Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bucket Lists

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

My house this year has been much more stressful than usual, but still good. Having company for the holidays makes it much more difficult to do any writing or even plotting, but I have every intention of getting something done so I'm on the blogs. Mine and the HWG one.

 A conversation with a friend yesterday made me think about Bucket Lists. Some of us have one, some of us don't. In working through The Artist's Way book for the past few weeks, I've had to make a version of one. Always on my Bucket List is to write and publish books. Actually, that's been on my list since I was 8 years old. Another thing that's been on my list is Letting Things Go.

Letting Things Go doesn't mean that I'm no longer vacuuming or cleaning (although....) it means that I'm letting all the inane comments my father has made over the past two weeks fade into history without giving him the credit for ruining my holidays.

Letting Things Go means that I'll no longer let rejections measure my self-worth and that making one mistake at work won't set me back a week.

Letting Things Go means that I will deal with the important things and brush off the things that are insignificant rather than focusing on them.

Letting Things Go means that I will take care of myself and not worry about "what ifs". "What if" the kids call home while I'm working out? Or out for a walk? Or....

Letting Things Go could be the most important Bucket List/New Year's Resolution I ever make.

Sunday, December 11, 2011




You may have to cut and paste it.

HURRY ... it closes on December 16, 2011.

Good Luck!

At the Brian Henry workshop he showed us but when I google it I couldn;t find it until last week.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Art of Writing

Writing is an art! It is an expression of life as the writer sees it, and as such is similar to other arts.

If you think about writing in terms similar to artists who produce works with paints and a variety of other media, it can change your attitude toward your own writing.

Good art? Bad art? When you really think about it there is no such thing. All art is simple different.

Take expressionist painting and recollect everything you have heard said about it. Some artists are hailed as geniuses, some dismissed as wanting, and some are said to be delightfully able to produce such colourful “primitive art”.

And then you hear someone say: “I don’t know anything about art, I just know what I like.” Whether you believe it or not, that is probably the most honest and nonjudgmental statement made.

When I was very young, I loved certain books and artwork and music. As I grew into adulthood I found I preferred other artistic endeavours. My tastes have continued to change and I now find many of those initial expressions of art no longer have the ability to please me. That, I believe, is really the key. Art IS in the eye/ear/mind of the beholder.

This is what makes our world so delicious. We have so many choices of art to choose from, of art to delight in, and even of art to dismiss as not to our liking. None of this art is really any better or worse than any other. We have each developed in a certain social culture that encourages not only our behaviour, but also our tastes.

So be not discouraged if your writing does not win you awards or get published by huge well-known publishers. Does your writing please you? Your mother? Your spouse? Even if it only pleases you, it is good writing.

Do not be discouraged by anyone else if you find writing a joy. It is your expression of who you are, and that is never a bad thing.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Meeting Minutes November 27, 2011

This was our last meeting for the year since the church (and all of us) will be busy with Christmas for the next month.
Our leader today was Nancy.
We also celebrated Ron's upcoming 80th birthday on Dec 10. We sang Happy Birthday and ate chocolate cake for such a momentous occasion!!!  Happy Birthday, Ron!


A reminder about the Christmas luncheon on Dec 11 at Noon at Kelsey's Restaurant.
Members will be responsible for paying for their own meals and we hope for a great turn out! Please contact Patricia if you haven't responded yet.

Marilyn asked about the Artist's Way group that had been discussed on Oct 16 & 30th. While the group did respond about where and when we meet, we have met each Friday since Nov 11 and will be closed to new members due to the nature of the discussions. In case you haven't read the book, the discussions are very personal and follow the exercises laid out by Julia Cameron. A certain degree of trust and discretion have already been established in those three weeks that would be disrupted by newcomers.  If there is demand, a new workshop may run in the spring.

Ron reminded us about the group he's been involved with Women Writing for a Change. He will send further information.

Diane announced an upcoming show put on by students at ODSS on Dec 15 and 16 at 7pm called "Deadline" about "budding writer, Alex Wilcox, as he struggles to meet an ultimatum set by his father to become published within three weeks." Tickets are available at the door at a cost of $8 per adult and $6 per senior/student.
Sounds like a great event to support an amazing school and fellow artists!


Joe got a lot out of Marilyn's premise exercise from last meeting and wrote a premise for his book. He did a great job of it.

Marilyn wrote "The Art of Writing" which stated that "even if it only pleases you, it is good writing." She will post it to the blog for all of us.

Nancy read "Reflections from The Artist's Way" and asked "why do we compare our art with seasoned artists?" and "why can we always hear the negative, but put aside the positive."

Clare passed around pictures about an article he has coming out in the spring issue of Sideroads. The article is about Birds of Prey and he had some amazing photos of a bald eagle and falcon he had the opportunity to meet. There were also pictures of a tree in his yard that he had cut to a stump that was 5 feet tall. He plans to carve it and has already made a dent in it - so to speak.

Shirley is having hip surgery Nov 28th. We all wish her well and hope she has a speedy recovery.


Nancy's writing prompts for this week were plays on movie or book titles:

1) A Few Bad Men (A Few Good Men)
2) Alive Again (Dead Again)
3) The World According to _____________ (my mother, my sister, me, my husband, etc.)
4) It's a Crappy Life (It's a Wonderful Life)
5) Murder in the Writing Group (Murder in Hum Harbour by our own Jayne Self!)

OR let's start at the beginning when I took my first writing workshop with the late Ed Wildman (we base our format on his workshops that he learned from Natalie Goldberg):
1) What I don't remember is....
2) What I remember is....
or 3) The last thing I remember is....

Marilyn made up new titles and premises to books and movies.
Sonja wrote "Lord of the Fries", an interview with Ronald McDonald.
Danielle told us about "The World According to my Daughter."
Trina read the beginning of a good mystery called "The Potato Chip Girl."
Kelli used the prompts "What I remember is..."
Jayne wrote "It's hard to put into words what I don't remember because I can't remember." To which Patricia told us that'd she'd posted a message "How do you know you're not seeing it if you're not seeing it?" Anyone confused yet?
Judy wrote "Murder in the Writing Group."
Patricia did some personal writing based on her learnings in The Artist's Way and used the prompt "It's a Crappy Life."
Nancy wrote "In another life, I'd be queen of the whole world." She also read a poem by the late Janet Bellinger called "In Another Life."
I read my piece called "The World According to Brady" which is part of another novel called "The Bakery Lady."
Ron wrote "It's a Wonderful Crappy Life" and thanked us all for the cake and well wishes. He was very touched by it all.
Clare made a play on "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" and came up with "The Good, The Stupid and The Sexy." He also made us all laugh!
Joe didn't use any of the prompts, but made a commentary about the Internet.

