Get to know Susan Bond
Sep 01, 2022
Next up in our Meet the Team series is Susan Bond. She tells us about her love of vocal harmony, her daily qigong practice, and the bounty of socks she knits!
ABA: What do you do at ABA? (What did you do prior? Or if part-time, what other work do you do?)
Susan Bond: I review manuscripts for style and flow (line editing), grammar and clarity (copyediting), and typos (proofreading). I love the wide swath of authors and topics at ABA, as well as our quarterly editorial team Zoom calls, and spirited conversations on Slack.
I’ve had three simultaneous careers in content since 2001 as a copywriter, editor, and content strategist. These have led to work in publishing, web development, private enterprise, not-for-profits, academia and marketing. I love the portability of my profession. When my daughter had her first baby a dozen years ago, I packed up and moved to her city, just because I could. In addition to ABA work, I edit books for a Canadian literary publisher, write or edit content on women’s health, education, and finance, and provide marketing or content support to non-profit organizations.
ABA: Where do you live and what do you love about your home?
SB: I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, which is a multicultural city full of lots of greenspace, arts and international foods. In 2014, Canada’s first human rights museum opened here. Winnipeg also has the largest indigenous population of any major Canadian city. I moved here after my daughter had her first child—and stayed.
ABA: What’s the first thing you do every morning to start your day on the right foot?
SB: I practice qigong—a form of tai chi that focuses on breath, movement and energy—for about half an hour before breakfast. After breakfast, if there are no morning meetings or looming deadlines, I go for a five-mile walk in a huge park nearby.
ABA: When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?
SB: Besides physical exercise, I sing in choirs and in a trio with two women friends. Vocal harmony is one of my favorite things in the world. I also spend a lot of time with my grandchildren. I love traveling and hiking, and in 2017, I walked 200 km across the south of France on a section of the Camino with a long-time friend. It took us ten days to walk from Le Puy to Conques, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
ABA: What’s your favorite thing to come home to after a long day outside of the house?
SB: Days tend to be inside, since I work from home. But that’s why a morning walk is crucial. I come home to a gorgeous view of the Winnipeg canopy, which includes a total of around eight million trees. And in winter, I knit. Lots. Of. Socks.
ABA: What book have you read and loved lately?
SB: I’m reading Two Trees Make a Forest (Jessica Lee) right now, which is billed as “an exhilarating, anti-colonial reclamation of nature writing and memoir, rooted in the forests and flatlands of Taiwan.” I’m also rereading Stephen Mitchell’s translation of the Tao Te Ching—a philosophical gem.
ABA: How do you make working remotely work for you?
SB: I love the flexibility and work-life balance that remote work affords. I’m pretty organized and disciplined at this stage in life, which makes things easier. Also, I can work from anywhere, which means I could take my work with me to Taiwan, where my oldest son and his family live.
ABA: What is your favorite thing about your workspace?
SB: My apartment is open and light. I can work in my office/den, or for a change of scenery, I can take my laptop into the sunroom or living room.
ABA: In moments of self-doubt, how do you recharge and rally to keep going?
SB: In the mid-1990s, I consciously set about learning how to live in the present by studying and writing haiku poetry and doing yoga. These days, I do daily walks and qigong. And sing.
ABA: Is there anyone you’re following the work of right now, who you’d recommend others pay attention to?
SB: Two daily newsletters: for a really good Canadian perspective, The Conversation, and for savvy tech and business reporting, The Hustle.
For literature and publishing, I love the works of poet/typographer Robert Bringhurst and poet/philosophers Jan Zwicky and Anne Simpson. Also, anything published by Gaspereau Press, a letterpress publisher I once visited in Nova Scotia.
ABA: Is there a piece of professional or life advice you’ve gotten that has always stuck with you? What is it?
SB: When in doubt, choose compassion. Listen carefully to others and think for yourself, and never unquestioningly accept whatever you hear on the news or from friends and neighbors.
“Thinking is difficult, that’s why most judge.” – Carl Jung
Get to know more wonderful folks who make A Book Apart go in our Meet the Team series!