Tuesday, November 30, 2010

DreamQuest Cards

I see my name has prompted Amazon to pull up the DreamQuest Cards. I am amazed someone is selling a set for $74! I have to update that entry as they are only $19.95 new!

Book Covering Workshop

Diane suggested I post my upcoming workshop. I love books inside and out and it is fun to cover a special one in a unique way. On Dec. 11 you will have the opportunity to learn some techniques and skills on making a removable cover and some permanent ones. I will try to put some pictures on here but if I don't, go to www.spiralpress.ca to see samples. The workshop will be from 10 to 4 and held at Eramosa Eden Centre in Eden Mills. $40 fee for the day includes all materials. Bring a bag lunch. Coffee, tea, water supplied.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Meeting Minutes November 28, 2010

Twas the night before Monday and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring except for that louse.
That was tapping away on her laptop and humming,
So she didn't have to hear the Grey Cup announcers mumbling...

Big football fan, right?

Okay now that's out of my system, I thought I'd better get the meeting minutes posted seeing as how we have another meeting NEXT Sunday then a big party the Sunday after that. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

We started off today's meeting by carefully arranging about 50 books on tables and couches at the back of the room then saved the actual buying for the time reserved for prompts. No idea how much money we actually contributed to the can, but I personally came home with some interesting reads. Two of which my son already had. The good news is, we found them a good home already.

Gloria passed around a sample of the bookjacket for A Walk in Fields of Gold. It looks great!
We introduced ourselves because we had a new member (actually, poor Mike joined us last week, but we had other things on the agenda and just did a quick introduction). Mike told us he is a former school principal, but we let him stay anyway. Clare and Richard switched names for the introduction. Not so careful about hiding their name cards.

A few people did readings this week. Clare had worked on a story started from one of Richard's Halloween prompts about a creaking floor upstairs in a house. Sorry, Clare, my favourite lines were Alice asking Ralph if he smelled anything odd. He replied, "Don't worry, Alice. It's just my socks drying out."  Clare did leave us all with an agonizing cliffhanger when he pause to turn the page.

Ashley entered NaNoWriMo this year. She has written about 44,000 words of her novel. Writers all over the world work on novels from Nov 1-30 without editing. The goal is to write 50,000 words in a single month. Way to go, Ashley!!!  She read to us from her novel-in-progress "Reborn."

David read a poem written as an apology to his wife's choir. He'll be missing her performance, but not Handel's Messiah.

Richard read part of Chapter 2 from Book 2 of The Ostiary. Nancy suggested that he should write screenplays since he uses so much dialogue. He told her that he has attempted to do so, but dislikes writing in that genre. He prefers novels which have more opportunities for both dialogue and description.

Nancy referred us to Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules for Writing which I will have to find and post one day.

Ron said that Harry contacted him about a reading at a Nottawasaga school by Hugh Brewster who writes a series for Scholastic called I Am Canada. Hugh has written a book called Prisoner of Dieppe and Ron not only attended the presentation, but became part of it!
He also told us that he is friends with Ann-Marie MacDonald and has asked her to come and talk to us one day. Ann-Marie is a Canadian playwright, novelist, actor and broadcast journalist. She wrote Fall On Your Knees (an Oprah Book Club pick) and I've Heard the Mermaids Singing. More to come on that in the New Year.

Nancy read a revised version of her short story Shadows of Guilt and Sorrow. Before reading, she advised that "if it bores you, you can leave." No one left. When she was done, Jayne asked if she intends to leave it as a short story or turn it into a novel. Nancy says it is a short story. For now. We discussed astral travel and other phenomena. Richard informed us that "Astral travel is what happens to you when you go to Mexico."

David had tickets for a Show and Sale at The Arts and Letters Club in Toronto for Dec 5, 2010. He is a part of the group and it is the only open house they have all year. All three of David's novels will be available at the show. You can check The Arts and Letters Club website for more details.

An advertisement appeared in the latest copy of In The Hills for our anthology! We discussed the need for keeping a separate account book for profits which will go to the Headwaters Health Care Centre for books for the children's library. All sales from Amazon will go to our acct. Those who haven't already placed orders for copies are asked to contact Gloria Nye directly.

Nancy told us that she cannot email anyone who is on Sympatico. Diane told her that Sympatico users paid extra for that.

Richard had brought up e-publishing and e-books at the Halloween meeting, but no one had time to do any research yet. This is something we will look into for 2011 since several members of the group are looking to be published.

Christmas Luncheon is December 12 at 1pm!!!!
Diane has offered to host this at her house (that's me!) Not that I have the largest house, but I don't want to see this annual even cancelled because King's Buffet (aka Fong's Buffet) has shut down. Several members vetoed having a Potluck so we decided on ordering in PIZZA. If anyone has an aversion to pizza (or food issues) please feel free to bring whatever it is you can eat.
DESSERT is always welcome!!! I will provide coffee and tea and will email everyone my address and ask for RSVPs.

Richard took the opportunity to put his hand up and tell us that "Somebody stole my prompt page."

