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Former filmmaker. Forever storyteller.
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My husband Marius and I are similar in many ways—we both work in the media industry, love to sleep in, and are adventurous world-travellers.

But we’re very different in many ways, too. Marius is an amazing cook, I could burn water. Getting married meant a lot to me, but not to him. Marius is a spender. I’m a saver.

I once watched, horrified, as Marius dropped thousands of dollars on a Canon DSLR and two lenses in one single night. Marius watched, horrified, as I continued working on a broken laptop for five years.

At first it wasn’t a big…

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As I began writing this article, my husband interrupted to tell me a tragic tale about the loneliest whale in the world.

This whale lives in a pod with other whales, but he sings at a frequency that the others can’t understand. Meaningful communication is impossible. He cannot understand others of his kind, and they cannot understand him. This whale may technically exist with other whales, but really, he is alone.

After dropping this incredibly heartbreaking story into my lap, my husband said, “Anyways, I know you’re working on your article, so I’ll leave you to it”.

First of all…

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I’m sure we all have a broken device in our home, that we’ll get around to fixing one day.

My mom is no different. She loves taking things apart to see how they work…but she isn’t very good at putting them back together.

Growing up, we had a whole room in our basement of broken gadgets. It was my mom’s favourite room in the house, and my least favourite room in the house. It reminded me of the Room of Requirement from Harry Potter…except ours was a room of retirement, where gadgets went to be broken forever.

After university, I…

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I remember the moment I realized I was shy.

I was about four years old, and I was asleep in our family’s red wagon. When I woke up from my nap, a woman who was not my mom was pulling me along. But instead of crying out, I thought to myself, “well, this is it. I’m being kidnapped. I had a good run.”

I am an extroverted person…but I haven’t always been this way. I was tremendously shy as a kid, and that did not change very quickly. It was a long, difficult journey that took many years.

In fourth…

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I started doing No TV Tuesdays because I’ve been binging a lot more TV thanks to COVID. Watching television started as a great way to stay calm and relaxed during these stressful times, but I discovered you can have too much of a good thing.

Last year in 2020, I saw the extra time at home as an opportunity. I wrote a ton, trained for and then ran a marathon, and had a steady schedule of video calls with friends.

But now in 2021, I’ve lost that motivation. Maybe it was the family-less holidays, or the bleak months of Canadian…

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Deciding whether to have kids is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in life.

Unfortunately, it’s also a decision that everyone feels entitled to weigh in on. It was only six years ago in 2015 when Pope Francis famously said, “The choice to not have children is selfish.”

(Pope Francis, of course, does not have children.)

We’re in the middle of the whole “should we, shouldn’t we” debate, and I’ve been reading a lot, trying to learn from both parents and non-parents alike.

Here are 5 books that helped me. Maybe they can help you, too.

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For those of you wondering, Reedsy is an online marketplace that matches writers with established publishing freelancers. After years of local writing classes and retreats, I decided to try something different—I hired a pro on Reedsy to edit my 80,000-word YA fantasy novel.

I won’t hide the cost at the end of this article—I know you’re curious, so let’s dive in!

What It Cost

Most Reedsy editors calculate their quotes based on word count. My YA fantasy novel was 80,000 words, and I received quotes ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 USD.

My editor was on the expensive side—her fee was $2,200 USD. Add…

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The film industry can be confusing.

You might assume that starting as an assistant director would set you up to become a director. Or that operating a camera is the first step on the path to becoming a Director of Photography. You might hear the term ‘producer’s assistant’ and think one day, they’ll be a producer.

Nope! It happens, but it’s exceedingly rare.

Here are three common film career misconceptions that I hope will save you some headache when you begin your journey in film!

Assistant Director Director

First things first: there are assistant directors (ADs) and there are assistants to the director…

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Writing fantasy is tough, but writing Young Adult (YA) fantasy is even tougher.

You want your world to be dynamic, interesting, fully-realized — but have very little time to do so. Writers are discouraged from spending too long writing location or character descriptions, lest they risk losing readers. Tolkien may have gotten away with it (‘The Hobbit’ was over 95,000 words), but it often isn’t possible when convention dictates that YA novels should stay within 50–80k words.

So, how do you make your word count, well, count? Here are three tips.

1. Make the most of your first chapter

Your first chapter should show the reader exactly what…

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I know what you might be thinking: “Stephen King makes his living as a writer! He doesn’t have to work around a 9–5 job. It’s hard enough for me to find time to write, never mind read.”

You’re right.

But unfortunately, Stephen King is also right. As important as it is to keep writing, it’s just as important to keep reading. Here’s how.

Explore new genres & authors

Every new genre will allow you a glimpse into a different audience and their preferences. There are few ‘purist’ readers who only read one single genre. Most readers are generalists, with different aspects of different genres that…

Shannon Litt

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