A Bit About the Author

Van Norman was my guinea pig, pleasingly plump and earnest, and he lived in a large fish tank below the World Book encyclopedias. This life was aboard the Northern Spring, a 60-foot sailing ketch that I lived on as well, with my parents, three brothers, one black Lab and a chihuahua. My father had a restless spirit – he must’ve thought there were far too many books, poems, horses and rescued owls on the farm we left behind.

From winning literary awards at school to drying dishes at 25 degrees off horizontal is quite a change for a fifteen year old. As time went by though, between pet crows and log booming, books tossed but not lost, and mad scribbling by porthole light, my efforts evolved into authoring and editing – articles about coastal life, birds, animals; farming too. After all, what seafaring lass doesn’t dream of having a horse again?

Living aboard a sailing vessel naturally gave way to life on a tug, liveaboard boats, float houses, and then full circle back to farm life, where basking in bucolic peace with a stationary galley, I co-authored my first book, about wildlife. Tales of the seagoing guinea are yet to be told…

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Catherine J Johnson and Van Norman’s successor Diarmid, live in a small rural abode, inland from the ocean but close enough to hear the fog horns. Catherine graduated from Vancouver Island University with a BA in Creative Writing, and in addition to her freelance magazine writing, editing and tutoring, she coordinates an English language mentoring program for an intercultural society. It’s all about the words.