Stephan N. Reilly
Born in Kingston, then moved to Ottawa at an early age and then to Fergus at a less early age. I grew up in Fergus, a small, rural town an hour west of Toronto. Family has always been important to me. I was lucky enough to grow up knowing my grandparents as well as my great grandparents. Trips to visit family are some of my favourite childhood memories. Growing up I had friends but none of them were really interested in the same things I was. I spent all of my spare time alphabetizing the family bookshelf or pretending to have sword fights against Donkey Kong in the backyard. I liked to play games and watch movies, as any child does. But eventually, those things became more than hobbies and evolved into passions.
I love video games, they’ve been an obsession of mine since I played my aunt’s copy of Super Mario 64 when I was very young. I feel like video games really are the most effective form of art because they require interaction. You can stare at a painting all day and it will still be the same when you’re done. You can spend a whole day playing a game and experience so much more. They’ve moved beyond their simple origins as distractions for children and really arrived as the most popular medium in our world today. Yet they still keep the core elements that made them so successful. Explore. Achieve. Play. That’s what I want to share with people in my writing and in my work.
I’m also a fan of movies, although not nearly to the same extent as games. Movies have always been a way for me to get closer to other people. Movies are how my girlfriend and I got to know each other. We just took turns picking one of our favourite movies and watching it together. My parents and I watched movies all the time when I was a child. I’ve grown up on trips to the cinema and late night marathons. I have an almost nostalgic appreciation for movies which has evolved into a passion. That’s not to say I don’t watch movies by myself, it’s just an experience I enjoy more with others whereas I can play games by myself for hours.
Myself as a Writer:
Everyone who has attended school at one point or another in his or her life has written. Whether or not they are a writer is another story. I would argue that the title of “writer” is self-prescribed. So when I sought to figure out who I am as a writer I thought back to when I started to care about the things I write for a reason other than that it was due the next day. I believe this first happened in grade seven when I wrote a poem in English class. It wasn’t all that spectacular but it was the first time I remember enjoying the time I spent writing and being proud of what I had written. This enjoyment was all the more amplified by my teacher’s decision to read my poem in front of the class. I was a little taken aback. I asked him after the class why he chose to read my poem and he told me, “Stephan, you have great potential as a writer and I thought your poem was one of the best in the class.” That was when I decided writing was something I wanted to be good at, something I wanted to be a part of my skill set. That was the seminal moment in my time writing when I decided to give myself the title of “writer.”
But the thing I love most about writing is that when you write you are encapsulating ideas and emotions that may otherwise have just been fleeting notions in your head. But when you write it down it becomes substantial. It becomes something you can share with a friend. It becomes something you can read later in life and reflect upon. It becomes something that can be discovered in hundreds of years and appreciated again by someone else for different reasons than the ones the writer had. Writing is expression in its most intimate form. Writing turns thoughts into words that can be used to share your feelings with others. That’s what’s exciting about writing. It’s my outlet for everything I want to tell people but might not be able to. That’s why I write.
My Life: After I made my heroic and daring escape from the womb in a small town in Ontario, I then moved to two progressively smaller towns until I ended up surrounded by cows. I spent a lot of time in my room as a child, left to my own devices and my own imagination. Books, movies and, of course, video games were my primary source of entertainment- as with any queer out of shape 12-year-old with social anxiety. I haven’t progressed much beyond that point, in all honesty.
I’m not sure what else to tell you. So let’s move on, shall we?
My Passions: I’m what the internet would call a “Social Justice Warrior” which essentially just means that I think we should all just try and be nice to each other I guess. I also like video games on the odd occasion.
Myself as an Editor: I’m not really a writer, I’m mostly just angry and opinionated about a lot of things and Stephan asked me to channel that hatred into blog posts so here we are I guess.