Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Prompt From HWG Meet Led By Clare - July 24/11

Headwaters Writers’ Guild
Lead by:  Clare
Writing Prompt
July 24, 2011

I chose option #8:

Why was it so great?  Write about a gift you received (concrete or abstract) that you still consider one of the best gifts ever.

I received a wonderful gift or maybe even several gifts almost everyday that although only took place for approximately one year, that gift OR gifts have stayed with me since, and have changed the way I feel about and see life.  It was the gift of APPRECIATION for everything, for everyone, and for all that is life.  For me at least, that was what driving for the Canadian Cancer Society did, and I am ever so GREATFUL.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Leonard Cohen prompt

I have posted on Triond my response to the Leonard Cohen prompt. There I was able to imbed the video into the post. Check it out here:


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Meeting Minutes, July 24, 2011


Pat reported that Gloria advised she is waiting on a new proof of the anthology from the publisher.

Ashley passed around a copy of the completed anthology she edited while at Westside Secondary School. The book is entitled "Abstract Ramblings of a tuesday Lunch Vol. 2". Also, she is going to U of T this fall so we will probably not see her until next spring. We wish Ashley well with her studies in languages.

Marilyn has been mentoring a 12 year old girl in writing. The young girl received an honorable mention at the Elora Writers' Festival and won a writer's award at school.

Clare submitted an article suggestion about birds of prey to Sideroads Magazine. This is expected to be printed in the Spring 2012 issue as he is still doing some research.


After a month between meetings, several members had writing to share. Marilyn expressed how much she missed the writing group. Several echoed that sentiment.


Clare provided an audio prompt as well as written prompts. Below is the video of the song Clare played, "Anthem" by Leonard Cohen.


The written prompts are:

2. Where do you store it? Write about something you own that someone gave you, but you're to embarrassed to wear or display.

3. Who gave you a bad piece of advice? Write about it.

4. Write about finding a rusty lock or rusty locket.

5. Write about one time you did something so well that you doubt you'll ever be able to repeat the feat.

6. Compare some part of your life to water in one of its many forms: Fresh, stagnant, steam, ice...

7. Who told you it was haunted? Write about a scary experience.

8. Why was it so great? Write about a gift you received (concrete or abstract) that you still consider one of the best gifts ever.

9. What's the best/worst thing about being the age you are now? Write about it.

10. So why did you laugh? Write about a time you laughed when you shouldn't have.

Danielle chose prompt #2; Kelli chose prompt #8; Joe chose prompt #9; the rest of the group wrote from the music.


I cannot being to describe what people wrote from the audio prompt. I can only compel people to post their writings on this blog.

Clare pointed out that sometimes we are answering our own personal questions.

Judy said sometimes she gets tired of her own words and likes it when prompts come from passing around someone else's words.

In reading my writing from the audio prompt (which I will post here later), when I said "I am cracked," everyone laughed. I stopped and said, "That wasn't supposed to be funny." With that I lead you to prompt #10.

Our next meeting is Sunday, August 28th. Marilyn will be leading.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


May it be the best year of your life. Romance, publication are all in the cards.

Have a wonderful birthday.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Hello everyone,

This is Ashley, finally in the mood for summer. I haven't been around the Writer's guild lately but I have been writing(a little bit).

Apparently, I have reached a state of nirvana in all subjects concerning writing. At last, I have finished the registration process for university which means all that's really left is finding money(bursaries and scholarships, where are you? ;) ) and starting my year in September. Oh, and cleaning my room.
Next on the list, I decided to start doing some random research on fantasy publishing and the result was surprising. Admittedly, I didn't find a specific publishing house or the like but a kind fellow answering someone's question on Yahoo! Answers actually gave a few pretty good websites to look at. Yes, there were the usual: agent listings, Writer's Digest, etc. but then there was one that really stood out. A forum for writer's!

This is the first link you'll want to visit. It's a site called Absolute Write: http://absolutewrite.com/ (pretty easy, right?)
Well, the site can be a little difficult. I'm still navigating my way around slowly but surely and there is one huge thing that can be very confusing. On many of its pages, it appears as if it's a very short page with three books advertised at the top, one of their mottoes and a couple of links. In reality, there's a whole other section underneath(just have to scroll down) depending on what page your on. So what's first?
Sign up! This is definitely a site you'll want in your repertoire and if you want to discuss, you do have be a member(like any forum really). The great part is that it is free. The better part is the information you'll be able to join in on. The even better part is that you can have signatures including sites that you participate in (especially like this one(Publicity!)) and the best part is that their forums are for serious discussions. No internet flaming, trolling or general negativity. It is best to check out http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66315 first since it gives you the lay down on basic 'netiquette' plus the link to sign up(which I haven't been able to find anywhere else on the site). just remember to scroll down after clicking the sign up link and you will find the sign up stuff.

