Friday, January 29, 2010

Adult Drama Classes - Theatre Orangeville - Spring 2010

Have you ever wanted to act?

Class size is limited to 15
Tuesdays, March 23 to April 27, 2010
Time: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Location: The Maples Independent Country School
2nd line Amaranth just north of Hwy 109
COST: $180 + GST

Check out

HURRY - Class size is limited to 15.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I read this at our group after Janet passed away. She died October 13, 2007.

Tuesday, October 25th, 2001, was a strange rainy day and I almost missed the writing workshop. Had I missed it, I wouldn’t have started the Headwaters Writers’ Guild. Waking up with a migraine from hell, I decided to stay in bed, although a part of me longed to attend the writing workshop. Eventually, I gave in to the longing.

Janet Bellinger arrived late because of a bad migraine, and getting lost. When we talked in the washroom, we had an immediate connection when we shared painkillers.

For those who don’t know me, I’ve heard angelic voices since I was four after I had a near-death experience. Today was no exception. “Janet’s special,” the angelic woman’s voice whispered, “be kind to her.”My eyes widened and I stared at Janet.

“Is something wrong?” she asked. “Is my head on crooked or what?”

“Nothing like that,” I said.

If I had one word to describe Janet it would be unique. I promise you will never meet another person like Janet.

I remember the time, laughing and giggling, we almost slid off the icy road into a ditch on the way to Ed’s. We were co-conspirators in the pursuit of a magical key that would unlock our creative geniuses. Later, I realized the key is hard work. Or as Ed always said, “The only way you can be defeated is to give up.”

Janet had an artist’s personality and I could always find the child within myself when we hung out together and my writing flourished. Janet had a strong, confident, reading voice when we wrote together. I always believed in her talent explicitly. I had no choice as whenever we were together I could see a vision of a published book with her name on it. I’ve never seen it for anybody else but Janet.

“I think I’ll write under Janet Elizabeth,” she said frequently. I always tried to stifle a laugh.

“Whenever I see your published book, the name printed on it is Janet Bellinger.”

“Really?” she said pushing her blonde hair out of her face.

Janet is a passionate writer and her writing led to long debates at Ed’s workshops. I complimented her saying, “A writer’s job is to provoke thought.”

She always had a talent for humourous writing. “You have a natural talent for humour,” I told her.

“Do you think so? I don’t try to be funny.”

I believe that Janet wrote her poem “You are a Symphony” with me at one of our writing sessions together. “It’s beautiful,” I told her.

We often met at a local coffee shop to write. When I wrote with Janet I did the best writing of my life. The muse always arrived for us. Janet and I wrote every day and shared our writing by email. She was a staunch supporter and inspired me to continue writing.

After every session at Ed’s she’d email me with kind words such as “I loved your Always poem. Especially the line, I am the dog who licks your hand.”

If you value this writing group, you have Ed and Janet to thank. Ed for the structure of the group, and Janet for planting seeds, which took root two years later. Stuck in Orangeville with the roads closed, writing at Coffee Way, Janet with her eyes twinkling said, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had our own writing group in Orangeville?”

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Markets and Calls for Submissions

No contests this week, just a few new homes for your writing.

Freelance Writing Jobs brings you 21 Poetry Markets and 16 Greeting Card Markets, including some general submission guidelines.

The Urban Muse offers up these 5 Unlikely Spots to Find Writing Markets.

Contemporary Verse, The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing accepts poetry submissions as well as poetry-related articles, interviews and reviews. Their submission guidelines are online. Be sure to check out their Resources page as it includes an extensive list of Canadian literary journals, writing organizations, online poetry sites and more.

Calls for Submissions

Chicken Soup for the Soul has many books in development that might be of interest to you, including:
  • Christmas and Holidays, deadline February 28, 2010. 
  • Devotionals for Mothers, deadline February 28, 2010. 
  • Dieting and Fitness, deadline January 31, 2010. 
  • Family Matters, deadline February 28, 2010. 
  • Grandmothers, deadline March 31, 2010. 
  • Grieving and Recovery, deadline March 31, 2010. 
  • My Cat’s Life, deadline March 30, 2010. 
  • My Dog’s Life, deadline March 30, 2010. 
  • New Moms, deadline February 28, 2010. 
  • Preteens, deadline June 30, 2010. 
  • Teens, deadline June 30, 2010.
Check out their website for details and submission guidelines.


