Thursday, December 4, 2014

Culture Cafe and the Caledon Library's Stopping by Mill on a Poetry Evening

A crisp early winter's evening, a gorgeous venue, refreshments, neighbours, writers, music and poetry. Caledon Public Library hosted an evening of poetry at the Alton Mills Arts Centre in partnership with the Culture CafĂ©. As part of CPL’s Read Local Caledon initiative, the evening celebrated talented homegrown poets in the Caledon community.

Our poets, Harry and Judy performed along with other local award winning poets. The talent in one room was amazing.

Judy performed her award winning poem Forfeit. We all laughed. She did other poems from her forthcoming book, Fat and Other F Words. Hilarious!

Harry was great as always. My granddaughter enjoyed his poetry especially with the addition of music. The other poets were fabulous! My granddaughter and I enjoyed every second of their performance. We laughed, we cried. 

I don't want to forget to mention the to die for desserts along with the beautiful decorated room.

We can't wait to go to the next poetry session in January.

A big thank you to Robert Simeon (Caledon Library) who gave me permission to post his photos along with the first paragraph  above. And thank you to the Caledon Library and Alton Mills for providing a venue for our poets.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Bouncing Baby Website

Hi all. Wanted to announce the 'going live' of my new website. Address: You will find all of my books and audio cds/mp3s available for purchase, sample audio and video stories from my soon-to-be-released book of flash fiction, LITTLE EXITS, and a video of my slam-winning spoken word performance at the Words Aloud Spoken Word festival. You'll read about my editing/mentoring services, what I'm currently reading, and other cool tidbits. So, head on over, do some surfing, buy a book for a friend for Christmas, and have fun!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Headwaters Writers' Guild 2015 Meeting Schedule

2015 Meeting Schedule
All Meetings Begin at 1:30pm
Location: Tweedsmuir Church, 6 John Street, Orangeville

Sunday, January 11 – Leader: Nancy
Sunday, January 25 – Leader: Diane
Sunday, February 8 – Leader: D.J.
Sunday, February 22 – Leader: Judy
Sunday, March 8 – Leader: Clare
Sunday, March 22 – Leader: June
Sunday, April 12 – Leader: Jayne
Sunday, April 26 – Leader: Marilyn
Sunday, May 3 – Leader: D.J.
Sunday, May 24 – Leader: Nancy
Sunday, June 7 – Leader: Diane
Sunday, June 28 – Leader: Judy
Sunday, July 19 – Leader: Clare
Sunday, August 23 – Leader: June
Sunday, September 13 – Leader: Marilyn
Sunday, September 27 – Leader: D.J.
Sunday, October 4 – Leader: Jayne
Sunday, October 18 – Leader: Judy
Sunday, November 1 – Leader: Diane
Sunday, November 15 – Leader: Nancy

Sunday, November 29 – Christmas Luncheon

W.O.W. Words The Orangeville Way in Pictures

Saturday, November 15, 2014, The Headwaters Writers' Guild participated in W.O.W. at the Orangeville Public Library. This event featured many local authors, poets, story tellers, and our writing group. For the first year of this event there was a fair turn-out of people. We thank the Orangeville Public Library for bringing writing to the forefront in the Orangeville community. It's been a long time coming and now there are events on a monthly basis if not more often. Kudos to our great Chief Librarian Darla Fraser who has worked diligently to bring writing, reading, and authors to the library from the Dufferin area and beyond.

Below are pictures taken by our group secretary (who is not a professional photographer or blogger):

Rapt Audience
Clare McCarthy

Harry Posner
Diane Bator
Joseph Gilbey
Jayne Self

June Hustler (Duncan)
Nancy Rorke

Judy Zarowny

The Headwaters Writers' Guild members in attendance
Anthony Carnovale & Harry Posner on Storytelling

Marilyn Klieber, HWG Moderator of the Day

.... and these pictures are not going to post the way I set them up. It's the best I could do.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Art Battle Begins!

Hi all. Get your tickets for the first ever Headwaters Region Art Battle competition. Painters go head to head in 20-minute rounds, with winners voted on by the audience. Great music, cash bar, food, and door prizes, including a vintage 1940s condom mould! Get your tickets online today! Part of the proceeds go to helping Club Art create a permanent space for young artists in Orangeville. 
See you there.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Next Culture Cafe is going all Poetic on our Heads!

