SHAULA EVANS http://shaulaevans.com Inspiration & Support for Writers Wed, 25 Jan 2017 22:47:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.3.11 Proud to be part of Orlando charity zine “Our Hearts Still Beat” http://shaulaevans.com/proud-part-orlando-charity-zine-hearts-still-beat/ http://shaulaevans.com/proud-part-orlando-charity-zine-hearts-still-beat/#comments Mon, 11 Jul 2016 15:25:26 +0000 http://shaulaevans.com/?p=1817 I am excited to let you know that my poem “Glorious” is featured in Our Hearts Still Beat Issue 1, an uplifting charity zine by Margins Publishing to raise money for the LGBTQ community of Orlando. Excerpt from “Our Hearts Still Beat”: “On Sunday, June 12, a man opened fire into the midst of Latinx night at the Pulse nightclub […]

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I am excited to let you know that my poem “Glorious” is featured in Our Hearts Still Beat Issue 1, an uplifting charity zine by Margins Publishing to raise money for the LGBTQ community of Orlando.Cover of "Our Hearts Still Beat, Issue One", showing a rainbow heart with an EKG pulse

Excerpt from “Our Hearts Still Beat”:

“On Sunday, June 12, a man opened fire into the midst of Latinx night at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in one of the worst mass shootings in US History. People felt reverberations across the world, though those most affected were unquestionably the mostly-Latinx queer people at the Pulse, as well as their friends and family. This zine is a response to the events of that night at the Pulse. Collecting work—including illustrations, comics, short stories and poetry—from 17 creators, Our Hearts Still Beat is a celebration of queer life and love. The zine is meant to be an opportunity to heal, both for those who have graciously donated their work, and for those who read it. Every cent made from the sale of Our Hearts Still Beat will go to The Center, the largest LGBT+ resource center in Orlando.”

Our Hearts Still Beat is a digital zine & is priced at only $2 (but you can pay more if you want!)—PLEASE buy a copy if you can. Our Hearts Still Beat is on sale now at Margins Publishing.

If you can’t afford a copy, I understand. I know many of us are facing tough times. Good news: there are lots of other ways to help!

1. Please signal boost this project! I bet you know people who’d love to support the zine & to read it themselves. It’s very PG-13 in tone–I’m buying copies for the middle- and high schoolers in my life.

2. Margins is taking subs for the second/final issue from writers (fiction, poetry, graphic novel) and illustrators. Send your work! Details: Submit to Our Hearts Still Beat Issue 2. Deadline July 15. (Don’t wait until the last minute!)

3. Margins Publishing will give free copies to queer people who can’t afford to buy one. Details in the store listing: Margins Publishing Store. If you have LGBTQ friends who could use some extra love & support, please let them know!

It’s an honor to have a poem I wrote appear alongside work by Puré • Stephanie BrownErica ChanFrancesca & Michela Da Sacco  • Jillian A. F. • Allie HotchkissIngramFrancesco Savino & Roberta IngranataPat Shand & Manuel PreitanoGwen Young • Melissa Zanella & Francesca Zambon •  editor/producer Zora Gilbert • and my spectacular illustrator Viviane Tybusch.

Thank you for doing whatever you can to help a great project for a great cause put together by some extraordinary people.

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Three Things You Love (About Your Writing) http://shaulaevans.com/three-things-love-writing/ http://shaulaevans.com/three-things-love-writing/#comments Wed, 30 Dec 2015 19:14:14 +0000 http://shaulaevans.com/?p=1804 I want to know three things you love about your writing (or about whatever your creative pursuit is).  Not what other people love about what you do, but what you love. Some of you are bashful, so let me be clear: I am inviting you to tell me, you have permission, it’s okay. If “love” […]

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Three crocuses

I want to know three things you love about your writing (or about whatever your creative pursuit is).  Not what other people love about what you do, but what you love. Some of you are bashful, so let me be clear: I am inviting you to tell me, you have permission, it’s okay. If “love” feels too strong, tell me three things you feel good about. But go on and share. I want to know.

