Sunday, November 12, 2017

Writing Prompts from November 5, 2017


Have you ever been overcome by certain smells or tastes, sounds or sights in the present, that shoot you back to a time in the past and bring up a memory with certain emotions attached?



The smell of pipe tobacco, cigar smoke, bonfires, forest fires, burnt food, stale cologne, oranges, rotten potatoes, alcohol breath, peppermint or any spice, automobile exhaust, cow manure, bread baking, musty basements, sweaty bodies, old clothes, perfume, baby diapers, vomit, old books, old church, incense, new age store, bakery, garage...

The sound of sea gull cries, glass breaking, a fog horn, fire engine siren, sea surf, baby crying, rain on a roof, rain on a car roof, thunder, vacuum cleaner, men shouting, sounds in a hockey arena, basketball court, school gym, school music class, screams, train whistle or horn, crows, screeching brakes, wind, violin, piano, choir, airplane taking off, traffic...

Textures: soft skin, rough hands, worn velvet chair, satin dress, chiffon dress, old leather jacket, bricks, tree trunk, grass, long grass, cold stone floor, bare feet in mud, sand, rocks, rocky surfaces, smooth stones, beach glass, old pebbly book cover, fresh sheet of smooth paper, keyboard, cold water, ice in a drink, rink ice, snowflakes on skin, laying in snow, dead fish, cat fur, horse's nose, eggs, baby chick, tent canvas...

Taste of a particular flavour of ice cream, hard candy, pie, cheesecake, turkey dinner, sour lemons, blood, oatmeal for breakfast, white wine, popcorn, barbecued ribs, green olives, morning coffee, spring water, cough syrup, blue cheese, warm bread and butter, hot peppers, bacon, licorice, salty potato chips...

Sight of fog, sunlight on water, twilight, moon at night, squirrels, woods at sunset, garbage on the roadside, condoms in the woods, waterfalls, rough seas, smooth seas, rapids, parched earth, dead plants, healthy well tended garden, smoke, dark room, homeless child, beggar on street, snake, spiders, fur coat, antique key, grandfather's bible, old shoes...


Touching the scratchy tweed of his worn coat filled her with (sadness, remorse, terror, loneliness, etc.)...

The scent of his cologne lingering in her room meant that he had been there recently...

He dropped the bottle of rubbing alcohol on the bathroom floor, flooding the air with its pungent smell, and sending his mind racing back to a time when...

The smell of lilacs in the spring always filled (them/him/me/the child) with...

She dragged her hand along the roughness of what seemed like a cement wall hoping she could find a door in the darkness.

She opened the box of clothing from her grandfather's house, and the smell of _____________ and ____________________ conjured up ________________...

Please feel free to share the results of your writing here.

Next, and last Meeting of the Year
Sunday, November 19, 1:30pm
Clare will be leading

Christmas Luncheon
Saturday, November 25th
Please be sure to R.S.V.P.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Meetings October 15th and 29th


We are currently updating the website at Those who are currently with the group should either forward updated bios and pictures to the Group Administrator (Patricia) or the Internet Administrator (Shirley), or if you have not been included on the website and would like to be added, forward a bio and picture.

Judy won 2nd place in Caledon's Click, Create, Celebrate Contest for her short story "Stranger in a Strange Land". Congratulations Judy!

Harry Posner's final poetry workshop takes place on Sunday, November 26th, at 1:30pm. Please register at the Orangeville Public Library.

Patricia has ordered 250 business cards for the group. They will contain all social media and the official Headwaters Writers' Guild email address.

Our Christmas luncheon is on Saturday, November 25th, at the Chinese Buffet on First Street. Family members are welcome. As soon as you know, please provide Patricia with your R.S.V.P. Lunch is usually around 12:30 but time has not been finalized.

The Orangeville Public Library has informed us that Words The Orangeville Way (W.O.W.) will take place on Saturday, December 2nd, at the Mill Street location. Members of the Headwaters Writers' Guild are expected to attend to show their support and assist where needed. Anyone wishing to highlight self-published works is welcome to set up a table to showcase their work that day. We suggest a shared table.

Writing Prompts

On Sunday, October 15th, Clare brought an assortment of objects from his home as writing prompts.

The writing prompts for Sunday, October 29th, provided by Sonja are below.