Hey all.
Check out the Alton Mill Arts Centre on November 28th, 7-9 pm. Eight great Caledon area poets (including yours truly and Judy!), plus a wonderful musician (Will Devonshire) will provide a magical evening of wordilicious experiences. And... wait for it... it's FREE! Yikes, you say, I thought there was no free lunch in this world of ours.  Oh yes there is! Be there or be a wilted swiss chard leaf.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Meeting Notes November 2, 2014

Because of the many events upcoming, we will be cancelling our meeting on November 16th, 2014. That means this was our last meeting of the year. A 2015 schedule will be released soon.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, November 8, 2014

JUZDIZRTS Author Event taking place at the Archtop Cafe, 56 Queen Street North, Bolton (Highway 50 & King Street) from 2-4pm. Diane will be one of the authors participating in this event. Come out and support her and other local authors. Admission is free, prizes to be won.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sounds at the Market at the Owen Sound Farmer's Market, 2:00pm.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

WOW (Words the Orangeville Way) at the Orangeville Public Library Mill Street location. Events are taking place in various rooms in the library. The Headwaters Writers' Guild will be participating from 11:30-12:15 in the Meeting Room in the basement. Harry Posner, of the HWG, will be participating with Anthony Carnovale from 12:30-1:00pm in the Community Living Room. Many other local authors will also be participating including Richard Scarsbrook and Sean Cassidy. The Dufferin Circle of Storytellers are also participating, unfortunately at the same time as HWG but in the Program Room.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Culture Cafe at Caledon Library. Poetry and music from 7-9pm.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

So far there are a total of 15 people expected to attend the Christmas Luncheon on November 30th at the Four Seasons Buffet (75 First Street) at noon. If you have not responded to Patricia please do so as soon as possible as tables have to be reserved. Family members are invited to attend. Even if you are not planning on attending, please respond.

Writing Prompts as provided by Clare:

1. A mysterious black bag.
2. The contents of the bag (as shown by Clare - see photo below)
3. When I entered the room, I choked as I inhaled the horrible smell.
4. The silence that night was deafening.
5. I was sure it was Sue's perfume that I smelled.
6. A slight taste was enough to make me throw up and wonder what I'd been served.
7. When I grasped the __________ it felt warm and fuzzy, but Marilyn said that she thought it was cold and clammy.
8. The sight of the sound made me determined to never again ___________

Bonus Prompt: Create several examples of your own perfect insults.

This is what was in the bag!

Diane has posted all her news in separate postings on this blog. I will not be repetitive but she has a lot of books coming out that you need to watch out for. Congratulations, Diane!

If we don't see you at any of the events listed above, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Our next meeting will probably be January 11, 2015.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Diane Bator's New Book Releases

I am so excited to announce the release of my new novel DEATH OF A JADED SAMURAI
November 3!

Gilda Wright thinks she's landed a dream job managing a karate school. Sure, her boss, Sensei Mick Williams, is almost as demanding as he is sexy, but Gilda is inspired by the strength of people around her and hopes to absorb some of that into her own life. But when Gilda finds the body of one of the instructors laying in the dojo with a sword though his chest, suddenly she must find her own inner strength and fast! The police see everyone as a suspect, including her boss, and it's up to Gilda to find out what really happened. She follows the clues of the missing scroll of the Four Possessions of the Samurai down a deadly path filled with lies, deceit, and poisoned ninja stars! If she doesn't watch her step, she just may become the killer's next sparring partner.

To order your copy today, go to:

I also have a short story appearing in an anthology by Gemma Halliday Publishing. Cozy Christmas Capers will be released December 1 and will only be available until January 31! It is available for pre-order at:

Monday, October 20, 2014

An update from Diane Bator

With all the great news from our contest winners yesterday, I didn't want to say a lot about my upcoming news and take anything away from their well-deserved glory!
I have missed a lot of meetings this year again due to deadlines, work and family activities, but I have a lot of great news to share!

With  my publisher Books We Love, I now have published three novels in my Wild Blue Mysteries series with two more to come in the couple years. The Bookstore Lady (print and e-book); The Mystery Lady (e-book); and The Bakery Lady (e-book). All are available on Amazon --

Earlier this year, I sold another book to Gemma Halliday Publishing. That book, the first in my new Yin-Yang Mysteries, Death of a Jaded Samurai, comes out NOV 3! The second book, Murder of a Fallen Fighter, is due to my publisher in the New Year and will be published next year. I don't have buy links just yet, I will post them when they arrive in my email box.

