Ask Ceil – How’s the Writing Going?

Dear Ceil: If someone asks me how the writing's going, are they being passive aggressive? Or just mocking me, outright? Hansen from The Heartland Dear Hansen, They're not being passive-aggressive, nor are they mocking you. They are aggressively mocking you. If there are two things everyone knows about writers, it's: 1. We procrastinate. We procrastinate … Continue reading Ask Ceil – How’s the Writing Going?

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Tater Tots and My Ulcer

I don't want to examine the emotions underneath my stomach issues. I know that emotions are at least partly involved. I’ve been more deeply affected by the stress of waiting than I have been by anything else in a long, long time. Pregnancy was intense. And grief. But waiting for agents to respond to queries … Continue reading Tater Tots and My Ulcer

I Heard Those Three Magic Words (No, Not Those Three)

Sometime in my forties, I began to appreciate the great prank that American fashion has been playing on middle-aged women in the form of fly-closure denim jeans. You stand in front of the full-length mirror hanging on your bathroom door, suck in your stomach, button your jeans, and admire your concave abdomen. (Hopefully you have … Continue reading I Heard Those Three Magic Words (No, Not Those Three)

Professionalism

Writing. Something everyone can do, but something very few excel in. Now, before I get into the swing of things, there is a delineation I’d like to draw between people writing for fun, and people writing with the aim of becoming a professional. I would love it if everyone wrote for fun. It doesn’t matter … Continue reading Professionalism

The Cycle

How can I improve my writing? It's a common question. There are a few things you can do: Reading Reading and writing is a cultural conversation. People write books to say something. Other people read those books and a few of those write books in return. As has been pointed out many times, you should … Continue reading The Cycle

Boys and Girls

If I ever have a second baby, I hope I’ll have the patience not to find out ahead of time whether it’s a boy or a girl. Team Green, as they call it these days. You see, when my husband and I found out two years ago that we were expecting, we were only too … Continue reading Boys and Girls

Radio Dreams

Written by Edna Truong. My tutor asked, “has anyone heard a radio drama before?” The room was hushed, eyes darted left and right, then downwards. Only a handful nodded their heads. I sat with my eyes wide open, eager for the tutor to explain further. Of course, I belonged to the majority of those puzzled, … Continue reading Radio Dreams

Life Lessons (and Lesson Plans)

As of June 19th of this year, I am no longer a teacher. I have been a professional educator for seven and half years. Now I have no classroom and no current contract. And this isn’t just a matter of summer vacation either; I have no job to go back to in the fall, and … Continue reading Life Lessons (and Lesson Plans)

One of the Cool Kids

When I was at school, I never wanted to be one of the cool kids. I simply didn’t care. I had my group of friends, and that was enough. We were the ones who hung out in the library or raced straight to the computer labs at lunch. We were the ones who did the … Continue reading One of the Cool Kids

Failing Loud and Proud

I attended a panel at a writers’ festival today, and I heard something that really struck a chord with me. “Don’t compare yourself to other writers,” one of the panelists said. “In this age of social media, where everyone celebrates their successes publicly, it’s easy to just see those. No one blogs about their failures, … Continue reading Failing Loud and Proud