Archive | Process

Monday Morning

J. and I have this thing we do. We move through the (sometimes) long months of the school year by breaking them down into days of the week. May and June are Friday. January and February are Wednesday. No doubt, you’ve already figured out what this means but I’ll spell it out anyway: September is […]

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Renewal

Last week, in the woods, I became reacquainted with my brain. I remembered who I am. The paddling was tough. Every time we hit a lake, the wind bore down like a creature, pushing two-foot waves at us, and we had long distances to cover. There were whole days of paddling, when my shoulders smarted […]

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Craving Kin

It took about two minutes of talking to a few writer friends at the Canadian Writers’ Summit last weekend before I began realizing what might be wrong with my novel. I felt like a sponge, soaking up thoughts, ideas, writerly conversations while wandering between tents and event rooms at a muggy Harbourfront Centre in downtown […]

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Jennifer Manuel: Out of a Jar (on Writing with Honesty)

I’ve been on a reading blitz lately about residential schools. I’ve read a couple novels that address this atrocious time in Canadian history, and I’m deep into volume one of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, a text that every Canadian should read, and which many will read, thanks to […]

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Holding Fast for Nineteen Years

I looked up the etymology of tenacity this morning, and discovered that it comes from the Latin tenax which means ‘holding fast’ (the original meaning of fast being ‘to hold firmly’). I like this. I like the idea of holding one’s dreams and intentions and desires firmly in one’s heart. Because that’s what I’ve been doing, […]

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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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Retreat

Last weekend, J. and I hauled our shabby little tent-trailer, purchased two summers ago from a guy in Thunder Bay with hardly any teeth, to Bakers Narrows Provincial Park near Flin Flon. We camped on the Canadian Shield. J. wanted to find the path in to One Portage Lake, which, rumour has it, is stuffed full […]

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Denting the Armour

On the orange wall of my office, in black marker, I’ve scrawled the words: Don’t be careful! I got this idea from Sarah Selecky and when I first wrote it, I believed it to be about the writing, an instruction I could glance at, reminding me to go deeper, to not let that internal ever-cautious […]

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The Tribe

On Tuesday, I drove to the airport to pick up Garry Thomas Morse, a writer from Winnipeg who read last night as a special guest at the launch of The Pas Regional Library’s Writer-in-Residence program. Then we stopped in to meet Lorri Neilsen Glenn, our writer-in-residence, who’d arrived that afternoon in the north. She’s staying in a […]

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Mixed Tape & CanLit Collections: Christy Ann Conlin’s The Memento

Christy Ann Conlin‘s brand new book The Memento “wields a strange power and force, both psychological and emotional” writes Robert Wiersema in The Toronto Star. Here, she shares the music and artifacts that helped breathed life into this “coming of age story with elements of ghost stories, haunted houses, family curses and folk tales.” It’s rare […]

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