Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Blogs

Shedding Light on The Meaning of Christmas

Today is the winter solstice, a time of rejoicing for Druids, witches and others of faiths that celebrate the natural world. In fact, every religion has a festival at this time of year and each of these is in some way related to the return of light to the earth.

On hilltops in Mexico, bonfires will light up the night. In ancient times, all the fires of the village would be put out and then relit from this one flame. In Italy, an entire hillside is set on fire and people come from miles around to sing and pray as the dry grasses crackle and spark. Here in North America we decorate our houses with lights that splash stained glass colours across new snow, making the darkness a little more bright.

Writing A01, installment 4: Bad Dates and Great Writing

This is the final installment in Writing AO1. Unless I do another.

I have an assignment for you.

To begin, close your eyes.

Wait! Wait! Don’t close your eyes! This is an on-line assignment. Open your eyes!

Damn it. Those of you who closed them are now doomed to sit like that forever unless someone wanders into the room and asks, “You’re not doing some stupid on-line assignment where the first instruction is to close your eyes, are you?” and how often does that happen?

For those of you not sitting shut-eyed in front of your computer screen, just pretend your eyes are closed. No, I have no idea how to do that either. OK, forget about eye position and try to imagine this.

Writing AO1, installment #3: Editors and Other Goddesses

Warning: In this installment I will dis George Elliot. I know, blasphemy, blasphemy. Which is always fun, right?

Middlemarch, by George Elliott, is a sweeping epic novel (as opposed to those tight, brief little epic novels I guess…hmmm) largely having to the do with the life and loves of Dorothea, a wealthy, educated, thoroughly good and beautiful young woman. She is also serious. Very serious. All of George Elliott’s heroes and heroines are serious. Dorothea makes the others look like Britney Spears.

Writing AO1, installment #2: Size Totally Matters.

We begin today with a disclaimer. There is no one way to write let alone to write well. I have known excellent writers who had to have every chapter and paragraph of a book planned out in advance before they wrote a word of it. Others, like myself, simply sit down, put fingers to keyboard or pen to paper and see what happens.

Writing AO1, installment #2: Size Totally Matters

We begin today with a disclaimer. There is no one way to write let alone to write well. I have known excellent writers who had to have every chapter and paragraph of a book planned out in advance before they wrote a word of it. Others, like myself, simply sit down, put fingers to keyboard or pen to paper and see what happens.

Writing A01

Now, gentle readers we take a brief sojourn from our contemplation of inspirational quotes on the art of writing. We’re gonna do something else instead. In the next few blogs I will share helpful hints on the topic of Everything I Know About How To Write. Obviously, this will be a very short series.
I don't claim to be an expert on how to write, but over the past decade plus that I've been writing full-time, I have certainly learned a thing or two. Which, for twelve or so years of constant study is not too bad.
Please keep in mind that the opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of the management. Heck, they may not even be my own in another half hour. You just never know.
Helpful Hint #1: “You are what you read.”

In Which I Explain The Meaning of Life... where else can you find that on a free web site?

Greetings again from this month’s Writer in Residence, which is kind of like getting to be Miss December without having to take any clothes off.

Today’s “inspirational quote about writing” is from C.S. Lewis who, as everyone knows, wrote the wonderful Narnia series of fantasy books for children but who also wrote even better books on theology for grown-ups. Fewer lions and snow queens- more indepth analysis of that tricky God notion.

Lewis has this to say about writing,

“We are what we believe we are.”

All those of you who are now gingerly raising a hand and saying, “But Ms. Hines, this quote does not appear to have anything to do with writing.” get ten points and the beautiful Frigidaire freezer. At first glance, it doesn’t. But this is what I think.

Writing The World Sane

Our second inspirational quote on writing comes from James Fitzjames Stephen who was known to say, “It’s not my fault. My mother named me that.”

OK, maybe he didn’t say that, but who would have blamed him?

What he did say was this, “Originality does not consist of saying what no one has ever said before but in saying exactly what you think yourself.” Darn, I wish I’d thought of that first.

Not Yet Ready For A Giller

It’s a little cowing to be taking over as writer-in-residence from a predecessor who has won all kinds of writing awards. There ought to be an award for Writer Who Toils Without Recognition. Except that, of course, anyone who won such an award would automatically be disqualified from actually receiving it. Maybe we could get around this to some extent by not having an award ceremony but simply shipping the plaque or bowl or whatever to the winning author in a brown paper wrapper marked “Occupant.” Or, better still, with someone else’s name on it altogether.

Harlan Ellison is my hero

Do you remember some rap song from a few years back, the refrain of which was a lilting female voice asking: "Where's my money? Where's my money??" I used to have a fantasy about downloading that snippet as a sound file and emailing it as an attachment to all the magazine editors who had ignored my invoice for more than a month.

Preach it, Harlan.

At YouTube

Syndicate content