As they say in showbiz, Th-th-th-that's all Folks! See you all in 2012!
We'll be back for our next meeting on January 8th, 2012.
Diane will be leading and will gladly hand over the reins to anyone else who would like to take meeting minutes for the next year!!!

Merry Christmas, everyone!


Friday, November 25, 2011

How Did You Do It?

Question: How did you get published?

Short Answer: By persisting.

Longer Answer: It’s taken twelve years and five novels to reach this milestone. So much for quick money!

From the start, I began attending the annual Write! Canada conference. Through their intensive teaching sessions I learned writing basics, like Point of View, plot curves, and suspense. I met agents and publishers, learned what they expect, and learned appropriate ways to approach them. I gained hands-on skills with formatting, computers, and internet use—all transferable to writing.

I joined Writers Digest and amassed a library’s worth of books on writing (at a reduced cost). These are my textbooks, and I study them as I would college texts. When I joined Romance Writes of American, I quickly discovered I am not a romance writer. I joined Crime Writers of Canada and attended two Bloody Words conferences. Bloody Words was great for free books, and discovering people who plot murders for fun—like me. I joined The Word Guild and found a home.

Despite advice that I diversify my writing—I’ve written a couple of articles, short stories and devotions to plump my resume—I have focused on novels. These I’ve written and re-written, queried and submitted. I considered papering the bathroom with my rejections until I signed with an agent (we met at Write! Canada) and she began accumulating the reject notifications instead. My relationship with that agent lasted over three years, yet she was unable to sell my manuscript, Caught Dead. I submitted it to contests, and was twice short listed. In 2010 Caught Dead was published as an online serial—I still hope to see it in book form.

Murder In Hum Harbour, was written at my agent’s behest. The manuscript made it through two editorial evaluations, and looked promising for a series. Then the publisher closed, and once more, I had nothing.

I kept looking on my own, but I admit I was losing heart. Then a friend told me about Harbourlight, a new US imprint looking for mysteries, and I contacted them. It used to take months to hear back from a query. Harbourlight stunned me with their turn-over time. Less than a year from query to book in hand.

So what have I learned from all of this?

  • Persist. This business takes time!
  • Keep improving your craft, no mater how much it hurts.
  • Make connections. Writing may be a solo act, but achieving publication is not.
  • Publication is not the ultimate achievement. It’s just a step to whatever comes next.

Jayne E. Self

Murder In Hum Harbour

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Meeting Minutes November 13, 2011

I'm a little behind this week. I've been working on some edits for both my agent and a publisher for Murder on Manitou as well as doing some renovations on the basement.

Marilyn led our meeting this week and led us in a round of introductions to new visitor Stafford, who professed to be a writer but only on a family blog. Welcome, Stafford, hope we didn't scare you off!
We did talk about the joy of being with other writers and how it forces us to write. Ron asked Stafford "Do you have any idea the depth of your writing?" None of us do. We write and dig deeper each time we do, creating art where we never knew any existed.

Gloria gave us all information for a booklaunch at Eramosa Eden on Nov 27 from 1-5pm. The book is called "Limericks from the Animal Kingdom" by I. Mary Hackney and features art work by Carly Hatton, a 19 year old autistic woman. Her website is www.CarlysArt.com. The book was published by Gloria's imprint Sprial Press. For more details, you can check www.eramosaeden.org or www.SpiralPress.ca.

Marilyn has a new release from Sundragon Press called "Keep IT Simple" by Sharon Bennett. http://sundragonpress.com/non-fiction/sharon-bennett/

Nancy asked if we would like to host a workshop by Nora Zylstra-Savage in the new year. The total cost for a three hour workshop would be $345.00 ($34.50 per person if we have 10!) and focus on creative writing and finding inspiration. Check her out at:  http://www.story-lines.ca/index.php?wp=68

Nancy also reminded us that Dec 11 is our Christmas Luncheon. This year we are holding it at Kelsey's and will have a reservation time. Family is welcome to attend.

Gloria read three limericks from I. Mary Hackney's book. Very clever! A great gift for all ages.

Nancy read a poem she called "Tapestry."

Danielle wrote a song for the Sunday school kids church concert based on the book "Little Bunny's Christmas." She wrote the words and the organist at her church came up with the music. She said it sounds fabulous and will see if she can get a recording. The performance will be Dec 4th at Knox Presbyterian Church in Grand Valley at 10:30am. All are welcome!

Joe is updating his previously published non-fiction work to included new information in an epilogue. More information at www.grafspee.com. He is looking for an American publisher once it is updated. It is currently published in German and Spanish.

Marilyn had a piece about how writers organizations and groups help to encourage and give help and support. She says judging the content of other people's writings becomes political and we are not there to discuss politics. She appreciated the safety of the group, everyone reads aloud with like-minded people.
Nancy told us later that we also discuss what people have said for discussions sake.

Stafford read an item off his blog from Nov 10 that he has also submitted to the Banner. It was a very thought provoking look at war in our global village. Thanks for sharing!!

Ron talked about a group he's gotten involved with called "Women Writing For (A) Change"

Marilyn focused on the premise for this session. She gave us a definition then a list of novels to write a premise for.
Definition of Premise: "A story premise introduces the protagonist (without naming him/her) and sets out a story's core dramatic issue, the movement of that issue toward resolution, and the fulfillment that resolution sets up for the story's audience. It should be brief (one or two sentences at most), provocative, and contain an idea that jumps out at you. It is expressed in the present tense, is easily understood by a 15 year old and should attempt to be the same but different from other similar stories."

The novels:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone - JK Rowling
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues - Tom Robbins
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austin
Black Beauty - Anna Sewell
Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
The Scarlett Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexander Dumas
Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
The Pelican Brief - John Grisham

Marilyn suggested that we write a premise before working on any short story or novel.
It was a tough, but interesting exercise.

Our next meeting is Nov 27. Nancy will be leading.
Our last get together of 2011 takes place Dec 11 at Kelsey's. Bring your appetite!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

2012 HWG Meeting Schedule

2012 Meeting Schedule

All Meetings Begin at 1:30pm

Location: Tweedsmuir Church, 6 John Street, Orangeville

Anyone who cannot make their allotted time as a leader should switch with another leader or arrange for coverage.

