Thursday, June 14, 2018

My First Writing Prompt Post

This is a response to a prompt from the meeting on July 16, 2017, though I have not been able to type it up until now. I have been asked to share it, so I hope readers find this enjoyable.

The prompt was: What do you think goes through a dog’s mind when he goes along peeing on every telephone poll and hedge he can find.

Doggy Domain

I can smell them. Their acrid odour fills my nostrils. Those haggard, flea-bitten, yowling racks of fur have invaded my yard again. There in the flower bed they have left their work. Burying it does squat. I got whiffs of their business from the other side of my doggy door. But the lily bush! Oh, the poor lily bush. It’s been sprayed top to bottom, and the vandal could not stop. He scratched up the fencepost before marking it as well!

No! I won’t let that stand! This is my space, and I am going to make sure every creature on the street knows it! First to the edge of the porch, right by the stairs. I’ll drench it good there. Then to the lilies. I’ll freshen them up myself. Now to the tree. So many passing by have left their calling card, but they need to know the tree is mine. The fencepost? Mine. The rusty fire hydrant? Also, mine, and no one else’s.

I have covered my own domain, but I need to expand. I circle the fence and up the neighboring driveway. There I see shoes. Now my shoes. A skateboard. My skateboard. The giant truck on the pavement sits there as well. I can’t use it, but it’s mine now anyway. Ah wait, I see you now, you mangy, poor excuse for a feline. Get over here! That large white coat of yours, I say its mine! So, stay still already! You want to hide in the tree, eh? Well, that girl is not running away. I’ll just come over to her and, yep, she’s mine too.

Oh, now there is a lady coming this way. She is not standing still at all. I’ll run into my zone. Hey, wait, she can’t go near that truck. That’s my truck! And those shoes! Also mine! Now you don’t want them. Fine. Put them back! Good, now, hey! Stay in your yard! This is my yard! That fence is mine! The tree is mine!  The lily bush is mine! The porch is mine! Get off it! What are you knocking on the door for? The inside of the house is mine too!

Oh Billy! Billy! Tell this strange lady to go away. This is my yard. What is she pointing at? I can’t mark anything that high. I mean look at me. Wait. I have to go inside? But I only just got started! I’m not done yet! Those cats will cover all my hard work the moment they come out of hiding. No. Not yet. I know. I’ll take the fight to them! Yes, there it is. Their fountain right in front of the window. I’ll saddle up here and mission accomplished! The dog rules the day! And now, wait, put me down! Billy! Stop it! I’m being puppy-handled! Stop! Billy!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Sunday, June 10, 2018, Meeting Notes

We had 3 new writers join us. It is great to see our family growing.

Katie is preparing to self-publish her fantasy novella and is in search of someone to design her cover. A couple of ideas were offered to her.

Patricia reported that the library has now added the HWG meetings to their digital display screen in the lobby. Patricia stayed after the meeting to see the Headwaters Writers' Guild logo along with the date of the "next meeting".

As part of our commitment to our partnership with the Orangeville Public Library, Marilyn Kleiber will be holding three full day creative writing workshops free to the public. These workshops take place from 10am-3pm on 3 Saturdays. They are September 22nd - Creating Great Characters; October 27th - Save $ By Editing Like a Pro; and November 24th - How to Self Publish. We hope and expect group members will attend one or more of these workshops.

Last fall the Library provided the group with information regarding their new Biblioboard online tools for writers. They would like to meet with our group. As there was a switch in leaders this week, we are proposing this meeting take place at our regularly scheduled group meeting on Sunday, September 23rd. As we are unclear as to what this new program entails, everyone is encouraged to attend if possible.

Prompts as provided by Virginia.

Select one or two from each [category]. I have tried to keep most categories as open as possible. Feel free to create a non-human character such as an elf, angel, demon, etc., and to substitute anything in any category.

Need to make a decision
Change of Plans

Goal/Object of Desire
Material Object
Another person

Opposed By
Internal Flaw
Another person
Personal Emotion
Infirmity (mental or physical)
A group

Game venue
Place of business
Outer space
Foreign Country

Assisted By
Special ability
High intelligence
A person
An animal
A book
Special knowledge

Please feel free to share your writing here.

Next Meeting: Sunday, June 24th.
June is scheduled to Lead

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

May 27, 2018 HWG Meeting

Harry emailed the group regarding the following event:

Prompts for the day:

Horoscope Hullabalooza

Pick two signs from the choices below.

