Writing Adventure Exercise

For this exercise go to your favourite people watching spot: a coffee shop, park, the mall. Wait until someone interesting comes along and then study them (discreetly!) for a moment. Then write a description of their bedroom. Are they messy or neat? Is the room sparse or crowded? What object would they not want you to see?

Repeat this exercise with a few different people.

Week #134

I was only scared the first time it happened.

(I'm posting the first line a wee bit early this week because I am on vacation. I'll have a Writing Adventure at the end of the week for you so be sure to check back then.)


"If a writer is any good,what he makes will have its source in a realm much larger than that which his conscious mind can encompass and will always be a greater surprise to him than it can ever be to his reader."

~ Flannery O'Connor

Random Exercise

If you're searching for some inspiration trying using these three words in a short story:

tulip, hot, ghost.

Self-Publishing Part 2

If you found the idea of self-publishing intriguing, you might want to check out Joe Konrath's blog: jakonrath.blogspot.com

To Self-Publish or Not to Self-Publish?

That is the question these days, isn't it? If you had asked me a few years ago if I would ever consider self-publishing I would have blown you off your feet with the force of my "NO!"

But nowadays I am saying, "Never say never." Because the industry is changing lightning fast and every day new opportunities are opening up for writers.

I recently read about Amanda Hocking who self-publishes her paranormal fiction on Kindle. She has sold over 900,000 copies and apparently made over $2 million dollars. And her "Trylle" trilogy has just been optioned by Terri Tachell. I say, "Go Amanda!!" To learn more about her writing visit her blog at: www.amandahocking.blogspot.com

The times they certainly are a changing for writers. It is exciting for sure. But I think to be a successful writer today you need to wear a few hats, and you need to wear them well. You need to be a good writer, a good self-promoter, a good business person and have decent computer skills. Sure it is a bit daunting, but I also think there has never been a better time to be a writer.

Week #133

For over twenty years Walter Sorley had been sitting on his porch every evening, eagle-eyed and dog-breathed, silently daring the world to do something interesting.

Graywolf Press

If you aren't already aware of "The Art of" Series published by Graywolf Press you might want to check it out. Here is how Graywolf describes their stellar series:

"The Art of Series is a line of books reinvigorating the practice of craft and criticism. Each book is a brief, witty and useful exploration of fiction, nonfiction or poetry by a writer impassioned by a singular craft issue."

Some of the titles are:
The Art of Description by Mark Doty
The Art of Time in Fiction by Joan Silber
The Art of Attention by Donald Revell

And there are plenty more. Honestly, I am in love with this series. Click here to learn more.

Writing Adventure Exercise

Go outside with your notebook. If you can, find a bench or picnic table with a view of a tree. Get comfy, open your notebook and take a stab at describing the tree. (Hint: it's not as easy as it sounds.) Once you've described how the tree looks, try using some of your other senses. Is it a windy day? Is the tree making a sound, for instance? Is it a flowering tree? Does it have a scent?

When you've finished that consider different ways of creating moods in your writing using description. Let's say you were writing a spooky scene. How could you describe the tree in a way that would make the scene more sinister? There are endless ways to create atmosphere with something as simple as describing a tree. Can you think of three different moods you could create by describing your tree differently?

Week #132

Angie finished putting up the party decoration then sat down and waited.

More Grant Writing Info

For those of you seeking more information on grant writing I discovered a fabulous website, Mira's List. Check it out!

Theme Exercise

Use this theme as a launch pad to write a short story:


Grant Writing Info

For those looking to improve their grant writing skills, or maybe thinking of applying for their first grant I recommend, "The Artist's Guide to Grant Writing" by Gigi Rosenberg. I picked this book up recently and it is filled with useful information. Though much of it is geared to writers and artists in the USA, this writer still found lots of helpful advice that applied to the grant writing process in Canada. I will be keeping this book close at hand when I apply for my next grant.