Category Archives: Back to Basics

Marking the Hours


When I was teaching a creative writing class, one problem I noticed most of my students had in common was getting down to work. True, they all had busy lives, but somehow that hadn’t prevented them from attending the class. … Continue reading

Posted in Back to Basics, Writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Third Gift


What Dorothy Parker doesn’t say in this famous quote is that if you opt not to shoot aspiring writers, and if they already have a copy of The Elements of Style, the third gift you should offer them is a … Continue reading

Posted in Back to Basics, Writing | Tagged | Leave a comment

Only Words


Many years ago I used to work the night shift in a busy city hospital. One of the nurses I worked with was a woman I’ll call Diana. Diana was tough as the leather jacket she wore riding her Harley-Davidson. … Continue reading

Posted in Back to Basics, Writing | 4 Comments

Thanks for Reading


A story is not finished until it is read. Without readers, a story is a painting for the blind, a song for the deaf, a dream for the sleepless. It is the reader who completes the tale. Thanks to all … Continue reading

Posted in Back to Basics, Writing | Leave a comment

How to Rule the World in Five Easy Steps


Recently I volunteered to teach creative writing at the local resource Centre. It’s a foundation course, designed to introduce the subject to people who have thought about writing but don’t know where to begin. Of course, no sooner had I … Continue reading

Posted in Back to Basics, Writing | Tagged | Leave a comment

Rich and Famous? Not so Much


You made it!

The first miracle is you finished your book. Go, you! The second is a publisher made you an offer: Your book is being published. Wow!

Now, once your adrenaline settles back down, you’re over your hangover, and you’ve stopped singing (if that’s the verb) Queen’s We are the Champions in your underwear, you need to take a deep breath and prepare yourself. These are no kiddies’ wading pools, my friend. These are deep, mysterious waters. Some of them have sharks… Continue reading

Posted in Back to Basics, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Five ways spreadsheets can support your writing


Yes, I’m a nerd, what’s it to you? I love Star Trek, and Sudoku, and Stephen Hawking documentaries (admittedly, the latter may have something to do with Benedict Cumberbatch’s narration.) I also love spreadsheets. If you’re a writer, even a very … Continue reading

Posted in Back to Basics, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment