What can Walt Disney teach you?

creative thinking

Reading time: Less than 1 minute Being creative can also be messy. That's why it's a good idea to have a plan or a process to rely upon. Here's how Walt Disney approached creative thinking... I've written before about the six thinking hats of Edward de Bono. But did you know that Walt Disney developed another approach to creative problem-solving? A blog by author and design lecturer at ... Read More

The figurative language of Frank Bruni

frank bruni

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 series of similes and metaphors from New York Times columnist Frank Bruni... I had resolved not to write another word about Donald Trump but New York Times columnist Frank Bruni (pictured above) has written such a screamingly funny, metaphor- and simile... Read More

What’s a batholith?

batholith

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: batholith I read the book The Mountain Story by Canadian novelist Lori Lansens for one reason: Another novel of hers, The Girls, sits near the top of my lifetime top 100 list. I keep hoping she'll be able to write another book t... Read More

How to prepare for rejection

how to prepare for rejection

Reading time: Less than 3 minutes If you’re a defensive pessimist, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to learn how to prepare for rejection… I tend to see myself as confident rather than anxious. I know what I’m good at. I work hard. I have faith in my abilities. That said, I’m also a defensive pessimist — by which I mean I spend a lot of time planning how to deal... Read More

Exercises to help your writing

Patricia Goodson

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 book written by Patricia Goodson... My favourite book for academic writers is They Say, I Say, which is designed to identify the key rhetorical moves for grad students. At the heart of the matter i... Read More

From showers to flowers…

showers to flowers

Reading time: Less than 1 minute The challenge of slogan-writing should become clear when you listen to the genesis of the phrase: from showers to flowers... In listening to a podcast last week (apologies — I failed to remember the name of the podcast) I heard a politician reflect on a political message that had gone awry. The idea had been to promote the careful use of water, ... Read More

The figurative language of Stephanie Danler

Stephanie Danler

Reading time: Less than 2 minutes I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a series of similes and metaphors from Stephanie Danler... Waitress and first-time author Stephanie Danler (pictured above) earned a jaw-dropping six-figure deal for her first novel, Sweetbitter. As a dedicated reader and a foodie, I knew this was a bo... Read More

What’s a spline?

spline

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: spline... Today's word of the week comes not from my reading but from my husband. Yesterday we happened to be talking about a piece of furniture in our house, a rocking chair, and he mentioned that a spline was broken. "What's... Read More

Why I’m taking an editing vacation…

editing vacation

Reading time: Less than 3 minutes Usually, taking vacations means having less work. But my recent editing vacation has been highly productive…  I write this column from British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, in a little cottage overlooking the ocean. I’m alone and it’s blissfully quiet. Right now it’s a cool rainy day and my lunch is cooking in the oven. I’m here on an editing v... Read More

The writer’s duty: to lift people up

EB White

Reading time: Just over 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 the writerly musings of E.B. White... I discovered E.B. White when I took English 100 more than 40 years ago. My professor assigned his definitive book The Elements of Style to the entire class, ... Read More