AND if you're looking for a Christmas read, I have a short story in an anthology to be released by Gemma Halliday Publishing from Dec 1, 2014 - Jan 31, 2015. What started off as a short story, is already swirling around with series potential. There's always another book!!

Now that I've taken up my brag time, back to writing!    


Meeting Notes Sunday, October 19, 2014

"Puke it out, clean it up later."
That's how you write a book.

Contest Winners

We are pleased to announce some members of our group who participated in the Caledon Public Library contest and won.

For Adult Short Story - Nancy Rorke won 1st Place with "Broken Promises".
For Adult Poetry - Judy Zarowny took 1st Place with "Forfeit"
For Adult Poetry - Harry Posner took 2nd Place with "My Opus Day"
For Photography - Nancy Rorke came in 2nd with "Unexpected Discovery", a raccoon in a tree.

The Caledon Public Library has a booklet of the winning entries in all categories which I assume you can pick up at the Caledon Public Library located in Robert F. Hall Catholic Secondary School on Old Church Road.

Congratulations to you all!

Orangeville Public Library's event W.O.W. (Words the Orangeville Way)

As we prepare to participate in WOW (Words the Orangeville Way) taking place at the Orangeville Public Library on Saturday, November 15th, BookLore is also sponsoring this event, Marilyn briefed us on the schedule of speakers. You can read more about the event here: Our good friend Richard Scarsbrook will also be participating. HWG members, please come out and support our group, the rest of the world, come on out and hear what we're all about!


Marilyn produced a short video called "The Speed of Aging" which you can watch here: Also on that page Judy Zarowny is pictured at the top speaking about poetry (2nd from the right).

Marilyn presented a new publication by one of her authors from Collingwood, The books is available at Amazon.

Diane has a bunch of books coming out. Two more in her Wild Blue Mysteries series. The Bookstore Lady is now available in print as well as e-book. The Mystery Lady will be available in e-book next month.

And two more in another series next year.

Alberta’s film, “Smiling at Death: A Closer Look at Dying” is being presented as follows:

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 22, 2014  7:00
Tickets: Prepaid: $10  At the door: $15

If you want to reserve a ticket, send Alberta an e-mail —  or you can get them via PayPal at

The Dublin Street United Church is at 68 Suffolk St W, Guelph, ON

Christmas Luncheon

Please note that the Headwaters Writers' Guild Christmas Luncheon will be held at the Four Seasons Buffet at 75 First Street in Orangeville on Sunday, November 30th, at 12:00 noon. If you can't make it for 12, do the best you can. Family members of HWG members are also invited. Please let Patricia know as soon as possible if you will or will not be attending and how many will be in your party. There are no meetings in December.

Our next meeting is Sunday, November 2nd, at 1:30pm at Tweedsmuir Presbyterian Church.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers Workshop

Self Editing For Fiction Writers
How To Edit yourself into Print
 A six week course by award winning writer and editor, Gloria Nye of Spiral Press and Eve Publishing. Writing and editing are different skills requiring different mind sets. In this course, you will learn specific principles of editing to apply to different sections of your writing: show and tell, characterization, point of view, dialogue mechanics, character’s voice, and interior monologue. Improving these six important areas of your writing will dramatically increase the effectiveness of your short story or novel and give your writing a professional edge.  Participants will bring two pages of their writing each week for constructive critiquing and feedback.  
Victoria Centre in Fergus,  Sept 11 - October 18, 2014, Thursdays, 9:30 to 11:30am (6 weeks) Cost for the course is $69 for members, and $75 for non-members.

How To Get Published Workshop

Writing! Writing! Writing!

