Monday, October 28, 2013

The Invisible Boy

Hey all. Check out my just published flash ficiton story, The Invisible Boy, today at, second one published within two months. It's all good...cheers. Miss our Sunday meetings.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Good News

Hi all.  Recently found out that I won second prize for adult poetry in the Click Create Celebrate literary competition, sponsored by the Caledon Library.  Here is the poem:


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?

Meanwhile, we carry on writing towards the collection of flash fiction now tentatively titled AND MAYBE YOU FLOAT AWAY, with the goal of completing it and shopping it around for Spring of 2014. Working with a professional editor has really helped my understanding of 'conscious' writing, which is to say that I am more aware now, as I write, of the intertwining of narrative/character/thematic elements inherent to good storytelling. It is very much an art and a craft, this business of scribbling.

Next up, Anthony Carnovale and I will be offering a presentation and workshop series for seniors in Snelgrove, Ontario, on Nov. 7th, on the topic of MEMORY, IMAGINATION and the POWER OF STORYTELLING. We're also working on a series of workshops for autism spectrum teens. Busy period! Keep you posted.  Cheers.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Diane Bator on Virtual Tour!

I will be part of Patricia Gligor's "Getting to know you" post that goes live Sunday morning Oct 13 and will run through the following Saturday. Here's the link:
Come by and say hello!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

HWG Meeting Notes October 6, 2013

S.J. Faerlind announced that the third book in her Liriea's Children series is now available on and in both e-book and print editions. The book is called "Destiny" with the first two books called "Prophecy" and "Affirmation".

Jayne, as leader this week, asked us to write down an answer to the following questions:

Name one for each of the following:

A season
A time of day
A colour
A body part
Favourite place
Least Favourite Place

We were then asked to write a poem keeping the Thanksgiving theme in mind.

I, Patricia, chose the following words:

winter, dinner time, green, snow, back, miserable, apple, Hawaii, pine, smooth, caves, chocolate, anger, pitter-patter.

And below is my poem. Keep in mind that this was written in 15 minutes with no time to edit. I have not edited here... well, maybe a little. I did not count out syllables. It's not perfect but it meets the challenge:

My family together at dinner time
causes me to break into rhyme.
Their laughter and jokes behind my back,
and the ones we shared; we never lack.

For being miserable is hard to do
even throughout the winter blues.
The fun we have as a family
brings back memories of Hawaii.

Away from the snow and cold weather,
on the smooth sandy beaches together.
No place or cause for anger there.
Chocolate and green apples the midday fare.

At night the pitter-patter of tropical rain
brings memories of Canada to mind again.
Where pine trees grow and caves are dark
Where children play games in neighbourhood parks.

I'm grateful for a country of peace
from the west coast and shores on east.
A land where I was born and raised
and will live until my dying days.

And although I long for Hawaii
With my family is where I want to be.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

The next meeting is Sunday, October 20th. Nancy will be leading.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Authors & Armchairs 2013

Every year for the past nine years as part of the Headwaters Arts Festival there is an author night. Four Canadian authors are invited to read from their latest publications and converse with each other about their writing. Then audience members are invited to ask questions. This year's authors were Don Gillmor, whose latest release is the novel Mount Pleasant; Maureen Jennings author of the Murdoch Mysteries series and Bomb Girls. Her latest release is Beware This Boy. Also present was Wayne Johnston, author of Son of a Certain Woman (recently long-listed for the Giller Award); and Oakland Ross, author of Empire Yearning.

The sub-theme for the evening was writing fiction vs. non-fiction as all authors have written both. Maureen Jennings said she loves researching real facts. It's one of the best parts of writing for her. Oakland mentioned taking history and injecting fiction. It wasn't until I read over my notes that I realized what they were referring to when they said fictionalizing history is becoming a growing trend. I am currently reading a book called In Falling Snow by Mary-Rose MacColl which speaks of WWI and a real place called Royaumont. It wasn't until I googled it that I found it was a real place. Oakland's story takes place in Mexico where he went to research and use old buildings in his story. Don Gillmor uses Toronto as the setting for his story but avoided being too specific about places. Wayne Johnston wondered allowed whether the address he used in his book, 44 Bonaventure, is a real place and whether some psycho from that address would come after him.

When it comes to locations like London and Mexico, Maureen said she can hardly wait to get writing when she is there while Oakland said he preferred to be "away from the place" before he started writing about it. Maureen Jennings also shared photos she found in antique stores, photos of people who she brought to life as characters in her novels.

The Son of a Certain Woman is Wayne Johnston's tenth novel. It is an engaging, humorous yet naughty novel. Sex, homosexuality, religion, and incest are topics that could offend some people. When asked if, while writing the book, he feared any backlash he said it was not a book he would have written as his first novel especially since 20 years ago it would have created more of an uproar. But while writing the story he felt if he toned it down then why write it at all.

The story takes place in St. John's, Newfoundland, a strong Catholic community. He said he has heard nothing from the people there and as he was heading there the following week he jokingly asked people to pray for him.

An audience member asked about e-books. We were informed that e-books are not as big in Canada as they are in the U.S. Publishers believe it will not get as big. The purchases of e-books vs. hard copy books is 50% in the U.S. and 25% in Canada. Royalties to authors is about the same, however authors like to be in the subway, coffee shop, airplane, or anywhere else, and see someone reading their book.

I had the opportunity to chat with Don Gillmor afterwards about my work-in-progress. I admitted that I was stalled for several reasons - one being some sexually graphic scenes I wrote which have since frightened me off. Mr. Gillmor, after hearing a brief outline of the story, insisted they are pertinent to the story and I must carry on. "Go way out there," he said. "Even with my first novel?" I joked. Another issue I had was that the novel, I was told by an agent, is too short at 55,000 words. He pointed out that another successful author wrote a novel that was only 52,000 words. He encouraged me to carry on.

I have been attending this event for the last 5 or 6 years. I will never miss one. This is the most enjoyable author evening. I wouldn't miss it for the world. I am always astounded as to how funny all these authors are. I said to one of my writing colleagues, "Are all authors this funny? They always seem to be so funny." She has attended several of these events as well and agreed with me. We always laugh our way through the evening. Getting to meet the authors one-on-one afterwards is a bonus.

 Nancy and author Maureen Jennings

Nancy, Judy and Sonja