Celebrating & Getting Organized

I recently celebrated my sixth year blogging anniversary. No champagne, no fireworks—just a little notification from WordPress stating the fact. Yippee!

I’m kind of proud of the fact that after six years I’m still blogging. I’ve seen many bloggers come and go over the years. Some of them I still miss from time to time. I started blogging to give people a place to find me once my first book was published, imagining as I did that thousands of people would seek me out. Okay, I’m just joking about the thousands. Back then, I knew nothing about blogging. Most days I still feel that way. It’s kind of a hit and miss. Do I have anything worth saying? Does anyone even care?

What has made blogging so worthwhile to me had been getting to know the blogging community. Truthfully, I wish I had more time to explore all the wonderful blogs out there. I love that the blogging community is so supportive. It’s nice knowing that you can make friends all over the world. Talk about expanding your horizons. Who would have thought this possible a few short years ago? So I thank you all for tuning in when I publish a post and thanks to those non-bloggers who faithfully read. You’re all so awesome. Did I mention I’ve been doing this six years? Of course I did!  ;)

What you probably haven’t noticed (unless you have eyes like a hawk) is that I added a new tab on my blog and organized all the guest blog post, just to put them all in one place. It seemed like a good job on a cool June day. Truthfully, I don’t tend to be very organized even though I like things to be orderly. Too bad these things couldn’t happen all on their own.

So that’s what I’ve been doing today, celebrating and organizing. Are you a organized person or do you just muddle through?

Lessons From Life

Life is all about learning. Each day we’re offered the opportunity to learn something new about ourselves, the world we live in and the people who make up our world. This past week I’ve tried to pay close attention to what life is trying to tell me. Subsequently, I’ve put together a list of some of the random lessons that have come my way.

Quotes and photos

  1. It is possible to have too many plastic containers.
  2. Proofread carefully.
  3. Be persistent. You don’t have to get it right the first, second, third, fourth…….time. You get what I mean.
  4. People you thought were friends sometimes aren’t.
  5. Facebook will not always send you notifications.
  6. It is not helpful to stay stuck in the past. Keep on movin’.
  7. Sometimes, when housecleaning, you really do need a toothbrush.
  8. If you think someone has betrayed you you need to have a glass of wine and get over it.
  9. Good friends will take time to make you laugh.
  10. There are many varieties of pickles in the world. You only need to choose one.
  11. Some people lie, accept their faults but don’t trust what they tell you.
  12. You won’t always get what you want but you have to be okay with that.
  13. The small gestures mean a lot.
  14. We all experience brain farts.
  15. Cry, but only if you have to.
  16. Inanimate objects have the ability to move all on their own.
  17. Everything you need cannot be found on the Internet.
  18. We all see the world in a different light.
  19. Dust bunnies can be scary creatures.
  20. Everyone needs alone time.

What lessons has life taught you this week?

Dinosaurs, Crowns and Twins

I just got to the point where I’d had enough. I was completely fed up. And so, a week ago I decided to slay the dinosaur in my house—yes, I did say dinosaur. Yes, I did say slay. Let me explain.

She was simply taking up too much room with her slow, uncontrolled, unpredictable moves. Not to mention all the grumbling that was left in her wake. As far as dinosaurs go, she wasn’t really so bad, not like your run-of-the-mill T-rex or even stegosaurus which I venture to guess would be next to impossible to cohabitate with. My dinosaur was clunky and pre-historic but I brought her home when she was newly hatched. We bonded. I knew her every clunk, thump and grind. I wasn’t always appreciative of her. (You know how you tend to take all those dinosaurs in your life for granted.) She allowed me to check email, and Facebook, but she wasn’t so nice to me when I visited my friends in blogland. Sometimes she simply refused to budge. She didn’t want me to *like* any of you, and she didn’t want me to make any comments on your posts. Sometimes, she even forced me to go to the local c@p site to upload photos to my own blog. Imagine that.

Power can go to a dinosaur’s head.

Overtime, she became too independent for her own good. We were becoming disconnected. Yet, I resisted…and resisted. Even though I grumbled and complained. Finally, I just had enough. I mean, how long can you cohabitate with a dinosaur and be happy?

Life’s too short not to be happy with your dinosaur.

So, she’s gone, put to rest, retired, withdrawn, given the boot.

