If you want to write, if you love to write, if writing is central to your well-being, at some point you need to have a serious think about needs vs. wants.
I’ve talked about this before, but just in case anyone is still unclear, writers don’t make a lot of money. OK, most writers don’t make a lot of money. I’m going to talk more about my big picture thinking on this in Part Two next week, but for now, I’m going to share with you my list of needs vs. wants.
(Oh, and by the way, I’m stipulating to oxygen, food, sleep, etc. – definite needs).
- my family
- time to spend with my family as a family.
- time to read
- time to write (note sometimes I need to write more than I need to read and sometimes vice versa)
- time to run (I guess this means running shoes are on the needs list too!)
(are you noticing a bit of a theme here? Time, time, time. Never enough of it…)
- a place to live where I feel at home
- a (paper) notebook and (good) pen
- my laptop
- clothes that keep me either warm or cool, depending on the season, and that are comfortable
- my bike (this is borderline. I technically don’t actually need it but, since we only have one car, it sure makes my life easier).
- forms of exercise other than running, e.g. riding and skiing. I love doing these things and they enrich me but if I had to choose just one thing I would stick with running, hence these are wants
- my current house in my current neighbourhood. I’m lucky in that I already have this want but, realistically, we are very lucky and could certainly survive (and thrive) in a smaller house in a less expensive neighbourhood
- the ability to buy a new laptop, a new bike, etc. I don’t actually want these things now because I am very attached to my 20-year-old mountain bike and my seven(?)-year-0ld laptop but I like knowing I can replace them if I need to
- extra clothes chosen for colour, prettiness, etc. beyond those needed for basic comfort
- one take-out dinner each week from our favourite Greek place, also a lunch out every couple of weeks
- the continued ability to spend a huge chunk of our summer at the cottage
I’m sure there are more in each category and some kind of blur the lines – I think there’s kind of a “needy want” category and maybe that’s where my riding and my bike fit in.
Interestingly, most of the things on my “needs” list are free. Money-wise anyway. They may take a lot of time and effort but they don’t cost much. It’s the “wants” stuff that costs more in my particular situation.
How about you? What are your needs and wants lists? What do they look like? Don’t fudge or put things where you think they “should” go. Be realistic. What do you really need to be happy? I’ll talk about why I think this is an important exercise in next week’s post…Filed under From Tudor, Inspiration, On Life, Organizing our Writing Lives, The Writer's Path, Writing as Career | Comment (0)
Tudor: As I hinted in an earlier post, the time has come for a change. An ending of sorts – or at least a suspension – and a couple of new beginnings.
Due to exciting (and time-consuming) developments in Peggy’s life and because I’ve finally pulled myself out of complacency long enough to kickstart my own website (something I’ve been meaning to do for ages), this will be the last post on Two Writers Talking for the foreseeable future.
What can I say about TWT? I can’t say it was everything or nothing I expected it to be, because the truth is, I didn’t have any expectations. If anything can be said to have grown organically, this blog did. Peggy and I decided to move our long e-mail conversations to a more public forum and Two Writers Talking was born.
And kept going. Pretty steadily. For quite a while. An achievement if I dare say so myself.
The one thing I can say for sure is that during the time of TWT I have been struck anew by the generosity of this writing community that surrounds us. Peggy, of course, was generous to agree to write a blog with me. To share her expertise and opinions (and to organize the start-up – that especially!).
A couple of regular commenters have also displayed the generosity I’ve come to love in the writing world. Lee Ann, when I suggested I might pitch a workshop idea to the Ottawa Catholic School Board was instantly supportive. Recently, when I was able to tell her the course was a go, she was happier for me than my own mother (really!).
And Lynn. Oh my goodness. Lynn. I have haunted Lynn’s life these last few weeks. She is more responsible for my new site being up and ready and going and beautiful than I am. Way more responsible. She gave me recommendations at every step along the way, coached me in the few small things I did and single-handedly designed the whole thing. She even stepped in and wrote some inspired bits of content which started out as placeholders but which I’m not letting go of. All this and she still left a detailed and thoughtful comment on last week’s post. I have no idea where she gets the time…
My friend (and talented editor) Gillian, refused payment for line editing my entire manuscript (and it was a great line edit) and I’ve received incredible feedback on my manuscripts; some paid for, some not, but all worth considerably more than what I had to shell out to receive it.
In general I find those involved in writing and the writing world, give much more than could ever be expected. We may be under-paid, we mostly are under-paid, but we certainly don’t underperform.
