Archive | April 17, 2013

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Canadian singer Rita MacNeil dies at age 68

Last updated Wednesday, Apr. 17 2013, 9:46 AM EDT

Rita MacNeil is seen in a December 2004 file photo. (Blair Gable/St. Catharines Standard/The Canadian Press)

Rita MacNeil, the big-hearted, silver-throated singer from the coal mining area of Cape Breton died Tuesday night in hospital in Sydney, Nova Scotia from complications following stomach surgery. She was 68.

Best known for Working Man, Flying on Your Own, Reason to Believe, I’ll Accept The Rose Tonight and Home I’ll Be, MacNeil recorded more than 24 albums, won three Juno Awards, several East Coast Music Awards and a Gemini for the CBC TV variety show, Rita & Friends , which she hosted from 1994 to 1997.

From the archives: How Cape Breton nurtured Rita MacNeil’s music – and turned her into a star
From the archives: MacNeil has a voice that’s going places
From the archives: Cape Breton singer delivers extra bit of magic in concert
Success didn’t come early or easily to MacNeil, but her passion for writing and singing songs about life’s challenges and her love of family and friends found her a huge and loyal audience. She had her breakout performance at Expo 86 in Vancouver and won her first Juno Award for Most Promising Female Vocalist the following year when she was 42.

Tributes poured in after news of her death was posted on MacNeil’s website. “I am deeply saddened by the loss of a dear sweet woman and a gifted singer-songwriter who represented women and her beloved Nova Scotia so eloquently in her songs,” said Anne Murray, a long time friend who also hails from Nova Scotia. Murray covered MacNeil’s Flying on Your Own in the late 1980s.

“The one vivid memory I have is when Rita was a guest on my show,” said singer Tommy Hunter. “Coming from a coal mining area she had a soft spot in her heart for those miners. When she sang Working Man there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”

Hunter remembered the warmth and sincerity that MacNeil conveyed through her songs to people in the studio audience and to the viewers at home. “It was evident that she touched them all from the many letters and comments we received after that show,” he said. “I have lost a good friend”

Born in Big Pond, Cape Breton on May 28, 1944, MacNeil was one of eight children of Neil and Catherine MacNeil. Her early life was tough. She wrote about her shyness, the bullying she endured because of her cleft palate, and love affairs gone wrong in her book, On A Personal Note.

In 1986 she opened Rita’s Tea Room in her hometown of Big Pond. It quickly became a tourist attraction.

MacNeil is survived by her daughter Laura, son Wade and her extended family.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

From the archives: How Cape Breton nurtured Rita MacNeil’s music – and turned her into a starIn photos: Singer Rita MacNeil through the yearsIn testosterone-fuelled sport of F1, Williams keeps it in the family
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Pintesst and Writing

How to Use Pinterest for Writing Ideas and Inspiration

How to Use Pinterest for Writing Ideas and Inspiration
Posted: 17 Apr 2013 01:00 AM PDT
Using Pinterest for writing ideas.

Over the years, I’ve used various systems for organizing and storing my writing ideas.

Of course, I keep notebooks and journals, which are great for keeping track of my own ideas and not so great for storing ideas I collect out in the world–materials culled from blogs, magazines, websites, and other mediums.

I’ve created folders on my hard drive for storing images I find online. I’ve had manila envelopes for stashing articles and images cut out of magazines and newspapers. Folders, boxes, scrapbooks… it all gets pretty messy and disorganized.

I’ve always wanted a way to keep everything in one medium (preferably electronic) and in one location. Pinterest has made that possible.


Wikipedia describes Pinterest as “a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, ‘re-pin’ images to their own pinboards, or ‘like’ photos.”

There’s more to it though, because you can also keep track of links with Pinterest. If you find an image on a website, you can attach the link to the image and pin them both together. So not only can you save images, you can also maintain links back to the source. If you use the Pinterest plugin on your browser, which I highly recommend, you can simplify the pinning process and the link to the source website will automatically attach to the images you pin. This allows Pinterest to function like a visual bookmarking tool.

But you can also upload your own images and scour Pinterest to discover images that you can repin to your boards. I’ve used Pinterest to save everything imaginable, from articles and recipes to writing ideas and inspiration.

Tips for Using Pinterest to Collect, Organize, and Store Writing Ideas

Pinterest has many uses; for example, recipe boards are all the rage. The site is rampant with fashion, home improvement, and various other mainstream and pop culture interests. But writers and other creatives have found innovative ways to use Pinterest. Here are a few tips for using Pinterest to gather, organize, and store your writing ideas:

Start with writing-related boards: collect writing tips, resources, quotes on writing (for insight and inspiration), or articles on the business of writing. Make separate boards for different writing-related topics or stash them all in a single board.
Round up your favorite books and authors: if you’re a writer, then you’ve probably been influenced by your favorite books and authors. Be an advocate for other writers by supporting and promoting them on Pinterest.
Make an inspiration board: you can post images of people, places and things that inspire you.
Character, plot, and setting boards: I see a lot of these from writers who are developing a work in progress and from authors who are published. Images are a great way to build a story and helpful for when you need to write descriptions.
Create a prompts board: fill it with images that spark your creativity and make you want to write; this one is ideal for poets and fiction writers alike!
How Are You Using Pinterest?

Writing Forward has a Pinterest page, where you’ll find lots of creative writing ideas. I also recently wrote a post over at The Creative Penn about using Pinterest as a marketing tool for writers and bloggers. I hope you’ll check that out (and while you’re there, be sure to peruse the rest of Joanna’s site; it’s packed with excellent information about the business side of writing).

Do you have a Pinterest account? Do you use it for rounding up writing ideas? Share the link to your boards and if you have any ideas to add about how writers can use Pinterest for inspiration, please do share them in the comments.

The post How to Use Pinterest for Writing Ideas and Inspiration appeared first on Writing Forward.