Sunday, January 8th – Leader: Diane
Sunday, January 22nd – Leader: Judy
Sunday, February 5th – Leader: Danielle
Sunday February 12th – Leader: Jayne
Saturday, February 25th - Brian Henry Workshop (Time TBA)
Sunday, March 4th – Leader: Clare
Sunday, March 18th – Leader: Marilyn
Sunday, April 1st – Leader: Nancy
Sunday, April 15th – Leader: Diane
Sunday, April 29th – Leader: Judy
Sunday, May 6th – Leader: Danielle
Sunday, May 27th – Leader: Clare
Sunday, June 10th – Leader: Marilyn
Sunday, June 24th – Leader: Nancy
Sunday, July 15th – Leader: Diane
Sunday, August 26th – Leader: Judy
Sunday, September 9th – Leader: Danielle
Sunday, September 23rd – Leader: Jayne
Sunday, October 14th – Leader: Clare
Sunday, October 28th – Leader: Marilyn
Sunday, November 11th – Leader: Nancy
Sunday, November 25th – Leader: Diane
Sunday, November 9th – Christmas Luncheon

HWG sponsored Writing Workshop - February 25th

The Headwaters Writers present …

"Secrets of Writing a Page-turner"

~ 18 secrets from the pros ~

Saturday, February 25
Tweedsmuir Presbyterian Church, 6 John Street, Orangeville
Time 10:00am to 3:30pm

Ever stayed up all night reading a book? In this workshop, you’ll learn you how to
build that kind of tension. And we'll help you put into practice the techniques professionals
use, on every page and in every kind of story, to create drama and tension.

Fee for members of the Headwaters Writers:
$35.40 plus hst = $40 paid in advance
or $42.48 + hst =
$48 if you wait to pay at the door

Fee for the general public:
$38.94 + hst = $44 paid in advance
or $42.48 + hst =
$48 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
To reserve a spot now, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Headwaters Writers' Guild member and Filmmaker, Alberta Nye's new documentary, "So I'm Dying ... Now What? - Margaret Hackman's Final Journey" is a film that expresses how one person deals with impending death with humour and a sense of adventure. To purchase a copy visit Alberta Nye's website @ www.spiritvalleypictures.com

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Monk in the Attic

Following is the story written at writing group this past Sunday. The first paragraph was written by me. The rest was contributed by different members of the group as it was passed around the table. Please note that the instructions given were NOT to read all that had been written before (which is why this changed from 1st person to 3rd). Most of the stories were humourous. Mine was just weird.

The Monk in the Attic

After mother died, cleaning out her house was not a chore I looked forward to. I had no idea what surprises were in store for me. And surprises there were.

A box containing steaming letters. Pictures of a man standing in front of a monastary. Handsome he was, with a smile meant for who. My mother? These letters were not from my father for sure.

She picked up the first letter. The writing looked like a medieval scribe had penned it with a quill. The paper had a parchment look, but had been folded and unfolded many times. Parts were streaked with damp tears.

That was the problem with parchment. It conveyed the tears but none of the meat of what was happening with the writer. He/She was obviously very sad.

The scroll reached such proportions as to spill over the ancient table. It had belonged to one of the others and was of maple complete with compartments for treasured items.

The story the scroll conveyed was poignant and the monk wiped his own tears away as he read.

"Mirror, mirror ont he wall. I am the most beautiful monk of all."

The words moved him, but only because he could translate the clue buried inside them.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

HWG's NEW Facebook Fan Page

Hello everyone :-) Happy Hallowe'en :-)

Please check out HWG's NEW Facebook fan page.  New STUFF like, pictures, articles and features added regularly.

Pass it along and tell everyone you know about our NEW fan page.  DON'T forget to LIKE it.  :-)  Thank you 

Click Here To Go To Our NEW Facebook Fan Page

PHOTO RECOVERED - October 30, 2011 meeting

Only one photo - the camera didn't like Alberta. Good thing you took another photo Alberta. Thanks for your help.

Meeting Minutes October 30, 2011

Due to a technical glitch, there are no photos from this year's Halloween meeting. Sorry folks. I can tell you that several of the members were dressed up, including Patricia's "Quarter Pounder" idea. Very cute!

Clare was our leader today and brought wonderful buttertarts from his wife Dorothy, whom we love and have made an honorary member of the group years ago! Kelli and Diane brought chocolate bars, too. Bring on the sugar!

Nancy reminded us of the upcoming Brian Henry workshop on Feb 25, 2012. The chosen topic is: "18 Ways to Write a Page Turner." Time and location TBA.

Nancy and Diane are organizing an Artist's Way workshop beginning in November. Participants can get in touch with either of us to register. There is no fees to join, simply find a copy of The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron and have a great notebook, you'll be doing lots of writing and soul searching. Nancy told us that she's done the workbook several times and has grown both as a writer and a person each time. Alberta took the course when she lived in Hawaii with Julia Cameron. She told us that it opens up your relationships as well as changing you creatively. Creativity is the focus, but it will enrich your entire life.

The new Anthologies are here, authors picked them up from Gloria after the meeting. If you still have a book or two to pick up, please contact Gloria. She also had copies of a book called "Limericks from the Animal Kingdom" written by I. Mary Hackney a friend of hers who died this summer. The cartoons were done by Carly Hatton, a 19 year old Autistic woman. The books sell for $12.95.

Ron has become a blogger for "Women Writing for A Change." After doing a couple of guest blogs, he is now a regular blogger with them and encouraged us to check them out. http://www.womenwriting.org/

We had a wonderful treat! Alberta brought the movie she's been working so hard on titled "So I'm Dying...Now What?" It featured a feisty woman named Margaret Hackman who died of metastic cancer in 2009. The video will be premiered in Guelph on Nov 5. It was a moving yet inspiring story and had us all teary eyed. To find out more, Alberta's website is http://www.spiritvalleypictures.com/


Nancy read an article she'd written for her Brian Henry workshop.

Trina read about an adult getting a child-like view of the world, reminding us all to take time to play.

Ron read his blog article about Foodstock, the protest against the megaquarry. They had originally expected 20,000 people, but over 28,000 showed up. It featured 100 chefs from top local restaurants and looked like a giant cookout. There is another Foodstock planned for the spring if negotiations are not going well with the quarry.
When Ron was done, Marilyn asked if this was a political forum or a writers group.

Clare's next article for the Banner is called "Food for Thought." and will be about Foodstock as well as how we sustain ourselves with gardens. Instead of reading that, he read a page about his accident in 1979 when he was hit by a car and spent a lot of time in Sunnybrook Hospital. "Beware Nurse Boyle" is a very funny piece. My favourite line was: she gave me "a pill the size of a ten-pin bowling ball." He got a rousing round of applause.

The Prompt:

The prompt was a little labour intensive to explain, but once we all got into it, it made for some hilarious reading later!

