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by Brad Aubin
It’s not every day that we’re able to knock off a big item from our bucket list, but West Nipissing resident Anne Gingras seems to be making it a habit. The mother, teacher, public speaker, musician, composer, intuitive reader, blogger and Tribune columnist can now add yet another title to her impressive resume: published author.
Her book ‘The Old Man on the Bench (Or What I Learned From Our Conversations When I Decided to Listen)’ was published earlier this month and as she received her first shipment of 100 copies, she couldn’t contain her excitement. “To be honest... it feels a little surreal,” said Gingras. “When I first held it... it was kind of like ‘Oh my God! Oh my God!” So it’s really good. It’s something that I didn’t think would happen and now it’s finally done.”
The book has been in the making for the last six years, as the author penned events and revelations as they were occurring – stealing minutes here and there from her busy life.
“I never really fully concentrated 100% on it either – it was a project for me. It’s a little bunch of life stories... so people will read about my brother, my dad, how he went through a stroke, how I met a certain someone, or just about life in general. It’s a compilation of stories that have happened to me – my life at the time. So I can’t really write that all in one shot – I had to go through the ups and downs, the motions. That’s where the ‘old man on the bench’ comes from. He’s like a guide of mine, or the universe. He speaks to me, and I had to live through all these experiences to have a chance to meet him.”
After 6 years of writing, Gingras began the more arduous work of compiling the stories last year, giving the project a final push.