Donna Ippolito answers the question: How do you introduce the main character?

Check out the review of one of my favourite authors, Jessica Page Morrell’s book, Thanks, But This Isn’t For Us (A sort of) Compassionate Guide to Why Your Writing is Being Rejected.

SPOTLIGHT: Tinting Exposition With Character. What exactly is ‘exposition’?


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

WRITING PROMPTS from HWG Meeting January 24, 2010

Judy brought eight prompts for us. Here are the prompts that we selected to write about:

Rowena was different from the rest of her family.

"This must be my 15 minutes of fame," she/he thought.

Looking back, James could see that it was a major turning point. How might his life have been, if he had . . .

He hated the scrubbed sterile corridors, and the smell of the hospital. It reminded him of . . .
(Clare chose this one and we laughed and laughed . . .)

The clock struck 13, she was sure of it. She tip toed down the stairs. The very air seemed different, and when she opened the back door she saw . . .

Emma's illness had changed her.

Why not try one and bring your writing to read at our next meeting - Sunday, February 7, 2010.

HWG MEMBERS - We missed YOU!

Pictures from our last week's meeting, Sunday, January 24, 2010. Judy is reading her limericks that she wrote about HWG members!

Welcome back, Alex.
We missed you (everybody that didn't attend) on Sunday. You missed lots of laughter and fun.

We hope to see you at the next meeting.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

January 24, 2010 Meeting

We had an interesting meeting today. We were glad to see Alex back with the group. We've missed him while he's been in French River and beyond for the past several months.

The meeting started off with a few limericks courtesy of Pat, Clare and Judy, who led our meeting today.

I finally sat down to write
Much to my muse's delight
But I wrote silly stuff
Twas not nearly enough
To cure my writer's block plight.

And a couple from Judy:

There once was a poet named Harry
Whose talent was extraordinary
His words flowed like milk
from a tongue made of silk
And soothe the bile of the contrary

There once was a woman named Nancy
When she could't write she got antsy
So she talked to God
and he did the job
And she won the accolades fancy

Okay, on with the show! I'll post some more limericks later.
Harry read us a piece he is working on with a fellow poet. They will present it in support of a new art centre in Collingwood - date to be announced.

Nancy's article from the Globe and Mail called I Love to Drop the F-bomb has placed 6th in the Globe and Mail's most popular facts and arguments article of 2009. If you haven't read it, you can find it at Nancy also reminded us that it is a gift to be able to read your work aloud to others and feel like a REAL writer.

Jayne showed us an article she had published in The Presbyterian Record this month. It is called Ghana: Boogie to the Front and is about her trek to Ghana last year. It is a nice article about the people that touched and inspired her and some of their struggles. It has a few of the wonderful pictures that she took. You can check it out at Jayne will have another article in the next issue. The Presbyterian Record also plans to publish one of her novels - one chapter per issue. Congratulations, Jayne!

Clare also made us laugh with a story about an irate nurse with a hypodermic needle in one hand and a suppository in the other.

We also got into a discussion about Haiti which led to Ron writing a thought provoking article that we hope he will finish and submit.

Jayne brought up that she ordered a course from The Great Courses The one she is currently doing is called Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer's Craft. We hope she will give us the short version. Today we discussed cumulative syntax. Creating strong sentences by removing conjuctions. Simplifying your work. One of the names that came up as an example was Hemingway.

While on the topic of writers we enjoy, the name Robert B. Parker came up. I had brought a couple of his books along for Nancy to read and someone mentioned that he was dead. I checked it out when I got home and found his obituary online. Robert B. Parker died Janary 20, 2010 at his desk in his home. He died doing what he loved: writing. He was influenced by Hemingway, Faulkner, and Scott Fitzgerald.

Also a reminder that the Brian Henry workshop has been moved from March 6 to March 13, 2010.

AND our next meeting is February 7, 2010. Richard will be leading.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Want to win books?

Check out Enter contests monthly, pick and choose which ones you want to enter. Some of the authors, for legal reasons, do not accept Canadian entries so watch for that.

Also, Also enter monthly picking which book(s) you want to win.

