An Interview with Caroline Nevin, Artist of Garnet and Ashes

I’ve known Caroline Nevin for over ten years. She’s a good friend and an invaluable member of my creative support system, particularly this summer when we’ve spent a few afternoons creating together.  Over the years, she’s explored many forms and I have always loved hearing her talk about her creative process. Caroline’s recently started a new business, Garnet and Ashes, “Vintage inspired fine art for modern swanky people,” which seems to have some very interesting links to character creation and some of the things that I have been thinking about this summer. Given she’s going to have Read More

Embodying Character Series: An Interview with Sandra Nickel, Part Two

On Tuesday I had posted Part One of my discussion with Sandra Nickel. Today marks the second and last post in my Embodying Character Series that I hoped you have enjoyed. Sandra and I conclude this discussion with an exploration of how we can connect acting techniques to the writing process, as well as some of the challenges or opportunities that writers have that an actor might not. Mel: Wardrobe, a wig, a prop. These are ways that actors can find portals into their character. What did you find interesting in how Ellen and Patrick tried to experience Read More

Embodying Character Series: An Interview with Sandra Nickel, Part One

It is hard to imagine that it was only a month ago that I had introduced the Embodying Character Series, where–with a little help from my friends–I hoped to explore how acting techniques could also be applied to writing.  I truly enjoyed my fascinating conversations with Ellen Denny and Patrick Cook (currently starring in the Anne and Gilbert: A Musical at The Guild in Charlottetown, PEI) about how they researched and developed their characters. In my introduction, I mentioned that I was partially inspired by Sandra Nickel’s lecture, “Creating the Authentic Gesture: Bringing Acting Techniques to Writing,” so Read More

Embodying Character Series: Creating with Maud

This summer has been a process of rediscovery for me as I tried to dive back into writing after traveling and research for a few months. As readers of this blog know, for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been talking with artists and actors about embodying character. This was so inspiring that it helped me think about new ways of stepping into my character’s 19th century button boots. L.M. Montgomery had started scrapbooking in her late teens. Two of the scrapbooks, known as the Red and the Blue, have been lovingly compiled by Elizabeth Rollins Epperly’s Imagining Read More

Embodying Character Series: An Interview with Ellen Denny, Part Two

On Tuesday I had posted the first part of this two-part interview with Ellen Denny who currently plays Anne Shirley in the Anne & Gilbert: A Musical at The Guild in Charlottetown, PEI. The show is running until October 12th, so if you are considering a out east, make sure to go. Here’s the link to buy tickets. And for those of you who have commented or tweeted or gotten involved in this discussion, I want to thank you. We all like to know that what we’re doing is speaking to people and I’m glad that Read More

An Interview with Bich Minh Nguyen, author of Pioneer Girl: A Novel

It is no surprise that I was quite interested in reading Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen who connects a Vietnamese American family to that of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Obviously, there is no secret that the author of the Little House series is among my many obsessions interests. I’ve written about that many times on this blog, but what I don’t think that I’ve ever gone into is my questions around the series and why–a Canadian girl of Jewish descent–finds the series so compelling.  I was interested to see how Nguyen deals with this question Read More

An Interview with Benjamin Lefebvre

Benjamin Lefebvre’s resume is deeply impressive (see his bio below) and his passion for bringing all of L.M. Montgomery’s work and publications about her to the public has led to this outstanding first of three volumes, The L.M. Montgomery Reader. Volume One: A Life in Print. (Volume Two: A Critical Heritage is to be released this Spring.) This collection is not only exciting for those of us who are obsessed   interested in L.M. Montgomery and her work, but it is also a fascinating look at the construction of an author, how the media could shape someone and Read More

Method Writing in February

I’m finishing up an essay this weekend that has been quite challenging for me. I was invited to write about L.M. Montgomery from a writer’s point of view, focusing on how she used writing as therapy, specifically on Rilla of Ingleside and The Blythes are Quoted. And while I won’t go into those details here (you’ll have to read the essay for that, ha!), I stumbled upon something else that I thought would make a good blog post. We often talk as writers about getting into the body of our characters, how they move, observe Read More

Coming out of the Musical Closet

On Facebook today, I posted about purchasing two pieces of sheet music and looking forward to playing them. A friend of mine commented that she didn’t know that I was musical and I responded that it was one of those things that I tended to keep secret.Then, (just as I was writing this post) someone (who I think that I’ve known since like Grade One or something) said that he had no idea. I’ve written about this before, my hidden musician. Much like my hidden writer, she is really freaked out and scared and thinks Read More