Monday, January 20, 2020

Meeting Notes from January 19, 2020


We discussed possible dates for this year's Open Mic Night. Thursday, April 30th was settled upon. Due to the change in the library's hours, the event will take place from 6pm to 8pm.

There is a giant book sale in Elora on May 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Members of the group are going to go together on Saturday, May 2nd, to fill up their book bags.

We discussed more ideas for events in 2020. An informal event surrounding NaNoWriMo in November will be proposed to the library. It was also suggested we do a Beta Reader Day at one of our meetings inviting authors of the community to participate.

Continue to work on your writing prompts and submit them to Virginia for the anthology. We are hoping to publish this fall.

Writing Prompts

1. Even a kick in the butt is a step forward.

2. You go for a walk in fresh snow. Suddenly you realize you're not leaving any footprints.

3. He stared at the lottery ticket and read the numbers eleven times before he was sure.

4. Tell a story about a celebrity meeting you.

5. Her job interview did not go so well.

6. Write a story about someone cleaning out their attic. They find an old piece of clothing, and inside of the pocket is an old keepsake.

7. Write about a character's secret area of expertise, something most of their acquaintances would be surprised to learn they know tons about.

8. "You're early," he finally says.


Next Meeting:
Sunday, February 9th, 1:30pm
Leader: Sonja

Monday, January 6, 2020

January 5, 2020, Meeting Notes


Happy New Year!

Virginia announced that we will be proceeding with the anthology. We don't have enough submissions so we are extending the deadline to September 1, 2020. Please submit any of your writings created from writing prompts. Expand on them if you feel it is necessary.

We discussed the 4th Annual Open Mic this coming April. It should be the week of April 20th. Patricia will consult with Harry, and then the Library, as to what date would be suitable.

Brian announced that he participated at his first Open Mic with positive feedback. He is a new member of our group and are proud of how quickly he is progressing.

Brian also announced that the gentleman who played Big Bird passed away. MuppetsMindset.com is accepting submissions of tribute. Brian submitted a poem which was accepted.


Writing Prompts

January is the month of beginnings. According to the Romans it was ruled by the two-faced god Janus. One face looked backward to the past, one forward to the future. Write a story or an essay inspired by one of  the following:

1. A character, looking back, makes a decision about the future.
2. An inauspicious beginning.
3. Something that started out well but ended badly.
4. Something that started out badly but ended well.
5. The beginning of a relationship.
6. People laughed when I told them my New Year's resolution.
7. At least this year started out better than last year.
8. Janusz is the Polish form of "John", meaning "God is gracious" or at least that's what the book of baby names says. The Janusz I went to school with didn't reflect God's graciousness. He was more like Janus - two-faced.
9. There's an old saying "In my beginning is my end". I sure hope that isn't true.


Next Meeting: Sunday, January 19th, 1:30pm
Diane will be leading.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Escape With a Writer Sunday Author Call Out



Happy New Year!

One of the fun things I've been doing this past year is a Sunday blog post called Escape with a Writer Sunday. I've had a very busy few months with some great authors, but I'm always looking for new people to appear on my blog!

Who can join the fun? 
Anyone! I've had authors from all over the world send me their bios and book information to help promote their great new novels.

How do you find the site? 
Easy, peasey! Check out http://dbator.blogspot.com to see what I do and read about new-to-you authors and their books.

Do you have a book you'd love to promote?
Please find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dianebatorauthor/ or message me via my website http://penspaintsandpaper.com/index.html

All the best in 2020! 

Diane 

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Writing Prompts from November 3, 2019


Writing Prompts

1. Things I should have said, things I could have said, and things I would have said. We all have these stories in us - the stories of what was left unsaid. Write about one of them (and the regrets or impact it had on you).

2. By the time the officer arrived, Jacob had done his dirty work.

3. I thought I had a perfect (marriage, career, etc.) and then, Fate, as Fate so often does, threw a wrench into the works.

4. If I could just make it home before David opened the letter, our lives could continue as they were.

5. Finnigan, my father's long-dead gray cat, always appeared in the house just before someone in the family died. Who had it come for this time?

6. That night, she put the beautiful porcelain doll, the one she'd bought at the antique fair, in a chest of drawers in her sitting room, and went to bed. Some time in the night she got up when she heard a sound like a child crying, and found the doll lying on the floor outside her bedroom door.

7. She stared into the crumpled car at her own mangled body, when a woman in a pale blue suit appeared and said, "You must come with me now." She protested vigorously so the woman said, "We will let you live this day over again but you must discover the one moment in it that could have changed this outcome, not just for you but for many others as well."

8. Hannah dropped the hitchhiker off in front of the house where she said she lived. It was a cold rainy night, so Hannah watched her as she ran up the driveway toward the front door, to make sure the girl was home and safe. But the girl never made it to the door - she vanished into thin air.

9. The turbulence was the worst she'd ever experienced on a flight and she was glad when they touched down safely; but when she entered the airport from her gate, everything looked, not radically different, but subtly and disturbingly different. This couldn't be Toronto. A passing flight attendant assured her that it was.

10. If you could go back in your life and relive one day in your past, what day would that be?


Next Meeting
Sunday, November 17th
1:30pm

Headwaters Writers' Guild 2020 Meeting Schedule


Below is the schedule of meetings for 2020. Leaders are not listed here. That copy was emailed to group members.