And check out the websites of your favourite authors. Many have contests to win their books. I regularly check,, and is another website that has monthly book giveaways as well as interviews with authors, book reviews, and much more.

Be sure to check entry deadlines.

Contests, Contests, Contests!

Before we get to the actual contests, here are some words of advice about contests in general:

Nathan Bransford, Literary Agent has some words of advice (including read the fine print) in his post All About Contests. There's also a link to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest there too (January 25-February 7).

InkyGirl also advises that Before entering writing contests, ALWAYS read the fine print.

Kathy Temean at Writing and Illustrating has some Tips for Winning Writing Contests.

Now for the contests!
  • The Writing and Illustrating blog has a list of contests that offer Chances to Win Publication, Money, Prizes & Critiques, including one from LeapFrog Press, which has an adult fiction category as well as a children's. 
  • Thanks to InkyGirl for this Xtreme Travel Stories quarterly contest. "The quarterly writing competition is a skill-based contest where participants submit either a Travel story or free-lance report in any language, topic or category the author desires." Winners receive $100. This quarter's deadline is March 1, 2010.
  • The Cup of Comfort and REDBOOK are teaming up for the Your Love Story Contest. The grand prize winner receives $1000 and a full set of Cup of Comfort books, plus an excerpt will be published in REDBOOK and the full story in A Cup of Comfort for Couples. Three runners-up will receive $150, and all other selected stories will receive $100. Deadline is April 20th.
Good luck!

Friday, January 22, 2010


The Orangeville Library was generous in giving us a meeting room but due to the library budget, they were unable to extend their generosity for 2010.

I hate to admit it, but I hate change. I wasn’t looking forward to finding a new room for our group. Other libraries offered meeting rooms at no charge but our group wanted to stay in Orangeville. Mainly, I guess because driving in the winter in this area is horrendous.

We gratefully accepted Jayne’s generous offer of a room at Tweedsmuir Presbyterian Church (6 John Street – entrance at the side- ).

What a delightful surprise. The room is spacious and even has windows. I believe all creative beings are inspired by light. It’s a wonderful change for our group.

I took pictures of our first day (January 10. 2010) back from the holidays. They’re blurry but Judy has promised to email me, her pictures.

Sunday, January 24, 2010
1:30 - 3:45 PM
Tweedsmuir Presbyterian Church
6 John Street, Orangeville
Judy is leading.
Hope to see everybody there!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Sometimes when I experience the dreaded writers’ block, I write letters to God in my morning pages (The Artist Way, by Julia Cameron). After completing this exercise I tap into “flow.” Many famous writers were prolific letter writers who warmed up their creative juices by writing letters.

Why not try it?

While de-cluttering my paper mess, I came across a letter handwritten on lined paper, which I believed I wrote some time in 2005.

Dear God:

Some days, I don’t know why I even bother to write. On these dismal days, I call out for the muse to arrive to pour inspiration into my creative soul. It almost seems as if the muse taunts me. It’s as if I can almost hear her say:

Why should I show up at your command? How much easier would it be for
me if you practiced your writing on a daily basis? I never know when you’re prepared to sit down and write.

If you wait for inspiration, you could die waiting. Great writers sit their butt on the chair at regular intervals and I always know where and when to find them.

If you want to be a writer, write. With each word you put on the page, you are one step closer to realizing your dream of finishing the first draft of your novel.

Don’t talk to me of distractions. Do you think I’m never interrupted or distracted? Writers are always crying out, “O Muse, why have you forsaken me?” I have never forsaken a committed writer. I hover beside them, and I pour inspiration into their
creative soul.

Committed writers understand the key to writing is found within. All writers have the key to realize their dreams. They ban their inner critic to the slush pile. They ignore the critic, as they know that writing begets writing. They focus on completing their creative work, realizing that the act of writing will bring inspiration and me.

Don’t pick on yourself. You already have fear attacking every pore of your body. Why would you pick on your creative child? For God’s sake, don’t say, “My writing sucks or I’ll never become a writer.”

Do not allow the demon of doubt to paralyze you, and leave you unable to accomplish your dreams.