Number 1: Clare gave us a list of twelve book titles to choose from. We were to choose one and write it along with our name at the top of the paper he'd given us. That part was easy. Sort of.
The titles:
1) Cat O'Nine Tales
2) Footprints in the Sand
3) Who Killed Old Man Horowitz?
4) Shakespeare's Secret
5) The Cappuccino Murders
6) The Archer's Revenge
7) The Scribbling Preacher Makes Her Mark
8) The Monk in the Attic
9) The Voyage of the Tipsy Virgin
10) A Hand-full of Hounds
11) The Time Ticker
12) Wood Chipper on the Loose

Number 2: The Rest of the Instructions

Write the first two killer hook lines to introduce the book title that you selected.
Pass the lined sheet to person on the right. On the sheet you receive, read the title and lines, leave a blank line then add two more lines of your own.
Pass the lined sheet to person on the right. Read ONLY the title and last two lines that were written. Leave a blank line then add two lines of your own. Pass the sheet to the person on your right.
Continue passing the sheets around the group, again reading ONLY the title and the last two lines written.
When the exercise is done, return the sheet to the person whose name is at the top.
Be prepared to read aloud what appears on your sheet.
For homework for the next meeting, write the first chapter of the book, incorporating as many of the suggestions from the sheet as possible.
Good Luck!!

So how did this all turn out? Well, here's mine. I've alternated colours to show when a different person wrote:

The Cappuccino Murders
Java Jo's had been the only coffee shop in Packham for ten years until Lori's Latte's opened directly across the street. Wednesday morning, Lori Archer failed to open her shop for a very good reason.
It's a true story and Joe Cappucano has written about his mafia family and it put his life in danger.
I thought it was old coffee on the floor as I walked into the cafe - but coffee isn't thick or red.
I slipped, leaving a gross streak of burnished blood across my backside.
And feeling ashamed, I didn't look up.
I could feel the eyes of dozens of people staring at me and the cafe grew silent, except for one gasp.
The spoon clattered on the floor and coffee - dripped - in a puddle on the floor. Call for help now, please.
What the hell do you think I am, Mabel, your servant? Well the least that you could do is clean up  the mess!
"Why should I?" s/he yelled. "I do everything around here. It's your turn. S/he turned and left the room.
He ignored her and returned to the coffee machine. He still had time to brew her up a pot of poisoned brew. That would teach the bitch!
When she asked for tea, the plot fizzled out. What next?
Murder plots ran through her head each night. There were cunning ways of disposing of the corpses.

That's my story and I guess I have to stick to it! It was certainly lots of fun reading all the results. Kelli and I laughed so hard we were crying! Nancy found a lesson in the whole exercise: Don't let other people write your story.

Our next meeting is November 13th, 2011. Marilyn will be leading.
November 27th, Nancy will lead.
December 11 will be our Christmas Luncheon.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Foodstock in Melancthon

December 7,1941

Was it a day of infamy as FDR said of Pearl Harbour? History has accepted it as such.

It was a day when his country was savagely and covertly attacked by aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy that early Sunday morning that forever changed the direction of WWII and the fate of two powerful nations.

October 16, 2011

Will this be another Sunday which will become a day of infamy for our farmers in Melancthon Township? Unlike Pearl harbor we certainly hope so. The price paid in 1941 was in blood, this time it will be in the loss of unique soil, thousands of acres of prime farmland, polluted drinking water for over one million people, an ugly blight on our landscape, the disruption of many rivers and streams, and a major loss of food production for millions of people in Southern Ontario.

This Mega Protest in support of our farmland, water and heritage was spawned by the farmers targeted by Highland Companies bid to mine millions of tons of limestone rock beneath their farmland which we rely on for food, thus destroying the soil forever all for speculators wanting to make money.

The expected turnout was for 20,000 people willing to donate at least $10.00 each to pay for the food cooked by over 100 chefs who came from across Canada. Not backyard barbecue chefs. Well trained people, many running their own successful businesses or working for high profile hotels and restaurants. They gave of their time and talents because of the seriousness of the issue at hand. The food was spectacular. The weather not so but the turnout was estimated at over 28,000.

As my family and I walked along the pathway through an almost leafless bush next to a productive field of peas, the aroma of different exotic dishes tickled the palate. There were stews, goulashes, chili, soups, breads of many types, special coffees, and foods I have never tasted until today.

The “kitchens” for each chef were set up in this bush under tent like structures next to the path so the entire scene looked like a giant cook-out, which it was in reality. Made me think how easy it was to be in a gourmet cook’s kitchen without a security guard wanting to kick me out.

If you were hungry that was good because the sample sizes of food were quick to be enjoyed, and the variety was as large as the number of chefs at work. It’s a fair guess that no one went home hungry this day.

Along the food pathways were different entertainers, vendors of various natural products, and an area with a stage for speakers and music to keep the crowd entertained as they ate.

Apparently by 3:30 pm the food was for the most part finished. This is not surprising with the larger than expected turnout so with the advent of light rain and cold winds people began dispersing for their vehicles, satiated and happy with their country experience and contribution to a good cause.

We met people we knew from as far away as Paris ON, Toronto, Barrie and very many local towns, which if drawn as a circle with Hwy 24 and 20 Sideroad Melanchthon being the axis and Barrie the outer line covers a very large area. This gives perspective on the scope of those affected directly by what this quarry will impact if it is allowed to be developed.

Some encouraging news on this initiative a day following the very successful protest was announced that another “Foodstock” in the Spring is a strong possibility depending on how negotiations are going with Highland Companies on stopping the proposed quarry.

I would suggest that if enough people stand up for the good of all concerned we can make a difference.

Ron Lehman

October 19, 2011

642 words

Monday, October 17, 2011

Meeting Minutes October 16, 2011

Congratulations to Jayne on the release of her novel "Murder in Hum Harbour." We had a wonderful time at BookLore Oct 15. It was a fabulous afternoon with her reading and answering questions. Missed out on winning the seaglass earrings, but I'm loving the book which had sold out by Sunday! Watch for the review in In The Hills this winter as well as a follow up in the Citizen.

Jayne was also our leader for the day. And gave Nancy a thank you note for the group: To the members of the Headwaters Writers Guild, Words can't express how much I appreciate your presence and support at yesterday's book launch. Thank you so much, Jayne Self.

Ashley was back for a visit with us and is planning to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year. NaNoWriMo is the National Novel Writers Month held every year in November for more information, check out http://www.nanowrimo.org/. This is Ashley's forth or fifth year trying to meet the goal of 50,000 words. She also told us about a new version of NaNo called Script Frenzy. And that she is hoping to start a writing group of her own in Toronto geared for University students who are looking for a little moral support.

Pat told us all that our favourite bookstore lady, Nancy Frater of BookLore, received a lifetime achievement award at Authors & Armchairs a couple weeks ago. The group gave her a bottle of wine and handpainted wine glasses as an appreciation gift for all of her support of our writers.

Nancy has been in contact with Brian Henry regarding an upcoming workshop. The workshop will take place February 25, 2012. Our choices of courses are:
1) How to Make Yourself Write
2) Eighteen Secrets to Writing a page-turner
3) Writing with Style (which we needed more information on)
4) You  Can Write Great Dialogue
We were deadlocked between #1 and #2 so Nancy will touchbase with other members who normally attend the workshops and we will decide.

