Reviews and Writing Lessons

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1947--Ojibway Melody by Harry Symons
Lesson 1--Be careful how you judge a sixty-eight-year-old book

Lesson 2--Sometimes the packaging is everything

Lesson 3--They may think you’re funny for wrong reasons

1950--Turvey by Earle Birney
Lesson 4 -How one word can change a book

Lesson 5 -Finding your own “moveable feast”

Lesson 6--How to embrace uncertainty

Lesson 7--How the basics of politics never change

Lesson 8--The limits of self-deprecating humour

Lesson 9--When more words are better

Lesson 10--Why travel writers need a place to call home

Lesson 11--When home is not a place

Lesson 12--Why the best story is not always dramatic

Lesson 0 – How to create your own success
Lesson 13--Why someone would abandon humour writing

Lesson 14--The power of simple sentences and plain talk

Lesson 15--Why we like idealized images

Lesson 16--When it’s time to see the humour

Lesson 17--How to laugh in hard economic times

Lesson 18--How to keep sane amid the insanity of war

Lesson 19--Mixing Formats
Lesson 20--Breaking all the rules

Lesson 21--How to stay creative within a bureaucracy

Lesson 22--A formula for generic Canadian humour
Lesson 23--How to echo character in the setting

Lesson 24--Why writing is thinking

Lesson 25--How to persevere in a writing career 

Lesson 26--How to write profiles of ordinary people

Lesson 27--What makes good dialogue

Lesson 28--How much description is enough

Lesson 29--How a tall tale can tell a truth

Lesson 30--Political satire and the real “Newfie” jokes

Lesson 31--The appeal of silly

Lesson 32--Assuming another persona
Lesson 33--How to sustain a book series

Lesson 34--Domestic humour and keeping it simple
Lesson 35--Telling the story of a whole community

Lesson 36--Metaphors and similes

Lesson 37--How to tell a love story without making love

Lesson 38--The novella format and humour

Lesson 39--A humour-column checklist

Lesson 40--How writers find courage

Lesson 41--Flashbacks and fictional time

Lesson 42--Writing of young love
Lesson 43--Telling a story from two different perspectives

Lesson 44--Regional histories with national appeal

Lesson 45--The humour in unfettered truth

Lesson 46--The mystery of why I like John Levesque

1994--Bachelor Brothers’ Bed and Breakfast by Bill Richardson
Lesson 47--Finding time and space to read and write

Lesson 48--How to laugh at the fear of failure

Lesson 49--The caring yet practical perspective of farmers

Lesson 50--Why Google-era writers still collect trivia

Lesson 51--The role of an unreliable narrator
Lesson 52--Why we sometimes like “boring” stories
Lesson 53--Why humorists mix facts and fancy

Lesson 54--Why any Canadian would try to make a living from creative writing

Lesson 55--How to laugh in the book publishing business

Lesson 56--How to see the humour in our history

Lesson 57--How to create an effect by not saying things

Lesson 58--Humour in travel writing

Lesson 59--On the need for continuous curiosity

Lesson 60--The Secret to storytelling success

Lesson 61--Seeing the humour under your nose

Lesson 62--How to write the fish-out-of-water story 

Lesson 63--Plotting and plodding

Lesson 64--How a creative spark leads to a story
Lesson 65--The incongruous setting

Lesson 66--Caring about characters

Lesson 67--Community and humour