In 2008, I booked myself a hotel for the night for a DIY writing retreat, after being frustrated at not being able to afford a traditional retreat, and also too impatient to wait for one I could afford. I’d been meaning to do it again since then, and last weekend I finally did. Here are my thoughts about my DIY writing retreat, what I learned, and what I’d do differently. (READ MORE)
February 29, 2016: A few months ago, I visited Ottawa and went on a guided tour of Centre Block (which is one of our Parliament buildings, for those unfamiliar). It was very interesting to see all of it, but my favourite was the Library of Parliament. There were many gasps from my group when we walked in, and I was definitely one of those people.
I mean, just look at it! (READ MORE)
It’s been fall for a few days now, and it’s probably the third one in a row where I can look back on my summer writing and actually feel fairly impressed. Usually, summer is terrible for my writing. In my part of Ontario the summers are scorching, humid, and long. Many people love this, but I tend to wilt and become sluggish and annoyed. In the past this has meant my writing becomes sluggish too, and I don’t really produce much of anything at all. However, since the year I started writing my first novel, not writing in the summers simply wasn’t an option. It just wouldn’t work. (READ MORE)
Written by art historian Tuula Karjalainen, Tove Jansson: Work and Love, as the title suggests, focuses on Jansson’s life as it relates to her work and her relationships. I knew a bit about her life, and I knew that she did more than create the Moomins (I own a few of her non-Moomin books and love them dearly), but her level of dedication to her work was new to me. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be an artist. She worked at it diligently, and was prolific across many creative fields. (READ MORE)
I hope this is a positive rant! I’ve just been noticing that a fair number of people on social media refer to themselves as an aspiring writer. They post pictures of their works-in-progress, they talk about story ideas they’re fleshing out, they talk with other writers, they even attend workshops and conferences.
And every single time, I wish I could tell them: You already are a writer! (READ MORE)
Okay, I’ll be honest: I just completed the first chapter the other day. What had been occupying my brain up ’til then has been the research, the worldbuilding. I examined the small amount of actual narrative I’d written for the short story, and realized that I couldn’t go on – I hadn’t figured out how the magic system in this world worked. (READ MORE)
Unpopular opinion: I think the Rewind feature in Instagram stories is better than any other (I’m looking at you, Boomerang.) And writing in reverse is sometimes more fun than writing normally. (READ MORE)