REMEMBER! Within each person lies the ability for greatness. Persevere and you will become the writer of your dreams.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

WRITING WITH STYLE - Brian Henry Workshop

The Headwaters Writers' Guild present…
“Writing with style” ~ with guest author Jean-Rae Baxter ~
Saturday, March 13,10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Tweedsmuir Presbyterian Church, 6 John Street, Orangeville

If you do any kind of creative writing, fiction or non-fiction, and your prose needs some panache or a dash of sass, this workshop is for you. We’ll tackle the nitty-gritty of putting words on paper in a way that will grip the reader’s imagination. You'll learn how to avoid common errors that drain the life from your prose. And you'll discover how to make your writing more vivid, more elegant and more powerful.

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing teacher for more than 25 years. He has helped many of his students get published, including guest speaker Jean-Rae Baxter…

Jean Rae Baxter is an author of many talents. Her short story collection A Twist of Malice (Seraphim) garnered critical acclaim, and one of the stories was re-crafted as a stage play. She has also published, The Way Lies North (Ronsdale Press), a young adult historical novel set during the American Revolution. Most recently, she published, Looking for Cardenio, a literary murder mystery. Jean will publish a sequel to The Way Lies North next year, and a second short story collection (for adults) is also in the works.
Visit her website here:

Fee for members of the Headwaters Writers’ Guild: $35.24 plus gst = $37 paid in advance or $42.86 plus gst = $45 if you wait to pay at the door

Fee for members of the general public: $39.05 plus gst = $41 paid in advance or $42.86 plus gst = $45 if you wait to pay at the door

To register, please make out a cheque to Brian Henry and mail it to:
Brian Henry, 110 Reiner Road, Toronto, ON M3H 2L6
Or give your cheque to Nancy and she will mail it for you.

To reserve a spot now, email

Note: For information about other writing workshops and courses, agents looking for authors, markets for your writing and writing contests, check out Quick Brown Fox:



Check out the rules. They didn't mentioned an entry fee. Pat called and emailed The Star and they have updated thier info.

Word Count: 2,500
Deadline: February 28, 2010
New this year:
Partnered with Toronto Library & Humber College
5 Judges
NO ENTRY FEE REQUIRED - free is always good!

SIR KEN ROBINSON - Creativity Expert


It’s never too late to be creative!

Check out video.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

LONG RIDGE E-Newsletter - Jan 18-2010

On Potpourri check out the contests:

Whispers Publishing Contest (Books)
Deadline: January 31, 2010

The First Line

No entry fee.
Word Limit: 300 to 3,000
Deadline: February 1, 2010
FIRST LINE: Working for God is never easy.


Donna Ippolito answers the question: Is this creative non-fiction?


- Gives information re Show Don’t Tell in First Person POV.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Writing Prompts

Don't get all excited now, I'm not putting in a list of actual writing prompts.
Someone asked me the other day where to get some good prompts from. Just thinking off the top of my head, I told him try using song lyrics (okay, so I write song lyrics). Then I started to think of the various ways people in our group do come up with ideas for prompts.

There are various books available that will give you some great ones. Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones has several ideas. You can get ideas from:
lines from songs
sentences from books and magazines
use weird words from the dictionary
photographs or pictures from magazines
newspaper headlines
phrases you overhear in the coffee shop
things your kids have said or done
In short, life is one big prompt. Ideas for prompts should be simple so the writer can feel free to run with whatever crosses their minds and not feel restricted.
There is always something to write about.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


It’s my father’s ninetieth birthday today.

“How does it feel to be ninety?” I asked.

“I feel the same, but I avoid mirrors.”

“When I asked you how it felt to be sixty-five. You told me that your mind is still twenty but your body reminds you that you’re older.”

“So I said almost the same thing,” We both laughed.

When I was younger, I never imagined my father living to ninety.

In 1996, when I had my second near-death experience (NDE), and the angels told me that I had to go back, as I hadn’t finished my mission, I became obsessed. I mediated for hours wondering if I’d been sent back only to say goodbye to loved ones, and what was the promise that I’d made in heaven.

Besides reconciling with friends and family, three months after the NDE I began writing, which has always been my childhood dream. I realized this would be my only regret if I died. Most people that die regret the things they didn’t do.

Since this NDE, I’ve pondered on life and death. In the movie, Blade Runner, the robots are searching for their maker to know when is their expiry date.

What would you regret that you hadn’t done? Even as you stood before God, you would remember it?

