Help Her! She Spoke French!

Bonjour et bienvenue. A few months ago I started learning French via the website Duolingo. Anyone close to me knows just how amusing this is. I have a history of bludgeoning the French language. I’ve dropped out of two French courses. Small children have made fun of me for my particularly bad pronunciation. I can never keep the conjugations for “avoir” (to have) and “etre” (to be) straight. My husband is from Quebec and speaks lovely French. When we were visiting Montreal, strangers would address him in French and then turn to me and speak in English, as if the words “Don’t even try” were stamped on my forehead. When people spoke French around me, I was sure they were making fun of me. And still, I’ve always wanted to learn French. On the outside, I laughed...

Anger as a Tool for Action

The other day I was listening to a campaign speech by Bernie Sanders. The one thing that struck me was the authenticity of his anger. Most politicians, at least to me, sound like politicians expressing anger in a glossed-over sound-bite kind of way. But with Sanders, I actually believed his anger. I could feel it, the way it would catch in his throat. It was the kind of anger that drives people to action. It reminded me of a quote from Rick Jarow (of the truly fantastic “Ultimate Anti-Career Guide”) who said that sometimes people don’t make changes in their own lives until they get angry enough.   The other day I went on a rant on Facebook. I was feeling angry. In the past, I’ve not been much of a ranter. I’ve been more of a...

The Fears That Bind Us (aka You’re Gonna Die)

A wise friend of mine once observed: Every action we take or don’t take is driven by one of two things: Fear or Love. I’ve been sifting through this idea for a few years now, wondering if this were actually true (being the “inward bound” workshop/personal development/human potential geek-junkie that I am – and yes, I am the kind of person satirized on shows like Portlandia). But I’ve discovered that whenever I break my actions or inactions down to the basic essence, my wise friend is right. I just have to be brave enough to tell the truth about it once in a while, especially when it comes to the fear end of things. I’m quite good at justifying my fears. I also think that there are levels of fear, and I can always tell when I get to the fear behind the...

Getting to the Story

I am developing an online course called Getting to the Story to begin in February 2015. This blog post features a sample from the coursework. If interested in taking the class, contact me HERE. ~   ~   ~ According to NaNoWriMo stats, about 23% of their participants finished their 50,000 words by the end of Nov. If you were one of them, congratulations. You have a big pile of words to play with! And if you were one of the 77% (hi there!) who didn’t finish, whatever you wrote you still have, and whatever you learned you’ve still got on your tool belt. The joke around here is that my NaNoWriMo became a DecNoWriMo, and now I’ve succumb to the fact that it’s really a JaNoWriMo. But that’s fine by me, because when I started my NaNo this...

NaNo – – No

(scroll down to skip straight to the Weekly Workout ) I came to the realization last Friday that I’m not going to be finishing my NaNo this year. Of course, a tiny piece of me keeps saying, “You can do it! Wake up at 3 am! Power through!” but that’s just because I’m stubborn like that. I really hate to lose, especially when it’s just to myself. My hope had hung in there for a while, because last year I managed to pump out 30,000 words in one week… but I was on a porch swing in Hawaii at the time. Right now I’m working full-time on a movie, house-hunting for an upcoming move, and involved in a major protest on Burnaby Mountain. So, life has been a bit cray-cray (wait, are women over 40 even allowed to use that...