My name is Gersande La Flèche. I'm a queer nonbinary* artist and writer-in-progress living in Tiohtià:ke / Montreal, Quebec, on the unceded territory of the Kanien'kehá:ka, traditionally the meeting place between nations. To situate myself in the ongoing colonization of North America, I am a settler of Breton, Italian, Québécois-Irish and Colombian origin.
I began writing this blog in 2011. This was around the time I began an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing at Concordia University, a 180 degrees course-correction I hoped would change my life for the better, after a really unsatisfying stint studying electrical engineering.
At first, this blog was a collection of class notes, assignments and essays (all abjectly embarassing) and recordings of my activities outside class. Few of those early posts remain, because of their low quality and candid if maybe melodramatic Livejournal-esque style.
Despite my departure from the tech milieu in academia, between 2012 and 2014 I co-founded the non-profit organization Kids Code Jeunesse here in Canada, where I helped transmit web design and rudimentary game design skills to children through workshops in the classroom. My work in the non-profit scene led to me appear a handful of times in the media here in Canada. However, in 2014, I had to make a choice: pursue the growth of the organism into something scalable and sustainable, or finish my studies. I chose my studies, and thus writing — and finally did receive my degree in 2016.
That choice gave me renewed focus. I redirected my career to focus on writing and translation, and this blog became a space for experimentation and reflection, for the drafts and not-quite-half-baked ideas, always with the aim of seeking and finding wonder in the world. In 2019, I decided it was high time to get back into writing in French, after so long a time spent in the anglophone Canadian and American education systems.
A handful of my interests:
- Irish, French, Quebec, Canadian, Indigenous, Colombian and Chilean literature, though I am continuously exploring more;
- science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, speculative fiction, poetry, graphic novels, and YA;
- social justice and environmental issues;
- tea (an obsession!);
- crochet and textiles;
- painting, especially watercolour;
- plants, especially comestible flowers and herbs such as chamomile, as well as herbalism;
- hiking and wandering about;
- sailing and the history of mucking about on boats;
- singing and playing the guitar poorly.
To find out more on my life and my projects, I invite you to read this blog with an open mind and a generous attitude.* I use they/them/their pronouns.
I also receive from time to time emails from folks who have read this blog and simply wish to communicate their thoughts to me, and I am always truly grateful for these messages. I read every single one, and try to respond to as many as I can, though I can't always get to them in a timely manner. I gently propose the following guidelines if you want to maximise your chances of receiving a response:
Will almost always receive a response:
- A personalized email on a subject that thrills you, more or less related to my own interests as expressed on this blog;
- A direct email asking a clear question I am well-situated to answer;
- A message consisting of a direct response to an article on my blog, or even a disagreement to my writing (however I will not acknowledge any personal attacks, abuse, or cruelty).
Will perhaps receive a response:
- A very long or very vague email;
- An email proposing artistic or creative collaboration (unfortunately my replies will almost always be a gentle refusal unless the envisioned project is truly exceptional);
- An email looking for a tutor or workshop leader to teach kids how to code;
- A request to participate in a study, research, or some other academic project;
- Any request for volunteering including pro-bono work.
I have a privacy and comments policy for my blog and website, which is available in English here: Privacy & Comments Policy.
I have maintained this blog since 2014 without advertisements, so I get no income from this blog because my politics are that we all deserve spaces free of the ever-constant bombardment of brands. Maintaining this blog usually costs between 170-200$CAD a year depending on site traffic. In case you are inclined or simply found my blog useful or instructive, I maintain a tip jar over on Ko-Fi.