I’d like to thank everyone who’s inspired me and made me feel supported and included in this great world of writing and I hope to see you all regularly over at tudorrobins.ca.
Peggy: Tudor’s right. It takes a village to raise a writer, and we’ve both been fortunate to be citizens of a very generous, literate village.
As much as we’d like to think that our Writer Self is strong enough to sit alone at our desk to answer our calling – often in the absence of pay, publication, or even mildly interested readers – some days it proves too daunting a challenge. That’s when it helps to get an inspiration infusion from the people around us.
Encouragement comes in different forms. Often all that’s needed is a friend asking us what we’re working on now … and being interested enough to ask a few questions, or say they’d like to read our story when we’re ready.
Sometimes we’re helped by the chance to put our writing to use in a different capacity, one that’s of benefit to others and provides us with some immediate, tangible satisfaction. Just recently, for example, I have been helping to write and edit content for a new, soon-to-launch community website that’s going to be enjoyed by many local residents and give me a change from my usual navel-gaving memoir work. It’s been fun to get back into community reporting and get the immediate feedback I remember from my days at the North Shore News.
I learned from my year at the SFU Writer’s Studio the immense energy you get from being surrounded by people who are enthusiastically committed to their writing life. As any Star Trek conventioneer can tell you, there is something pretty exciting about gathering with others who share your passion for a hobby or vocation that isn’t terribly mainstream!
But sometimes, I think, we can be equally inspired by putting ourselves in a new environment that has little to do with our writing life. After several years of immersing myself in communal and individual writing activities – workshops, writing projects, literary non-profits – I am looking forward to exercising a different part of my brain altogether.
I’ll be taking an eight-month, full-time Medical Assistant course that will plunge me into a new career entirely. I won’t ever leave my writing life behind (in fact, one reason I’m pursuing this program is for the eventual career flexibility that will allow me to incorporate my literary life around what will likely translate into casual or part-time hospital shifts).
But I do look forward to getting away from my desk and learning new skills in a new environment. And I am confident that the energy I get from that will end up fuelling my writing as well. I’m already salivating at the thought of the new, multi-syllabic words I’ll have at my disposal after I finish my medical terminology course! Not to mention the wide range of people and situations I’ll meet over the year ahead – all part of an interesting new landscape that will no doubt have me thinking up plots on my lunchbreak!
Along with my new studies, I’ll be prez of the North Vancouver’s Young Writers’ Club and the Lynn Valley Literary Society, running an adult writing group and blogging for LynnValleyLife when it launches in the fall. So Tudor and I will both be pretty busy, and we’ve reluctantly had to let go of Two Writers Talking for the foreseeable future. But we’re leaving it live so visiting writers, readers and teachers can look over some of the past posts and workshop exercises for what we hope are some timeless tips!
I have loved working with Tudor over the past few years (an inspiring, hard-working writer if ever there was one), and look forward to seeing where her new ventures take her. This isn’t a goodbye from us, just an evolution to the next stage of our lives and the adventures that beckon down the road.
Both of us wish you many adventures of your own, literary and otherwise, in the months ahead. And many thanks for being our ‘village’ – we hope you’ve enjoyed your citizenship here at Two Writers Talking.Filed under From Peggy and Tudor, Inspiration, On Life, Organizing our Writing Lives, The Writer's Path | Comments (2)
As Tudor has already hinted, we are both planning some upcoming life changes that we’ll talk more about on Saturday.
For me, the year ahead will require a re-focussing of time and commitment; I’ll need to stop dancing from one writing project to the next and learn to commit to just one or two.
Knowing that I’ll have to put some of my writing on the back burner for the next while has me a bit anxious, but at the same time it’s helped me sort out what I really do most want to accomplish (and even how I define ‘accomplishment’).
Over the next months, I won’t be looking for fame and riches, but have decided the one daily writing practice to which I do want to adhere is writing a “One good thing” entry.
Let me explain. My son Mark brought me back a lovely Italian leather journal from a recent school trip – so lovely that of course I felt my writing couldn’t possibly live up to its aesthetic standard! So it sat there, untouched, but I felt guilty every time Mark asked me, hopefully, if I had started using it yet.
So I took some colourful, fine felt pens out of my desk drawer and sat down with the journal. I stared at the thick, creamy pages, took a breath and wrote “One good thing today is that I was charmed by the companionship of two old men I saw having coffee together in Tim Hortons.”
That started me on a daily practice of recording one good happening from the day; a quiet moment, a summertime festival, a joke from one of the kids.