One, two, three, go!

Public Domain image

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Forecast: Heavy Travel, Light Posting http://shaulaevans.com/forecast-light-posting-heavy-travel/ http://shaulaevans.com/forecast-light-posting-heavy-travel/#comments Sun, 08 Nov 2015 16:32:22 +0000 http://shaulaevans.com/?p=1797 Hello from the road, everybody! That photo is last night’s sunset in the side mirror of our Mini Cooper. We’ll be on the road (which is always a good thing!) and in some heavy travel for a good chunk of the winter and while the added demands on my time as the navigator and food/accommodations […]

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sunset in the rear view mirror of a Mini Cooper

Hello from the road, everybody! That photo is last night’s sunset in the side mirror of our Mini Cooper. We’ll be on the road (which is always a good thing!) and in some heavy travel for a good chunk of the winter and while the added demands on my time as the navigator and food/accommodations researcher might make posting here a little extra light, on the positive side, I hope it means some good things for at least some of you, too.

Do you live in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, or Utah? If you do, there’s a chance we may be driving past you at high speed in the next few months, maybe even with time to meet up for a cup of tea.

If you’d like me to give you a shout when we’re getting close to you, please leave a comment on this post or if you’re feeling private, and that’s never a bad idea when it comes to disclosing personal details on the Internet, drop me a note through the site contact form.

Winter travel in a Cooper S Mini with a Works package–which means sports suspension and minimal ground clearance–makes road conditions and road safety major concerns, and changes in the forecast can alter our travel plans on the fly. I can’t tell you in advance where we’ll be at any given time because we don’t know either! But if I know how to contact you and we wind up near you, I will gladly give you a shout.

I would love to meet you! Fingers crossed.

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Weekly Writer’s Check In: Everyone Welcome! http://shaulaevans.com/weekly-writers-check-in-everyone-welcome-2/ http://shaulaevans.com/weekly-writers-check-in-everyone-welcome-2/#comments Mon, 02 Nov 2015 07:08:00 +0000 http://shaulaevans.com/?p=1788 Welcome, writers to our first check in for November and the home stretch of the 2015 writing year. Its also our first check in of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which I know some of you are doing this year. I put together a little something to help you hit your writing goals and you […]

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Honeybee, hatching

Honeybee, hatching

Welcome, writers to our first check in for November and the home stretch of the 2015 writing year.

Its also our first check in of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which I know some of you are doing this year. I put together a little something to help you hit your writing goals and you can find it here: A Special NaNoWriMo Gift.

If you’re new to the weekly check in, here’s how we do it:

  • Everyone is welcome.
  • Share what you’re working on and how it’s going.
  • Ask for help as you need and offer help as you can.
  • Don’t forget to cheer for each other!

If you’d like to share your writing goals, you can do that, too. Here are some tips on setting writing goals (scroll down).

I’m wrapping up a busy year myself and also doing some heavy travel this winter, so the lovely and talented Mark Walker will be your guest host in the weekly check in. Thank you again, Mark–you’re like a guardian angel.

Thank you for being such great supports to each other and best wishes on your writing week!

PS Do you have a writer friend who could use a little moral support? Let them know about the weekly check in. That’s why we do it!

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Something Special for NaNoWriMo Writers http://shaulaevans.com/a-little-gift-for-nanowrimo-writers/ http://shaulaevans.com/a-little-gift-for-nanowrimo-writers/#comments Sat, 31 Oct 2015 18:29:03 +0000 http://shaulaevans.com/?p=1777 I know that some of you will be doing NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, this year, the annual (November) novel writing project that brings together professional and amateur writers from all over the world. I am looking at a busy month with some heavy travel myself but I wanted to support you all so… […]

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A small bouquet of daisies surrounded by presents wrapped in spring-green paper with white polka-dots

I know that some of you will be doing NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, this year, the annual (November) novel writing project that brings together professional and amateur writers from all over the world. I am looking at a busy month with some heavy travel myself but I wanted to support you all so…

I have loaded up my Twitter feed with some treats for you: quotes from classic and contemporary writers with writing tips, advice and inspiration about why to write a book, how to get started, pitfalls to avoid, escaping the middle doldrums, writing a great dramatic finish, how to keep writing when it feels impossible, and more–a whole month full!

