How to create a good mentor for your story

Mentors are an essential element to a good story. What would Harry Potter be without Dumbledore, or Hagrid? Would the Karate Kid have succeeded without Mr. Miyagi? What about Carlos Castaneda’s eccentric mentor, Don Juan, who guided him through his psychedelic experiences? Mentors can be tricky to create in a story, because there aren’t really…

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Stubborn art

The image above is one that I sketched from a book (The Story of Paintings – a history of art for children by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom) while sitting on the beach watching my girls mess around in their inflatable row boat. (Until the oldest one, Chloe, became convinced that she saw an Eagle…

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The Seasons of Writing

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” Louis L’Amour The seasons have changed and Spring is finally here. This year, she announced her arrival like a bouncer at a nightclub. Almost overnight, all signs of Winter – the troublemaker, in my opinion – were forcefully hauled…

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Art: What’s the point?

It’s good to be dumb. It allows us to love for no reason. Natalie Goldberg If there is one thing that holds me back from freely expressing my creative spirit through the watercolours that I adore and the words that I play with, it’s that inner voice that pipes up nearly every time I sit…

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Writing in times of crisis

“Your art is where the drama belongs, not your life.” Julia Cameron “Hey there, just letting you know that Monique is in hospital with double pneumonia. She’s having many convulsions. The doctors say there’s nothing they can do for her.” At 4:30am on a Sunday morning, that’s not the text anyone wants to receive from…

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No time for writing?

“To say I don’t have time is to say I don’t want to.” Lao Tzu   I’ve heard this excuse, “I don’t have time,” from people in my writer’s workshops, from clients and friends, and, most often, from myself. And yet I’ve never met a single person (once again, including myself) who, when given permission…

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How to cook up a story

Last night we were watching one of the older seasons of Canadian Master Chef. We love Master Chef, although neither my partner nor I could actually be bothered to cook – we just throw suff together in the kitchen because the children are perpetually hungry. I’ve compared writing to cooking many times because to me,…

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The problem with writing a novel…

Instead of writing about writing, I decided it was time to give actual writing a go. By that I mean writing a book, from beginning to end, with all those complicated aspects like character, internal and external conflict, craft, context and whatever else goes into the mix of a good story. Turns out, writing about…

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