Taking a break from the ordinary…

king quote

Hello everyone! There’s been radio silence on my end of this blog for a few weeks, but I have a good reason why–I was on vacation! Yes, I took a break from the tempermental and nasty weather of Northern Alberta and headed south to sunny Cuba. Not surprisingly, I had a fabulous time!

But beyond enjoying the escape from what was a pretty darn long winter (if you live in the prairies of Canada, you know what I’m talking about!), I really felt like the trip was necessary to refresh my writing. No, my new book isn’t about Cuba, but nevertheless I feel like vacations are critical for keeping the creative juices flowing. Getting away from the monotony of every day life and getting to experience entirely new surroundings and people is one of the most important things a writer can do to keep their writing fresh and interesting. The other thing vacations are great for, is reading! As writers, we all need to make time to read as well–but often times it takes a vacation for us to be able to catch up on it.

Even if you can’t afford to take a vacation or time off, you can get the same benefits as one by incorporating certain changes into your daily routine. First off, make time to read other writers! Nothing’s more inspiring than reading someone else’s beautifully written prose. If you’re starting to feel a bit blocked and always writing at home, try writing in a coffee shop or in a park–you’ll be amazed at how quickly it helps refresh your perspective.

So there are my post-vacation tips for other writers out there–here are few tips from some of the masters!

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Writing at the speed of light!

A couple of weeks ago I talked about writer’s block and how to snap yourself out of a summer funk and start getting creative again. Well how about jump-starting your writing for the fall? That’s the idea behind the 3-Day Novel Contest. 

That’s right, the title says it all: you have 72 hours to write a complete masterpiece!

You have three days to write an entire novel, writing only the outline in advance, and before you ask, it’s based on the honour system (or extremely annoying family members who will crack down on you hard).

I know a few people who’ve done this (and they even did a reality television show in Edmonton a few years ago), and I’ll be honest—their war stories were excruciating. The endless hours spent listening to the buzz of the computer monitor, the coffee shakes, and the inevitable bouts of insanity that come with depriving yourself of sleep and contact with the outside world!

I don’t know if I have it in me to do it, but maybe someday I’ll give this a try just to be able to say that I did it once!  If any of my readers out there are brave enough to embark on the 3-Day Novel adventure this year, good luck!

The lazy days of summer

The race to enjoy the last vestiges of summer is on. With each passing day, the sun is inching ever closer to the horizon earlier and earlier. It’s one of the things I love about living out here, those long summer evenings that just seem to go on forever. But I have to say that as a writer, summers can be murder for my creativity.

And with the heat waves that have been hitting everyone across the country this year, it’s a wonder anyone’s able to write anything at all! Sure, air conditioning can help—but in all honesty, the gorgeous weather sometimes is just far too distracting. There are just so many other things I’d rather be doing than hunkering down at the computer or with my notepad on a gorgeous day.  Who wouldn’t want to spend this time sipping lemonade on the porch with a good book?

But I read a great piece recently that helped me break through this ‘summer writer’s block’. I thought I’d share it with you all in the hopes that it might inspire other writers out there to get back to it! Enjoy it!

And while you’re waiting for that creative bug to bite, don’t forget that my newest release, Evil in the Peace River, makes excellent lemonade-sipping fare!