Posts Tagged ‘UFC’

A few of my favorite things

If I can offer any advice to a budding journalist it is this: Don’t wait seven years to put your portfolio together. I spent most of Sunday (and almost all of Season 1 of The Cosby Show) sitting in my living room, surrounded by piles of newspapers and magazines, with my laptop and printer, scanning every single page of printed material with my name on it. And the minute I started getting annoyed about how long and tedious it was to scan everything, I reminded myself that the more time it took, the more published material I obviously had, so I should be grateful.

I’d forgotten about a lot of the awesome articles I got to work on- it’s funny how you can almost completely forget about some of the topics or people you’ve covered. So here are a few of my favorite things…

1- The playhouse shoot – WALL to WALL Summer 2006

I had this ingenious idea (or at least it seemed so at the time) to decorate a kid’s playhouse like an actual house, so after borrowing tons of stuff from IKEA (and, of course, assembling it), I spent hours “decorating” this teeny tiny playhouse. Then I got the greatest photographer I knew, Daniel Kudish (who shot my wedding- Daniel + Davina) to make it look pretty, and boy did he ever!

2- The international house in Hudson – WALL to WALL Spring 2006

This house in Hudson was gorgeous, and the owners were just as awesome (they refurbished old armoires). Every room was a different country- they had an English pool room, French kitchen, African home office, a Greek living room, and an Ireland-inspired dining room. It was incredible. Again, amazing pics by Daniel!

3- The Toy Tea for children of battered women

I was first introduced to this charity when I was interning at The Westmount Examiner and they sent me to cover it… I added my name to the guest list and have gone every year since (I even brought my friend Amanda and her son Mayson one year). I’ve collected toys at my various jobs, and co-workers have been so generous. I would book the afternoon off so I could go to the event and then start my Christmas shopping downtown while I sipped on a gingerbread latte from Starbucks. I love my annual Toy Tea- listening to children sing carols in Tudor Hall, noshing on the best rum balls I’ve ever had and sipping tea from china cups- it’s always my official “start” to the holidays.

Mayson and Auntie Jenn at the Toy Tea

4- Sports profiles

Despite the fact I’m not very athletic or sporty, the sports articles I’ve covered have been really fun and inspiring. I met Terry Fox’s brother at a Westmount elementary school for an Examiner article, profiled Olympian Mark Tewksbury’s eclectic home for WALL to WALL (and secretly put on his gold medal while doing the running man to get a laugh from our art director and Daniel, the photographer of the shoot- shhh don’t tell Mark!), and met Georges St-Pierre at a training demo at his downtown gym (as well as sat octagon-side for UFC 83).

UFC baby!!

Ahem, hello, this is Jenn!

Well, hi there universe! Wow, so many eyes on me at once- I’m not great at public, er, blogging, so let me just start by introducing myself.

Hello. My name is Jenn. I’m a writer. It sounds cliche, but from the time I could form sentences I was penning the latest best-selling book. There were always dolphins in my stories. My female characters always had long “tresses” of hair (I remember learning that word in 3rd grade and LOVING it). I typed my tales on an actual typewriter, and it was so old it didn’t have a correction ability, so one typo and I’d have to rip the page from the clenches of the rollers and start over.

Then I got an electric typewriter, and I could type out a whole line of text before it would beep at me- I’d hit return, and presto, the printed line would appear across the page. Magic!

Finally, in 8th grade, computers came into my life. I bought a giant floppy disk and would go into the computer lab before school to work on my latest novel (that year it involved whales… who were in love…). By high school we had a home PC, and I’d spend hours typing away and then equally as long printing reams of stories (filling the house with that old-school printer ReeeEEEEEEEE!!!! sound).

High school was only fun because I got to actually take an entire class on creative writing, not to mention be on The Torch school newspaper (the best paper in Palm Beach County my senior year, by the way). Years later, I went back to visit old teachers, and Ms. Almborg, my 8th grade English teacher, told me she was still using one of my essays as an example to her students of what a good essay should be (I blushed a little).

University was all about learning the technicalities of writing, but it was also the first time I was published. I had highs and lows that really taught me about the type of writer I was. I did a summer internship at a quaint little office in Westmount, and I loved my cozy days working there and walking along the tree-lined streets at lunch (I also got reamed out by a 94-year-old Order of Canada recipient for quoting her on something she apparently didn’t mean to say, hence making her look “pompous,” and I cried into my then-boyfriend’s shoulder for hours).

After university, I wrote about everything from the gilded golds of a Montreal mansion to the voluptuous curves of a certain “it” girl. I interviewed athletes like Olympian Mark Tewksbury and UFC god Georges St-Pierre, as well as wild women like Janice Dickinson (while she was driving and trying to outrun the paparazzi, no less) and Hugh Hefner’s three girlfriends (at the time- Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson). I’ve styled photo shoots and even stood in as a “model” when actual models have bailed (oh, to wear those black Manolos again). I’ve been treated to dinners at some of Montreal’s best restaurants. I’ve written features on keeping your sex life spicy, analyzing handwriting to see the future, setting the perfect table, and throwing the wildest bachelor party. I worked a night shift at a woman’s shelter for an article once, and another time, I decorated a kid’s treehouse like an actual home (with a completely set table, furniture, carpeting, and wall decor)- try stuffing a 6-foot tall girl in an 8×8 foot space!

I’m a writer. I love telling people’s stories. I love sharing new and fun ideas that make reader’s hearts go pitter-pat like mine does when I spot something cute and unique. I love meeting new people. And I have to admit it (or I wouldn’t be in this industry)- I loooove seeing my byline. There’s just nothing like seeing your name, printed right there in black and white, in a magazine or newspaper (and I have to say, it’s just so much cooler than when it was written in black permanent marker on the front of a neon pink Trapper Keeper).

So, world, this is me. Jenn. Jenn the writer.

And what’s your story?