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Inspiration: It’s Time to Refuel

Feel that lack of inspiration? Maybe It’s time to refuel. This winter has been very long, but that might be because I’m not as busy as I’ve always been. As I’ve taught my students for the past twenty-plus years, with freedom comes responsibility. I’m slowing down, catching up on the sleep, reading books piled on my nightstand, watching Shameless, going for coffee, etc., but I haven’t been very productive. I’ve been so absorbed by this unfamiliar feeling of freedom that I’ve forgotten to make a plan to ensure I am responsible for this newfound freedom.

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The Dunning-Kruger Effect and an Apology to my Mother

Mom, please accept my apologies…

(pretty please, on my knees, with a cherry on top!)

I’d like to officially apologize to my mother for all those times I thought I knew everything, when, in fact, I knew almost nothing. Actually, I probably owe a few of you this same apology. It’s free for the taking. Now that I’m slowing down a bit in life and have the luxury of time for self-reflection, I’m realizing a lot about the stories I’ve been telling myself.

Now, I’d also like to explain how this “over-confidence” came to be–and I’d like to warn you that you might not know as much as you think you know either.  So take a deep breath before you keep reading. Realize that none of this really has anything to do with an over-inflated ego.

Watch this video: The Dunning-Kruger Effect

*Thanks, James, for nudging me in this direction!

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Lit mags and cook books

Looking for Flavour? Try Lit Mags and Cookbooks

Growing up, my mom had a huge drawer full of cookbooks. I remember sitting there for hours, devouring the images and recipes those tattered, glossy pages tempted me to try. Like my mother, I’m a sucker for cookbooks and love testing new recipes.

“For every season, there is a flavour,” my mother may have once said, “And if there isn’t one, we’d darn well better find one!” (Haha! Okay, that last part is definitely me putting words into her mouth.) No matter what she may or may not have said, my mother has always been on the search for new recipes. I’m positive that growing up surrounded by a woman who loved to cook helped me expand my foodie horizons.

I can’t imagine my life without the rich world cookbooks opened up for me. We are what we eat.(—Or is it what we read, since we are reading cookbooks that give us ideas of what we should be eating…?)

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semicolon tattoo ideas

Short Stories that Start with Research: Understanding the Semicolon

A story’s gotta start somewhere, right?

About three years ago I saw a woman with a semicolon tattoo, and I thought, “Wow! Someone who loves punctuation as much as I do!” But the semicolon nagged me–there had to be more to the story, and I was right.

Semicolons are used by writers who could end a sentence, but choose not to–they see a strong connection uniting the sentence they have finished with the one that follows. Think of the sentence as your life… Continue reading

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Two Poems

This post is simple–I’m simply going to post two poems that were published earlier this year. Quite a few of you have mentionned that you like reading my poetry. Enjoy!

**Sorry Mom, but the second one might make you blush..

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Show VS Tell and Other Lessons My Mother Attempted to Teach

My mother taught me lots of lessons–some lessons I learned, others I’m still learning. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my mother it’s that you’ve got what you’ve been given, so you’d better make it work. (Yes, Mother. I know—I hear you loud and clear, “I have never said that!” But, just like my characters, you have shown me this rather than telling me. I’ll get to that in a moment.)

 

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Closure Through Writing

Let the Floodgates Open. Let Closure Begin.

Ernest Hemingway once said:

‘There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.’

Most writers rely on their memories, experiences and emotions when the floodgates open and the words flow out. This is true of all writing, but writers expertly disguise themselves or change the outcome of what really happened to benefit the story—and their egos.

But when we tell the truth, as it really happened—something else happens. Writers get closure.

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Truth-telling

On Truth-Telling–in Writing and in Life

Truth-telling was passed down the family chain the moment I took my breath. I swear it must be part of my genetic code.

“Always tell the truth,” my mother told us even before we could speak. And so, I grew up telling the truth. It would be hard to find someone out there who does not think I am honest. I am often honest to a fault—volunteering information so it doesn’t eat at me from the inside.

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