A writer’s perfect pause

A writer’s perfect pause

I just took a weekend pause for my birthday. And it was a perfect pause, a wonderful getaway. A cabin in the woods on an island I hadn’t visited for years, with my loving husband of 31 years. A couple of hikes, a picnic, a delicious dinner at an Italian...
How to encourage your child’s writing

How to encourage your child’s writing

Smart parents write lots of notes to their kids, and set things up so their children need to reply in writing. At school, notes often take the form of criticism. Parents can counter this association by leaving him notes to compliment him on a job well done; notes are...
Learning to write: boys versus girls

Learning to write: boys versus girls

by Pam Withers & Cynthia Gill “The largest achievement gap between boys and girls occurs in writing.” —Ralph Fletcher, Boy Writers Laura’s oldest son was in second grade when his teacher took her aside and told Laura point-blank, “Paul is getting behind in...
Writing about happy Syrian refugees

Writing about happy Syrian refugees

All you need is a box to have fun. But the three kids in this box are special. They’re recent Syrian refugees (arrived in February in Victoria, BC, Canada) who were invited to a family-day welcoming picnic on Mayne Island, BC, Canada, where I spend my summers.      As...
Showing, telling and “interiority”

Showing, telling and “interiority”

The nice thing about being a writer is that there is always more writing-craft to learn. For instance, I recently attended a writers’ retreat where I learned a new word and concept: “interiority.” A sort of x-ray vision into a character. And a new rule: You can show...
BC’s best children’s authors

BC’s best children’s authors

This blog is a bit belated (technical difficulties), but last weekend I attended (and coordinated) a fantastic writers’ retreat on Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada, involving some of the best children’s writers in British Columbia. I got much out of...