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"I Never Thought I Would: How Successful Creatives Crush It" Jennifer LIeberman interviews Genevieve about DON'T LOSE SIGHT 

Canadian actor Jennifer Lieberman interviews writers and others to find out their creative practices and preferences. It was a pleasure to speak with her in early summer 2021 on the condition that I not say, "I never thought I would publish a book." No problem there, Jennifer!  We spoke about my witnessing sight restoration surgery in India, but we never did get to the punchline. See below to watch the interview.

 

I Never Thought I Would...Episode 45

Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators reviews DON'T LOSE SIGHT 

  Reviewed by Voy Stelmaszynski, past President of SOAR

“Grace, luck, accident, serendipity, mystery, or the random workings of the universe.” 

I have plucked this sentence from the middle of Genevieve Chornenki’s delightful little memoir, Don’t Lose Sight, because it captures the content, essence and mood of her very personal journey through Ontario’s healthcare system, including a look into the workings of the regulatory sector of health professionals.  It’s a sharply written intrigue, a story of birth, love, pain, perseverance and (maybe) justice. 

Grace, because the volume is written with precision, humour and elegance. Chornenki is an acute observer of the visible and invisible.  She’s funny, profound and good with a turn of phrase. 

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Creative Writing

Robert Munsch is reported to have said that writing is like swimming; the more you do it, the better you get. In my case, knitting would be a better comparator, but the principle holds. That is why I continue to practise, take courses, and seek feedback from fellow writers and poets, published or unpublished. To date I have studied under authors Kim Echlin, Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall, and Marina Nemat as well as poet Catherine Graham.

     Here is some of my writing:

Informational Writing

I love working with words and originally applied that love to the field of dispute resolution where my writing was informational in nature. The goal was to convey information in a clear, literal, and organized way. Little, if anything, was to be implied. The same word was to be used to describe the same concept; no careless substitutions or vague terminology were allowed. 

     As an informational writer, I developed reports, newsletters, course materials, case studies, and more for various people, groups, or organizations. Commissioned writing has included 

  • independent program reviews    
  • position papers    
  • program-specific materials such as FAQs, feedback instruments, information bulletins, intake guides, and standardized scripts & templates.    

     I have also published my own books, essays, and articles, including Bypass Court: A Dispute Resolution Handbook, (LexisNexis, 2015) and “Mediating Commercial Disputes: Exchanging ‘Power Over’ for ‘Power With,” in Rethinking Disputes: The Mediation Alternative edited by Dr. Julie Macfarlane (Cavendish Publishing, 1997). 

Editing

Editing is about relationships. As an editor, I help writers clarify their thoughts and express themselves plainly to their intended audiences, while at the same time respecting their voice. 

     Currently, I serve as Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Arbitration and Mediation Journal, an online publication of the ADR Institute of Canada. Past issues of the journal can be found here https://www.canlii.org/en/commentary/journals/43/.

     I also serve as volunteer editor of Spiritus, the periodic newsletter of  Christ Church Deer Park Anglican Church in Toronto. Past issues of the newsletter can be found here https://christchurchdeerpark.org/spiritus-archive/.

     When I was an editorial intern at Colborne Communications in Toronto, I did an early structural edit of Erika Nielsen’s book Sound Mind: My Bipolar Journey from Chaos to Composure (Trigger Publishing, 2019). Now in its second printing, Erika’s book has since won several awards. See https://www.celloerika.com/author.

     I have also edited works such as    

  • arbitration awards    
  • columns & opinion pieces    
  • committee decisions    
  • policies & procedures    
  • organizational profiles.  

Radio

IDEAS is a CBC Radio One documentary show about contemporary issues. Over the years I have contributed to the following shows:   

  • The Trouble with Tolerance, a 3-part show, broadcast in 2015 as an “Ideas Classic.” Originally created in 2007, it wrestles with the nature and meaning of tolerance in a diverse society.     
  • When Families Start Talking, a 2-part show, that looks at the conversations families do and don’t have about money, inheritances, care-giving, death, and other hot-button topics.     
  • Changing the Workplace that examines what makes organizational change so compelling and why so many deliberate change initiatives fail.     
  • Dispute Resolution, a show created when alternative dispute resolution was in its infancy. It discusses the ideas behind the techniques and follows the mediation of issues between a chartered bank and one of its customers.