Notes on (surviving) the writing life

Welcome to my blog on writing and the writing life. I also blog on research subjects at Baroque Explorations.

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Quill copy

Tech challenges, a happy toddler & a Twitter surge — plus Sundae Sundries: links for writers & travellers, both virtual and real

Readers of this blog — I <3 you! — will already know that I went to a painting worship last Sunday, given by the talented Joyce Burkholder. It got me all revved up! I’m painting a bit every day, mostly following YouTube videos. (Awesome.) I love it. 

What I don’t love is that I can’t figure out how to share photos of paintings with you here. Our rural Net connection is never great—especially on week-ends—and our bandwidth is limited, so I’m putting off syncing my enormous photo library to iCloud. Which means, basically, that photos I take with my iPhone do not end up on my computer. Yes, I emailed them to myself…but they never showed up. And that’s another story. 

Not fair sharing my Tech headaches with you! Everyone suffers. 

And besides, I have a nicer photo to share, one I came upon recently, one that is already on my computer. This is granddaughter Kiki at our daughter’s wedding at the end of May. Such pride and joy!


{Photo by the wonderful Danielle Blancher of Toronto.}

It has been a week of highs and lows. Early in the week I learned that writer and friend Paul Kropp died. So sad. Such a shock! 

I also learned that an on-line interview of me had been posted to Jane Friedman’s blog. 

I’m very pleased with this interview. It is a rare pleasure to be interviewed by someone who has dug deep and asks interesting and pertinent questions. I like that the questions focus on the broader issues having to do with publishing in general. 

Jane Friedman has an enormous following—there was quite a flurry of attention on Twitter. Nice

And through all this, I write … It is coming along. 

This week’s delicious Sundae Sundries

(Is is a coincidence that I’ve developed an unrolling passion for ice cream this summer?)



Links for writers  …

• One of these days, I will emerge from my plot maze. In the meantime, I grab onto every life raft within reach. (I know, mangled metaphors.) Julianna Baggot is a wonderful writer — I interviewed her here and here some time ago — and her own plot analysis tool is intriguing. 

Be aware when research and prep become a crutch. At some point, you need to actually start WRITING. Indeed! That said, I read a research text late one night. The information gave me what I needed to finally write the scenes. 

• I’ve been listening to a new Elizabeth Gilbert podcast: Magic Lessons. It’s a run-up to a book she has coming out at the end of September: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. I’m enjoying the podcast and I’ve ordered the book. :-) 

Links for all us time-travellers …

5 Creepy Victorian Fads. I do believe this stuff. 

High tech tools used to understand medieval manuscripts.

A link for real travellers … 

For a More Creative Brain, Travel

Have a great week!

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August 30, 2015 @ 9:12 pmBe the first to comment! | Leave a Comment

In memory of Paul Kropp (1948 – 2015)

Paul Kropp Paul Kropp

I learned late last night that author Paul Kropp died. I’m stunned. He was four years younger than I am, still in his 60s. Too young!

He was always so vibrant, so full of wit and heart and life that it’s impossible to imagine that he is no more. He was a wonderful writer. He wrote over sixty books, ran a publishing company, taught, travelled—and always, always, had time for a friend. 

He’d been diagnosed with cancer only two months before. He posted a funny political clip to Facebook five days before he died. (The photo above is from his Facebook page.) My heart goes out to his family, his wife Lori, his three sons, his grandchildren, his wide network of friends. Everyone is simply shocked, without doubt. 

He was/is—oh, these painful past tenses!—so very dear to my heart, someone I worked closely with for decades. He was the creator and primary author of Series Canada and Series 2000, more popularly known then as “the Paul Kropp” books. 

The books were “High/Low”—High Interest, Low Vocabulary—aimed to lure reluctant teen readers into the magical realm of fiction. (And succeeded.) I was the free-lance editor hired by the publisher to make it happen. This was 1978, and I was pregnant with my first child when we were introduced at Collier Macmillan’s offices in Toronto. “Six months?” he said, taking in my profile. Exactly. 

Together we published about eight books a year: scheduling became a fine art! In the first letter I got from him (this was before email—imagine), he included a detailed schedule for the year ahead. I wrote back that we were going to get along very, very well. And we did. 

He became a good friend to me and my husband. We saw him and his family in Toronto, Mexico and Italy. After my husband and I moved to the country, he made visits from time to time with his boys. Funny, wise and witty, he was always a pleasure to be around. 

