Posts from three different categories 1) personal essays 2) resources for writers 3) book reviews, with the most recent at the end of each section.


Home: An Introduction to Commonplace Book Blog (Read the origins of the word “blog” and other rumination by me)
On Disorganizing My Books  (A library’s arrangement may reveal more than you think)
My Multifaceted Relationship with Books (A short rollicking essay best read out loud)
On Reconsidering My Reading Practices (A road trip, the Arizona desert, and a reason to read differently)
On Disciplining the Buying of Books (A hypocritical treatise for the weak-kneed bibliophile)
To the Reluctant Commenter (Addressed to you, the anonymous reader of this post)
L.M. Montgomery and Reading: On a Personal Note (Celebrating the influence of a writer’s life on my own)
On Five-and-Three-Quarter Books for $50 (The book buying habits of a bargain-savvy bibliophile)
Damaged Books: On Forgiving the Unforgivable (When someone damages your books, what conditions follow?)
The Gift of a Book (Giving an object, experience, and keepsake, all in one)
First Attempt at Found Poetry on My Bookshelf (Defamiliarizing the familiar by stacking it a different way)
Confession on Faking the Personal Essay (When you work in a genre that’s all about telling the truth, this is a heavy burden to bear)
On Commonplace Books (A brief history of commonplace books, crossed with considering my reading practices)
On Finding and / or Breaking Patterns and Writing Essays (Giveaway: this is the post in which I break from the patterns)
Against Retrospection and Change (Why do we resist reflecting when we remember?)
Portrait of an Artist as a Solitary Woman (The artistic spaces of six women writers and one visual artist)
The Green Books of Childhood (A consideration of the connotations of colour in connection with childhood)
On Rewiring My Reading by Keeping a Commonplace Book (The curiosity of rewiring the brain by engaging in an old activity in a new way)
On Tea Parties and Reading (How we remember through physical objects and recurring events)
Essay On Everyday Likes and Dislikes (What do your likes and dislikes reveal about you?)
Essay on Understanding the Essay Post-MFA (Essay on essays on the essay)
5 Reasons to Return to the Public Library (How we read books differently if we borrow rather than own them ourselves)
A Writer’s Guide to Wallowing in Writer’s Block (7 Steps to a Successful Experience)
On Selling My Memoirs (The irony of selling a book about a bookstore that is downsizing)


Resources for Writers

3 Tips on How to Start Writing (Jump-start your creative writing using these strategies)
On Escaping Writer’s Block (How I returned – and continue to return – to writing)
3 Ways of “Prewriting” Without Writing (Try these 3 basic practices to enhance your writing)
On Having Meaningful Experiences; or, How to Write Personal Essays (Finding meaningful experience in commonplace things)
Against the Rewriting of Personal Essays (Lessons in revision learned in my MFA)
Winning at Blogging: Lessons from Rowing (Rowing and stroke rate, applied to blogging frequency)
7 Books I Use to Write Personal Essays (A preliminary reading list to help you get started writing essays)
An Unexpected Collaboration: My Marriage of Writing and Book Photography (An intimate look at the photography behind my book blog)
Selfishly Writing for Others (An honest look at my contradictory motivations for blogging)
On Weaving Imagery and Scene into Creative Nonfiction (A resistance to using literary techniques that don’t come naturally)
The Role of Imagination in Creative Nonfiction (Surprisingly, a genre based on truth isn’t always about how things are)
What is Creative Nonfiction, Anyway?  (My best answer: “There are too many technicalities to explain!”)
The Best Creative Writing Guide (Discerning among the myriad of options)
How To Write with Brevity (Mastering — or at least practicing — the art of writing briefly)


Book Reviews

The Lost Art of Reading (Can long-form reading by sustained in a digital age?)
The Year of Magical Thinking (Why the details of loss resonate so strongly with us)
The Primary Colors (An interesting look at the associative links of colour)
Best Canadian Essays 1989 (My discovery of a Canadian presence in the international scene of the essay)
Over Prairie Trails (Reminiscent of cross-country skiing on winter trails at night)
This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage (This is the review that I found difficult to write)
Gift from the Sea (A friend, a gift, and a sea-change consideration on how to live a life)
A Circle of Quiet: The Crosswicks Journal (A review of an unexpectedly complex book about writing, being, creating, and more)
Wonders of the Fields and Ponds at Night (A sense of wonder and childhood curiosity in this book of creative nonfiction)
The Miracle Worker (How the stage play intersects the craft of creative nonfiction)
Precious Cargo (A review about an ordinary guy driving a bus and a book battle at the local library)
Emily of New Moon (Re-reading and reinterpreting anew a Kunstlerroman in L.M. Montgomery’s Emily series)