Archive | Novel

Circles and Loops

Grief is not linear. It does not come in stages. It loops back, squiggles forward, circles and dips. Like everyone says (everyone who’s been there, I mean), it comes in waves. Buried in novel revisions, focused on creating, I’ve been doing okay. But then I hit send to deliver my manuscript to my agent, looked […]

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The Path

Lately, I’ve lapsed. I’ve let weeks pass without posting on my blog when, for a few years, I’ve managed to keep up the routine of a pretty regular Thursday post. But I hope you’ll forgive me. Life has been so crazy lately – with my brother’s death and my mother’s recent serious surgery (I’m in Ontario […]

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I’m Not Okay (And That’s Okay)

Yesterday, my doctor asked me if I’m “getting past” my brother’s death. It’s only been eight weeks, I said. And he was my brother. In some ways, I’ll never ‘get past’ it. Yes, she said, looking away. We keep them in our hearts. Well, duh. I don’t really need the platitude, thank you very much. […]

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Five Weeks

I’ve been busy all week working on my book and assorted other projects; the grief comes and goes. It’s been almost five weeks, but I think actually that part of me is still in denial that my brother is GONE. But they say that, don’t they? That it takes a year of passing through the […]

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To Write

Since coming home I’ve been working steadily on a novel that was always meant to be for Tim. It breaks my heart that he won’t ever get to see that dedication – for my brother – and to really get how much he meant to me and how much our relationship, often challenging, always complex, also enriching […]

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Catching Fire

I can tell when the writers I’m coaching are starting to catch fire. It’s when they write to me, bubbling over with the work they’re doing, whether that’s revising or writing hundreds of words a day when before they were sluggish, not wanting to start. There’s an energy in their emails that wasn’t there in […]

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Climbing Gear

Here’s a confession: I’m tired. Really tired. Exhausted, actually. I’m about fifteen pages away from finishing the latest in-depth edits of my book and have already told my agent to expect it in her email in-box on Monday. I’m nearing the summit, I guess, and feel oh-so-ready for a protein bar and a cup of […]

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Photo on 2016-04-02 at 6.08 PM

Finishing

There’s a moment that often comes back to me. Early autumn of 2010, at a bed-and-breakfast in Ontario’s Muskokas. I was there on a solitary writing retreat and in the afternoon, at the desk, after a few days of hard work, I typed the last words and finished Swarm. I stood up, walked outside, and […]

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Tough Love

This week, I’ve been practicing some tough love. My motto has been: Stop snivelling. I’ve been getting up early, hauling chunks of my draft back to bed and editing, re-writing, deepening. No checking my [fill in the Internet blank] first, no opting out. Because, as I said last week, the only way out is through. […]

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Loop

I admit it: I’m procrastinating. That is what you’d call spending half an hour planning a wedding vow renewal ceremony in Vegas after a deal popped up in my email, right? Instead of addressing Chapter Thirteen, I’ve picked the hotel (the Mirage, since it looks like it has the best pool, and, um, lounging around […]

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