How Can I Get My Book Published?
In this six week course, as a writer, you will discover what courses and preparation you will need to become a published writer. Learn how to uncover the options of obtaining an agent, self-publishing, using a small independent publisher, or being lucky enough to find a large established publisher. You will also be given information to be able to figure out the costs of getting your book to the public, and what marketing decisions will serve you best. Instructor Marilyn Kleiber, Acquisitions and Marketing Director for Sun Dragon Press Inc., has herself been writing since childhood. She has attempted all the things that she discusses in her courses. She has written magazine and newspaper articles, newsletters, online blogs, and recently had her first book published. She also won a prize in the 2013 Alice Munroe short story contest. She belongs to writing groups, and spends much of her time coaching authors in the vagaries of book marketing. Pre-register. by contacting

This course take place at the Victoria Centre in Fergus,  Sept 11 - October 18, 2014, Thursdays, 9:30 to 11:30am (6 weeks) Cost for the course is $ 69 for members, and $75 for non-members.

Constructing a Story from the Bones 

In this six weeks we will cover the creation of a story from beginning to end, and will include a fairly in-depth look at the basic starting point of the premise. 
We will then cover the following:  

- the seven major bones of any story, beginning with the premise
-designing the characters -- hero, opponent and all the allies to create the web of the story, creating the world,
-the ups and downs of conflicts and resolutions, and at the end, how and why has the hero changed.

This story skeleton will enable the beginning writer a jump start in their skills, and allow the established writer to discover new abilities to add to their writing prowess. The instructor for this course is Marilyn Kleiber and you can see her bio in the course on publishing.

This course take place at the Victoria Centre in Fergus,  October 23, to November 27, 2014, Thursdays, 9:30 to 11:30am (6 weeks) Cost for the course is $ 69 for members, and $75 for non-members.

You will need to pre-register for the above courses by calling 519-787-1814 between 9:00am and 4:00PM, Monday to Friday.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Thank you

For those of you who don't know, I've had an amazing, busy year so far.

I have a contract with Books We Love and have written 3 books for them so far with plans for 2 more next year. The Bookstore Lady, The Mystery Lady, have been released and will soon be available in both e-book and print. The Bakery Lady will be released this November, hopefully in both forms as well.

This past week, I also received a contract from Gemma Halliday Publishing for 2 books in a martial arts series. The first of these is Death of a Jaded Samurai.

In addition to my day job, I am taking on two new tasks. One as an Author Liaison at BTS e-Mag.
The second as an Editor working from home. More information is available on my website Diane Bator, Editor.
I am also all over Facebook and Twitter for those of you on those social media sites.

So why is my blog post titled "Thank You"?
It all goes back to April 2007 when I walked in to my first meeting of the Headwaters Writers' Guild. In those seven plus years, I've become a better writer, editor and person. I have found the courage to write and submit many novels and even greater courage to be proud of my accomplishments. For those of you I've traveled this dusty road with, I thank you for sticking with me, supporting me and helping to teach me that time waits for no one. To those we have loved and lost in our group, Len & Janet, you are guiding angels to those of us who knew you.

Nancy had a great quote on her page of prompts today that I shared with her years ago. It's one I live by and love:  "I am not afraid. I was born to do this." ~ Molly Anderson-Childers

Sunday, July 20, 2014

HWG Meeting July 20, 2014

Clare reminded us that Richard Scarsbrook's last workshop in the current series is tomorrow, Monday, July 21st, at the Orangeville Public Library.

Clare also shared two books he feels are excellent writing aids. "Outlining Your Novel" by K.M. Weiland is the best he has ever read. "Structuring Your Novel" is the second from K.M. Weiland that he shared. Our Facebook page features K.M. Weiland's blog posts on a regular basis.

June told us about a writing contest from Chatelaine Magazine, a short life story contest due August 15th. For more information check

Cassidy shared a pamphlet on the Caledon Public Library Writing Contests they are holding for Adult Short Story, Teen Short Story, Children's Short Story, Adult Poetry, Young Adult Poetry, and Photography. Submissions are due September 6, 2014. Check this website for details:

The Headwaters Arts Festival's annual Authors Night will be held on Friday, September 26, 2014. Doors open at 6:30, tickets are $30 and include refreshments. Tickets went on sale this week and can be purchased at BookLore. Scheduled authors are returning authors Terry Fallis promoting is new book "No Reflection" and Joseph Boyden and his new novel "Orenda"; and new to the event Eva Stachniak promoting "Empress of the Night". Tickets for this popular event sell out quickly so get to BookLore and purchase your's today.

Our next meeting is Sunday, August 25th.

