Writing Activities

writingIn the past two weeks, I have had a houseful of kids and grandkids … but I’ve been managing to continue to fit in some learning … and am looking forward to lots of writing for the rest of the summer!

Besides a little editing, I’ve been:

I recently read an amazing novel, The Heaviness of Things That Float, by Jennifer Manuel. The novel explores the life of a nurse who goes to a First Nations community on BC’s west coast–and ends up spending 40 years there. As reviewer Shaena Lambert writes, “Jennifer Manuel has woven a fascinating study of being an outsider in a First Nations community, of longing to belong….” The story spoke deeply to me, as I have spent the past 36 years of my life with my wonderful First Nations husband, and I related to so many of her feelings and memories as I read the book. Over the years, I have written many stories, articles and poems about my years on Haida Gwaii (which you can read at my Haida Gwaii Building Bridges site.) But after reading this book (given to me as a gift from my dear friend, Yasmin John-Thorpe, who has continuously encouraged me to write a book), I have been inspired to start a manuscript. I started writing on June 24, and other than the past week while my family has been here, I have been aiming to write 2000 words a day — and so far I have written 36,000 words. It’s very much a first draft, but I’m on my way! I also re-read the book, and marked the parts that spoke most to my own experiences, and have been using those as inspiration for my writing. And I have re-done my Haida Gwaii Building Bridges site, using a new theme, and adding a dozen draft articles I had written in the past but had not posted.

Magazine and Journal reading (for inspiration!):
– Faith magazine
– New Quarterly journal

Reading and note-taking:
– Guide to Query Letters (book)
– Create Your Writer Platform (book, by Chuck Sambuchino)

Listening to webinars:
– Scrivener webinar

Article reading:
– Cultural Appropriation and Indigenous Literature
– CBC 2014 Richard Wagamese interview from Canada Writes
– research books and articles related to non-indigenous writing about indigenous issues
– A Brief Career in the Book Trade (by Anne Marie Todhill)

Other activities:
– Go through my Facebook groups and analyze what groups will help me and what won’t–and delete the “wont’s”
– Likewise, go through the e-newsletters I’m signed up for and canceled all but those that are really helpful


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