Those of you who write memoir pieces know the result is sometimes prose that you’d be leery to share with any of your family members – especially your children! It’s a nice change to write a journal that I’d be happy to leave out on the coffee table, and in fact I’ve written in the front that I’d like it to be given to Mark when I eventually kick the bucket. I hope it gives him a glimpse back at the many happy memories he had a part in.
Of course, others might call this a ‘gratitude journal’, and the positive effects of keeping one are well-discussed. How easy it can be to focus on the negative – writing my ‘one good thing’ book will, I hope, help re-dress the balance.
It will also be interesting to see how expansive my interpretation of the word ‘good’ will prove to be over the year ahead. As was so well described in CBC’s Ideas in the Afternoon program today (Say No To Happiness by producer Frank Faulk), a richly-led, satisfying life isn’t one in which ‘happiness’ is the prime goal, but perhaps one in which one’s (inevitable) suffering is given meaning.
So over the months to come, I may gain the wisdom to see that the ‘one good thing’ in my day was actually the thing I would have most liked to avoid! But right now, I’m enjoying recording the perfect bloom on the delphinium, the glass of wine with Mom, and the fireworks over English Bay.
Whatever your plans for the year ahead, I hope they will include many contemplative, creative pauses of your own.
Filed under From Peggy, Inspiration, Memoir, On Life, Organizing our Writing Lives, The Writer's Path | Comment (1)
… or are you? Whether we practice them or not, most of us have become familiar with the benefits of the ‘slow food’ philosophy; how slowing down in our preparation and enjoyment of a meal can improve both the experience itself and our longterm health. How might the same attitude affect our writing?
I had to fill out a permission form today, and instead of grabbing the nearest pen and zipping through it as quickly as possible, ending with an illegible scrawl of a signature, I decided to put my portable Royal typewriter (circa 1927) to good use.
I bought it at a thrift store last summer, and had it re-ribboned and oiled by Polson’s Office Products, a longtime Vancouver business machine company that has seen many of its products become eclipsed by the computer age. They have given up their storefront location (victim as well to the new Canada Line station) and now give old-fashioned, door-to-door service (call 604-879-0631 for info).
Typing, or for that matter, thoughtful handwriting, require two things that any writer needs: patience, and the willingness to be imperfect. It allows me to focus my attention on the physical act of writing, a welcome balance to the cacophony of thoughts whirling through my writer-brain, each pounding on the door in a bid to be let out.
When the writing is slowed, the most authentic, important thoughts rise to the top and the others die away. And by accepting the inevitable blotches and typos that come with manual writing, I am perhaps more likely to stick with that thought; see it through until it is fully, if imperfectly, expressed, rather than continually backspacing to ‘pretty it up’ as I go along and thereby robbing it of some of its raw power or momentum.
If you google ‘slow writing,’ the majority of articles you’ll find deal with how to deal with the problem of slow writing in children or adults. But I have heard of a religious practice in which a scribe forms each letter of a sacred text individually and deliberately, conscious of every curl of his pen as he faithfully transcribes the sentences. The slow reading and contemplation of a scripture verse, or ‘lectio divina’ is a reclaimed meditative practice in many mainstream Christian churches. Why not ‘slow writing’?
We experiment with many things in our writing craft; where we write, with whom we write, when we write, what we write… but you may not have considered varying the speed at which you write.
Summer holidays are a natural time to make a conscious effort to slow down. Instead of sitting down at your desk to your usual 1000-word daily quota, try sitting in the shade with a pencil and limiting yourself to one small piece of paper. Spend the same amount of time as if you were churning out your thousand words, but slow your pace so that you come out with just one page worth. Or try writing a scene of dialogue on a manual typewriter instead of on your computer. Does changing the pace of your writing change its flavour?
Most of us require the speed and convenience a computer lends us. But learning to slow down and enjoy the actual craft of writing, even if only on the occasional summer afternoon, brings a certain magic of its own.Filed under From Peggy, Inspiration | Comment (0)
While Tudor and her family swelter in the Ottawa heat, all of us Vancouverites are bemoaning our ongoing gray weather. After a horrid spring, we are experiencing a summer that’s had several false, short-lived starts before lapsing back into overcast skies or rainy days.
We all carry around an ‘ideal summer’ in our heads, based, no doubt, on a combination of childhood memories overlaid with made-in-Hollywood celluloid stereotypes, and are eternally hopeful that this year, when summertime hit, the livin’ will be easy. Beach days will melt into BBQ parties, which will morph into afternoons spent composing inspired poetry in a hammock.