One of your characters will manifest only the positive characteristics of their sign and the other will only manifest the negative characteristics of their sign.

Pick a place/situation card and write a scene where the characters interact showing their given traits. 

Pick one sign and have your characters be twins.

One will embody the positive traits and the other the negative.

Pick a place/situation card and write a scene where the characters interact showing their given traits. 

Pick your own sign and write about whether you think the traits shown are valid or not to you personally. 

Pick one or two signs and have your character “argue with the voices” in his/her head based on the traits of the sign(s). Choose an action card to decide what they are considering.

Click on the picture below to see it in its entirety. 

Place/Situation Cards
Baking Competition
Plane in a storm
Protest Rally
Charity auction
A meeting with the teacher
Robbing a bank
Attending a wedding
Family holiday gathering
A beauty contest
Baby Shower
Company Christmas Party
Cell mates in jail
Action Cards
Going on a romantic date
Going to another country
Going to school
Making a speech
Commiting a crime
Quitting a job

Members of the group are encouraged to share their writing prompt results here on this blog.

Next Meeting Sunday, June 10, 2018, 1:30pm
Nancy is Leading

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Meeting Sunday, April 22nd

We discussed the success of this past Thursday's Open Mic Night and the talented writers we heard read that evening.

A member of the audience from the Open Mic Night visited our group with some questions about how she was going to fill a 45 minute presentation on poetry. It was suggested that she read a couple of poems and then provide the members of the group with a couple of prompts to write their own.


Virginia provided the prompts this week, admitting that she got carried away into the stories as she came up with the prompts. All or part of a prompt may be used.

1. Joey thought it was the best April Fool's joke ever, but I was not amused.

2. T.S. Elliott said "April is the cruelest month". Cruel doesn't even begin to describe it.

3. He was running as fast as he could, but it wasn't fast enough. With a slurping sound, the thick mud swallowed his right shoe. He didn't even try to retrieve it. He struggled on.

4. I woke to the sound of ice grinding as it tried to push its way downriver. Huge chunks would shriek as they pushed against the granite cliffs and shout with voices of thunder as they hammered against their neighbours'. Even louder was the roar of the river, an over-bearing father hurrying his progeny along, pushing and pulling on them to get them to their destination.

5/ My grandfather has been gone for decades, but I can still hear his homilies, as though he were whispering in my ear. There's no time like the present. A stitch in time saves nine. Time waits for no man. I could go on all day, but you get the idea. They all seem to apply in my present situation.

6/ People said Nellie was crazy. A crazy witch. That's right, witch. Because Nellie could run her hands over an animal that everyone had given up for dead and whisper into its ear, and it would open its eyes and somehow stagger to its feet and start to recover. No one knew what she whispered because she never would work on people. She didn't like people much. But she loved animals, so she healed them. And after a while, people started to think she was the one who had made them sick in the first place. Cursed them, most likely.

7. If you ask people if they believe in magic, they will most likely tell you "no". They will lie. Because deep down inside, we all know magic exists. It is all around us.

8. If you could have a fabled creature as a pet, which one would you pick?

9. I was going down Yonge Street, carried by the river of people rushing back from their lunch breaks. The flow pushed against people surging in the opposite direction, their eyes distant and unseeing, as though they were already working on that spreadsheet or making that sales call. The street people were fallen branches impeding the current that eddied impatiently around them, their eyes dead and hopeless. Except for one.

10. When I was a child, I wanted to be....

Next Meeting, Sunday, May 6th, 1:30pm
Patricia will be leading.

Meeting Sunday, April 8, 2018

There was some discussion about the Headwaters Writers' Guild publishing another anthology. More research needs to be done. This issue has been tabled for the time being.

Writing Prompts

1. The thoughts and actions of a large domestic cat as he approaches a small dog on a leash tied to a telephone pole.

2. The thoughts and actions of a dog when she discovers a cat sneaking through her backyard.

3. You drop your 12 year old child off at school one morning, only to find her later that afternoon at your local mall.

4. You find a note on your young teenage daughter's pillow telling you that she has left home and will be in touch with you the next day.

5. Write a short story about the most eccentric person from your past.

6. Finding a bag in the basement of an old abandoned church with the logo RBC stamped on it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

2nd Annual Open Mic Night

On Thursday, April 19th, we had another great turn-out this year at our 2nd Annual Open Night Mic in cooperation with the Orangeville Public Library. Many thanks to the library for staying open when we ran overtime.

