Alastair Luft’s Blog

09/12/2016

Word by Word

Memory works in funny ways. Take my first deployment to Afghanistan, probably still my favorite. There are the obvious memories, of course. The Whale. Tarnak Farms. The crowds lining the streets all the way from the airport to CFB Edmonton when we got back. These tents didn’t get hot at all… ​Then there are the
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09/07/2016

Author Interview – J.M. Bush

This week sees the start of a new segment, author interviews – a great opportunity to ask other writers about their lessons learned and their current projects. Without further ado, the very first interview is with J.M. Bush, a native of Alabama, USA and currently hailing from Penang, Malaysia. J.M.’s a great author to open this
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09/05/2016

Crawl, Walk, Run

When’s the last time you started something new? One of the joys of having kids is seeing them try new things every day. When they accomplish something they’ve never done before, it’s amazing. What often goes unseen, however, are all the times they’ve tried before, the practice attempts. Let’s take brushing your teeth as an
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08/28/2016

Navigating Story Structure

Are you a natural storyteller? A lot of people would say they’re not, including me. Too self-conscious, too introverted, whatever – excuses are a dime a dozen, right? ​Not so fast, says Lisa Cron, author of Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers From the Very First Sentence. Ms.
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08/21/2016

Starting From Scratch

I used to take a lot of pictures. When I first joined the military, I almost always had a camera with me and would snap pictures whenever I could. Not beauties, but good for memories, like this one: Who’s this douchebag? Oh wait… ​Or this: Oh, Phase 3 Infantry…I don’t even miss you a little
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08/14/2016

Walking a Lonely Path

My wife used to teach dance, so when we started dating we did a lot of dancing related activities. We took lessons, performed a choreographed dance at our wedding, even participated in a minor dance competition. ​I made progress, but was it ever tough. Not only did I feel like a fish out of water,
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08/06/2016

Identify The Enemy

In the army, pathfinder and scout forces learn that a fundamental of reconnaissance operations is to gain and maintain contact with the enemy. In other words, once you find the enemy, never take your eye off them because who knows what they’re doing when you’re not watching? ​Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult to identify
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08/01/2016

Be Brilliant At The Basics

In 2002, I deployed to Afghanistan with the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group. In the aftermath of 9/11 and as part Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, our Battle Group got sent to Kandahar, a largely barren environment near the Registan desert. Our uniforms were green (we hadn’t been issued desert camouflage)
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07/25/2016

Know Your Start point

When I decided to start writing, the one smart thing I did was not go off half-cocked. One of the benefits of military service is that the importance of having a plan is drilled into you almost from day one. Even winging it can be a good plan, as long as you consciously make that
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