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Osborne & Little’s New Wallpaper Captures Beloved Penguin Classics


The inspired British fabric and wallpaper designer Osborne & Little has brilliantly married two of my obsessions, books and interior design, in their recently released Penguin Library wallpaper. With this collage of front covers from the famous Penguin publishing house, you can now have these iconic tri-banded paperbacks covering your walls without all that annoying reading!… Read more »

The Saturday Papers


On Saturdays, one of my simple pleasures is going to the local library and reading the Saturday papers. My favourite is the Globe and Mail, because of the smart writing and insightful arts coverage. But my friend John, a retired career advisor, also reads the Saturday Globe, and we tend to show up around the… Read more »

Poetry Deficiency? Billy Collins Can Help


American poet Billy Collins believes poetry should be out rubbing shoulders with the rabble: “When you get a poem on a billboard or on the radio or on a cereal box, it happens to you so suddenly that you don’t have time to deploy your anti-poetry deflector shields that were installed in high school.” Collins’… Read more »

Guest Post: Write Your Professional Bio — Today!


I’m excited to report that my first guest blog post went live today, on Kellie deRuyter’s website. Kellie is a certified coach who teaches her powerful marketing system to new and seasoned coaches. She’s a dynamic and dedicated coach and an all-round delightful human. I’m honoured that she invited me to contribute to her blog…. Read more »

2 Online Tools to Simplify Your Reading and Writing


Some people need noise to concentrate: background music, the hiss of an espresso machine, the latest rotation on their personal listening device. Not me. I need quiet — and I don’t just mean the soundscape. I need visual quiet too. This is why web apps like the popular Evernote don’t work for me. Not only… Read more »

A Blog Post a Day Keeps Perfectionism Away


Yesterday I fell under the wheel of some deadline pressures and a friend suggested I stop this Blogathon madness. “A couple of posts a week is enough,” she said sympathetically. “You don’t need to post every day.” In that moment, I realized why I’m doing the WordCount Blogathon challenge: it’s my antidote to fear (which… Read more »

3 Lessons in Storytelling from Sir Patrick Stewart


  Sir Patrick Stewart, aka Captain Jen-Luc Picard, was a special guest at Comicpalooza in Houston, Texas, last month. During a Q&A, audience member Heather Skye thanked him for his 2007 Amnesty talk on domestic violence. She then asked him, “besides acting, what are you most proud of that you’ve done in your life?” There’s… Read more »

Stealing Creative Inspiration from Austin Kleon


I don’t know about you, but I own way too many books on writing and creativity. And what have most of them done for me other than distract me from actually writing and creating? Still, every now and then a total gem comes along. Like Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told… Read more »

Blogging My Way Out of Fear


True confession: I, Marial Shea, am afraid of my own website. There, I’ve said it. I launched MarialWrites in February and, since then, I’ve published a mere three blog posts. I thought if I built the site, I might magically become a blogger. Call it the “if you build it, they will come” fallacy. I… Read more »

Stalking the Wild Voice


“Stellaaaaaa!” Marlon Brando first played Stanley Kowalski in 1947 in a stage version of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcare Named Desire. Then, in Kazan’s 1951 film version, Brando let rip one of the most famous hollers in screen history. Brando’s scream is celebrated in New Orleans this weekend in the Stanley and Stella Shouting Contest, part… Read more »