Just like Galileo, Dianne Linden was born on the 18th of February. However, there the resemblance ends. He was a scientist; she is a writer. He was born in the middle ages; she … wasn’t born quite that long ago. The exact year has slipped her mind, but not the location. She entered the world at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri.
When she was nine, her family moved to Boulder, Colorado, where she spent the rest of her childhood and youth-hood, if such a word exists. She remembers being very uneasy the first time she drove up Flagstaff Mountain with her family. “What keeps the rocks from falling down?” she asked her father. He replied, “History”, a remark she has never fully understood.
By now you may have guessed that Dianne Linden is writing this herself, (who else would take the time to do it?) so there is no point in continuing in the third person. And I won’t.
I graduated from the University of Colorado when McDonalds was selling French fries for ten cents and hamburgers for fifteen, just to lend a sense of context. I lived for a time in the Eastern United States. Then spent several years in Germany at an International School as library assistant and English tutor. I came to Canada the same year that Lester B. Pearson initiated the Maple Leaf as the Canadian flag. I thought it was striking when I first saw it and I haven’t changed my mind.
I taught in the Edmonton Public School system for over twenty years – elementary and junior high school – and was a consultant for the school board in fine arts and science. Somewhere in there I got an M. Ed. in curriculum and was an instructor of teacher candidates at Concordia University College of Alberta. I have completely retired from teaching now, which leaves me more time to write. Here are a few things I forgot to mention:
I have two grown children and two grandchildren. They all live in Edmonton. And I have a partner named Joseph who isn’t a saint, but sometimes tries to be.
I spend a lot of time with other Canadian women raising money for African grandmothers who are caring for their AIDS–orphaned grandchildren. (There are over 12 million such orphans in sub-Saharan Africa.) The money we raise goes to the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmother to Grandmother Campaign.
I had a dog when I was about eight years old whose name was Colonel. He chased cars and was hit and killed by one. Or so we thought. About six months later the vet called and said, “Your dog can come home.” “But our dog is dead,” my mother said. “Nope,” said the vet. “I’ve had him in traction all this time. Didn’t want to tell you in case he didn’t pull through.” After that Colonel came home with his bones and his spirit mended and everybody was happy. But he still loved chasing cars as much as ever so one clear autumn night he went out racing again. And this time when the car hit him he didn’t stop. He kept on running until he reached the moon.
I suppose even a short biography is a kind of essay, and we all know that essays need a closing, so here’s mine: I have to admit that I haven’t really forgotten the year I was born. I may not like remembering it, but that’s another thing entirely. I was born in – wait for it – 1940, which makes me something like elderly. But elderly is as elderly does and lots of women my age can still do crossword puzzles and tie their own shoes and even launch space ships, so look out! I intend to stay right up there with the best of them.
A Sort of Bibliography
Dianne has written two books for young readers. Peacekeepers (2003) is recommended for readers in grade 6-8. It was short listed for the R. Ross Annette Award for Children’s Literature by the Writers Guild of Alberta, and the Red Maple Young Readers Choice Award by the Ontario Library Association. Shimmerdogs (2008) is suitable for readers in grades 4-7. It was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature in 2008.
Dianne’s poetry, short stories and essays for adults have appeared in many Canadian literary magazines and have been anthologized in Canada, and Britain. She is co-editor of Running Barefoot: Women Write the Land, a collection of women’s essays. She lives and writes in Edmonton.
Everyone Has A Story
A few years ago, I was featured on CTV for a segment called “Everyone Has A Story.” My name was drawn at random from the phone book by Serena Mah at CTV.