Alright, so what WILL you find in the forums? Well, so far, I have been in the Writing for Kids, Novels, AW Library(PUBLICITY!!! =) ) sections and I have yet to look at the Young Adult, Short Fiction, Nonfiction, Script, Stage, and Screen, Poetry, or the Comic Books and Graphic Novels sections. As you can see "we serve all kinds here." When I was looking around I couldn't help but notice that any question asked on the threads were answered. That's more proof of what a large community it is and if you want to say something, it won't go unnoticed. I know we have a few writers on this blog that could really help in answering questions for new writers and all of us could greatly benefit from this plethora of resources. Which is funny, because by this point you haven't even clicked on the actual resources portion of the website. This area is more for outgoing links, such as literary agent blogs, workshop information and writer's organizations.
Wow, and that was only the first link. Of course the first also led to this goldmine. I now have two links I'm definitely keeping around for future use.

1) http://www.buzzymag.com/submissions/
Buzzy Mag is currently accepting Science Fiction, Fantasy and/or Horror short stories. Read the whole page for understanding.

I am taking you straight to the guidelines for this contest since it is generally the first part a person wants to see. There's money in this competition and you have quite a while to perfect your short story(under 3500 words, any theme).

I have mentioned these three sites before, but never on the blog(well, one was, I think). Two are perfect for feedback, especially if you know how to use the sites to their greatest potential.

The first site is called Writing.Com. Guess how you get there... exactly! Their name is also their URL. This is a site where the most popular phrase is Write On! Once again, you do have to sign up but it is free AND you won't receive pesky emails from them. Instead, you have an in-site email which I find is the best part of the whole thing. Your initial account, because it is free, will only allow you to create 10 items(10 poems, 10 short stories, mix and match and whatnot). So unless you do start paying for a subscription, feedback can only go so far here. What you really want from this site is its newsletters. These are people taking time out of every week or so to create an information resource for you. I am currently signed up for practically all of them. Now I have information at the ready on how to design characters, edit, review, outline and so much more at the ready. I know I read out one of the newsletters at a meeting about the different ways to kill people. Of course, upon signing up for that newsletter, you won't receive older ones. instead just check out the newsletter archives and you can check out what you've missed.
Now, if you do decide to be a paying member, you're golden. Access to more items, the ability to enter official contests, and over all more publicity... this is the serious writer's website. But if there is anything else that I really loved about WC(its short form) it was being able to read others works. It is a great helping community. But I'd also like to drive home the idea that they are very, very serious. I remember when I signed up, a rather naive teenager looking for information and wow, did my heart ever beat faster when I read that I was giving them permission to contact the government or I for identification verification and just how quickly I could end up in trouble with the law if I wasn't honest. But then I relaxed. Because, just after I put up my first item, I understood why it was necessary to go to such extremes. Underneath your item is the most glorious symbol ever. A copyright. Proof that the work belongs to you and only you. Your work is under your control and you are simply allowing it to be viewed in a public domain. Hence, they really want to make sure they know who you are.

The second site that I absolutely adore is DeviantArt. Just add .com on the end and you have their website. This site is more art-oriented but if you can find the right people you can get to be pretty popular. It's a really great way to send out previews of what you are working on and get feedback. Just as warning though, "thar be trolls." Yes trolls. A race of people that exist solely to torment other internet users. the best defense against these creatures is simply to leave them be and abide by Murphy's Law. In any conversation with them you will always come out worst.
Jokes aside, DA(its short form) is very useful for finding tutorials and other writers to chat with.

The final site is NaNoWriMo. Just add .org onto the end of the name. I have mentioned this site on the blog before(I am 99.9% sure of that). It's largest use is in November where you are challenged to write 50,000 coherent words in a month. By coherent I mean don't write the same thing over and over again. Otherwise, you can be as cliché and insane as you want. Plot holes await and by the end you may feel like you only accomplished making a 50,000 word outline. But that's not true. You have likely killed off more characters than you can count, probably killed or beaten up the main character one or two times and set something on fire.Especially on the 5th of November if I remember. ;) But most importantly you at least have gotten a few things right. After 50,000 words, the likelihood is that you now have an IDEA of where you are going. Plus you now know that you can write 50,000 words which is the minimum consideration for a novel. Awesome.

Indeed, that was links GALORE. I hope that you find interest in at least one of these sites and the motivation to write just one more word(and another, and another, and perhaps... another).

Ashley Haworth

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Summer Challenge - Fake Synopsis of a Real Book Cover

Melanie Baker owns the very trendy Footstop Cafe, which serves exotic lattes to wealthy women who have standing weekly reflexology appointments. Their need is great, because they continually wear 5 inch stilettos and thus have extreme foot problems.

