NORTH DELTA – Heartfelt greetings to all of you, my loyal, longtime readers.
It’s been five months since I decided to take a break from my writing life.
As was the goal from the very start, my decision to take sabbatical after 40 years of daily practice — first from my typewriter, and of course later, in front of my laptop computer — was to gain my truest sense of the kind of writing I both did and didn’t want to do as I hit the so-called fourth-quarter of my career.
Today, I can honestly say that while the time away has brought the kind of clarity I sought, it has also brought me to a crossroads… a place where I have to tell you, my loyal readers, that come the new fall season in September, I will be taking a big step back in terms of what has become my ‘regular’ writing and reporting at VarsityLetters.ca.
I have wrestled with both my love of reporting on the world of B.C. high school and university sports, and my desire to spend more time simply enjoying personal time with family and friends.
And within that challenge, one feeling has emerged prevalent: The desire to trade in what can best be described as ‘appointment journalism’ in favour of simply becoming a storyteller at large with the freedom to write — within a more workable life schedule — those stories which have always most inspired me.
A learned friend told me just the other day to focus on what is positive about this change, not what is negative… because I still have so much of my best yet to give.
I couldn’t agree more, but I am thankful for this advice because I surely needed the reminder.
So what will you be seeing at VarsityLetters.ca come the fall?
I will continue to work alongside my loyal employers at the Langley Events Centre as it pertains to my own Tsumura Basketball Invitational and everything that leads up to and culminates with the provincial girls and boys basketball championships.
I will continue to broadcast B.C. high school basketball, as well as both football and basketball at Simon Fraser and UBC.
I am, however, stepping away from the model of seasonal high school and university sports coverage, including football, rugby, soccer, track and field, cross-country and volleyball.
All of that said, I am not going to stop writing.
I am still going to be calling on my trusted contacts in all of those sports any time I hear that there is a good story that needs to be told.
Although I will no longer be covering high school sports on a daily basis, it will remain a good story pitch away from reality, and I am not ruling out those days when I will call up a coach or player and write a feature story because in measured doses, it is a truly rewarding experience.
I am going to be 59 in October. I know that isn’t considered too old these days. Yet if I am glad these days to have at least one super power, it’s the realization that trying to cover this entire scene has simply become too much for me.
So while the postings won’t be as frequent, I take this latest plunge hopeful for what the future brings.
Four decades ago, in the fall of 1982, I enrolled in the journalism program at the then-Kwantlen College in Richmond with no idea of the kind of writer I wanted to become.
I can honestly say that for the first time in precisely 40 years, that is the same way I feel today as I look forward to the dawning of the fall season this September.
Time does nothing but pass, yet I can still feel, in these early days of August, the impending renewal that comes with each new class of high school and university athletes in our province.
And over the years I have found different ways to pay tribute to their spirit, whether it’s been through Head of the Class, the B.C. Recruits List, and the holiday-themed Difference Makers from my treasured time with the entire crew at The Province newspaper, or thorough the expanded web-only format of feature writing here at VL.
With certainty, I can tell you my love for that kind of writing will never change.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for the patience and understanding that I need to navigate through some tricky waters. You’ve all given me a lifetime of support, and for that I am forever grateful.