Have a great summer!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Hi all.  On Sunday, June 22nd at Soulyve Caribbean Kitchen in downtown Orangeville, Story451 will be hosting SO LIVE SUNDAY, an evening of poetry, music, spoken word, and open mics, featuring Colette MacDonald, Erin Bolton, Richard Sitoski, Anthony Carnovale, and Harry Posner. $10 admission includes nibbles by chef Phil Dewar. 7-9 pm. Tickets available at Booklore and Soulyve. Seating is limited, so get your tickets now. Click on the link below to see the poster:


Story451 is an organization created by Anthony Carnovale and Harry Posner, whose mission is to foster community through storytelling. Come out and support a new cultural endeavour in the heart of Orangeville.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Good Publishing News

Hi all. Tomorrow (May 27th) head on over to to read my short story SITSHIASHUN. It's one of the stories from my new in-progress collection entitled AND MAYBE YOU FLOAT AWAY.

Also, more good news on the publishing front. My story NO LOITERING IN THE MUSEUM has been selected for inclusion in Commuter Lit's annual print anthology ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES. Watch for it this summer.

As the young folks like to say, "It's all good." And so it is.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Editing Woes

This week I've had the honor of taking on a new critique partner who works with my agent, Dawn Dowdle at Blue Ridge Literary. Being partners, we've given chapters back and forth and, in a fit of frustration, she asked if I'd have a look at her manuscript. I agreed and was treated to a fun cozy mystery that I would love to curl up and read one day!

Over an intense weekend of editing, a few things jumped out at me that I'd love to pass along. Things that make me cringe and, if I ever catch myself doing them again... Well, I'll have to come up with a suitable punishment later.

One of the things that bothered me was those pesky -ly words. Yes, I've had my knuckles rapped by many an editor about overusing these babies. Slowly, cheerfully, graciously, respectfully, annoyingly, etc. While a writer might think they help convey a mood or a feeling, they're annoying when overused. Which means maybe one per chapter. Tops. That's it.

Another one that got me:  dialogue tags. (I have many bruises over these too!) Rather than piling on mounds of description, spread it out through your dialogue. Example from The Mystery Lady/

Her neighbor could have been sympathetic. He could have even offered to make peace. Instead, he winked and asked, “But aside from that, how are things going?”
“You’re not funny. I have two deadlines, three bored kids, and a flat pool in my yard.” She stopped ranting and pasted on a fake smile. “Other than that, things are wonderful. Thanks for asking.”
He narrowed his lime green eyes. “Was that sarcasm?”
She stared hard. Nope. No way he was her type. Too rude. Too...glistening with sweat and easy on the eyes. When her knees wobbled, she thought about her three kids. “Yeah, that was sarcasm. You’re not the brightest bulb in the string, are you?”
He grinned then studied her. “I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure. Clancy Davidson. Mel and Daisy’s son. I’m watching the house while my mom’s in the hospital.”
“Sorry to hear that.” She folded her arms across her chest, aware he was checking her out inch by sweaty inch. “Lucy. Lucy Stephen. Hot and cranky mom of three.”

!!! Exclamation marks!! One good guideline is only use a handful per manuscript!!! Not a handful per sentence!!

If you don't outline your book, something I rarely do until the bitter end, at least re-read it line by line or have someone else read things over to make sure you have flow and continuity. Your character shouldn't be a blond at the beginning of the book and a brunette halfway through then a blond again at the end without a very good reason. Or suddenly in Chapter 23 a dog appears that they've had forever but the reader had no idea existed. 
Or a spouse who teleports out of nowhere. 

Over the course of three books, I've learned about all these annoying habits by having someone (agents, editors and critique partners) tell me the same things over and over and over. All I want to do is share the things I've learned.