I learned so much from him. 

In his last email to me at the end of March, he wrote, with respect to the work we had done together decades before:

Those were the days, my friend, we thought they’d never end.

How poignant, especially now. 

Thank you, Paul, for everything

Paul’s obituary notice in the Toronto Globe & Mail today, concluded:

“A memorial service will be held on September 1st at 11:00 a.m. at Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen Street East, Toronto. Those wishing to commemorate Paul’s life in some way are invited to make a donation to Metropolitan United Church or the Canadian Cancer Society and to vote NDP in the coming election.”

The last words are perfect. I can just hear his effervescent chuckle. 

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August 26, 2015 @ 4:12 pmBe the first to comment! | Leave a Comment

Watercolour therapy, #BuzzFeed, spies & faux letters — plus Sundae Sundries: links for writers, readers & other dreamers

What a surprise! “13 Brilliant Authors You Probably Didn’t Know Are Canadian” C’est moi, #3, and on BuzzFeed, no less. 

Buzz Buzz

I’m posting this on Saturday, because I will be going to a watercolour workshop tomorrow, given by Joyce Burkholder.

I enjoy learning about brushes, paints and paper, colour and line. I’ve taken over a table at home, and poke away at a painting off and on all day, usually following an instruction video on YouTube. This is my latest, following this on-line lesson by Matt Palmer. 


Painting is a lovely thing to do between spells of writing and research. For me, right now, it’s all about learning technique and how to use the tools. (And, I must say, learning patience, as well.)  You can see all my paintings my website page.

I’ve been researching (and writing about) the daily routine at Hortense’s school in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. I was excited to discover Lettres de deux jeunes amis, which I took at face value, as letters between girls, one a student at Madame Campan’s second school in Ecouen. I was dismayed to learn that they’re fiction … yet written by Madame Campan, so in fact they are still of great value to me, because she would correctly describe how her school was run. 

This week’s delicious Sundae Sundries



Links for writers & other creatives …

• I love Amanda Hocking’s board on Pinterest: Writing Tips & Tricks & Other Helpful Advice. And, while you’re on Pinterest, check out my own board: Tools & Toys for Writers.

• One of the items on Amanda Hocking’s Pinterest board (see link above) caught my eye: Writers: Get Into the Writing Mood With This Free Online Tool.

Too cool! AudioSparx is a music site for film-makers, but it’s free for writers, who only want to listen. Click mood upper right, and click on the emotion of the scene you wish to write. (Ignore the occasional “review” word popping up.)

I just clicked on “Canned Monkeys” track in Hectic, but soon I’ll be switching to something in Confrontational as I prepare to write a scene in the WIP. This is fun, but it is also seriously effective. 

Links for perpetual students …

• Readers of this blog know that I’m a Coursera enthusiast. I’ve just signed up for Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, because playing piano is one of Hortense’s many talents.

• For fans of Historical Fiction, this is a great course: Plagues, Witches, and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction. Coursera courses are free, and once signed up you may watch the lectures at your leisure. 

Links for readers …

• Poor Doris Lessing! M15 spies followed writer Doris Lessing for more than 20 years. They even came with her on vacation. 

Have a great week!

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August 22, 2015 @ 5:16 pmBe the first to comment! | Leave a Comment

Overcoming resistance: the first stage of the writing process

Staircase, early 18th century Hortense playing

One would think that after over 30 years writing and 5 novels published, I would be more accustomed to overcoming resistance to writing. 


Once past the first draft and into revision, I will do virtually anything to avoid actually writing a new scene: dishes, laundry, FaceBook, mail, research, weeding, filing, and even (gasp) taxes. 

And now: blogging—for I am writing this instead of writing the #%$ scene! 

Ok, enough of this: I’ll check in back here in 1 hour to report. 

43 minutes later …

… and I’ve yet to even set the timer. I think of all the hard-working writers with day jobs, burning the night-oil, and here I am with a day ahead, writing not a word. Instead? I fell into the Net: FaceBook, Kickstarter (where, by the way, I did contribute to a worthy documentary about Emily Dickenson). 

Now, the timer. Sheesh. 

1 hour later …

OK: 1 hour accomplished, and it wasn’t even all that painful.

I’m working on a section incorporating a lot of the research I’ve been doing this week into the daily life of Madame Campan’s boarding school for girls. (Hence the photo: these are the actual stairs.) It’s awkward—like force-feeding a narrative with details—and these scenes will need to be revised many, many times so that they doesn’t feel stuffed.