If you’re on Twitter, you can follow me at @ShaulaEvans.

What if you’re not on Twitter? You can find all the quotes at this link: http://twitter.com/ShaulaEvans–OR you can find the latest quote in the sidebar of this site, too. (Just go to any post on ShaulaEvans.com and look to your right: yes, that’s it right there!)

The NaNoWriMo quote series will start on Sunday, November 1 at 8:01 am GMT / 3:01 am EST / 12:01 am PST and run all month long. Plus, I’ve got some great advice on how to edit your new masterpiece lined up for you in December, too.

I hope that in the coming month when you hit a writing speed bump of any kind you just might find what you need waiting for you here.

Very best wishes to all of you this month, no matter what you’re writing, and I can’t wait to hear all about your progress (and your tribulations, too), in our weekly writers check in.

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Writing Prompt: Monsters in America http://shaulaevans.com/writing-prompt-monsters-in-america/ http://shaulaevans.com/writing-prompt-monsters-in-america/#comments Fri, 30 Oct 2015 19:10:34 +0000 http://shaulaevans.com/?p=1771 This lovely cryptozoological map by artist Mark Adams for HogIsland Press delightfully illustrates regionally-famous monsters in America. Some of these monsters are well documented in film, TV and literature; others are virtually unknown outside their home territories. Let’s give them a moment of consideration as a writing prompt. Thinking About Monsters What is it about […]

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a cryptozoological map of monsters in America

This lovely cryptozoological map by artist Mark Adams for HogIsland Press delightfully illustrates regionally-famous monsters in America. Some of these monsters are well documented in film, TV and literature; others are virtually unknown outside their home territories. Let’s give them a moment of consideration as a writing prompt.

Thinking About Monsters

  1. What is it about the historical hardships and anxieties in these particular regions that gives rise to these particular monsters?
  2. How are these monsters relevant to the fears and tribulations of modern life?
  3. How is this monster relevant to you?

Those are good questions to ask whether you’re writing about a pre-existing monster or inventing a monster of your own.

The Monster Under Your Bed (Or In Your Backyard)

Did you ever live or travel in a region that has its own local monster? Have you seen it? (I have to ask.) Have you written about it yet? If not, why not?

(I grew up along a lake in Canada that is famous for its own lake monster, and I have a back-burner project that involves it.)

Reading & Watching Monster Stories

What are your favourite monster movies and stories? Why do you love them? Who are your influences when you write your own monster stories? What lessons can you take from them about how to write a great monster story?

Writing About Monsters

  1. Write about a famous or not-so-famous legendary monster. Pick one that has some personal resonance for you.
  2. Think about a place that you know well. What kind of monster does it deserve? Invent that monster and write that story. (Tip: You may be tempted to pick a place you hate, but your story may turn out better if you pick a place you love.)
  3. Think about your favourite monster stories in any medium.
    3(a) Write a story in the style of one of your heroes.
    3(b) Now step back a little, and without emulating your heroes’ writing output, try emulating their writing strategies. (If that distinction isn’t obvious to you, let me know, and we can explore it in more detail.)
    3(c) Make a list of your favourite elements from your favourite monster stories. Now, mix and match them to create a new story.
    3(d) Make a list of elements that annoy you in monster stories. Work out how to avoid, invert, or otherwise subvert those elements. Ooh, you’re onto a very interesting story now.

Happy Writing and Happy Halloween.

