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My stuff: Samantha Beiko

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Samantha Beiko

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Samantha Beiko

Samantha Beiko

Writer of young adult fantasy, whose just debuted her first novel, The Lake and the Library (ECW Press)

If your house were on fire, heaven forbid, what's the one item contained within that you would try to take with you? (People, pets and computers not included.)

This one is always the hardest, because I was immediately like "my computer" (my entire life is on there.) However, one extremely precious item is my dad's '50s cathedral radio, which belonged to his dad, which used to reside in our old cabin, which passed to me when I moved to Toronto. Living alone in a strange city for the first time can be tough, but we are a radio family, and it kept me company and reminded me always of home. It now sits in my kitchen blaring the Golden Oldies station every morning, still in perfect working order.

What's the one clothing/fashion item you can't live without?

Since I can't say "every single one of my vintage/vintage-reproduction 1940s/50s garments, hats, gloves, and shoes," I can narrow it down to my cat-eye sunglasses. They class up anything!

What's your favourite knick-knack and why?

This delicate pink and white porcelain dragon statue, standing on a mountaintop. My fianc© and I each bought a different dragon at Medieval Times in Toronto last spring when we were still living in separate cities. It was an amazing, cheese-ball evening, but the dragons totally topped the night. They are so epic looking, and I took great pains to bring them to Winnipeg undamaged.

What's the oldest thing you own?

Most of my furniture and clothing is either vintage or antique, but probably the oldest thing of them all is my pocket collection of S.T Coleridge poems (1869).

Describe your most beloved piece of furniture.

My writing desk, which was my baba's 1911 Treadle Singer sewing machine table. My dad and I fixed and re-purposed it into a desk last year. The wrought iron pedal and wheel still works, and I still pump it regularly while trying to clear my writers' block.

Is there an edible item we'll always find in your pantry or fridge?

Leftover vegetarian sushi! It's a hazard living next to so many fabulous restaurants, particularly sushi joints, on Academy Road.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 11, 2013 E2

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