I’m in unfamiliar territory …

At the risk of jinxing myself, it’s not often I find myself with nothing, or very little to say. But here I am. wordsNo words. It’s not writer’s block. Thank God, I’m not having any trouble with client work. Those words and ideas are flowing. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Same with my book. As I told you last week, it is going really well. If anything, I’m having trouble typing fast enough to keep up with the thoughts and memories and sentences and words screaming at me, inside my head, Continue reading

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Back in the saddle again …

Well, not literally. I’m talking about the book I’ve been writing on and, more specifically, off for the lastmoleskin nine years.

When my mother was ailing I was struck with an idea for a book about her and me. I tucked it away in the back of my mind for later. I said nothing to anyone until the day after she died, when my closest friend and I were headed back to Montreal for the funeral.

As the words literally started pouring out of my mouth, my friend handed me some paper and a pen and I spent the rest of the trip writing. This
went on for the next three months. It was amazing, the book was literally writing itself.

Seven chapters in, I hit the wall. No, not writer’s block. I’d been Continue reading

Glory Hallelujah!

Yes, I am happy.  Very happy.  Jumping for joy happy.  Nope, I did not win a lottery.  This is better, actually.  Yeah, better than winning a lottery.  I may actually breakthroughhave talked about this before.  Doesn’t matter.  I’m gonna talk about it again.  It’s different this time anyhow.

For at least the last twenty years I’ve wanted to write a book.  Nothing to do with ego, I have just always thought there was one in me.  God knows I tried.  I gave myself headaches trying to come up with topics.  I’d write a few sentences, maybe a paragraph or two, only to end up ripping the sheet of paper off the pad, crumpling it up in a ball and tossing it.  I even took a book writing course, which I really enjoyed.  Not that

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Blog tour: The writing process

Pete Armetta is a writer whose work I love. I love his thoughts and I love how he expresses them, whether it’s through poetry, short stories, essays or writingquillfiction. Yes, he is that versatile, that able, that talented. I ‘met’ him here, on WordPress; and from the very first moment I read one of his posts I became a fan. And a follower.

Here’s your chance to do the same.

A couple of nights ago he invited me to participate in The Writing Process blog tour. He’d been invited by a friend and fellow blogger. Read what he shared, with just one click.

Some info I knew, some I didn’t. But none of it surprised me. Because along with being a terrific writer, he is committed and passionate and determined.

The Writing Process:

1. What are you working on?

A bit of background, first. My mother used to tell me as far back as when I was 11 or 12 years old, I routinely re-wrote (and re-thought) ads I saw in magazines. So I suppose it wasn’t ‘news’ when I told my parents, at age 15, I wanted to work in advertising.

And it is what I ended up doing. First as a copywriter, then as a creative director — for the Montreal and Toronto offices of some of the world’s biggest

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Day 345. A Byline

My friend, Marilyn, is probably the only person, outside of myself, who knows what I’m about to tell you.  Not that there’s any reason for it to be a deep, dark secret.journalist  It’s just something I’ve never talked about, before.

Have no idea why, either.

And the only reason I’m mentioning it now is, because of a recent WordPress Daily Prompt:  “If one experience or life change results from you writing your blog, what would you like it to be?”

I don’t even have to think about it.

You all know I’ve spent my career in advertising.  As a copywriter and creative director.  It’s what I always wanted to do, from the time I was a very young girl.  I’ve worked for some of the largest agencies in the world, on some of the best brands.  And I’ve had a fabulous career.

No complaints.

But outside of the industry, I’ve not been taken seriously, as a writer.  None of us are.  It’s not really a reflection Continue reading

Day 343. Baring All

Do you ever think about the story of your life; and who should write it?  To be honest, I never have.  I think a lot about life stories I’d like to read.  And I even think diaryabout life stories I’d like to write.

But not about my own.

Until this past Saturday’s WordPress Daily Prompt:  “From a famous writer or a celebrity, to a WordPress.com blogger or someone close to you — who would you like to be your biographer?”

I thought about it all weekend.

