What Word Gypsy is all about

From punctuation to final polish and every word in between, Word Gypsy editing is here to make your words shine.  I hope you’ll be inspired here by stories and thoughts and people who have dreamed in words and made those dreams fly.  Check out some of my favorite links and feel free to pass on your own words of wisdom.  Remember, the magic is in the telling…

word gypsy photo resized

By Angela Cragg

Everyone has a story to tell …

what's your story Our lives are our stories. Not everyone is a storyteller, but everyone has a story. Sharing those stories with each other is what connects us as people, what makes us grow and expand and be human.  Our stories are important. I think this is especially true as we age. The memories and history we collect over the years actually has a lot to contribute to the world around us and to the generations to come.

As this year closes and a new year begins, I challenge you to tell your story but even more so, I encourage you to listen to the stories of someone new to you. Expand your own narrative.

Happy writing; happy living.

By Angela Cragg

Hibernation is good for the … bookworm!

At this time of year, all I want to do is hunker down with a big cup of something warm,  my favourite throw, a nice fire blazing and a good book. It’s hibernation time. I feel like eating stew and soups and loads of yummy carbs while I pass my time exploring new worlds in print.

I’m a book junkie and I’ll read just about anything. I love it all! From classics to obscure little tomes to children’s books and poetry and … the list goes on and on.  But there’s a lot to be said about telling our own stories too. This winter, while you’re cozy in and warm in hibernation, come out long enough to pen a letter to a friend or write a poem or send a thank you. Words written down on the page have a special power.

You are the main character in a unique tale that only you can tell — let out your inner bookworm and don’t just enjoy reading the stories other brave souls have shared, try sharing your own.  You never know who you might inspire.

By Angela Cragg

Remember to take your creativity on vacation with you…

Books, Suitcase, Novel, Lighthouse Want to be a better writer? Read!

Take your creative talents on holiday with you in the form of a great book or two; delve into another world and feed your imagination this summer. In an interview for the Western Review in 1951, William Faulkner said, “Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out.”

Here are a few of my recent favourite reads (feel free to comment and add your own to the list!):

  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
  • Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
  • Note to Self by Connor Franta
  • They Left Us Everything: A Memoir by Plum Johnson
By Angela Cragg

Writing workshops for teens

This coming school year, I’m happy to be introducing an intensive 3-session workshop on story writing (with a special guest appearance by a local published author) in February 2019 and a 3-session workshop called “Marketing You” which will cover everything you want to know about breaking into the job market and more. This workshop will take place in May 2019.  Both of these will be held as part of the RCOA Island Activities collection.

I’m already looking forward to what these young minds will have to share.cleaner workshop image.jpg

Workshops are open to any interested students that meet the criteria – click on this link if you or someone you know would like more information or contact me at wordgypsy@gmail.com for more information.

By Angela Cragg

Why write?

book landscape.jpg “A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time — proof that humans can work magic.”

― Carl Sagan

By Angela Cragg

FROST Announcement

I am extremely happy to announce the news of one of my favorite authors – Congratulations Erin!  I always knew it was only a matter of time; I can’t wait to hold a copy of this first book in my hands.

If you want to know more about Erin Latimer, check her out at: http://elatimer.com/

Erin's announcement

FROST has a release date, and a new home. And eventually a new cover.

FROST will be published by Patchwork Press on September 1st, 2015.

AND…Patchwork Press will be launching the FROST series, with at least three books in the series planned.

Here is an exert from Erin’s announcement post:

“I`m so excited to make this announcement. And proud. And excited. Okay, mostly excited. I`m so happy to be joining the ladies at Patchwork Press and I look forward to working with them on the launch of the FROST series.
The book started out on Wattpad’s online community, born from a simple question of “What would you like to read next?” propelled by reader`s speculation and suggestions all the while I was writing it. So it only makes sense that it would be championed by a press that is run by readers and writers. By a community.
On Wattpad, the book seemed to explode. I went from 2k readers to 50k in under a year, and the book has racked up over 10 million reads. It’s been years since I’ve updated it, and right now it’s somehow sitting at #15 on the “What’s Hot” list.
As much as it sometimes makes me scratch my head, the answer is always readers. It’s the community. Wattpad readers don’t just love to read, they love to TALK about reading. They get excited. They spread the word about the books they love. I’ve never found a more involved, exciting, encouraging reading and writing community.
And with the upcoming launch, and the support of Patchwork Press, I hope to expand this community even more.”

