Things I talked about at Pelee

•June 5, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Janet Reid: http://www.Jetreidliterary.blogspot.ca and http://www.queryshark.blogspot.ca

Writing Excuses podcast: http://www.writingexcuses.com (especially season 11)

Brandon Sanderson’s fiction course: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4ZDBOc2tX8

(These last two discuss a lot of genre writing, but the advice is almost universally applicable.)

Donald Maass, The Breakout Novelist

Kate Morton, The Distant Hours

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books: http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: http://www.mcsweeneys.net

Margaret Atwood, Wilderness Tips; Good Bones

Surrey International Writers’ Conference: http://www.siwc.ca

Robert McKee, Story

Thomas King, Green Grass, Running Water; One Good Story, That One

Sondheim’s Into the Woods (the play, not the movie, although the PBS American Playhouse filmed version is excellent)

Kiki’s Delivery Service (film)

There’s probably a lot I’ve forgotten.

Exciting Discoveries!

•February 19, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Six years after first threatening it, I tore the ugly wood panelling off my living room wall. This panelling, aside from being cheap-looking, covered up a good chunk of the molding around the windows as well as the baseboards.

Window 1.png

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Obligatory Pet Photos

•August 4, 2016 • Leave a Comment

This is Cricket, aka Admiral Paintyfoot, Professor Stinkbottom, Monsieur Nosewhistle, Monstro the Whale.

cricket---close-up

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Writing Exercise: Lemonade

•March 3, 2016 • Leave a Comment

This one comes from an old Writer’s Digest. Prompt: Quench your thirst. In 500 words describe a clear, cool glass of lemonade.

I don’t know if this counts as 500 words describing lemonade, but it’s 500 words about the experience of lemonade so I’m counting it.

Even near the river the air was thick with heat, damp and suffocating. The picnic table was covered in plates, casserole dishes, pitchers of lemonade glistening in the slant of the afternoon sun. Too hot to be hungry, Daisy slipped her hand into the curve of a cut glass pitcher, delighting in the shock of cold against her palm. Real glasses, thank god, were arrayed beside them, and she poured one full up. Ice cubes splashed down into the liquid, sending a sticky wash up the side and over, but Daisy hardly cared. The smell, like the best candy, made her mouth water.  Continue reading ‘Writing Exercise: Lemonade’

Flash Fiction

•March 1, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Prompts come from http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.ca/

100 word stories using all five prompt words.

*

Prompt: gaze scapegrace scram forti fin

The landscape, graced with ferns taller than the stars, cries out in fortissimo for a mark, some proof of my final, greatest achievement.

For who would know I made it here? My time machine has dissolved to dust, victim of its own energy, and I am alone.

My signature will be a joke to anthropologists, who will no doubt scramble to decode the anachronism.

The cave will protect my work, I will descend tonight to draw gazelle in the age of dinosaurs, leave coded messages in my handprints.

Millennia from now, before I am even born, I will be famous.

 

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Writing Exercises: The Bar

•February 25, 2016 • Leave a Comment

This exercise involved examining an object in front of you and using it as a jumping-off point.

The grain on the wood of the bar twisted under my fingers, swirled into knots here and there, and I wished I could feel them instead of smooth gloss. I could practically see my life, past and future, spread out in those patterns-that-weren’t-really-patterns, ugly and coarse under the thin coat of socially-mandated polish. Continue reading ‘Writing Exercises: The Bar’

Writing Exercise: Two People

•February 23, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Two People Come out of a Building, from Now Write! I don’t know these people, but I kind of like them. They might have an interesting story.

The steel door slammed hard behind them, the sound reverberating down the alley and out into the night city. Startled, the woman tripped, catching herself just before she overbalanced.

The man caught her arm at the same time. “Jesus, Becky, are you really that drunk?”

Becky glared at him, her face barely visible in the weak light above the door. “I’m not the lightweight you are.” She lifted her foot to examine the waffled sole of her boot. “I think I slipped in something gross.” Continue reading ‘Writing Exercise: Two People’