Join this week's free writing workshop, plus: The books that made me a better writer, Calgary, dogs in goggles, the meaning of time.
Curious about the business basics of freelance writing? Please join me for a free 90 workshop this Wednesday.
It’s Workshop Time!
Friends, I’ll hope you’ll join me this Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 PM EST for a FREE 90-minute workshop I’m leading on what it takes to be a freelance writer.
I’ve been crafting travel and human interest narratives for over ten years (and paying my bills with the proceeds!) It takes more than perfect prose to make it in this industry. In this workshop, I’ll be sharing all the business basics I wish someone had told ME over the years, things like what marketing means when you’re a one-person show, simple and effective tools for invoicing and taxes, resources for pitching, and much more.
All writers from all genres are welcome. And other creatives and self-employed folks will find the content helpful too. Please bring a friend! Sign up here.
BTW… I owe much of my writing success to a small selection of books that have guided and influenced my career. Scroll to the bottom to get the complete list!
Ollie-bear had a laser treatment on his arm at the vet’s office to treat an infection. The infection has cleared, but the image of Oliver wearing his protective dog goggles will live on in my heart forever. WHAT A DASHING BOY!
In an ideal world, I’d proudly show off a new Calgary-focused blog post right about now but… well… I’m not. I’m still playing vacation catch-up! But I can share some fresh photos from the fantastic Stampede parade and show off my white hat and cowboy boots.
While the horses were undoubtedly the stars of the show for most people, I loved seeing all the marching bands. I was highly impressed by how they managed to play their instruments, entertain the crowds, follow the choreography, and avoid the majority of the horse droppings simultaneously!
It was a fascinating look at the city, but I must confess that I need to plan a return visit because I can’t imagine what the city would be like without the Stampede. Everyone is in Western wear, the streets and buildings are all decorated with hay bales and painted windows, and it seems Calgarians have abandoned everyday life for two weeks. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. There is a massive level of civic pride.
Book Club Is Just Around The Corner
I’m so excited for next month’s meetup of the Thursday Murder (Book) Club. We’ll discuss A Spoonful of Murder by J.M Hall. It’s the perfect light summer read. Beautifully written, with some serious themes sprinkled in, it’s a charming cozy mystery that makes you think deeply about certain things… things I won’t mention here because then I’d be spoiling the book!
What I’ve Been Writing
I wrote about a unique fundraiser at a farm that involves wedding dresses and goats for Broadview.
I covered Nova Scotia breakfast traditions for Resonate.
I reported on Charlottetown’s best lobster rolls for re:porter, Porter Airlines’ in-flight magazine.
What I’m Reading
The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner. If you love post-war fiction but don’t want a focus on mysteries (or the war itself), this delightful novel about preserving the legacy of Jane Austen is a perfect read.
(Also: I love how its back cover matches the new wildflower decal I found on Etsy to jazz up my laptop. Pretty as it is, I was motivated by travel safety - - it will be hard to mix up my computer with someone else’s at the airport security line now!)
You Could Make This Place Beautiful: A Memoir by Maggie Smith. Smith’s memoir of life after her divorce and finding fame as a poet is a beautiful, emotional read.
Saving Time: Discovering A Life Beyond The Clock by Jenny Odell. How many times have you heard people (including me!) exalt the value of vacation and leisure time because it, in turn, makes you a better worker; that a rested writer is a creative writer? Odell challenges her readers to ask what time would mean if it didn’t revolve around work, productivity, and capitalism. What if we all embraced leisure time because we wanted to, and to hell with it making us better workers in the long run?
Dying of Politeness: A Memoir by Geena Davis. A top Hollywood actress maps her journey from someone who would rather die than make others feel uncomfortable to becoming a leading activist on how we portray gender in the media (aka making a whole lotta folks uncomfortable).
How To Solve A Cold Case: And Everything Else You Wanted To Know About Catching Killers by Michael Arntfield. SO MUCH to unpack here! My biggest two takeaways: Forensic genealogy is the way of the future, and blockbuster true crime podcasts are – first and foremost – sources of entertainment, not investigation.
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What To Read To Be A Writer
I’m a strong believer that in order to write well, you have to read well.
That means opening myself up to reading a wide variety of books, articles, and publications. It also means embracing books that showcase the craft and business of writing. Writing is an art, a personal journey, and a hell of a slog and what resonates with me might not resonate with you, but I think these books will strike a chord with all writers, bloggers, creators, and many small business owners.
Range: Why Generalists Triumph In A Specialized World by David Epstein. Guess what? You do NOT have to have a super specialized (and lucrative!) niche to make it as a writer. I’m a generalist and tons of other writers are too. But it took this book for me to see just how powerful that is.
Keep reading to see the rest of the list…
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