a peek inside the fishbowl

16 Jan, 2009

My first newspaper column

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

I picked up the latest copy of our local paper and flipped through to find my little column yesterday. I am so lucky someone is paying me to write about the things that are close to my heart. They printed a few of my photos too. The latest one is about outdoor skating rinks in our community – so important! – and yet these kinds of “small” topics don’t necessarily get much coverage in the major media.

Anyway, this all got me thinking. I should scan my first column! No, really, I mean my FIRST.

Here’s one of a series of columns I wrote for the Brampton Guardian way back in oh, 1989. THAT’S TWENTY YEARS AGO PEOPLE.

Here it is, complete with mugshot and fancy title! (“Youth Pulse” … Ha! Because I was soooo with it back then. My Finger.On the Pulse.Of The Youth.) Embarrassing? Oh yes! But what the heck, right? 

Rereading my words today I can’t help but notice a couple of things:

  • I still like to express myself in all-caps for EMPHASIS although Title Case Works Too
  • It reads almost like a blog post. Weird!

This column gig …  I keep having to pinch myself. It’s been something I’ve wanted for a long time. And here I am, actually doing it. I’m just glad this one doesn’t require a new mugshot. ;)

9 Responses to "My first newspaper column"

1 | twinmomplusone

January 16th, 2009 at 9:16 am


there’s nothing better than fulfilling a dream :)

2 | Helen Faber

January 16th, 2009 at 10:24 am


Congratulations Andrea! Keep writing – and taking those awesome photographs.

3 | Chantal

January 16th, 2009 at 10:27 am


It is awesome. As someone who’s job isn’t my dream I am happy for you, and envious.

4 | Caroline

January 16th, 2009 at 10:40 am


Youth Pulse – good name. My handle thirty years ago in the University of Ottawa newspaper, The Fulcrum was – wait for it – The Happy Cooker!!

Congrats on the column!

5 | J.

January 16th, 2009 at 10:52 am


congrats andrea! This is awesome news!

6 | Gwen

January 16th, 2009 at 2:14 pm


Very cool, congrats!! I have a large stack of old “Durham Chronicles” in my basement. It’s fun to look back on them and see my young mugshot!

7 | Scattered Mom

January 17th, 2009 at 12:34 pm


Congrats! :)

I worked for a grocery store too-in the big city, for about 6 months. I swear that I had a sign over my til urging the crazies to pay me a visit. OH my, did they ever.

Gave me a whole new perspective on cashiers, let me tell you.

8 | andrea

January 17th, 2009 at 12:46 pm


I think everyone should be legally required to get a job as a cashier. Or a server. So they can develop lifelong empathy for the people who work in those kinds of jobs. (I sure do!)

9 | Lee

January 19th, 2009 at 9:46 am



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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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