Nancy is interested in doing a series of workshops based on the book The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. We have talked to someone who offers the course through Continuing Education, but feel we could do the same thing for free as our own small group. If anyone is interested, please let us know.

Marilyn told us she has checked out The Next Big Writer.com and is impressed with what she's seen. For $50 per year, you can post work, enter contests and get feedback from impartial people. Both the contest submissions and the work you can post are between 1000-2000 words. Check it out at http://www.thenextbigwriter.com/

Marilyn announced that she is "getting all poetic or something ridiculous" and read a poem she'd written.
Diane read a short story written for a Wynterblue Publishing contest called "She Needs to Lose Weight" which caters to the if-only world of if cake and soda were diet foods.
Danielle read part of her fantasy novel that was written as a journal entry.
Ashley had a wonderful poem written in french that she translated for us. It was called "The Drama Queen" and was about her former drama teacher from Westside who passed away this past September. A lovely tribute to her mentor.
Trina (our newest member! Welcome!) read about Trinity Church, the one in New York City that was a central meeting place during the days after 9/11. We loved hearing how being their moved her and put things into perspective.
Nancy read a poem called "Uninvited." Very moving.

On Gaining Confidence....
Jayne thanked us all for helping her become more confident and able to speak in public thanks to reading aloud in the group.
Trina said she'd put off coming to join us on a regular basis, but after reading such a personal poem and getting so much support and feedback, she feels stronger.
Danielle loves how we are all supportive and encouraging to each other.
Marilyn said that "It is amazing how we credit people with the judgements we don't have."

Jayne had a bag full of slips of paper on which were written the names of emotions. We chose two slips. The first time, we wrote about the emotion without naming the emotion. Some words that were used were: Sympathy, Excitement, Shame, Fondness, Suspicious, Contentment, Worry, Happiness, Grief.
The second session, we had to start with the sentence: "Sam opened the door..." and use the second emotion without naming it. More emotions to describe: Love, Despair, Desire, Curiosity, Revenge, Sadness, Jealousy, Hope, Passion, Longing.

Some noteworthy dates:
Next meeting is October 30th. Clare (who was notably absent this week) will be leading.
Our Christmas luncheon is Dec 11, details TBA.

Keep Writing!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Book Launch for Jayne E. Self

On Saturday, October 15th, BookLore in Orangeville hosted a great turn-out for the launch of Jayne's new book "Murder in Hum Harbour". We were delighted for Jayne, and thrilled to see such a huge number of people in attendance. Included in the masses were members of the Headwaters Writers' Guild Shirley, Nancy, Diane and her two sons, Judy, Patricia, Megan, Caitlin, Clare, Ashley, David, and former member Laura with her daughter. Jayne's husband Harvey and 2 of their sons, Allan and Jamie, were also in attendance.

Look at the size of the crowd:

And that doesn't include everybody!

Jayne read from the first chapter of her novel and answered some questions from her guests. She also had a draw for a pair of Sea Glass earrings.

And of course we can't forget a photo of Jayne with the Headwaters Writers' Guild members, at least those who were still there when this picture was taken.

And while I was there, I spotted a couple of interesting books on the shelves. Check out these awesome reads:

A Walk in Fields of Gold - The Headwaters Writers' Guild Anthology,

The Hurleyville Taxi by HWG member Clare McCarthy.

At the HWG meeting the next day Jayne reported that her books sold out! What awesome support from our fellow writers and Orangevillians. And thanks to BookLore for your continued support of local writers (and for the cake and hot apple cider!).

Friday, October 14, 2011

Author Linwood Barclay

Author Linwood Barclay attended a Headwaters Arts Festival event on Friday, September 30, 2011. He sat on a panel of four authors at the Armchairs, Authors & Art event.

Barclay, formerly a humour columnist for the Toronto Star, read from his ninth novel, “The Accident”. He is a winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Crime Fiction. Of Barclay’s novel “Never Look Away” Stephen King called it “the best thriller I’ve read in five years. I literally couldn’t put it down”.

“The Accident” is a mesmerizing thriller packed with unexpected twists and superb characters. When Glen Garber’s wife Sheila does not return home from a night school business course, Glen learns she and two others have been killed in a car accident. The police claim Sheila was responsible. Believing this to be impossible, Glen begins his own investigation into the accident where he uncovers layers of lawlessness beneath the placid surface of their suburb, secret after dangerous secret behind the closed doors.

Barclay read the prologue from “The Accident” at the Orangeville author event which was touched with mystery and humour. Then he responded to questions.

Author Trevor Cole commented that Barclay’s story is a wonderful mixture of horror and comedy and that he could write for television. Barclay said humour comes naturally out of life’s situations. In writing the stories he does picture the scenes in his head unfolding as if in a movie but prefers to write books because the author loses control over a script during production.

When asked why he turned from writing humour to writing horror, Barclay’s response was, “It was a career strategy. Humour wasn’t selling.”

Barclay is under contract until 2014 to write a book a year. He was asked how he is able to put out a book a year. He admitted that he had 2 weeks to come up with the outline for his next book and had no ideas yet. He does not know his story’s middle or end. His writing style consists of starting with a hook and continues from there. He can write a book in two months.

During a discussion about writing bad books the authors agreed that you need to be excited about the story you are writing, and to give yourself permission to give up on a book or story that isn’t working. You need to be driven to finish. Writing bad books is a learning experience.

One woman commented that he had women so well pegged that he almost pissed her off. To that Barclay said he is familiar with women from his wife and adult daughter. They have their vices. In “The Accident” the women in the story are on an adventure to find knock off purses. Guys are the same but about different things like cars or sports. “Knock off bags,” he said, “are like porn for women.”

When asked about how much he relies on the input of his agent and editor, Barclay said he appreciates the value of the editor and agent. You get too close to your work; you can’t see what’s wrong; you can’t see what’s good. “I value my agent. She told me that 70% of readers are women so don’t piss them off or they won’t read your books again.”

After the question and answer session the authors sat in the lobby signing books and speaking with the guests. I enjoyed meeting and speaking with Linwood Barclay whose column I had read for 15 years before he retired to write books full-time. He is very funny, charming, and tells great stories.

Barclay’s previous novels are “Bad Move”, “Bad Guys”, “Lone Wolf”, “Stone Rain”, “No Time for Goodbye”, “Too Close to Home”, “Fear the Worst” and “Never Look Away”. He also wrote a memoir entitled “Last Resort”. I have read “No Time for Goodbye” and look forward to reading “The Accident” and “Never Look Away”, the two books I purchased at the 7th Annual Armchairs, Authors and Art event.

