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Kathy Stinson making a toast to Anne Dagg

Close But No Cigar

October 7, 2022

Ever wonder where the expression “Close but no cigar” originated? I had two occasions last month to wonder. This is what I learned. Back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, players who succeeded at fairground games of strength, accuracy, and skill were commonly awarded a cigar as a prize. The games were notoriously…

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Kathy Stinson, author's workspace

Another Peek at Where I Write

June 22, 2022

Last month I told you about my desk and the wall beside it. The wall behind my desk tells more stories about my life as a writer. The Painting For my first young adult novel, set in Nova Scotia, Thistledown Press hired Iris Hauser, a Saskatchewan artist to create a cover. They knew the setting was…

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The desk where Kathy Stinson writes

A Peek at Where I Write

May 25, 2022

All around me in the room where I write are things that act as symbols for much that keeps me going when the writing gets tough: who owned my desk before me; writer-friends; illustrators whose art has perfectly extended the stories I’ve written; the determined minds and open hearts of writers and artists who’ve participated…

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How 7 nudges led me to my new project for the new year

December 29, 2021

A number of things late this year have been nudging me in a new direction for my writing. It started in November when I decided to go through a file called “Scribblings” to see just what I’d stuffed in there over the years. “Scribblings” contained notebooks and loose pages; writing exercises I’d done with various…

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letting go

Stepping Away, Letting Go

November 21, 2018

Sometimes the best way to renew waning enthusiasm for a project is to step away from it for a while. But what if you step away for a short time, then a longer time, and your enthusiasm simply doesn’t come back? Should you just let it go? Chalk that one up to ‘good practice’ despite…

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Why Write for Children?

January 9, 2019

A more eloquent answer to this question I have never heard, than in Deborah Ellis’s talk at the IBBY Congress in Athens last year. Thanks to Deb for permission to quote excerpts. On November 20, 1959, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. It states that…

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Banff Writing Retreat

On Coming Home from the Banff Winter Writers Retreat

February 12, 2020

“We should celebrate what we’ve achieved here. Just getting ourselves here was an achievement,” said a fellow writer on our last evening together. In the plane on my way home, I reviewed the reams of rambling ‘thinking’ notes I’d made while away — to get a sense of how far my project had come during…

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Why Zora? Why Walter? Why Ivy? and Other Name Decisions

November 6, 2019

Naming characters is sometimes easy. It’s usually not, for me, but it’s always fun perusing baby name websites for possibilities. Kelly in Red Is Best is Kelly because Kelly is the name of my daughter who inspired the story almost 40 years ago. I named the boy in Big or Little? Matthew after my son who inspired that book.…

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books

“Are you working on a book right now?”

May 29, 2019

After “Where do you get your ideas?” and “How long does it take you to write a book?” readers often ask, “Are you working on a book right now?” My answer is always, “Yes.” At a launch of The Dog Who Wanted to Fly this spring, I was asked, “Do you ever work on more…

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Spring Gardens

June 14, 2010

When I’m not juggling writing, editing, and time with my family, one of my favourite pastimes at this time of year is gardening. Gardening is a lot like writing. How? When you make a change to solve one problem, it often creates a new problem to solve. You often have to yank out and discard…

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