Gloria handed out a notice for her "Book Covering Workshop" which will take place at Eramosa Eden on Saturday Dec 11 from 10am - 4pm. For more info go to her website at spiralpress.ca. The photographs on the flyer are amazing.

Our regular prompt writing time was pre-empted by the book sale and Kelli drooling over Red Velvet Cheesecake (which forced me to come home and find a recipe! Not for the cheesecake, just for the cake. Yum!) Might have to try that one!

We read our prompts after adding an extra ten minutes of writing time (again due to the book sale) then Richard was volunteered by Nancy to start us off. Gloria wrote 3 Haikus and Kelli told us she wrote a Low-ku. (probably about cheesecake). Ron used the prompt list and added a few words here and there to make a short story.  Ashley took advantage of one of the prompts to add to her novel. David tackled his Inner Procrastinator. Nancy read about her father. Clare closed off the meeting by reading about what a mess his room was. We all packed up at 3:30pm.

The Prompts courtesy of Nancy:
1) Silence is a great healer.
2) Today I will . . .
3) It was the strangest question that I'd ever heard.
4) Bill tried to remember who had given him the key.
5) My old room was . . .
6) I'm already gone.
7) All my friends and family have died.

The next meeting is on Dec 5, 2010. Clare will be leading.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Birds of a Feather

We were leaving the meeting on Nov 14 and Ruth kept pointing at something over our heads. Gloria, Marilyn and I turned around and were greeted by the sight of the birds. Ruth told us she wished she had her camera. Luckily, I had my cell phone and snapped a picture. I sent her a copy yesterday and she asked if I'd put in on our blog and if she could use it in a future project. I also liked her response to the photo:

  I don’t know why I like so much, but it was a spontaneous scene that says something strange…  Maybe it’s because I’ve been hanging out at this exact spot where this picture was taken, with all these writers with dark talents, lately.

Thanks for the interesting compliment.
Keep on writing!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Meeting Minutes November 14, 2010

Despite a bout with a sinus infection, I showed up in body to this week's meeting. Harry was leading and his prompts are never dull! In fact, he started off the meeting with a bang when his chair fell over. Luckily, he wasn't on it at the time. Heavy coats and gravity do not mix.

We discussed the Christmas luncheon. Since Fong's Buffet - formerly King's Buffet - is no longer in business, we need a new venue and soon! We had a few suggestions: Kelli brought up Fionn McCool's which is new in Orangeville, Gloria said there is a King's Buffet in Guelph if we'd all like to go there and Marilyn reminded us that there is a cafeteria in the hospital. (if we get food poisoning, the location is convenient, but the price of parking is a killer!)
We are still looking for suggestions!

Gloria and Richard have been hard at work on the anthology. There has been a problem with matching the cover we had chosen into the template the publisher offers and they've spent two months trying to get it to work. She did have a mock-up which looked great.Once the cover is selected, we'll have our book within two weeks.

Several people brought things to read this week.
Clare went back to Richard's Halloween prompts and came up with a story called "Bushwacked" about a man trying to pull of murder. He borrowed Harry's famous line "ca-chunk, ca-chunk, ca-chunk..."
He's also come up with a label for his brand of murder mysteries - "Soft Gore"

Marilyn worked on her piece from Halloween called "Fashion Disaster". Harry asked her if she's going to expand on the story. We're 'dying' to hear more...

Kelli announced that she's finished "Amber and the Bully" and has submitted it to publishers! Way to go, Kelli! Can't wait to see Book 2 on the shelves soon.

Ron posed an interesting question to us all: Who is the most famous writer in the world?
The answer is Anonymous.

Ruth read her new introduction to her updated copy of "Mystical Verses: The Poetry of Self-to-Self Philosophy." Beautiful cover and two new introductions to help put the book into context. Ron wondered what the point of the intro was. Harry told her it was very well written.

Ron read us a short story called "Meeting of the Blind" about a rabbit and a snake that meet at an intersection. Anyone who wants to find out what happened can ask him later.

Ashley read to us from an article published on Writing.com that pondered death and how to cause it.  She also told us that she's "finally 18, but not old enough to drink."
Pat told her that "at least you can write about it."

Jayne had a new short story that is a Fantasy! Judy said it reminded her of Angels and Demons. We were all hooked. Shirley suggested that she find a moment in the first page to pinpoint the era/world/etc that the story takes place in. Can't wait to see more of it.

David was back. This time he brought 20 ridiculous phrases. Some of which I managed to jot down.
     Is it possible to be totally partial?
     If a mime swears, do they wash his hands with soap?
     Why do they sterilize needles for lethal injections?
     Do watchmakers take time off to unwind?
     Does a broken window feel 'pane'?
Marilyn added one more: Why is there braille on drive-thru ABM machines?

Ruth reminded us that she'd sent a link regarding dedications and introductions in books. And at book signings. Another link for me to post!

Harry read from his circus book. He's planning to create 50 character sketches of people in the circus. This meeting he read "Lenny". Judy thinks he creates "alive, textured and beautiful characters."

