Rhonda Herrington Bulmer
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December 1st, 2014
A tribe of scribes
by Rhonda Herrington Bulmer

On Saturday, I participated in the first annual Author Fair, a book sale hosted by the Moncton Public Library. Southeast New Brunswick authors were invited to set up tables, side by side, and peddle their wares to book-lovers wandering through the square who were doing their Christmas shopping. Though selling a few copies of my books to enthusiastic people is satisfying, there is another reason why being at a gathering like this brings me fulfillment.

I love being in the company of other writers.

Kent & Rhonda Bulmer

I’m sure we all feel misunderstood or isolated at some point in our lives, some more than others. I was not one of those extroverted people who bounce back quickly from any upset. My early life consisted of feeling weird and awkward all the time—out of step with everyone around me. I was not sporty, nor fashionable, nor a math and science wizard. My social circle didn’t expand beyond a handful of friends.

But I did spend a lot of time observing others. How they walked, talked, threw their head back when they laughed or doodled the same strange creature in blue pen when they were thinking deeply.

I had no idea until later in life that lots of people have this trait and many of them end up in communications and journalism careers, like I did.

A writer of any ilk is, first of all, curious.

Anyway, I carried that alien feeling into my early adulthood and it only started to fade when I began to pursue writing full-time in my thirties, because I found myself in the company of people who were—lo and behold—a lot like me.

I was heartened to see so many artistic people of varying ages (from as young as 12 to white-haired seniors) and varying professional levels, producing interesting work that keeps them growing as they create. Like fresh, pure oxygen to the lungs, it refuels my inspiration and reassures my confidence in the entrepreneurial spirit of New Brunswickers.

Am I being too smarmy?

Perhaps it’s because my creative weekend didn’t stop there. The next day, I did some shopping of my own in Fredericton at the New Brunswick Craft College’s annual Christmas sale, displaying the jewellery, textile and pottery work of its students. I bought a few pieces that were produced by a high school friend who is reinventing her life by studying there. As I write this, I’m delighted to be drinking coffee out of one of her handcrafted mugs and I feel buoyed up and inspired by being in the presence of beautiful ideas and things all weekend.


Though art might be considered a small portion of any economy, and not a necessary item to sustain life, it certainly makes life worth living. And, if I may be so bold, is an expression of God himself.

2 Responses to “A tribe of scribes”

  1. Marlene says:

    Rhonda, your keen sense of observation will be fodder for many of the fabulous books you wring painstakingly out of your brain and onto a page. I’ve always admired your ‘stick-to-it-ness’ and love when you put fingers to keyboard.

  2. Hi, Rhonda.
    Nice write-up. I enjoyed meeting you and all the other local authors. It was a busy spot. :) Hoping we can all keep in touch.

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