By Angela Cragg

Media Journalism course

This fall I will be teaching a Media Journalism full-credit course through RCOA and I’m excited about the possibilities. It is a F2F class, meaning I will meet with students in a class setting twice a month as we work through journalism and design lessons, have hands-on training from professionals in the field and create our own newspaper. This course is for students who enjoy in-depth writing, discovering their world through various forms of visual storytelling, and working within a team to produce a newsworthy product.

In this course, we will explore:
-Journalism ethics
-The art of asking questions
-Telling a visual story (photography, graphics and video media)
-Facts vs opinions
-Perspectives: how world-view and faith affect the story
-Design and layout
-Creating a final product

Our goal is to use the Media Journalism course as a springboard for creating a student-based ‘newspaper’ for the RCOA and greater homeschool community. As this is our first adventure into this field, the final product will have much to do with the students themselves and collaboration is both expected and encouraged.

If you have any questions or are interested, please contact me: wordgypsy@gmail.com or go to the Regent Christian Online Academy website at regentonline.ca.

Happy writing,

“To look at the paper is to raise a seashell to one’s ear and to be overwhelmed by the roar of humanity.” Alain de Botton

By Angela Cragg

Every great story starts with simple letters!

0412-Word-with-Friends-Cope    I haven’t posted for a while – I’ve been busy reading some great books, teaching essay-writing to some very creative students and working on some fabulous manuscripts.  It strikes me again and again how simply complex words can be.  I encourage you this summer to take a moment and enjoy the taste of a new book or poem or story.  And perhaps, you can share a cup of something terrific with a friend; every adventure has a beginning.  May your summer be filled with wonderful adventures!

By Angela Cragg

Alice Munro: All you need to win the Nobel Prize in literature is to write brilliantly for a lifetime.

“A story is not like a road to follow … it’s more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows. And you, the visitor, the reader, are altered as well by being in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turns, or sparsely or opulently furnished. You can go back again and again, and the house, the story, always contains more than you saw the last time. It also has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you.”
― Alice Munro

By Angela Cragg

A fun bit of encouragement from a tried and true author.

Margaret Atwood’s 10 Rules of Writing


“­Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.”

In the winter of 2010, inspired by Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules of writing published in The New York Times nearly a decade earlier, The Guardian asked some of today’s most celebrated authors to each produce a list of personal writing commandments. After 10 from Zadie Smith and 8 from Neil Gaiman, here comes Margaret Atwood with her denary decree:

  1. Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can’t sharpen it on the plane, because you can’t take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils.
  2. If both pencils break, you can do a rough sharpening job with a nail file of the metal or glass type.
  3. Take something to write on. Paper is good. In a pinch, pieces of wood or your arm will do.
  4. If you’re using a computer, always safeguard new text with a ­memory stick.
  5. Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.
  6. Hold the reader’s attention. (This is likely to work better if you can hold your own.) But you don’t know who the reader is, so it’s like shooting fish with a slingshot in the dark. What ­fascinates A will bore the pants off B.
  7. You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means: there’s no free lunch. Writing is work. It’s also gambling. You don’t get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but ­essentially you’re on your own. ­Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don’t whine.
  8. You can never read your own book with the innocent anticipation that comes with that first delicious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. You’ve been backstage. You’ve seen how the rabbits were smuggled into the hat. Therefore ask a reading friend or two to look at it before you give it to anyone in the publishing business. This friend should not be someone with whom you have a ­romantic relationship, unless you want to break up.
  9. Don’t sit down in the middle of the woods. If you’re lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page.
  10. Prayer might work. Or reading ­something else. Or a constant visual­ization of the holy grail that is the finished, published version of your resplendent book.
By Angela Cragg