Dufferin County Poet Laureate Harry Posner hosted again this year. He opened with some poetry consisting of "Every Year", written as prompted by the recent spring storms; and "I want" about poetry. He also announced the upcoming Day of Poets taking place all around downtown Orangeville on Saturday, May 5th, from 11am to 4pm.

First up was Clare McCarthy, columnist for The Orangeville Banner newspaper and Headwaters Writers' Guild member, who read a short story he wrote from a writing prompt at group entitled "It's in the Bag".

Darlane Rogers-Wardle read a poem about turning 49, and another poem prompted by a fellow teacher who had passed away but wrote as if it were she who died. She then read a humourous children's short story called "I'm In The Play".

Newest Headwaters Writers' Guild member Ron Langevin read a set of triptych (3 separate panels related by theme) short stories. The theme of Traffic consisted of the humourous stories "Stop Already", "Psychics" and "Guardian Angels". We are fortunate to have Ron join the Headwaters Writers' Guild.

Headwaters Writers Guild founder Nancy Rorke read the story "Broken Promises" which won the Click, Create, Celebrate contest through the Caledon Library, and was published in In The Hills Magazine.

We welcomed Matt Griffin back again this year. Always entertaining, he showed his wide range of talent through a comedic essay wherein he regaled us with the voices of Jimmy Stewart, Pee Wee Herman, Bruce Lee, Neil Young, Stompin' Tom Connors, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Pink Floyd, and Andy Kaufman.

Headwaters Writers' Guild member Marilyn Kleiber read from her new book "The Arrival". Writing under the name L.M. Tibbott, she took a page from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling wherein she didn't want readers of this fantasy novel to know the gender of the author. "The Arrival" is now available at Amazon and at the independent book store The Bookshelf in Guelph.

Well known Orangeville author Diane Bator read an excerpt from her very first publication, a novella entitled "Murder on Manitou". She has since published 7 mystery novels.

At intermission this crowd were given the opportunity to speak with the authors and purchase some of their publications. Thank you to those who supported our local authors.

After intermission Patricia Gallant spoke briefly about her 14 years of experience with the Headwaters Writers' Guild (photo not available). Harry Posner read a poem he wrote about Leonard Cohen.

We welcomed back local author M.J. Moores a hybrid author of new adult speculative fiction and romantic suspense. She is an active member of Writer's Ink, Caledon, the Bradford Writers' Circle, and is Chairperson for the Writers' Community of York Region. She read an excerpt from "Proprietary Measures" to be published in November 2018.

Winston Uytenboogaart returned this year to share some poems he had published as a result of reading at last year's Open Mic Night.

Natalie Merritt-Broderick, writer of novels and poetry, read some poetry on her interpretation of life. "The Dot", "A Christmas Memory", "Flower Power", "Understanding", "Standing Tall", and "Freedom" were among the poems she read.

Jonathan Neville was very animated with his random thoughts about life. He teaches Ballroom, Latin, Swing, Blues, Gymnastic, Square and Circle dances, as well as Creative Workout fitness classes, helping people grow imagination while they grow fit. Harry Posner described his presentation as a metaphysical swing dance.

Headwaters Writers' Guild member June Duncan read from her upcoming fourth novel "From The Junk".

David McGuinn is an aspiring writer & poet who recited from memory an assortment of entertaining poems.

Thank you to everyone who chose our 2nd Annual Open Mic Night over the Toronto  Maple Leafs playoff game. We look forward to another successful event next year!

Please remember the Day of Poets on Saturday, May 5th throughout downtown Orangeville from 11am to 4pm.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Day of the Poets Festival

Hi all. As you may know already, I'm organizing Orangeville's first ever poetry festival: THE DAY OF THE POETS, happening on Saturday, May 5th from 11 am-4 pm in downtown Orangeville. 20 poets will be doing readings at four venues, plus there will be window poetry, and also random acts of poetry committed by poets on the sidewalks of Broadway.

At this point in the process, I am in need of volunteers who can commit to helping out in different ways at the festival on that day. Please let me know if you are able to help make this festival a great one.

We're also looking for more sponsors to financially help the festival operate at its best. $100 gets your logo (or your name) on all posters, programs and media materials. Perhaps you know of someone who would be happy to support a poetry festival? Please let them know that we're in need.

I'm attaching the current poster for your dining and dancing pleasure.  Contact me at for questions and/or to volunteer, etc.. Cheers!