We’ve talked about some of our favourite places to write, and today I thought I’d share a bit about our favourite place to work: the Word Alive Press offices. Those of you who’ve had a chance to visit us in person may recall our offices are far from the classic downtown skyscraper location one might expect a publisher to be located in.
On the outskirts of Winnipeg, down a gravel road that becomes as bumpy and rutted as a wash board every spring, lay the Word Alive Press offices. Nestled in the middle of the prairie, our office windows overlook pine and spruce trees, and we are visited daily by the varied wildlife Manitoba has to offer: raccoons, jack rabbits, squirrels, robins, wood peckers, blue jays, yellow-rumped warblers, falcons, deer, and weasels have all been known to make an appearance outside our offices. Just this morning, there was a great to-do when I noticed a sleek brown woodchuck dart out from under a tree and dive under a coworker’s car. Within minutes we were all taking our morning coffee break outside, taking turns trying to shoo our little visitor out from under the vehicle and back into the safety of the grassland.
We feel truly blessed to be witness to the abundance of God’s creation throughout our work days—our gravel road is a favourite route for many joggers and cyclists, and just meters past it is a dog run where we see canines of all varieties tearing through the vegetation with their owners in hot pursuit. On one particularly gorgeous summer day last year, we spent most of our lunch breaks flying kites outside. When I read about the growing trend of office “creative spaces” (areas intended to get the creative juices flowing and encourage big ideas; a favourite of more dynamic and innovative companies—Skype is infamous for its indoor-outdoor workspaces, fitted with Astroturf and cushions tailored to look like bolders; and Dropbox’s San Francisco offices feature a pingpong table wall installation), I realize how lucky we are to be situated in such an open space. Any time I need a brain break, whether it’s to calm down after an intensive work section, or rev up for a planning meeting, I can just step outside and breathe in the clean air, gaze at the expansive prairie sky, and recharge.
If you do get a chance to visit Word Alive Press, you’ll see what we mean—keep driving down that gravel road until you think you’ve gone too far, and then just drive a little further, and you’ll find us: across from the dog run, beside the landscaping warehouse, buried behind the pine trees, and in the heart of it all.
Amy Groening is a Project Manager at Word Alive Press. She is a passionate storyteller with experience in blogging, newspaper reportage, and creative writing. She holds an Honours degree in English Literature and is happy to be working in an industry where she can see other writers’ dreams come to life. She enjoys many creative pursuits, including sewing, sculpture and painting, and spends an embarrassingly large amount of time at home taking photos of her cats committing random acts of feline crime.