Teddy Roosevelt’s 10 rules for reading

Reading time: Less than 1 minute This is my weekly installment of "writing about writing," in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss an article about Teddy Roosevelt's 10 rules for reading..... Being a good reader is so intrinsically linked to being a good writer that I focus just as much on the former as the latter. My friend Eve ... Read More

On holiday

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I'm on holiday in the desert but will be back with my next post Monday, March 2. I'll be checking email periodically.... Read More

How to ask better questions…

how to ask better questions

Reading time: Less than 3 minutes Are you good at collecting quotes from your interview subjects? Here’s a primer on how to ask better questions… As a former journalist, I’ve done more than my share of interviews, many of them with then big-name Canadian authors. I was a books editor at a metropolitan daily for just under a year and during that time I interviewed such well-known Canadi... Read More

On holiday

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My next post will appear Tuesday, Feb. 24. Otherwise, I'm on holiday in the desert until March 2. I'll be checking email periodically.... Read More

How to rewire your brain for better writing

rewire your brain

Reading time: Less than 3 minutes Did you know you could rewire your brain? And doing so might just be the first step you need to take to become a better writer… I’ve always been deeply fascinated by the human brain. Perhaps never more so than following my two strokes in 2002 and 2007. Despite having a healthy lifestyle and such freakishly low blood pressure that doctors often tell m... Read More

A list of writing-related websites

writing-related websites

Reading time: Less than 1 minute This is my weekly installment of "writing about writing," in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a blog post on writing-related websites... I've never written a novel but it's an idea I toy with from time to time. If I were ever to become serious about the venture, however, I know where I'd star... Read More

How to make a party more productive

party games

Reading time: Less than 2 minutes Do you ever get bored by work-related parties? Maybe you should be the person to suggest some party games that can help make the event more fun — and more productive... I've attended two Christmas/year end parties in the last two weeks. Yes, it's February. But both workplaces (one was my husband's office, the other an organization where I hold a major co... Read More

Like shards of glass…

Cristina Henriquez

Reading time: Less than 1 minute I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a simile from Cristina Henriquez... I read The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez (pictured above) several months ago and both the novel and its characters have remained with me, in my mind's eye, ever since. The story of Mexican immigr... Read More

What’s a clerihew?

clerihew

Reading time: Less than 1 minute Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That's why I provide a word of the week. Today's word: clerihew. Earlier this week I wrote about Ben Davis's marvellous article on 30 art-writing clichés that writers should ditch. But his excellent column also gave me my word of the week, clerihew. Here's how he used it: Describi... Read More

How to let go of your writing

let go of your writing

Reading time: Less than 3 minutes Do you find it difficult to let go of your writing? Here are some of the reasons why — and exactly what you can do about them… My three children are approaching the end of their college careers. We’re lucky in that they’ve been able to live at home while going to school, but that will end soon. Our son will graduate with his B.Mus. (opera performance... Read More