Writing tip: Getting the Idea

This video is the first tip in a series of six aimed to help you feel confident in expressing yourself through words for Writing the Rollercoaster. We hope it shows you how to mine for the ideas you want to write about. It was designed with younger writers in mind but is true for any age.

Getting lost in your creative self is a wonderful experience. Writing the Roller Coaster is a project that aims to document life–especially feelings–during the pandemic. We’re not looking for William Shakespeare or Margaret Atwood. We want ordinary heroes, people who manage to get up in the morning and put one foot ahead of the other in uncertain times. Tell us why that’s difficult for you or how you leap out of bed with the excitement of the challenge.How are you forced to pivot? We’re hoping that writing about the science experiment we’re all part of will help keep our writers sane and perhaps even happy.

Watch for the next tip: Freefall writing with Lynda Simmons

 

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Writing the Roller Coaster-Burlington Family Literacy Project!

Writing the Roller Coaster-Burlington Family Literacy Project!

 

It’s a Virtual Life

I live on the computer
Almost a real life
Frozen until a cure comes

This is my own form of haiku–instead of five, seven, five syllables, it’s seven, five, seven. I didn’t re-invent the form on purpose, I made a mistake. But I like it.

Lynda Simmons and I want to document your pandemic feelings, through your story or poem, in an anthology sponsored by the Burlington Community Support Program.
It would be nice if you are somehow linked to Burlington should you wish to submit. But you can also submit anonymously.

There is no reimbursement, this isn’t a contest–therefore you and your family can definitely write it together. Team writing–a great family literacy project.

We have free workshops available to you through Burlington Public Library.

For kids and parents February 11, 4-5:30 Sylvia McNicoll

For adults, February 18, 2-3:30 and 7- 8:30

We will also be posting writing tips in February.

Does your work have to be perfect? Lynda and I will edit it but remember my imperfect haiku. If you make us feel what you’re going through, we will love it.

Visit writingtherollercoaster.com to find out more and to submit!

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Writing the Rollercoaster of your pandemic emotions

Writing the Rollercoaster of your pandemic emotions


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Let it all out!

I hate Covid!

You can scream into the Icelandicair app.

Or how about this. Write about it.

If you live in Burlington or have lived or work in Burlington, check out a new project I’m working on with renowned author and creative writing instructor Lynda Simmons at:

Writingtherollercoaster.com

You can put your feelings into a story about your pandemic experience and submit it for publication.

All ages, all walks of life. We want to document this historic event by publishing the highs, lows and the mediums of your experience.

Lynda Simmons is in charge of teen and adult writers. To help you get a good start on your story she’s giving two workshops on January 19.
at 2 p.m.     https://attend.bpl.on.ca/event/4784936

Or 7 p.m.   https://attend.bpl.on.ca/event/4785001

I’m in charge of the 8-13 year old writing submissions. To help young writers create a story for the project they can register at:

https://attend.bpl.on.ca/event/4785183

You don’t need a Burlington library card. But I love mine!

Thank you to the City of Burlington Community Funding Grant.

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Adding Media Fun to Reading

Adding Media Fun to Reading

You never know how you’re going to engage your young person with books. I love series reading because the entry point into the story becomes a safe home you’ve already visited. That is for the second, third and fourth book.

How do we hook a new reader enough to acquaint themselves with a set of characters and a premise in the first book?

I worked with my son at Epilogue Productions.com to visually demonstrate how I put myself into every character I write. But really these videos are for fun. Laugh with your students or kids. Visit Sylvia McNicoll Youtube for more videos of The Great Mistake Mysteries.

 

 

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Acting in character

Acting in character

After reading 70 mystery books in three months in order to judge them for the Arthur Ellis (novel) Crime Writing, I felt inspired to write one. Just one. Endlessly I walk my dog in Brant Hills so I instantly found a natural setting. An inciting moment was when I took a bag of dog poop from a tree (who puts them there, honestly?) and deposited in in the new blue domed recycling box. OMG! Once you put something in you can’t reach back in to get it out. The irredeemable,  Mistake one.

How awful it feels to realize you’ve made an error you can’t correct. I thought about how anxious kids seem to be these days and thought of structuring stories around mistakes; celebrating the errors that help us observe something more clearly or make us more understanding of others’ errors. Mistakes that cause us to change and grow.

Remember no story happens unless something goes wrong.

The Best Mistake grew into a series of four book: The Best Mistake Mystery, The Artsy Mistake Mystery, The Snake Mistake Mystery and The Diamond Mistake Mystery.

Mysteries can require tight plotting; for me I certainly approach with an ending in mind. But my characters take over and I seem to chase after this quirky bunch as I write my stories.

Check the video out to see what I mean and to enjoy a giggle.

 

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