Sunday, January 30, 2011

Why I Write

I write because of the state of being I experience when I write. The exquisite blend of right and left L brain functioning—creative inspiration and searching the Thesaurus for the perfect word is a rich and fulfilling combination. My heart sings, I laugh out loud, I groan, I beat my breast (figuratively) come up for air and thank my muses as I again fall into the depths of allowing, searching, finding and expressing.

When I am writing, I accomplished more in other areas of my life. Chores and other mundane activities don’t seem quite so boring or meaningless after spending four or five hours with my characters and their lives. They have such exciting ones and I am privileged that they invite me in. It is fun to wake up and wonder what adventures we will share that morning. Even when a word or phrase eludes me, the chase, the search and the delight when it pops up is all worth it. I am thankful to have the time, my fantastic computer, all my faculties and the unending desire to write. We writers are blessed.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Why I Write

At the beginning of January, we did an excercise using the prompt: "Why Do I Write?" This was my response:

I write because I hear voices and have scenes constantly running through my head. I have characters I've lived with since I was a child and continue to enable them to exist. My shelves are heavy with stories that I've evicted from my brain. I haven't written one book. I've written over a dozen. A line I once heard to describe someone was "a hummingbird on espresso" which sums up the way I write. Quickly, not always fluidly, but I have a need to get the stories out since my head is like a glass jar and I fear it will explode if I don't make space inside, the glass will shatter.

I'm not perfect. I don't profess to be. I'm just a person who loves the feeling of a pen in my hand and the smell of paper. Bookstores and stationery shops make me giddy. Buying printer ink is a thrill. Where some people have stashes of chocolate and cookies, I hoard scribblers, notebooks and pens. Don't worry about me though, if I need help, I'll simply create a character to walk me through my paper addiction.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My New Facebook Author Fanpage

Hello, my name is Kelli Curtis, I am a member of the Headwaters Writers' Guild and a professionally published children's book. I recently started and author fanpage for myself on Facebook. I invite you to join and please feel free to invite your friends as well. Thank you so much for your kind support.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Meeting Minutes January 23, 2011

I'm typing up the meeting minutes while nestled beneath a blanket with a cup of tea trying to get warm. Currently it's about -17 Celcius and sunny. For those of our friends in the USA, -4 F. That's COLD! Our water bottles all froze! Sorry, inside joke.

We had a couple new members today, Thomas and Andrew. Hope you enjoyed the meeting, guys!
And two returning new members, CJ and Megan. Glad you came back.

Ron told us he sold a copy of the anthology to the Mayor of Shelburne, who is also his insurance agent. Kudos to Mayor Bill Hill for donating an extra $10 to the literacy fund for children.

Pat posted her "Why I Write?" from last meeting to Triond and will post it to the blog.

Marilyn told us that Gloria is doing final edits on the anthology A Walk in Fields of Gold before we get a second print done.

Judy is considering using a pseudonym for her book, but isn't sure she likes the name yet.

Clare read a piece called "Sound of Silence" about muzak and background sounds. He plans to edit it and use it as a Meanderings piece in the Banner.

Diane read a short story about Dinner at Angel's.

Pat told us that Gloria recommended a book for all of us to read called "Don't Murder Your Mystery" by Chris Roerden. Chris has been an editor for 40 years and offers 25 techniques to save your manuscript.
She also read an email from a gentleman in Pennsylvania, Doug, who has been in touch with her via our website. (The inside joke at the beginning was for him.)

We had a brief discussion about updating our website. Shirley has been looking after it and will be getting help soon to upgrade it and include new members as well as deleting people who are no longer members.

Marilyn read a short story that she will post to her personal blog about a deer leaping over a minivan. She also read a short piece called "Morning" that will appear as part of a "thing" not sure if it will be an article or short story.

Ashley has been rewriting the first chapter of her novel as per advice from members. It drew us all in and we can't wait to hear more.

Ron was "kicked out of school because his teacher didn't have anything else for me to do." He is currently going through his book and editing. He sent a copy of the anthology to his professor friend in England and is eagerly awaiting a response. He showed us two items he's had published. One about Sale and Peltier not getting the gold medal in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. The other published this past Wednesday about Baby Doc Duvallier returning to Haiti. He also read us a poem about war veterans which was very moving.

