Czajkowski, Chris (tine) 1947-

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CZAJKOWSKI, Chris (tine) 1947-


Surname is pronounced Chy-koff-ski; born August 7, 1947, in England; immigrated to Canada, 1979; daughter of Edmund Jan (an antique restorer) and Edith May (Rumbold) Czajkowski. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Studley College, diploma in agriculture. Politics: "Pro-environment."


Home—c/o General Delivery, Nimpo Lake, British Columbia, Canada V0L 1R0. E-mail—[email protected].


Worked in agriculture at various sites around the world, prior to 1979; farmer in Canada, 1979-82; writer and operator of "eco-tours," 1982—.


Nomination for Canadian National Magazine Award, for an article published in Harrowsmith.



To Stalk the Oomingmak: An Artist's Arctic Journal, Aquarelle Publishing (Baton Rouge, LA), 1990.

Cabin at Singing River: Building a Home in the Wilderness, Camden House (Camden East, Ontario, Canada), 1991.

Diary of a Wilderness Dweller, Orca (Custer, WA), 1996.

Nuk Tessli: The Life of a Wilderness Dweller (sequel to Diary of a Wilderness Dweller), Orca (Custer, WA), 1999.

Snowshoes and Spotted Dick: Letters from a Wilderness Dweller, Harbour Publishing (Medeira Park, British Columbia, Columbia, Canada), 2003.

Contributor of articles, photographs, and drawings to periodicals, including Harrowsmith and Wildflower.


Lonesome: Diary of a Wilderness Dog, for Raincoast Book Distribution (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada).


Chris Czajkowski told CA: "The primary motivation for writing is my life. I live in an exciting environment: a high-altitude lake in British Columbia's Coast Mountains that can be reached only by float plane or on foot. I, a middle-aged woman, built my first two cabins single-handedly, felling the trees myself and dragging them to the site with a come-along. I live alone, and I guess a desire to share my beautiful world with friends and strangers has led me to write about it in various ways. I've always loved creating things—paintings, buildings, fabric from raw, natural fibers—consequently I love the actual craft of writing.

"My work is obviously influenced by my environment. I'm also a painter, printmaker, photographer, and a self-taught botanist: my visual art has a heavy botanical bias. From my remote cabin I run an eco-tour business for hikers and naturalists. During the spring and fall, I give slide shows about my world, often speaking to audiences of several hundred people. Everything in my life is tied together.

"To write, I have an eleven-year-old Mac Classic computer. Because of my remote existence, it is operated by solar power. As I do most of my writing in winter when I have few tourists, and have only a very small solar system, I must conserve power. I usually, therefore, do a very rough first draft in longhand. The second draft often bears very little relationship to the first, but without the initial scribbling I spend long, unproductive hors staring at the screen, and power is wasted. If I want to do a lot of computer work I cannot spare enough power for electric lights, so I must illuminate the keyboard by candlelight or coal oil lamps.

"I find it best to put a draft of a manuscript aside for several months to get a more balanced look at it. The other occupations in my life (tourists, slide show and book tours) in fact force me to do this. Being the kind of person who likes to completely finish a job once it is started, I always find the interruptions irritating, but they are the best thing that could happen to the manuscript."



Nuk Tessli Alpine Experience, (November 16, 2003).