2020 Meeting Schedule
All Meetings at the Orangeville Public Library, Start time 1:30pm

Sunday, January 5th
Sunday, January 19th
Sunday, February 9th
Sunday, February 23rd
Sunday, March 8th
Sunday, March 22nd
Sunday, April 5th
Sunday, April 19th
Sunday, May 3rd
Sunday, May 24th
Sunday, June 14th
Sunday, June 28th
Sunday, July 19th
Sunday, August 16th
Sunday, September 13th
Sunday, September 27th
Sunday, October 4th
Sunday, October 25th
Sunday, November 8th
Sunday, November 22nd
Sunday, November 29th – Christmas Social

Friday, November 1, 2019

My First Writing Conference by Diane Bator



This feels a bit like an essay I did once in school.  What I Did This Summer by Diane Bator. Remember those? Only this one is about something I did for the first time as a published writer. I attended a writer's conference. Yes, it's taken me eight novels to finally get to one!

I've read posts by friends who travel to conferences all over the place but was lucky that the Writers' Community of York Region sponsored one in Newmarket, Ontario this past weekend. This was the first event the WCYR had ever hosted and it was well attended by over 100 writers from all over Southern Ontario including Patricia and I.

We started the day in the atrium of the Newmarket Town Hall with coffee and muffins and received a great new folder to take notes in. After a few brief words from on of the coordinators, we broke into groups for our chosen morning sessions.


Our first session was with romance novelist Zoe York, author of more than 50 romance novels. She discussed Marketing for Genre Fiction. A lot of writers in the room were either looking to publish a novel or had published 1 or 2 novels. The one thing I found most interesting were the questions she gave us to think about no matter where we were at in our journeys.


  1. What genre do you want to be writing and what type of books do you want to write? ie. genre, heat level, setting, tone, etc.
  2. What are the next 5 books you want to write?
  3. Can you group thematically or do they exist in the same world? Explain that world in a common theme in a sentence or two. ie. small town romance with sexy cowboy.
  4. On a blank piece of paper, list all of your work to date, published or unpublished, finished or in draft/dream stage.
One of the other things they offered throughout the day were 20 minute Blue Pencil Meetings. The opportunity to sit with a fellow writer or editor (including our own Marilyn Kleiber) and ask them questions as well as getting feedback on their novel. I passed on the chance for this conference, but Patricia was very happy with the feedback she received.

Lunch was simple, soup and sandwiches along with some yummy chocolate chip cookies for dessert. While we ate, we were also able to purchase raffle tickets and enter them to win several beautiful baskets donated by sponsors, including the writing group I belong to. Draws were made at the end of the day. I didn't win any, but Patricia did!

After lunch we were treated to a keynote speech from Terry Fallis, author of The Best Laid Plans and two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. He is a huge fan of being a Plotter when he writes his books. In fact, he plans them in great detail before he writes something I don't think I could ever do! I'm part plotter, part pantser. One thing he said that surprised many people in attendance was that he still works full time. After writing seven novels and receiving many awards, he still must hold a 9-to-5 job.

I was a bit concerned about the afternoon session. The handouts we'd received the week before suggested a very academic-style of session. Luckily, Kate Freiman, author of romantic fiction, was entertaining and the whole afternoon was more interesting than I expected. She discussed blending genres and story structure. Hard to believe I was the only self-professed mystery writer in the room.

Back in the main banquet room afterward, winning tickets were drawn for the gift baskets then my friend and I left. On the way out the door, we received a swag bag with some bookmarks and the like as well as three books. These were mine!
  1. Lac Athabasca (a play) by Len Falkenstein
  2. Doc Christmas by Neil Enock
  3. Mad Men and Philosphy, which is an anthology.
Yay! More new-to-me authors!
I have one year until the next (fingers crossed!) York Writers Conference. I may do some searching and find a couple more I can fit into my schedule. 

In the meantime, I won't quit my day job, but I won't stop dreaming and writing either!

Looking for more New-to-You authors or familiar authors? Visit my blog every Sunday for Escape with a Writer Sunday at https://dbator.blogspot.com/

Feel free to check out my books at http://bookswelove.net/authors/bator-diane-mystery/

author of Wild Blue Mysteries, Gilda Wright Mysteries, and Glitter Bay Mysteries.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Meetings October 5th and October 20th


October 5, 2019

Virginia informed us that the anthology is too short. Some people only gave one submission. You are able to submit more than one piece of writing so if you have more, please forward them to Virginia. We have extended the deadline to December 31st. If we still don't have enough pages to make a book we will hold it over until next year.

Marilyn is holding a free workshop on self-publishing at the Orangeville Public Library on Saturday, November 9th from 10am-2pm. Register with Shannon McGrady at smcgrady@orangeville.ca.

On Wednesday, November 6, 2019, at 7pm, join the library for An Evening with Maureen Jennings. Maureen is the creator of The Murdoch Mysteries. She will be discussing her new book Heat Wave.

Prompts

The Trouble with Turkeys and Other Table Terrors

1. The trouble with turkey is....

2. Never make a pumpkin pie with the insides of a Jack O' Lantern.

3. My mother-in-law finally gave me her recipe for stuffing. Now I know why they can't get enough of it.

4. How was I supposed to know candied yams weren't made with candy?\

5. I thought it would be great to pick up some fresh corn from the stand outside the farm, but when I peeled back the husks, I was shocked at what I found.

6. Usually I open a can and let gravity pull out the gelatinous mold we know as cranberry sauce, but with my son bringing his gourmet chef girlfriend for Thanksgiving this year, I knew I had to step up my game.

7. Gravy can usually cover a multitude of culinary sins, but this year I was going to have to make mine using holy water.


October 20, 2019



Diane has HWG mugs available for purchase.

Prompts

1. While driving my car, I noticed....
2. When I was a teenager, all I wanted was....
3. What the hell are you doing here?
4. When the judge looked at me I prayed for the first time in many years.
5. When I awoke on the couch this morning I didn't know where I was.
6. The rain came on so suddenly I couldn't...


Next Meeting is Sunday, November 3rd
1:30pm to 3:30pm