Though Linwood Barclay is a Canadian author, he is renowned worldwide.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Check us out, not only do we have this AMAZING blog page, but we also have a BRAND NEW website @ HWG WEBSITE CLICK HERE, AND we are now on TWITTER @ CLICK HERE FOR TWITTER and we are also on FACEBOOK at HWG on FACEBOOK CLICK HERE.  WOW!  That's FANTABULOUS!!!  See you all there :-)


Here's that eMail from Dr. Stephen Badsey I read out at todays meeting (September 24,11). All the best Ron.

This is a copy of an eMail to Ron Lehman from Dr. Stephen Badsey, Reader in Conflict Studies University of Wolverhampton in the UK on March 25, 2011. Dr Badsey is a personal friend of Ron and shares his writers learning experiences with all members of Headwaters Writers Guild. He is the author of over 80 books. Enjoy!

Dear Ron,

I've been wrapped up writing a book of my own (I still am, and will be for several months), so my apologies for not getting back to you sooner. I'm glad you liked the 'suit of armour' comparison, because I stole it from a writer I admire, the English poet Ian MacMillan (who is still very much alive).

You asked me in your last paragraph about all the material you've got, and what to do with it all. My best piece of advice on what to put in a book or leave out is the same advice that was given to me at the start of my own writing career, and which I have found in many variants. Here are a few:

"If you feel you have written a phrase or passage of particular elegance - cross it out" (John Bourne, historian)

"When what you think is your best scene is lying on the cutting room floor, your movie is finished" (Hollywood maxim)

"Start with a plain block of marble, and then just chip away everything that doesn't look like the statue you have in your mind" (Michaelangelo, attributed)

"If you are almost in tears because of all the good material that you have had to leave out or can find no room for in this book, then you might just have written something worth publishing" (Martin Middlebrook, historian)

Never throw anything away, all material is valuable, if not this time then next time; but a book has a shape of its own. The story tells itself; the first duty of the storyteller (or, in a different way, of the translator) is to get yourself out of the way. My one exception to this in writing, I think, is good poetry because it is essentially personal (although bad poetry is just a way of learning how to write better). Poets draw their subject matter entirely from themselves and so depend on how much of themselves they can reveal. (And I have published a few poems too, over the years; although my poetry wasn't as good as my history because I don't have that big an ego; I may go back to it one day.)

All this sounds very Zen, and it should because it is a process common to many activities. Do you remember Bruce Lee in "Enter The Dragon" saying "when there is an opportunity I do not hit. It hits all by itself"? Just so it doesn't get to mystical, I should add that a lot of luck helps as well, often dressed up by words like "inspiration" or "my muse"; but even then, if you work hard and seize chances as they come, it's amazing how lucky you get. I hardly need to tell you that. But I hope that you have found this useful.

Writing Prompts - Sept. 24/11 from Judy

Writing Prompts Sept. 24/11

1. Muttering obscenities, Chad scooped up the _________, dumped the water out of it and tried to stuff it into his back-pack.

2. My mother used to tell me that she found me under a garbage can - a dirty little piece of trash - and I’m still trash she says . . .

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

4. Hiram offered to take the strange little orphan boy home with him until the authorities could figure out who he was, and where he lived.

5. After uncle Henry moved in, strange things began to happen in our house.

6. He was running ahead of me through the ________________. I had to keep up with him, or I’d lose him in the dark.

7. As fate would have it, we missed our usual train into the city that day, because David forgot to set the alarm.


What would you say, if you could write to someone in your past

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

What are you afraid of?

What childhood memory brings to the surface strong emotion in you? (laughter? sadness? anger? etc) .


Is anybody interested in going possibly we could car pool?

But don't forget Jayne's book launch on the 15th at Booklore between 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

HWG's NEW Facebook Fan Page

Hello everyone,

I would like to announce officially that the Headwaters Writers' Guild now has a fan page on Facebook.  I'm super excited about it as it will help our group to gain more exposure.  I'm still in the process on uploading more pictures and adding more info on it.

I invite you to "LIKE" our new fan page on Facebook and tell your friends and family about it.  Stay posted for upcoming events, pictures and get interactive with HWG.  I look forward to seeing you all there soon and supporting your local Headwaters Writers' Guild.  :-)


Wednesday, September 28, 2011


First posted on Thursday, November 26, 2009

Linwood Barclay On Writing

Linwood Barclay joined The Toronto Star in 1981 and in 1993 he became the paper’s humour columnist. I always read his column.

"He's hilarious in person," my daughter said "we couldn't stop laughing.

On Monday, November 23, my husband and my daughter (an avid reader of Barclay’s books) attended his talk in Toronto at the S. Walter Stewart Library.My husband woke me up to tell me that Barclay is the best author he’s ever heard. My daughter raved about him and I asked her to share any writing tips that Linwood might have mentioned.


He starts work at 9:30 A.M., takes a lunch break, and works until 5:00 P.M. just like any other job. When people tell him that it took them seven years to finish a book, he wonders what were they doing?He’s always finished his book before his deadline. Once he wrote a book too fast, and his editor told him that he could write a book from scratch faster that you could edit that book.

His favourite novel that he wrote is Fear the Worst. He writes mostly thrillers.He won’t be writing another book in the Bad Move series (my daughter’s favourite books), as they weren’t selling. As a beginner writer he understood that this happens but he had to try something different.

No Time for Goodbye was the Number 1 Bestseller in Britain and they’re waiting to release the Bad Move series. When he writes he wants it to be popular worldwide. Lots of people get shot in his books but he never describes the shooting graphically. He’s not made for horror.

Linwood Barclay is at the Authors, Armchairs & Art at 7:00 p.m. SGI in Alton. Hope to see you there!

MINUTES OF MEETING - September 25, 2011

Now I have to try and decipher my notes . . . sigh!

Thirteen members attended our meeting. Awesome!

Judy mentioned that Nancy (me) and her attended a workshop reading of a new play called Bemused. The actors were amazing. David Narin and Lisa Petrie read. Judy and I had read it in The Banner. It was a pay as you can event. We were able to speak to the playwright and the actors afterwards. And I mentioned at least three times that there was food and wine. Possibly next year we could go as a group.

NOTE: Post it on our Blog next year!

Authors and Armchairs and Art Event – happens on Friday, September 30, 2011 at SGI in Alton. Lots of members are attending. We hope to see you there!


Shirley would like the following:
- Photo
- Bio
- Quote by an author or a quote by you
- Some of your work – short stories or poems -attach it in a word document or a PDF file
- She would prefer to have your work with links to your website & Blog as it would
encourage people to look at other writers on our website

Shirley's email address: shirleywrite@rogers.com

Website address: www.headwaterswritersguild.com


Hi Nancy,
Murder In Hum Harbour: A Seaglass Mystery will be officially launched on October 15, 2-3pm at Booklore as part of their Independents' Day celebration.

There will be a brief reading, snacks, a chance to "meet the author" and a draw for a piece of seaglass jewelry.

