Füsun A.



Montréal, CANADA
January 12
Freelance Writer - jack of all genres;master of none.
warm and genuine
I divorced my full time career of teaching after 25 years, because meanwhile I fell in love with freelance writing. Ever since, I decided to legitimize my ten-year fling which started in the new millennium. Author of: "WILL OF MY OWN - A Memoir" Available at all major book outlets. For a preview please visit: http://www.dictionmatters.com/


JANUARY 25, 2011 3:45PM

Karma found me on Open Salon

Rate: 54 Flag

 ~ Part One ~

My WIERd Life   

Mrs S  

Mrs S. our librarian with my Young Authors, May - 1998


I would think most people I've known have grown from their experiences. Especially those sad, twist of fate, totally undeserved awful experiences which consume one's optimistic nature and faith, love, hope - basic values, in general. I know sisters and kindred spirits, who, after being loved, worshiped and put on a pedestal - have been betrayed, mocked, ridiculed and abandoned for an upgrade. Temporarily - until a new, richer model comes.

I would think most people are cautious about hiding their real identity and not leaving crumbs that could be pecked right to their doorstep. And that most do not speak their truths or wear their hearts on their sleeves, lest that makes them more vulnerable in this unfamiliar cyber world, where one often steps through what's real or unreal.  Unless one is a predator.

I would also think, that being a fairly intelligent, private, cautious, decent and reasonably mature person myself, I should be among this group I mentioned.

And I would be right.

Only Time and a most incredible encounter - through a PM from an unknown entity on Open Salon - after a post in last June proved me that I could not be more wrong.  The rest of the story, as they say, is history, but I will tell it in a few sections.  This is the  very beginning. 

My on-line experience started in 1997 as academic moderator for the “Writers In Electronic Residence” program, or WEIR, for short, by York University, Toronto. The program connected well-known Canadian authors and secondary school students on-line via Internet to discuss and critique creative writing. Students were not only advised by authors such as Carolyn Smart, Susan Musgrave,  Trevor Ferguson, Guillermo Verdecchia, but they also exchanged feedback , critiqued and edited each other's writing across Canada.

I was at the start of technology's infiltration into the classroom in a meaningful way. Internet was being used more than a means of Googling geographic locations or downloading Wikipedia pages. Or even typing an assignment. The interactivity, instant email communication with authors, their suggestions and evaluations of students, keeping track of schools and making sure Internet etiquette was adhered to among students were just some of the reasons of my 20 hour a day high those years.

As part of the WEIR team, I had my university email account which contained my real name. That was my first e-mail account – ever ! Yes, we had computers and Internet connection in my modern school, but not for e-mail ! I had a special account set up to which only I had a password to connect my students into York University's system. (Just in case you are wondering – My students held weekly bake sales (of what I baked) and sold raffle tickets to raise half of the cost of this program. For the other half, I danced and sang to convince the school board of the innovations and the benefits of such a program.)

We had scheduled class times, when our assigned authors would be on-line with us. Students posted their revised work – poems, short stories, novel chapters, whatever they wanted to work on. They did the similar exchange with other students from assigned schools from  different Canadian provinces. In the process, not only was there a marked difference in the ownership of their work, but I noted that even the most reluctant boy or girl came forward when s/he received a personal reply from an author who had sent in signed copies of her books.

In Quebec, convenience stores are called “depanneur” or "couche tard" - they are the equivalent of Seven-Elevens out in the West, or Mac's in Ontario, and Convenience Stores down East. Simple things such as that made students aware of each others' life styles and dialect differences, geographical proximity as opposed to the immediacy of their email connection. We discussed these observations and more during what I called reflection classes.

My young writers' enthusiasm led them to writing, illustrating and binding their own books with forewords, table of contents and dedications – often to (grand)parents or younger siblings. I asked our librarian if we could display these books for the rest of the school. The program and my students work were noticed and we were invited as speaking guests on CJAD-800, the largest English speaking radio station in Montreal. I remember the date well. It was rainy May 12th – Mothers' Day.

As we were waiting to meet our program host, Royal Orr, I apologized for the timing to the parents of the young man and the young girl who were going to be part of the discussion panel. Their mothers' reply – almost in unison – was, “Please, this is the best Mothers' Day present for us.”

Those were very good days for me, being myself and on-line. They laid the foundation- rather reinforced my faith in mankind, honesty and truth. I was already raised in a cocoon unaware of the corruption, deceit and evil lurking out in the world. This successful, euphoric experience, the creativity and goodwill, cooperation and success only cemented my cynicism of my mother's mistrust in humanity – especially in her non-native land.