Of course, life rarely delivers on such picture-perfect promises. In the west, we are complaining about the unseasonable chill, while Easterners are wilting in the heat. And I bet you that when the Vancouver sun does arrive for real, it won’t be long before we’re fanning ourselves and complaining about being too hot.
My summer fantasies always revolve around the writing I will do in the absence of the usual commitments that come with the academic year. I picture myself in my yurt, iced tea to the right of me, completed pages of longhand to the left. By the end of the summer, I think, I’ll have a series of essays, or chapters of a book, or …. You get the idea.
But that’s the fantasy. In reality, I am too connected to the people in my household – the busy working husband, the teenagers who either need driving to work or peeling from video screen – to sequester myself in my bower of creativity. I am terrible at writing when I have a houseful of people; like many writers, I feel illogically guilty when I carve out the solitude I need to put words on paper. It’s a purely self-created hang-up, compounded by the pants-kicking I give myself when I DON’T do the writing I had hoped to do. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. And, as I say, it’s a mind trip I play on myself.
But even though summers are always less productive than I hope for, they can still be nourishing to the artistic soul. Even though I don’t sit down to my desk much, I find all sorts of ways to slip art into my heart … conversations with the vendors at craft markets, taking in a free concert in the park, walking through a community veggie allotment or formal botanical garden, jotting down highlights from a road trip, or buying a tee-shirt in six different colours.
Today I grabbed a son and my mother and took a 15-km walk through Vancouver, starting in Stanley Park and having a great lunch at a downtown eastside diner before looping back along the waterfront. The people-watching, the flowers, the float-planes, the bicycles built for two, the raccoons, the herons, the statues, the interesting architecture, the smell of the flowers…. all were a feast for the five senses. I may not have written any poetry today, but I sure lived it. Here’s to summer, sunny or otherwise!
Filed under From Peggy, Inspiration, On Life, Organizing our Writing Lives | Comment (0)
Last night I was at the graduation reception for SFU’s Writing and Publishing Program, through which I recently earned a certificate in Creative Writing.
Such events help mark the transition from one stage of being to another – student to graduate – and are useful little psychological nudges that help push us forward into our future.
But most of us, in whatever field, muddle through our adult life with few landmarks to force us to re-evaluate our goals and our direction. It’s easy to keep doing what we’re doing just because we’ve been doing it; our life builds a self-preserving momentum of its own that discourages questioning.
In fact, many of us have a ‘default’ setting that makes us think that change is in some way bad. Leaving a job or a hobby or a project must indicate failure, or fickleness. But I’ve started to realize that appropriate ‘letting go’ is essential in order to keep one’s energy and focus for the things that really are important.
When people email me for writing coaching, I find myself investing a whole lot of mental energy in their needs. If I can help them, I crank out more creative juice on their projects than my own – far beyond the hourly amount for which I can bill them. If I can’t help them right away, I feel guilty, and spend time searching out other resources to offer them. So I am learning to let go of saying ‘yes’ to every job offer, because I’ve learned I want to do other things with the finite amount of time and energy I possess.
Similarly, with my local literary non-profit, the board is learning to re-think some of its plans and previous workshop offerings – we only want to invest our resources in projects for which there is a demonstrated demand, and for which there is enough volunteer support. Learning to say ‘no’ may disappoint a handful of people who were attached to our old way of doing things, but it opens the door to saying ‘yes’ to new projects that will engage a wider, more enthusiastic audience – and feed us creatively, as well.
Letting go can be tough because it often forces us to ‘give up’ on things that we have allowed to define us; things we’ve been proud of. But not everything is meant to be forever. Some things, though we may only realize it in retrospect, are meant to act as a stepping stone to another adventure altogether - if we but allow it.
Here’s a link to Stephen Elliot’s description of letting go of his first novel. Perhaps it will encourage you to think about the attachment you have to your own projects and pastimes. Is there anything there that really isn’t working for you any more? Are there writing projects, or other commitments, that are sapping far more of your energy than they should? What’s your rate of return on them? (And, of course, rate of return can be defined in many ways… from financial, to creative, to community-building.)
Summer is just the time to re-evaluate. Somehow, ‘letting go,’ seems infinitely more possible when we’re lying back with our eyes closed and letting the breeze waft over our face. What future might you choose to create for yourself? What’s holding you back?
