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    Quadruple Block-Busting Author Reading

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)


    NOON - 1pm



    Kevin J. Anderson

    Kelley Armstrong

    Anthony Bidulka

    Rebecca Moesta


    WHEN WORDS COLLIDE is a 3-day festival (Aug. 8 - 10) for readers and writers that unites lovers of many genres for one glorious summer weekend in the city of Calgary. If you can't make it to the Best Western Village Park Inn for the slew of events, including: speaker panels, Kaffe klatches (meet a Guest of Honour or other author in a small group setting), Pitch sessions, Blue-pencil cafe, Parties, Merchant's Corner - don't worry, the festival's guests of honour are making an appearance at the Central Library on Friday, August 10. No registration is required.

    A small sample of the authors' amazing work:

    Slam Summer Edition

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)


    Thursday July 26

    8:00pm - 11:00pm

    Auburn Saloon (115 9 Ave SE)


    If your brain is starting to melt down through the lull of summer Calgary's Ink Spot Collective may have the solution you need to snap from those dog day syndromes: poetic visitors from the southern hemisphere, Ink Spot Collective(where it's winter!). The Soles of Australia Tour features two Melbourne-based poets, Joel McKerrow and Michelle Dabrowski, who are hitting the road to show the world the powerful force of their spoken word scene.

    Victoria BC's award-winning spoken word performer Missie Peters will also grace the Auburn stage this Thursday. She is a two-time Victoria Slam Champion, the former slam master, one half of the improvised spoken word duo SpeakEasy and the director of Not Your Grandma's Poetry.

    Also on stage - YOU. It's a slam. Show up at 7:30 to sign up.

    Need to brush up on your slam skills? - Place a hold on Sheri-D WIlson's 'Spoken Word Workbook'...

    Writer in the Headlights

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    It’s dark.

    There’s a long way to go.

    Full tank of gas? Check. Snacks, music, and coffee to keep my eyes from dropping? Check, but not too much coffee - I don’t want to stop The wheel.for anything.

    I’ve got a map, but I drew it myself and it's full of gaps. Part of me hopes to get lost. I’m going somewhere I’ve never been before and I don’t really care if I end up somewhere else. As long I end up somewhere, as long my head-lights shine, illuminating the road ahead, my grip on the wheel will be white-knuckled.

    I will push forward to morning if I have to.

    The road.

    As a metaphor for the writing process, this bland boring image may not seem so appealing. And it also runs the risk of shamefully treading on the toes of Canadian songwriter Tom Cochrane ("Life is a highway. I want to ride it.")("All night long").... but if you are "goin' my way" and taking this put-your-head-down stop-for-nothing approach to pumping out your words, there are many advantages.

    Compared to other "Metaphors of Process" (introduced last week as the "Gardener" and the "Fishermen"), this one is useful for the writer who needs rumble strips to keep from slipping into the ditches of distraction. This type of writer also requires that its operator have strong faith in its abilities and in its vehicle. The vehicle in this case is the narrative or poetic structure and the writer will want to make sure the machinery is running smooth before a long overnight haul. Fill the tires with air. Don't ignore unfamiliar noises your vehicle makes, but don't let them bother you either. Use different gears to pace yourself.

    Disadvantages of the "Tommy Cochrane" process are numerous: 1) it's not all that scenic, 2) it's exhausting, and 3) you may have missed some very interesting turn-offs by speeding right past them in the night. That's okay though. When the sun comes out and we're able to see the mess we've made while we were focused on forward progress, we can put on our garden gloves and hipwaiters and get to work in a different frame of mind. As fishermen, we'll be able to throw a line towards any and every possible digression. As gardeners, we can identify which seeds are worth nurturing.

    And if you went down the wrong highway and ended up stuck at a dead-end, at least you'll know not to take it again next time...

    Looking for more guidance and inspiration for your writing process? These two titles just landed on library shelves:

    (Click to place hold)


    When Words Collide

    by Phil - 0 Comment(s)

    Last year's inaugural When Words Collide festival must have done something right. Not only is the festival back for another year, it is roaring back with an amazing lineup of writers, artists, performers, and publishers who all want to help bring us together, in Calgary and beyond, for a sharing of information, for learning, and to build a sense of community.

    Perhaps its strength is appeal to readers and writers of many genres : Mystery, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Romance, Literary, Historical, Western, Film scripts, Poetry...

    Here are 2012's Guests of Honour:

    Anthony Bidulka (Mystery)

    Kelley Armstrong (Romance)

    Kevin J. Anderson (Science Fiction)

    Rebecca Moesta (YA) well as publisher guest Adrienne Kerr - the Commissioning Editor of Commercial Fiction at Penguin Group (Canada) and poet/songwriter Vanessa Cardui.

    Four concurrent streams of programming, including panels of speakers debating topics on: Writing, Literature, Publishing, Art (cover / interior), Kaffe klatches (meet a Guest of Honour or other author in a small group setting), Pitch sessions, Blue-pencil cafe, Parties, Merchant's Corner.

    For complete information on the 2012 When Words Collide festival, go to


    Metaphors of Process

    by Phil - 2 Comment(s)

    The hardest part about writing a blog for writers is that there are so many different types of writing, all of which require their own exclusive set of skills and are built atop their own separate foundations. Even inside the mind of a single writer the poet, novelist, and journalist may push each other around for territory. And even once we’ve decided on our form of expression, or once a form has a chosen us, there is an endless number of forks in the road (and short cuts and scenic routes and flowers to smell) until we’ve eventually, hopefully, carved out a unique perch, or hole, where we can get to work.

    All writers do share one common thread, though. Under any form, at any stage, for any purpose, we are all obviously engaging in a writing process. How we get from one word to the next, from one sentence to a paragraph, piling lines on to the page, hammering and ironing the text until it at least resembles an original vision, is always and necessarily a mysterious and personal process.

    The more we understand our own processes, regardless of form, the better chance we have of unleashing the full power of language. Here at the Nook we have been analyzing different approaches to the act of writing and assembling them into convenient metaphorical categories.

    So far, we’ve got 3:

    1. The Gardener

    Plants a seed, nurtures the soil.

    Requires great patience.

    Must tolerate dry season.

    2. The Over-Night Truck Driver

    At night, headlights on to illuminate the road, grips the wheel and drives forward.

    No stopping until the next town, or morning.

    3. The Fisherman

    The important thing is to keep the line in the stream, always.

    Always prepared for a bite and willing to throw a few back.


    Each metaphor requires and will receive its own clarification in a separate blog post. Hopefully we’ll get there before winter. Until then, does your process resemble one of these?

    If your process isn’t on our list, leave a comment and tell us how you write.

    And we can't leave here without mentioning some of the best inspirational books for writers. Click the covers to find one at your local branch.


    The Secret Miracle

    How to Write