Much of this past weekend has been spent corresponding with the editor-in-chief and founder of Canadian Stories, Ed Janzen. This guy's a real find. Ever since I decided to take writing seriously, I've met people from all tracts of life: other writers, novelists, poets, doctors, journalists, teachers galore, but I couldn't say that I'd ever met a world famous chemist before. Now I can. But we didn't talk about chemistry (Google Ed Janzen - Spin Trapping and you'll see why. I couldn't understand a word). At first we more or less introduced ourselves to one another, and then we began to talk about writing.
(an aside:) Before I go any further, I should mention that the usual course of dialogue with the contest co-ordinator following a story's success goes something like, "Wow! Thanks a lot!" Reply: "You're welcome."
Ed's not like that...not at all.
He seemed to have an interest in knowing everything about me, and encouraged me to know everything about him. Maybe it's because we both grew up in Manitoba, I don't know, but he has this straightforward attitude - "This is who I am. Make up your mind what you think about that."
Well, let me tell you. He's an octogenarian, formerly a full professor at the University of Georgia and then Chair of the Chemistry Department at the University of Guelph (for a while, both at the same time) now retired from academia, and whiles away his time (for the past 24 years) writing articles about his passion - old cars - and races dragsters, if you please! Otherwise his day-to-day is regulated by running a literary magazine. A vast cornucopia of talent, I'm sure you'll agree...yet we spoke as equals.
I love that about him.