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.