Diane is an avid hiker, Reiki Master, and martial artist, who loves to make a mess in the kitchen and put in the garden. Joining a writing group was the catalyst for coming out of the creative closet and writing her first murder mystery series, Wild Blue Mysteries. She lives in Southern Ontario with her husband, three kids, and a cat who thinks he's a Husky.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Adrienne Kerr's Lecture at the Orangeville Library

            On Wednesday, April 9, the Orangeville Library hosted Adrienne Kerr who gave a free lecture to a large audience in the library basement. Ms. Kerr is Commissioning Editor of Commercial Fiction at Penguin Group (Canada) where she acquires mystery, suspense, adventure, women’s and historical novels. She has worked with Stuart McLean, Jack Whyte, Robert J. Sawyer, Pauline Gedge, R. Scott Bakker, Keith Ross Leckie, Suzanne Desrochers, and DJ McIntosh. She is also good friends with Nancy Frater at BookLore.
            She spoke to us about how she became Commissioning Editor. Before joining Penguin’s editorial team, she worked in Penguin’s sales department and won the Canadian Booksellers’ Association Sales Representative of the Year Award in 2009. She has also worked as a book buyer for a large North American retailer, and as an independent bookseller in Toronto.
           While Ms. Kerr spoke a little about working with Robert J. Sawyer about his writing process. He writes one book per year spending 2-3 months on research, 2-3 months on a first draft, 3-4 months doing revisions and rewrites, and the remainder of the year on promoting his works. As he travels, he writes his novels focusing on ghettoized sci-fi novels with ethical or philosophical dilemmas.
           Ms. Kerr spoke at length about publishing in Canada and stressed that "no one is in publishing or book selling to get rich." There are small margins and no job security. In her job, she has to be aware of what booksellers want to sell and what readers want to read. The current market is turbulent with the flood of self-published novels taking a large share of the market from regularly published books. Although if a self-published book gains a large readership, it can attract a traditional publisher.
          She went on to talk about how we as writers should pitch to agents and publishers. Most importantly--read their websites and follow their guidelines! Learn who they are, what they do, where they work, and what acquisitions they have already made. If they seek romance novels and you write sci-fi, move on. One of the best ways to create a short list of agents/publishers to research and submit to is by looking at the covers and dedications in the books you love to read. Writers always thank their editors and agents.
A good place to research agents and publishers is on the Publisher's Marketplace website. The site tracks all book deals since 2000 and offers a "Deal Tracker" section.
            How to pitch the agent/publisher: there are a few things you need to know in drafting your query letter. One is what type of pitch sentence or paragraph you want to use. You will likely need to submit a pitch in your query letter, a few sample chapters (the first 3 is a general number), and a summary of your book (or what will appear on the back cover of your novel.
     a) a "what if"/"so what" type sentence - these are 25 words or less and convey the major plot line, protagonist and emotional tone of the book.
     b) Hollywood style - a mix of two other books, such as Hunger Games meets Jaws.
     c) blurb on the back of a book cover stating the hero, his goal, why, and what's stopping him.
            Craft your pitch before writing your novel and keep in mind that as you write, your pitch will need to be revised and edited. When you are done writing the novel, have your beta readers read both the pitch and the novel to see if they line up.
            Many writers think they simply have to write the book and send it to an agent then they can move on to the next project while everyone else markets and promotes your book. Nothing could be farther from the truth! First of all, you have to promote yourself and know your market in order to even get an agent/publisher. Your comparisons to other books and authors should be realistic. Compare yourself to mid-list, solid authors in your genre and understand your genre.
            If your day job or hobbies relate to your books, add that in your pitch letter. Sell yourself as well as your ideas. In order to market your published book, you need an online presence. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest, etc) are a huge asset. Have an active blog and website. Join reading groups, writing groups, Good Reads, and so on.
            When you find an editor who likes your info and your novel, they pitch it to the board at their company and use your info to sell your book to be published and later for marketing and publicity. If you've submitted to an agent, the agent uses your info to pitch your book to publishers.
            Should you use a pseudonym? Perhaps. That is a personal choice. If you write more than one genre, you may want to use a pseudonym for one of them. If you have a bad track record with published books, using a pen name can give you a fresh start.
            While going through and doing edits, keep in mind the 80/20 rule. Give 80% of the information to your reader, but leave 20% to the imagination.
            Writers cannot copyright and idea, just the expression of the idea.
            Short story collections are hard to sell unless they are extraordinary.
            Happy writing!

Monday, April 7, 2014


Life is always busy. There’s always something to do and always something to write. And that’s why I am late posting this to the blog.
March 22, 2014, was an exciting day for the Headwaters Writers’ Guild when we visited Booklore for Diane Bator's book signing for The Bookstore Lady.
Diane’s books are always a great read. She has amazing characters and a good mystery story.

We always a good time when we attend social events. We ate cookies, drank apple cider, bought books, grabbed, and listened to Diane read. She always reads with a dramatic flair. I am so envious of her talent.

