Sunday, November 25, 2012

Writing Prompts for Sunday, November 25th.

1) "The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress." - Philip Roth

2) "We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master." - Ernest Hemingway

3) "Let the world burn through you. Throw the prism light, white hot, on paper." - Ray Bradbury, WD

4) Granny never had a family member she didn't want to kill.

5) "If anyone deserves to be wrapped in seaweed and buried in mud, it's you." - Homer Simpson

6) I've been a witness to everything you've done in your life.

And a final greeting which could be considered a prompt:

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good write!

Christmas Luncheon on Sunday, December 9th at Kelsey's at 12:00 noon. 18 people have confirmed and are booked.

Next meeting is Sunday, January 13, 2013. Judy will be leading.

Sunday, November 25th Meeting

Keeping minutes seems like a thing of the past. It is more important to get other members to post instead of just those who take minutes at the meetings. One thing that was discussed today was the importance of supporting one another's published works. A great many of us turned out to support our published authors this past week at BookLore's Author Appreciation Days. We also purchased their books. Now it's up to us to read those books and review them. Yes, we want you to post book reviews for your fellow Headwaters Writers' Guild members' books.

I have already read and posted a review of Jayne E. Self's Death of a Highland Heavyweight. You can read that review here:

I would also like to share some reviews of books I find worthy of sharing. I read and reviewed these books this summer.

What I feel was the best book this summer: Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend -

The book The Discovery is about a writer who finds the manuscript his father wrote years before but never published.

And another awesome book by Lisa Genova: Love Anthony. Her first book Just Alice has received rave reviews.

And finally, Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio.

I read and reviewed other books but these are the most noteable. Please check them out. When I get around to reading the books of my fellow authors I will write reviews of their books too. But I mustn't be the only one. The Headwaters Writers' Guild is about supporting, encouraging, assisting and motivating one another.

Remember, SUPPORT A WRITER, read their books and write reviews. That's the best thing you can do for them. Post your reviews here. This page gets seen by more than just HWG members. So support all authors and spread the news of their books.


Hey everybody!

Occasionally at meetings I bring up some websites and things I find on the net that are either of interest to or useful for authors. I am so sorry it has taken me so long to remember to send out an email with these links but I finally remembered after Pat and Nancy mentioned it at the meeting today. So here goes:

Sites to publish your works for free, connect with other writers and gain free exposure for your work to a global audience:

1. - publish your work to the net for anyone to read. Membership is free and you can post links to your blog or website from your profile page. There are also forums here where you can connect and chat with the wattpad online writing community. There are some damn good writers on wattpad too. If you like sci fi I would check out "The Orangutan" (Gavin Wilson) for example. :)

2. - an older site for publishing your work online for anyone to read. Membership is free.

3. - massive community of writers and readers here! You can join the forums for your genre of interest, create an author profile, list your books that you've written (and read) on your "bookshelves" and list your books for free giveaways. When I listed mine for a free giveaway I had 693 people sign up for it. That's 693 people who knew nothing about me or my writing who now know about the existence of my book.... useful!

Sites for marketing (that I'm sure everybody knows about anyway):

Sites to self publish books/ebooks to sell (technical expertise is required):

1. - publish and sell on for free, global distribution for your work = $75, does provide services for editing, cover design, formatting etc but you have to pay for those. You can publish print books through lulu and ebooks for pcs/e-readers. You can choose to have lulu upload your ebook to the ibookstore and the barnes and noble nook bookstore for free as well as having it for sale on

2. - Amazon's version of - published print books.

3. - publish an e-book for kindle only. Beware kdp select!

There are others that I've heard of but don't use, like "Smashwords" for example.

Other useful sites:

1. - download a free, open source program for recording your own audiobooks on your home computer. Read them yourself or pay a pro to do it.

2. Sites you can upload audio files to for selling your audiobooks: and (can get your audiobook on amazon, itunes and spotify)

3. Libriovox is another site you can publish an audiobook for distribution, though you can't sell it here.

Programs I've found to be invaluable for marketing/book creation:

1. Paint program (I use Corel Painter 12 but many people have Photoshop)

2. Windows Movie Maker - make your own book trailers! :)

3. Windows Sound recorder (before I downloaded Audacity anyway)

4. MS Word (of course!!!!)

I hope this was useful for everyone and if anyone wants to, I'd be happy to give them a "tour "of the internet sites /programs I use and show them some of these things sometime. If we can somehow get internet access at the church (ie: if Jayne has a wireless modem at home that we can use), I could even do it at a meeting if you like. Cheers!
Email received from S. J. Faerlind.

Thank you so much for the information.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Author Appreciation Day Part 2

Marilyn Kleiber and Gloria Nye will be at BookLore in Orangeville to promote their latest published works. This is a continuation of our recent Author Appreciation Day on Saturday, November 17, 2012. We had such a large crowd we had to roll the event over to a second day, or in this case evening. BookLore in Orangeville at 7pm on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - be there!

Ray Wiseman Workshop Oct. 28-12 Photos

I finally downloaded my photos. Yeah! My job is done.

More photos from the Ray Wiseman workshop on October 28, 2012. Kelly is dressed for Halloween.

Sammy our mascot joined us.



HWG Author Day November 17, 2012 - Jayne Self

Congratulations to Jayne on her new book Death of a Highland Heavy Weight.

A big thank you to Nancy Frater of Booklore for hosting and organizing the event, Jayne Self for helping to organize it, and Diane for posting the other photos of the HWG Author Day November 17, 2012.

HWG Author Day November 17, 2012

Diane Bator reading from Murder on Manitou and trying to ignore the Banner photographer.

Joe Gilbey with his novels.

David Chesterton with Twelfth Night in Royal Blue

June Hustler with Kindred and her new play.
Diane Bator watching Harry do his reading.

Harry Posner

June and David await their turn on the staircase.
Ruth Cunningham and Nancy Frater

Matthew absorbed in a good read.

Kelli Curtis reading from Amber and the Fallen Bridge

Author Day writers and their books!
Thank you to everyone who made HWG Author Day a great success! All our authors had ample time to do their readings, answer questions and mingle with the crowd. Special thank you to Jayne Self and Nancy Frater for organizing!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ray Wiseman Editing Workshops

Finally, I have an almost free day, before the merry season begins. My husband's family is celebrating Christmas on December 1. The older relativees (that includes me) rent a hall and we're expecting approximately 50 people. And if I don't make a post today, it isn't going to happen.