My life will be a bit easier.

Saturday was the launching of Jan Coate’s brand new picture book, The King of Keji at The Box of Delights in Wolfville. Can you imagine a better name for a bookstore? I had a great time. The book’s illustrator, Patsy MacKinnon was also at the launch. Crowns were made for the kids which was pretty cool. Did I get a crown? You bet. In fact, I got two for the little people in my life. I didn’t want to push it by asking for one for myself. Seriously, the crown-making was a big hit with the kids and worked in well with the picture book. Jan read the story which many of you know is set at Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Park right here in Nova Scotia. Patsy explained a bit about how she creates the illustrations. I believe she said she worked on them for about six months. I love the colours she used.

While he didn't make the book launch, Levi was happy with his crown and book!

While he didn’t make the book launch, Levi was happy with his crown and book!

When you get married and have twins;
Don’t come to me for safety pins.

Speaking of dinosaurs, how out-dated is that verse? Perhaps as out-dated as autograph books which I’m writing into my next story. Does anyone use safety pins or cloth diapers these days? Autograph books?

While on the subject of twins… Some of you already know that we’re about to be blessed with twins this time around. Master Levi is going to be a big brother at the ripe old age of 22 months. There’s no quicker way for a child to grow up then to become an older sibling. I know a mom and dad who are going to be BUSY in the future; September, or so we’re told. Hard to say with twins. We’re all so excited. Being a nanny and guppy is pretty darn cool.

So, that’s my news for now. What’s news in your corner?

The Writer’s Walk

One of my favourite things about being a writer is what I like to call walking the writer’s walk. When you’re walking the walk you’re out there in the world of authors and readings and book launches and writing festivals—all kinds of literary functions.

Calling ourselves a writer, even feeling it deep in our bones is one thing, but there’s more to being a writer than talking the writer’s talk. Anyone can talk about being a writer so long as we can find someone willing to listen, but I believe we also have to walk the writer’s walk.

For a long time I didn’t walk the walk. For a long time I was oblivious to the outside world of writing. I lived in my own little writing world. I wrote my stories, I reveled in the contributor’s copies of my work I received, and kept on writing. Little did I know there was a literary world out there just waiting for me somewhere with other writers just like me, writers who were willing to be my friend, to share their experiences and offer advice. Being a solo act can be mighty lonely.


Author, Syr Ruus reads from her novel, “Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart.”

Having participated in literary events, writing festivals, having attended book signings and launches for other authors has so totally enriched my writing life. Just the other Friday evening I attended an event at the Linc in Lunenburg. My good friend Syr Ruus was reading as well as poet Carolle Langille. These two ladies are absolutely marvelous. Seriously, check out their work if you haven’t already. There was also an open mic that evening and other writers and poets got up and read their work. I can’t begin to imagine the courage it must have taken to read before two such renown authors. (Certainly more courage than I would have had at that stage in my writing.) I say good on them!

In the weeks ahead I have some book launches to attend that I’m so totally looking forward to. Not only do I get to support some of the writers I know, and have met, but you just never know who you’re going to bump into at one of these events. Could be someone who’ll end up being a friend or even someone who has an interesting story to tell. Hey, you might even rub elbows with an editor you’ve been longing to meet or an author you’re just dying to speak to.

A writer’s walk is about immersing yourself in the literary world, attending events, supporting one another, getting to know your fellow writer. We’re a community, a community of like-minded people. Mind you, it’s impossible to attend every literary event, but you’d be surprised at the number of writers, and would be writers, who aren’t willing to engage themselves in the writing community at all. I say they’re missing out on a lot. In order to be a writer it’s important to walk that walk, to count your every footstep and claim that path as yours. Seriously, if you want others to support and lift you up as a writer, you should be willing to do that exact thing yourself.

Poet/writer, Carolle Langille.

Poet/writer, Carolle Langille.. 

Do you make an effort to “immerse yourself” in the writing community, to walk that writer’s walk? If not, what are you waiting for?

The Biggest Roadblock Along the Road to Publication

IMAG0609I’ve been thinking a lot about the writing process these past few days. As I sifted through some older writing files and reread some of my stories that had been published in literary magazines, I was reminded of that time when publication was only a dream—a dream that felt so very far away.
Yet a dream I was sure would come true…
…one day


Over time, as the rejections mounted, as the dream began to look a little fuzzy, I came to a realization about my writing, something that writers don’t often want to admit:

The biggest road block, the thing that was keeping me from being a published author was me.

