Category Archives: #Blogging 101

Muskoka Novel Marathon and Adult Literacy

You might love reading the long form narrative of novels; you might prefer the brief staccato punch of twitter updates and texting. Wherever your literary loyalty lies, picture the profound impactnovel marathon win of a sudden loss of your basic literacy: you can’t navigate the internet, you can’t fill out job applications or government forms or do simple math; your options are rendered terribly limited. I’m doing the Muskoka Novel Marathon again this year, in support of Adult Literacy. Last year, we raised $23,000 & changed some lives – AND – total gravy – I won the manuscript contest! Please support me in this very worthy and uplifting cause, so close to my heart:
https://www.canadahelps.org/…/tena-laing-at-muskoka-novel-…/


Surprising Tapestry of Sessions at SXSW – South By Southwest…

SXSW is a 3-part festival, with Interactive going the first 5 days, Music the last 5, and Film stretched through the full festival.

In regular life, you just don’t get this kind of variety in a 10-day stretch. I love that when I come to South By Southwest (SXSW), I’m not here for work and with a platinum pass, I am entirely free to sample any offerings that catch my eye. With so many overlapping sessions, I couldn’t make them all, and some didn’t really lend themselves to interesting photos, but what rich pickings!

Here’s a taste of what made my short list this week, mainly from the Interactive part of the festival. I’ll talk about Film and Music a bit later.

~Robot Petting Zoo (Don’t Feed the Animals!)

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~Books Are The New Vinyl

~Debunking the Disruption Innovation Myth

~When Your Devices Decide to Touch You Back

~Story Structure Secrets

~Is The Internet Disappointed In Us?

~The Invisible Salary: Why Money Doesn’t Matter

~Wearable Technologies 3 & Will Wearables Bring New Purpose to Fashion?

~Made in Brooklyn: A Craft Foods Revolution

~Failure As A Creative Catalyst

~Dramatic Reading by Programmers of Bug Reports (with Puppets)

~Jedi Mind Tricks For Entrepreneurs

~Can Sports Help End A Culture of Violence

~You Can’t Sit With Us: Craft Beer Subculture

~Minimal Viable Pub: How to Open A Pub on $5K

~Cuddly Drones

~The Future Is Short-Form: Storytelling For Today

~Making Art While Entertaining the Internet

~How To Rob A Bank: The Vulnerablilities of New Money

~ and finally one unofficial 6th Street session that almost pulled me in – less for the title than the first instruction: “Reconsider”twerk 1 twerk 2


Who Am I? Why Am I Here? (for Blogging U 101 – not existential crisis!)

I’m a writer who teaches and a teacher who writes. And I’m a twin from Newfoundland who has lived in a lowriter cardt of different places.

Toronto, Tokyo, Texas, and Newfoundland… to name just a few.

I’m an alum of The Banff Centre, The Humber School for Writers, The Bard Institute for Writing and Thinking, and The Damarsicotta Lake Writers Conference, all workshops where I was privileged to work with the finest of mentors. I’m a member of The Toronto Writers’ Centre and The Writers’ League of Texas.

This year I am on a Writing/Reading/Swimming Sabbatical.  Diving into it all, face and eyes, as we say in Newfoundland.

Some sabbatical highlights: Getting to read from my manuscript in progress at the Writers At Woody Point Festival in Newfoundland last August as well as participating in, and winning, The Muskoka Novel Marathon manuscript contest in July.

I’m currently writing and editing something in the neighbourhood of 3 novel manuscripts and one short story. Let’s see how this goes…