Dennis Rimmer discusses The Great Canadian Notebook
Welcome to fellow Canadian author Dennis Rimmer!
Dennis has written a fun non-fiction book called The Great Canadian Notebook that features all things Canadian. I have to admit, I did learn something new. I never knew Amelia Earhart and Boris Karloff both had Canadian connections. As well, Dennis talks about everything from Stompin' Tom Connor to the World's Biggest Sausage and everything hockey. A fun read for any trivia buff or anyone who wants to learn more about our great country.
Dennis Rimmer spent much of his working life in the broadcast industry, as an award-winning commercial copy writer, announcer, sports reporter and newsreader. He grew up in Crescent Beach, B.C., finished high school in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and obtained post-secondary educational credentials from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Whatcom Community College and Western Illinois University.
As a weekly contributor to the daily Bellingham (Washington) Herald newspaper for 14 years, Dennis enjoyed reporting and commenting on all things Canadian. He is now based in rural Saskatchewan with his wife, a dog, and two cats.
I am a non-fiction writer. Is that also an author? Hope so. Strengths? I think the only real talent I have is to take fairly complex subjects and issues and render them in to an easy to understand, digestible piece. I think this comes from 30 years of writing for radio, where the mission was to write short, snappy, clear, and concise items. I also think I add a bit of wit to my pieces. Many people have said that when they read my stuff they can almost "hear" me talking to them... so I think that reaction is a "success" in my books.
I don't write very often. My most recent work, which is a sort of follow up to The Great Canadian Notebook, took four years to put together. It was sent off to a prospective publisher just last week. I do not have a strict writing routine. However, most of the authors I have interviewed for my podcast (www.talkingbooks.tk the podcast that talks about books and writing and stuff like that) do have a bit of a routine -- such as writing X number of words per day, or so many pages a day --one author --Jason Schoonover --told me that when he is working on a project he treats it like an actual job --in the writing chair by 9 am -- lunch break -- then back at it until 5 pm. Or , if the prospective writer has daily commitments outside the home, then the best thing to do is carve out a certain amount of time per day or week --even 15 minutes --to work on the project. In my mind, there is no such thing as " I will do it when I have time" -- because there is always time --- get up 15 minutes early and write, or write during tv commercials -- or write a sentence a day. The only way to be a writer is to write, no matter what it takes. Stephen King started out writing on a manual typewriter in the laundry room of his double wide mobile home. I saw successful Canadian author W.P. Kinsella (whose work inspired the Kevin Costner field of dreams movie, and others ) sitting on a bus going from White Rock, B.C., to downtown Vancouver, scribbling away with a pen on paper....if you want to be a writer, you have to write.
At my age, I hope to still be here 5 years from now.
To be a writer, you have to read a lot and write a lot. Don't be afraid to kill your darlings. Even if you think a sentence you just penned is the greatest thing since "to be or not to be" -- but it doesn't work in the context of the item you are working on, then chuck it. Also, most successful writers will say that writing is editing, and that they have worked through 2 or 3 or more drafts of their work before they finally hand it in.
When people got back to me about THE GREAT CANADIAN NOTEBOOK they said they liked the short, snappy, easy to read items and that many of the pieces in the book inspired them to further dig into the background of the stories -- which is what I was hoping would happen.
Right now, I am working ( slowly -- like a page a week or so --) of my memoir, with the working title of "1963 --My last best Year" in which I am trying to chronicle my life memories from 1963 --when I was in grades 8 and 9 -- and also tie in those recollections with the events of the day -- and it will all culminate with the Kennedy assassination in November of 1963, which I figure is the event that flipped many of our worlds upside down. I am also doing weekly book reviews (writing and recording 90 second pieces) for www.ltdradio.com
THE GREAT CANADIAN NOTEBOOK
Where is the largest baseball bat in the country located? What is an ookpik? What’s the story on Hawkins Cheezies?
If you think you know Canada, you might want to grab a copy of The Great
Canadian Notebook. The book delves into a plethora of Canadianisms, some of
which will no doubt be new to you.
This is Dennis Rimmer’s first book. The long time broadcaster and journalist is now retired and finally found the time to gather these pages. The book is a collection of stories from a ‘Canada Column’ he wrote for the Bellingham Herald over a 14 year period, along with a few extras.