Hi. My name is Elissa Joy Watts.

Mom gave me my middle name – Joy – and taught me to use my words. Now I pay the bills doing so. Yep. No more corporate dress code. Most days, I wear slippers for a living. Didn’t see it coming but I’ll take it. Thanks, mom.

I am a writer.

And I am also a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a dreamer.

I have been many other things too. My roundabout journey enables me to connect with a variety of people in a unique way. Empathy is everything.

As a professional, I’ve been an ambitious risk-taker, a burnout, a corporate success and a hustling freelancer. Did I mention the bit about serving fish & chips to hungry tourists at a greasy West End hole-in-the-wall? That only lasted five weeks. Thank God.

My education is roundabout too. I’ve been a smartypants whiz kid, an overachieving teen, a valedictorian, a college drop-out, and a whip-smart culinary student. (Pun very much intended.) I’ll be a pupil until I’m in the grave. I have so much to learn.


I am a noticer

I have a reputation for paying close attention to life. My midlife crisis dropped by early. I was 24. Now I exhale vulnerability and welcome tears. I’ve learned that joy waits patiently for those who sit in sorrow’s shadow long enough to witness its unmistakable spark. I love a good fire.

My peculiar journey has taught me that truth heals and love wins. Sincerity is king and queen, perfection is oppressive, and unwarranted kindness is never wasted. People must always come first. To borrow the words of Annie Dillard, how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. I want to spend them wisely.

I am a professional amateur.

Amateur as in “one who loves.” I am head over heels for the world we share. It is unpredictable and broken and yet full of beauty. Lipstick. Butter. Handmade slippers. Dry Shampoo. Gin. Opera. Mind-blowing Indian cuisine. I try not to blink. The little things bring me tremendous joy.


I am a gypsy.

Home is hard to pin at this stage. Toronto holds my early memories but Vancouver saw me grow up, smarten up, and fall in love. Australia welcomed me like family. Scotland stole my sanity and gave me back my heart. Knoxville taught me to let go of writing my own story.

Then there’s Paris and Rome and New York City and Galiano Island and our minivan. We spent over a year carting two kids around and living out of suitcases. I know. It’s all very confusing, definitely fodder for a memoir. Home is everywhere and nowhere.

Writing is therapy.

Whether it’s work or play, I love what I do. Enjoy my rambling thoughts. Thanks for lending your attention. Please don’t send an invoice.