I swear (and you all know I do) I've tried a couple of times to blog, but it took a long time to upload the photos, and I gave up. Time is precious but especially if you're squeezing in time to write.

Ray Wiseman workshops happened on October 14 and 28, 2012.

He certainly is a good speaker and story teller and the workshop was not only informative but fun.

How exactly do you set up your manuscript? Do you write in Canadian or American? How do you begin to edit? All these questions and more Ray answered.

But I thought the most important thing he said is that all writers need an editor. How profound. I would have loved for somebody to tell me this when I first started writing. It took me years to recover from people critiquing my writing. Much later, I realized that it's just part of the writing process.

I agree with him that you want to develop a good relationship with your editor. I want somebody who doesn't make me feel stupid, or doesn't try to change my voice. But the most important thing for me, is that I am comfortable with my editor. Thanks Laura.

At the two workshops, we had writers of all ages, the youngest writer being thirteen.

Check out Ray Wiseman's website.

Write! Better cover

Most of the writers at the workshop purchased this excellent book.

Ray provided excellent handouts and Jayne brought drinks and baked goods for everyone.

A special thank you for Ray and for Jayne who arranged the workshops.

For some reason, the photos refuse to be uploaded the way I want them. One more time . . .or two or three . . . I give up. The program won't do what I want it to do.

Maybe, I need a lesson in how to upload photos. This is too complicated for me. I think I'll stop taking photos. And what about the blank space at the bottom. Now to spend another hour trying to figure this out. And why doesn't the final post look like my page. And is there a help section for this wretched program? You would think that I'd be able to make corrections much like Word. It's difficult to move the photos around. No wonder I don't spend time posting to the blog. I could have written another story, some poetry or something.  The big white space is driving me out of my perfectionist mind.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Interview questions from this weeks Guild meeting.

  1. Who are you? How would you describe yourself?
  2. Why do you write?
  3. What do you write about?
  4. We are all one-of-a-kind and there is no one else who can write what we write. What is the uniqueness you bring to your writing?
  5. How has writing affected you/changed you?
  6. What has writing taught you about yourself, life?
  7. Is there a particularly meaningful writing-inspired experience you'd like to tell us about?
These are the questions I typically ask writers for my blog

I invite everyone to visit my blogs and enter two book draws: 
One at
The second at
Subscribe to these blogs and you'll be notified of other give-aways.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November 17th, beginning 11 a.m. BookLore is hosting Headwaters Writers Guild Author Appreciation Day.

Nancy Frater requests 2 copies of each book for her store window display.

Be sure to invite your friends, family and neighbours. Most people come to events like this because they have a personal connection with an author. The more folks who join us the more successful the event.

It would be great if as many of group members as possible could be their to support each other.

For those who are participating, please arrive be at BookLore before 11 am.

Here's the plan:
Nancy Frater will introduce each participating author. 
Each author will have 15-20 minutes of their own to read, answer questions, pose for photos.
Each author will have a special spot for them to sign books.

The schedule is as follows:
Jayne Self 11 am
Harry Posner 1120
Ruth Cunningham 1140
Kelli Curtis  1200
Diane Bator 1220
Joseph Gilbey1240
David Chesterton 1 pm

BookLore is providing hot apple cider and cookies for everyone who comes.
Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Meeting Minutes September 23, 2012

Not much to report from this meeting, which is why this post is delayed. There was a reminder about Armchairs, Authors & Art on Friday, September 28th. Since people did not purchase their tickets well in advance they were out of luck as the event was sold out again this year. Please don't make this mistake next year. It is an event NOT TO BE MISSED. Since this occurred after this meeting any report will be written in a different post.

Our next two meetings (October 14th and 28th) will be a free editing workshop by Ray Wiseman. This is a free workshop and friends are welcome. On the 14th, you may also bring a manuscript of 2,000 words or less and Mr. Wiseman will be happy to read it at no charge. He will return it with critique on the 28th. Time is the same as our regular meetings - 1:30pm - 3:30pm.

At this workshop you will learn how to edit your work (or someone else's), what to look for when editing.

For information on Mr. Wiseman please see his website at

Writing Prompts:

Create a poem or the start of a story using one of the following:


1. A flourish of hate
2. They have nothing to say to each other
3. And you thought dragons didn't exist


Story ideas - three elements


Choose a set of three elements and write a story that contains all three of them.

1. A stolen ring, fear of spiders, and a sinister stranger.
2. A broken wristwatch, peppermints, and a hug that goes too far.
3. An ex-boyfriend, a pair of binoculars, and a good luck charm.
4. A horoscope, make-up, and a missing tooth.

Again, the next two meetings are Sunday, October 14th and Sunday, October 28th, and will consist of a workshop given by Ray Wiseman. This free workshop is open to non HWG members as well. The meeting will take place at Tweedsmuir Church in the large meeting room.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Harry Posner - Spoken Word Artist & Poet

I emailed Harry and congratulated him on his success at the Eden Mills Writers Festival.

Harry sent me this email back:

Yes, I was one of five people selected to present their poetry at 'The Cottage' stage on the Sunday.

It was a marvellous experience, with the Eramosa River flowing by at my back, beautiful, sunny day, and a receptive audience. It was perhaps the best performance of my short career as a spoken worder.

I did see Marilyn and the gang there. In fact they had a table opposite mine on the Publisher's Way.

Jeremy Grant (percussion) and I, known as The Rubber Brothers, performed at the Friday evening gala event, along with readings from Trevor Cole ('Practical Jean') Jazmine Aziz ('Sex and Samosas'), and the Mike Malone jazz band. Got lots of positive feedback on our performance.

Our next gig will be at the Rhythm and Hues festival at the Alton Mill this coming Sunday (Sept 30) in The Bartlett Gallery at 2 PM. Come one, come all!

After that I have a solo gig at the Elora Centre for the Arts on October 18th, followed by a workshop on spoken word at the centre on the 25th.

So I've been very busy these days, what with my second novel ('A Softness in the Eyes') in its first draft stage. It's all good!

My best to the gang and at some point I'll get a day off to get there!