Halloween Spooktacular

Write a story that begins with one of the following sentences:

1.  I didn't mean to kill her.

2.  Sometimes we must do terrible things in the name of love.

3.  He carried it with him everywhere.

4.  I met him at the crosswords.

5.  A baby's cry pierced the night.

6.  This was not the cure I'd been hoping for.

7.  The door had been nailed shut for a reason.

8.  It came out of the shadows.

9.  I'll never use an Ouija board again.

10. It wasn't the first time my alarm had gone off at 3 a.m.

11. Trust me. The only good vampire is a dead one.

12. We're all infected.

13. It started the day my keys went missing.

Please feel free to share your work on here.

Next Meeting is Sunday, November 5th, at 1:30pm
Judy will be leading.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sunday, September 24, 2017, Meeting

A reminder that Phil Taylor at 91.7 FM Erin Radio is looking to interview local authors for his weekly radio program dedicated to local writers (published or not published). Email him at, or call or text at 905-875-8348.

Business cards are needed for the Headwaters Writers' Guild. JST Printing was recommended.

Harry Posner's last two poetry workshops take place on Sunday, October 22, and Sunday, November 25th from 1:30pm-3:30pm in the Orangeville Public Library meeting room. Please register at the library 519-941-0610.

Writing Prompts:

Viva Las Vegas!
Luck of the Draw

Pick a card from the deck of playing cards and use the corresponding prompt.

Don't like the card you picked? Roll the dice and try again. An eleven or twelve roll means you're free to choose any prompt you want.

Ace - You're in Vegas for a milestone birthday when you and your friends pass a tattoo parlour. You walk in just for a laugh and then...

Two - You're visiting The Mob Museum when suddenly the interactive display becomes a deadly game.

Three - You're visiting the Little Church of the West, a famous celebrity chapel built in 1942. When you walk in you are astonished by the ceremony taking place.

Four - You're visiting the Neon Museum at night, a two acre graveyard of the city's retired neon signs. Among all the blazing lights you spot a sign you didn't expect to see.

Five - You're playing a slot machine in the Golden Gate Casino, the first casino to ever open its doors in 1906. A man dressed in a suit and wearing a fedora approaches you. He asks you how to get out of the casino. When you turn to point towards the exit and look back again, he's gone.

Six - You're watching a magic show when your friend volunteers for a disappearing trick. When they rejoin you at the table you notice that there are two puncture marks on their neck.

Seven - You're at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum taking picture with all the "celebrities" when one of them pinches you.

Eight - You win a draw at one of the casinos and the prize is a night on the town with the celebrity of your choice - dead or alive.

Nine - You pass by an old church while taking in The Strip at night. The sound of creole jazz and laughter is coming from the open door at the side, but there are no lights on. Curious,  you convince your friend to have a look with you.

Ten or Face Card - You're staying at The Mirage hotel, a Polynesian themed hotel built in 1989 over the sites of the former Castaways and Red Rooster Nite Club. When rooms, hallways and even staff start shifting and changing you're alarmed to discover why they call it The Mirage.

We encourage you to share your results here.

Next Meeting is Sunday, October 15th.
Clare is leading

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

New Podcast, DAC Celebrations, and Extra Pulp

Check out our new podcast here: THE SILL: Peter Noce and I discuss issues pertaining to art and technology. The art of dialogue...

In other news, I'll be performing my poetry at the DAC, Dufferin Arts Council's 25th anniversary celebration and fundraiser, on Saturday, Sept. 9th, from 3-4:30 at the Orangeville Library. $10.
Be there or be a squeegee.

And in still other news... the next issue of Extra Pulp is due out towards the middle of October. Theme: Counter-Culture. It's going to be YUGE!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Messages from Angels

As I had laryngitis at the last meeting, I did not read what I wrote from the prompts in the previous post. This is what I wrote:
Dreams or angels. Sometimes they are one in the same. Angels come to me in my dreams giving me messages. Sometimes I recognize these angels as my dad or my brother, or even my cousin, all having passed to the other side. They come to me with messages of guidance or warning.

And some dreams are just dreams, though I know they contain messages. Dreams are a way for your subconscious to work things out during sleep time, a psychiatrist told me. So when I wake up I always analyze what I have dreamed. Sometimes the message is obvious, sometimes it's confusing. I come to my own conclusions in cases like that, which is probably what we're supposed to do.

[A psychic medium told me during a reading later that day that I have a lot of questions but my guides are not going to give me the answers. I need to look within myself for those answers.]