Caitlyn, CJ and Megan told us they all saw the tranformer and line blow out near the LCBO last night on Broadway that put part of Orangeville in darkness. We encouraged them all to write about it.

CJ mentioned that the Town of Orangeville Small Business Department is offering two courses. One on Business Writing and another on Business Blogging.

Judy read us the sequel to The Bank of Paper Bag and we learned more adventures of the bag and the Gold Dust Twins it accompanied to Florida.

The prompts this week were a lot of fun. Judy picked sentences out of several books and we ended up with 9 very interesting lines to work from. I, apparently, channelled Edgar Allen Poe for mine and will post it on my personal blog after I make a few tweaks.

Enjoy the prompts!

1) The black skid marks on the road told the story.

2) The forensic artist had sculpted layers of plasticine over the skull, fleshing it out, but it wasn't until she placed the eyes into the sockets, smoothing eyelids over top, that the man let out a cry of disbelief.

3) Helen lit a cigarette and put it into his mouth, her fingers lingering for a moment on his lips.

4) Before I begin, before I tell you how I came to be here, we have to go back to the beginning when I was alive.

5) A bunch of people I had never seen before filed into my room and began to sing.

6) The numbing reality set in: she was trapped on the family farm, married to a man who was afraid of his ill-tempered mother.

7) "I have never told you this," he said at length, "but I think if we are going to continue with this venture, you deserve an explanation."

8) She opened the shed door and something, or someone, dropped from the rafters knocking the flashlight out of her hand.

9) The old man removed a dusty volume from the third shelf and a section of the library wall slid open.

Our next meeting is February 6th and Richard is leading, if we can find him.
See you all then.
Happy writing!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Why I Write

My journey with writing began in high school, but did not take the form of actually writing. I, as were most teenagers, was a fantasizer. Whether it be my favourite teen idol, Toronto Maple Leaf hockey player, or high school crush, I fantasized and relayed these “stories” to my friends telling them, “I had this dream…”

I don’t know where the idea of writing these stories came from. I had a couple of friends who also liked to “tell stories” and we wrote them. They were about us and the aforementioned teen idol, hockey player, or school jock.

That is all we wrote about. Long after these friends disappeared from my life I took one of those stories and started to re-write it changing the names. Since I am not that familiar with Hollywood I changed the setting. The next thing I knew I was changing the whole story except for the original premise.

Going back further into my past I can thank my Barbie dolls for honing the imagination God gifted to me. Barbies, baby dolls, make-believe – these were all mediums for my imagination.
I took Creative Writing grade 10. In that class we were required to write a journal. I have been writing journals of varying topics ever since.

I dabbled in poetry and do so more now, but never thought I would write articles or even short stories. My so-called dreams were long-winded taking at least an hour to relay to my friends.

In a nutshell I am a storyteller. I get my ideas from my own fantasies, which aren’t always good. I imagine the bad happening and turn that into a story. Or I take events from my own life, or someone else’s, and create stories from them.

I have quite an imagination and can dream up (no pun intended) great tales, or what I believe to be great. Though I have progressed to poet and perhaps journalist, I think of myself as a storyteller first – wife and mother second.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Meeting Minutes January 9, 2011


I logged in to write the meeting minutes and discovered this is the 501st article written to our blog. Not good enough. Come on fellow writers, flex those muscles and BLOG!

Fifteen people showed up for the first meeting of the New Year - and three of them were new members! Welcome to Judi M, Megan and CJ. We enjoyed having you there.

Jayne suggested a book to us titled "Write Away" by Elizabeth George. She says it's a wonderful book on writing.
We were all informed that Nancy's father passed away last week. Our condolences to she and her family.
It was also Marilyn's "29th" birthday again! My how time flies.

