How to clean up your digital life

onetab

Reading time: Just over 1 minute If you want to make your web searches more fruitful and more effective, consider downloading a free app called OneTab for your Chrome browser.... I'm a fan of writer and tech expert Clive Thompson, pictured above. You may have seen a link to one of his videos I posted on my site just over a year ago. In it, he dissects the difference between writing with a ... Read More

The figurative language of Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff

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 metaphors from Lauren Groff... Lauren Groff (pictured above) is a New York-born novelist who now lives in Gainesville, Florida. Her most recent book, Fates and Furies  won the 2015 American Booksellers’ Association Indies’ Choice Awa... Read More

What does ‘pullulated’ mean?

pullulated

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: pullulated.  I may not know the precise meaning of a word but I seldom meet one I have never heard or seen before. Hence my surprise when I came across the word, pullulated. I encountered it in the May 23/16 New Yorker, in a ... Read More

Why it’s better to write than to BE right

writing something stupid makes sense

Reading time: Less than 3 minutes Writing something stupid makes sense when the alternative is simply staring at a blank computer screen…  When I was a teenager, I used to babysit a girl I’ll call Michelle. She lived directly across the street from me and she was famous in our neighbourhood for always asking “Why?” with a plaintive note in her voice. “It’s time to go to bed,... Read More

Is writing a skill or a talent?

skills versus talents

siReading 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 skills versus talents by Seth Godin... I'm a big fan of Seth Godin, pictured above. He's smart and streetwise and impudent. I especially like that the vast majority of his blog posts ... Read More

5 ways to clean your office better

office cleaning tips

Reading time: Less than 2 minutes If your office is an unmitigated mess (like mine was this summer), here are some office cleaning tips that will help you become more organized... Does having a tidy office or a clean desk motivate you? I know it makes a huge difference for me, although not everyone is wired the same way. So, if the words "tidy office" don't excite you, then stop reading thi... Read More

The figurative language of Michael Crummy

Michael Crummey

Reading time: Just over 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 Michael Crummy.... Michael Crummy was born in Buchans, a mining town in the interior of Newfoundland — "as far from the salt water as you can get and still be in Newfoundland." I had heard favourable reviews of... Read More

What does ‘mauzy’ mean?

mauzy

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: mauzy... When I travel, I like to read a book set in the place I'm travelling to. My husband and I spent two weeks in Newfoundland this summer — the easternmost point of Canada — so, while there, I read a book by the lauded Ne... Read More

Why you should go easier on yourself

self-compassion

Reading time: Just over 3 minutes Most of us know it’s a good idea to show compassion to others but how often do we consider showing ourselves some simple self-compassion?  Writers are prone to self-criticism. We tend to embrace directives such as, “Our children can achieve great things when we set high expectations for them.” (Jeb Bush said that). And, “When you are tough on yours... Read More

Facing the blank page

facing the blank page

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 about facing the blank page..... If you give me a choice between reading a blog post or watching a video online, I'll almost always pick reading. I frequently find online videos to be time... Read More