Fill in the blanks with …

Julie Maclellan

What a gloriously sunny day we're having out there! You've gotta love February in this part of the world.

Well, thought I'd pop in today to post a bit about a new feature we're starting in the arts and entertainment pages of the Burnaby NOW and The Record. We'll be bringing you mini-profiles of various folks of interest in the community, in the form of a "Fill in the blanks" Q-and-A that gives people a chance to introduce themselves to their community. We'll run the profiles, with photos, on a semi-regular basis in both papers, as space and content allow.

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A few requests have already gone out to some interesting people I've encountered on the arts beat, and I'll be looking for plenty more subjects. If you're involved in the arts and entertainment community and you'd like to be featured, or if you know someone who'd be a good profile subject, shoot me an email - (And don't be shy - it'll be a good way to let people know about interesting projects, shows, performances or other events you have coming up.)

In the meantime, I figured that since I'm going to be asking nosy questions of other people, the least I could do is answer all the questions myself. So here you have it, my "Fill in the blanks" questionnaire …


Fill in the blanks with ... Julie MacLellan

1.    I am a choir geek, a scribbler of short fiction, a writer of 3-Day Novels, a reporter/assistant editor, a drinker of wine, an enthusiastically untalented dancer with my toddler, and, most of all, a tremendously blessed wife and mother with an amazing husband and beautiful wee girl.

2.    I spend my time parenting a 19-month-old and occupying the assistant editor's desk at the Burnaby NOW and Record newspapers, where I am also given free rein to indulge my love of arts writing.

3.    Right now I am working on memorizing choral work in Italian and Estonian for an upcoming concert with the Amabilis Singers (March 8 at New Westminster Christian Reformed Church, check out!), writing a possible fiction entry for the Royal City Literary Arts Society's writing contest, and coming up with new ideas for the arts pages for The Record and Burnaby NOW. And, of course, parenting the above-mentioned toddler, which is a work in constant progress.

4.    The book on my bedside table right now is Peter Robinson's Bad Boy. (I love a good murder mystery!)

5.    Three songs you'll find on my IPod playlist are the Saw Doctors' Green and Red of Mayo; Dan Mangan's Road Regrets; Dies Irae (from Mozart's Requiem).

6.    One work of art that inspires me is The Republic of Love, because Carol Shields, as a literary novelist, dared to write a book that could have been written off as "just" a love story. It's quite simply one of my favourite books - beautifully written, in true Carol style, and unabashedly romantic.

7.    One artist who inspires me is Annabel Lyon, because not only does her skill as a wordsmith leave me breathless, she managed to write The Golden Mean around raising two small kids. Anyone who can write ANYTHING - never mind award-winning literary fiction of the highest order - while raising babies and toddlers gets all my admiration. She's clearly superhuman.

8.    My idea of a perfect day is sunshine, my hubby, my toddler, a hike and a picnic lunch, followed by a barbecue dinner with friends in the backyard. (There might possibly be wine at this barbecue.)

9.    My favourite edible (or potable) treat is ... hmmm, this is a tough one, but after much thought, I will give the nod to my husband's homemade perogies.

10.   My guilty pleasure is reality television. Yes, The Bachelor is my secret vice ... especially if I'm wearing my PJs and eating chocolate while watching.

11.    My favourite vacation spot is almost anywhere I've ever travelled. Close to home, our friends' place on Keats Island is a favourite weekend getaway. Farther afield, two favourite places I have been are Haida Gwaii and the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. Magical places, both.

12.    My favourite thing about Burnaby is the wonderful places to commune with nature, right in the heart of the city. I have spent many a relaxing hour wandering around Burnaby Lake, along the trails at Fraser Foreshore Park and enjoying the scenery from Burnaby Mountain.

13.  If I could sit down for coffee with anyone at all, I would choose my sisters. Because they both live in Toronto, we don't get too many chances to sit down and gab over coffee.

14.  If I could live anywhere at any point in time, I would choose here and now. With the ability to jet off for occasional getaways on my private South Pacific island.

15.  If I could have a superpower, my superpower would be the ability to cast spells to make other people sleep. I would use this spell only for good, of course, and only on my toddler. If that doesn't count as a "real" superpower, then I'll take the ability to fly. Because who doesn't want to fly?

And finally ...

16. If people want to find out more about me, they can find me on Twitter @juliemaclellan, or read my blog ramblings on the and websites.

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