• strict warning: Declaration of FeedsImporter::copy() should be compatible with FeedsConfigurable::copy(FeedsConfigurable $configurable) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/includes/FeedsImporter.inc on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsUserProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsUserProcessor.inc on line 195.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display.inc on line 1877.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display_block::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display_block.inc on line 193.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 641.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 82.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 609.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 128.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 208.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 770.

Free, print-ready Masquerade Mask template for Oct.29 Canadian Kidlit Masquerade (or classroom activity)

I was thrilled and deeply honoured that SAM & EVA has been nominated for a Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award this year in the CCBC Book Awards. After the invite-only event for winners and nominees, some of the Toronto area kidlit/YA authors are throwing an public Unofficial After-Party Canadian Kidlit Masquerade Ball on Oct.29th, 2018 from 7 pm - 2 am at the Lula Lounge not only to celebrate writers, illustrators, editors and publishers who create awesome stories for kids and teens, but also to raise funds for Books With No Bounds. Children's/teen writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, booksellers, teachers and librarians are all welcome!
You can buy tickets here; all net proceeds (after event costs are paid for) will go to Books With No Bounds, a non-profit, volunteer organization that distributes books and other learning tools to improve reading and literacy skills among indigenous youth in Canada and around the world. If you have items to donate to their charity auction, you can use this form.

Masquerade masks are optional, but if don't have your own and you'd like to make one (either with an elastic/string or on a stick), I've provided a free, print-ready masquerade mask template here (direct download) or you click on the image below if you don't want a direct download but prefer to scoop the PDF yourself. Even if you're not able to make it to the Canadian KidLit Masquerade Gala, feel free to use my template with your young artists. There are two masks per printout - the second can be used to provide extra backing support if you need it.
I've included two mask templates per printout, and they include spots to put holes for an elastic/string if you want to go that route. I don't like wearing masks over my glasses, so I prefer taping on a stick (popsicle stick or plastic straw works fine). I didn't have any cardstock handy, so I used an old file folder; I cut off the extra bits so that it would fit in my printer as a roughly 8.5 x 11" sheet.

Before decorating, I stuck on the stick and tried it out to make sure that my eye hole openings would work for my face:

For decorations, use your imagination! Feel free to post photos of your progress and/or final creations. Be sure to use the hashtag #cankidlitgala to help others see!
Just a few decoration ideas:
- Colour with crayons, paints etc. Perhaps a young artist in your family might want to help you.
- Rip up some old magazines to make a collage.
- Choose a kidlit or teen book theme. Do you have a favourite children's/YA book? Did you write or illustrate one? Decorate your mask using that theme. Or if you can't choose, print out some small book covers and make a book collage mask!
- If you're a book creator who did the above activity, consider donating your mask along with a copy of your book to the Charity Auction (make sure you sign both!).
- Add sparkly sequins! Feathers! Glitter!
- To fellow artists out there: recycle some of your old artsy experiments/rejects like I did!

Actually, I haven't decided on how I'm going to decorate mine; the above photo is just an example for this post. :-)
And if you're a children's/teen book writer, illustrator, editor, publisher, bookseller, teacher or librarian in the Toronto area on October 29th, do consider buying a ticket to attend The Canadian KidLit Masquerade Ball. Note that this event is NOT officially part of the CCBC book award event but an unofficial celebration run by volunteers (and kidlit book creators) Claudia Osmond, Kari Maaren, Ishta Mercurio and Star Spider. 
You can find lots more info on the Canadian Kidlt Masquerade Ball Facebook Page or you can buy your tickets directly via the Eventbrite page.

"A writer is congenitally unable to tell the truth and that is why we call what he writes fiction. "
William Faulkner

Random picks

  • Also see my friend Errol Elumir's daily Nanotoons! National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) begins today! To educators: there's also a Nanowrimo Young Writers' Program. If you love the spirit behind NaNoWriMo but want a gentler year-round writing (and editing) challenge with flexibility, feel free to try the Inkygirl Daily Writing Challenge. There's also an Inkygirl Daily Writing Challenge Facebook Page where I'll be posting motivational comics and tips.
  • I liked Peshawar. I preferred it to hot, racing Rawalpindi, or grand, haughty Islamabad. I think I preferred it to any other city in the world. Indolent in the autumn sun, it was the perfect place for waiting. Although formally it was part of the state of Pakistan, Peshawar belonged to Afghanistan by now. It lived according to Afghan laws and rules, it thought and felt the Afghan way, it spoke Afghan and it looked Afghan. And Afghanistan meant eternal waiting—always, everywhere, and for everything.…... Translated from Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
  • It has been said that believable, enagaging, three dimensional characters are more important to a story than the plot. Whether this is true or not is open to debate, but it is certainly true that the most cleverly crafted plot will never build you a loyal following of readers if the characters are flat and uninteresting. Let's look at how to build characters using their backstories.
  • There is a lot that goes into the process when you learn to write. It doesn't come naturally for everyone. Even if you do feel like you have a knack for writing children's books, there are techniques and exercises that you can do regularly that will increase your overall effectiveness.
  • Many people today are using the Internet to get their message out to the masses and become more well known. Building an audience helps you succeed in the online world. A great way to establish your voice and to attract an audience is to to start blog posting; if you would like to know how writing a blog might help you do this, keep reading this article. Always be available to your readers. Ensure that they can reach you in many different ways, such as through comments or social media. When you’ve made a connection with your readers, they can expect you to be present. When you feel...

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Fast fact about writing

Creative writing is considered to be any writing, fiction, poetry, or non-fiction, that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic, and technical forms of literature.