The Heart of Kernersville

By NJ Clausen

Happy New Year to All! Wishing you all a year full of health, happiness, and peace. This month I would like to introduce you to a wonderful woman whom you may already know if you seek peace in the comfort of a good book borrowed from Paddison Library…Bianca Orellana.

As an only child growing up in Winston-Salem, Bianca had friends in her neighborhood to play with outside and a very active imagination that always kept her entertained. Playing pretend was one of her favorite activities, and with the thought of becoming an actress she would act out parts of her favorite movies. One of the movies she particularly liked to act out was The Sandlot. As the child of athletic parents but not very sports oriented herself, Bianca enjoyed imagining herself playing baseball with a bunch of kids. She may not have been in sports, but Bianca did play the violin. Bianca dreamed of travel and loved to write. At 8 years old she was writing poetry and short stories.

When she was a teenager Bianca wanted a cellphone, but her parents told her the only way she would get one is if she bought it herself. Her first job, at 16, was as hostess in a restaurant. All through college at UNC, Bianca worked in the International Studies Department. Initially starting as a Communications major with a minor in Journalism and Spanish, Bianca realized that an English major was where she would get the education in her true area of interest in creative writing. She switched majors but did graduate with a minor in journalism.

While a senior, Bianca traveled to England with her professor and 11 other students for a week over spring break. They studied Shakespeare, saw some of his plays and spent time in London and Stratford-upon-Avon, the place where William Shakespeare was born. Her favorite parts of this trip included staying in Stratford, browsing through an old bookstore and finding a copy of Jane Eyre as well as visiting a Shakespeare Garden. The garden was lush, colorful, immaculately manicured, meticulously organized and smelled amazing! Bianca felt grateful and blessed that it had not rained the entire week they were there.

Bianca had the opportunity to realize her dream of travel to other countries during and after her college years. When asked which country was her favorite, the answer was her dream trip to Ireland. Bianca and her best friend had been working on novels set in Ireland, but as neither had ever been there they wanted to go and see the towns that they were writing about. Bianca was awed by this gorgeous country and the very nice people.

After graduation, Bianca wanted to be a writer, but knew she needed to work to gain more experience and skill as a writer. She was hired by a large newspaper to work in the customer service department, which was alongside the department she would really have liked to work in. Bianca did write articles which were published in a related publication, however with the support and encouragement from a loved one she left the newspaper and was hired by the downtown Winston-Salem library. Bianca started as a page, and when they had the large renovation several years ago every employee was placed temporarily at a branch. Bianca was placed in Kernersville, and when a full-time position became available she was able to secure the position. One of her favorite parts of the job is being able to help someone figure out what looks to be an unsolvable problem. Helping people find what they have been unsuccessfully searching for, using her bilingual skill to translate information when needed and seeing the light in someone’s eyes when their question is answered.. these things bring her joy. Bianca shared that she also finds joy in Hygge, the Danish art of contentment, comfort and connection.

Bianca has lived in Kernersville for several years, and she loves the quietness and quaintness of the town. Although things happen everywhere, it feels like a safe place to raise a family. Bianca had her first book published while living here, a contemporary young adult novel entitled We Are Eternal which can be found in the library as well as other locations. She has another young adult romance she has finished and has hopes of finding the right literary agent to help her bring these fresh ideas to the public.

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