Posted from:

Wordfest returns this Fall on Thursday, October 18, 2012.

Wordfest welcomes writers and storytellers to an evening that celebrates the spoken word. Featured readers and open-mic participants bring poetry, prose and storytelling to the Elora Centre for the Arts. Sign up for a segment of the program or come out to listen and enjoy. * snap * snap

Please contact the ECFTA at: 519-846-9698 for more information

All Ages. Doors open at 7:00pm, readings begin at 7:30pm.

$6.00 (Kids and Youth Free)


The Harris Room, Elora Centre for the Arts

75 Melville Street, Elora, ON N0B 1S0

SENTENCE YOUR WORDS TO LIFE A One Night Spoken Word Workshop

Fall 2012: Thursday, October 25, 2012
at the Elora Arts Centre
75 Melville Street, Elora, ON NOB 1SO

7:30pm - 9:00pm
$20 Member / $25 Non-Members (+ HST)

From the page to the stage, learn to be more confident when reciting or performing your writings. You will be lead through exercises designed to free up your voice. Bring a pen, a pad and poems to share.

Facilitator: Spoken word performer Harry Posner

Harry sent me one of the poems that he performed:


the sky is charged tonight

timorous stars, ears turned earthward

listen for their true voices, that

like blind gospel psalms

echoing upwards from upturned palms

rise out of the vocal sacs

of a sea of peeper frogs

who fill the wetland bogs with intense ululations

a sexuality of supernovic proportions

light years separate star and frog

yet are they not one being

as the hand is, at heart, no different

from the head in its seeing?

they sing, these tiny astral amphibians

to give cruciform voice to a longing

felt in the farthest reaches of inner space

to teach me something I cannot fully comprehend

like a dream I cannot quite place

the sky is charged tonight

it needs us to attend

it needs to birth universes

stir up cosmic dust dances

toss its connecting light like a seine net over us all

drag creature-Earth to shore

so that we finally find each other

the way a hand searches for and caresses

the furrowed field of a brow to share in its many sadnesses

my yes, my heart cups the hive of the world

whose shiver chatters bones

its heft-sensuous curves

braille-like textures intone

the warp and weft of Being in its becoming

and when I look at you

with my stars singing in your eyes

your frogs peeping in my ponds

I am made to ask

where do I end and you begin?

Congratulations Harry on your success and we hope to see you soon at our meetings.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Near Mrs. - August 26, 2012 - Theatre Orangeville

Okay Patricia, I got the hint. I've been editing for goodness sake. Next time, I'll take notes.

There’s something exhilarating for me to watch a play being read as opposed to looking at a play with props. Could it be that it feels like the words come alive during the reading. Don’t get me wrong the actors were sensational. They didn’t need props. Maybe the dialogue is everything when it’s read. As a reader and a writer, I love dialogue.

Whatever it is, I enjoyed the new play development of Near Mrs.

Brian McKay wrote Near Mrs. and Robert More directed it. It stared Jonathan Ellul, Lisa Horner, Iveal Lucas, Jamie Mac, Ashley Magwood, and David Nairn.

I noticed every facial muscle of each actor as they read their lines. They drew me in with each word that they spoke. The story came alive on the stage. And I noticed when the audience laughed and when they didn’t. More revisions. For the last two years, Brian McKay worked on this play and he’d already done major revisions before we saw it. I know about editing but this is different. Without a live audience, how could Brian gage the success of his words?

Personally, I hate editing or revisions but it’s part of a writer’s job. It's good to know that other writers have numerous revisions and I'm not the only one. Whenever I read my writing at our group, I can sense or feel what I need to revise.

During question time, Ron informed McKay that we were all writers sitting in the second row. Lucky for us, eh?

Watching the actors, I realized, like most stories, this play is character driven. I loved the characters, they reminded me of people that I love and hate. When I told this to McKay, he thanked me profusely. “As a writer,” he said, “you know how important the characters are.” I nodded.

This play, Near Mrs., reminds me of Norm Foster’s plays, and he’s the most produced Canadian playwright.

When Judy suggested that we move our August 25, 2012 meeting to Theatre Orangeville New Play Development Event, I was delighted. Judy and I’d been to a previous event. Five of us attended this.

I can’t wait to see the final Near Mrs. hopefully at Theatre Orangeville.

Imagine, unbeknownst to me, besides the reading, they had a complimentary wine and cheese reception. It doesn't get any better than this.

We mingled with the actors and some even remembered we were writers. Jamie Mac gave Judy his card in case we needed somebody to read for us.

You missed an awesome afternoon. Who knows, maybe one of us, might write a play.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Novella now in Print!

It's been a crazy summer and I can't wait to get back to the HWG in October! Just in time for Halloween and Patricia's birthday.

For those who don't know, my e-novella, Murder on Manitou published by Wynterblue Publishing out of North Bay, is now in print! More details will follow!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Meeting Minutes September 9, 2012

After a wonderful summer the group is back in full swing. We had a great turn-out and shared lots of information.

Jayne reported that Ray Wiseman, writer & editor, is giving a workshop out west but could use a "practice session". He would like to use our group for a trial run. Writers other than members of our group are invited. Further details about the workshop will be posted at a later date. As reported to me after the meeting, Mr. Wiseman has chosen our meeting dates of October 14th and October 28th for this workshop. It will take place at our regular meeting time of 1:30pm at Tweedsmuir. More details will follow.

Jayne suggested that we might wish to consider renting tables at the Orangeville Farmer's Market and the Orangeville Fall Fair to sell our published works. Pricing would have to be looked into for next year and members would have to take shifts. Therefore full cooperation of our members would be required. You may not have a published work NOW, but you may at that time, and even if you don't our group is all about supporting one another. This is a great opportunity to sell our members' works and show the face of The Headwaters Writers' Guild to the community.

Eden Mills Writing Festival takes place next Sunday, September 16th from 12pm to 6pm.

Armchair, Authors & Art, part of the Headwaters Arts Festival, takes place Friday, October 28th at 6:30pm at the CGI Centre. Tickets are $25 each. Hors d'oeuvres and refreshments will be served after the presentation. You will be able to purchase books and meet the authors. Last year was a sell-out so get your tickets now! I bought mine today.

