How long have you been a member of NOWW? Since May 7, 2016
What do you normally write? I have written one non-fiction book, an autobiographical memoir. I don’t know if I will write much more. I am finding myself thinking about possibilities in the areas of creative non-fiction, history, or even a little poetry.
Do you have a favourite book or favourite author? I don’t have a favourite author/writer as I am interested in many genres. I don’t have a favourite book, though I keep handy the Stephen Mitchell translation of the Tao Te Ching
Let’s get to know you a bit better. Tell us a bit about yourself! I was born in 1942, and after growing up in Port Arthur, I went away to university and the military. I then returned to a life in the new city of Thunder Bay. Much of this time has been spent working on sexual minority and HIV/AIDS issues. It has also been an ongoing spiritual journey. Integrating sexuality and spirituality has been a major theme with variations. Other themes have emerged as well and some have evolved over time. Family and community, the military, union work, theatre, and impermanence have all been part of this lifelong journey.
What has your writing journey been like and what areas have you focused on? From 1966 to 1976 I kept a journal on a couple of occasions and did a lot of scribbled writing. After that, any writing I did was focused on work. After taking part in a Wise Elders Circle at Lakehead Unitarian Fellowship which included a focus on harvesting one’s life and leaving a legacy, I was inspired to share my life story. The development of gay and HIV/AIDS community work in Thunder Bay is part of a social history that needs to be remembered. Having been part of the process, it has been my wish that my autobiographical memoir can be a contribution to that history. At the very least, I hope it may interest a few people as a chronicle of a Thunder Bay life that has made some positive contribution to community.
What inspires you? Bob Dylan’s work has been an inspiration for me, and I am happy to see the Nobel Prize recognition. Allen Ginsberg has been another inspiration, along with many other writers. Mystery writers such as Joseph Hansen, Peter Robinson, Louise Penny, and others give me pleasure. There are too many writers to name. Major sources of inspiration for me include nature, music, and art.
Can we see you at any upcoming NOWW events? I hope to attend and perhaps even participate in upcoming NOWW events. Stay tuned to find out which.
Where can we learn more about you and your writing? I have a website www.davidbelrose.ca and a Facebook page www.facebook.com/differentcall. I have self-published Answering a Different Call: My (Queer) Thunder Bay Life available from me or various locations in Thunder Bay (Chapters, Fireweed, LU Bookstore, Thunder Bay Museum, Baggage Building arts Centre, Gallery 33).
And to end things off, tell us something surprising about yourself! It’s all in Answering A Different Call.
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