Tag Archives: Emily Saso

Shelfie: Canadian Writer Newlywed

Got a Kindle and gave away loads of books to save space in small apartment — then moved and got these bookshelves.
Anyone want to buy a Kindle?

~Emily Saso~

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GUEST POST: When Writing Your Second Novel

MacBook_Air_13-inch_35330106_01_620x433A little bit of pillow talk…

I’m onto you. Registering for writing workshops online, your fingers sticky with candy. Teen Mom 2 on my LED-backlit display instead of words, your words. All the signs are there.

You’re afraid of your second novel.

There was something between us once, back when you were writing your first. You used to turn me on in the morning—before a shower, before cereal—and we would escape into the story. It was all fun and fantasy; there was no pressure but the weight of your imagination and fingertips.

I was with you through it all: the early drafts you swore were awful, the rejections, the never-ending revisions. And I was there for the good stuff, too, like when you landed an agent. Do you remember? My exclamation mark was on fire for you that day.

But then reality kicked in. The submission process was long and hard, and you’re not a patient person by nature. I can tell by the pace of your typing, the impulsiveness of your online shopping.

You let the doubt creep in; I know it. You’re afraid of giving your heart to a second story without feeling secure about the first. And you’re terrified of the time, the years that you’ll be investing in another novel that may never… that may never ever…

But enough is enough. You may not have a deal for your first book yet, but come on! You’re acting like a contract is a permission slip to write another!


 I’m sorry; I got carried away. It’s just that, well, I miss you. I miss the feel of your touch against my sensitive keys, the way you hit “return” like you mean it. And I know you miss me, too.

You need to start writing again. Do it for us, for those early mornings when it was just you, me and coffee. You were always so careful not to spill. Don’t think I didn’t notice.

So sit down, here, at your desk. I’m powered up and ready.

I’ll even give you two minutes to watch the squirrels out the window. Look at them racing through the pines, leaping from branch to branch. You can be that free, too. Just put your hands on me, run your fingers over my keys, and write write write…Emily Saso

Emily Saso is a copywriter working hard to become a novelist. She lives, reads and writes in Toronto, Canada. 


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Guest Post: Imaginus Maximus

Emily Saso’s query almost literally jumped out of my slush pile. She had me hooked within the first sentence. I adore her writing and the way that she thinks.  Emily is not only a fiction writer, but she also freelances for trade publications, newspapers and magazines including the Toronto Star and Wired. Her first manuscript, which is adult literary fiction with a dusting of magical realism, was awarded an Ontario Arts Council Writer’s Reserve Grant. Her short story, The Swimmer, was long listed in the Canadian CBC Writes Short Story contest. Emily blogs at Ego Burn.  I’m delighted to have her guest post and contribute to my continued blogging laziness (blaziness?).

Emily took her imagination outside for a stretch and found this tree carving in a Toronto park. It spawned her latest idea, a short story about a man trapped in a tree.

If you’re a writer, then you know how important stretching can be. All those hours spent in front of a computer, shoulders hunched, neck strained. Arranged marriages between writers and massage therapists should really be the law.

Some days, I find myself so focused on physically stretching (my upper back is usually tight as a fist) that I neglect to attend to the most important muscle in every writer’s body: the imagination.

I can’t believe I’m about to admit this, but when I first started writing fiction, for some ridiculous reason, I would regularly forget that anything, literally ANYTHING was possible. I mean, it’s my story, they’re my characters—how could I have lost sight of the fact that the possibilities were endless? It was as though I hadn’t quite made the transition from reader to writer, and that my most important muscle was still idling on the couch expecting someone else to stimulate it.

To make sure that this part of my anatomy never atrophies again, I’ve spent the last couple years consciously learning how best to stretch out my imagination by paying attention to what pushes it and what fuels it. Other than reading incredible books (like, duh) here’s what helps me ashtanga the heck out of my imaginus maximus.

Writing with other writers.
I feed off the energy of other creative people, sure, but I also like a bit of friendly competition. For example, I recently attended a writing workshop where we were expected to read our work – *gulp* –out loud. Because of my competitive nature, I pushed my creativity to the limit. The result? New ideas for my second novel.
Reading old teenaged junk.
Whenever I need to stretch my emotional imagination, I dive into my (nerd alert!) “memory box” from high school. That thing is stuffed so full of angst-ridden poetry and bleeding-heart love letters I never mailed that its hinges popped off long ago.
A life: Having one.
Writing fiction often keeps me cooped up alone, sometimes for days on end. Spending so much time inside my own head instead of socializing means that I miss out on the wacky eccentrics out in the real world. Almost all of my fictional characters have been inspired by strangers I’ve come across at bars, in parks, on public transportation, in cafeterias and, my favorite, the lineup at Starbucks.
Ah. I can feel the stretch just thinking about it.
How do you stretch your imagination?


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