Marilyn passed around her newly published book Short Tales From a Tall Person which is currently available at

Marilyn also shared a book she published for her client Love, Obey and Betray also available at

Jayne shared her most recent publication Death of a Highland Heavyweight available at BookLore in Orangeville,, and her website.

Nancy reported that she recently read a book, First 50 Pages by Jeff Gerke, claiming it is the best book on writing she has read. She contacted the author, a Sci-Fi writer, who responded to her. Nancy will do her own write-up about the book on this blog.

Last month's writing session was rescheduled as a field trip to the Orangeville Theatre where actors performed a reading of an as yet produced play. Five members of the group attended and all enjoyed it. Hopefully one of these members will write a report here on the blog. (Hint)

Danielled mentioned more websites where you can post writing and get feedback from other authors. She also warned of over-marketing or risk being labeled a spammer. She will post more details in a separate post.

Jayne read the opening line of her new novel Death of a Highland Heavyweight. I purchased the book today and can hardly wait to read it.

Joe read from his bio he is posting on his website and received valuable feedback regarding hooking the reader.

June joined us this week after a long absence. Her work schedule has been conflicting with our meetings. She read from a short story she wrote for an erotica short story contest.

Danielle read from a short story she is writing for a fantasy website short story contest wherein writers are to come up with the most creative magic system.

And now to the prompts:

A writing exercise for brave and adventurous authors:

Pick a partner for this exercise. Each partner will write a character in the story you are creating together. Your characters are having silent conversation using body language ONLY. Write that silent conversation with your partner.

Writing suggestions for those not feeling quite so adventurous today...

1. Rewrite a song as a short story.

2. What's the best thing that ever happened to you?

3. Write a book review for a book you recently read.

4. Rewrite the first few paragraphs of a famous novel.

5. Find something interesting about the most boring thing you can think of. Write about it.

6. Pick a controversial topic of importance to you and write a "letter to the editor" presenting your opinion on the topic. Be clear and concise in why you hold that opinion and defend it with evidence.

7. Write a piece of dialogue between two characters who are husband and wife.

8. What's the most frightening thing that ever happened to you?

Danielle and Sonja took the challenge of writing a story with no dialogue and did a great job. Dialogue between and husband and wife was a popular pick. As always, I encourage members to post their writing prompt results here. You can clean them up first. I know I promised to post something I wrote and never did get around to it. I will post this week's prompt and hopefully the one I promised from before.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Sunday, September 23rd. Nancy will be leading.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Armchairs, Authors & Art 2012

Treat Yourself To An Evening of Engaging Authors!
Savour the best in Canadian literary talent
Presented by BookLore & The Headwaters Arts Festival
S.G.I. Centre, Alton • Friday, September 28, 6:30pm
Purchase tickets in advance at BookLore, 121 First Street, Orangeville 519-942-3830.
Tickets are $25 each.

Featuring the following authors:

RMS Titanic
An enlightening account of the Titanic’s firstclass
passengers, highlighting the Canadians on
board, by an acclaimed historical writer.

Sleeping Funny
From the winner of the Writer’s Trust Journey
Prize comes a book of short stories united by a
sense of mystery, wit and sophistication.

Why Men Lie
Truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
truth – simply doesn’t exist. In this new novel
by Giller Prize Winner Linden MacIntyre, we
come to realize that lies not only affect our
present but colour our past as well.

The Blondes
The Blondes is a merciless but giddily enjoyable
portrait of what happens in a world where
beauty is – literally – deadly, by an up and
coming Trillium Book Award Nominee.

Back by popular demand, Headwaters author,
regular contributor to In the Hills magazine,
and Program Director of French River
Adventures Lodge at Pine Cove where she runs
creative writing workshops.

Refreshments provided after the presentation and meet the authors. Their books are available for purchase. This is always an entertaining and informative evening. Get your tickets now before they sell out because they DO sell out!

Friday, July 27, 2012

A New E-Anthology

Although I haven't been around the HWG much this spring/summer, I have been busy with writing when life allows.
My latest piece, a short story called On Red Paper will appear in an anthology called Confab 5 put out by Wynterblue Publishing later this year!

I am also awaiting print copies of my novella Murder on Manitou. The order is in and they are at the printers!

I will keep everyone posted.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Meeting Minutes July 15, 2012

Danielle shared with the group a new website called where writers can go to promote their work. The owner is trying to connect businesses with people who blog on the internet. Writers create a banner ad of their book for free. Bloggers see it and choose to look further to read and review the book.

Marilyn reported that Gloria Nye's book is now available on Amazon. You can purchase it through our Amazon bookstore

Marilyn read an introduction to her personal anthology she is publishing called Short Tales from a Tall Person. Joe read an introduction to his story on his blog. Nancy shared a chapter from her re-vamped story (sorry, Nancy, I didn't catch the title).

The prompt provided by Marilyn was as follows:

You are a newsperson interviewing a famous person and the interview will be published in your magazine. Please write out the interview - your questions, and their answers, based on the following persons and their subjects:

Jack Spratt - His marriage
Albert Einstein - What hair products he uses
Abraham Lincoln - Why he became a vampire hunter
Mao Tse Tung - How did the little red book come about?
Mike Tyson - Why does he feel so misunderstood by women?
Adoph Hitler - What was it like growing up in Austria
Tammy Faye Bakker - Make-up techniques to make you look younger
Ozzy Osbourne - The flavours of different species of bats
Elvis Presley - The challenges of going through hip surgery
Sandra Bullock - Challenges of growing up in Canada
Fay Wray - What was it like having King Kong as your main squeeze?
Henry VIII - What are his thoughts on marriage?

We had some very entertaining results from this prompt. I hope those in attendance will share their writing on this blog. And those who weren't, try the prompt yourself and post it here. I will be posting mine.

The next meeting is Sunday, August 26th. Judy will be leading.

Have a great summer!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Just Who Do You Think You Are?