Right off the top I wondered whether or not my life is even a story worth telling.  I had to remind myself this is “pretend”.  It’s a hypothetical question, intended only as food for thought.  Fodder.  For a blog post.  So whether or not it’d be an interesting read, or whether anyone would buy it, is a non-issue. Continue reading

Day 316. Poetic Justice?

A blogging friend had an interesting post on her Facebook timeline yesterday.  You type in several paragraphs of something you’ve written.  It can be a blog, a MargaretAtwoodletter, a book, it doesn’t matter.  An “analyzer” then compares your word choices and writing style to those of famous writers.  Then it tells you who you most write like.  In fact, that’s what it’s called:  “I Write Like“.

Rather than going through tons of documents, I used the first few paragraphs of my blog post from yesterday.  Lo and behold, who did it tell me I write like?  Whose style is similar to mine?  Let me rephrase that.  I doubt she’d like to know she writes like me.

Whose style does my style most resemble?  At least as far as “I Write Like” is concerned.

None other than one of the most-honoured authors of fiction in recent history.  Margaret Atwood.  A Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist and environmental activist.  Drawing a blank?  “The Handmaid’s Tale”.  “Cat’s Eye”.  “The Blind Assassin”, to name a few of her books.

If it’s not enough that she’s won the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Prince of Asturias award for Literature, has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times (won once) and has been a finalist for the Governor General’s Award several Continue reading

Day 251. Meandering Tales

No, it’s not a typo. Or a spelling mistake. I didn’t mean to write ‘trails’. I meant to write exactly what I wrote: ‘Tales”. “Meandering Tales”. David Sedaris was in meanderingtown last night. And I went with a friend. It was her idea. I didn’t even know he was coming.

I’m a fan, so I agreed immediately. And his ‘show’ was every bit as good as I’d hoped. Maybe even better.

The place was packed; and it’s a very large venue. Sometimes I think I really do walk around in a fog. That I’m oblivious to what’s going on all around me. I didn’t realize he was so popular. I didn’t expect it to be sold-out.

What planet do I inhabit? Really.

H E L L O.

Earth calling Fransi, I guess.

In case you’re not familiar with him, he’s a writer. A very prolific writer. An author. And humorist. And comedian. And

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Day 231. More Celebrating

I seem to be having the birthday that keeps on giving, this year. Yesterday more friends invited me out, for brunch. They live pretty far outside of the city, in an area called Milton, but annexthey sweetly offered to come into Toronto. Like me, when it comes to food, they prefer simple and home made to shi shi.

So I suggested we meet at a cute neighbourhood restaurant, in an area called The Annex. The place, By The Way Cafe, is tiny. In the summer they open their terrace, which is huge, but we’re not there yet. They don’t take reservations for brunch, so there’s usually a line-up. But it never takes long to get a table.

The food is very vegetarian friendly, totally right for the neighbourhood. It’s all healthy, organic, tasty and reasonably priced. The wait staff are great and seem to really enjoy working there.

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Day 178. Beginning Again

If you’ve been reading my blog regularly, you know I’ve mentioned I’m writing a book.  In fact, I’ve been working on it for five years.  I can’t believe how long it’s wastebasketbeen.  Because I got off to such an amazing start.  I had a synopsis and a chapter by chapter outline done in less than a day.  A query letter in a couple of hours.

I had my first chapter finished in less than a week.  On a ten-day holiday in Bequia, visiting friends, I wrote two more.  Before I knew it, I’d completed another couple.  All while I was working full time, running an ad agency.

My alarm was set for 6:00 a.m.; and I’d get a couple of hours in, before heading to the office.  Instead of going out for lunch I’d eat at my desk, and write.  Nights and weekends were spent in front of my computer.  I was waking up in the middle of the night with sentences and paragraphs forming in my mind.  I became an expert at writing in the dark.

It was like someone had turned on a tap.  Except instead of gushing water, it was words, literally pouring out of me.  Then I hit the wall.  Suddenly.  Instead of starting the next chapter, I kept re-reading everything I’d already done.  Editing it.  Refining it.  Making changes.  Polishing.  Everyday I’d wake up and say “Today, I’m going to at least get started on this chapter.”  And I never did.

Six months into it, it hit me.  I figured it out.

The book is about my mother.  And although I do share a lot of different memories, the book is primarily about the journey she Continue reading