I had a dream recently of my brother's voice - my living brother - saying that I never call. I had responded with "It goes both ways". At first I thought nothing of the dream, but as I told the dream to others it dawned on me that perhaps there was a message there, maybe even a warning.

My eldest brother passed away suddenly at the age of 56. I hadn't seen him in 8 years. I learned afterwards that a month before he had been at an event in my area, an event I was too lazy to go to. A month later he was dead. I know if I had known he would be there I would have made the effort to go.

So now I have this dream about my other brother and can't help but wonder if it is a warning that this could happen again, though I saw him last at Christmas. A warning, or just a message that I shouldn't let my relationship with my living brother slide like it did with my late brother.

This dream occurred a few weeks ago and since translating its possible message, I still haven't called him. But I will, because one never knows when our loved ones here will be taken from us and become our angels over there.

[I texted him a few minutes ago asking him to call me.]

August 13, 2017, Meeting

Quotes and prompts provided by Nancy.

If you want to write, you must begin by beginning, finish by finishing. This is the great secret of it all. Tell no one. - Jack Heffron, The Writer's Idea Book

If you can visualize it, you can do it.

Keep a dream journal. Many writers (Anne Rice, Steven King) get their ideas from their dreams.


1. Have you ever had an out of body experience, seen a ghost, been saved by an angel? How did it change you? If not, write about what it might be like.

2. A mysterious tablet with hieroglyphic figures had been dropped by the fleeing men.

3. Use this sentence somewhere in a short story:  Now that she is gone I was finally free to tell the truth.

4. I am thankful that God never answered my prayer.

5. Describe a dream (maybe a recurring dream) which affected you deeply.

Please feel free to post your writing.

Next Meeting September 10, 2017
Judy is scheduled to lead.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Writing Prompt: The Person I Would Most Like to Bring Back

From the prompt "The person I would most like to bring back is...", I wrote the following:

The person I would most like to bring back is my dad. Though I do have many visits from him in sleep time, I long to hear his voice, his laugh, to feel his comfortable embrace.

I never got to ask him questions. I heard stories from when he was a kid, but only a chosen few he repeated over and over again.

My father's father was born in England. When his parents and 13 or so siblings emigrated to Canada, Charles remained behind. At the age of 16 he lied about his age and entered the military. He was stationed in India where he met my grandmother, also from the U.K. whose father was stationed in India. My grandparents wed there (and I actually found their marriage certificate online). They had three children, then emigrated to Canada when my dad was a year old. They had one more child here.

I asked my mother recently if my grandparents had British accents. I never met them and was curious as this was never mentioned. My mother having dementia said she didn't know. I'm sure if she thought about it, maybe thought about a conversation they had, she would be able to recall.

A small thing, that, but something I never thought to ask my father. I have pictures of my grandparents and a general idea of their characters, but not much. They never seemed to smile and I know my sister was afraid of my grandmother.

My father had a wonderful sense of humour. He always teased his sisters, always got into trouble. "Madge," my grandfather said one night at the dinner table, "we are raising a fool." (I think it was fool, it could have been clown. I heard the story many times but my mother doesn't remember).

So not only would I like to see, feel, and hear my father again for the mere comfort of being in his presence again, I am sure he has many stories to tell that I want to hear.

I visited my mother recently and tried to reminisce about Dad.

"I was 14 when we met," she said.

"Where did you meet?" I asked knowing the answer.

"I don't remember."

I reminded her of the story Dad had told. "You were in a park, on a swing. He said he even remembered what you were wearing."

"Oh, I don't know," was all she said.

The story of my Mom and Dad walking together, eating ice cream as they crossed the bridge over the Avon River in Stratford is so vivid as my father told it a million times. It's as if I was there.

They toyed with each other, each holding a hand out to the other. "Come here." "No, you come here." My Dad held my mother's hand, but then let go. My mother toppled over the railing into the water. When she came out dripping wet my father was howling with laughter.

I can hear that laugh. My father laughed a lot and brought a lot of laughter into our lives. I could use some of that laughter today and every day. But the laughter only my father could create. And I would love to be able to hear him howl with laughter at something I said. Mostly my jokes, when he was alive, would elicit a look of surprise. Today, I would hope, that I could make him howl with laughter. Laughter we could share together... and then a hug.

John Charles Bird
November 2, 1923 - February 26, 2006