Friday, April 30, 2010


Meeting on Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 1:30 P.M. at the Church.

Richard is leading.

Looking forward to seeing everybody there.

Keep writing and keep happy.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Photos from Stories of Prayers and Faith Book Launch

Ruth reading from her poetry book.
Diane reads part of Gifts from God.

Nancy reads part of Heavenly Encounters.

Gloria and Alberta start things off with Alberta reading about her experience with a shark in Hawaii. Her story is called We Are One.

Writers, writers everywhere and nary a pen in sight!
Okay so that's not totally true. Those authors with stories in the book were only too happy to sign their stories and chat with our friends. I even stepped in to serve drinks when our beloved BookLore lady Nancy was busy.
Thanks to all who came for such a great evening.

POETRY SESSION - April 24, 2010

Harry & Kristan

Poetry Session – Grey Roots Museum April 24, 2010 for National Poetry Month.

Okay, I should have taken notes but I just enjoyed the moment. Poor Harry, I had to email him twice.

All the poets were amazing but especially Harry.

Antonio Christie did a great job both as the open mic reader and poet. He mentioned that he knows that other poets come to listen to poets. And they love performing for other poets. I wondered if he was psychic. Then I realized that Judy and I had our journals on our lap.

Kristan Anderson started the session with his love poem re his fifteen years of being married. He mentioned new love versus older mature love. I can’t wait to hear his poem when he’s been married for forty years. He is the poet laureate of Owen Sound. If you heard his poetry, you’d know why.

Harry did a duet with Kristan and it’s called Fire, Seduction, Art. We all laughed. What an outstanding performance.

Liz Setlin selected a writing prompt from Natalie Goldberg’s Old Friend from Far Away. This is one of the books that I mentioned in the life-writing course but I digress. Her poem about Insomnia blew me away. She mentioned that she’d bought the book and CD, I Can Make You Sleep but she’s still not sleeping. When she mentioned listening to Leonard Cohen to fall asleep there was an audible sigh. "Oooo!" Unfortunately, it was me

Did you hear Clare say that he bought the Natalie Goldberg's book from BookLore? It’s an excellent book and I’ve used it for writing prompts.

Before leaving for break, I talked to Liz.

“I bought the book and CD, I Can Make You Thin. I’ve lost a few pounds but since I started listening to his CD in bed, I’m sleeping.”

Liz laughed. “I sleep to that CD, too.”

Harry performance included Train, Logos, Untitled, and We are Waiting. I hate Harry. His poetry is just too good! I’m just kidding.

Judy Lowry is soft spoken and her poetry took my breath away. Daniel Kolos’ poetry was thought provoking.

Antonio Christie poem, Murdering my Father made us all sit up and pay attention.

You have to experience the spoken word or words aloud to appreciate it. The author’s voice is emotional, haunting, magical and entertaining. I guarantee that you’ve never heard poetry like this unless you’ve experienced it. The Orangeville Library had Spoken Word poets last April.

I took a movie of Harry’s performance and if I get my butt in gear I’ll have it to show at our meeting on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Finding an Agent via Twitter

Some great advice in this article, and even more in the comments added below. It's worth reading.

Coffee Shop Writing

The following article was written by the Toronto Star, picked up by American website Writers' Relief, and posted on Facebook (probably on Twitter too but I didn't notice it). The article is a "The and Now" about writers found writing in coffee shops. I must get out of my basement!

Writing Reminder & Other Stuff

We have another writing session this Sunday, May 2nd, at 1:30pm at Tweedsmuir. Richard will be leading. He has given us a heads up that we will be writing from picture prompts (I love picture prompts!!). Let me know if you are unable to attend.

A couple of reminders:

If you have questions for Gloria about the anthology, please bring them with you... or email them to her ahead of time so she has a chance to think and come up with answers. Her email address is

Also, if you have any ideas for the cover of the anthology, please bring them along for consideration. Perhaps the group will have a vote.

The Headwaters Writers' Guild annual day-long retreat is scheduled for Saturday, June 19th at Eramosa Eden from 10am to 4pm. Please let Nancy know if you are planning to attend and pay her the $10 fee.

See you Sunday!

Book Launch - April 26, 2010 - BookLore

Headwaters Writers’ Guild believes strongly in supporting fellow members.

Thank you to all the members who attended the book launch for Stories of Prayer and Faith at BookLore on Monday, April 26, 2010.

Thank you also to my friends, Bonnie, Chantal & Jim, Ruth & Frank and Sheila who attended our function.

And a special thank you to Nancy Frater of BookLore who hosted our function.

Check out Diane’s Blog for photos.

Pat, can you believe it? I forgot my camera! Yup, I was in artist mode.


Nancy Frater at BookLore suggested that with all the poets in our group, she should hold an OPEN MIKE. Harry is busy organizing the Literacy Festival in September 2010.

