Sunday, March 30, 2014

Nina Munteanu on Panels and Doing Two Workshops at Ad Astra 2014

I'll be guesting at Ad Astra, one of the bestest science fiction and fantasy conventions in Toronto, this April 4-6, 2014.

The convention is being held at the Sheraton Parkway North, 600 Hwy 7E in Richmond Hill, ON.

Guests of honour include David Weber, Anne Groell, Patricia Briggs with past guests of honour Julie Czerneda and Robert J. Sawyer and many more.

I'll be participating on several panels and doing two writing workshops.

Here's my schedule:

Panel: "Follow the Lead-her!" Markham A, 10-11 am
Panel:  "How to be a Lovable Critic" Newmarket, 2-3 pm
Author signings: Richmond A, 3-4 pm
Workshop: "The Hero's Journey: Plotting Your Way to Publishing Success" Markham B, 4-6 pm
Panel: "The Hybrid Author" Marham A, 11 pm-12 am

Workshop: "Mastering Revision & Polish" Markham B, 1-3 pm
Panel: "Stealth Science Fiction in Person of Interest" Oakridges, 3-4pm

As you can see, I'll be sprinting to some panels and having a few drinks prior to others. :)

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Nina Munteanu Teaching How To Write Science Fiction at George Brown College

Starting April 16th and every Wednesday after that until July 2nd, I will be teaching the course "Creating Science Fiction" at George Brown College in Toronto. 

Registration is open now for the course. You can Register here

This 12 week course is a reprise of the course I taught at George Brown last fall and explores the
essential tools used in the genre and storytelling in general. These include:

  • world building
  • premise and story promise
  • storyboarding
  • plot approaches (including the Hero's Journey)
  • research
  • ideas
  • language and style
  • promotion and marketing

The downtown George Brown campus is located on King Street in the heart of downtown Toronto. 

Nina Munteanu is an ecologist and internationally published author of novels, short stories and essays. She coaches writers and teaches writing at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. For more about Nina’s coaching & workshops visit for more about her writing.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Why I Write

Writing is the breath and light of my soul and the well-spring of my very essence. When I am writing, I am living “in the moment”.
I am in the moment of creation, connected to my divine self, embracing Nature and the entire fractal Universe.
I am doing something important.
I am connecting with you.
Isaac Asimov said, “I write for the same reason I breathe—because if I didn’t, I would die.” That was every bit as true when he was unpublished as after he’d published a bazillion books. He was talking metaphorically, spiritually and quite literally. I know that if I don’t write, I am denying my soul its breathing life. This is more than metaphoric truth; it is scientifically proven. Expressive writing — whether in the form of journaling, blogging, writing letters, memoir or fiction — improves health.
Whether you publish or not, your writing is important and worthwhile. Take ownership of it, nurture it, and hold it sacred. Command respect from others and respect all writers in turn; don’t let ignorance intimidate you to silence.

My colleague, Louise DeSalvo wrote in her book, Writing as a Way of Healing:
“Many people I know who want to write but don’t or who want to write more but say they can’t find the time, have told me that taking the time to write seems, well, self-indulgent, self-involved, frivolous even. And that finding the time to write—even a diary, much less fiction or memoir or poetry—in their busy schedules is impossible. ‘I’ll write when I have the time,’ they say … What, though, if writing weren’t such a luxury? What if writing were a simple, significant, yet necessary way to achieve spiritual, emotional, and psychic wholeness? To synthesize thought and feeling, to understand how feeling relates to events in our lives and vice versa? What if writing were as important and as basic a human function and as significant to maintaining and promoting our psychic and physical wellness as, say, exercise, healthful good, pure water, clean air, rest and repose, and some soul-satisfying practice?”
Of course, in our hearts we know this is true. DeSalvo adds of her long journey toward accepting writing in her life: “I didn’t know that if you want to write, you must follow your desire to write … I didn’t know that you could write simply to take care of yourself, even if you have no desire to publish your work. I didn’t know that if you want to become a writer, eventually you’ll learn through writing … all you need to know about your craft … I didn’t know that if you want to write and don’t, because you don’t feel worthy enough or able enough, not writing will eventually begin to erase who you are.”
Writing, like any form of creativity, requires faith; in ourselves  and in others. And that's scary. It's scary because it requires that we relinquish control. All the more reason to write. 

Resistance is a form of self-destruction, says Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way (1992). We resist to maintain some idea of control, but instead we increase depression, anxiety, and confusion.

Booth et al (1997) found that written disclosure significantly reduces physiological stress on the
body caused by inhibition. We were born to create. Why do we demure and resist? Because, says Cameron, "we have bought the message of our culture ... [that] we are meant to be dutiful and then die. The truth is that we are meant to be bountiful and live."

Joseph Campbell wrote: “Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before.” Cameron adds, “It is the inner commitment to be true to ourselves and follow our dreams that triggers the support of the universe. While we are ambivalent, the universe will seem to us also to be ambivalent and erratic.”
When I write, I live in the moment, at one with the divine spark of creation. In utter bliss. With you.

Nina Munteanu is an ecologist and internationally published author of novels, short stories and essays. She coaches writers and teaches writing at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. For more about Nina’s coaching & workshops visit for more about her writing.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Writers Workshop in Leslieville (Toronto) on Self-Editing & Revisions

I'll be giving my next writing workshop in the WRITERS TAKE FLIGHT Series (last Saturday of each month) on  Self-Editing and Revisions this coming March 29th at 6-8 pm (Saturday).

The workshop will be held in FLIGHT CAFE (Any Direct Flight) on 1382 Queen St. E., just east of Greenwood Avenue.