Thanks for including this on the blog.

:) Jayne

Thanks Jayne for forwarding this info to me. Jayne gave everybody a bookmark of her book. I love bookmarks.


Marilyn showed her movie Thicker than Water on her new Ipad. Marilyn learned when you shoot the movie if the scene it’s supposed to be night shoot it at night. Marilyn’s movie doesn’t have much dialogue otherwise it would be a radio play. What's a radio play? I know I should have asked her ‘cause on Monday night I was told that I’d written a radio play.

Joe wanted to know if Marilyn had taken a screenplay writer’s course? Nope, Marilyn just writes. Joe is taking a screenplay writing in Guelph in October.

Nancy (that would be me) read her Only For This Moment poem and Judy commented that it’s great for writers to help them remember to write in the moment no matter what’s happening in their life. I also read my Shattered Dreams poem – it’s a line I woke up with from a dream.

Joe kept up up-to-date on his letter to Hydro One. He was published in the Guelph Mercury, Wellington Advertiser, and the Erin Advocate. He had a letter from McGuinty and is waiting to hear back from the Energy Minister. Keep your fingers crossed Joe!

June wrote an emotional piece about a little boy loosing his grandmother. It brought tears to my eyes. Welcome back June. We’ve missed you!

Ron read Enough is Enough. Why not use this prompt for your writing. When is enough enough?

Judy gave out prompts and also brought The Mysteries of Harris Burdick – a book of photos that Judy thought would make good prompts.

I hate to admit it but after eating chocolate chip cookies some people were just way too happy. And now Jen isn’t speaking to me anymore ‘cause I used a prompt and brought it into Jen’s reality. I spilled water on Jen’s journal. I think I was a little high from the cookies. Patricia suggested it might be a good idea for me to give up chocolate. No way.

Judy had to use her teacher’s voice twice at this meeting. Actually, I’ve never heard it before from soft spoken Judy. The things we learn . . .

Kelli wrote about a dream with a hidden secret. The child was going to take over the Universe. Judy mentioned the dream was perfect to use a children’s story.

June used Prompt # 1 and wrote to a friend in her past and shared may memories. Life is good for June.

Judy chose Prompt # 4. I like Hiram and hope to hear more about him and the orphan child.

Clare chose Prompt # 5 … and honest Harry wasn’t really a dirty old man.

Ron chose # 8 and provoked lots of thought which I believe is part of the writer’s job.

Marilyn’s Uncle Henry created unusual happenings after he moved in with lots of impending births. Marilyn, of course, made us all laugh! You should have been there!

Danielle chose # 11 and wrote about her first memory she had as a one year old. She wrote as a baby. Very interesting.

Patricia continued to make fun of me. I must be important or something.

Jayne’s Uncle Henry is a mystery. Imagine that a mystery writer wrote a mystery! Way to go Jayne.

Patricia chose what are you afraid of? Heartfelt essay – the thing she fears is want she wants the most.

Jen was creative she used the last four prompts. It was very touching.

Kelli asked me why I hadn’t posted the photos from the last meeting. I promised her I would.

We all laughed and Marilyn said, “I can’t wait to get out of the Twilight Zone.

Joe went back in time to 1935 when he was seven years old and went to a funeral for a two -year -old boy. It was his first encounter with death. An emotional piece touched everybody.

Ron said, “NEVER GIVE UP!” He received an answer to his email that he sent out in
April 2008. I’m going to post the email separately on the blog.

Judy said, “That’s a RAP!”

WE MISSED YOU! I especially missed Diane ‘cause I had to take notes at the meeting.

I think I got carried away.

NEXT MEETING: October 16, 2011 – Jayne is leading


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Armchairs, Authors & Art Part Deux

It seems a fourth author has been added to the Armchairs, Authors & Art event scheduled for Friday, September 30th at the SGI Centre (Caledon) as part of the Headwaters Arts Festival.

James Fitzgerald's memoir "What Disturbs Our Blood" is about growing up in an affluent respected family, but a family with great secrets. Fitzgerald's father and grandfather were both doctors, both accomplished leaders, both shadowed by mental illness and suicide. "What Disturbs Our Blood" is the recent winner of the 2011 Writer's Trust Prize.

This event gets bigger and better every year.

Doors open at 6:30. Tickets can be purchased in advance at BookLore in Orangeville.

Have you bought your ticket?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Meeting Minutes September 11, 2011

Although we are marking the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, the mood at our meeting today was jovial and we used it as an occasion to celebrate.
First of all, Harry had returned to the fold! We've missed his wonderful, witty prose and poetry.
Secondly, Kelli rejoined us as well. She's been away with health issues and is now weaned off her medications to control seizures. She is experiencing minor side-effects and hopes to have her driver's license back soon. We are all so excited for her!
Thirdly, Clare brought wonderful treats made by his wife Dorothy. We all told him that she's a keeper. Marilyn said that she was going to have to go to confession, Harry corrected that the proper term was "confection."
Fourth, Nancy brought cake to celebrate Diane (me) having an agent! Of course, I had to bring the plates, napkins and forks, but...the cake was delicious.

Now onto the News:

Marilyn and Danielle are both submitting short stories to the Writer's Digest contest.

Marilyn also reminded us of the Eden Mills Writer's Festival on Sept 18. For more details, go to the website:

Nancy told us that Mike Bellinger, husband of the late Janet Bellinger from the HWG, had emailed her regarding the bursary that we co-sponsor with the Bellinger family for a graduating student from ODSS (Orangeville District Secondary School.) Convocation is November 4, 2011 at 7pm. He wanted to know if we were adding more money to the bursary again this year and which members of our group were going to present the award to a deserving student planning to pursue writing in continuing studies. In the end, Nancy and Diane (me, again) volunteered. We'll let you know how it goes!

Shirley was not present, but had e-mailed me regarding our new website. We have a website at a cost of $7.99 per year and our new website address will be http://www.headwaterswritersguild.com  She will be working hard to set it up and make it a site we can all be proud of.


Judy read three poems. One was "Fluctuate" that was inspired by Clare's question "What kind of water are you like?" When she was done reading it, Clare pointed out that she'd forgotten that water wears down rock and finds the smallest space to fill. It is flexible. Her second poem was called "Alexander Pope" because reading his works had her thinking in Iambic Pentameter. Her third poem, "Faith," will appear in the front of her memoir.

Marilyn had been inspired by contest information I had sent for the "Watching Paint Dry" contest. Riveting story with a great twist ending! Looking forward to hearing the finished product.

Clare had brought a copy of the Banner from Sept 6 which featured his article "Proposals from a Political Pundit." Marilyn told us that if we liked politics, we'd love books by Terry Fallis.

