Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My Creative Story: Vivian Jeanette Kaplan


Vivian was born in Shanghai, China. She was an entrepreneur involved with import and export before she became an author. Since submitting the description below several years ago, she has more grandchildren and her book Ten Green Bottles has won awards; it has now been published in Canada (Robin Press), the United States (St Martin’s Press), Hungary, Germany and Italy.


Can you describe the feeling you have when heavily into an activity you love?
I feel a lightness of spirit and easing of tension when I can do what I want rather than what I have to do. My creative outlets belong to me alone and are some of the few times when I am not acting as a caregiver or fulfilling a responsibility of some kind.

What does the creative process do to or for you?
It allows me to express feelings and thoughts in my own way. What I like best is the solitude of the creative moment, when I don't have to explain myself to anyone and can find an element of freedom that is hard to capture in day to day activities.

How have you fulfilled your own creative urges?
I have always, even as a child, searched for creative outlets. I painted and wrote poetry from an early age. In child rearing of my three children I think that I was able to give them an appreciation of some forms of literature and art. For twenty years I owned my own company in interior design and established manufacturing of my designs in the Orient, specifically in China, India and the Philippines.

When I retired a few years ago from my business I began writing in a more serious way and have just had my first book published called "Ten Green Bottles" I am proud to say that it has been very well received and is being sold across Canada with expectations of translation in foreign languages and publication worldwide.

I paint water colours and am currently working on two more books.

What do you do to satisfy your soul?
For quiet escape times travelling is great. Any chance to get in touch with nature is always satisfying and soothing. Taking walks alone is usually a good break, taking notice of flowers, birds, colour variations, looking for the artistry that surrounds us. It allows me to regenerate and activates my creative flow.

I now have a little grandson and he is a source of pure pleasure.

Who has inspired you in your life to achieve your potential? How?

My mother inspired me first as she is a very strong person. She is the heroine of my book and also was a very successful businesswoman. Both of my parents encouraged me to fulfill my potential and were supportive of every enterprise. I also had a female English professor at University of Toronto who was extremely supportive. She told me that I was talented and that I should never stop writing.

My husband of thirty-five years has been a supportive fan of all my creative activities.

Do you have an interesting story to tell about what you do and how you got to it? Why do you love it?

Now that I can consider myself an author I feel that I have accomplished my most recent goal. I truly love the writing process, the unravelling of a story that begins in my brain, unformed and then is translated to the computer screen to become a living entity. The characters that I imagine take on a life of their own and eventually they are fully realized and once the book is published they can spread my ideas far beyond my reach. It is an invigorating experience.
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