CPOW Again!

CPOW! We are getting ready to launch three more books in the Contemplative Practice of Writing series.  Launch date is October 15th at the Whistler Writer’s Fest —

Workbook 2: Everyday Celebrations

Workbook 3: Classroom, Homeschool & Microschool Edition — Intermediate

Notebook 1: Extended Word Bank

The Contemplative Practice of Writing (CPOW) program is new way of gently focussing your mind and generating fresh thought.

Creativity thrives when exploration meets constraint, and CPOW exercises invite you to follow the freedom of your pen into your voice as  writer.

First, doodle to a visual CUE for SET TIME in a BOUNDED SPACE.  Then follow a writing PROMPT and fill your WORD BANK.

It seems impossible that the act of doodling can free your words and help you write.  But it works.

Early adopters of the program have called it miraculous, life changing, and have been using it in their classrooms and in their own lives as they have navigated their toughest days.

Get tickets for my WWF CPOW session here:  www.whistlerwritersfest.com

Find a laggy but lovely video with me talking about the program here:  https://youtu.be/w4BshM_9qRc



CPOW Spring 2020


In this uncharted world of Covid 19, we are aware more than ever of the power of words to provide solace and strength, to share new knowledge, and to bind community even across great distance.

We are at work rescheduling our Spring 2020 workshops and reimagining our workshop on CPOW 1 in a digital format.

Stay tuned for more information on the release of more resources to keep you writing and to safeguard your thinking and drafting.

CPOW Workbook 2 — with streamlined instructions, and new cues and prompts

CPOW Workbook 3: Classroom and Homeschool Edition

Wordbank: Standalone Notebook


Contemplative Practice of Writing

Contemplative Practice of Writing: Workbook 1 is here!  Actually, CPOW 1 has been here since springtime, but I’ve been enjoying talking about it so much, I have been slow in getting it up on the blog.

This is a book that’s near and dear to my heart.  Well, it’s more than just a book.  It’s a workbook and primer too.  And it’s more than just close to my heart — it carries a little piece of it, I think.

I have been a colourer, a doodler, for many years now, and for me it is a way to think better, to work out ideas and connections.  It’s more than just a pastime or an extra, it’s an essential aid to thinking and a way to get with my own thoughts.

I worked with designer Kilmeny Jane Denny at Vivalogue to create this thing I’m so proud of.  At first she was a little lukewarm about CPOW , but she warmed up fast as it came together.  She’s a master — and the beauty and calm she infused in every page is part of its success.

What is CPOW?  It’s a way to begin with loose movements of your pen and to end with words.  It’s a hands-on introduction to a new way of gently focusing your mind and generating fresh thoughts in your very own word bank.  It works at home, and it works in the classroom.  Some people say that with CPOW they can’t stop writing.

We are just getting the buy links sorted out, and are making plans to unroll a series of CPOW evenings in the Lower Mainland.  Think of it: a few hours of calm, a glass of wine and CPOW.  Send me a note through the contacts page for more information.

Why English Can Make Us Crazy

My son came home for the weekend and brought along a list of reasons the English language is hard to learn.  It’s especially applicable to the spoken language, but has deep resonances for written work as well since our writing practice is so keenly linked to our ears and the sound words make as they slip off the tongue and onto the page.  His copy was dog-eared from being passed around and screen-grabbed, so I thought I’d clean it up and pass it along again.  I salute whoever it was that pulled this together.

The Unknown Compiler’s List of Reasons English Can Make Us Crazy

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish silverware.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

8) When shot, the dove dove into the bushes.

9) I did not object since I was the object of his affections.

10) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

11) The oarsmen had a row about how to row.

12) We were too close to the door to close it.

13) A buck does funny things when does are present.

14) The farmer taught his sow to sow as his mother sat sewing in the window.

15) The wind was strong enough to wind the sheet around the mast.

16) After a number of injections, my jaw got number.

17) I shed a tear, I fear, after seeing the tear in the painting.

18) How can I intimate my feelings to my most intimate friend?