Judy has finally put her book "Fat and Other F Words" in a binder. This means it's becoming a real book! She read a poem called "Finish" and said her book will be one you can keep in the bathroom. Diane asked if she has a poem called "Flushed."

Ron announced that Ruth Garrett may come to spend a Sunday with us in the new year. He will let us know when.

Very interesting prompts this week courtesy of: The Conscious Scribe: 100 Exercises for the Developing Writer By (drumroll please) Harry Posner. (That's right folks, he's been holding out on us!)

The prompts:
1) describe a game of baseball (or any other sport) from an erotic point of view.
2) Write a short story that evokes the same emotional landscape as a Japanese rock garden.
3) Describe a seance that takes place in the world of the dead.
4) Describe the preparation and eating of a dinner, referring only to the movement of hands.
5) Write a poem that breaks all the $$/%^@^#@ rules.
6) Create a dialogue between two people, one of whom is a compulsive liar, the other a compulsive truthsayer.
7) Describe a day in the life of a gargoyle.
8) On a battlefield, hundreds of dead soldiers are spread out in front of you. Describe the scene, but only talk about the vegetation.

A lot of the group used the gargoyle prompt. And a lot of pigeon poop. Marilyn had a great line about "birds are the only creatures who evacuate in black and white." Jayne resurrected Harry's woodchipper for her story. ca-chink, ca-chink... One of the other best lines was when Clare, in his school-teacher voice called out "In the name of Harry Posner, arise!"
Ashley wasn't "feeling the gore" today. Pat prepared a dinner, which left us all a little hungry and prompted us to end the meeting.

And now I'll be off to my own dinner... ca-chink, ca-chink, ca-chink....

Monday, November 8, 2010

Wickedly Funny Blog

I've been following a blog called From the Inside Out and read a really funny one today about using the spell/grammar check on your work. Feel free to check it out!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Headwaters Writers' Guild 2011 Meeting Schedule

Headwaters Writers’ Guild
2011 Writing Schedule
Tweedsmuir Church, 6 John Street, Orangeville

Sunday, January 9, 2011 – Leader: Diane
Sunday, January 23, 2011 – Leader: Judy
Sunday, February 6, 2011 – Leader: Richard
Sunday, February 20, 2011 – Leader: Harry
Sunday, March 6, 2011 – Leader: Jayne
Sunday, March 20, 2011 – Leader: Nancy
Sunday, April 3, 2011 – Leader: Clare
Sunday, April 17, 2011 – Leader: Marilyn
Sunday, May 1, 2011 – Leader: Gloria
Sunday, May 15, 2011 – Leader: Diane
Sunday, May 29, 2011 – Leader: Judy
Sunday, June 12, 2011 – Leader: Richard
Sunday, June 26, 2011 – Leader: Harry
Sunday, July 10, 2011 – Leader: Nancy
Sunday, July 24, 2011 – Leader: Clare
*Sunday, August 7, 2011* - Leader: Marilyn
*Sunday, August 21, 2011* - Leader: Gloria
Sunday, September 11, 2011 – Leader: Diane
Sunday, September 25, 2011 – Leader: Judy
Sunday, October 16, 2011 – Leader: Richard
Sunday, October 30, 2011 – Leader: Jayne
Sunday, November 13, 2011 – Leader: Harry
Sunday, November 27, 2011 – Leader: Nancy
Sunday, December 11, 2011 – Christmas Luncheon

*Subject to Cancellation

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Hereafter - the movie

Ever since my first near-death or mystical experience at four, I’ve been fixated on the afterlife. In 1996, when I returned to heaven, death and the beyond became an obsession. I couldn’t wait to see the movie, Hereafter, directed by Clint Eastwood.

I hate to admit it but the reviews for the movie weren’t favourable but it didn’t deter Judy, her son Michael, and I from seeing it.

The movie concerns a woman who has a spectacle near-death experience, a reluctant psychic who doesn’t want to give readings anymore, and a young boy whose twin brother is killed. At the end of the movie, they all meet up at a book fair in London.

Judy said, “She realized that this meeting was for dramatic affect.”

I said, “The Divine can do anything.”

Judy nodded.

We both agreed that anybody who has ever lost a loved one would be drawn into this movie. Judy, Michael and I all identified with the movie.

Judy told me, that Michael who had never been able to articulate his grief at loosing his brother was able to identify with Marcus, the young boy. Michael said, “I was deeply touched by the story of the boy ‘cause I’ve lost my brother and it made me remember him.”

Judy said, “I am a firm believer in the afterlife and when my son Mathew died I was relentless in my pursuit of finding him and talking to him. I proved to myself that he still existed and was well.”

The movie was thought provoking. Eastwood accurately portrayed the after shock and isolation the woman felt after her near-death experience. I sympathized with her. I could also relate to the reluctant psychic.

The only complaint I had is that whenever they showed the spirit world it looked like an ambiguous place. The souls in the Hereafter appeared blurry like embodied spirits aimlessly wandering. It’s not the heaven that I saw or described by millions of near-death survivours.

I highly recommend it. And don’t forget to bring Kleenex.