BAWK, BAWK. No, I haven't picked up avian flu (or any of the other barnyard bugs going around right now). I've just become a free-range writer. 'Freelance' may be the more appropriate industry term, but I like the mental image of me running around vineyards willy-nilly, pecking out stories on my computer, and laying ideas like so many dozens of eggs.
At the Guild's annual general meeting, I had a serendipitous meeting with Nicole Vallée, editor of a new magazine coming out in November, called Brix. Its tag line, "Where wine, people and travel mix" is Vallée's way of bringing together all the elements of great wine experiences.
While noshing on fine cheese and sipping a lovely merlot, I overheard Vallée chatting with June Culliton about advertising for the next Ottawa wine show. I asked Vallée which magazine she worked for. "My own," she responded, with a beaming smile. Well, as luck would have it, I'm a writer who's looking to get published. We shook hands, exchanged business cards and chatted at great length over the course of the evening.
We talked more over lunch a few weeks later, as she walked me through her plans for the magazine. I couldn't believe my luck: fresh out of Algonquin, looking for a chance to flex the creative muscles and build a portfolio, and I bump into an editor in need of writers. We both seem to have the same mindset, too: wine isn't just about the stuff in the bottle, it's about the people, the places and the surroundings in which perfect wine memories are made. The images and recollections that come flooding back when you open that same bottle weeks, months or years later. That's what Brix will be about.
I was giddy all that afternoon, and have been since, my brain whirling with a million story ideas and my fingers itching for the keyboard. My first assignments will cover two upcoming trips: Québec City next week, and London, England, in June. Can't WAIT. Keep you posted ...