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Life is Beautiful

life is beautifulI was really taken with this image….

 

Stacks of books with a small handwritten note, ripped from a page, and peeking out from between two novels with a small heart and the inked “life is beautiful.”

It perfectly captures ME.

I was always a bookworm growing up, and found quiet refuge in reading. As soon as I opened a book, the rest of the world fell away. And as I read “The End”, as much as I missed the story and the characters, I knew there would always be another book to open. I was always happily searching for the next one.

As I grew, I continued to read and it still brought me happiness. But I also paid attention to all the small things in life that are joyful – my daughter giggling in her sleep when I tickled the soft skin under her chin, my husband reaching for my hand, and finding it, without having to look, the comfort of sinking my head into a fluffy pillow at the end of a long day.

I think that my thirst to read, my (continually refining) powers of observation, and my inclination to always try to look on the positive side of things will serve me well as an ever aspiring writer.

What special qualities do you have that are important to your life as a writer?

Photo Source: http://daytobeyou.com/stay-strong/life-is-beautiful/

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Who Loves Coffee?

…a Mama with an early riser and an endless “to-do” list 🙂

 

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From the CanLit Queen…

“The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.”
― Margaret AtwoodThe Blind Assassin

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Book Launch of The Poisoned Pawn!

My friends Tara Hollister and Sarah Atchison accompanied me to the book launch of Peggy Blair’s The Poisoned Pawn at the Orange Art Gallery in Ottawa. It was a very fun evening with a Cuba theme and not only did we get to chat with Peggy again, Tara was able to cozy up to the Mayor – Jim Watson (@JimWatsonOttawa).

Fun all around, and some interesting art to look at too!

See my review of the Poisoned Pawn here.

To come – an interview with the author.

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Necessary Punctuation Marks! :)

8 New Punctuation Marks - Image 10

 

 

8 New Punctuation Marks We Desperately Need - Image 10

 

 

8 New Punctuation Marks - Image 10

 

 

8 New and Necessary Punctuation Marks - Image 1

 

 

8 New and Necessary Punctuation Marks - Image 1

 

 

8 New and Necessary Punctuation Marks - Image 1

 

 

8 New and Necessary Punctuation Marks - Image 1

 

 

8 New and Necessary Punctuation Marks - Image 1

 

Want to use these punctuation marks? Click here to download the CollegeHumor Punctuation font and get access to all of them.

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Science and Storytelling – Starring Atif Kukaswadia!

Talk about the why.  Tell that story. Read more…

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Vincent Lam gave me some advice…

Have you ever had the opportunity to ask a question of one of the greats in your field of interest?  I have. Read more…

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A writing tip from Chuck Wendig

HARDEN THE FUCK UP, CARE BEAR

Any creative person has to be a little bit hard of heart — how can you not be? You can’t go sobbing into a potted plant every time you get a bad review. Just because someone told you “no, I can’t rep this, can’t publish this” doesn’t mean it’s time to head to the bell tower with a .300 Weatherby and start taking out anybody carrying a book or a fucking Barnes & Noble rewards card. Rejections toughen you up. Step to it. Suck it up. Lean into the punch. We all get knocked down. This is your chance to get back up again with your rolled-up manuscript in your hand and start swinging like a ninja.

 

* I can respect anyone who can put “Care Bear” and “Ninja” in the same paragraph.  Thanks for the laughs 🙂

 

Check out the rest of his tips regarding rejection @terribleminds 🙂

 

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The only writing rules you’ll ever need!

Hi!

You may have noticed that I’ve been missing in action for a few weeks – but with good reason.  I have been working almost daily on polishing my novel.  I have even found some readers to provide editing and feedback before I start sending out my manuscript to publishers (with fingers crossed and a bottle of wine for good measure).  Though my little baby MJ keeps me quite busy these days, I am finding a rhythm now that she is almost 6 months old…and it includes my writing, reading and even attending a writer’s festival event here in Ottawa (more on that soon).

In the meantime, I found this cute list of “Writing Rules” – since aspiring authors seem to be always looking for tips.  The most important advice is always to WRITE SOMETHING.  I found over time as a writer that inspiration and opportunity do not always intersect.  Sometimes one must make time for an opportunity to write.  Then write.  And allow inspiration in.

Source: http://anovelapproachto.me/category/writing-tips/

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Jokes about writing….

