life rattle show no. 1316

Presented on THURSDAY, September 25, 2014


hosted by Tracy Moniz


"Making My Mother Cry" and
"The Waverly Inn"
by Jamie Gillingham


"Sandcastles" and
by Robin Young




tonight's Show

On our special East Coast Show hosted by Tracy Moniz, Life Rattle No. 1316 features two new Life Rattle writers.

Jamie Gillingham was born in 1990 and grew up in, what he affectionately calls, the bowels of Newfoundland—Clarke’s Head, Gander Bay. In 2006, at sixteen years old, Jamie left home to live with relatives and attend a high school that proved slightly more forgiving towards just about everything, but especially the things that interested him: writing, music and boys.

After high school, it took Jamie three years of studying behavioural neuroscience to realize he couldn’t care less about behavioural neuroscience. And so for the next three years, Jamie split his time between the north end of Halifax and Toronto’s Kensington Market. He completed a public relations degree and even saw Ryan Gosling in the flesh.

Jamie Gillingham is certain that one day he’ll learn to love Newfoundland and perhaps even return for good, but for now he’s a whole ocean away, completing his masters in creative writing in Wales.

Jamie Gillingham writes with an honest and direct voice. His finely-crafted stories capture the complexity of human relationships and the vulnerability of life’s raw moments. With detailed prose and a natural flow, Jamie’s writing connects with readers and draws us in.

In "Making My Mother Cry," a young man boards a bus in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and makes the four-hour trek to his hometown in Gander Bay. There, he plans to finally make an important revelation to his parents.

"The Waverly Inn" takes us to a quaint historic inn in downtown Halifax where our narrator meets with his new romantic interest—an eclectic, old-worldly young man. There, we experience the awkwardness and uncertainty that accompanies a new relationship.

Robin Young was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia in 1990. In the years following, he, his sister, and his mother moved to a number of towns throughout the Maritimes looking for a place that was neither too busy nor too secluded. In 1998, the family found this in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, a vibrant university-town where Robin would spend the rest of his pleasant, completely satisfactory childhood. Robin’s father, all the while, remained planted at his homestead in Upper Economy, Nova Scotia where Robin and Tessa spent weekends chasing stick boats down the nearby stream, holding two-person sandcastles competitions and eating unwashed carrots from the garden.

Despite growing up in Atlantic Canada, Robin’s parents hail from other places, his father from Montreal and his mother from London, England. It is possibly because of these outsider roots that Robin, who never felt like a true Maritimer, felt destined to explore other places.

When Robin was fourteen, he traveled with his sister and father to France for a two-week bike trip. Robin credits this experience with helping him to overcome his fear of uncertainty and embrace the unknown. Robin returned to France when he was twenty-three for a six-month student exchange. During this time, Robin traveled by himself to eight other countries across Europe, meeting interesting people and learning about other cultures. During these trips Robin worked on berry farms, hang-glided, wrote poetry, lay on beaches by himself and felt a greater sense of freedom than ever before.

A year and a half after returning from this trip, Robin has graduated from University and is making plans to move away from Halifax and find a job in pubic relations. In the meantime, he works at Starbucks where he makes minimum wage and a pound of coffee a week.

Robin Young writes engaging stories about everyday life, weaving in delicate detail to set a scene and nuanced dialogue to present a character. His writing has a lyrical quality to it that creates an easy and engaging flow.

In "Sandcastles" our young narrator reminds us what it feels like to be a child on a day at the beach.

"Sheldon" takes us back to junior high where our narrator, a young student, befriends the ‘new kid’ in school.