Plane Crashes and Writing: Six Sources of Common Ground

I Though I wouldn’t change a thing, according to the standards espoused by shows like Say Yes to the Dress, the ToolMaster and I had a wedding of comparative deprivation. I wore an off-shoulder summer dress purchased in a regular women’s clothing store. I’d sewn my sister’s bridesmaid dress, which was similarly styled. Both my husband […]

Bring Out Your Story Scalpels

During the 2014 Writer Unboxed Unconference, Donald Maass riveted his workshop participants by describing one scene contained within a breakout novel. In it, a family physician—a man who swore the Hippocratic Oath and spent his life tending to the citizens of his small town—is brought the corpse of a probable murder victim. His response? Rather […]

A Call to Pens–Writer as Social Activist

In the back yard of a Canadian middle-class home, a ten-year-old child plays with his neighbor while the supervising adult works in the garden. “What are those?” the visitor asks, pointing to freshly unearthed carrots, their ragged tops still attached. He’s an accomplished eater of store-prepared vegetable trays, with their polished and uniformly rounded “baby” […]

Lean Writer, Fat Word Count? Engineering Your Environment for Default Success

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a writer in possession of a good premise must be in want of a functioning brain with which to execute it. Said brain is best nourished by blood pumped by a healthy heart contained within a healthy body, yes? Unfortunately, we Westerners live in an environment which discourages […]

Confessions of a Serial Non-finisher

I’ve been telling myself that no one wants to read a heavy-duty confession on a Monday morning. But since this is when my WU slot arises and since my brain refuses to cough up an alternate subject for a post, it appears we’re stuck with seeing this through. You ready? *deep breath* Hi. My name […]