Archive for April, 2013

Find what you love and let it kill you.

Find what you love and let it kill you.

I was just about to embark on a truly mind-numbing list of activities. To be fair, they need to be done, and in fact would be done a lot faster if I just got off my ass and did them. Filing. Laundry. General tidying up and sorting of papers. Egads. Is this why I draw breath? Is this what I presently make of these precious hours of life? 

No, it’s not. So I’m going to hurry up and get them done and out of the way, dammit, because I have real things to do. Ideas that need to be set on paper in order to become anything. Ideas and imaging that need to be set down if I am to become anyone – to myself at least. 

I’ve mentioned before that the biggest thing about creativity is to exercise it – to practice – and to use it or watch it shrivel and die. For a lot of us, NOT exercising our creativity is a slower death than following it, but we fill our time with other distractions. Why? Because we fear it won’t be good? Because we fear losing ourselves to it? 

It won’t be good enough for yourself. Your obsession with it will seem weird to others, and many people may not get it. Perhaps, at first, it won’t be any good at all. Do it anyway. If only to save yourself from being one more nameless cog in the machine, if only to understand yourself a bit better, if only to become your most real and honest self. 

If you have even the smallest urge to artistry, read this article and let it inspire you to create. 

They are not alone

Co-authors on the rise

Co-authors on the rise

“Collaborations are routine in other mediums; screenplays are often written by committee; musicians write songs with a band. So why are authors less likely to work with someone else?” Mark Medley, They are not alone, National Post, April 27, 2013,

 Make a writing group a permanent and integral part of your technique? 

Would there be more authors writing better novels if we understood the writing process differently?


The idea of the lone artist, struggling away in isolation in search of that precise form of expression is how we think of novelists today. But it’s an idea that is outdated and limiting.


Gina Buonaguro and Janice Kirk have always written together. Every novel they’ve produced, whether literary or romances they’ve written under a pen name, have been co-authored. Their recently released historical thriller The Wolves of St. Peter’s (published by HarperCollins Canada) is their third novel, and each review they’ve received says it’s their best yet.


Gina takes the praise in stride. “We’ve been writing together for ten years.” Their first novel, The Sidewalk Artist, was a lot of back and forth, with planning and writing happening concurrently. The pair would assign chapters to each other not knowing what plotlines the other might concoct. The Wolves of St. Peter’s, on the other hand, was all planned out before a single word was set down.


Editors will tell you that the line between editing and writing is far more nebulous than is commonly understood. Editors often feel their contribution to the writing process is under-appreciated and misunderstood. But with a writing partner, editing and re-working both ideas and phrasing is an essential part of the primary creative process. Maybe it’s time we stopped seeing them as such different tasks.


Once you change the concept of the writer as the lone artist, you necessarily change your approach to writing as well. “For us, writing is talking,” Gina asserts. Nothing goes on paper now until the two have  a verbal agreement, which she finds reassuring rather than restrictive. She appreciates always having someone around with whom she can to bounce ideas back and forth.


This works for their changing schedules too. At first, Gina did most of the “big chunks” of writing, and Janice would offer revisions. Now, as a mother of small children, Gina find editing and re-writing easier to do in small lumps of time. Janice’s children are grown, and while she has a fulltime job, her free time is now her own. Both feel they get more done working together.


According to Gina their personality differences benefit their writing. “She wants it perfect, I want it done,” she says. She hurries Janice to the quick pace expected by publishers these days, and Janice makes sure the quality is what they both really wanted in the end.


I’m excited to be a part of Hit the Brick’s event this Sunday with @Portage Ontario.

If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, it’s not too late to help out. Please email for more details.

Climbing the tower – all 65 feet of it!!!

This is one of the challenges coming up this Sunday at the Evergreen Brickworks for Hit The Bricks Urban Adventure Race and Festival. All proceeds to support Portage Ontario’s substance abuse rehabilitation program.

Dove Does Not Give A Shit About Whether Or Not You Feel Beautiful

The Belle Jar

Sometimes I feel like social media turns me into some kind of awful, gruesome caricature of a feminist. I spend waayyyy too much time jumping in on Facebook posts or tweets or blogs to explain why this specific thing, whatever it happens to be, is actually problematic. And I try not to do this, honest I do. I know that it’s annoying as fuck. I know that I come off like I’m Lisa Simpson except ten times worse and with more swears. I know that. I promise I do.

All of this is to explain why I have been so quiet and patient about Dove’s latest marketing campaign, Dove Real Beauty Sketches. I haven’t said anything about it. Nada. Zilch. Haven’t commented on anyone’s links, haven’t tweeted about it, haven’t even whispered darkly about it to myself when I’m alone at night and unlikely to offend anyone.

But then my…

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Launches and literary events

April 2013
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