something I have agreed to do and it starts tomorrow…November 1st!

It’s not the latest exercise craze (although that would be helpful for me right now too…) but it does involve goal-setting and commitment, will require persistence, and may make me break out into a sweat – a [mental] marathon of sorts.

AcWriMo stands for Academic Writing Month – a writing challenge that spans the month of November based on writers’ success with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

There are 6 rules:

1. Decide your goal

2. Declare it

3. Draft your strategy

4. Discuss your progress

5. Don’t slack off

6. Declare your result

Want to know more about AcWriMo? Visit PhD2Published or #AcWriMo on Twitter

This challenge involves accountability (…just like any good exercise program) – so I have posted my November writing goals online (eek!), listed along with about 500 other ‘AcWriMo’tivated athletes.

My goal involves setting aside focused time for 3 writing projects that I can move forward if I aim for 500 polished words a day – or 2 hours a day (…whichever comes first). Although 500 words or 2 hours may not sound like a lot, setting aside focused writing time is something I would like to get in the habit of doing.

…I’ll keep you posted throughout the month 🙂

In honour of AcWriMo being inspired by National Novel Writing Month, I wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate the successes of a young novelist! Someone who inspired me, and continues to inspire others.

This year, Jessica published her first book – Rosina, The Midwife – and was
recently named one of the Top 40 under 40 by Avenue Magazine!

I met Jessica during my last course as a master’s student at the University of Victoria. Often we sat at the same table for a semester of ‘how to be a university instructor‘ along with her friend – who I believe was in the same writing program. I enjoyed hearing their experiences – their stories – particularly because the writing degree program was foreign to me.

When I shared with Jessica that we were considering a move to Edmonton so I could go to the U of A – her eyes lit up! She said she loved the U of A campus and was looking forward to going back to Edmonton. This was such a delightful response that stayed with me (…a more typical response at the time was a puzzled look and ‘you’re leaving the island….to move to snowy Alberta…?’).

And as mentioned here, I really enjoyed living in Edmonton!
Jessica was right 🙂

When Jessica’s first book came out this year, I happily bought a signed copy and then decided to order a Kindle version as well (my mom is an avid reader, so I passed on the paper copy to her). Most of my time has been spent reading articles and textbooks – but I knew one day I would make time to read her book, especially if it was readily available on my laptop 🙂

And I did read it.
And I loved it.
And I highly recommend you read it!

Rosina, The Midwife is a beautiful memoir that centers around Jessica’s great-great-grandmother.

I am in awe of her ability to craft such a powerful and personal work of art – let alone, through her FIRST book!

She tells a truly captivating story. A Canadian story and an Italian story weaved together seamlessly with thoughtful descriptions of historical immigration experiences.

And it was great to ‘see’ Edmonton in the pages of her book!
Makes me proud to have been an Edmontonian.
Just for fun, I used the search function in my Kindle copy to enter ‘Edmonton’
– and it revealed 68 spots in her book!

Jessica is teaching/inspiring writers at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton.
…I wonder if she uses any of the teaching tips we learned in that course at UVic… 😉

Check out her blog where you can buy a copy of
Rosina, The Midwife