At the same time, it’s rather fun seeing this boarding school come to life. I’ve recently discovered what time the bells rang, the dining-hall procedures, bed times and all that. Punishments and rewards. How clothing was labeled and when linens were changed and feet washed. Exam schedules, etc. etc. etc.

(How much of this will stay in the novel? That remains to be seen. You can kill a story with TMI.)

Small steps

The truth is that small steps work wonders. I could have said: OK, write for only 15 minutes, and that would have opened it up. It’s always that first hurdle. 

Now: to exercise … groan!

What do you do to motivate yourself? What works for you

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August 21, 2015 @ 5:04 pmBe the first to comment! | Leave a Comment

An island, a bookclub & writing muddles — plus Sundae Sundries: links for writers, readers & other creatives

We returned Monday from a weekend with my daughter and her family at their new home on Amherst Island.

IMG_1504IMG_1515IMG_1529{Rural mailboxes; DH disappearing into the lighthouse on their property; Kiki in the outfit she picked out for her mom’s birthday dinner.}

On Wednesday I met with members of Bonnechere Books, a local book club, in the most charming setting possible:


They had wonderful questions to ask about The Shadow Queen, which they’d all just read. In talking about the evolution of that novel, I realized how fanciful it is—and questioned whether or not I wasn’t being too literal in writing Hortense’s story.

I’ve been thinking a lot about James Patterson’s MasterClass, which I mentioned last week. In editing a manuscript, he writes at the top of chapters that aren’t working: BE THERE. That’s a good rule of thumb throughout the fiction-writing process.

“Take everything that’s bright and beautiful in you and introduce it to the shadow side of yourself.” —Parker Palmer, in his Naropa Unviersity commencement address. (From the wonderful blog Brain Pickings.)

Here are my Sundae Sundries … this time mostly for writers. These were popular articles in my Flipboard “magazine” this week.


Links for writers & other creatives …

The Little Known Secret to Pixar’s Creative Success. Take heart! “Every idea starts out as an ugly baby.”

The 5 Things Productive Writers do Differently.

• An Elizabeth Gilbert TED talk: Your elusive creative genius. I’ve been listening to her new podcast series, Magic Lessons, coaching creatives. I like it.

• We all knew this, but it’s shocking nonetheless: Homme de Plume: What I Learned Sending My Novel Out Under a Male Name.

• I love Debbie Ridpath Ohi! (@inkyelbows) Back Burner Writing, Essential Apps and How I’m Squeezing In Extra Writing Every Day.

Links for all book lovers …

• A post I linked to on Facebook got a lot of comment. The subject: our love for the smell of books. When I worked as an editor in publishing, I relished the smell of a newly-printed book. Google “books smell” and you will find quite a lot on this subject. Here are two:

Where Does the Smell of Old Books Come From?

3  Reasons Why Booknerds Love the Smell of Books

Have a great week!


August 16, 2015 @ 6:00 pmBe the first to comment! | Leave a Comment

Sundae Sundries: links of interest to readers, writers, historians & other romantics


DH and I are visiting our daughter and her family at their beautiful new home on Amherst Island. (The photo above was taken on the ferryboat over and tweaked with the SnapSeed app.)

As well, inspired by the James Patterson MasterClass linked to below, I’ve (finally!) tackled my WIP outline again.

Here is my week in delectable links ….


Links for writers …

• I gobbled up this MasterClass course on writing by James Patterson. It was worth the price of admission. I’m not likely ever to be a reader of James Patterson novels, but I came away with a great deal of respect for him and his work.

• Here is literary writer Joyce Maynard’s account of taking James Patterson’s class: An Accomplished Writer Takes a ‘MasterClass’ from a Gargantuan Selling Writer. I agree!

• Readers of this blog will no doubt notice some of my ADHD tendencies. I know I’m not alone! The ADHD Guide to Writing.

• Because of said “tendencies,” no doubt, I am inspired by this image of the working desk of Robert Olen Butler (the author of one of the best books on writing, From Where You Dream).

  For both writers and readers …

• A great Paris Review interview with feisty writer Ursula K. Le Guin.

• Also on Ursula K. Le Guin: On ‘Starting Late’ as a writer. On this theme (am I feeling my age?): You’re never too old to write your first novel—especially at 40.