Would anybody be interested in organizing an OPEN MIKE? Previously, Judy mentioned that we should have an OPEN MIKE. Any volunteers? Judy, Clare, Caitlyn, Pat, Diane, Richard? Anybody else? Nominate somebody.

Email from Gloria re the book launch:

April 27, 2010

Hi Everyone

Last night's book launch in Orangeville went well. We had about 27 people come and the authors present (Alberta, Diane, Allison, Nancy, Ruth, Angela, and myself) read their stories from the book, then we had social time.

The pictures will be up on the Headwaters Writers' Guild Blog soon.Our photographer was so busy socializing at the Eramosa Eden Launch, she forgot to take pictures, but SNAP was there and pictures will be in their paper on May 3. I will be posting pictures on as well.

Thank you everyone for your support.

All the best,
Gloria Nye.

I'm speechless!

I've been fighting a headcold for the past few days. Yesterday I woke up with no voice.

Nancy said, "Hm, that's because you have something you want to say or something you said that you regret." (I'm paraphrasing here.) I decided she was sort of right. I've been "trying" to get back to my first novels to edit for the past 4 months and just "can't seem to find the time." Funny how I get sick whenever I am brushing aside the creative work I WANT TO DO and am too busy doing other things.

I have to learn to be my own best cheerleader.

I got some great pictures out on Island Lake this morning. My oldest son is a rower this year.

He hates the early mornings but loves being on the lake. I saw a great example of teamwork this morning. Their boat came in at a 90 degree angle to the dock. Normally they would have to row back out and make a second attempt. Not today. Today they decided to go for it and work with the coaches on shore to land. It took time, patience and a little thought but they docked.

I figure I need to be like the team was this morning. Take my time. Be patient. Give my writing a little more thought and energy.
And drink lots of tea so I can talk again by Sunday!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Last meeting and next meeting

Hey gang!

First off,, regarding last meeting,,,, very sorry for not being at the meeting on sunday but i had to make an unplanned trip to north bay and sudbury.

Second,, next meeting,,,, Holy crap I'm leading again?????? Arrgh! Okay,,,, acceptance is settling in and I have an idea for the next meeting. I once owned a book of illustrations (author unknown.... uh, meaning no one knows who the author was/is) under each illustration was one sentence. The reader was left to make up his/her own story from the illustration and sentence. I've lost the book years ago (which i continue to this day to kick myself for) and have googled till my fingers were numb trying to find another. (thats a hint to anyone who knows what i'm talking about) Anyway, that's what i'm going to do. As a professional photographer (and not a bad one at that!) I'll be bringing in 8x10 photographs that I've taken over the years and you will have to write a short story or poem about that photo.

Sooooo, this is the 'heads up' on the next meeting and what we'll be doing.

Post Script.. Sonia,, its never a good time to kill a man dear... sheesh!
Nancy,,, remember the old saying,, 'no good dead goes unpunished' (eep! 'deed')

Monday, April 26, 2010

Caught Dead: A Dean Constable Mystery link

Caught Dead : A Dean Constable Mystery chapter four is now available online.
If you haven't started reading yet, you can find the earlier chapters at
And please feel free to post comments!

Creating Realistic Characters

I remember the first time I heard an author speak about her main character as if she was a real person. It kinda freaked me out. I mean, is that how weird I would sound by the time I finished my book?

Creating realistic characters is foundational for any fiction writer because character drives your story forward. It doesn't matter if you're writing fantasy, an action thriller or the next great literary classic of the 21st century, how you depict your characters will make or break your story.

In the past writers of genre fiction could get away with stereotypic heroes and two-dimensional villains. But no more. So how can to we breath life into our beloved characters?

There are a number of helpful tools available. Some authors like character surveys. These elaborate questionnaires ask things like: how tall is your character? What's your character's favourite colour? What is his political affiliation. His faith stance? This method can be uninspiring or informative, depending on how much imagination you invests in your characters.

Other authors prefer to write a complete back story--either in point form or narrative. Elizabeth George writes mini-novels on each character before she ever begins her projects. No doubt that's the secret to her highly intriguing and complex characters.

Still others like to "discover" their character as they write. When you are anxious to begin your story, this may sound the least time consuming of the three methods, however without considered thought, your characters run the risk of becoming cardboard or uncontrollable. Imagine if, in chapter 26, you discovered your heroine was kidnapped as a child, or, heaven-forbid, accidentally knocked grandma down the stairs crippling her?Suddenly you have a whole new set of underlying issues that would have impacted your character's behavior from scene one. You are going to have to scrap everything you've written and start all over again.

I recently watched a twenty minute talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the freakishly successful (her words) Eat, Pray, Love. You can view it at: In her talk she toys with the idea of genius. Is genius something within ourselves or is it an outside force that visits us on occasion? Apparently the second idea, that genius visits us, dates back to Roman times.

