Based on a writing workshop I taught for 10 years through the UNB College of Extended Learning...the creative exercises in this workshop will open your creative juices for fiction and non-fiction, essays, proposals...any writing where you want to stand out.
You'll need this for one of the exercises but it's optional.
It's a printable PDF.
Based on a workshop I gave at the 2011 Maritime Writers' Workshop, the information is dated in some parts and I'm sure some of the links are dead, but the basic concepts for finding a publisher or agent remain the same...some of them still want snail mail submissions.
The ebook follows a format of define, demonstrate and explore. This allows you to read through the book, pick a handful of options and start using them right away. Most of the options are either free or inexpensive.
As you become comfortable with whatever options you’re using, you can add others.
OK, so this one pokes fun at writers, but it presents a view that many writers may recognize...and especially the people around them.
Don’t let the hard voices get to you.
You’re a writer.
What if you suddenly had super powers? How would you test them? How would you know exactly what they are?
And what if they weren't exactly what you thought?
I started posting the Searching for Peace blogs in December 2014 and into March 2015. All two people who read my blog were astounded by the sheer absurdity of the posts and read them only so they could laugh at me.
But that’s OK, I laugh at myself and the blog posts gave three people a reason to laugh.
Yes, it's kind of a self-serving calendar. It has screen cuts of the covers of my short story ebook downloads at Smashwords.
They sell for 99 cents each for a short read while you're waiting for an appointment or sitting on the pot...waiting.
Two or three times a year, Smashwords has a site-wide sale, during which time I give these away free.
They're PDFs for you can read them on just about any device.
Everyone should have a sampler in addition to a website. Here’s mine.
It's a bit outdated, but it's free and soon to be updated.
Much wisdom is to be gained by listening to old crows for they have flown the flyways and they have eaten the soup and slop of the roads.
Once again Old Crow has spoken.
Got a desktop? Got Paint or another graphics program? Good. Time for some desktop art. It’s easy.
There is no Zen in chicken wire. The title is a lie. There is only pain and remorse in chicken wire. Chicken wire wants to take out your eyes. Chicken wire wants to scar your face and rip off an ear. Chicken wire will put tiny holes in your arms and legs, your wrists and ankles…and then it will shed micro bits of metal into your coffee…
Time has chucked its propellers and mounted jets to its wings as it measures itself in change and no day repeats itself other than being the next day.
This is too much for some and they jump and scatter. Bewildered by their own mysterious role in the scheme of things, they jump the boat or just grab a bottle of wine and hide below deck until the voyage is over. For some, every day is a happy adventure until a new app buggers up their cell phone because its operating system added an apostrophe on line 233,343,434 of its code.
Nothing should ever be taken so seriously that you can’t laugh when the politically correct police aren’t around. And if they are? Well, maybe they need a laugh as well. If they can do that.
He passed away in his sleep February 24th and it’s taken me this long to write something about him. Well…not just him…about my brother and I. With both of us being 29 years old for most of out adult lives, there’s a lot to write about; in fact, too much to write about.
I’ve been writing a serialized piece called The Existential Adventures of Crazy Man and the Dog, Sidestepper. The series explores the mess we’ve made of the world by having two unlikely characters talk to the world…trees, the sky, oceans, dead birds, mean birds, garbage cans, non-vegan deer and lost ragdolls…you know, the stuff of life and the world.
Want something different than Amazon? Book recommendations from Shepard and lots more to come.
This a site where writers and super readers reach out to all readers. A new concept and growing every day.
It's free and it's a new way to hear about books from writers supporting writers.
Check out the best of 2023
It took me 10 years to write this story.
The inspiration came when I dropped everything in New Brunswick, packed my worldly possessions into a blue trunk and headed across the country in a car that wanted to stay home.
The engine all but fell out of it on Portage Avenue (the main downtown street) in Winnipeg during rush hour traffic.
The rest of the trip was by bus.
When I shower, I start off with hot water to really open the pores and get the dirt out. About the time the pain from the heat is so bad I'm about to start crying like a baby, I switch to cold water to close the pores. Which also makes me cry.
And then I dump a jar of freezing cold moon water over my head to make the world a better place to live in.
Sometimes, this makes me think.
From birth to death we're tied into a way of life that puts us on someone else's path and never really our own.
This is a not-poem that was written for a collaboration between the Blacktop Motorcycle Gang Writer's Collective and the Emerge Artist's Collective.
I read this before an audience one dark and literary night and showed my ass with IBM emblazoned on it. Didn't know that my daughter and some of her friends were in the audience at the time.
The not-poem was eventually published in a collection called re : myth (Stories and Poems by the Blacktop MotorCycle Gang)
Sometimes a mistake can lead to a quiet moment of mirth, but when the laughter falls, what's it all really about.
This cover has fooled everyone with it's terrible and unrelenting secret.
I've seen it repeatedly: The newly weds are happy as humming birds in a shower of sugared water and happy about the food, the presents, the party, the free booze and the bright sunny day.
The wedding was the biggest success of their lives, a sure indicator that their marriage will last forever and they'll never be divorced.
Until a few weeks later when...
Grand Manan, an island off the coast of New Brunswick is one of the most beautiful, and mystical, places I've ever seen.
I've camped out several times with my daughter at Hole in the Wall camp ground, where you set up your tent at the edge of a cliff and listen to the whales spouting water all through the night.
And when the fog rolls in...
This is a true story from a time in my life when what was true and what was not really were really a matter of the drug you were on.
I took Philosophy 1000 in college. It provided a great backdrop to my hippie being. But true thinking isn't so easy.
I suppose I’d have to pare this down to the essence of writing a novel: Can anyone tell a story? On this point, I’d have to say, “Yes, anyone can tell a story, but some will tell a mesmerizing story while others will put their listeners to sleep.”
Creativity is becoming increasingly essential in the workplace, school and social media.
Would you pay for someone to plan and write about your murder?
Some did. One was murdered.
Writing a novel with seven main characters can be daunting until if occurs to you to let the characters help you write the novel.
And that's what I did.
Some say life’s a path winding through a forest of endless possibilities. Well…we’ll see.
In the meantime, Crazy Man and the dog, Sidestepper, will be following that path through the deep dark scary woods every Wednesday in a saga of strange times and strange beings. And who are Crazy Man and the dog, Sidestepper?
I’m not sure. I’m still learning.
Everyone has their own voice. It's the sound your voice box makes that identifies you to other people.
But it's more than just the pronunciation of words...it's all you are in your beliefs and how you feel about yourself.
And you can hear it when you try.
Have you ever wanted to be a poet and write poems that would elevate our species and help those inured to the natural world re-connect with their true selves?
That may not happen, but it might. Just read the article and see if it fits you.
I was sitting in a coffee shop one night working furiously on a short story for one of the Twisted Tails anthologies (The editor, J, had mentioned that, if I didn’t have the story to him pronto, bad things would start happening to me.) when I felt someone nudge my shoulder. I quickly grabbed my Saint Christopher’s cross to ward off evil editors before turning to see who it was.
It wasn’t J.
For several years, I've documented much of the Freddie Beach arts community at exhibition launches, art talks and even in their studios and homes clicking like a madman mainlining coffee.
One of these artists, Deanna Musgrave, has always been one of my favorites...and I think I've taken 58,424,398.5 pictures of her over the years.
Right after I returned from a trip to Florence, I sold my motorcycle and bought art supplies. Florence can have the affect on you.
But that's a story for another time.
All three lines of it.