Trillium Book Award Author Readings June 16

At The Desk: Larisa Hunter

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For each book that sits on our shelves or rests in our hands, a writer has spent countless hours researching, organizing, writing and rewriting. In Open Book’s At The Desk series, writers tell us about their creative processes and the workspaces that inspire them.

Larisa Hunter writes about sharing her office space, taking care of her toddler and her love of Winnie the Pooh. Larisa is the author of Fulltrui: Patrons in Asatru (Megalithica Books) and she writes under the pen name Mist.

Having my own space is not something I have ever ‘really’ had. I was the oldest of three girls and communal space was very common. My desk sits in our family office space and it serves as the place for a lot of things. Outside of the computer it is also the space where I do embroidery, fix clothing, store craft supplies, have occasion drop offs of empty juice cups and plates ready for mommy to refill at her first available moment. I work in some ways in complete chaos which is very unlike the rest of our home which is clean and well-organized.

On the desk is a mouse pad with my daughter’s picture on it. She is a true force of inspiration. Her toddler ability to come up with interesting observations of life, her sense of humor and her ability to find anything that I read fascinating helps me continue to provide her with a source of entertainment. There are a bunch of pens of all kinds of colors and some sticky note paper which I use to jot down sources. A great deal of my book was researched online and it helped to take a quick note of the source so that I could easily refer back to it when I was typing.

Above the desk is a photo taken by my father to whom I became estranged from a few years ago. The photo is of an island from a conservation park in New Brunswick (my birth place). I put it there because my husband and I have a shared love of islands, the idea of quiet solitude and for me it provides a place for me to feel at peace and grounded when I write. On the wall to my right is a photo bought by my husband of a scene from Winnie the Pooh of Pooh stuck in Rabbit’s House. I am a big Winnie the Pooh fan and sometimes when I type I think about Pooh and his quirky little manner and often find myself taking the term ‘thoughtful spot’ seriously. I consider my workspace my thoughtful spot.

I find though that most of my house is my thoughtful spot! Our library is in our dining room and is full of books that help with my research, as well as statues of our gods. To me being able to walk away from writing and visit the shrines in our home provides a place for me to think, contemplate and analyze how I feel about certain elements of my own spirituality.

My whole working environment is a shared living space, which changes on a daily basis, but it is in many ways my little thoughtful spot where all my ideas spill out and form on the page.

Larisa Hunter was born in 1976. She is the oldest of three girls and spent most of her life living on the East Coast of Canada. Although her family were practicing Jehovah's Witnesses her two parents were very open minded and allowed her and her sisters to explore history and culture. Upon leaving the Jehovah's Witness at the age of 18, Larisa floated around various paths until she found heathenry, where she has stayed and took the name of Mist. After dedicating herself to the path, she created a kindred of her own: incorporating both spiritual experiences and historical practices into her teaching programs. Her rituals created a unique form of heathenry that allows for deep and meaningful connection with the gods. She was elected Gyðja (priest) of Kenaz Kindred and has continued to practice Ásatrú. She lectures at many heathen and pagan festivals in Canada. She has also written for several other books. Most of her day is spent writing and caring for her toddler and running Kenaz Kindred. Her first book Fulltrui: Patrons in Asatru was published by Megalithica Books an imprint of Immanion Press under her pen name of Mist.

For more information about Fulltrui: Patrons in Asatru please visit the Immanion Press website.

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