Harry read to us from his circus book. He has been querying agents and actually got some helpful feedback to streamline his work. He is working on a new draft, very inspired and excited. The chapter he read was about "a son trying to touch his father's ghost." Nancy told us about a book called "What Disturbs the Blood" which has a similar premise. Harry had a powerful chapter and we were all mesmerized! Looking forward to the book one day soon!

Judy also had a script for a 10 minute movie that she wants to make and needed some critiques on. It is a sci-fi/paranormal/spiritual story. The story involves re-incarnation and the "life between lives." She received lots of feedback and is looking forward to doing a re-write and making it more vivid for her audience. Can't wait to see the video.

The Prompts:
All of the prompts I used were borrowed from "Writing Past Dark" by Bonnie Friedman.
1) I spent this morning smashing flies.
2) I wanted to get everything in that room just right before my writing began.
3) You fall the way you do in dreams.
4) The things that disgust also fascinate.
5) We have an aversion to loss of control, as much as we love it.
6) We are afraid of writing, even those of us who love it.
7) I knew a man who believed a bee had been sent to earth to give him a message.
8) My dreams came true one day. It was just as I had always imagined it would be.

Our next meeting is Sept. 25, 2011, Judy will be leading.
Future meetings and leaders:
            Oct 16 - Clare
            Oct 30 - Jayne
            Nov 13 - Marilyn
            Nov 27 - Nancy
             Dec 11 - Christmas luncheon, place and time to be determined.

What else is new?

Sept 13 - Nancy's birthday
Sept 18 - Ruth's birthday
Sept 19 - David's birthday
Sept 20 - Sonja's birthday
Happy Birthday to all until we meet again!

I will not be at the next meeting. See you all in October!

Monday, August 29, 2011

This is my first attempt ever to post to a blog and I hope it works! To satisfy Diane's curiosity: I decided to call my short story "Revelation" after the meeting yesterday....Danielle

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Meeting Minutes August 28, 2011

Fall is around the corner, which means I'm back! Miss me?
We had a small meeting today, but lots of interesting things to discuss and see.
Marilyn led today's meeting and we had a new member. Derek is Danielle's husband who, like all of us, writes little bits here and there and wants to put them all together.

The News:

Pat reminded us that the proof of the anthology needs final edits before being sent back to Gloria. The book was passed around the room and everyone made notes.

Shirley informed us that our website has been taken down and, in her efforts to reinstate it, she discovered that the domain name has been purchased by a US business who kindly refused to resell it. Since she already uses Net Firms for her own website, she says she will be willing to host our new site and maintain it so it will cost less. In turn, we will give her an honorarium to cover some of the cost.
She will create a new domain name for us and buy it (approximately $10 per year) so it will be easier in the future for us to make changes in who takes care of the site. Marilyn recommended going through namecheaper.com to register it so it will cost less. Shirley will let us know what name she gets for us. It will be a variation on Headwaters Writers' Guild.
Once our new website is under construction, we will add whichever authors want to be on it, provide bios for each and post the meeting schedule. We will also post links to associated webpages, facebook pages, twitter accounts, Linked In accounts, etc.

Nancy handed out information for two upcoming courses.
1) a memoir writing course on October 25, 2011 by Nora Savage at the Orangeville Public Library downtown. The cost is $25 for the full day, 10:30am - 4:30pm. To register, call Frances MacFarlane at 519-925-1456. There is a maximum of 40 people and lunch will be provided.
2) Creative Writing course offered every Wednesday from Oct 5-Nov 16 at 7-10pm. The course is based on the book "The Artist's Way." It is led by Kelly Surtees and the cost is $90. To register, call The Learning Enterprise at 519-941-2661.
3) Life Story Writing by instructor Susan Walley Monday nights from Sept 26-April 30. The cost is $65 and classes are from 7-8:30pm. Several members of the HWG have already taken this course and enjoyed it immensely! To register, call The Learning Enterprise at 519-941-2661.


Pat shared her video and pictures from when she and her daughter did the Edge Walk at the CN Tower. We all decided she's braver than the rest of us! The cost of the Edge Walk is $175 which gives access to all the Tower has to offer. It also includes: pictures and a DVD.
Clare: "Why did you do it?"
Pat: "Why not? One day I want to jump out of a plane, this seemed like a good step in the right direction."
Nancy: "Writers need courage. She exhibited courage."
No disagreeing with that! She left us early to attend soccer.

Marilyn also had a video to show us. The challenge was to create a movie using shadows, it was called "Shadow Challenge." Hers was about "The Shadow of Her Smile." Well done, Marilyn and friends!

Danielle read a short story she wrote for a short story contest I'd sent to the group. It was 1495 words, just under the wordcount. She normally writes Fantasy and this certainly qualified! Great job on the story, but she needed a title. Some suggestions: "The Writer", "A Thought", "Creation"   We can't wait to see what she chooses.

The Prompts:

There's a lot of them and they're all CURSES!
1) May you live in interesting times.
2) May the bluebird of happiness fly up your nose.
3) May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits.
4) May you be trapped in an elevator for four hours with a man who has just consumed four pickled eggs and four pints of beer.
5) May dogs laugh at your funeral.
6) May you find underpants in your lover's glove compartment that do not belong to you.
7) May your mother bite you when you return home to your kennel.
8) May all your drinking cups be riddled with holes.
9) May four thousand elephants caress you with their toes.
10) May your thumb be a nail for your hammer.
11) May your e-mail consist of chain letters.
12) May the birds of the air make deposits on your head.
13) May the dust bunnies under your bed be gremlins.
14) May you live next door to a guano factory.
15) May your attic be a home for vampire bats.
16) May the number on your house be 667.
17) May the lover of your dreams morph into a blow-up doll.
18) May your fairy godmother turn your car into an Edsel.
19) May you be loved by seven dwarves and be forced to eat apples the rest of your life.
20) May fat little cherubs pelt you with spent arrows and broken hearts.

Shirley had to leave before reading hers.
Clare had chosen #4 about pickled eggs and beer and an elevator clawing it's way back up the cable. Well done!
Diane (me) wrote more of a novel-in-progress.
Nancy scowled and asked, "I have to go after that?" She used #1 and as many cliches as she could cram in!
Derek chose to pass.
Danielle used #6 about a veteranarian, a dog and a thong...
Marilyn used #13 and had some creepy little gremlin dust bunnies! A taste of horror!
Ashley made up her own curse and did some work on her novel-in-progress as well.

Next Meeting:

Sunday, Sept 11  Leader: Diane
Sunday, Sept 25  Leader: Judy
Sunday, Oct 16   Leader: ?
Sunday, Oct 30   Leader: Jayne
Sunday, Nov 13  Leader: ?
Sunday, Nov 27  Leader: Nancy
Sunday, December 11 is our Christmas Luncheon. Details to be announced.

Keep on Writing!!!