Sunday, October 31, 2010

Meeting Minutes October 31 2010

There were no prizes for Best Costume today, but about half of the group did show up dressed up. I'll add the group photo that was taken by Glenn today. Nancy took others which I don't have a present. Keep watching for those.

Marilyn had two copies of A Walk in Fields of Gold for all of us to do edits on. They were passed around while people read what they'd brought and Diane passed around candy. Some of the comments about the books were that it was a great layout, we can't wait to see the real cover (the proofs had a temporary one) and there was a discussion about whether the name of the group should be Headwaters Writers Guild or Headwaters Writers' Guild. We stuck with what is on the cover of the book: Headwaters Writers' Guild.

Diane started off reading with a kids' halloween story.
Glenn started off the barbs at Richard with "Show up or shut up" since he hasn't been at meetings lately.

Sonja showed up dressed as Little Red Riding Hood. She had a basket but no goodies. Good thing we were all sugared up by then! Ron leaned back to talk to her and the legs on his chair collapsed. No lawsuits are pending.

Clare read us another character study about someone he saw in a Tim Horton's in Orillia. Diane suggested he create a Tim Horton's anthology since so many of his stories take place there. He said he does sketches of people he sees in Timmies and calls them his "Coffee Mugs."

Judy read a poem about "Fritter". She didn't want to offend anyone with her poem "Fat" but we all encouraged her to read it an were NOT disappointed! It was excellent and we all laughed until we cried. Richard even gave her a huge hug. Wonderful job, Judy!

Marilyn read us her story about a demonic puppy. Really good story, creepy ending!

Ashley has rewritten her Chapter One and it is now more like a journal. She had us all hooked. Nice job.

There were lots of barbs being aimed at Richard today. Diane told him that he had dressed up today after all - as a dart board.

Jayne read a poem by Joyce Rupp called "Autumn Anguish" that she'd heard at a jazz vesper session (an evening prayer service) this week.

Pat read a Halloween poem that she'd written in 2004 and read since no one else had ever heard it but Nancy.

Harry read "King of Mediocrity" which prompted Richard to observe that he "must have some weird dreams." We were impressed, as always, by Harry's timing and pacing of his written word poetry. He told us that he'd only edited that particular piece twice.

Nancy read a revised opening paragraph of one of her stories. She also read about The Goal of Openings from Les Edgerton's book "Hooked". I've borrowed it to read and will give everyone some Coles notes - Diane's notes - later.

Most of us got right into the prompts this time around. Harry's prompt was about a wood chipper and the words chig-a-chunk kept echoing through our heads long after he was done. The best line of his piece was "Question. Am I insane?" I think that would make a great prompt all on its own. It was suggested  by Pat that Harry go last from now on since he's a hard act to follow. Judy told Harry he should write "The Woodchipper's Waltz"

There were a couple of prompts that seemed to be favourites. Numbers 1 and 6. Clare used #8.
Ashley wrote about a serial killer who left roses in his victim's hands. Glenn announced that we should chip in for a t-shirt for Ashley that says "Beware" as a courtesy to men everywhere. For his prompt, Glenn wrote about a "customer" in a soup kitchen. Hope he finishes that one since it has a lot of promise.

Marilyn gets the Best Line of the Meeting award for: "Anastasia Johnson was to fashion what Hitler was to gentle tolerance." Brava!!

Diane decided not to be restricted to one prompt and ended up using: 2, 3, 4, 7 and 11. She also posted her prompt story on her blog just for kicks. Feel free to check it out!

Once the prompt readings were done, Richard brought up something for us all to think about. We've worked very hard on this anthology and he thinks it would be good for the group to have a project to focus on each year. Something like a book on CD and publishing our own e-books. He has been doing some research and needs to do more, but pointed out that by self-publishing, we can retain all rights and republish our novels if they are picked up by traditional publishers.

A lot of books now are being released as e-books on iPhones, kindles etc and this is the way of the future. We need to be flexible and learn as much as we can about the technology rather than just holding out to be published on paper. Richard said he read an article in Writer's Digest about an author who has been published traditionally but chose to e-publish/self-publish to retain rights and earn more money from his creations.

We discussed how PayPal and ClickBank are important in on-line purchases of our books.
More publishers are moving toward Internet. Music, movies, etc are all being uploaded to the Internet and bought/sold. The days of hard copy publising are disappearing and it is harder and harder to get published in the traditional route.

We look forward to more posts concerning further ideas and information.

Almost forgot the prompts! Have fun with them!

1) His head lay in the ditch, his eyes watching...
2) A scream shattered the stillness of the night...
3) The severed hand still clutched the red rose...
4) The colour combination of her outfit was hideous.
5) The trail of blood led them into the cave...
6) She screamed, he screamed, they all screamed for ice cream but what they got...
7) "How many times do I have to tell you, 'Never run with a sharp cleaver!'"
8) The ceiling began creaking as if someone was walking around upstairs.
9) She watched in horror as the severed head rolled slowly down the hill toward her...
10) He pushed the red button and the wood chipper roared into life...
11) "Here's Johnny!"