A highly successful author like Gilbert may have more credibility than I when discussing genius, but I think realistic characters are created in part by hard work--using one of the methods I mentioned above--and in part by divine inspiration--be that a visiting genius or the good Lord above.

I knew Dean Constable (the protagonist in my mystery Caught Dead) was a fully crafted character the day he offended me. I was browsing a character questionnaire I found in the back of a book about writing unique characters, trying to prove to myself that my hero was a truly admirable archetype, when I came across the question: What has your character hidden at the back of his closet? I've never spent much time rooting through men's closets so I was a little stymied by the question. What would my honest, upstanding, American, cop turned reverend have treasured enough to save and disliked enough to hide.

His gun.

That may seem obvious to most everyone else on the planet but to me, an anti-gun toting Canadian pacifist, I was horrified. How could Dean save such a thing? How could he not?

Dean's hidden gun may never appear in any Dean Constable Mystery, but the very fact that I know he has it, has changed the way I view and write about Dean. It's given him a wedge of unpredictability, an edge that has transformed him from meek and mild mannered to--well you'll just have to read Caught Dead to find out.

Have I said chapter four is now available?
If you haven't already started reading, you can find Caught Dead: A Dean Constable Mystery [at]

Happy reading. Happy writing.

Meeting Minutes April 25, 2010

We had a great day for writing. Since it was gloomy outside, no one minded being inside.

I had a great conversation with Clare and Ron before the meeting. We talked about Vertical vs. Horizontal thinking. If you want something interesting to Google, this would be it!

A cheque was paid to the Tweedsmuir Church for use of their room for the first 6 months of the year. Although they do not charge us rent, we took it upon ourselves to make a donation of $100 to the church twice a year. We are grateful for the time and space to write. Nancy was talking to new members about how we used to write at the library for free on taxpayers' money, but now we write for free at the church using God's money. Clare laughed and said, "So you're okay if we use taxpayer money, but not God's money?" Judy clarified the situation by reminding us that "When you boil it down, it's all God's money. The government just thinks it's theirs."

Jayne's novel is still the most "feedbacked" item in the Presbyterian Record. Yes, she made up a new word. We liked it so it's on the blog. You can read her novel on

Nancy, Gaetan, Clare and Judy all made it out to Grey Roots Museum April 24 for the Poetry reading that Harry was involved in. They gave kudos to Harry for such an impressive job. They told us that all of the works were heartfelt and impressive. Each piece made them think and touched them deeply as the performances spoke to their souls. Nancy recorded some of the show and will burn it onto a DVD to show us all. She thinks it's wonderful that poets love to watch other poets.

Ron showed us a book written by former ODSS teacher Gary T. Gravelle (GTG) called Paths Through Heartache. It is a touching book about his wife who died from Huntington's Disease in 2001. Pat will extend a formal invitation to join our group and talk to us about his book writing experience.

Reminder: Monday April 26 at 7pm is the book launch for Stories of Prayers and Faith. A few of our members have been published in this anthology. Come on out and show them your support!

We welcomed back Kelli Curtis, who joined us once before then got busy with publishing her children's book called Amber and the Fallen Bridge. She had a book launch at As We Grow and will be doing a reading at St. Benedict School here in Orangeville on May 4th. Her book is available at: BookLore, As We Grow, and The Vinyl Cut. She read it to us for practice even though we were all far bigger kids than she is used to reading to. We loved it. Way to go Kelli!

Kelli brought up a great question about how much to charge schools for us to go in to read/talk to students. Some suggestions were to check other author websites and to start low and raise your fees as you get more books published. The base price suggested was $50 per hour and go up from there.

Hope to see you at more meetings.

June 19 is the deadline for submissions for the anthology! There is a 2000 word limit on prose. The group had several questions which I will forward to Gloria later today so she can have an answer for our next meeting. Bring in ideas for artwork for the book cover! There is no theme so anything goes.

June 19 is also the Eramosa Eden Retreat. We will be there from 10am - 4pm to write, use prompts, take pictures, nap...Nancy wants your money asap if you are able to plan ahead. The cost for the day is $10, bring your own bag lunch. Coffee will be provided. If people would like to bring treats, we won't discourage it!


Clare read about a chance meeting at a Tim Hortons with Jayne and her father. He should get a sponsorship from them for all the stories he has written in their restaurants. Or at least a bottomless Tim Card.

Pat read a section of her novel-in-progress. Can't wait to see what happens next.

Kelli read her book to us. We all love the nervous giggle. Glad we could be your first real audience for it.

Ron told us he had great news. He has plans to meet his historian friend next month in Lexington, NC. We'll look forward to hearing all the stories he has to share about that meeting.

