Sunday, April 29, 2012
Monday, April 2, 2012
When I saw her there in the window, I had no idea that very soon I would be writing her story. Emma, as she is now known, captivated me with her blue eyes, wide as summer skies. A striking portrait by S.J. Pringle with a small sign beneath it saying "Tell Me Her Story".
Well, naturally as a writer, I had to inquire. So, I went into the Dragonfly and asked Joan what it was they were looking for. "Just a couple hundred words describing her age, what she's thinking, who she is" was the general reply. I tucked it into the back of my head and went on with the day, thinking "Hmmm...maybe I'll do it."
When Diane Bator, one of my fellow writers, sent out an email to the Headwaters Writers' Guild announcing that the Dragonfly was having a contest to name the portrait and "tell her story", I thought, " Hmmm..maybe I really should do it." And so, I did.
Here is the portrait and story that will now be together forever. I am so honoured to be part of such a unique work and grateful to Joan and Jill (S.J. Pringle) for this opportunity. Emma is now a part of my home, following me around the room with those eyes and a sense of determination.
by Sonja Wolter
Emma couldn't understand why they had to leave Gran behind. She watched, as the only woman in her life, climbed into Uncle Danny's wagon. The chestnut mare snorted and shook its head in the crisp spring air.
Da said they had to leave. Mr Marley wouldn't let them stay on his land anymore. He'd paid the fare for her and Da to go on a ship to Canada. But, why couldn't Gran come? Why couldn't they just stay with Uncle Danny?
Emma ran up to the wagon and grabbed hold of Gran's skirt. “Don't go Gran.” Her eyes welled up and were near overflowing.
Gran turned round and put a gentle hand on her head. “Now then, no tears. I'll be fine and so will you – better in fact. There'll be a whole new life for you over there.”
Tears rolled down Emma's full rosy cheeks. “I have a life here.”
Gran's eyes softened and she pulled Emma up into the wagon, and sat her on the bench. “Now listen here. I'm too old to start all over again. Ireland is my home, and new lands and grand adventures are for the young.”
“It's my home too. Can't I stay with you and Uncle Danny?”
“Your Da needs you. It'd break his heart to leave you behind. You look so much like your Ma, with those big blue eyes. Wide as summer skies they are.”
Emma sniffed and wiped the tears with the back of her hand. “Can we come back to visit?”
“Maybe someday. But, for now, be brave for your Da, and don't give him any grief. Remember darlin', Ireland will never leave you. T'will always be in your heart.”
Emma threw her arms around Gran's neck and held on tight. She hung on for awhile until Gran gently pushed her away. “Go on now. An' don't forget to say your prayers every night.”
Emma stepped down. Her wavy red hair fell softly around her porcelain face. “I won't forget Gran.” She backed up as Da came out from the small stone cottage with Gran's bags, and the quilt she and Gran had made this past winter. There were hearts and clovers in the squares. It was beautiful.
Da hugged Gran and Uncle Danny. He mumbled something to them before stepping down and backing onto the grass. The sound of pebbles crackling under the wheels made Emma's heart leap, as the wagon rolled away. Da put his hand on her shoulder. The sight of the wagon grew distant, until all she could see was the rolling green hills against the cerulean sky. He kissed her forehead. “It'll be alright. You'll see.” He let go and turned back to the cottage, leaving Emma where she was.
The light cast shadows behind her, as she stared at the empty horizon. Gran was right. Ireland was in her heart. She resolved right then and there, that one day, she would come home.
We welcomed Barry back for his second meeting. Barry writes sci-fi, mystic and spiritual books. He also has a website and book publishing company at www.alderbookpublishing.ca where you can purchase his books and e-books as well as have your own published. His current series is called "Inner Voices."
Kelli was back and talked about the bumps along her publishing journey. We were all reminded that if a publisher asks you for money up front, be wary and check them out!
On the topic of publishers:
Judy is looking into Balboa Press which is a division of Hay House.
Clare is dealing with Pandora Press for his next book.
Danielle reminded us for self-publishing there are Create Space and Lulu.
We also have three of our own writers who have their own publishing companies:
Barry with Alder Book Publishing
Gloria with Spiral Press
Marilyn with Sun Dragon Press
Jayne's publisher, currently working on book 2, is Harborlight Press. They are a division of White Rose and Pelican. They are at the low end of royalty presses but she has gotten a cheque and they require no monetary investment.
As Clare reminded us: We all have to start somewhere.
Judy read about an awards presentation she attended a few years ago.
Sonja came in and we chatted about her winning Dragonfly's "Tell Me Her Story" contest by SJ Pringle. She plans to get permission to post the picture, now called "Emma's Resolve" and links for Dragonfly and SJ Pringle. She thanked everyone who came to support her Saturday at the presentation.
Diane read Chapter One from her new book Deja Vu.
Danielle read the second half of her story from two weeks ago.
This week we did an exercise on alliteration - using as many words starting with the same letter/sound as possible. Everyone did a great job, but honourable mentions were Clare, Jayne, Judy and Megan.
After all the giggles, we packed up and called it an afternoon.
Our Next Meeting is April 15. Diane will be leading.
Have a great two weeks and keep writing!!!