 

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How to Make a Horror Movie http://shaulaevans.com/how-to-make-a-horror-movie/ http://shaulaevans.com/how-to-make-a-horror-movie/#comments Wed, 28 Oct 2015 13:45:08 +0000 http://shaulaevans.com/?p=1764 Just in time for Halloween, enjoy this tongue-in-cheek flow chart showing how to make a horror movie from Canal+: Click on image for larger version Alas, this is cute but also flawed and I need to point out I don’t endorse cultural appropriation: I’d like this flow chart a lot more if Canal+ hadn’t chosen to […]

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Just in time for Halloween, enjoy this tongue-in-cheek flow chart showing how to make a horror movie from Canal+:
tongue-in-cheek flow-chart showing how to make a horror movie from Canal+

Click on image for larger version

Alas, this is cute but also flawed and I need to point out I don’t endorse cultural appropriation: I’d like this flow chart a lot more if Canal+ hadn’t chosen to include Indian ghosts, feathers, teepees, and the titles “Screaming Sioux” and “Dead Papoose”. But I know that you, dear readers, are a respectful and culturally-sensitive lot who don’t condone or engage in cultural appropriation either, and I trust you to enjoy the rest of the chart while ignoring that unfortunate and offensive choice. I’ll also point out for the literal-minded that actor and stunt-person safety is paramount and no, you shouldn’t keep filming if someone on your set is injured (nor do I think any of you would).

If you were to write or make a horror film, what are some of the choices (listed here, or in the genre at large) that you’d like to subvert?

If you’ve ever been part of making a horror film (and I know at least a few of you have!), how does this chart match up with or diverge from your experience?

Horror fans, what do you love about horror? What are your favourite horror films, horror writers and horror filmmakers? Who are your influences when you write horror?

PS Happy Halloween!

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Weekly Check In: Week 43 http://shaulaevans.com/weekly-writers-check-in-everyone-welcome/ http://shaulaevans.com/weekly-writers-check-in-everyone-welcome/#comments Mon, 26 Oct 2015 06:02:12 +0000 http://shaulaevans.com/?p=1759 Hey, folks. Instead of our standard check in I have a few updates and questions for you this week. 1. No-Goal Writers Are Welcome, Too! I was chatting with one of my favourite writers last week, and he mentioned that he’d been meaning to join the weekly check in but he wasn’t really a “goal-oriented […]

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two bees in a yellow flower

Hey, folks. Instead of our standard check in I have a few updates and questions for you this week.

1. No-Goal Writers Are Welcome, Too!

I was chatting with one of my favourite writers last week, and he mentioned that he’d been meaning to join the weekly check in but he wasn’t really a “goal-oriented writer” so he felt a bit out of place.

Goal or no goal, everyone is welcome! If you’re not a goal-oriented writer (and to be honest, I’m more of a Ray Bradbury-style optimal behaviorist myself),  go ahead and let us know what you’re working on, how it’s going, and if you have any questions or calls for resources that other writers here might be able to help you with. And if you are a goal-oriented writer and you want to share your goals and progress, that’s good, too.

I don’t know how to get it across to all y’all but I love to hear about your writing. Whatever your process is, whatever you’ve got going on, if you feel like sharing, please do.

2. Teaser: Updates Ahead

I bravely peeked into my “things I want to post” file and realized I’m overdue to share some of my own writing news with you, including my work appearing in some great publications and an international interview a while back. Once I get through this crazy-busy period, I promise to write them up on the site.

3. Speaking of Crazy Busy…

My slate runneth over these days so Mark Walker will be your host in the weekly check in again this week. Go on and make his job easier by cheering for each other, okay?

Have a great writing week!

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Writing Prompt: The Medium is the Message http://shaulaevans.com/writing-prompt-the-medium-is-the-message/ http://shaulaevans.com/writing-prompt-the-medium-is-the-message/#comments Tue, 20 Oct 2015 22:10:26 +0000 http://shaulaevans.com/?p=1747 Jennifer Egan’s near-future science fiction story “Black Box”, written in the form of “mental dispatches” from a spy living in the Mediterranean, was originally published in serialized form as a series of tweets on The New Yorker’s Twitter account over nine days beginning May 25, 2012. You can read the collated installments here: “Black Box” by […]

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Jennifer Egan’s near-future science fiction story “Black Box”, written in the form of “mental dispatches” from a spy living in the Mediterranean, was originally published in serialized form as a series of tweets on The New Yorker’s Twitter account over nine days beginning May 25, 2012. You can read the collated installments here: “Black Box” by Jennifer Egan.