Diane read the revised Chapter 1 of her Young Adult novel The Mural.

Judy read her piece about "I can't write today."

We talked about being vulnerable when reading to the group and to others.

Sandy surprised us all by singing her song that she wrote when her son was little. She recorded it with her brothers and sisters who performed in a band called The Free Design out of Delevan, New York. Her song, "Love You" appeared on the band's 6th album and was used in worldwide Toyota commercials as well as others. It also appeared in the closeing credits of the movie Stranger Than Fiction starring Emma Thompson and Will Farrell. Go ahead and Google her and her former group. I dare you not to be impressed!

We wrote our prompts and Clare read his about a Silver Angel and included the song On The Road Again. We'd love to hear more.

Sonja read about a woman waiting for the right time to kill a man. Intriguing.

Pat read about an obstacle someone hadn't anticipated.

Kelli wrote about breaking up with a friend in Grade 9 and trying to reconnect now that she's older. She plans to write a story about it.

Nancy started off reading about her younger sister then talked about the men in her family. She wished we lived in a world that did not punish the truth sayers.

When it was Sandy's turn to read, Kelli asked, "Are you going to sing it?"

She didn't but it was a nice story about two people reconnecting. We're waiting for more on that one too!

Jayne and Ron tackled the prompt about the difference between men and women.

Caitlyn told a story with great suspense. We want more.

Diane wrote a bit more of The Mural.

Judy wrote poetry about "If I Could Say I'm Sorry."

The Prompts

1. "So what are the main differences between the genders, between you and me," he asked her.

2. His mirror image stared back at him. He leaned into it, examining his receding hairline, the greasy spot on his tie, and his frayed shirt cuff.

3. "If my mother knew what I do for a living, it would make her crazy."

4. Thirty years had elapsed since they had seen each other.

5. He pushed the coin into the slot and waited for the silver angel to answer his question.

6. The children hid behind the crumbling stone wall when the machine began to quiver and belch smoke.

7. This was one obstacle she hadn't anticipated.

8. If you could say you're sorry to one person from your past, who would it be?

That wraps it up for this week. I need to get a new notebook and sharpen my pencil for the next meeting.

Our next meeting is May 2 at 1:30pm. Richard will be leading.

See you all then.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Picture Prompts

Here I am again promoting another blog. This particular link contains more than a dozen pictures that make great prompts for writing. Take a look. I'll bet you'll be tempted to write from at least one of them.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

C. Patrick Shulze blog

C. Patrick Shulze has three novels published. He writes some great articles on his blog. Check them out here.



Book Launch: Stories of Prayers and Faith


BookLore, 121 First Street, Orangeville. 519-942-3830 Monday, April 26, 2010, 7 p.m.
Compiled and edited by HWG member Gloria Nye
Four members (Diane, Gloria, Nancy, and Ruth) have stories in this book


We have a writing session this Sunday, April 25th, at 1:30pm atTweedsmuir Church. Judy is leading. Please let me know if you areunable to attend.
At our last session we ran short of time and not everyone got to readtheir prompt, at least I didn't. Some didn't write but took theprompts home to write. They will read those this week.

Also, Harry wrote about an excuse for not writing. It was suggestedthat we all come up with "the best" excuses for not writing. If youcan come up with something to share with the group this week, we'dlove to hear them.

Note: Due to the 3-week break because of Easter, we are meeting twoweeks in a row (April 25th and May 2nd).See you Sunday!"

Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest." - OgMandino

As emailed by Pat.

Life-Writing Course

Pictures of the Life-Writing Course – When I took out my camera to take pictures, Pat said, “I told Diane I changed my clothes as I knew Nancy would be taking pictures.” Good guess.

When I mentioned taking a life-writing course with my writing friends many of them shook their heads.

“I’ve done enough,” one friend said. “I don’t need anymore therapy.”

I tried to explain but to no avail. They were adamant.

“Why not take it?” I asked. “At least you’re writing.”

Nope, they didn’t want any part of it.

I tried again. “It’s about leaving a legacy to your descendants." No response.

Imagine if you could pick up your great-grandmother or grandfather’s diary or journal and read it. I would give anything to have this. Imagine your grandchildren’s children being able to read your life history.

I’ve always been fascinated with history and what’s more important than to remember who we are and where we came from. I wished my ancestors had left a documentation of their life for me.

My cousin Harold has compiled stories along with our family tree. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that my great-great-great-grandmother Elizabeth Coates Lusty along with her son (Theodore Coates Lusty) and daughter-in-law (Harriet Hughes Lusty) are buried twenty minutes north of where I live.

I’ve stood on their land. I have their deed signed by both Harriet and Theodore to their property. This is my most treasured possession.

From Harold’s book I used the story of my great- grandmother (Isabella Lusty) and my great-great-grandfather (Timothy Sullivan) move to Toronto. I fictionalized it in my story, The Gift, as I only had a few details of their life.

