Stirring your soul and making you smile

One of my friends calls me a “Laughing thinker.” I look deeply into simple things and find profound meaning. And sometimes those simple, profound things are funny.

I write fiction and personal reflections that I post on my blog page. I recently completed the Creative Writing – Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Poetry program at the Humber School for Writers where I worked through my first draft of a novel about a woman who wants to bring back the Montreal Expos. (Because the world is better with the Montreal Expos in it.)

Arlene Smith wearing an Expos baseball cap
In my Montreal Expos hat

My short stories have been published in literary magazines and anthologies. You can read the latest one, Beating the Odds, in the Blood Is Thicker anthology.

Cover of the Blood Is Thicker anthology
Available at Blood Is Thicker

I began my career shooting the rapids of the Ottawa River—with a video camera, that is. That videography experience with Wilderness Tours Whitewater Rafting led to work as a producer for Rogers Television in Ottawa, Canada. I worked for twelve years and built lifelong friendships with my bright and talented Rogers co-workers, and along the way I learned how to write for the spoken word.

When my second child was born I chose to work from home as a freelance video script writer.

Many of the writing principles that apply to spoken word and video scripts also apply to web content. That was the natural next step on a freelance writing path.

In 2015, I started part-time work as a Page with the Ottawa Public Library. I love to spend my days surrounded by stories, and people who love stories. That’s a simple, profound thing. And sometimes it’s hilarious.

Perhaps the most important thing you need to know about me is that I grew up on a farm in the Ottawa Valley. That childhood experience— digging in dirt, shovelling manure, planting seeds and yanking out weeds, and losing animals or crops in heartbreaking ways—formed the foundation of my character. When life and death are both in your own hands and out of your control every day, it teaches you that food, shelter and family are all that matters.

Black and white photo of children, cat and dog on a farm