This question is difficult to respond to, because, to be honest, I don't believe that I know all of who I am. This is a part of my core belief as I believe that I can't know all of who I am. I am young, I am still developing, I am still learning, and I may never truly know who I am until the very last second of life, when all in life has been done and there is no going back.
So, I suppose I will I have to give a snapshot of who I am, right now:

-I am a university student
-I am passionate about linguistics and languages. My goal now is to be bilingual, but given the opportunity, future goals include learning Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and a number of other languages, maybe even Icelandic.
-I like talking to people. To their faces. I like hearing them talk back. Texting and messaging are okay, but they often bore me since I really want to see the person's expressions, understand their words through their body language and hear the genuine emotion in their voices.
-Even with all the technology I own, I'm kind of old school. I prefer my pen, pencil and paper to the drawing tablet and my best ideas are first written on paper, not on the computer.
-I am shy
-I find it difficult to directly engage in a conversation. I prefer to be silent and simply listen until I have something pertinent to say.
-I am very sarcastic at times though I almost always mean it as a show of humour.
-I am the Summer Kitchen Coordinator at my school.
-I am a Glendonite!
-I am still a kid at heart. While many will label me as mature, I still act child-like at times. I run around around my room, pretending I'm in some huge super heroic fight with a super villain about to destroy the world. I've even done an entire star wars battle with an imaginary Sith at the end of my light saber (that is also imaginary... or a cardboard tube).
-I am a daughter amongst many sons.
-I have multiple parental figures. These include my biological mother and father, step-mother, friend's mother, and a dear friend to me. To me, parental figures are the people who give me life advice or taught me essential skills to continue growing.
-I am agnostic. I don't deny that there may or may not be a god watching over everyone or that we may have all been created by an alien species like in Prometheus. Simply put, I don't know because these ideas are beyond my realm of reasoning and knowledge. I really can't prove that any religion, theory, or somehow otherwise is right or wrong.
-I am pansexual and monogamous.
-I am a fan of superheroes and Loki.
-I am a wordsmith. Every day, I work on my craft. I no longer simply write words on paper, I bring life to them as finished works (albeit unpublished ones).
-I am hungry for knowledge on any subject. I believe that noo knowledge goes to waste.
-I believe in equality.
-I have friends that I love from all over the place. I don't mean location (though that is becoming true), but in regards to their personalities, beliefs, etc. Whether Jehovah Witness, Catholic, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, Agnostic, creative, stubborn, procrastinator, successful, rich, poor, working hard, hardly working, homosexual, heterosexual or what have you, I have met them, loved them, and learned from them.
-My dad runs a business. My biological mom is working towards being a nurse and my step-mom is one of the most organized receptionists you could find. I have a brother who's practically a genius in computer programming and a sister who thought of us every day and searched for us for years just to tell us hello, that she missed us, and that she loved us.
-I am Canadian. Maybe not in citizenship, but I truly believe that I myself am Canadian. I was born in the U.S. and I have citizenship with Britain, but Canada is where I stand.
-I am a NaNoWriMo-er. Every year, without fail now, I put myself to the test to write 50,000 words in 30 days.
-In my writing, I have racked up over 200,000 words in short stories, novels and poems. Mostly of which are rough drafts. Of that, I am proud to say that about 10,000 words were useful.
-My name is Ashley Robin Haworth, though some call me Robin, Chip, Munchkin, Vincent, Ash, Texas Rose or otherwise.

I am all of these things. I am constantly changing, constantly learning and no doubt, by tomorrow, I will have more to add to this list. I already have added more by simply reading it over. Of course I can't be proud or happy with every choice I've made, but I can live with them and be happy that the sum of all of my choices have led me to a great education and the potential of a happy life ahead.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

This is Why I Shaved my Legs

Darn it Patricia. Every time I go on the blog your prompt (This is why I shaved my legs) always catches my attention.Who’d write on that? What could you possibly write about? Isn’t this a private rite of passage for a girl? Then I had a childhood flashback that played just like a movie. And it wouldn’t stop playing. Darn it. I can’t get it out of my head. So here it is.

I wished I could write humour like Joan Doane (Georgetown Wordsmiths).  Yeah, maybe in my next life.

This is Why I Shaved my Legs
Girls can be so cruel not so much with their fists but their mouth. In the 60’s verbal abuse among teenage girls was rampant. Bullying itself was a rite of passage and it’s still a problem today.

We’d moved again. I changed schools for at least the fourth time. Now, after Grade 9, I’d even changed courses.. I’d known my best friend Linda since Grade 7 and if she hadn’t taken the specialized course at Mimico High we wouldn’t be in the same class together. And we never would have become best friends.
She took the streetcar to and from school but as a good friend she began walking me home first. Now, I didn’t feel like such a loser. It had to be all good, right?
Nothing much ever happened during our walks until one day a group of girls walked behind us. They were loud enough to make sure we heard them. In the 60’s, we weren’t allowed to wear pants to school. And I don’t think it ever crossed our minds that one day it would be acceptable.

“Oh my God, look at the hair on that girl’s legs. You’d think she shave. She must be a moron not to do anything about it.”

I couldn’t believe it. When I turned to look at Linda she turned her head so I couldn’t see the tears in her eyes. Rage engulfed me. Who the hell did they think they were? Obviously, they didn’t know my reputation. Growing up with Irish blood and violent parents, I sometimes preferred to use my fists instead of my deadly blunt mouth. But my father taught me never to hit first. And Linda didn’t like confrontation and I didn’t want to embarrass her any more than what she’d just experienced. But if I had my way it would have been the last time that they harassed me but especially Linda.
Later, I casually mentioned to Linda that I’d thought it would be a good idea for me to shave my legs. I let on that they’d been talking about me even though you could count on your one hand how many hairs I had on both my legs.

We discussed it in length and she decided it would be better to use the hair removal lotion that took the hair off rather than shaving. She just didn’t think shaving was feminine or something. We giggled like little kids while we sat in the bathroom doing the deed. Was this a bonding experience or what? When we used the hair removal I swear we also took off a lot of our skin along with it. My legs were burning and flaming red but I’d done my best to salvage my friend’s distress.

And then the hair grew back in abundance and I’ve cursed myself ever since. This was the first and only time I would use this God -forsaken lotion. I resorted to shaving. It was faster, and it didn’t ‘cause any allergic reaction. If only, I’d never removed it that day I wouldn’t ever have had to shave in my life. All this for my friend but I never got any hero awards. Linda and I haven’t ever discussed the first time we removed our leg hair. I guess it wasn’t a bonding experience after all although we’ve remained close friends.