Gloria was glad everyone emailed her regarding typos in the anthology. She will send out an email to the group and will have a new proof made up before the second run of books. Out of 250 copies, she's down to 2 remaining AND we sold 1 on (to my brother-in-law in Oregon!) In the second run, she also plans to add the group's webpage address on the title page and a note to say that profits will be donated to the children's wing at Headwaters Health Care Facility to promote literacy for kids. We may also branch out to other childrens' organizations (ie Sunrise Centre and Transition House). Besides books, we could also purchase subscriptions to magazines such as Chirp and Chickadee for the hospital.

Judi M. told us that she has a friend who collects children's books to sent to the far North. If anyone has books to donate, you can contact her through Ruth since I don't have her email or phone number.

Pat told us about an item she saw on CTV for a place called The Book Nook that collects kids books. Kids are welcome to go in and read then take home a book. Great idea.

Gloria was going to ask BookLore about sales of the anthology.

We did get a few people with pieces to read. Clare read a story called "Seeker" where Len Johnston asked him "How would you describe your stuff?" That led to a philosophical discussion that gave us all two questions: "Who are you? How do you describe yourself?"
Jenn read a poem called "Airplane." We all soared with her wonderful descriptions.
Ruth read "Inspiration" from the anthology.
Marilyn read "Dream Lover" from the anthology.
Ron read a wonderful piece that he got A+ on in his English class. It was based on his trip to Europe and had us all captivated. Worthy of applause.

In keeping with the whole New Year resolution idea and getting back to basics, my prompt for the group was simply "WHY DO YOU WRITE?" We expanded that to add the "WHO ARE YOU?" idea. We discovered a lot of things about ourselves and each other and were so delighted with the responses that we asked the authors to post them to the blog. (One per week when I put out a list, the problem with that being our new members aren't on the blog yet!) I'll post the list at the end of the blog where the prompt would normally be.

Some of the quotes from our writers are:
"All artists walk a path of change and self-discovery." - CJ, Pathworker and Shamanist
"None of us are one single thing." - Ron, A+ English student
"I have a monkey mind that hops around from one thing to the next." - Judi M, new member
"Are you saying we bleed printers ink?" - Marilyn, our resident Dream Lover.
"I've had many creative hobbies. I kept trying new ones until I could do many things adequately, but none well. Until I wrote." - Jayne, a mystery to us all.
"Breathing is akin to writing." - pretty much all of us.
"I've been away from writing for far too long." - Megan, a recently resurrected author. (Welcome back!)

One group consensus that we did reach was that this was a great exercise in getting in touch with our Inner Writer again and that we would like to use this prompt in the first meeting of every New Year. I made sure to write that on my calendar!

Okay, for those who would like to post your prompts from this meeting, here's the order (minus the new members for now!  Marilyn (Jan 10), Clare (was published in The Banner in November), Pat (Jan 17), Diane (Jan 24), Gloria (Jan 31), Ruth (Feb 7), Jayne (Feb 14), Caitlyn (Feb 21), Laura (Feb 28), Jenn (March 7) and Ron (March 14).

Our next meeting is January 23 and Judy will be leading. Hope to see you all then!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What's Up With That?

Hello, I am a member of the Headwaters Writers' Guild and a local published children's author. Please follow the link to read my latest blog entry and feel free to become a follower and tell your friends about me: Kelli Curtis, Published Children's Author from Dufferin County. Thank you for your support. :-)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Journal Writing & Prompts

Recently I wrote two articles for Triond about journal writing. You'd be surprised at the number of different types of journals you can create.

The articles can be found here:

I think this would be a great idea for writing prompts for our group, but since I am not a leader I decided to post prompts here. I challenge you to come up with something under one of the following categories. You can write something serious or go crazy and write fiction. For example, if you are writing about a date to the movies you can go into some crazy details about the date itself as well as the movie. The movie itself can be made up. Here are some prompts:

Write about a book you've read. Who would you like to star in the movie?
Write about a movie and the events surrounding it. Would you like to be in the movie?
Write a diary entry.
Write about pregnancy or menopause. Have fun with it.
Write about your kids' antics.
Write about a television show.
Write a prayer.
Write about gratitude. What are you grateful for?
Write about your first job, real or fictional.
Write about someone's reaction to reading one of your journals.

Some great stories can be born here, perhaps a best seller. ;)