Yup, that’s right, little ole me.

While there were things I was more than willing to work on—my writing being one of those things—something else was preventing me from being published. I was inadvertently placing road blocks in the way, not because I didn’t want to be published (Lordy, but I wanted it) but because, on some level, I was afraid of it. Fear is the one thing that has the power to hold us back, to keep us from realizing our dreams, and no matter how badly we might want something, we’ll allow that very same fear to put obstacles in our way and keep our dreams from coming true.

I think of these fear-based obstacles as roadblocks because they do just that—they block our path and prevent us from continuing our journey toward publication. When the obstacles show up along the road we can either let these roadblocks stop us or we can figure a way to get past them. And in order to do that it’s important to recognize these roadblocks when we come up against them.

Here are a few of the road blocks I’ve encountered in the past, ones that I unknowingly placed in my path.

1.Procrastination: Believe me when I say I can procrastinate with the best of them. I’ve had plenty of practice, too. There is always something else to do. That something else might very well be important, like spending time with my family or friends, or it could be something as insignificant as watching reruns of The Big Bang Theory. If you want to be published you need to make writing one of your priorities. REPEAT WITH ME. “If I want to be published I need to make writing one of my priorities.” You may not be able to write each and every day, but you need to make an effort even on those days when you don’t feel as though you have a literary bone in your body. Even ten or fifteen minutes of writing are better than no minutes. Remember, if you can’t publish what never gets written. No one’s going to publish blank pages. Sounds like a no-brainer to me!

2. Believing that you are not worthy of publication: This is a biggie. Too many of us struggle with this. While there are a few writers out there who have unrealistic goals, like signing a million-dollar book contract prior to publication when their writing needs much more work to make it publishable, many more writers struggle with the belief that their writing will never be quite good enough for publication. I’m here to tell you, in order to succeed in writing you have to believe that you are worthy of success. REPEAT WITH ME : “In order to succeed in writing I have to believe that I am worthy of success.” If you’re inner dialogue is constantly telling you something different, you need to give yourself a good talking to. Nothing good is ever accomplished beneath a cloak of negativity. Believe you are worthy because you are. Why wouldn’t you be?

3.Not owning it: If you’re a writer, admit it. Don’t gush over the fact, stammer and stumble to get the words out, own up to it. When I say, own it, I don’t mean for you to shout it from the rooftops because that would just annoy the heck out of everyone, I mean accept once and for all that you are a writer. Forget all that once-I’m-published-I’ll-be-a-writer nonsense. Every published writer was once an unpublished writer. They didn’t become a writer the moment their words were printed, they were writers before that. REPEAT WITH ME: “Every published writer was once an unpublished writer.” Did you think all writers were born with publishing credits? No sir, not a one. They worked at their writing until it was good enough for publication. But here’s a little truth, sometimes even publication isn’t enough to make you feel like a writer. I know, sounds silly. Certainly to be published is to be a writer, right? Yet I can tell you that I had several stories published before I finally, finally admitted that I was a writer. So do yourself a favour and admit it before publication, that way it won’t come as such a shock when you’re holding that first published story in your hands.

4. Saying you’re a writer but not really feeling it: Feeling that you’re a writer means much more than simply saying the words, “I’m a writer.” Anyone can do that, writer or non-writer. Don’t get me wrong, while it’s good to say the words, important even, it means very little if we simply do not feel it. REPEAT WITH ME: Feeling that I’m a writer is more important than just saying it. The day I actually felt like a writer, really and truly felt like one, was the day something momentous happened in my writing life. More and more of my stories were accepted for publication but, more importantly, the rejections that came afterward stopped stinging. I came to understand that rejection wasn’t necessarily a commentary of my work, but simply a story that didn’t catch the attention of the right editor on the right day. Finally, I stopped taking those rejections so personally.

While some of these may or may not be roadblocks you’ll encounter along the way, I feel as though we often underestimate our own self-worth. And when we’re not at a particular place in life when we want to be, we often end up beating ourselves up because of it. Maybe we even decide that it’s just too hard, that we’ll never get there. But we all take our own time getting places–that’s all part of life. Some stories take longer than others to polish. It’s always important to have someone in your corner. Isn’t it only fitting for you to be that someone?

