Storyphile | Your life. Your story. For the people you love.

8 Things about Marie Lesoway

  1. I’m naturally curious. My family might say compulsively. They call me “the information person” because they never need a dictionary for a word they don’t know. They just ask me—knowing I’ll be compelled to look it up!
  2. I have a BA in Classics and English and an MBA. I’ve worked in government, in the postsecondary education sector and as an entrepreneur. In one way or another, I’ve spent my entire career as a
    • wrangler of words (writer)
    • polisher of prose (editor)
    • digger of details (researcher)
    • finder of tales (interviewer)
  3. Story collecting was my first real job. As a research consultant for the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, I travelled Alberta’s byroads—interviewing pioneers about how life used to be. (It was the best job in the world!) I documented the stories I collected in massive reports. I even became an honorary member of some of the families I interviewed.
  4. As the long-time owner of my own communications business, Pentacle Productions, I’ve had decades of experience in shaping stories into compelling, readable prose.
  5. The “kru-kru-kru” of cranes flying overhead makes me think of my baba. Baba would sing the immigrants’ lament—“Chuiesh, braty mii?” (“Do you hear, my brother?”)—when the migrating cranes passed over as we harvested the potatoes.
  6. My babas taught me their mother tongue. That lets me do interviews in English or Ukrainian.
  7. I belong to a huge swack of professional organizations and hold Editors’ Association of Canada certification as a copy editor and proofreader.
  8. I live in Edmonton and plant my garden on a small piece of the family farm where my parents’ story started.

“Writers are the custodians of memory, and memories have a way of dying with their owner. One of the saddest sentences I know is “I wish I had asked my mother about that.”

—William Zinsser

Granddad shares his life story book with his beaming granddaughter.