Who invented shaving leg hair for women anyway? Today, I consider it barbaric. Could it be merely titillation for men to view naked skin? Could it have started with the famous WWII pinup of Betty Grable displaying her shaved legs? Shorter skirts, short dress, and sheer stockings didn’t help either. Leg hair underneath the stockings didn’t exactly look appealing. But appealing to who? Haven’t women always done unthinkable things for men? Or did it open up a new market for the razor industry? .

Women still belittle other women who don’t shave. And if we’re only shaving for hygienic reasons why is it only women who shave their legs? Are hairy men attractive? And is  the real reason that women shave is to please men? Have we been brain washed?  Or are we helping the economy?

So women why do you shave?

And thanks Patricia I finally got that prompt off my mind. I hope that I haven’t opened up a can of worms. But isn’t it a writer’s job to provoke thought.

The Amazing Spiderman

What can I say about the Amazing Spiderman movie - it’s amazing but then again I’m a geek according to my friend.

“Most of my friends are geeks,” she said. “They all like Sci-Fi and I hate it.”

Sci-fi and fantasy movies are my favourite movies. My husband and I have lined up outside in a snowstorm to see “B” Sci-fi. There must be a lot of geeks ‘cause certainly the quality of these movies has improved.

Most of my life, I’ve blamed my Grade 12 teacher, Mrs. Stewart for loving Sci-Fi. She suggested that we should read a Sci-Fi book.

“No way. I read everything but not Sci-Fi.”

So she decided we’d read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. As an avid reader, the burning of books horrified me yet at the same time provoked thought. I loved the book. So I began embracing my so-called geek side. It’s interesting that Ray Bradbury’s book Zen in the Art of Writing: Release the Creative Genius within You brought me back to my childhood, my secret past and a light bulb moment.

Bradbury enjoyed Sci-Fi when he became hooked on the Dick Tracey comics. His love of Sci-fi led him to write it.

With five kids, books were considered a luxury item in our family. All my life my prized possessions were my books. As a child I could afford comic books at least twice a month. I spent at least an hour at the corner convenience store selecting my new comic book. I read Superman, Spiderman, The Avengers, The Hulk, and X Men. But Spiderman aka Peter Parker became my favourite. We even named Parker, one of our rescued cats after him. Parker, our cat, climbed up the brick to our second story window.)

But I never shared my love of comic books with anyone. The teachers frowned on them and they weren’t exactly literary. But they were definitely fun to read. I couldn’t wait for the new comic books. They always left you in suspense.

On May 10, 2002, I watched the first Spiderman movie and all three of them became my favourite movies. I hate to admit it but it’s been a long time since I’ve held a Spiderman comic book or any other comic. While watching The Avengers, when The Hulk, started smashing things, I had a flashback of an Avenger comic book cover with The Hulk on the cover. I’d forgotten it.

Ten years later and five years since the last Spiderman movie, how could Andrew Garfield ever replace Toby McGuire? To me, McGuire was Spiderman incarnated. It would be impossible to replace him. The Spiderman that I’d envisioned so long ago. And would there be anything new in this movie?

Andrew Garfield like Toby McGuire plays a perfect Spiderman. The one I’d visualized so long ago. I couldn’t help thinking that possibly in the ‘50’s kids needed a hero. And we could sympathize with him. We’d all been bullied before either by our parents, teachers or peer group. He overcame his disability and even acquired super powers.

As a kid, I would have given anything to have his super powers.

This movie felt more like the comic books that I remembered. From the first moment of the movie I was hooked and enthralled to the very end. The story line felt more personal and left me begging for answers.

Just exactly why did Spiderman live with his uncle and aunt? What happened to his parents? Where’s Mary-Jane?

Watching Andrew Garfield aka Spiderman become a hero I couldn’t help but think in my childhood I longed for a hero. Somebody to stand up for me or to save me. At the end of the movie watching Spiderman swing through New York I couldn’t help but think, we all need a hero. Where are all the heroes?

For just a moment, in the theatre, I could rejoice in the goodness of mankind. It definitely was worth the price of the movie even and just for a moment I thought about writing Sci-Fi.

Like the nerds in The Big Bang Theory I enjoyed Stan Lee’s movie presence. And I liked the strong female character Gwen.

When they didn’t dim the lights I waited. There’s a small surprise. So don’t leave the theatre. Most of the people must have known about it ‘cause the majority of the people stayed in their seats.

And when I reminded my friend that people who love Sci-Fi are supposed to be more intelligent and imaginative (and creative), she said, “Imagine how much smarter I’d be if I liked Sci-Fi?”

I don’t think she was impressed.

P.S. I’ve decided that I like the spelling of Spiderman like this. Who knows maybe I’ll start a trend.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Photography Show - Judy Zarowny

Congratulations to Judy. Her photography will be on display.    
Wednesday, July 4th until Sunday July 22, 2012
The Darn Gallery – the home gallery of Headwaters Arts,
Alton Mill Arts Centre, 1402 Queen Street, Alton, Caledon.
Enjoy music, nibbles & punch and meet the photographers on
Saturday, July 7th, 2012 – 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Judy plans to attend on Saturday, July 7th, at 2:30 p.m.
You are all invited to attend. I hope to see you there.

