ESL educating, writing, cat loving, recovering from illness, enjoying island living kind of gal!

The English Emporium

Image of blond woman at laptop with cityscape behind her Image: iClipart

As many of my regular followers know, I’m not just an English teacher. I also moonlight as a YA novelist. My tale of a Latina teen who finds herself pregnant without a baby daddy will be released in July of 2016 by Reputation Books. It’s called Sunkissed Sodas, and you can see the book trailer on my YouTube channel.

I use Pinterest to build trust with my readers and create a following that may later help me promote my book when it’s published. If you’re a writer, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to market your book, because let’s face it, Pinterest is FUN!

According to Mashable, “Pinterest drives more referral traffic to websites than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined.” So how do you get on the train? Just start a Pinterest account. Create boards that interest you and make you happy. Create boards that inspire your…

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I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

If you want a novel to come alive, you don’t want a generic group of people. You want some culture. Culture is an important part of life, and different cultures are often shown in novels, whether real cultures or fictional ones like in fantasy. But how do authors handle cultures?

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 47 – How do you portray different cultures in your writing?

Linda G. Hill

I don’t. I like to know what I’m writing about, so if I was to include another culture in my fiction, I would demand extensive research of myself. Research takes a lot of time, and time isn’t something I have a lot of… so… I haven’t, really, had any cultures in my writing that aren’t my own.

Allen Tiffany

Great question. Doing this is tough. You have to be judicious and clever as you share aspects of different cultures, especially if you created them (such…

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Let The Words Flow

This is something I get asked a lot: what’s the difference between YA and adult fiction? So rather than continuing to reinvent this wheel, I’ll just write a blog and direct people to it from now on. Sneaky, eh?

To begin with it is important to have a protagonist firmly within the standard age–typically younger than 18, but simply making your protagonist 17 isn’t sufficient. Many adult books feature younger characters, but the way the story is told varies.

And, keep in mind, a story’s content will vary between YA and adult. Lots of graphic sex might fly in an adult book, but will usually be considered too much for YA. However, you can include a lot of mature situations in YA as long as you handle it well.

So that said, I think the biggest differences between YA and adult boil down to:

  1. the voice
  2. the length (though that…

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After a series of deplorable, headline-grabbing events on university campuses, the term “rape culture” has entered the popular lexicon in Canada.

During the current academic year, we heard about chants promoting the sexual assault of underage girls at both Saint Mary’s University in Halifax and the University of British Columbia. Most recently, scandal erupted at the University of Ottawa after it was revealed members of the student leadership made sexually violent comments about the student union president.

In the wake of these incidents, there’s been discussion about rape culture on Canadian campuses. Rape culture is term used to describe the societal attitudes that excuse, tolerate and dismiss sexual assault. Rape culture is blaming someone for their rape because they were drunk or wearing a short dress. It’s the assumption that men can’t be raped because they are supposedly always the sexual aggressors. It’s telling victims not to be raped…

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Morocco…I miss you!

In A Search of Balance

You have to live the experience that is Morocco. It’s hard to describe in words really, but there is something magical about that place. Despite the rocky start for many a tourist who ventures outside the well-lit path (which in my case included almost getting robbed and beaten up the first night), the country opens up and embraces you in its unforgettable atmosphere and culture. In the words of my friend Jawad, “Where you come from you might have watches, but here we’ve got time”!

And just like that, somewhere in between wandering around the local souks and haggling for trinkets, drinking the most incredible mint tea (also known as the Moroccan whiskey!) and tasting the flavorful local meals, or riding through the mighty Atlas mountains and sleeping under the stars in the Sahara, you fall in love with it.

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Such a beautiful blog! So inspiring! Definitely play the song that is on top! Love it!

In A Search of Balance

When we were considering the trip to Iceland I looked into when’s the best time to see the Northern Lights, but my research showed August wasn’t really it. We decided to go anyway because there’s plenty else you can see & do and that we’d come back another time just for this. After touching down and being rained on for the majority of the first couple of days we’d basically given up hope we were going to see the Aurora. And like it often does in life, just when you least expect it something amazing happened — the sky cleared up, the sun broke through and we spent the latter part of the third day roaming around as much as possible.

After the long day, we’d found a camp site to stay for our last night and being extremely tired we were about to give in around 10pm when someone…

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