Monthly Archives

November 2015

The Sunday Letter

Sunday Sundries | Vol. 20

I survived the first module in grad school and I couldn’t be happier. My brain feels like it has that post-workout euphoria you feel after going to the gym.

My next module of study means I’ll be working in radio for a few weeks. I just read Out on the Wire and am excited to get my writing succint enough for airwaves.

There’s no shiny pictures to distract viewers in radio, so your writing has to be good enough that it carries the story alone. A lot of people have been telling me over the past few weeks that radio is an even more visual medium than television. YOU have to create what the listener sees in their head.

Tomorrow I get to start the week with, “Between the Pages: An Evening with the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalists”. The Giller is one of the big prizes in Canada for literary fiction. The first place author receives $100,000.  I have a media pass for the event and can’t wait to write about it!

Yesterday I published a piece about an anxiety attack I had a few weeks ago. Writing it was cathartic, but it seemed kind of dark so I decided to balance it by writing some lessons I’ve learned from anxiety over the years to publish at the same time. Double trouble.

  • Today is the start of NaNoWriMo. If you like writing, join in! I’ll be spending 30 minutes every day writing as much as I can to participate. Find me if you decide to do it! We can buck each other up with encouragement. My username is @melhadtea. I had a few ideas, but settled on doing a sci-fi story that takes place over the course of 30 days through radio broadcasts. I plan to listen to the original 1938 War of the Worlds Radio Broadcast by Orson Welles tonight to celebrate. Did you know it was originally broadcast on Hallowe’en eve? Timely.
  • For Canadians: I love this video interview with former MP Peter Stoffer as he packs up his eccentric office on the hill.
  • Did you know you can test to see if you’re using the passive voice in writing by just adding zombies?
  • This VICE documentary on schoolgirl exploitation in Japan is a must-watch for anyone heading to Tokyo.
  • I’ve always wanted to eat everything from a Hayao Miyazaki film.
  • Now that I know that the town from Spirited Away was based on a real place (with delicious food), it’s only a matter of time before I go there!
  • Need a reminder why you got into the biz? WNYC held a great talk this summer called How To Be a Grown-Ass Woman. Lady comedians, writers, actors, directors. All right here with their own badass stories.
  • Jodi Ettenberg from Legal Nomads writes about her TBEX Asia talk and why travel blogging needs more storytelling. She is right!
  • If you want a great example of building tension in a new movie, check out Ex Machina on Netflix. The storytelling does a great job of bringing us from “Oh cool,” to “Oh holy shit.”
  • Want to know how songs get made? I started listening to the Song Exploder podcast this week. Trust me, you’ll hear the songs differently afterward.
  • Let me leave you with this. It’s one of my favourite jams:

The header photo? Brunch at Nena’s Breakfast House in north-end Dartmouth. God, the hollandaise was so good. Their breakfast poutine is also out of this world.

What are you writing this month? Are you doing NaNo? Are you working on something else?