About Shedders and me


I have completed a book, “Shedders”, which tells the story of myself and five friends who committed to creating a community where we could retire together. We wanted a future where we could live together, share passions and provide support for one another, in the process, finding a different, healthier, more invigorating way of ageing. Over the course of many months, I told this story – as true a story as ever happened – serialised a chapter at a time on this site.

As you peruse the site and the Shedders book, I would love to hear from you. Please give feedback on the writing and the story, or share about your experiences in wanting to set up your own intentional community. Or just wave at fellow travellers in the world of writing, of fulfilling a vision, or of surviving and thriving with people. We are inventing it all together.

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
Alan Kay 1971


The urge to write stories was always with me.

While I was growing up in Tomahawk, Alberta, Canada (about as far off the beaten path as you’re ever unlikely to go), I had the urge. There were only 16 of us in my class. They all knew I had the urge. I wrote stories, poems and anguished teenage novels, but mostly I was dreaming of getting a bit closer to the beaten path.

I went to University in Alberta. While I still had the urge, I ended up studying education, because, as my mother pointed out, it’s good to have something to fall back on. And it worked out pretty well because I taught English and creative writing (not to mention drama, which was even more fun) for 10 years.

During my revolutionary days I met my life partner, Rick. He was a revolutionary too. And we decided to do two things. 1. Have a couple of children and 2. Move to Australia. The kids are Michael and Jenn and they’re both now in their 30s. We’re still in Australia where I’m a quiet revolutionary. But I never lost the urge.

I had a career as a managing director and corporate trainer in my own company (Learning Alliance in Sydney and Melbourne). I was good at it. I wrote courses, marketing materials, website content, proposals, submissions and lots of other stuff. It was writing but it never satisfied the urge.

Now I’ve retired and I’m finally doing something about the urge. I took on a project to write 100 short stories in 2 years. (Don’t try this at home!) And I’ve learned that there is something to this urge business. I LOVE IT. I don’t want to ever stop writing.

In the last year I finished my first full length manuscript, called Shedders.

And now I’ve discovered a brand new urge. To get published. Luckily I was born at the right time and have the internet. That means I can publish whatever I want whenever I want. That’s not likely to completely satisfy the urge (hard to get on the best-seller list and all that), but it’s a start. If anything changes, I’ll let you know.

Heather Bolstler
May 2012