Productive & Motivated

Last month was a whirlwind. I'd entered the first thirty pages and a too-long synopsis to the Toronto Romance Writers contest, The Catherine. I was a finalist in my category, and the judges comments were incredibly helpful. With less than a week to get my pages...

…About the Word ‘Black’

I attended a writing workshop a few weeks ago and the speaker talked about 'black moments', alluding to the despair and hopeless experienced by a character. That pissed me off. Such a lazy, unimaginative descriptor. Why is 'black' or the concept of 'not white', a...

Taylor Mali – Poems, Inspiration & Opportunities

Slam poet and longtime educator Taylor Mali looks back on his journey from the birth of the poem "What Teachers Make," through its resulting impact on a surprising number of newfound teaching converts—all the way through his official registration of 1000 new teachers....

Agent Pitches & Elizabeth Gilbert on Writing

Last week, I did a pitch to an agent during a writers' conference. I'd sweated like a stevedore over preparing my first query letter and honed my first page to what I thought was not cringe-inducing. All bright and eager, I sat myself down in front of the cool, pale...

Becoming redeemed, writerly speaking

I've gutted my manuscript from 129,000 words to 60,000 by cutting out one major story line. Let me tell you, that was like opening a vein with no sutures in sight. For six weeks, I didn't touch the draft, because it was worse than starting over. It's like a bag of...

Poe Wisdom – Originality

This daguerreotype of Edgar Allen Poe was made four days after he tried to commit suicide after his wife's death, by overdosing on opiates.The remedy for his grief didn't work, but helped augment his reputation as an odd duck. No one could deny that the man had a way...

Remembering Desiderata

It seems we're always rushing, rushing. Glancing at our watches or smartphones to know the time. Yet, we complain there aren't enough hours in the day to do what we have planned. And we tumble into a vortex governed by seconds, minutes and hours while often losing...

Take it up a Notch with Digital Storytelling

I signed up for another excellent online course offered by Future Learn. Digital Storytelling takes students through the why, what and how of using video or other visual media to tell stories. While the focus is on short films, the lessons on what is story, the...

Harlan Ellison – Pay the Writer!

I had lunch with a friend on Friday and we got to talking about how hard it is to build a viable author platform because of all the 'noise' generated by social media. Twitter feeds, Facebook, Mention, Instagram, Tumblr, blogs, Google+, LinkedIn, Buffer, Tailwind,...