At the course we discussed how most people think they don’t have a story to tell.

I read the following quote.

“Nearly everybody thinks their experiences are insignificant. But now I realize that everyone has a story.” Frank McCourt – Personal Journaling 1999

When I signed up for the course I thought I might go back and edit my first draft of my novel that is a fictionalized account of my life. I wrote about naming my children, I worked on other writing, and participated in the discussion.

Susan Walley, our teacher, provided a well of information to help us write our life story. I enjoyed all eight classes. It provided me structured time to write, talk to other writers, and best of all, we had fun! It doesn’t get any better than this.

Susan is going to have another course in the fall and it's a great course.

I’m going to miss the people in the course, as I believe we forged a connection.

For those of you interested in why we should write our life stories, could I suggest that you watch “Who Do You Think You Are” and Goggle "Faces of America" as the series is available online.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


To all the Aries in the group and you know who you are (Clare, Caitlyn, Gloria).

Happy Birthday to my husband who always takes the day off to celebrate.

I'm jealous. Why is it that I don't do anything special for myself on my birthday? Men could teach us a lot.

I hope you have an awesome day working on your sculpture.


I admit it. I’m addicted to Sci Fi/Fantasy/Super Hero movies. I’ve even lined outside in a blizzard waiting to get into one.

Kick Ass didn’t cut for me. I wanted to care for the characters and understand the premise behind their actions. Honest, I did.

The only character I liked is Kiss Ass, the geek, who only wanted not to be invisible to girls. The plot is hard to understand and at times the character’s actions make no sense. Sometimes it felt like I was inside an insane asylum. The biggest problem is that I didn’t believe in the story.

Some critics gave the movie 4 out of 4. Moviegoers on
gave it an 8.3 out of 10. I’d give it a 2 out of 10.

If you love watching a thirteen-year-old girl slash throats and dismember bodies or are thinking of becoming a serial killer, possibly you might like it. Could it be that we are conditioned to accept violence and gore in movies?

My husband liked it. What can I say?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


It’s been a strange couple of days. On Saturday, my ex-brother-in-law on my side of the family, died at age 67. What can I say about him? Nothing. I guess it’s a reminder if you've lived a good life that other people will mourn your death.

I offer sympathy for my niece for the death of her father.

Unhappy thoughts have surfaced. All I can say is that he must have also “conned” his church. I know that God loves unconditionally but I haven’t reached that perfection yet. Maybe after I arrive in heaven I’ll be able to understand the purpose of my ex-brother-in-law’s life. Possibly, maybe his only life’s purpose was to be a bad example or a reminder for us to live the best life you can. And to use the talents that you’re given.

Yesterday, on my husband’s side, a nephew was born weighing 9 lbs. 3 ounces. Today we celebrate his birth. And I’ll pray that he becomes the best person that he can be.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Meet The Authors Day at Eramosa Eden

Nancy and I had the honour yesterday of attending Meet the Author Day at Eramosa Eden for our new book Stories of Prayers and Faith. To read more about it, check out my blog at We may have some new additions to the group after yesterday. I met writers from Acton, Mount Forest, Grand Valley, Guelph and Detroit.

We had a wonderful day - even the kids who got to play with the cats and saw a bat who came out to feed on the bugs later in the afternoon. It was hard to get them to leave!
Hope to see you all at the book launch on April 26th at BookLore!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Letter to Sue re Len Rich

Photos taken July 2009 - Memory Book of Len Rich

April 13, 2010
Dear Sue:

I apologize for taking so long to print off the remaining photos for Len’s memory book. Possibly, I didn’t want to let go of Len or you, so instead I hung onto them.

It’s hard to let go of someone like Len who was instrumental in helping me write. When I became afraid or doubted myself, I’d think, Len believes in me, and then I'd continued to write.

Len helped me to become published in Sideroads. He inspired me. And last year, The Globe and Mail published my essay, I Love to Drop the F-bomb. It became one of the top ten essays that were read in 2009.

Len always reminded me of Santa Claus. Always willing to help another writer and he mentor us all. His spirit was generous and his laughter was contagious.

In five years, I’ve lost four mentors—Ed Wildman, Colette Chagon (BFF), Janet Bellinger, and Len Rich. I always imagine them mentoring me from heaven. Len was such an important part of our group that I have no adequate words to express our loss.

On the anniversary of his death, although I cannot understand what you’re going through, I will add you to my prayers and ask God to send his angels to wipe away all your tears, and to comfort you.

Blessings always,


Thanks Len for the memories

Book Launch December 2008

It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by since Len died. It hardly seems possible. I remember when Sue called me with the news. For the first time in my life, I was stunned. I took down all the instructions yet had to email her to ask for them again.

