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Entries in writing (36)


Seeking Halifax's Best Writerly Cafés

"Writing, at its best, is a lonely life," said Ernest Hemmingway.

But must it be so? I despair writing at home day after day. It makes me feel isolated, sad and thus blocked. Thankfully the portability of my laptop and many local Wi-Fi-enabled cafés make it possible for me to get out and write amongst the energy of other people.

Last week was my university's reading week, so with no teaching obligations I made a plan to visit a different Halifax café each day where I would drink delicious beverages and chip away at a fiction manuscript I started in January.

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Authors Talk of Writing Fiercely: Creative Nonfiction

Author Gerard Collins (photo: top left) described writing as "an act of rebellion" at a panel event on creative nonfiction that happened at Mount Saint Vincent University last night.

When people feel they've been denied a voice, Collins said, and later encouraged to speak, "It's a wonderful thing."

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The year that was: 2013

Here we are again friends, at the end of another year. A look back before a look ahead is in order. I didn't realize last January 2 when I published 10 goals for 2013 here on my blog how omnipresent they would be in my daily life. It's apparently true that writing down goals and in particular sharing them publicly keeps them in your sight.

1. Run 1,000 kilometres.
I planned to run 20 km a week which sounded manageable. Some runs, like a 13 km through Central Park, were fantastic. But there were weeks when I was sick, the weather was rotten, or when deadlines and personal issues consumed too much time and energy.

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Shameless idealism displayed at We Day Atlantic

Show, don't tell.

It's an oft-repeated phrase that editors and teachers use to try to draw examples, details, and anecdotes out of writers. It challenges writers to provide evidence; to give readers stories that will resonate with them and remain in their memories. It's an apt metaphor for life, too. Showing provides proof. It's impactful — and perhaps We Day Atlantic's biggest achievement.

We can tell our kids "Be the change," or "Knowledge is power," but such phrases risk becoming cliché and losing meaning. However, if you put a man in front of them who has no legs and climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro using his hands, as We Day speaker Spencer West did, what better way is there to demonstrate what can be overcome with determination?

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Come to BookCamp Halifax 2013

Who doesn't love camp? The word is practically synonymous with fun, exploration, and camaraderie, and thus is a good description for BookCamp Halifax 2013.

Okay, so maybe 'BookCamp' doesn't include canoeing or eating s'mores around a bonfire, but it may offer something even better: an opportunity for readers, writers and those interested in books and publishing to come together to share ideas and advice.

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