Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


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You've had them. They wake you at 3 a.m. and they are always the best idea you ever had.

They solve the plot dead-end you've written yourself into; they promise to end your writer's block once and for all; at the very least they're guaranteed to get you that big, fat advance.

And you have no pen, no paper, no pencil, no BlackBerry, or your BlackBerry is dead.

I have jotted ideas on cigarette packs with burnt matchsticks; on mirrors with lipstick; on bathroom walls with soap. I have written my thoughts in the air with the glowing tip of a burnt branch and carved them into a shining wet beach.

But ideas in the night are like the smoke of a candle, invisible to most eyes. Better to whisper them into the ear of a lover, not that he or she will remember either, just recall the warm moist cloud of your breath.

Which is why I am going to Future Shop to get me a pillow-side (note)book with voice recognition. With luck the pillow(note)book will even capture my sleeptalking and write it into the file marked My Bestseller.


Great idea! I wish I could remember what would be the best selling song of all times that I made up in the middle of the night a couple of years ago.
: )
However, I have had some stunning revelations in the middle of the night, that I DID remember and solved problems that had been bugging me for weeks.

Hey there

I have conjured a way to recall those late night wonders without turning on a ghastly light. Though I will not try to convince you this method will work for everyone, it has yet to fail me. When the idea knocks, I simply grab whatever is within my reach and I...wait for it....I throw it on the floor. The object (whether it is a sock, or a tissue, or something unspeakable...) is indelibly attached to the idea because I say to myself "when I see the OBJECT, I will remember the BLANK." So it goes when the alarm goes off and a 'pillow case' is staring up at me, voila, I recall the idea, and pen it down. (I intentionally use different objects so as not to confuse myself - you'll be amazed at what you can find to keep it fresh!) -

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Sheree-Lee Olson

Sheree-Lee Olson is a Canadian novelist, poet and journalist. Her first novel, Sailor Girl, was published in 2008 by The Porcupine's Quill.

Go to Sheree-Lee Olson ’s Author Page