I began to stutter and immediately I felt my loss. In five years, I’d lost three friends, mentors, and members of the Headwaters Writers’ Guild. I’d also lost my best friend Colette who also supported my writing.

I felt this deep sense of loss as if God had abandoned me by taking my friends. When Ed died he visited me in my dream and showed me his indescribable apartment. “This is the best place I’ve ever lived,” he said.

I knew that Len was in a good place. When I told everybody that I cleaned my bedroom they laughed. I knew Len would visit me in dreamtime and he did. He had a wonderful message of love for Sue.

It’s hard when somebody makes such a strong impact in your life to wish them well when they leave here. I know that heaven rejoiced when Len returned.

I’d like to think that Colette, Ed, Janet, and Len would be proud that I’ve continued to write even through the sorrow.

I’ll never forget when Len taught an article workshop. “There are ideas for articles everywhere,” he said.

Yeah I thought, only for you. At 5:00 a.m., two days later, I woke up with an idea to write about the cat shelter. Not only did Len plant a seed, he made the appointment with the Sideroads editor, went with me, and helped with my article. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Len was a friend, mentor, and a wonderful member. I do not have adequate words to describe him. I miss his laughter, his smile, his contribution, his help, and his presence.

I’m sure Ed and Len are entertaining God with their wonderful stories. And I’m sure they’re sitting in Ed’s apartment writing.

When we celebrated Len’s life, who could ever forget Clare’s rendition of one of Len’s stories? We laughed until we cried. Thanks Len for the memories.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Greetings from Glenn

March 31, 2010

Thanks for all the correspondence. It is nice to feel connected to friends back home while I am having a great adventure in Alberta.

I am meeting very interesting, intelligent and friendly people, some are blacksmiths, writers, musicians, a makeup artist from the film industry, a gentlemen who has done stunts in movies and a myriad of other regular, but genuinely nice, people!

There is a young man (Sam Tessier) who is working part time at the same place I am working at. It just so happens that his mother is a minister and has written a couple of books. (I think on things like grieving and so on.) I got her email for Anita if she wants to contact her and speak to her about being a minister and of course the shared interest in writing.

I’ve been to the Calgary symphony, seen a friend play guitar in a bar in Calgary. I went to a group called “Ideas” on a night when they were talking about prose. What an insightful, intellectual, thoughtful and eclectic group of people that was! One of the bodies at that event called me a few days later to see if I would like to take part in a writer’s workshop on April 10, 2010. (I may do it if time permits.)

Also, my very generous host is having a dinner party this Friday, (April 2, 2010) and he has invited Warren Harbeck (a journalist from “The Cochrane Eagle” and a journalist from the “Calgary Herald”, Trent Edwards. Kind of cool to have a round table of writers for dinner. Enough about me.

I hope you are all well, say hi to everyone for me.

I am including one thing I have written. I may add to it later but for now this is what it is.

Hope you are all enjoying not only what you are writing but the process of writing as well.

Talk later.
Glenn and his dog Duff.

P.S. Ask Harry if he would read the poem. Thanks.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


In February, while I sat on the couch sick with bronchitis, I watched an artist at work. It was an unexpected treat.

It all started when the insurance company sent a house inspector to do a safety inspection on my old Victorian house. He noted some deficiencies. I told my husband to take care of it.

I should have known that my husband didn’t understand the inspector’s report other than the corroded electrical panel.

PLEASE NOTE: The insurance company took the advice of a certified house inspector over a hydro inspector. I digress.

When it became an “URGENT” problem, I consulted with a bricklayer/mason/carpenter. Like my electrician husband, Jim used a measuring tape like an expert. Impressive.

“You need to brick your drywall on either side of the brickwork. You’ll need stainless steel on the ceiling, as your flue is too close to the drywall ceiling. Also you need a railing on one of your exits.”

My husband eyes widened.

“Then, you’ll be up to code.”

My husband selected and bought the needed bricks. When Jim started to lay the bricks, my husband became his labourer. My impressed seven-year-old granddaughter said, “Nana, you’ll have to get money ‘cause he’s working hard.”

Jim smiled.

As the artist laboured, I watched, as he effortlessly broke the brick in half the first time, and then put them on the wall perfect every time. Between watching our amazing athletes compete and Jim, I became totally inspired.

Later, I asked my husband, “I thought you were going to do the brickwork?”

He shook his head, “He’s a master and there’s no way I could ever brick like him.”

When the professional master bricklayer/mason/carpenter signed the form, a miracle happened. The insurance company accepted his repairs.

From watching Jim, I realized that everybody is a beginner at some time—the athlete who trains hard, the bricklayer who works at his craft, and the writer who practices every day by writing. It’s all related.

If you want to become a master at writing, you’ll have to write.

If you’re looking for a bricklayer or carpenter, I still have Jim’s business card.


