Book Recommendations—

Your Summer Fun Kit!

When I worked at the head office of the LCBO (AKA: the Liquor Control Board of Ontario), I learned that offices in France closed in August. This made it difficult to track my Courvoisier orders, but I was impressed. Closed for the whole month? Mais, oui! I’ve always wanted to do that. This year it […]

Manifestos, guides, and best friends

Before I get into my post today, I want to tell you that The Story Intensive registration is open for 10 MORE DAYS. I run this writing workshop once a year: it’s the only fully-guided Story Is a State of Mind writing workshop I offer. Space is very limited, and writers from around the world […]


Have you read this yet? There was a lot of tittering about this anthology of essays this winter. Opinions were raised in a variety of newspapers, literary blogs and magazines. The gist of the book is, there are two ways to make a living as a writer in America: 1) by getting an MFA, probably […]

What to read over the holidays.

Reading deeply this winter has reminded me for the hundred-thousandth time: reading really does show you how to write what you want to read. Whether you’re taking off and going somewhere warm for a holiday, driving north to a snowy cottage, or staying home and wearing fleece for a few days in a row, let […]

Creative Collaboration: On Being Islands In the Stream

When I watch musicians perform, I often feel a pang of admiration and longing about the way they can be in the zone together, sharing a creative experience. They’re making music by playing individual instruments, but when they play together, they’re tapping into something that’s bigger than the separate components of drum, guitar, piano. And […]

You’re an introvert, aren’t you?

I am finally reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. I know I’m an introvert – many writers do, I think – but reading this book makes me feel an even deeper respect for my need for solitude. It also justifies my recent splurge: a pair […]

Your laptop in the shade: summer reading + browsing.

I sincerely hope you’re having a gorgeous summer. This month, my “one short story for breakfast” ritual has turned into a two- or three-hour timeout – I’m reading for pure pleasure, escapism and inspiration. What I’ve loved so far: Bobcat by Rebecca Lee. Full disclosure: so at the time of writing this, I’ve only read […]

10 books you should read this summer.

Winter reading was difficult for me this year. Books didn’t interest me. Nothing made my scalp tingle. All the books I picked up felt too self-conscious, or full of wooden characters and boring dialogue. I didn’t want to read another descriptive passage about fescue grass, interior monologue about a missing father, or story about people […]

Write what you want to read.