Links for flâneurs through history …

• Jane Austen’s reading list. Charmed to see Conduct Literature for Women on this list.

Link for Napoleonistas …

• Napoleon, Josephine and a giant bill for Cologne.

Have a great week!



August 10, 2015 @ 6:57 amBe the first to comment! | Leave a Comment

Sundae Sundries: links of interest to readers, writers, historians & other romantics

Reading Reading

This week was especially speedy! I gave a reading at the Bonnechere Author’s Festival on Wednesday night, and on Friday the “children” and grandchildren arrived and a long weekend of festivities began!

Here is my week in delectable links ….


Links for writers …

• I got sidetracked—as I do—looking into scriptwriting software, and bought Final Draft on sale. I doubt that I will ever write a script, but this software offers interesting structure techniques that intrigue me.

• Exploring script templates, I found one on creating character that I like very much. I especially like considering your character’s “humanizing trait.”

•  7 Ways Writing a Screenplay is Different That Writing a Novel.

How To Write a Screenplay: The 5 Step Process.

The Heartfelt, Unpublishable, Captivating, Shallow, Sound, Abandoned, Reclaimed, Worthless, Most Excellent Potential Novel, by Tom Bentley. I related to this account in a rather painful way! :-(

For both writers and readers …

• The line-up for the 2016 San Miguel Writers’ Conference looks awesome! It’s from February 10-16, the perfect time of year to get a break from winter in sunny Mexico. Go for it! You will not regret it.

Links for flâneurs through history …

• Medieval Urine Wheels. Just what you always wanted.

• Inspired by a Two Nerdy History Girls blog post on Etiquette for the Victorian Gentleman, I read The Gentlemen’s Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness.

• The ‘Natural Beauty’ Ideal of the Regency.

Link for Napoleonistas …

Napoleon, Josephine and a giant bill for Cologne. Not everything in this article is accurate, in my opinion, but there are interesting details I like quite a lot.

Have a great week!

View of the lake at our cabin :-)




August 2, 2015 @ 10:30 amBe the first to comment! | Leave a Comment

Sundae Sundries: links of interest to readers, writers, historians & other romantics

Another lovely week. Summer is flying by.

Here is my week in delectable links ….


Links for writers …

 • Writing workflow—an infographic

• Another writer/artist (I’m keeping track!): Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Original Watercolors for The Little Prince.


J. K. Rowling’s Spreadsheet Shows How She Wrote Harry Potter.

Links for flâneurs through history …

The Experience of Growing Up in Medieval Society.

Medical recipes in the 18th century.

The New & Complete Newgate Calendar, or Villainy Displayed in all its Branches. Irresistible.

Link for Napoleonistas …

What Napoleon’s hat tells us about the power of branding.

My news …

• I’m stoked about this rave review of The Shadow Queen!

• I’m also proud to have been included in the Raynes Illumination exhibit, which includes photographs of 50 Canadian writers.

• I’m giving a talk this Wednesday for the Bonnechere Authors Festival. If you’re close-by, come!

Have a great week!


July 26, 2015 @ 8:57 pmBe the first to comment! | Leave a Comment

Sundae Sundries: links of interest to readers, writers, publishers, historians & other romantics

Ah, a week gone by already? Such a lovely week it was. I hope you enjoy these links as much as I did.


Links for writers …

Revision is tough! I take strength seeing the messy revised pages of the greats. Here is a page from Jane Austen’s Persuasion:


• It’s interesting to read a transcript of the edits she made.

Balzac’s astonishing output is discouraging! Forty novels? I forget. He was fuelled by coffee, debt and a compulsive need for luxury goods. So interesting!

Habits of Highly Effective Writers: Balzac

Did Balzac Really Drink 50 Cups of Coffee a Day?

The Coffee Pot That Fueled Honoré de Balzac’s Coffee Addiction

As readers of my blog know, I’ve begun to dabble in art—which was, in fact, my first love. I’m starting to notice writers who also paint or draw.


Links for flâneurs through history …

I needed an 18th century desert to play a role in the WIP. Internet to the rescue! Here are some delightful links for those of you with a sweet tooth (i.e. everyone):

Conceits, Comfits, & Creams: More on 18th Century Desserts

• The free e-book of The Complete Confectioner: Or, The Whole Art of Confectionary Made Easy, published in 1807. Delightful and delectable!

I also fell down the rabbit hole of research into quills, and paper, and ink. I do love this stuff!