Diane asked me to take notes and I asked her if I could post the few notes that I took.

I read from Glenn's letter and he’d asked if Harry would read his poem, Right Place? Right Time? Harry did an amazing job of reading it. Harry and I agreed that Glen had found the rhythm of the Spoken Word or Words Aloud poetry. Glen is on his way to becoming a spoken word poet. I'd bet my life on it . . .

I read my raw writing that contained the following lines:

I bet that Laura was surprised that I knew that she ate at King’s Buffet yesterday. What surprises me the most is that we’re a writing group and hardly anyone posts anything to our blog.

Gloria said, “I meant to but I forgot.”

I’m looking forward to reading our members postings.

Thanks Diane for posting our minutes to the blog. I enjoy reading them.

Stay tuned! I'll be posting blurbs from Glen's letter.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Meeting Minutes April 11, 2010

What happens in the writing group stays in the writing group so I'm not posting any more blogs.


We started off the meeting by blowing up balloons. Nancy brought chocolate cake. We were celebrating. Last year Clare turned 70 and we missed marking the occasion due to Len Rich passing away. Can anyone believe it's been a whole year? We were also celebrating Gloria's 70th birthday and found out Caitlyn's was April 10! Happy Birthday to all!

First on the agenda was our choice of a date for this year's Eramosa Eden Retreat. Our options were May 22, May 29, June 19 or June 26. In then end, we chose June 19 from 10am-4pm. The cost to all who want to attend is $10. Coffee will be provided but you are asked to bring a bag lunch. Feel free to bring treats to share. Don't forget to bring your CAMERA as well. Last year we were visited by several raccoons. Please let Nancy know if you plan to attend and submit your $10 to her.

June 19 is also the deadline for submissions to our anthology. There is a limit of 2,000 words per piece of writing. You are also invited to submit poetry. Gloria will get back to us as to how many pieces we may submit. She will also send the publishing information to Richard who will pass it on to Clare via a note attached to a rock thrown through his window. We are also seeking ideas for the Cover of the anthology. If you have any great photos, please bring them in!

Speaking of the anthology, we have Clare talking to the Banner and Richard talking to the Citizen about possible sponsorship to fund it. We also discussed donating the proceeds of our sales to the Headwaters Health Centre. In particular, books for the children's ward.

Ron had some exciting news. He is meeting his mentor from England soon to go over his notes and information for his book. We wish him all the best.

Just a reminder that the book launch for Gloria Nye's book Stories of Prayers and Faith will take place April 26 on 7pm at BookLore.

Clare showed us all a book called "Page Fright" by Harry Bruce that talks about good writing and peculiarities of writers. He asked if we had any peculiarities when we wrote. Some of the more interesting notes from the back cover were: Mark Twain rejected the "new fangled" typewriting machine. Truman Capote wrote only in bed. Friedrich Schiller could only write if his desk drawer was full of rotten apples. Balzac never drank less than 50 cups of coffee per day. And if that doesn't make you raise an eyebrow, Victor Hugo tops them all. He wrote his novels bare-naked ina glass cage that was affixed to the roof of his house and occasionally poured cold water over his head and rubbed his torso with gloves made of horsehair.
I'm afraid to ask if anyone can top that.....

Gloria read about the glories of a mushy brain.

Nancy read a letter she received from Glenn who is still out in Alberta then passed Harry a poem to read. Glenn wrote a poem called Right Place? Right Time? which Harry did a brilliant job reading. Beore he read, he added, "I'm Glenn, you just have to imagine someone who is balding on top." We all agreed that Glenn has found the rhythm of the Spoken Word or Words Aloud.

Nancy's raw writing mentioned that "What surprises her the most is that we're a writing group and hardly anybody posts to our blog." Maybe we should all try to make it a habit to talk about a writing topic on the blog once a month.

Harry read a piece littered with circus lingo. He also reminded us about the Grey Roots Museum's Poetry afternoon for National Poetry Month. He and 4 other poets will appear on April 24 from 2-5pm to recite poems about Climate Changes.

Jayne thanked us all for reading and commenting on her Dean Constable Mystery on she said it was a very highly commented on series (thanks to all of us who just have to sing her praises!) Keep it coming, Jayne, we love your book so far!

Caitlyn read poems that were "not rhyming or depressing". One about rock hunting and the other about her dog with "so much hair".

Diane (that would be me in case you didn't read ahead) read a short story about a set of false teeth. Yes, Richard, it is a true story only it didn't happen to me luckily. But she is looking forward to seeing it as part of our anthology.

Richard wanted to stop for cake but was forced to read first. He read from Chapter 2 of his second book of The Ostiary. Can't wait for that one to be finished. No pressure.

Sandy came back to another meeting! She's so brave. She warmed up with a limerick poem about writing then had a great poem about "Reed and Daddy."

