Occasionally, you need to write naked… or at least out of your comfort zone

Depending on your local climate, you may not want to get this far out of your comfort zone, but it’s good advice nonetheless

Ned's Blog

That unmistakable sound of jingling pocket change on Friday can only mean one thing: It’s time for Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing! Unless Friday is your laundry day. Or the day you treat yourself to breakfast from the vending machine at work.

But let’s assume you’re here for my weekly writing tip, which is offered up from 15 years as a newspaper columnist. And let’s further assume that kind of writing pedigree was extremely impressive. Then you would understand why some of today’s most respected fictional writers and equally fictional educators have referred to my NWOW as:

Advice you’d expect from someone who is indeed a professional. Wait, I said in need of a professional…


Required reading for my students whenever I’m mad at them or too hung over to actually teach…

Admittedly, I am a bit embarrassed. Not only by those gushing accolades, but also because I am…

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On Toronto's Bay Street, the streets are paved with souls

On Toronto’s Bay Street, the streets are paved with souls

A thousand spires of concrete and glass

Etch their signatures into the clouds,

Holiest of shrines to commerce and wealth.

A soulless furnace of misspent energy

Or engines of tomorrow’s successes?

Streets bathed in shadow that hides

The scurrying shells of men and women,

Wan caricatures of the human spirit,

Decorated and dedicated to jobs

That pay their bills but rob their souls.

Where are the sounds of Life

In this chthonic chamber of horrors?

Who sings the songs of individuality?

Originality and free thought flit

From corner to corner, shadow to shadow,

Fearful of the crushing boots of conformity;

Chirruping into the noisy silence in hope

They are not alone.