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I crawled out of my sick bed and attended the meeting ‘cause Marilyn was to bring the proofs re the Anthology. As luck would have it, Marilyn had sent an email to the group explaining that she hadn’t received the proofs but it landed in my Spam folder.

We need to proof our own stories, poetry, and our bio.

We agreed at the meeting that possibly some members should meet with Marilyn to speed up the process. As per Marilyn’s emails the dates are as follows:

It's Here! It's Here! Oh Frabjous day!the following are my availabilities -
Thursday Oct 21 - 4pm or later - but since I am without car, it must be in Elora

Friday, Oct 22 - At this point, I believe I have the morning available - either Elora or Fergus

, Oct 25 - Afternoon only - Elora or Fergus

And, of course, I will bring the anthology (it's not in galley format, but in bound book format) to the meeting on the 30th.
Marilyn K

Diane was absent from the group. Did I mention that my brand new laptop died so I had to take handwritten notes? I digress. Diane you were surely missed!

Judy thanked the people involved with the anthology especially Gloria and Richard. She also thank Pat for her work in getting the anthology included for the year end special In the Hills magazine.

Marilyn will continue to look for sponsors for the anthology.

Kelli read a piece that she wrote in Brian Henry’s workshop. It’s about a journal by a 12 year-old girl. I suggested that she read Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney for ideas. Also there’s a movie. I told her that my granddaughter and I have been reading it.

Jenn read her poem Where are our hearts? Powerful poem and I suggest that you check out her Blog—address at the side of our blog.

Judy mentioned that she found the Writing for Children workshop interesting and constructive.

Ron is taking grammar with Barb Glassford at The Learning Enterprise. He read his essay that he written for class. It’s called Remembrance (on D-Day). Clare commented that Ron’s writing has improved considerably. Congratulations Ron, it’s a great piece of writing.

Ron said, “I’m encouraged to write more.”

Ashley has decided to go with Glenn’s suggestion that she move her story from the year 3000 closer to ours. She’s working on revisions.

Rosemary said, “Please bear with me ‘cause I’m ’s a work in progress.”

Ron said, “We all are.”

Rosemary said, “I’m really nervous reading.”

Ron said, “We all are.”

I mentioned that this is what this writing group is all about. It’s to inspire and encourage other writers.

Rosemary read her part of her fantasy chapter book and we all clapped.

Marilyn read her poem Cat, which she informed isn’t her normal genre. Excellent poem— that caught Glenn’s attention. Marilyn is one funny lady!

Glenn read the end of his short story that left a lot of us speechless.

Clare read some of his vignettes from France. He also mentioned that France had literally gone to the dogs. Clare was hilarious as always. You had to be there!

I’ve misplaced Judy’s prompts so I’ll post them later. Jayne and Sonja never got to the part where they were lost in the forest. Some of us used part of the prompt to take us on a journey. Clare used Judy’s prompt to reminisce. I’m always amazed at where the prompts take us.

NEXT MEETING: Sunday, October 31 – Richard is leading
DRESS UP if you wish


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Writing For Children and YA Workshop October 2, 2010

On October 2, HWG hosted a workshop by Brian Henry about writing for children and young adults. As well as giving us some instruction regarding the many different types of books there are, he also did a critique of samples we brought from home. I was the only one brave (or stupid) enough to stand up in front of the entire class to read mine aloud. It made my day when one of the other students announced, "I want to hear more" and Brian echoed her sentiments.

There are several formats for books that we discussed.
Board books - for babies, published on cloth, plastic, or paperboard
Picture books - 1,000 - 1,500 words,meant to be read to children.
Easy Readers - Pre-school to Grade 2, Usually 32 pages divided into chapters
Chapter books - Grades 2 - 4, About 4,000 to 20,000 words, divided into chapters
Juvenile novels - Grades 4 - 7, 100-150 pages or 25,000-50,000 words.
Middle-Grade non-fiction - about 40-100 pages or 10,000-25,000 words
Young Adult - grades 7 and up, about 175- 200 pages, 40,000-50,000+ words
"High-Low" books - high interest, low vocabulary for students with reading or language difficulties or new English readers.

We talked about how the writer of a children's book usually is not the illustrator - even if they are a professional artist. Most publishers keep a list of illustrators and use them to create the artwork for manuscripts.

Brian also gave us information about children's book publishers, a few books about writing for children, and some examples of query/cover letters to submit once your book is complete.

Several of the group that day were interested in Picture books. Personally, during our writing time, I started a Chapter book which may turn into a Juvenile Novel for my sons.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Local Orangeville Bookstore Celebrates

BookLore Celebrates its Coming-of-Age!

We're over 20, nearly 21 and to celebrate our coming-of-age we're having a party! Join us Saturday, October 16 from 9 am to 6 pm for a day of draws, prizes and a 20% discount on all in-stock books. Meet some of our authors and enjoy refreshments.

At 11 am, the local authors, illustrators and musicians involved with the Runley Read-Along book series will entertain.

Author Shelley Peterson will be reading and signing at 1 pm. Her latest book, Mystery at Saddle Creek, is the fifth in her horse series for teens.

At 2 pm, 2 local authors will be signing - Stacey Fokas with her cookbook, Freshalicious, and Mary Lazier with her book, Stars of Dufferin County.