A big thank you to Nancy Frater of Booklore for her welcoming generosity.

You can purchase The Bookstore Lady at Booklore, Amazon, and Aardvark Music.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday, April 6, 2014 Meeting Notes

Small group this week, but productive.

We discussed re-igniting the alternating Saturday coffee shop writing chit-chat meetings, or perhaps once a month. Several locations were shot down but the Green Apple Cafe (the west end Shopper's Drug Mart plaza) was a favourite.

Nancy also asked if people were interested in having a spring writing retreat at Eramosa Eden. We haven't done it in a couple of years. Hopefully the snow will melt soon. She will check on available dates.

It was reported that Richard Scarsbrook's latest workshop at the library was packed.

Marilyn introduced her latest publication - The Last Mentsch by Peter Bayer, now available at Amazon.

Patricia shared the email she received from Ann Moynes at Mix 88.1 Radio.

My name is Ann Moynes and I am a volunteer at Erin Community Radio Mix 88.1. Every second Wednesday, at 7:50am, on 'Montgomery in the Morning', with Erin Montgomery, I do a review of a book by either a local author or a book that has local content. By local we mean the region covered by the radio's listening audience. Orangeville is within that region, as is Caledon, Alton, Hillsburgh, Fergus, the northern tip of Georgetown and places in between.

My purpose in writing to you is to see if members of the Headwaters Writers' Guild might be interested in having any of their books reviewed at some time on the program....

If any of the Guild's authors are interested in providing me with copies of their books, I will read them with a view to possibly reviewing them on the radio. This would be of great interest to our listeners and would of course help promote sales of the authors' books.

Books can be sent to me at: Attention A. Moynes, P.O. Box 1122, Erin, ON, N0B 1T0. If they would like to email me about it I can be reached at The book reviews are 3 minutes long....

After some confusion regarding a character during a member's reading, it was determined that sometimes it is easier to understand when reading along as the author reads aloud. It was suggested that if you want a REAL critiquing of a certain piece of writing, bring a few copies so that members can read along. They can share copies so you don't need to bring more than a few copies.

Quotes during discussion:

"Writers provoke thought. So I'm trying too think more creatively." - Nancy

"I get some of my best ideas while meditating." - Marilyn

As leader this week Nancy brought a huge bag full of prompts to choose from.

Next meeting is Sunday, April 27th. Marilyn is scheduled to lead.

Happy Easter all!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Okay, so I'm a little late. What the heck. It's not like it's a writing contest and I missed the deadline is it?
If you didn't attend our meeting on Sunday, you missed a great session. Danielle brought some orange note paper that we wrote words on, a sentence or whatever popped into our heads.

Then we passed a white sheet of paper to the left. We each made a sentence or two to start a story. We passed this to the left of us again and the person wrote another sentence to add to the story. And we kept passing them until we received the story that we’d started.
Now, I’ll be honest. I think I was the only person who only read the sentence directly above.  Then, I added whatever into popped in my mind. I admit it, crazy thoughts always pop into my head.

The premise of the exercise is to free the writer within and just write. Well we wrote unbelievably funny stuff.

I haven’t laughed this hard in years. I laughed until I cried. It was an extraordinary experience.
Here’s the fun the writers had with my first couple of lines.

            Willow loves to shop. In order to support her habit she became a drug dealer. Although she prefers the term, helping people become happy if only for an hour or whatever it takes.
            Each sale she made she pictured what item she would buy. Shining and big, small and dull, it didn’t matter. The idea of owning it makes her high.
            Her first stop of the day was the Salvation Army Thrift Shop. There were many treasures to be found there.
            She was low in cash at the moment so the mall was out of the question today. Here she could get a bunch of things with the $20.00 in her pocket.
            She stumbled across a large sombrero Mexican hat. How she had always longed for one.
            Also, a pair of pink florescent running shoes caught her eye.
            Just what I always wanted she thought a pair of pink florescent running shoes.
            A pair of polka-dot laces completed her footwear ensemble.
            A turquoise alligator-textured hand bag (when I read I added oh it’s not too good for the alligator) sat on a shelf near her head. As she took it down a weight inside the handbag shifted.
            The red leather bag caught her attention.
I said, “Oh my gosh! We sure have a lot of shoppers here.”
Maybe you had to be there.

