The Healing Power Of Memoir: Surviving Your Story

Guest Post by Jasmine Cabanaw

There is a famous quote about writing that I’m sure you’ve heard: “Writing is easy; all you have to do is open a vein and bleed.” I like this quote, because I think it has a lot of truth in it (writers tend to write about what they know, after all), but I don’t think actually being a writer is quite so simple.

I mean, have you ever just sat there with a bleeding vein … Read More »


3 Exercises For Writing Fictional Characters

Something that can truly kill a novel is flat or cliché characters. Sure, your plot may be riveting, and your settings may be creative, but if your characters are boring, your readers are not going to connect with them— or your story.

Yet feeling stuck when writing fictional characters is an issue that has plagued even the most brilliant of writers. If you’re trying to flesh out and spruce up your fictional characters, here are three exercises that can help:… Read More »


Don’t Be Butthurt Over Oxford Dictionary’s New Words

Guest Post by Jasmine June Cabanaw

The Oxford Dictionary recently released its list of newly added words— and it has caused quite the stir. People have been adding words to languages since the beginning of humankind, and yet every time the Oxford Dictionary promotes a slang word to an official one, people get all butthurt about it.

Can you imagine if Shakespeare had received this same kind of backlash? Gone would be the words swag, bedazzled, scuffled, and eyeball— and … Read More »


Want to be a Brilliant Writer? Attend a Reading!

Readings are inspiring in more ways than one. As writers, we often think that writing workshops and classes are the best ways to improve our writing, but we mustn’t overlook the power of listening to words, and their ability to transform us.

In my case, my first poetry reading sparked a life changing event. It was fall of 1994, and I was still at the Art Institute flailing about with my visual artwork, when one afternoon my art history teacher … Read More »


Elizabeth Gilbert LIVE Event Accommodations

Are you excited to study with a best selling author? I know we are! Many of you must be, as well, because our discounted rooms at The Meritage Resort have completely sold out! We want to be as helpful as possible for our event attendees, so we’ve compiled a list of accommodations that are in the area. Haven’t registered yet? Get info about the event here:

If you are looking for a more affordable option than the room rates … Read More »


Write Your Way Around The Bay! Fall 2015

The autumn season is a wonderful time to visit the Bay Area. Festivals and harvests abound, the smell of apples permeates the markets, and the weather is almost always sunny but never too hot. My fingers itch to get to the keyboard and turn these autumn delights into poems.

Other writers must feel the same way, because autumn is a wonderful time to write your way around the Bay! This year you’ll find a truly remarkable writing event during each … Read More »


Reconnect With Your Inner Child to Recharge Your Writing

Guest Post by Jasmine June Cabanaw

When I was a child, I never needed to recharge my writing practice. You’d be lucky if you could pry my notebook from my hands. I would spend hours scribbling away, writing fantastical stories and poems about absolutely everything and anything. In fact, I never thought of having a writing practice at all— writing was simply something I lived to do. It was the way I experienced the world.

But somewhere along the journey … Read More »


Discover Daily Mantras To Improve Your Writing

When I wake each morning, I start the day with a single thought, “I am alive.” It’s the one mantra I say consistently, every day. I love the sing-song sound of the vowels and the way the “v” vibrates on my bottom lip like a buzzing bee. But more than that, it’s a reminder to be grateful for simply being alive in this world.

A key part of a mantra is its sound, which is why you’ll hear “Om” chanted … Read More »


3 Steps to Becoming a Brilliant Writer of Memoir

Guest post by Jasmine June Cabanaw

Think of the most influential books you’ve read. I bet at least one of them was based on a personal journey, of someone overcoming their hardships and gaining valuable life lessons. This is the beauty of memoir writing— the protagonist doesn’t have to achieve something extraordinary in order for it to be inspiring. In fact, some of the recent bestselling memoirs, such as Eat, Pray, Love and Wild are based on events to which … Read More »


Why Summer is the Best Time to be a Brilliant Writer

Guest Post By Jasmine June Cabanaw

Summer has always been my favorite season for writing. The nostalgia of sitting against a tree in the sweet smelling grass with a pen and notebook in hand is more delicious than an ice-cream cone on a hot summer day. As a child, I never stopped to wonder why I enjoyed writing the most during summer; I simply relished it and lived in the moment the way children tend to do.

Now that I’m … Read More »