What are some of the roadblocks you’ve encountered along the road to publication

Guest Post–Christi Corbett

Christi Corbett Picture for Bio-1Today, I’m thrilled to have award winning author Christi Corbett as a guest on my blog. Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure to watch Christi go from unpublished author to published author. Christi’s first book Along the Way Home has been described as “epic romance inside of an epic Western adventure.” Her second book Tainted Dreams was released on May 12th. Christi is the winner of the 2013 RONE Award for Best American Historical novel and lives in a small town in Oregon with her husband and their twin children. The home’s location holds a special place in her writing life; it stands just six hundred feet from the original Applegate Trail and the view from her back door is a hill travelers looked upon years ago as they explored the Oregon Territory and beyond.

Without further ado, here’s Christi.

First, I’d like to thank Laura Best for hosting me on her blog today! I really appreciate her generosity and willingness to share her readers with me as I talk about support systems.

Writing is a solitary endeavor and once a writer has spent months, or more likely years, honing every word to perfection, they’ve only just begun. The publication process is filled with more ups and downs than a roller coaster, so it’s very important to have a network of supporters. After all, who else will understand what you’re going through when you get three rejections in one day? Or when a famous best-selling super author releases a book with the same title you slaved over for months and is perfect for your next book? Or when you finally have to shove your first novel in a drawer because even after you’ve made every improvement you can think of, it’s still not working?

I met Laura years ago, and while the details are fuzzy how exactly that first virtual meeting came about, I do recall it centering on her book trailer. We chatted at great length about it, and have kept in touch ever since. I’ve cheered from my desk chair as she’s shared her details of publication with cover reveals, excerpts, and release day news.

I’ve been a published author since June of 2013, and I’m so very grateful to all those who’ve helped me on my path to publication. From critique partners to beta readers, from bloggers to members of writing groups, I’ve gotten to know hundreds of writers, and I’ve been fortunate to call many of them friends. I cherish every one, and rejoice in their successes, and cringe right along with them when they suffer setbacks.

It’s also important to have a supportive network of family and friends, who aren’t going to complain or try to talk you out of writing sessions. My immediate family is very supportive of my career, for which I’m very grateful. Rest assured, it took years for them to fully appreciate my need for writing time, and cooperate, but now they understand and are (usually) happy to oblige when I say I need to be with my imaginary friends who live in my imaginary world. Or, when I say I need to do book marketing. In fact, my husband is currently handling dinner preparations for our twins so I can write this post. And while “handling dinner preparations” actually means he’s taking them out for pizza, the end result is still the same—they are giving me some much-needed quiet time to write.

How about you? What is your support system like? Is there anything you wish your family and friends did differently to support your dreams?

Tainted Dreams

Back cover copy:
TaintedDreams_1600x2400 FINAL2-1Sometimes, the end justifies the means…
Kate Davis arrived into Oregon City transformed from a pampered daughter of fortune into a determined woman with a plan–fulfill her father’s dream of starting a horse ranch in Oregon Territory.
She quickly discovers a harsh truth–even thousands of miles from home, on an unsettled land America doesn’t yet own or govern, gender still takes precedence over ability. Refusing to be ruled once again by the stifling laws and societal norms she’d escaped by leaving Virginia, Kate begins creatively claiming what is rightfully hers.
Until a visit to the land office changes everything.
Jake Fitzpatrick guided Kate across the Oregon Trail, and fell in love with her along the way. Now he wants to marry her and build a life together, but a ruthless man from Jake’s past threatens to reveal a dark secret, and destroy everything he’s worked so hard to achieve.

To find out more about Christi check out her





Amazon Author Page

Tainted Dreams  is available for purchase on Amazon.com

Barnes and Noble




Catch up from my Little Corner of the Web

It’s been awhile. Maybe you noticed but maybe you didn’t.

As unbelievable as it seems, last winter’s snow still clings to those places where the sun hasn’t been able to reach. Snow in May. You don’t see that often. With temperatures up in the twenties (that’s Celsius for my American friends, wouldn’t want to send you into shock!) I believe the snow has seen better days. In fact, it may be all gone today. Good news since last winter seemed like the winter from Hell. Yes, I do like snow, in fact I went out snowshoeing many days and did my share of shovelling. But no one, I repeat no one, needs four feet of snow in their backyard. I don’t care who yah are.