 

A visitor to a certain college paused to admire the new Hemingway Hall that had been built on campus.
“It’s a pleasure to see a building named for Ernest Hemingway,” he said.
“Actually,” said his guide, “it’s named for Joshua Hemingway. No relation.”
The visitor was astonished. “Was Joshua Hemingway a writer, also?”
“Yes, indeed,” said his guide. “He wrote a check.”

________________________________________________________________

A linguistics professor was lecturing to his English class one day. “In English,” he said, “a double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative.”

A voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.”


A writer died and was given the option of going to heaven or hell.

She decided to check out each place first. As the writer descended into the fiery pits, she saw row upon row of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they were repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes.

“Oh my,” said the writer. “Let me see heaven now.”

A few moments later, as she ascended into heaven, she saw rows of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they, too, were whipped with thorny lashes.

“Wait a minute,” said the writer. “This is just as bad as hell!”

“Oh no, it’s not,” replied an unseen voice. “Here, your work gets published.”


There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer.

When asked to define great, he said, “I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!”

He now works for Microsoft writing error messages.

A screenwriter comes home to a burned down house. His sobbing and slightly-singed wife is standing outside. “What happened, honey?” the man asks.

“Oh, John, it was terrible,” she weeps. “I was cooking, the phone rang. It was your agent. Because I was on the phone, I didn’t notice the stove was on fire. It went up in second. Everything is gone. I nearly didn’t make it out of the house. Poor Fluffy is–”

“Wait, wait. Back up a minute,” The man says. “My agent called?”

How many science fiction writers does it take to change a light bulb?

Two, but it’s actually the same person doing it. He went back in time and met himself in the doorway and then the first one sat on the other one’s shoulder so that they were able to reach it. Then a major time paradox occurred and the entire room, light bulb, changer and all was blown out of existence. They co-existed in a parallel universe, though.

How many publishers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Three. One to screw it in. Two to hold down the author.

How many mystery writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Two.  One to screw it almost all the way in, and the other to give it a surprising twist at the end.

How many screenwriters does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Why does it *have* to be changed?

How many cover blurb writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A VAST AND TEEMING HORDE STRETCHING FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA!!!!

How many screenwriters does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer:  Ten.
1st draft.  Hero changes light bulb.
2nd draft.  Villain changes light bulb.
3rd draft.  Hero stops villain from changing light bulb.  Villain falls to death.
4th draft.  Lose the light bulb.
5th draft.  Light bulb back in.  Fluorescent instead of tungsten.
6th draft.  Villain breaks bulb, uses it to kill hero’s mentor.
7th draft.  Fluorescent not working.  Back to tungsten.
8th draft.  Hero forces villain to eat light bulb.
9th draft.  Hero laments loss of light bulb.  Doesn’t change it.
10th draft.  Hero changes light bulb.

————————————————————

Punctuation Parable

Dear John,

I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior.
You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy – will you let me be yours?

Gloria

Dear John,

I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior.
You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?

Yours,

Gloria

_________________________________________________________________

How to Write Good

1. Avoid alliteration. Always.

2. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.

3. Employ the vernacular.

4. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

5. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.

6. Remember to never split an infinitive.

7. Contractions aren’t necessary.

8. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

9. One should never generalize.

10. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”

11. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

12. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.

13. Be more or less specific.

14. Understatement is always best.

15. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

16. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

17. The passive voice is to be avoided.

18. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

19. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

20. Who needs rhetorical questions?

21. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

22. Don’t never use a double negation.

23. capitalize every sentence and remember always end it with point

24. Do not put statements in the negative form.

25. Verbs have to agree with their subjects.

26. Proofread carefully to see if you words out.

27. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.

28. A writer must not shift your point of view.

29. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction. (Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.)

30. Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!

31. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to the irantecedents.

32. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.

33. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.

34. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.

35. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.

36. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.

37. Always pick on the correct idiom.

38. The adverb always follows the verb.

39. Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; They’re old hat; seek viable alternatives.

_____________________________________________________________

Ode to the Spell Check

Eye halve a spelling chequer

It cam with my pea sea

It plainly marques four my revue

Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word

And weight four it two say

Weather eye am wrong oar write

It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid

It nose bee fore two long

And eye can put the error rite

Its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it

I am shore your pleased two no

Its letter perfect awl the weigh

My chequer tolled me sew!

 

SOURCE :

http://www19.homepage.villanova.edu/karyn.hollis/prof_academic/Courses/common_files/jokes_about_writing.htm

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