Handwritten notebook pages showing part of Jennifer Egan's plan for her story 'Black Box'
Image: Part of Jennifer Egan’s plan for her short story “Black Box”; notebook page courtesy Jennifer Egan via The New Yorker.

Let’s take explore Egan’s approach to story and publication in “Black Box” as a writing prompt.

1. Write in Bite Sizes
Write a story as a series of stand-alone units of 140 characters each or less. You can include more than one sentence in a unit but don’t run a sentence on into the next unit. (You can use this constraint whether you have a Twitter account or not; the point is not Twitter itself but its character constraints.)

2. Write for a Platform
Better yet, choose your own platform or distribution method to write for. Be as innovative as you can. Text messages, letters, post card, telegrams, messages in bottles, semaphore and smoke signals are all fair play.

Tip: Pick a medium with difficult built-in constraints to spur your creativity.

3. Justify your choice
Why are your charracters or narrator communicating through this method? How does the communication tool relate to the story world? How does the means of communication affect the story?

4. Complicate your choice
What happens if the tool breaks? For example, in Mark Dunn’s lipogrammatic novel Ella Minnow Pea, a fictitious island’s government keeps banning letters of the alphabet–the story is told through a series of notes with the rapidly dwindling number of letters at their disposal.

What other stories can you think of that take this kind of approach? Another that springs to mind is Griffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock, a story told in a series of removable letters and postcards. In a way, found footage films can be cinematic variation on this idea, too.

Go ahead, give this a shot and have fun with it. And let us know how you fare.

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Weekly Check In: Week 42 http://shaulaevans.com/weekly-check-in-week-42/ http://shaulaevans.com/weekly-check-in-week-42/#comments Tue, 20 Oct 2015 04:58:24 +0000 http://shaulaevans.com/?p=1752 In place of our usual bee photo*, this week’s check in features a photo of maple leaves to celebrate Canada’s historic election kicking out Stephen Harper’s conservative government. While I generally don’t discuss politics here, I’ll point out that this is GREAT news for Canada and Canadians, not least for Canadians in the arts. Harper […]

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Four red, yellow and green maple leaves

In place of our usual bee photo*, this week’s check in features a photo of maple leaves to celebrate Canada’s historic election kicking out Stephen Harper’s conservative government. While I generally don’t discuss politics here, I’ll point out that this is GREAT news for Canada and Canadians, not least for Canadians in the arts. Harper slashed arts funding during his tenure and decimated the Canadian arts scene–while newly-elected prime minister Justin Trudeau has promised to invest $380 million in the arts. I’m a happy expat tonight and I look forward to watching a new Canadian arts and culture renaissance.

You all have my permission and encouragement to celebrate by hugging your nearest Canadian, and if you don’t have a Canadian at hand, do the next best thing and hug a tree. (Yes, I’m a bit giddy over the election results.)

With that glorious news delivered, on with our weekly check in, once again guest hosted by Mark Walker:

Weekly Check In

1. Let us know how you fared with last week’s writing goals (whether you shared them with us here or not).

2. Share your goals for the new week.

3. Don’t forget to cheer for each other!

New to the weekly check in? Our first check in of the year includes tips on setting writing goals. But the most important thing to know is that everyone is welcome. If you’d like the moral support of discussing your writing progress with other writers, please join the comments and let us know what you’re working on and how you’re doing.

*Did any of you ever work out I post photos of worker bees in the weekly check in in honour of your diligent toil at your writing? I’m curious whether anyone connected the dots. (The connections may not always be obvious, but the images here will almost always have subtext.)

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