So what’s new with me in no particular order? Editor Gary Doi is putting together another anthology for charity and I am one of the contributors. Not sure when the book will be out but I’ll let you know.

Now with the snow gone, I’ve fired off a photo from our cemetery here in St. Cyprian’s. In February I was contacted by someone from Connecticut, looking for a photo of their ancestor’s tombstone from way back in the early 1900’s. Marvelous how the Internet can bring people together. I dare say a request like this would never have been possible before.

I’m excited to be signed up to receive books in the mail from the library. Love this program, although I just learned that the bookmobile will be making monthly stops again. Yay! If there’s some way to get books in the hands of as many people as possible then I’m excited.

Miss Charlotte turned five in April
and is newly registered for school. She has her interview later this month and is very excited to start school in the fall.

Mr. Levi will be a big brother at the end of September not only that, he’s discovered all the wonderful places to play at Guppy and Nanny’s house. The big pile of gravel in our backyard being one of them. Although I think Dad’s having just as much fun playing with his old Tonka Toys as what Levi is.

Earlier in the month we went to the Pearle Theatre in Lunenburg to see Agatha Christi’s, The Mousetrap. Lunenburg is such a beautifully historic town. It’s just like stepping back in time. Perhaps I’ll snap some photos this summer and post them.

Lastly, I want to mention that award winning author Christi Corbett is scheduled to be a guest on my blog on the 14th of May. I hope you’ll drop in and say hi..

What’s new in your little corner?

Everyday Success

Have you ever wallowed in your own success or, rather, lack of? We’ve all attempted things in the past only to be disappointed when the outcome we received failed to take the form we hoped for. We’ve all felt like a failure at some time or other. But the truth is many of us don’t even recognize what success is. Success, we reason, has to be some grand, spectacular thing we’ve accomplished in order for it to count. But life is made up of many smaller successes, successes we encounter every day and shrug off because they seem too small, too insignificant. (I haven’t saved a life, or brought about world peace, I haven’t climbed any mountains–you know how it goes.)

If only we’d change the way we think.

Success doesn’t need to be some grandiose thing–the making of a million dollars or the purchase of a seaside home worth millions. Success can be as simple as getting out of bed in the morning—maybe not for you or me, but for some people I’m sure it is.

Today, I challenged myself to write down 100 of my successes. FYI I’m reading, The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. I figured if it was good enough for Jack Canfield, it was good enough for me. I mean, even if you’ve never read a single “Chicken Soup” book, you’ve got to admire this man for what he has accomplished. So when Jack suggests making a list, I make a list. What can it hurt?

So with pen and paper in hand I set out, wondering if I even had 100 successes to write down. 100 is a lot, I mean a LOT. I started out with the important ones—the birth of my children, thirty-six years of marriage, the publication of two books and my many other writing accomplishments. I quickly wrote down the award my first book was short-listed for. I whizzed through all these things with plenty of steam to spare.

But then it got a little more challenging. Hey, I’m not all that interesting. I haven’t done that many things. At least that’s what I thought! I dug back into my childhood and added things like learning to swim, to print, to read, and to write—all very important accomplishments. I’ve never won any big awards but I got my drivers license at twenty-five even though (and many of my friends can confirm this) I don’t really like driving. I taught Sunday school—bet you didn’t know that. I was even a 4-H leader at one time. I added friends to the list because to have friends is to have success, and I’ve got some pretty awesome friends. (Please take a bow if you’re one of them reading this now!) I listed the fact that after six years I’m still blogging and hey, I even have some followers, some of you even check out my posts when I publish them! I added learning how to can vegetables the year I was married. And even learning to play the recorder in grade five (shivers to this day.) I was a choir member in elementary and wrote and presented several speeches to the Home and School Association even though my heart was pounding in my ears. I wrote my first play at ten and bribed persuaded my friends into act in it with promises of fame and fortune. (Okay, so the promised fame and fortune part never happened. Who knew what fame and fortune was back in the fifth grade anyway?)

The more things I thought about the more successful I felt
which I suppose is the point of the whole exercise. I’m only half-way through the list but I’m confident I’ll reach 100 before the evening is out. I’ll be on top of the world!

