Archive | Workshops

Deep Dive

In the Whiteshell last weekend, at the gorgeous and oh-so-welcoming Falcon Trails Resort, I wrote with eleven other women during the Wild Writing in the Boreal retreat Donna Besel and I co-taught. I went a bit wild, too – thanks to a singalong, fantastic company, and too much homemade Hutterite Colony wine… Lucky for me, that […]

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Collage

My brain has been a free-wheeling swirl of colour and ideas lately. Not sure why. Seems, though, like I’m constantly jotting ideas into my notebook – for visual art, fabric art (I’m learning how to crochet while also playing with needle-felting…), stories, projects to try to get up and running, new classes to launch…. Maybe […]

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Write With Me In the Woods!

A few weeks ago, J. and I went to the boreal. We traveled east, out of the Prairies, until we hit shield country, then drove north to Black Lake in Nopiming Provincial Park. The landscape was perfect: just like home with rocky granite outcrops, water tinted a tannic red, red pines twisted in the wind. […]

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Come for Tea?

I’m stuck on Chapter Four. Partly because I’ve spent the past five days working to eradicate some of the beige that covers every wall (well, except for bathroom’s combo of ’80s aqua and stark white and the kitchen’s half-and-half neon yellow and, again, stark white) in our new-to-us home. All the while, my mind’s been […]

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Beet Juice

Create a character, I said last night, during a class I’m teaching called Write Your Heart Out! (from Joyce Carol Oates’s advice to writers). A picture of feet was up on the screen. Red converse sneakers, legs in jeans, gender-neutral. Paint what you can’t see. Follow the pen into backstory, emotions, relationships or simply a […]

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On Showing Up

The other day, I was talking with a friend about showing up. Just past blue Monday, in a frigid winter that’s kept us inside for days, some mornings the best that you can do is stumble over to your desk, sit there, and wait. Not for the green thrust of spring. Not even for epiphanies. […]

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Motherly Advice

I’m back where I started. Staring down the bumpy road of an unfinished draft. My next novel – the big, fat manuscript that my agent says doesn’t work (which, by the way, I didn’t update you on, dear reader, after informing you I’d sent it, my ego too bruised, I suppose. Instead, I got on […]

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What I Had To Lose

When I was in my mid-20s, tired of toiling seemingly aimlessly at 6 a.m. timed writings every morning before leaving for my 9 to 5 job, I took a creative writing course. I’d published a bit of poetry and a few personal essays and done some freelance journalism, but I wanted to do what felt […]

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Learning To Finish

I’ve had a lot of wonderful conversations with writers over the past couple of weeks. Good conversations, and sometimes sad ones. Some of the writers I’ve spoken with – maybe even you – have been struggling with projects for several years (even decades) and/or trying – and often failing – to find time to work […]

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Can We Chat?

The other day I was talking to a client about fantasy. How easy it is to write the first sentence of a story, that beginning scene, then sit back, dream the whole thing, and watch it fizzle when you don’t do the work to get it finished. Years can go by like that, even decades. […]

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