Recognition, Reinvention

The past year I’ve been in a process of reinventing myself. It has been a journey into discovering my sense of self worth and what it means to show up and say, “yes” and when it is okay to stay home or say, “no.” Reinvention meant a personal revolution, it meant turning over and reimagining what my life might look like. Reinvention meant embracing the fact that showing up and saying “yes,” might mean being situations I never imagined I would be, accepting that not everyone will like me (I know, crazy? right), and acknowledging when things Read More

Happy Birthday, Manly*

“‘What do you take me for?’ he asked. ‘Do you think I’m the kind of fellow that’d would leave you out there at Brewster’s when you’re so homesick, just because there’s nothing in it for me?’ ‘Why I…’Laura stopped. The truth was that she had never thought of much about what kind of person he was. He was so much older; he was a homesteader.”(77, THGY) But we knew, didn’t we. We had remembered the young boy in Farmer Boy. We remembered in The Long Winter the young man who risked his life for the town, Read More

Renewal and Opportunities and the Latest on Mel’s Journey with Maud

A friend and I always talk about how things feel fresh in September. Perhaps it is the “Back to School” vibe in the air, perhaps it is the changing  seasons, perhaps it was because the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, always landed in September bringing in an opportunity for renewal. This Fall marks a couple of interesting shifts in my life, because I’m learning how to balance certain opportunities–opportunities that I’m so excited and grateful for–with my daily writing practice.  Much of the summer I worked within my own schedule,  allowing time to relax while also making 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 Patrick Cook, Part Two

On Tuesday I posted the Part One of my Q&A with actor, Patrick Cook, as we discussed how he approached playing Gilbert Blythe in the current production of Anne & Gilbert: A Musical at The Guild in Charlottetown, P.E.I. Sidebar: Everyone I’ve recommended the show to and has had the opportunity to go has not been disappointed. So if you are planning a trip to PEI this summer, go. Also by birthday is coming up…so… Today’s discussion dives into some of the questions I had about what it means to play a literary heartthrob like 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 Sarah Ellis, Author of Outside In

A couple of years ago, I was asked to give a talk at a CANSCAIP meeting to speak about the MFA program I was taking at VCFA. At this point I had only met Sarah Ellis briefly during residency, so it was a little nervous-making to have her in the audience. When someone asked me why I had chosen VCFA, I took a deep breath, smiled, pointed directly into the audience and said, “that author” and then probably blushed and giggled. It was really a dream realized when I got to work with Sarah during my final semester Read More

More Method Than Madness

This is my fifth trip to Prince Edward Island and each time I step out of the plane (even when it was raining) I feel like I’ve come home. Intellectually I know that I am from “away” and really a tourist because I’ve only come during the months of June and August and have never really lived here, but the longer I stay here, the more I feel connected to the earth. Here I feel like I can hear myself think. I admit, with all of the research and plotting and character work I’ve been Read More