Elaine A. Small, nee Sawchuk, was born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada. At age twenty she left home to pursue her dreams, and has since resided in the Toronto area– now with her husband Richard Haeberlin, in Belleville, Ontario.
Several successful careers followed: first as an X-ray technician/cancer therapist, at the General Hospital, TO, while attending the Toronto Conservatory of Music from which a short, but successful, career as a chanteuse in Canada and the Northern USA ensued.
Soon, however, due to dire family pressures, a new career was born as a European fashion buyer for Holt Renfrew and The Bay, followed by a decade ownership of two Toronto stores, Alaynes Fashions; this was followed by yet another fruitful career as a licensed real estate agent/ investor in Toronto; this led to a brief stint as a restaurant/motel owner, and finally, fifteen happy years with husband Richard as combined owners of the majestic B&B, Tara Hall (c.1839), in Wellington, Ontario.
Not “busy enough,” in the mid-‘90s Elaine returned to York University to follow her life-long interest in learning to complete an Honours degree in English, followed by a Master’s degree in 2001. She then attended the Humber School for Writers in Toronto, to achieve a Program of Study in Creative Writing from which her award winning -book, Priests in the Attic, a memoir, was born and published, in 2010:
“My memoir, www.priestsintheattic.com is fuelled by the doctrines of Gaston Bachelard, the French philosopher, whose precepts on childhood reverie (Poetics of Reverie) inspired the thesis for my MA degree. Based on Bachelard’s doctrines, my memoir reveals the powerful affect of one’s emotional truth in early childhood and its profound influence on one’s future and those closely allied with it”:
“I consider this book to be timely in light of the ongoing energy prevalent in the burgeoning Boomer/Zoomer population. Their vast numbers, some 11 million in Canada alone, continue to dominate and influence today’s collective conscience through their feisty attitude towards aging. Hopefully my book will resonate among them and you…. This, at least, is my hope…”
-Small’s writing moves in waves of emotion, returning often to what she calls “reverie” — the sudden infusion of joy, sadness, or an intense mix of both brought on by old memories or religious epiphanies. I personally found Small’s story revealing and inspirational — at its best when it stays with her personal struggles and triumphs. —H.S.W Literary Agency
-”Small has an artful way of moving spontaneously between the past, present and back again without losing the story’s rhythm….There is an honesty about her writing that leaves the reader vulnerable and defenseless.” —W. Ellis, On. Canada
-”Memoirs of such singers as Elaine (Steele) are rare. Her book belongs in every music library in Canada….The insights on women in the workplace during the 1960s and 1970s are unique and unusually sincere.”—W. Sydorenko, editor, Cathedral Bells. Toronto.
Note: After a lengthy suspension of her singing career, Elaine has returned to her first love, Music: “It is a true thrill to finally have the opportunity to record a professional CD with Canada’s top jazz musicians: Guido Basso, Brian Barlow, Mark Eisenman and Scott Alexander.”
I’ll Be Seeing You is an exciting collection from The Great American Songbook offered in a Jazz-pop genre with wonderful clarity. It is now available at Sam’s in the Quinte Mall, at Pinnacle Studios and Quinte Arts Council in Belleville, ON. Also at Books and Company in Picton, and, on-line, available from CDbaby, iTunes, Amazon.com, CD Universe and other venues… For more information see www.elaineasmall.com