There’s nothing quite like a newsroom – especially on deadline – and I miss that controlled chaos and the people who nurtured and challenged me during my 30 years in newspapers and magazines. The freelance world has had its own appeal, variety being the key; projects have ranged from writing magazine profiles to editing a tech magazine, and from conducting communications training to helping non-profits with marketing.

A reflective moment while staying at a rambling old inn near Pittsburgh.

In 2019, I veered into new territory alongside Diane Shantz, a stellar artist and former magazine colleague. We formed a creative partnership called Lydia Heins Publishing and created  an illustrated children’s book, Rocki & Emily. In 2021, I researched, wrote and designed a book about my grandmother, Life & Legacy; Diane finessed the cover.

The creative process is a strange beast, and as summer gave way to autumn in 2021, I fell under its spell once again. My brain was still tossing around ideas left over from my book project, and my inner voice was tired of wallowing in pandemic frustrations. Producing a blog has been an outlet – and a challenge. Maybe someone will even read it!

In truth, my creative energy is at its best these days when I am writing / editing with a cat or two on my lap, so the attic of my Kitchener, Ont., home is both a workplace and a retreat. Beyond the computer, I draw inspiration from gardening, conversations with family and friends, travel, and reading on the porch.