Orangeville Camera Club 2012— Beyond the Lens.
For more info call:  519-843-1149

Sunday, July 1, 2012

This is Who I Am

Just Who Do You Think You Are?
• First and foremost I am a mother of 2 beautiful, smart, athletic and talented teenage daughters. My daughters make me laugh, and make me proud. Their accomplishments astound me.
• I am a wife. I love my husband and am fully devoted to him.
• I am a daughter. Unfortunately my father is no longer of this world but my mother is. I think of her every day and wish I could do more for her. I inherited my sense of humour from my father.
• I am a giver; I get that from my mother.
• I am a sister. I have two sisters, one brother, and my eldest brother is deceased. We are years apart in age and I didn’t really grow up with them, except for the one brother.
• I am an aunt and great-aunt.
• I am a Christian. I try to live my life the way I believe God wants me to.
• I am a Lector Ministry Leader. I schedule and train the lectors at our church.
• I am a writer of fiction, non-fiction, short stories and poetry.
• I am a reader. I love to read and write book reviews when I just can’t keep a book to myself. I love to support other writers.
• I am a member and secretary of a writing group. The Headwaters Writers’ Guild has been in operation for almost 9 years, I have been a member for 8. We support and motivate one another in our writing endeavours including attending book launches and purchasing their bodies of work.
• I am a cook - but not always. I now know why my mother said to me when I was a teenager, “I get tired of thinking up new meals every day.”
• I am a chauffeur. I drive my children to sporting events, parties, friends’ houses, church, shopping, and where ever they need to go. Fortunately my oldest daughter drives now and I let her drive me.
• I am a soccer mom. I also coached indoor soccer this past winter, which I promise I will never do again.
• I am a teacher, nurse, secretary, and psychologist.
• I am a laundress (is that a word?)
• I am a 15-year sufferer of fibromyalgia, known as a fibromite. I do my best to control the disease and not let it control me. Sometimes it wins.
• I am a golf widow, and accept it. Besides, he does the house cleaning.
• I am a friend. Most of my friends are through the writing group or church. I am always there to help my friends.
• I am a proud Canadian. I was born and raised in Toronto but love living in suburban Orangeville.
• My birth name is Mary Patricia Bird, the name I have chosen to write by; most people know me as Patricia Gallant.
• I am a student. I am learning something new every day.
• I am a procrastinator, and NOT proud of it.

Who are you?

Just Who Do You Think You Are?

The following is from a newsletter from author M. Scott Carter, reprinted with permission. Please do this exercise and post on this blog or email Mr. Carter at his email address below.

Be Yourself

“Don’t try to be like me. Try to be like yourself.
Try to be very good at being yourself.”
—Josh Groban, singer

June 28, 2012

 Dear Reader,

As you may recall, when I’m not writing young adult novels, I am a newspaper reporter. That means besides the books you read or see in the store or library, I have a regular stream of work that appears in an Oklahoma City newspaper.

Most of that work is news. Some of that works includes features. And every now and again, I’ve been known to write a column . . . often one that gets under somebody’s skin. (Yep, I like tackling issues in my day job almost as much as I like writing books about them for teens.)

Anyway, not long ago, one of my critics asked me “Just who do you think you are?”

I thought about how to answer him for a long time.
This is my reply—I share it with you, because I hope our relationship will continue for many years and books books to come and because I think it will give you a sense of who I am, what I stand for, and what you can expect from my books now and in the future.

“Just Who Do You Think You Are?”
•I am old school.
•I don’t text well, I prefer face-to-face over the Internet any day, and I don’t do chat . . . at least not very well or very often. I believe the best network is people and not cyber-world. That said, the posts of my friends and readers on Facebook have buoyed me on days when my boat felt like it was sinking. And the Internet has not only let me talk with readers I might otherwise not have a chance to engage with, but it sure makes research easy.
 •I am a father.
•I have four kids. Three boys and a girl. I love them. I want them to succeed, but they don’t get everything they want. They are the future and I want them to know that it’s still cool — and necessary — to work for what you get.
 •I am a husband.
•I love my wife. I respect her as a person and I respect her as a professional. I look at her as my partner. I don't believe she was put on this earth to be at my beck and call. (I suspect it might have been to help keep me sane.) I'd walk a mile on my knees to make her happy. I love her, simply and honestly.
 •I am a journalist. Every day I help write the first draft history for these times. I believe reporters should comfort the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable. I believe that one, trained professional journalist can bring about more change than all the lobbyists in the world. I believe in the pen over the sword and I love the printed word. For me, the best technology needs no batteries or extension cords or random access memory. Those are all well and good, but the best technology remains ink on paper.
 •I believe in people.
•I have friends in all walks of life. One of my closest friends is a priest with a wife who is a Buddhist. Another is a gay, several are Native American, some are Black and Hispanic, and a few are Irish — at least one is Irish Catholic. I like that. I have learned from all of them.
 •I believe in family.
•My mom is an artist. My dad worked in the oilfield. Together they raised a son who could speak to both sides. I’m proud of my Oklahoma roots and I hang on to them. They are what grounds me.
 •I believe in public education.
•There shouldn’t be much more to say about that.
•I am an Okie.
•I have never been anything but proud of that. Steinbeck was right, Okies are honorable. We’ve seen death and destruction and bombs and tornadoes and dustbowls. And we’re still here. It frustrates me that most people, even some Oklahomans, seem to have forgotten that.
 •My name is M. Scott Carter.
•I write novels and short stories and in my life I’ve penned millions of words. I hope, before it’s over I’ve written a million more.
 •I am all these things. I’m not proud of everything I’ve done, but I can live with it. I like shining the spotlight on the accomplishments of others in my job. But off the clock, I don’t hide my accomplishments, either. I am simply, me.

Which brings me to the present.
As I wrote this newsletter, the final version for the cover of my new novel, The Immortal Von B. (The RoadRunner Press, October 2012) was finished. It’s my new young adult love story about a trio of teens who don't necessarily follow the crowd. It's also a love story about second chances. I had a great time writing it, and I hope you'll look for it October 16 when it is due in bookstores.

Until then, take a moment and think about what you would say if someone asked you, “Just who do you think you are?”

The answer just might surprise you. And I’d love to see what you come up with—please e-mail your conclusions to

Until next time,
M. Scott Carter

P.S. And I also hope you’ll take a moment to visit my website,, and enter my monthly contest for readers. We’re doing an upgrade of the website later this summer, so come back often — we’re planning lots of fun to celebrate the release of The Immortal Von B. in hardcover and Stealing Kevin’s Heart in trade paperback later this fall.

Pre-Order Now

The Immortal Von B.
 The RoadRunner Press
 October 2012
 Hardcover / $18.00 U.S.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Writing & Critiquing

In the last Brian Henry workshop (The Next Step), we critiqued each other’s work. For longer pieces up to 3,000 words, the members of that group (usually five other people) critiqued it first. Then the rest of the group offered their suggestions. And we followed the same format as you did last week, except we emailed the pieces the week before, which would allow us to read it and spend more time to critique it.

We also critiqued smaller pieces up to 1,000 words that we brought that night, but in the smaller groups of five to six people. (One piece per group.)  It was basically just a quick verbal input.

I believe that most times too many cooks (writers) spoil the broth/writing. Too many different ideas so I think that it’s a good idea to critique in smaller groups of possibly three people when the group becomes larger. Although if you only have five people I think that Brian‘s way would work too.

