The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood

Atwood, Margaret. (1993). The Robber Bride. Seal Books; Toronto. I confess that this is the only Margaret Atwood novel that I have ever read. As my taste in reading changes over the years, I will likely find that her writing appeals to me more and more. Her writing is incredibly detail-oriented, and in this particular…

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Chopin, Kate. (1899, 2008). The Awakening. Premier Classic Paperback; New York.  It is hard for me to fathom how this book was written and published so very long ago, although Knopf Publishing Group thoughtfully outlines a chronology of historical events to contextualize the work in my version. While reading the book, I had to keep…

The Benefits of a Private Diary, from Productivity to Practice

I have long kept track of my lucid thoughts, feminine hysterics, and deepest fears in the form of a private diary. There is a little pile of random booklets and piles of paper stored away in a cardboard box somewhere in my childhood home which constitutes the first portion of this endeavour. More recently, a…

So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport

Newport, Cal. (2012). So Good They Can’t Ignore You. Hatchette Book Group; New York. I have followed the work of Dr. Cal Newport with interest for some time now – his blog called Study Hacks: Decoding Patterns of Success is immensely popular and started when he was a computer science Ph.D. candidate at MIT. Even…

A Poe of a Good Time

I just finished reading a great collection of stories in an anthology put together by the Mystery Writers of America called On a Raven’s Wing. Each of the 20 stories are written in the spirit and form of Edgar Allan Poe, commemorating the 200th anniversary of his birth, but are modern in setting and content…

Scheduling, Buddies, and Creativity as Keys to Writing

I admit that I’ve fallen off the boat with NaNoWriMo writing. At the beginning of November, I promised myself that I’d write the requisite 1,600 words per day, every day, until the end of the month. It seemed like a simple goal until I sat down to do it. The words were coming out, but…

How to #Profit from Blogging (And Lose Your Soul in the Process)

I am a humble 15, 488 words into my NaNoWriMo novel on this day in the month of November. Even though I’m probably a little bit behind, and my writing has degenerated into something more non-fiction than fiction, I’m completely and utterly okay with it. The reason for this cool self-assured response? I am writing…

The Waiting Room

Sitting in the waiting room, my hands knot together and then fall limp, my gaze directed towards some vague spot on the wall. A television blares out a daytime show that I’m not familiar with, and the perky, artificial voices of the hosts fall into the empty silence of the white-washed room. Magazines sit on…

Your Citation, or Mine?

Over the last two days, I have brought the final (or, at least, second-to-last) set of edits on my thesis to a resounding finish. I now feel much more confident about the coherency and readability of everything that I was trying to say throughout the roughly 165-page tome. In the first few versions of the…

NaNoWriMo = Powerful Procrastination Potential

For several years now, I have reflected on my childhood with a fair degree of regret; it seems that I’ve lost the youthful spark and creativity which once drove me to daydreaming and jotting quick stories in care-worn old diaries. The hostile world has interjected into my dreams and tangents – and as a result,…

Don’t Believe in Fate – Or, Changing your Vocation

How many times in your life have you thought of something as predetermined, preordained, or destined to happen? Perhaps it was something that happened to you early in life; say that you won prizes once or twice from your school, and you never seemed to step on that dangerous and mythical crack in the sidewalk….