A Writing Dream Come True

I’m celebrating in Technicolor today as I greet the arrival of my novel, “Shades of Teale” on amazon.ca. I began writing the book in the late 1990s to bring my dream of becoming a published author to life and it never occurred to me that writing one book could take such a long time!

Granted it wasn’t my full time gig.

During the past 13 years I’ve also worked on business writing projects for Crossman Communications, given birth twice, moved numerous times, walked my terminally ill husband to a painful death by cancer and embarked upon a new uncharted life as the widowed mother of three children, two of whom are still in public school.

Signing a publishing contract with Manor House Publishing this past summer catapulted me

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December 7, 2011 · 11:18 am

Stop the Presses! I’m Going to be a Published Author!

After more than a decade of working bit-by-bit on a novel manuscript that just refused to finish itself, I’m thrilled to announce that my dream of being a published author is finally coming true: at the end of November, “Shades of Teale” will be published in Canada by Hamilton-based Manor House Publishing and I couldn’t be happier. American release will follow next spring.

The novel tells the story of

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Crossman’s Crash Course for Writing with Style — Step Three: Choose Lively Words

The first few posts in this series have touched on the elements I think are important to writing with style – if you missed them please feel free to check out my overview, my blog on grammatical accuracy (yes, it’s key!) and my explanation of the importance of smooth linkages . While those topics might seem too technical to qualify as stylistic elements, I can tell you that if there’s anything nearly 30 years of writing have taught me, it’s that strong structure and solid technicals always underpin great writing.

Today’s blog post deals with something that is probably a little more fun, however, and that is the importance of liveliness in writing. Lively word choice keeps people interested in what they’re reading and complements the solid foundation you’ve laid by embellishing it. I’m not talking about anything grandiose or outlandish — just the little touches that add a whisper of surprise or interest. Like the word “whisper,” for example.

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Step One for Writing with Style: Grammar Counts!

As noted in an earlier blogpost (see Writing with Style), writing with impact requires excellence in the areas of structure, style and engagement. This series focuses on improving your writing style as painlessly as possible – but it’s a good idea to keep in mind that good writing is not always completely painless; it often involves the selection, examination, dismissal, replacement, repositioning and deletion of what could amount to hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent words. It can take hours of writing and rewriting to get it all just perfect. And even then it’s possible someone else might be able to find ways to improve the text. We give it our best shot, though, and having organized our information well, (see my series on structuring your writing for maximum impact), we can then segue into the fascinating area of writing with style. That means focusing on:

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Crossman’s Crash Course in Writing – Second Series! Five Steps to Writing with Style

Earlier this year I completed a blog series on Writing with Impact and the information focused primarily on the structural processes involved in strong writing. (See the overview on Writing with Impact). Although structure is a fundamental component of good writing, most people consider it to be only slightly more interesting than leaf lettuce so I thought I’d move on to the next block of lessons in my personal writing curriculum. They deal with Style…

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Freelance Plans for a Writer’s Resolutions — Revisited

The first six months of 2011 have melted away like dabs of butter on freshly baked bread and it’s time to check in on the goals I set in early January to see how I’m doing. Does anything need tweaking going forward?
(Here’s a link to my original blog on the topic, if you’re interested in my starting position:

As I mentioned in January, I’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions but I am keen on goal setting because it helps keep me focused, directed, productive and motivated.
As a freelance writer – as well as a

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Neurology and Language: a Quick Look at NLP

There’s something almost compulsive about being a writer and if you define yourself with that word – even secretly – you probably can’t remember a time when you weren’t writing something. Personally, I count the scribbled diary entries that I hid under my pillow at age eight and the self-conscious poetry I sighed over at 14. University essays fall into that category almost as much as the news articles I wrote for the Queen’s Journal when I probably should have been writing essays, reading more research papers or listening in on extra lectures.

As time blossomed and my experience deepened I began a quest to learn as much as I possibly could about language and its importance in the human experience. I learned

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