In the movie, Walk the Line, the music producer asks Johnny Cash something like this, “If you knew that you would die tomorrow, what song would you sing?” He sung, Walk the Line, a song that he had written.

When I experience writer’s block, I think about my age and what I want to accomplish before I expire. Then I sit down, knowing how quickly time passes, and I write what I’m passionate about.

Most people have a fear of public speaking. In Grade 11, I wrote a speech about epilepsy. My brother is an epileptic and I’d witnessed adults and children harass him because of it. I learned if I was passionate about a topic, I lost my fear of speaking. I didn’t even care if I made a fool of myself. I won first place.

What are you passionate about? Everybody has a story to tell. What is your story that only you, could tell?

I believe that procrastination is always fear based. You’re not lazy. “Feel the fear, and do it anyways.”

Did you promise yourself you’d write this year? Why not go where the pen takes you?

Keep writing! As the late Ed Wildman said, “The only way you can be defeated is if you quit writing.”

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Spirit First Meditation Poetry Contest

First Annual Spirit First Meditation Poetry Contest

Deadline: January 31, 2010
First Prize: $150
Second Prize: $75
Third Prize: $50

Complete guidelines:
Spirit First announces its first annual meditation poetry contest. Poetry submissions may be of any length and any style but must have a theme of meditation, mindfulness, stillness, or silence. Poems may reflect any discipline or any faith or none. Poems must be previously unpublished.

Check out website for more information.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


In the writing tips from Donna Ippolito, Long Ridge instructor answers the question re writing what you love (fiction) versus writing for money (magazines articles)?

Don’t wait the newsletter is only available for a short time.

You’re Not Mad, You’re Creative

Remember the email that I sent yesterday? The one that I said that I’m blaming my creative side for the loss of my bag.

Check out the above website.

Don’t forget to answer the questions at the bottom of the Are You Highly Creative? quiz. How many questions did you say yes to? Just as I guessed, I’m highly creative! *lol*


Word Count: 2,500
Deadline: February 28, 2010

New this year:
Partnered with Toronto Library & Humber College
5 Judges
first placed winner floored by victory

Check out last year’s winning entries:
First place winning story
Second place winning story
Third place winning story

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Meeting Minutes Jan 10, 2010

New Year, New meeting place...
We held our first meeting of the year in our new home. Tweedsmuir Presbyterian Church. One of the things Jayne told us after the meeting was that the church was named for The Lord Tweedsmuir whose real name was John Buchan. He was the 15th Governor General of Canada as well as - ironically - a proficient writer with dozens of books to his credit. His most famous "The Thirty-Nine Steps" was made into an Alfred Hitchcock film.

One of the fun things Clare brought to us were some limericks. Some of the group took on the challenge and allowed me to post them onto the blog today:

There once was a parrot named Pat
Who not only parroted but spat
The owner kept his distance
At the spitting bird's insistence
And then fed parrot Pat to the cat. Harry Posner

I doubt that my new resolution
Will help me to find a solution
The problem is clear
A green-car costs too dear
So I'll have to keep causing pollution. Jayne Self

There once was an author named Clare
Who struggled to keep all of his hair
Sitting next to him was Harry
Whose baldness was sexy not scary
And soon I will also be there. Glenn Lott

There was a cross-eyed cook, Harry,
Whose cooking was real scary
He peered around a lot
Before he found the pot
And that just drove his wife near hairy. Clare McCarthy

Speaking of Clare. He announced to us that the Orangeville Banner has a new website. You can find Clare and past cartoons at

We also discussed updating our own website. No one has posted any new writing lately, nor have some of our new writers been added. If you would like to be added to our website, please send a brief Bio, a photo if you choose, some pieces of writing, and any web links you have to Shirley Bray.

This information has already gone around to the group but there is a Life Story Writing course being offered by The Learning Enterprise from Tues Feb 23 - April 20, 2010. It is from 7 - 8:30pm. The cost is $65 for 8 classes. If you are interested, call The Learning Enterprise at (519) 941-2661.

There was a suggestion from Harry about how to rid yourself of Writer's Block.
"Think about the best moment of your day and write about it."

