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Showing posts from 2018

Joining the Litterati (sort of)

A few months ago I first tried out an app called Litterati, which encourages people to not only clean up litter, but to photograph it, tag it, and place it on a map as citizen science, so that those who are trying to combat litter at its source have information on what kind of garbage is showing up where.

The app also tracks your total count of what you've cleaned up so you can compare yourself to others and even create your own club for a little friendly competition and added motivation.


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Party's Over 🗑 #Litterati #litter #balloons #garbage A post shared by Marilyn Anne Campbell (@marilyn.cam) on Dec 3, 2018 at 6:16am PST
I love the idea of the app, but it and my tablet are not getting along when it comes to mapping. That's part of why I stopped using it when I initially downloaded it in the summer. I decided recently to give it another go, but the problem persists. For example, this pair of balloons was tumbling around behind the Humber College…

Why I (Should) Still Write - A Note to Self

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I haven’t been writing much lately. Nothing creative, at least. I have been writing more tweets than usual, and posting more in Facebook groups. Plus there was that one out-of-character Facebook rant for friends and family to enjoy. There have been extensive comments on proposed government policies, and corresponding emails to politicians. And I have some business and media types still on my to-email list. So I guess there have been a lot of words, just not a lot of stories.

It’s hard to focus on making things up when so much real life is disappearing.
My recent words have been about caribou, coyotes, and cormorants. November, once reserved for the dug-in flurry of fiction writing that is Nanowrimo, has instead been filled with public meetings and private missives sent to friends who I both hope and fear are feeling the same way I am.
How do you take time to make art when the world is in ecological crisis? How do you live your normal life? And should you even try?
I’m lucky, at least, that …

Camp NaNoWriMo - Wrap Up

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Well, with this round of Camp Nanowrimo heading into the final 17 hours I can safely say I will NOT be "winning" this time around, seeing as I would need to do 16 more hours of writing to meet my goal and I do have a job to go to shortly. I did, however, succeed in writing three new short plays this month, made great progress on two longer plays, and started two picture books. So it was still a pretty good run.

I actually made the decision not to finish yesterday, and was leaning towards that decision on Saturday. As soon as I looked at all the things I wanted to do with the past weekend and realized it was either do those things and write for a few hours or forget having a weekend at all and just write, I chose the more balanced approach.

When I was younger I surely would have surrendered my whole weekend to an online writing challenge, but as I stated in my project listing on the Camp Nanowrimo website:
The real goal is not the final tally though; if I get far behind and h…

Camp NaNoWriMo - The Halfway Point

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Today marks the halfway point for this month's Camp NaNoWriMo, the set-your-own-goal online writing challenge tied to National Novel Writing Month in November. Rather than choosing a word count goal, I wanted to use this month to build a regular, daily writing habit.

My current tally is at 18 hours, which would have me more than halfway there if I'd gone with a simple hour-per-day goal. But I had a different plan, as explained on my Camp NaNoWriMo Project Page:
The goal is at least one hour a day (30 hours), plus one additional hour on the days I know I'll have off during the month (+12), plus at least two mini-binge days with two additional hours (+4), for at least 46 hours spent writing in April. So with that in mind, I technically should have been at 23 hours today to really be on track. But since my ultimate goal is to build up better habits, I went into this hoping that the month would get progressively better, not planning to have it all come together on day one.

Unli…

Gearing Up for Camp NaNoWriMo

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Come April, I'll be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, a month-long writing challenge where you create your own definition of success. It's the more flexible cousin of November's National Novel Writing Month, where all participants are trying to write 50,000 words in those 30 days.


I've twice "won" at NaNoWriMo (and once at the now defunct Script Frenzy challenge), but that was over a decade ago. For my first time at camp, my whole goal is based on writing hours rather than word count or even a particular project. I've never been someone who wrote everyday, but in the past few years my writing sessions have become more sporadic than ever. So I'm going to Camp with the goal of creating new habits which I hope will last long after the month is over.

Want to set your own writing goal for April and have some online friends to cheer you on? There's still time to sign up for camp!


On Stretch Goals and Goose Buttons

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So if you follow me on any social media, you probably already know that Volume 5 of the Toronto Comics Anthology Osgoode as Gold is currently on Kickstarter. The campaign video even includes a shout-out from co-editor Megan Purdy for the story I wrote, "The Goosefighter", which has art by Austen Payne:

"The Goosefighter" is a Western-inspired tale about a young woman whose day is ruined by a territorial Canada goose on the York University campus. It is one of 27 new Toronto-set short comics that fill the 220 full colour pages of this collection.

As I write this, the Kickstarter is at just under $6000 raised out of an original $15,000 goal, with the rest of the month to go. I've been rather casually posting about it as a great way to support the Toronto Comix Press and the creators by pre-ordering your physical or PDF copy of the book.

But today - TODAY - they announced the stretch goals. (If you're not familiar with crowdfunding campaigns, stretch goals ar…

Recommended Reading: Watcher of the Skies

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Yay book in the mail! Excited to check out this poetry collection for kids about space and aliens from @theemmapress . And I love the bonus bookmark! #kidlit #kidspoetry #indiepress #uk #inthemail #toread A post shared by Marilyn Anne Campbell (@marilyn.cam) on Nov 14, 2017 at 4:24pm PST
And it turned out my excitement over the arrival of this anthology from the UK was warranted. Watcher of the Skies: Poems about Space and Aliens is a fantastic poetry collection for kids - playful and insightful and sure to spark the imagination of young writers and explorers alike.

The collection pairs the poems with notes and suggested connections (presumably) supplied by editors Rachel Piercey and Emma Wright, along with related facts by Rachel Cochrane, a PhD student from the University of Edinburgh's Institute for Astronomy. This is a wonderful way to put the book together, as it means the poems can rise to any level of whimsy, with the kid-friendly "footnotes" offering the real-wo…