One day Melanie is found dead in her office at the back of the Cafe, with a Jimmy Choo heel firmly imbedded in her cranium.

The challenge is that there are so many suspects. Every client at the Footstop is in a continual state of rage, brought on by backaches, incredible painful feet, and weak knees, all due to their outrageous footwear. Any of these women in a fit of PMS could be driven to murder.

But who dun-nit?

Monday, July 18, 2011


May this be the best year of your writing life and I'm positive it will be!

All the best.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Wordstock Collingwood Literary Festival

Hey all.  Make your plans now to attend the 2nd annual Wordstock Lit Fest.  I'll be hosting the poetry section on Sat. Sept. 10 at 163 Hurontario Street, Collingwood (The Arts Centre of the BMFA), from 11-5.  Poets include: Bonnie Gardiner, Antony Christie, Judy Lowry, Brendan McLeod (world class poetry slam artist), John Robert Colombo (the most published author in Canada with over 200 books to his credit!), and David Silverberg with the newly minted Toronto Poetry Slam Team hosting a poetry slam event.

Authors doing readings include: Randy Boyagoda (Beggar's Feast), Wayne Johnston (A World Elsewhere), Camilla Gibb (The Beauty of Humanity Movement), Giles Blunt (Crime Machine), and this year's Stephen Leacock medal award winner Trevor Cole (Practical Jean).

Also, there will be presentations from CBC hosts Terry O'Reilly (Age of Persuasion) and Dr. Brian Goldman (White Coat Black Art).

Children's and teens events, as well as workshops round out the Saturday line-up.

Friday evening (Sept. 9) sees the ever fun Off The Page event, a cabaret style show where the power of words is brought to life through song, dance, theatre, art and other special performances.  And there is always a very special surprise guest (I don't even know who it is, it's that special!).

Other than Off The Page, which is a ticketed event, all other activities, readings, etc. are absolutely FREE, making this festival truly community oriented.  Check out all details at www.wordstock.ca.  So, make plans now for then.  Hope to see you there.  And I do very much miss attending the Sunday group.  Cheers.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Made up Synopsis of Cuban Heels

Bored with your life? Steal someone else's . . .
Bank teller Maggie Delaney was tired of watching the rich get richer and her own paycheque dwindle. When one of her wealthiest clients, Jessica Mayford, drops her wallet late one afternoon, Maggie decides to see exactly how the other half lives. She goes on a shopping spree of epic proportions. Before long, she is outrunning not only Jessica and her prestigious family, but a Cuban hitman who thinks Maggie has seen something that will incriminate him.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Another Assignment for Those with Nothing Better to do . . .

I was reading Nathan Bransford's site earlier and he posted a question to his readers.
Which book do you with you had written?

For me, that's an easy answer: Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones, which is the book we use in the HWG as our blueprint for writing. Not to say that we follow it to the letter, but we recommend it to EVERYONE! I've actually had my copy since 1993. It was a Christmas gift from my brother-in-law and his then wife. I cherish it, dog-ears and all.

In years since, I've read most of Ms. Goldberg's books. I've also been fascinated by New Mexico, where she teaches, and in true Goldberg fashion have been known to walk in the rain just to record all the sensations of raindrops falling down my face and soaking my clothes.

So, fellow writers, I throw down the gauntlet. Which book do you wish you had written?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Writing Challenge - My Submission

The First Time by Joy Fielding

Rachel spent the last fifteen years being a loving and caring housewife. She had never experienced a weekend alone.

When her husband takes their four sons on a camping trip, Rachel has the whole house to herself for the first time.

On Friday night she curls up on the living room couch to read a mystery novel. her solitude is disrupted when the events in teh book begin to occur for her in her very own home, causing her to abandon her book and fight for her life.

Writing Challenge

Is everybody really busy this summer with family and summer activities? Does anyone wish they could just sit down and write something totally mindless? Since we don't have another meeting until the end of the month, I have a challenge for you that should only take a few minutes and can be totally mindless, whimsical, fun.

Take a book that you have yet to read. Just from looking at the cover of the book write a synopsis of the story. It need not have anything to do with the real story behind the cover. Post the cover of the book and your synopsis on this blog. You can also share it with us at one of our meetings.

I must give credit where credit is due. I read this idea in a blog, The Bookish Type, as part of a contest. I thought it would be fun to do something a little different for our members. It's not the sort of idea we can use as a prompt because we don't have books readily available, and I'm not about to lug a bunch of books to a meeting. And if you're like me, I miss not having regular meetings. So consider this a meeting online.

Take a look at your "to be read" pile. Or, if you're like me, you may have a collection of books you have read but couldn't begin to remember what the story was about.

So take a little time and write something silly. Hopefully we'll get to read it here on the blog, and hear about it at our next meeting on July 24th.

Keep cool.