Clare read a quote from John Smolens from an article that appeared in the Feb 2010 Writer's Digest. "Given time to mature and learn the game, so to speak, an emerging writer will, with discipline, sustained effort and not a little luck, produce stories that are worth reading."

Included with my prompts this meeting, I added a list of "lines to make you smile" which prompted more writing than the prompts did! I thought I'd include them here for everyone to use and abuse as you see fit!

I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.
Don't take life too seriously; no one gets out alive.
Earth is the insane asylum for the universe.
I'm not a complete idiot - some parts are missing.
Out of my mind. Back in 5 minutes.
The trouble with life is there's no background music.
Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

Happy writing everyone. Our next meeting is January24, 2010 and our leader will be Judy.
Hope to see you all there!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Canadian Writer's Journal

Short Story contest deadline April 30th. Check it out here:

Blog Roll-Up: Best of the Week's Writing Blogs

Okay, so I missed a week or two. I’ll make it up to you by including a few posts from those weeks in the roll-up.

Tips, Tips and More Tips
“Best of” Lists
  • Writing and Illustrating is a blog for “sharing information about writing and illustrating for children,” but Kathy Temean’s  Top Twelve 2009 Posts is useful for any writing. Her list includes posts about proofreading, revision, character arcs and dialogue.
  • has a feature on their blog called Top Ten Lists. You can find the most queried agents, the most requested (by agents) fiction genres and the most non-responsive agents. I won’t tell you who the number one requested agent (check out the blog post to find out!) but I will say this: I’m not surprised.
  • Lisa Romeo Writes shares the best information and tips from the notebooks she filled during her MFA program in a series of 14 posts: Gold in Them Notebooks.
  • Be sure to stop by The Freelance Writing Jobs 20 Top Posts of 2009, which include tips for starting your freelance writing career, free online writing courses and who to follow on Twitter.
  • Speaking of Twitter, Jane Friedman at There Are No Rules posts a weekly Best Tweets for Writers, with links to great posts such as “When to Stop Revising.”

Defining Genres

Finally, I know that Christmas is over, but, you’ll need some time to practice Toni McGee Causey’s An Author’s 12 Days of Christmas before 2010’s Christmas party.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Here's Judy's brothers review of Avatar. He works in film.

Spectacular. Seriously, Cameron delivers. The 3D and CGI are wonderful but it's the story and characters that make it a great movie. And the direction; it's beautifully paced. It's an ecological morality tale, a romantic fantasy, a love story, a coming-of-age story, a war story, an epic clash of cultures -- Dances With Wolves meets The New World meets the kick-ass marines from Aliens, with 1000 times as much firepower.

Predictable, simplistic, sentimental, cheesy at times (the night time bio-luminescent) scenes have an unfortunate black-velvet-painting look ... but ... awe-inspiring, intense, heartfelt and moving. Some of the most moving moments are quiet ones when Jake is awestruck by the Pandora forest world. The flora and fauna of Pandora are beautifully realized, and it's all CGI!!

The battle scenes are amazing; they really work story-wise because, once again, you care about the characters. Nicely worked out theme of seeing and being seen, quite spiritual.

The Na'vi are believable, you forget you're watching CGI and buy them as characters -- they're like big cats, very lion-like. Unfortunately, their tall elongated slender shape makes their movements seem a little stiff at times. Quibbles aside, I can't wait to see it again.


I cannot say it enough - if we care about your characters - we'll love your story.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

MOVIES - It's Complicated & Avatar & Writing

Everybody who knows me knows that I love movies. I have an expensive habit and I try to frequent the movies on Tuesdays. While watching the movie, I’m thinking about the screenplay and making a post re the movie on our blog.

It’s Complicated – 2.5 out of 4

Last night, I saw It’s Complicated. It’s funny with a lot of laughs. It’s written and directed by Nancy Meyers. Jane hooks up with her ex-husband at their son’s graduation. He left her for a hot younger woman. After ten years, they have an amicable divorce.

I didn’t like the ending but if you thought about it, how else could it have ended? Although, if my husband left me for a younger woman I’d have written a screenplay where the wife murders her husband. The plot of the movie is predictable.

Jane and Jake’s children are still affected by the divorce after a decade – this scene is great! Most movies forget about the children’s emotions.

John Krasinski acting is fabulous.

When Jane disscusses her lovelife with a group of women friends the audience howled!