No matter what your definition of success it, the one thing we can all agree upon is that success is always a positive thing. And if you think you haven’t been very successful in life maybe you need to rethink you definition of success. Maybe we could all benefit by taking a step back and deciding just what success looks like. Does it mean you have to lower your standards? I don’t think so. We can still set goals, in fact there’s nothing wrong in that, but we should still take time to acknowledge all those everyday successes that come our way while we’re waiting for that goal we’ve set to become a reality.

For the writer waiting for that first piece to be published, maybe success is the writing of a publishable short story, poem, novel or article. Maybe it’s making a commitment to creating a blog and writing regular blog posts. Or maybe it’s taking the time to write a letter to someone you know would appreciate a hand-written note. We won’t all sell thousands of copies of our books, we won’t all win awards, we won’t all retire from the royalties we earn, and we won’t all be published in book form—but we can still be successful.

So if you’re not feeling very successful at the moment I’d suggest you start making a list of your own, and I challenge you NOT to feel successful by the time you reach 100.


Guest Post–Heather Wright

Today, it is my pleasure to welcome author Heather Wright to my blog. I’ve asked Heather to tell us a little bit about how she came up with the idea for her how-to writing books for teens and pre-teens.

Heather is a busy freelancer and children’s writer. As a freelancer, Heather has worked for educational publishers, non-profits and agencies. Her feature articles, profiles and promotional copy have appeared in local and national publications.  Her books for middle readers and teens include Sherlock Holmes and the Orphanage Mystery (for Caramel Tree Publishing), Writing Fiction: A Hands-On Guide for Teens, Writing Fiction: A Guide for Pre-Teens, The Dragon’s Pearl, and The Dragon’s Revenge, all available at on-line bookstores. In late September, with co-writer Jean Mills, Heather launched an anthology of stories for middle school boys called Dude! Heather enjoys working with young writers and loves visiting classrooms to teach writing skills and to talk about the writer’s life. She runs teen writing workshops at her local library and at art camps, and has also created presentations for teachers’ conferences. Her website, http://wrightingwords.com, hosts resources for teen and pre-teen writers and their teachers.


IMG_4467.HeatherwrightWhen I was a kid, what I wanted to be more than anything else was a writer (Nancy Drew has a lot to answer for.) Later, when I taught middle school and high school English, I met students with the same dream. What I noticed, though, was a lack of creative writing resources for pre-teens and teens–resources that treated them like writers and not like students.

Around the same time, I got the opportunity to write a how-to-write column for a national magazine for teens called, What If? Canada’s Creative Magazine for Teens. By the time I had finished my four-year run creating a bi-monthly column, I had a lot of material that begged to be made into a book. So I wrote one.

Now there are other writing books out there for teens, but I wanted mine to be different. First, it had to be short. I’d taught enough creative kids to know that what they want is to be given the main framework for a concept or technique, and then go and run with it themselves. I also wrote my book writer-to-writer, not teacher-to-student. My book explains what published writers do to keep their readers turning the pages, and shows young writers how to make their own writing better. My book has no end-of-chapter homework questions or assignments, but there are 50 writing prompts included to help my readers get started if they don’t have an idea for a story.

Once I’d written Writing Fiction: A Hands-On Guide for Teens, my writer and teacher friends said that I needed to write a book for pre-BookCoverImageteens, too. That book, Writing Fiction: A Guide for Pre-Teens was published at the end of July, 2014.

Reaching out to young writers and their teachers has been a passion of mine for a long time, and my website is dedicated to finding and creating resources for them to use. I want young writers to write the stories they want to write. I hope that, with good resources, they’ll learn how to write better stories every time they try. Because of my books, I get to visit classrooms and conferences, and I also run free writing workshops for teens at my local library. I’m definitely in my happy place—and that’s why I write what I write.

Thank you, Heather. How wonderful it would have been if such books existed when we were teens and pre-teens!

Listed below are some links where you can learn more about Heather and just where her books are available.