Letter Writing in Jane Austen’s Time: Quills and Correspondence. Fascinating.

A link for romantics …

Emblems of Love, in Four Languages: Dedicated to the Ladys (1683). This is a wonderful website.

Have a great week!


July 19, 2015 @ 8:47 pmBe the first to comment! | Leave a Comment

The XYZ of listening to Podcasts

listening to podcasts

I love to listen to a podcast while exercising, doing chores or driving. I’ve become an enthusiast of a number. (See the ones I recommend below.)  A friend who is new to the technology asked me how to go about subscribing to one. For those of you who are also new to it, here goes:

Podcasts are like radio broadcasts that you can listen to any time you wish.

Most podcasts are free. Think of them as the new radio. You can listen to them on any device that has apps (i.e. a smart phone or tablet) or on your computer.

To listen on your computer:

  • Download the iTunes application and go to the iTunes store.
  • Google “podcasts”—a number of sites will come up.

To listen on your cell phone or tablet:

First, get the Podcasts app:

  • Go to the App Store app.
  • Click “Explore” at the bottom.
  • Type “Podcasts” in the search box (upper right).
  • Download.

Open the Podcasts app and search (upper right) for the podcast you are looking for.

  • Click on it.
  • Click “Subscribe.”

And that’s it. Once subscribed, when you go to the Podcasts app, click on “My Podcasts” bottom left, and there you go.

I highly recommend:

Recommended podcasts. Recommended podcasts Recommended podcasts

WTF  Edgy, X-rated. Marc Maron is a no-holds-bar comedian, often interviewing comedians in his garage. Fun! Be sure to check out episode #613, his interview of Barack Obama (which is not X-rated). Another great one is the #604 interview of NPR interviewer Terry Gross.

BOOK REVIEW (THE NEW YORK TIMES) Fantastic interviews with authors and reviewers. It’s a wonderful way to keep up-to-date on new publications.

WRITERS & COMPANY (CBC RADIO) Eleanor Wachtel is an amazing interviewer of literary authors from around the world.

THIS AMERICAN LIFE  Great journalism, both thought-provoking and entertaining.

SERIAL  Investigative journalism which took the world by storm. So compelling! Be sure to start at the beginning.

Are you already a podcast subscriber? Which ones do you enjoy?


July 13, 2015 @ 9:57 amBe the first to comment! | Leave a Comment

Sundae Sundries: links of interest to readers, writers, publishers, historians & other procrastinators

Summer has turn glorious and I procrastinate from working on Draft 5 by ducking out to the garden. I’m reading Wayson Choy’s Not Yet; a Memoir of Living and Almost Dying: so very good! I heard him speak this week: mystical.


Links for writers …

On Writing & Publishing, & Everything In-Between. My very own Flipboard magazine. A popular article this week was:

How Publishers Make Decisions About What to Publish: The Book P&L. This article is by Jane Friedman, who knows the business inside and out.

Links for flâneurs through history …

Medical Advice About Bathing in 1813

Medical recipes in the 18th century

Greengrocer, the ca 1819 James Pollard

Dining in July 1815


The Diaries of Miss Fanny Chapman. Delicious!

Links for Napoleonistas …

Napoleon’s escape ship found off Cape York

Links for all us Procrastinators … 

Structured Procrastination: Do Less, Deceive Yourself, And Succeed Long-Term.

Links for self-publishers … 

4 Ways to Create an ePub eBook

Demystifying Keywords, Categories, and Themes for Amazon Indie Authors

Have a great week!


July 12, 2015 @ 8:27 amBe the first to comment! | Leave a Comment

Your first draft … Say no more!

Brace yourself! This pie chart is surprisingly accurate with respect to a first draft.

 first draft pie chart

Posted by The PAGE International Screenwriting Awards on Friday, June 19, 2015.

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July 6, 2015 @ 1:36 pm2 comments already! | Leave a Comment

Sundae Sundries: great links for readers, writers & historians


Links for writers …

How Kazuo Ishiguro wrote the award-winning Remains of the Day in only four weeks. Depressing, isn’t it?

Links for flâneurs through history …

• The French Revolution Network. It’s always a thrill to discover discussions on topics of interest.

These 16th century portraits of women painted by Caterina van Hemeseen are arresting.

• For delicious details on daily life in the 17th century, see this website.

Links for Napoleonistas …

• I’m reading Patrice Gueniffey’s Bonaparte 1769-1802: excellent.