Avatar – 4 out of 4

Judy’s brother wrote a wonderful review and I neglected to ask her if I had permission to post it. I’ll get back to you on that.

As a sci-fi addict, I loved every second of it. My brother-in-law Jim wanted to question some of the dynamics of how the humans entered the avatar bodies. I told him, “Loving sci-fi the way I do, I just accepted the premise.”

Avatar is a movie for everybody not just people who like sci-fi.

The movie speaks of mankind’s ability to forget their humanity when it involves the almighty dollar. The characters are believable and developed. We care what happens to Pandora’s people. At one point, Jake’s speech reminded me of the movie, Braveheart.

Any writer who can provoke thought, I believe, is a talented writer. On the way home, we discussed the movie, mostly, about men’s capacity for violence.

Avatar is visually stunning.

I wish I’d written the screenplay. I can’t wait to see it again especially in 3D. This movie is the wave of the future.

This is one of the best movies that I've seen in a long time.

Contests and Calls for Submissions


The fourth annual Chase the Dream Contest is now open. Polish up the first 1000 words of your romance novel (or novel with a romantic theme) and enter to win some great prizes that include a scholarship to a Gotham Writers Workshop and a manuscript-in-progress critique. The contest is judged by a panel of editors and agents. No entry fee!

The Washington-Centerville Public Library and the University of Dayton team up to  challenge you to capture the essence of Erma Bombeck to win $100 cash prize plus entrance to the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. The Erma Bombeck Writing Competition deadline is January 31, 2010.

Thanks to C. Hope Clark for this one: If I Ruled the World Essay Contest. “In 1,000 words or less, tell the contest judges what you hate about the world – what bothers you or ticks you off, and how you’d fix it if you were running things. Open to anybody who enjoys writing.” Entry is free. Deadline is February 1, 2010.

The Toronto Star Short Story Contest will be launched this week, so watch for details. First prize is $5000 plus tuition for the Humber School of Writers correspondence program.

Calls for Entries

Graywolf Press accepts unagented submissions during the month of January. “Graywolf Press is a literary press that publishes about twenty-seven books annually, mostly collections of poetry, memoir, essays, novels, and short stories. Our editors are looking for high quality literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that combines a distinct voice with a distinct vision.”

Glimmer Train is also looking for submissions of stories up to 12,000 words during the month of January. Accepted submissions receive 10 copies of the issue they appear in plus $700. They are also hosting a Very Short Fiction Award this month ($15 entry fee, first place wins $1200 plus publication and 20 copies of the issue it appears in, 3000 word limit). Deadline for both submissions is January 31, 2010.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


It’s Tuesday, January 5, 2010, 11:30 AM, and I’m sitting at my computer wondering what to write about. Since I took a holiday from writing around December 17, 2009, I haven’t thought about writing and I’m out of practice of writing where the pen takes me.

Did you write during the holidays?

Sometimes when I take a break from life as I did during the holidays, when I return to daily life, I’m infused with an enormous energy. But whenever I take a holiday from writing, I usually feel paralyzed on the page. My mind becomes blank and I’m at a loss for words.

I like the book, “If You Can Talk, You Can Write” by Joel Saltzman. It infused me with hope that quite possibly I could write. Anybody who knows me knows that I have no problem talking. Actually, I talk too much.

His book answers the question, what do I write about? He includes inspirational quotes along with insights and tricks of the trade on writing.

Now, when I first started writing today, I had no idea that I would write about Saltzman’s book. There is magic in writing where the pen takes you.

Writing morning pages, (“The Artist Way” by Julia Cameron) frees the writer within to write. I highly recommend this book, too.

Have you ordered from our online bookstore? For Christmas, I purchased for myself, The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition (Hardcover) at a cost of $37.93. In the store, the price of the book is $55.00. I saved, $17.07 and Headwaters Writers’ Guild earned money from Amazon.

When ordering books or CD’s online, why not order from our bookstore?

Keep writing and keep happy!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas break and have your pencils as sharp as your wits. Our first meeting of 2010 takes place on January 10 and I will be leading. I'm a bit rusty but will find some good prompts to get your brains back into gear!

Reminder of our change of venue from the Library to Tweedsmuir Church. I'm looking forward to seeing you all there!