The reason why we didn’t incorporate this into the Headwaters Writers Guild is that we didn’t want to discourage beginning writers. It’s not easy to accept criticism of your “baby” (writing). Brian sent out an email suggesting that writers have to develop confidence. Now in HWG, most of us are seasoned writers.

Attending Brian’s workshop has been an eye opener. I can’t stress enough that as writers we should go with our instincts. Finding your Voice (how to put personality in your writing) by Les Edgerton is a great reference book.

I am presently attending another writing group (Georgetown Wordsmiths –members who took the Brian Henry workshop created this group) to see how critiquing in both groups works. On my return to HWG, I’d hoped to incorporate it into the group, but you’ve already done this. I think that it’s time for us to take The Next Step. I have enjoyed meeting other writers from the Georgetown Wordsmiths and getting their perspective on writing. It’s been an eye opener and refreshing at the same time. There is a lot of writing talent in the Georgetown Wordsmiths group. I enjoy it immensely and will continue to attend both groups. 
As a writer, I believe that it’s beneficial to read our work to a large group. When our books are published, the experience will become a valuable asset. Without this reading practice, I wouldn’t have been able to read my work to other people nor would I have been confidant enough to give four eulogies.  A former member credited our writing group with her ability to give sermons. And Jayne Self mentioned that without the reading practice she couldn’t have imagined reading her award- winning book Murder in Hum Harbour at her book launch.

Congratulations to Jayne:

Self, an Orangeville resident, won the mystery category for her novel Murder in Hum Harbour: A Seaglass Mystery.  She also earned runner up for the Grace Irwin Award, which recognizes the best book published in 2011.

Orangeville Banner  - June 20, 2012

I’ve used my hiatus from the HWG group well. I have written over 88,000 words on my non-fiction book which I believe will be broken into two books. I seized every moment. Instead of thinking I only have half an hour, I’d think how many words can I write in half an hour?  I’d always believed I could only write in the morning. I’ve discovered that I can write any time. My writing buddy and I emailed each other with our word count most days. This helped to keep me focused and committed.  

“You can only fail at writing if you quit.” Ed Wildman, writer, author, mentor, and friend.

Nancy Rorke
Founding Member

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Meeting Minutes June 24, 2012

We had another small turn-out this week, just five people. However it was a very productive meeting as Danielle's exercise prompted good dialogue. Following is the exercise:

This exercise is based on a segment from a lecture series on creative writing. A student taped his teacher's lectures for the semester (with permission) and posted them online. The teacher is a well-known published fantasy fiction author. You can find the whole series at: if you want to check it out.

Key points:

* Writing groups should help to make your writing more effective by giving helpful, constructive feedback on your work.

* Reading another person's work and giving feedback on it:

   - Take note of what you liked and disliked about the piece
   - Be specific about what you liked and disliked (example: "the dialogue between Bob and Joe at the diner on page 4 was funny," NOT "It was good.").
   - Be descriptive in how the piece made you feel, NOT proscriptive (ex: "I was bored here", NOT "You should make this part more exciting."). The author may have been trying to achieve a specific effect with a passage and besides, it isn't your job to fix it.
   - Make sure to include positive feedback... be sensitive to the fact that a writer has invested him/herself heavily in the work. Be polite.
   - Ignore the small stuff (spelling mistakes, typos, awkward wording) unless you've been specifically asked to comment on that because the work is in the final stages of editing. Instead focus on major issues... plot, character, content, and pacing for example.

* Receiving feedback from another person:

   - No talking! Don't try and defend your work or convince them of how great it is. They are telling you how they do feel about it and it isn't your job to tell them how they should feel about it!

   - Write down the feedback you receive and put it away until you are ready to revise your work. Once you've had a chance to think about it, consider what you want to change and what you don't based on the feedback you've been given.

The Exercise: Giving Helpful Feedback

Choose a partner. Spend 15-20 minutes reading your partner's work and another 20 minutes (10 minutes each) giving each other feedback based on the principles outlined above. Consider exchanging the revised version of your work with your partner at some future date so you can both evaluate how much the experience helped you to improve your writing.

After doing this exercise the group discussed the experience. The following points were made.

- It was helpful to receive honest critique of their work.

- It felt better for a one-on-one rather than reading in front of 10 other people.

- With a group we tend to say very little in the interest of time and/or less put on the spot in front of a larger group of people.

- Reading rather than just listening makes it easier to come up with constructive criticism.

- Is this process something we would like to explore in future meetings? Perhaps people who are looking for constructive feedback might consider bringing copies for other members to read along while they read their work aloud.

For the prompt Danielle played a song as follows:

Taking the Reader With You

"Imaginary" - performed by Evanescence

I linger in the doorway, of alarm clock screaming monsters calling my name.
Let me stay!
Where the wind will whisper to me, where the raindrops as they're falling tell a story.

Chorus:  In my field of paper flowers and candy clouds of lullaby
         I lie inside myself for hours, and watch my purple sky fly over me.

Don't say I'm out of touch with this rampant chaos: your reality.
I know well what lies beyond my sleeping refuge: the nightmare I built my own world to escape.


Swallowed up in the sound of my screaming, cannot cease for the fear of silent nights.
Oh how I long for the deep sleep dreaming, the goddess of imaginary light.


The lyrics to "Imaginary" describe someone escaping to a refuse they've created. The words of the song evoke an atmosphere of desperation to get away (rampant chaos, alarm clock screaming monsters) and reluctance to leave (linger in the doorway) the child-like haven (tell a story, candy clouds of lullaby) the main character has made for him or herself. As writers we try and take our readers to all kinds of places and for many different reasons. Non-fiction writers might take their readers to an event or a place of special significance. Fiction writers may create any kind of place to take their readers to. Regardless, we often want our readers to experience something there... a revelation or an emotion for example. The words we choose to use can have a huge impact on whether we accomplish that or not.

Pick a place to take us to today... a place you remember, a place you create, or maybe a place you'd like to forget. Decide what you want us to experience while we're there and then use words to take us with you. As you write, consider what you want our five senses to experience, how you want us to feel while we're there and what is going on around us.

Please share your work on this blog, whether you attended the meeting or not.

We only have one meeting per month during the summer. Our next meeting is Sunday, July 15th. Marilyn will be leading.

Have a safe and happy summer!