Filed under From Peggy, Inspiration, On Life, Organizing our Writing Lives | Comment (0)
Fresh off last night’s Game Seven, I was inspired to ask this question.
Because no matter what you thought of the series and the game and the stuff that happened after the game (and, oh my goodness, I have some strong thoughts about that, many of which start with “what would your mother think of you now?”) there was some pretty transfixing TV viewing to be had last night.
I’m talking about the moments just after the game when the Bruins – the huge, hairy, sweaty and probably very smelly Bruins – were floating on air. Skating on clouds. Shaking hands and smiling and laughing and hugging. Lifting up the Cup and kissing it (and I kept wincing and thinking “ooh, don’t drop it!” because that’s what I’d do if I had to carry something that heavy while wearing skates).
It was a moment. You could see it. You could feel it. It wasn’t staged – you couldn’t stage something like that. It was the culmination of all their professional hopes and dreams and their hours and years of effort. It was IT.
I loved seeing that.
I, personally, have no desire to ever win the Stanley Cup – which is a very good thing. I also have no desire to summit Everest. Or to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I don’t want to win a major award – I’m not saying I wouldn’t enjoy winning some type of award but it’s not a goal of mine.
No, what I want is to nail a publishing contract. I want to know my book is going to be published. All the stuff after would be great too; the first time I got to see the book. The first few sales of the book. The first time I saw another person reading my book. Those would be nice but what I really want – that moment I’m really after – is just signing the contract.
That’s my Stanley Cup. What’s yours?Filed under From Tudor, Inspiration, On Life, Writing as Career | Comment (0)
While driving up to Whistler recently for a ‘me, myself and I’ writing retreat, I used the road time to compose six-word missives about my own father. As you know, words are like cooking – when you stir up something on the stove for a while and let the water evaporate, whatever remains becomes stronger and stronger! Using the minimum number of words to pack the maximum amount of punch is always a good exercise in building your writerly impact – and, in this case, it’s guaranteed to pack an emotional wallop for you, as well.
Some of my favourites on the site (a selection will be harvested and run in a print edition of the National Post) include “Lost you early, now I understand” by Richard Rajotte and “Always there before we needed you” by Sean Cameron. Reading through the entries, you can’t help but contemplate the dad you had, or wished you had, or the parent you want to be.
So, as yet another one of my suggested spring ‘cross-training exercises,’ why not pen a six-word bio of your pater? If you catch the ‘six-word memoir’ bug, you could always expand the exercise and write one for each member of your family … then write them on ribbons and tie them to a ‘family tree’ outside your door. (If you’re brave, have your kids or partner write one about YOU … it’s daunting to imagine how your life will look distilled down into six words, especially when they are written by someone else!)
My six-word tribute?
Happy Father’s Day, Dad. You’re missed.
Filed under From Peggy, In the News, Inspiration, Memoir, On Life, Writing Exercises | Comment (0)
There is no answer. No right answer anyway.
I think lots of people are out and about Googling away and reading blogs and, a lot of the time, they’re looking for an answer. The answer. The right way to do something.
While the internet and all the experts it contains can give you lots of answers – it cannot offer you THE answer that’s right for you - at least not with regards to things like writing and philosophy and generally running your life (and not parenting; especially not parenting). I totally give you that the internet may be able to give you the definitive answer about how to get a red wine stain out of your white tablecloth – or then again, maybe not because some people swear by a name brand you buy in a store while others recommend you mix two parts baking soda with some vinegar and add eye of newt and the spit of an ailing bullfrog.
At any rate, in my writing world I’m often conscious of the “rules”, the “rights and wrongs”, the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”. Here are some examples:
Example A: Resume clients will often tell me they’ve heard a resume should only EVER (on pain of death) be one page. Or, someone else has been told, also on pain of death, it can only ever be two pages. Or, someone has heard keeping it short is so old school and you should always make it at least five pages just to show you’re non-conformist. So what’s the answer? The answer – or at least how I work – is I write the resume as best I can and see how long it is. It almost always ends up being two or three pages which, I believe, is quite reasonable. However, I always tell my clients, if the job posting asks for a one-page resume, you’d better cut your resume down to one page and if it wants 10, you’d better do some padding. There is no one right answer. I tell my clients the only people they should be suspicious of are those who tell them there is only one answer.
