“But I don't shut up and I don't die.I liveand fight, maddeningthose who rule my country. For if I liveI fight,and if I fightI contribute to the dawn.”― Otto Rene Castillo There is a poem stuck to the door of the small room where I work and write, and it's by Otto Rene Castillo. It's about... Continue Reading →
Writing for liberation exercise: Powerful metaphors
Like everything with writing, creating powerful metaphors comes with lots of practice, and more hard work and crappy writing than most people are comfortable with. Metaphors are not spontaneous bursts of genius.
The serious consequences of not paying for creative work or care work
When we’re talking about what sort of creativity and care work should be paid, the starting point has to be a better definition of work.
Exercises and tools to help you or your group be more creative in life
Following on from my post on the importance of creativity to everyday life and to struggle, here are some activities you, your workplace, family, organisation, or other types of groups can try. These tools can help you generate ideas when you are at a loss for how to solve a problem, or they can help... Continue Reading →
La ausencia del derecho al aborto está privando a Latinoamérica de su voluntad y de su derecho a vivir plenamente
Foto: Tamara Pearson No puedo mencionar su nombre porque es una niña. Tenía doce años en ese momento, era demasiado joven para trabajar legalmente, pero no demasiado joven para ser obligada a ser madre. Era mi alumna, y recuerdo que, hace unos años, jugaba al puente con ella. Se reía con deleite infinito mientras yo... Continue Reading →
Using distance to increase creativity
When I was living in Venezuela, I struggled to write creatively about it. Instead, my first novel was set in my home country of Australia. The novel I’m working on now is set in nearby Mexico City rather than Puebla, where I live. It’s a great set up, because I visit Mexico City enough to... Continue Reading →
Writing for liberation exercise: squiggle drawings for non-linear thought
I often do this activity with kids - turn a squiggle into a drawing - but this writing exercise takes that a step further. Close your eyes and draw some random lines, circles, loops, zigzags, or whatever, on a piece of paper, or using a paint program. Then, open your eyes and turn what you... Continue Reading →
The importance of making up stories for kids
The benefits of reading books to children are well known, but making up stories for and with them is the pinnacle of care and teaching. The good news is, it isn't about telling a perfect story. Instead, it's about giving interactive attention to the children, creating memories, passing on morals and culture that are important... Continue Reading →
In the Netflix / social media era, is it really necessary to read fiction books?
When I can settle down into a book, I feel like someone who has been running frantically for days and is finally home. Reading is one of the most fulfilling things I do, and it is easy – no transport or planning necessary. Yet after a long, exhausting day of work, I often find that... Continue Reading →
The destructive myth of the objective journalist
The existence of objective or neutral journalists is a myth, and those who claim to revere such journalism are only attempting to justify an absence of context and depth in coverage and are elevating pro-status-quo journalism. Male sports journalists tend to know the sport they cover well and feel passionate about it, but when it... Continue Reading →
How to rid your search results of unreliable and low-grade content + list of sites to block
Sometimes you have to click through to the forth of fifth page of Google results to get past the content-farmed sites and unhelpful Quora pages, and it's starting to get really annoying. What's particularly concerning is that the average web user won't go past the first five search results – meaning that corporate sponsored content... Continue Reading →
Writing to sell or please others limits creativity
How many mind-blowing, thought-provoking and beautiful books or films can you think of that were created while trying to please others? Doesn't the most impactful, memorable writing boldly challenge the status quo, play with aesthetics, and startle us instead? Here are some reasons why writers should steer clear of pleasing others: 1) When a writer... Continue Reading →
Revolutionary gems on mothering, survival, rebellion, and war
I read Mai’a Williams' book like some one starved for word gems and insights. I want to cover this book for this blog because no one talks about mothers like they are the key protagonists in this world. They (and women and people of colour and people in poor countries and..) are portrayed as being... Continue Reading →
Why non-plated food epitomises everything that is wrong with the world.
Non-plated food is lacking in imagination and a symptom of societal stupidity. In rich countries and the wealthier areas of poor countries it has become trendy for restaurants to serve food on cutting boards and slates, as well as “deconstructed” meals in cups, juice in watering cans, sausages in skulls and hanging from branches (seriously),... Continue Reading →
What its like to take a two-year break from male authors
I’m a fiction author and journalist who is very much aware of, and angry about the racial, class, country-based, and gender and sexuality inequalities in the book and media worlds. Given the systemic exclusion many of us face, over two years ago I started only reading novels by female authors — preferably those from other oppressed worlds... Continue Reading →
What real “balance” in the media would look like
When the mainstream media world talks about the importance of balance, or "both sides of the story", what they are really doing is justifying also talking to the rape victim's attacker, to the cop who murdered the Black man, to the violent right wing in Venezuela, to the coup plotters, and to the company that... Continue Reading →
Who Owns the Words?
J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potty series, was asked by her publisher Barry Kunningham to use just her initials (she made up the K), as he thought boys might be wary of a book written by a woman. Many people assume that Harper Lee is a man, Charlotte Bronte originally published as Currer Bell... Continue Reading →
Writers: Stop counting your words
Writers' and journalists' pay and sense of achievement is often framed around a word count – and if that's working for you, fine. But writers shouldn't feel that daily-output counts or ideal chapter word counts are important to being a serious and decent writer. Though writing is work and requires commitment and regular practice, it... Continue Reading →
Male lack of sexual self control does not exist
He was so horny, he just couldn't help himself.... yeah right. So we know that the idea of male lack of sexual self control is used to hold up rape culture. We also know that women, on average, get just as horny as men do (though within both those genders and among intersex people there... Continue Reading →