Heather’s website:http://wrightingwords.com

Amazon.ca link to Writing Fiction: A Hands-On Guide for Teens Second Edition http://www.amazon.ca/Writing-Fiction-Hands–Guide-Second-ebook/dp/B00I2MXH8U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406810173&sr=8-1&keywords=Writing+fiction+a+hands+on+guide+for+teens+second

Amazon.ca link to Writing Fiction: A Guide for Pre-Teens: http://www.amazon.ca/Writing-Fiction-A-Guide-Pre-Teens-ebook/dp/B00M3HFDFA/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_img_11


Reviews for first edition of Writing Fiction: A Hands-On Guide for Teens are here:

Review of Canadian Materials (University of Manitoba) http://umanitoba.ca/outreach/cm/vol17/no5/writingfiction.html

Canadian Teacher Magazine – the PDF of this review is no longer available (darn,) but a quote from the review follows:

“This guide to writing fiction speaks directly to young writers and provides tools to help them become successful in their writing endeavours and to have fun doing so … The author’s love of writing and enthusiasm for sharing her expertise with young writers shines through this guidebook, making it a wonderful resource for young writers.”


This is an excerpt from Review of Canadian Materials (University of Manitoba) review for Writing Fiction: A Guide for Pre-Teens:

Writing Fiction: A Guide for Pre-Teens follows in the footsteps of Writing Fiction: A Hands-On Guide for Teens and attempts to provide the same sort of how-to-write assistance, but for a slightly younger audience. Longer than the first resource guide—this one comes in at 66 pages, covering primarily the same ground from goal setting and tapping ideas to character-building and writers’ block. Wright’s explanations are clear, concise, and illuminating, without talking down to the user. The guide would be a useful resource even for adults.”




The sudden passing of a friend in February kind of threw me for a loop. For a few days I withdrew into my thoughts to contemplate the things I would miss with this friend no longer here, and to honour the memories I had of her. Whenever we lose someone in our life it causes us to reflect upon so many things—the frailty of life being one of them, our own mortality as well as the mortality of those closest to us, the things we haven’t yet accomplished that we’d like to, the relationships we forge and so, so much more.

When we get to a certain age, we begin to understand that life doesn’t always make sense. Good things happen, bad things happen, and we have no idea why. We can become angry and bitter over the things we deem senseless in this world and yet delight when good things happen that also don’t make sense. (If that makes sense!)

I’m not sure that life is supposed to make sense. If it did make sense all the time, I think we’d lose a little of the wonder and the magic that exists in the world. And without the wonder and the magic what would that do to our hopes and dreams and wishes? Without magic I’m almost certain all those things wouldn’t exist. Why would we ever wish for something or allow our hopes to propel us into some crazy new direction, why would set our dreams on anything other than the reality we now have if there wasn’t some force out there capable of making our hopes, dreams and wishes come true? Wouldn’t we simply go through our days and wait for life to happen? How drab, how utterly mundane and ordinary, how sad.

Truthfully, I’m glad to live in a world that doesn’t always make sense, where strange, out of the ordinary things sometimes happen, where people overcome insurmountable odds, a world that fills us with delight and yes, sometimes, sorrow. My friend once sent me a link to a site about fairy homes. There are those who might say that a site like that doesn’t make any sense, and maybe it doesn’t, but so what?

If I was looking for things to always make sense I might have said a long time ago there’s no sense in trying to get published. I might have said it’s too hard to a thing to accomplish. I might have looked at the stats from some of the literary magazines I submitted to (we receive over 1200 submissions a year and publish 5%) and said the odds are not in my favour. I might have said, I have no one to show me the way. I might have counted the rejections (I had a few file folders filled) and said it isn’t meant to be. I might have said I’ve never once taken a writing course. I might have said I don’t know one single solitary writer in the entire world. But I didn’t say those things. I kept doing what I was doing even though there were times that it didn’t make sense to be doing it. (Seriously, some of my friends worried about the postage I was spending and if it was actually “paying off”) I kept wishing and hoping and dreaming…and writing.

And for those people who think life makes perfect sense, that if we dig deep enough we’ll find out exactly why things happen, I feel a little sad. I might be a Pollyanna, I might set my sights on things that seem an impossibility, but I’d rather live in a world of magic and wonder than a world that just is.

R.I.P my friend–the next time I find a fairy house in the woods I’ll think of you.

Do you believe in magic and wonder or in a world that always makes sense?
(Please drop in next time when author Heather Wright will be a guest on my blog. Heather will be telling us about her new book : Writing Fiction: A Guide for Preteens.”

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