Archive | Writing Life

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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Lie Down Within the Night: Behind My CBC Longlisted Poems

Last spring, and earlier, in the previous winter and fall, I wrote some poems about my brother. One came in the night, in a tent, camped on the rocky shore of the arm of Simonhouse Lake that leads into Second Cranberry as J. and I were pushing into wilderness on a canoe trip. The next […]

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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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Riding Lessons: Look Where You’re Headed

Last night, I got on a horse. A beautiful white mare named Rosie with grey speckles scattered across her coat. Step by step, I got her ready: laid the blanket on her wide back, set the saddle, cinched it (over and over because some horses, like Rosie, appreciate the game of puffing up their bellies […]

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Lucky

I woke up this morning feeling lucky. J. brought me coffee in the gorgeous bird-bedecked mug he gave me a couple years ago and told me, Happy birthday. Whatever I’d been dreaming had left me with a good feeling, I suppose, because that’s what I felt, I felt happy, which, I’ll admit, has been kind-of […]

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Beginnings

So, things have been nuts. My mom came to visit, two days after the movers hauled everything into our new house. We picked her up at the airport and – you might already know this – when she got inside our front door and started climbing the stairs, she pretty much collapsed. Cue 911, and […]

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Marathon

I’m on day seventeen of the Summer of 2017 Finish My Novel marathon and our next door neighbour decided yesterday that he or she needed to start their own marathon. Of jackhammering. This put an end to my quiet working time on the back deck. It even almost triggered me towards an Internet binge session […]

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House Hunting

Last week, J. and I went south to shop for a new house. After a long day of driving, we backed our tent trailer into what could have been the worst car camping site we’ve ever occupied: zero shade, edging the trail to the beach, and monitored by two bored children on bikes who alternated […]

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