ryerson University, and also teaches yoga and reflective writing in Toronto where she lives with her husband and young son.
Connection. Isn’t that what we long for when we write? Isn’t that what keeps us going when times get tough?
As a Story Is a State of Mind teacher, I have come to believe that its true magic lies in the connections that are formed.
When a writer learns how to write subtext by completing a writing exercise, she can never go back to writing dull dialogue. When an artist finds a soul friend in another artist, the two can continue to encourage each other long after the course is over. When a fledgling novelist discovers that readers love her offbeat sense of humour, her stories will be forever funnier.
I believe highly personal points of connection can lead to big creative breakthroughs and writing habits that stick. When we feel connected—to ourselves, to a collaborative group of peers, and to our writing—writing is fun. And having fun almost always translates into more hours spent writing.
It’s not that there are secret formulas or magic tricks contained in the course materials; no writing program can offer that. It’s that Story Is a State of Mind allows for a powerful interaction between the classic lessons of craft and a writer’s particular experience, interests and preoccupations.
Story Is a State of Mind students don’t just improve their writing skills; they become more uniquely themselves. And I aim to act as an enzyme for that chemical reaction, because the world needs more authors who manage to master the craft, while also maintaining a singular vision.