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March 21st is World Poetry Day. What better way to honour their legacy than to visit the cities that inspired their work?
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So, you want to complain that journalists won't delve into worthy topics and look for story lines that others aren't covering? Sorry, but if it's not a trending topic, there's no money to be made. If that's what you want, then like anything else of value, you'll just have to go back to paying for it.
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Rejections ache. Book rejections have their own trauma, and yet they're a chance for growth. In the 40 years it took me to get my non-fiction book, The Age of Daredevils, published, I learned about my weaknesses and how to take a punch.
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Terrifying to the blocked artist while full of possibilities to the creative mind, what emotion does a blank canvas bring within you?
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We, as a society, are on a streak of consuming content based on totally imagined, impossible-to-relate-to worlds. Indeed, this is us, a human race that's fully accepting of bug-eyed, slimy aliens. And yet... a story that involves a different culture or a different skin colour is simply a little too..."out there?"
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Writing saved my life. Without it, I wouldn't be here. It's really that simple. While that may sound a little somber, stay with me as I elaborate. Last year, I fell into a deep depression. The deepest...
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We live in a world of bold, dazzling Technicolor. Feel and emote in an array of vibrancy and texture. So it's important that our characters reflect that same richness all around us; otherwise, the alternative is to fade away into the desolate landscape of the white default.
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We're not in medieval times. A time when only monks held the ability to read and write and monasteries housed the majority of the free world's books, handing the Church of England tremendous power over the everyman and everywoman living in poverty and voluntary ignorance. A period in history when you could only craft words skillfully -- or at all -- if you possessed status and wealth.
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Perhaps the hardest part about being a mom is leaving your kids, tearing yourself in half, whether for an MFA residency, like I'm doing, or even just to travel or go to work each day. Parenthood is a juggling act, and some days we are better at balancing than others.
Romeo And/Or Juliet
I would never be so arrogant to say I have all the answers and of course the topic of "What makes someone a writer" is incredibly subjective, but in my experience, there are many signs informing you that you are indeed destined to to string words together during your time on this blue and green orb. Here are seven of them.
I first meet Ryan North, creator of Dinosaur Comics, co-editor of the Machine of Death series, and author of To Be or Not To Be: That is the Adventure, at a recent Toronto reading. North was presenting the sequel to TBoNTB: TitA, a second choose-your-path Shakespeare novel titled Romeo and/or Juliet.
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Canggu is a visually stunning paradise where rice paddies meet ocean. Like most of Bali, it is full of kindness, and very relaxed. Out on the roads, cars, trucks, buses and scooters press up against each other, snaking through black exhaust in an unhurried manner, everyone just emanating this "we'll get there eventually" vibe.
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It has become clear to me recently that not only do people not know where to start, but often they don't know what to write about. As someone who just writes, because I love writing, I have come to understand that it is not that way for everyone.
Be early: Never, ever be late for a meeting or appointment. I am routinely over an hour early for meetings. Not only does it relieve stress (yours) and frustration (theirs) but that hour gives you ample preparation time, or time to finish other work and errands while you have a coffee.