Example B: In dealings I had recently with another writer, I was told I “should” have an online portfolio. Now, since I already know I should be making my yogourt from scratch and I should iron my t-shirts and I should drink less Diet Coke, the idea of having to find time to create an online portfolio was kind of freaking me out. And then I thought harder about it and realized because this particular writer is very much an online creature with social media being the main focus of their work, yes, certainly that writer definitely should have an online portfolio. Me? I’m not so sure. I’m certainly not convinced enough to take the time needed from revising my manuscript to build said portfolio. Maybe when my kids are in university and I am a successfully published author and, in theory, I have more time. But by then I probably won’t need to promote myself anyway right?
Example C: Writing in general. I break rules all the time. I just did with my “writing in general” sentence. That’s not a sentence is it? Word definitely doesn’t like me when I use sentence fragments and spell things with Canadian spelling and write long, fun, rambly run-on sentences. The rules! The rules! screams Word in red and green, with its little lines of code all wrung up from the confusion and tangle of dealing with rulebreakers like me. But if we all followed the rules exactly, all of our writing would sound quite, well, similar. Some would probably be better for it and some much worse and - I bet you anything - no two people would agree on which was better and which worse. Because reading, like writing is subjective.
Now, don’t get me wrong, even though I love my sons and think they are brilliant writers, when they write Mother’s Day cards telling me they love their mother because “elle don mwah des clashions” (aka “elle donne moi des collations”, aka “she gives me snacks”), I do realize they still need to learn a few writing rules. I believe firmly in learning the basics, walking before you run, learning the rules before you break them (Mary Kole has a great post on this).
I guess what I’m trying to say is, yes, there are rules which have developed for good reasons. But this world – the writing world, the world of relationships, the world of etiquette and so on – this big world we live in is full of shades of grey so I think you should seek out resources, gather advice, weigh it seriously and then follow your heart. Because maybe the critique partner who tells you she dislikes your run-on sentences just simply doesn’t understand them. Maybe her critique partner is always warning her about her fragments.
I’m not saying ignore advice – especially not if the same advice comes from many different corners – but I am saying, in the end, it’s up to you how you write.
Then again, having said that, it’s up to other people whether you get published but that’s another discussion for another day…Filed under From Tudor, Inspiration, Language & Usage, On Life, Organizing our Writing Lives, The Writer's Path, Tips on technique | Comment (0)
For those of you who may not know, Vancouver has been deluged with rain this ‘spring.’ Records have been broken, seedlings have rotted, and snow has flown later than most of us can remember.
So you can imagine how delighted we are now that the sun has made an appearance. Strangers are greeting each other cheerily on the street, dogs are gambolling with ecstasy, and the populace are taking their work outdoors whenever they can just to catch a few coveted rays while they last.
On these days, it feels like the world is rife with benevolence and opportunity. Anything is possible. (No wonder the Vancouver Sun Run times its 10K event for the springtime!)
In that spirit, now is a great time to exercise your lesser-used literary muscles. Why not shake off the winter doldrums by trying something new in your writing life – just for fun. Not for money, or fame, but just for the joy of it.
There are two challenges happening right now that might give you some inspiration. First is the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival’s Haiku Invitational competition, which boasts entrants from all over the world. It’s a great excuse to push back from your desk, take a walk and muse on the natural wonder of these spring blossoms in all their varieties. Have a read of some of the past winning entries to get a feel for what makes an effective haiku. (Entries are composed of three short lines, but they don’t have to conform to the strict 5-7-5 syllable count that you find in traditional Japanese haiku.)
As with any exercise that involves a very limited amount of words, you’ll really need to pick those that pack a big punch – a skill that stands you in good stead for all your other writing projects. Have fun with this, and get your entry in by May 31, 2011. Winners will see their work celebrated in all sorts of creative ways over the year ahead, a special period in which the city of Vancouver is celebrating its 125th anniversary.
Another opportunity to do something different is presented by the Mothership Stories Society, founded in 2008 by a New Westminster writers, actor and daughter. People are invited to write the story of their mother’s life in 2,000 words or less, and, if desired, post them on the My Mother’s Story website. Some past stories have been collected into anthologies and adapted into theatre presentations; all are available for public view on the site.
As a special inducement for North Vancouver writers, the local theatre company at Presentation House will be picking nine of the North Van entries to transform into a play to be performed next year. How exciting would that be! Entries for that challenge are due on May 30, 2011.
So why not let the sunny weather beckon you to some new writing adventures? Be like the dogs I saw on my walk this morning – chasing a thrown stick with no idea where it will lead, only the knowledge that it will be awfully jolly finding out.Filed under From Peggy, Inspiration, Memoir, Poetry, Sites We Like | Comments (2)