Véronique: the intro
Veronique started writing and illustrating stories in elementary school when she discovered her father’s typewriter. Elementary school was not kind to this quiet introspective child: she became the bane of her teachers’ existence by learning to read before it was permitted. While everyone was learning vowels, Veronique was reading books by Sophie, Comtesse de Segur and learning what fate awaited young girls with unbridled imaginations and a lazy streak. This was in the late ’70s in the Province of Quebec where the biggest classroom management issue was precocious readers.
Fast-forward to high school and Veronique is excelling in French, learning English by reading Agatha Christie novels and failing in math and science. A slow STEM death by a million unanswered questions: “If you were listening, they said, you would know the answer to this.” Veronique graduated high school with the certainty that she was not smart enough for math and science and abandoned her dream of becoming an obstetrician. The logical thing to do in circumstances such as these is to apply to Law School so she did.
Law School conformed to the contours of her brain. For the first time, Veronique saw A’s appear on her transcripts. To avoid taking Law School for granted — or maybe because she didn’t know how babies were made — Veronique got pregnant the following summer. And again the following summer. And again just before graduating. In a strange twist of fate, she learned as much about pregnancy and childbirth in Law School as do most Med School graduates.
With her law degree in hand, Veronique decided to stay home to care for her three young children. She hung her diploma on a nondescript wall and carried on the anonymous life of the mother of many, adding two more twigs to her fruitful family tree.
We are not sure if Veronique got bored by the quiet with 4 children or if she thought she could get a pee break by finding a real job but she applied for a Master’s in Law with specialization in biomedical ethics while expecting her 5th child and got accepted on her due date. When her infant son was 5 months old, she started commuting to Montreal from Ottawa to complete her Master’s program.
During her time at McGill University, Veronique published two Scholarly Articles with Very Serious Titles, including My idea of natural childbirth is ‘no make-up’: the ethics of cesarean section on maternal request. Her practicum placements were at the Montreal Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit and the Children Hospital of Eastern Ontario neonatal intensive care unit. Her thesis topic was informed consent in neonatal intensive care through the lens of legal pluralism or something.
After graduating, she lectured in bioethics at St-Paul’s University in Ottawa and found work, of all places, as a legislative assistant for a federal Member of Parliament where the best part of her duties was speechwriting. She took several workshops in political speechwriting and was noticed when she pretended to write Pope Francis’ inaugural speech.
Veronique had her sixth child while working as a political staffer. Shortly before the Canadian election campaign of 2011, Veronique got pregnant with her seventh child and accepted a position as her boss’s campaign manager because why the heck not. That’s when the universe thought “Let’s see what she does with that one!” and threw her a curve ball: in the thick of the election campaign Veronique found out that she was expecting twins. Babies number 7 and 8 if you are still counting.
Veronique delivered a successful election campaign and won a pair of babies in 2011. In a spectacular feat of poor timing, Veronique was offered a bioethics consultant position for a healthcare institution in Montreal halfway through her twin pregnancy, 4 years after graduating. After turning down this unique opportunity, Veronique feared that her Master’s degree in biomedical ethics had been a giant money cigar.
While on bed rest hatching her twins, Veronique started her first personal blog Vie de Cirque (Circus Life). Veronique started writing about parenting and family life, offering the no-nonsense perspective of a mother of many to her readership. Vie de Cirque eventually morphed into Fearless Family Life.
During the summer of 2016, Veronique started writing her first work of fiction inspired by her experience as an ethics consultant in neonatal intensive care. “Chance: A novel” was born.
Veronique has 9 children aged 20 all the way down to 2 and works as a technical writer.
Coming soon: Bookshelf
Books I have read and recommend.
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What I listen to (and maybe so should you)
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