The news is that my website is alive and well. Writing Is Living...

Creating and then running a website is like gardening. You begin with a seed of an idea and then it begins to grow and multiply. As incongruous as it may sound, the pandemic was good timing. It gave me unlimited time to work on it. It occupied my mind almost obsessively, helping me through the separation from my family, in France and the United States, and friends too.

As I get ready to query agents for my book, I learn from other writers, take workshops, and attend symposiums, for example. I also use this blog to apply the [Nobel-prize-winning physicist Richard] Feynman technique: in brief, explaining what I learned helps me assimilate that new knowledge.


News from Vancouver (Photo MCArnott)

Upholding My Update

Since my last post about my publishing journey, I didn’t get the results I was hoping for, perhaps from my own doing.

My submissions to literary agents seldom yielded even a rejection. Then I connected with two agents via their workshops. One asked for a full (my entire manuscript plus..

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Glossary Gleaning – Images

The word cliché jumped from the upper middle page of my notebook and I noticed the underlined word overused. How to avoid clichés was Antoinette Brim’s Pocketful of Images IWWG webinar, September 18, 2020. A celebrated poet, she knows about “the power of imagery and metaphor to give concreteness..

Posted by Marie-Claude Arnott in News/Blog

Summary of a Summit

There was no need to travel for the 2022 Summit of the Federation of British Columbia Writers on May 14-21. There was also no mingling with fellow writers other than seeking contacts via Zoom. However, the friendly facilitators and engaging presenters of three manageable sessions per day (morning,..

Posted by Marie-Claude Arnott in News/Blog

The Book Proposal Boot Camp

My first step toward publication was to pitch a polished manuscript. Then came the first hurdle: would my first ten pages pass the test of rejection? After they did came another hurdle.

Would my book proposal be up to par? I knew how much effort I had put into it, but I couldn’t be sure…

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The Test of the First Ten Pages

Sometimes, the first pages of a book are a bit of a challenge, making me want to stop reading before I get into the story. In other words, the book is taking time to get me hooked.

That’s why agents consider the first ten pages an evaluation tool for what is yet to come. 


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When Plotting Goes Micro

Every book has a macro-plot (the overarching story) and a micro-plot (the small scenes that weave the main story and its characters).

During a Zoom session hosted by Authors Publish, on January 12th, 2022, featured guest and children’s book author John Claude Bemis addressed micro-plotting.


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Join that Zoom Meeting for Writers!

It was 5 am in Jerusalem and 8 pm Vancouver local time on November 2nd, 2021 when Rena Rossner joined the North Shore Writers Association, for a Zoom meeting.

I didn’t even have to go anywhere, yet I wasn’t sure I’d join at first. I may have Jewish friends, but I don’t write fiction…

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The Query Countdown

The countdown has begun. On September 4th, I sent a query to four of the first twenty agents I had selected out of my initial list of 50. Replies may come within 4-6 weeks unless I get none. A no reply means either implicit rejection or my submission is still among the hundreds of queries an agent..

Posted by Marie-Claude Arnott in News/Blog

Working on My Book Proposal

All I have been doing in the past weeks is working on my book proposal, the one I wrote more than a year ago. Since then, learning and practice have helped me identify the mistakes I had made, then.

A book proposal is like a business plan. It will either convince agents to read my manuscript..

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What Is a Memoir?

Memoir is a writing genre that is often misunderstood. It is not an autobiography, as per my Interview of a Memoirist published in WordWorks (pages 21-25), the magazine of the Federation of British Columbia Writers. You can also read that article in Other Stories.

A memoir is not a biography,..

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