It’s the season for spectator sports, and I don’t mean baseball or playoff hockey. I’m talking about the book awards season, which in my opinion, qualifies as a spectator sport. It’s almost always entertaining, there’s usually an underdog to cheer for, a favourite, a healthy amount of suspense and hoopla, and sometimes even intrigue and dirty pool. [Read more…]
“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it people like me!”
For those of you who are fans of Saturday Night Live, you’ll probably recognize that quote from one of the many episodes of ‘Daily Affirmation with Stuart Smalley’ that ran on the powerhouse comedy show throughout the 1990s.
Comedian Al Franken played Stuart, who in a nutshell, was a pretty insecure dude who dedicated his life to self-help (he was in several 12-step programs but not a licensed therapist as the voice over on his cable network television show explained). [Read more…]
I like the number ten. It’s a good number in terms of measurement.
It’s a decade, for one. An achievement by which we recognize milestone birthdays, for another. In the metric system, multiples and fractions of units are expressed as powers of ten of each unit. Unit conversions are always simple because they are in the ratio of ten, one hundred, one thousand and so on.
Nineteen ninety-seven. That was probably the last time I sat down and completed what one could call a ‘work of fiction.’ I was in high school and my English teacher would have given me the assignment with strict instructions on word count, theme, and possibly even plot. I had some pretty serious English teachers back in the day (thank goodness). [Read more…]
If ever I am asked which I would choose to be without in my life, books or music, it’d be a close call (although for the record, I’d keep books in my life over music!).
I’ve always thought music and literature were closely linked. I might even go so far as to suggest they’re lovers. Music, at least the kind with lyrics (and a strong case could be made for instrumental music as well), is really about stories. A song is a story. A song is about people or characters and what happens to them. Sound familiar?
Character in a book (or movie) is king for me (wait, queen?). If a character doesn’t reach out from the pages and grab me, I won’t enjoy the book and probably won’t even finish it. Because for me, a good story boils down to one simple truth: Story is what happens to a character. So if your character doesn’t rock your book, nobody’s going to care about the story.
By Tracey Richardson
This summer has been hard on my nerves. And I don’t think I’m alone.
Global tragedies have abounded, starting with the shooting deaths of 49 people at a gay club in Orlando in June. In early July, five Dallas police officers were assassinated by a gunman who wanted to avenge a couple of high profile police shootings of black men in the United States. A week after that, it was the vehicular rampage in Nice, France, that killed almost 100 people. On the immediate heels of that tragedy came a bloody coup d’etat attempt in Turkey. [Read more…]
Writers spend a lot of time talking about how much they love to write. And so they should! Writing is a tremendously gratifying, passionate pursuit that feeds our souls.
But writing is also hard. And lonely. It’s sometimes emotional and often angst ridden. But let’s not dwell on the more challenging aspects of our calling. [Read more…]