Finally we took a cake break. Once everyone's blood sugar was sufficiently spiked, Nancy reminded us that we don't always celebrate birthdays. Two 70th birthdays was a milestone and we had to recognize that. Richard told her that was a good thing or we'd all be diabetic.

We did do prompts later than usual but I'll post them here for anyone who wants to do them to read next week. Clare took the cake home then the room went quiet. Too quiet. So quiet we could all hear the balloons drop...

We did a quick read of prompt writing. Harry slayed us all with a story about "The hand that squirts the words on the page." He was asked (threatened?) to bring it to the next meeting.
If anyone wants a great prompt to write, try writing BEST EXCUSES NOT TO WRITE. Be sure to bring it to the next meeting to read. There will be a prize for the best one...maybe...or maybe not.

Okay, enough drama. Our next meeting is April 25 and Judy will be leading.

And now for the prompts....
1) A word of caution.
2) The reason I can't write today is...
3) "Let me pose a hypothetical question," he began.
4) Music wafted through the air on the spring breeze.
5) She clutched the hot cup of coffee and gazed at her reflection in the window.
6) The only real tragedy in life is not to use the gifts and talents that God gave you.
7) It was quiet. Too quiet.
8) Two men sat at a coffee shop. One looked the other in the face and said,"....."
9) He placed his hand on the hood of the car and frowned.
10) Being curious about other people and their dramas is a natural by-product of a lifetime spent as a writer.

See you all April 25.
Keep on writing!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Looking forward to seeing everybody at our meeting on Sunday especially members we haven't seen in a while.

Don't forget our meetings are held downstairs at
Tweedsmuir Presbyterian Church, 6 John Street, entrance closest to Shell station.

Keep writing, and keep happy.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


On busy days, I forge through my journals looking for something to post on the blog. I agree with Julia Cameron that morning pages or journalling is a form of spiritual practice.

January 4, 2005

I wait for inspiration to stalk me but I cannot hear its voice. Is it time for focused writing? I will miss the joy of writing randomly and waiting for gold to appear on the page that feels like magic.

I will miss looking forward to the wild abandonment that floods my page. Why should I forsake journal writing with all its pleasure? Writing in flow is awesome. It soothes my soul who longs to express itself. It feels like luxury when I write down each thought that arrives uninvited.

My soul longs to write in this carefree moment without worry or stress. Keep the pen moving and don’t cross out. These are the precious words that my soul gratefully acknowledges. Focused writing isn’t as simple. Journal writing feels like I’m having communion with God and my soul is receiving a love letter.

It is as if my soul has connected with the Oneness and it feels complete. All the pieces of my soul amalgamate together to form words on the page. When I create my soul rejoices.

My soul is the happiest when I seize the moment and allow it freedom on the page. It breathes a sigh as creativity feels like home to it and it relishes each word that I write. For this sweet moment of time, my soul experiences its uniqueness and purpose. Overwhelming joy floods my heart and body. My soul acknowledges my creativity and I believe being creative keeps me healthy.

I am the Great Poet’s daughter.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Caught Dead: A Dean Constable Mystery

Chapter one is now available. New chapters will be posted each Monday.
Please share the link with your friends.
I'd appreciate your comments and feedback.

April Fool's Joke

Did everybody read Richard's post?

I hope Richard doesn't have writer's block again.

Hey, I know . . . it's an April Fool joke, isn't it?

Hey Richard, I hope you'll post to the Blog soon.

Good vibes

At the last meeting, Sonja and I were talking outside the women’s washroom. Gloria and Ruth joined us. We discussed our new meeting space at the church.

“We have more members attending the meetings now,” Sonja said.

I nodded. “Possibly, because creative beings need light.”

“Maybe that’s it,” Sonja said.

Judy joined us in the hallway. “Is this our new gab session outside the women's washroom?”

We all laughed.

“There’s a different feeling in the church than the library,” somebody said.

“The light helps,” another person said.

“It’s the vibration in the room,” Gloria said.

We all nodded. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought it. Church and good vibes just go together.

Gloria’s eyes sparkled. “It’s the good vibes we’re feeling.”

Whatever it is the new gab session members outside the women’s washroom all concur.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Blogs via Twitter - Good Articles

A few interesting blogs that came my way via Twitter. The first is chock full of articles so take your pick! (10 Tips to Reveal Your Character's Character)

and though this refers to blogging, it can help with any kind of writing I'm sure - 10 Tricks for Getting Inspired to Write:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

MADE IT!!!!!

Woohoo! Finally made it to the blogs.......Now I can post witty and insightful stories...........

Uh,,,,,,Hmmmm, er,,,,,,,,,,........

Ah Crap! Bloody writer's block!


Happy Easter everyone and have a blast during this warm weather spell.