Category Archives: other.

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Weekend Edition – Writers, Better with Age plus Good Reads and Writing Tips

Couldn’t agree more. Thank you for this!

Live to Write - Write to Live

Writers, Like Fine Wines, Get Better with Age

reading glassesAbout a week ago, I picked up my first pair of reading glasses. I like being able to see more clearly, but cautious overcompensation to avoid a collision between the lenses of my glasses and the rim of my tea mug has resulted in tea dribbling down my front on more than one occasion. There is also the fact that the bridge of my nose is a bit crooked (or, maybe it’s that one of my ears is lower than the other), so the glasses sit askew, giving me a slightly crazed and disarrayed look. Not exactly what I was going for.

Though a small part of me laments the fact that my eyes will now likely become dependent on glasses, a larger part of me accepts this development as the mostly benign rite of passage that it is, and also something of a…

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Are You A Recovery Hero?

write yourself into your own story.

UnPickled Blog

I needed a hero and so i became one I needed a hero and so I became one

You may remember your old high-school English lessons about the “Hero’s Journey” that involves four distinct parts:  Separation, Initiation, Change and Return. This pattern can be observed in everything from Shakespeare classics to Disney films and even in your own life – especially if you are a person in recovery.

Opening Scene:  Normal life is established

What did things look like before the hero was called away? For me, it was a scene of hectic over-achieving, each exhausting day ending with a heavy dose of white wine to reward and numb myself. For some, it is a time of dysfunction and humiliation. For others, a silent descent that is painfully unnoticed. What was the opening scene for your personal hero’s journey?

If you are still drinking but contemplating recovery, this scene opens on you now, today. Right here, reading this post…

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Borrowing Stories

the power of personal stories…


The internet may have felt particularly full of garbage this past week, but I have been extra appreciative of personal bloggers, and how their stories have helped us communicate during the worst and most necessary debates.

The Ghomeshi sexual violence scandal began to break a week and a half ago, and immediately made social media a particularly fraught place to run into your friends. Whether the topic was guilt without prosecution, the complicity of the CBC, the role of gender or the responsibility of the accusers, big solid lines were drawn, emotional sides were taken, people… surprised (and dismayed) each other.

It has been a fascinating read, watching how the focus and vocabulary of the conversation has changed by the day. I have been super charged to see how personal blogs have fundamentally affected the conversation.

You wrote the script out

The story initiated and then advanced in segments —…

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Helping Readers Find Strong Girls on the Road to Katniss by Kate Hannigan

Strong female characters for young girls. Thank you for this awesome post!

Nerdy Book Club

Cupcake Cousins Nerdy Book ClubI found my writing inspiration sitting on a bench at my kids’ school. It wasn’t me plopped down there on the hard wood, it was a Wee Reader devouring a copy of The Hunger Games. While I loved the book, I was a little blown away that a third-grader was taking on such big, emotionally complex material. I wanted to plop down beside Wee Reader and rattle off a list of all the other brave, adventuresome heroines to meet on the road to Katniss Everdeen.

So I went home and got to work. And the result was my own sort of Hunger Games, which published in May. Titled Cupcake Cousins, it’s a story about two cousins who try to bake their way out of having to be flower girls in their aunt’s upcoming wedding. The stakes are high enough – a disaster strikes the wedding cake, and their cooking…

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Review: Akata Witch (Akata Witch #1) by Nnedi Okorafor

This book is definitely going on my list…

The Book Wars


Hardcover, 349 pages
Published April 14th 2011 by Viking Children’s
Source: Library

Any title with the word “witch” in it is guaranteed to get my attention and when the synopsis is as fascinating as the one of Akata Witch, the book keeps my attention.

Akata Witch follows Sunny, a 12 year old American-Nigerian girl whose parents moved their family back to Nigeria when she was nine years old. She has a lot of things to deal with. For one thing, she’s an albino which exposes to a lot of censure and ridicule from her peers. Then there is her relationship with her father which is bad and beyond; he seems to resent her for reasons she doesn’t understand. Then there are her brothers who take for granted the freedoms that she longs for. Her mother is strict though with good reason as there is a serial killer going around targeting…

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Writing a Novel in a Month

The ultimate challenge? Potentially.

A Writer's Notes

For my sins I’ve joined the National Novel in a Month campaign. This means I need to write 50,000 words in November and post it online.

This doesn’t mean stopping work on the existing novel – now in the stage of rewriting following very useful but fortunately positive comments from friends – but adding another one to the workload.

As I had half a dozen ideas already in the notebook I asked members of the Suffolk Writers Group which one they liked most. The answer, by a slight majority, was Masonic Fire – a conspiracy thriller set in Norwich. Second was Grimm Reaper – a serial killer story set in Lowestoft with a group of three teenagers as sleuths. Medieval detective story Trial By Jewry – set in Norwich in 1189 – was third. As it happens this was the same order my wife Jules put them in and my own…

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