This is how my on-line story started. I have been myself right from the beginning, without any secret agenda, or a plan. I did not advertise my attributes, nor had any self photos on the web. An unlisted phone number kept me off the address listings. More importantly,  on the calming aftermath of surviving the disassembly of a twenty year marriage, and at the footsteps of a new millennium, I could not even fathom the power of the cyber world, nor imagine why or how anyone would use it for evil ends.  I did not question my safety or knew that safety could be jeopardized with kindness, love and trust.

Little did I know then what was in store for me just within the next decade. . .

(To be continued)

Ms Atalay and Young Authors of TandG-1997-98

 My Wier'd Young Authors and their Books 1997 - 98

Centennial Library

 Part Two

Füsun Atalay ~ Copyright © Will of my Own -2011

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. . . and thus started my most incredible encounter of all.
and looking forward to 'the rest of the story'...
I am working on the subsequent part, and you will be most amazed, Kate. You would never in a million years imagine. I'll come back later.
Oooh - I can't wait to see what happens next! Please post again soon!
The WEIR program sounds like a great one. How cool would it have been to be in touch and have feedback from someone like Susan Musgrave.

Will be looking forward to the next installment Fusun.
This should be very interesting. Can't wait to read the rest!
Waiting with 'bated breath ☺
hooked. waiting for the next chapter...
I am looking forward to more and remember listening to CJAD as a child.:)
Great pictures by the way..:)
rated with hugs
Make sue you PM a link when you continue this! I flit on and off this so much that I don't want to miss it! I hate suspense.
This is like a good mystery story. I can't wait for the next part!
Well you sure know how to set up a good story and keep your readers on the edge of their seats. Great job Fusun. And I Love what you did with those kids!! Bravo.
I can't wait for the rest of the story.
~~~~~Urk!~~~~~ You stopped?

You stopped!!

Wuffor you stopped?

skypixie0 need more, more, more!!!

What?! You just left us hanging like a bunch of hungry dogs waiting for dinner. Hurry and finish this....please. :) -R-
I dropped in to see if anyone was interested - hmmm, I guess there's some interest. I'm writing, I'm writing ! Trying to find any photos along the way. This story is nothing like anyone might guess, so please be patient my dear readers and friends. Thank you all for reading and commenting.
Great bait, Fusie. You've set the hook!
now you have me all riled up and waiting. leave 'em wanting more!
Ah, a mystery begins. Sounds like such a great program and hopefully nothing too sinister to read about. Still, we know you are here, and so that is what counts. Hope life is not too cold where you are.
{{{rubbing hands together}}} Ooooh. This promises to be good! Can't wait.

Uh-oh, are you gonna say something that will totally scare the crap out of me? Can't wait.

Love your writing style. The WEIR program sounds interesting too.
Please let me know when the next post is up dear Fusun.
You got me here.....
Looking forward to reading more! xox
waiting on pins and needles
Look forward to part 2, you have a beautiful smile FusunA, it is magnetic!
Well, you have my interest!!!!! Looking forward to more.
i can't wait to hear the rest of this. i'm also fascinated by the project you worked on because it is something i've been interested in for a very long time. you aren't going to keep us waiting long, right?
"Always leave them wanting more."
Nice start and cliffhanger. I want more!

kurt -r-
An excellent beginning.
OK. I'm hooked.
When will we be seeing part two?
Hoooked... I can´t wait for the rest.. now I understand a lot.. heheheheh
Thank you teacher... I love you sooooooo
I confess I read the second part first, but quickly determined I needed to begin with part 1...very intriguing and how well I understand. One day I will write too.

I am waiting with bated breath for the details of the end. "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger."

You have captured my attention and desire to know more. I also wishing there were a place to study and have the talent available that you gave your students.
Oh wow!!! I have been dying for a moment to read this and was not disappointed. I am going to read on!!
So exciting to see you writing this so well. Off to part two!
Your life never ceases to amaze me. A more multi-faceted woman I have never known (or met)! Fascinating...your words put me on the edge of my seat.
A W.E.I.R. Online Personna for the Writers In Electronic Residence Program.
nice beginning - you got me hooked!
Okay, I'm hooked too! Going now to Part II!
Wow, can't wait to see what happens next. On to Part 2!
I love this clear and concise introduction to your story. Onward...
Late to the party, but catching up on all 4 parts this morning...~r
cool...late though I am, I am hooked...totally
On to episode two for me
Exceptional Fusun! xo r
interesting...it will take me a while to catch up, but I'm on my way!
I must say, what a great program.
There's a bunch of happy-looking young authors - no wonder !