Links for everyone … 

President Barack Obama participates in a podcast with Marc Maron in Los Angeles, Calif., June 19, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

• I’m late to the party, but I’m now a big fan of Mark Maron’s WTF podcast. His interview with Barack Obama is an outstanding introduction. (It’s wonderful that Obama would venture into such edgy territory.)

Have a great week!


July 5, 2015 @ 7:23 amBe the first to comment! | Leave a Comment

On giving an author reading (part 1): deciding what to wear and other matters of great import

In one month I’m to give a reading not far from where I live. It’s high time I started preparing. (Did you know that presenters of TED talks prepare for months? For fascinating links on this process: go here, and here.)

An author reading is not a reading: it’s a talk

The first thing to understand about preparing to give a reading is that it should not really be a “reading” at all — it’s best if it’s an engaging talk, with a mere sprinkling of readings thrown in.

Who is the audience?

Every author needs to be prepared for an audience of 1 or 100. For my event coming up, it’s likely to be a good-sized crowd. A number of those attending will be friends and family.

This raises the bar!

I have given a number of talks in my area over the decades. I want it to go over well, and I don’t want to repeat myself.

That bar just went up several more notches.

Review print-outs and videos of past author readings

I’ve begun preparing for the talk coming up by digging out my earlier speeches. In the process, I discovered a video of a talk I gave about seven years ago. I had just finished a US tour for Mistress of the Sun, and speaking before a crowd daily for weeks on end was great preparation. I also had the advantage of a friend/filmmaker to film this talk, so the recording is without the usual wiggles and jumps.

Sandra Gulland author reading

Decide what to wear

This is a surprisingly important question. At an author reading, people sit and look at you for an hour. I’ve learned not to wear jewelry that can jangle against a mike. Bright is good. Comfortable is great. Fashionable and hip would be nice. Presenting in costume is guaranteed to be a hit.

I often present in historical dress. It’s fun, and everyone enjoys it. However, for me, a question is: Should I wear the same costume I wore the last time I gave a reading at this festival? I think not. A number of people attending will have been at the last one.

A gown Sandra Gulland often wears for an author reading

I could wear my Josephine gown, which would be relevant to the novel I’m writing now … but not relevant to The Shadow Queen, my latest publication.

Alas, I’m afraid that I should go simply as myself. To tell the truth, I find this somewhat intimidating. It means that content of the talk itself is going to have to be excellent.

Next up: On writing and outlining an author talk. Visuals or not? Give-aways or not?

I’ll keep you posted.

Links of interest

Weekly I’ve started posting links to things I find of interest on the Net. I’m calling it a Sundae of Sundries (posted every Sunday, of course). Let me know if there are any articles or blogs you’d like to share.

The Facts of Life (& Other Mysteries)

I continue to work and rework the WIP, which I’m now calling The Facts of Life (& Other Mysteries). What do you think of that title?

Revision is such slow work. One must be patient and have faith in the process. The work invariably feels broken at this stage.

I was heartened to see this page of revision made by Orwell for 1984. My own pages look similar.


{The photo of me and my horse was taken by Barney McCaffrey.}

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June 30, 2015 @ 6:56 amBe the first to comment! | Leave a Comment

A Sundae of Sundries: great new links for readers, writers, historians & sundry other folk

Below are some links I found of special interest this week, and I think you may too. On the home front, I continue to wrestle the WIP. Middles are famously challenging, but so are beginnings and endings. ;-)


Especially for writers …

9 Famous Authors Rejected by Publishers. These are the types of stories all writers need.

Amazon plans to pay many self-published authors based on exactly how many pages readers complete. This is not good news! From an article in The Atlantic: “A system with per-page payouts is a system that rewards cliffhangers and mysteries across all genres.”

• Writing Spaces: Where 9 Famous Creatives Do Their Best Work. The first, of E.B. White, is an image I keep in my office.


For flâneurs through history …

Leech, Domestic Sanitary Regulations 1850 IA

Taking a Shower in the 1800s.

For Baroque enthusiasts …

The King Dances — a regal performance with heat and dazzle. I would so love to be able to see this.

For Napoleonistas …

A perfect time to shed UK’s Napoleon complex. It’s about time!

200 Years After Waterloo, Napoleon Still Divides Europe.


June 28, 2015 @ 5:02 amBe the first to comment! | Leave a Comment