My favourite line that I wrote was: it’s time to pray. God probably won’t listen to me ‘cause the only time I go to church is when I attend my writing meetings. I swear everybody laughed.
All I can say is that this reminded me of the beginning days of the Headwaters Writers’ Guild. You probably could hear us laughing all the way to East Garry.

Be brave. I challenge you to post your story here. Clare I double dog dare you!

Thanks Danielle. That sure was a lot of fun.
NEXT MEETING:   APRIL 6, 2014 - Nancy is leading.
Attend for the laughs, the fun, and the opportunity to hang out with writers. And most of all we miss you!

A Slant of Sunshine  Check it out for my story A Slant of Sunshine (from my collection AND MAYBE YOU FLOAT AWAY). Tell a story in under 250 words.  Cheers.

Monday, March 31, 2014

How I Became a Sci-fi Geek

Since reading Triggers by Robert J. Sawyer, I've been thinking about what triggered my love of a sci-fi.
Orignally posted  July 5, 2012  but now with some edits.
What can I say about the Amazing Spider-Man 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 fims are my favourite movies. My husband and I watched a lot of "B" sci-fi films. Back in the 70's, science fiction moves weren't popular until Star Wars. And then the quality of these films improved.

Most of my life, I’ve blamed my Grade 12 teacher, Mrs. Stewart for loving scence fiction. She suggested that we should read a sci-fi novel.

“No way. I read everything but not sci-fi," I said.

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 became hooked on the Dick Tracey comics and that's why he writes sci-fi.

With five kids, books were considered a luxury item in our family.  I didn't own any books. As a child, I could only afford comic books. Twice a month, I spent at least an hour at the corner convenience store selecting my new comic book.

I read Superman, Spider-Man, The Avengers, The Hulk, and X Men. But Spider-Man 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, when I watched the first Spider-Man movie I fell in love with superheros again. I hate to admit it but it’s been a long time since I’ve held a Spider-Man comic book or any other comic.  As a kid, I would have given anything to have superpowers.

In 2002, when The Lord of the Rings: The Twin Towers arrived at the movie theatre, my two friends and I were the only women there without men. We were delighted that we could share this experience together 'cause most of our women friends hate science fiction.

Today, all my daughters and my granddaughter, prefer scence fiction and fantasy movies. I am so proud. But really, it's no surprise, 'cause that's mostly what their parents watch.

And when I reminded my friend (who called me a geek) 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 sSci-Fi?”

I don’t think she was impressed.

P.S. I adored Mrs. Stewart (Mimico High Schoool).


Sunday, March 23, 2014

New Book Release

Diane's new novel The Mystery Lady is now available in e-book on Amazon.

You can purchase it here:

2014 One Book One County - Triggers by Robert J. Sawyer

One Book One County 2014

The 2014 One Book title was revealed on Tuesday, February 25 at the Orangeville Public Library. This year's 'One' to read is Triggers by Robert J. Sawyer. Set in Washington D.C., Triggers is a science fiction political thriller about the nature of memory.

"Constantly gripping on the surface and seriously provocative deep down." —The Wall Street Journal

"A tense, race-against-the-clock adventure with a surprise ending." —Library Journal

Join us in reading the OBOC 2014 title and sharing the experience with others in Dufferin County. It's a gigantic book club without the meetings.


Wednesday, April 9 - 7 p.m., Mill Street branch - Demystifying book editing with Adrienne Kerr, Robert J. Sawyer's editor. Please register with Orangeville, Grand Valley or Shelburne Public Library or BookLore.

Tuesday, May 13 - 7 p.m., OBOC Finale featuring Robert J. Sawyer - Centre Fellowship Church, 375 Hanson Blvd. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Orangeville, Grand Valley or Shelburne Public Library or BookLore.

Robert J. Sawyer 

Robert J. Sawyer is a best selling Canadian author who has won every international science fiction award. He is one of only eight authors in history to win all three of the science-fiction field's highest honors for best novel of the year: the Hugo Award (which he won for HOMINIDS), the Nebula Award (which he won for THE TERMINAL EXPERIMENT); and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (which he won for MINDSCAN).He is also the recipient of the Crime Writers of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award for mystery fiction. His novel FLASHFORWARD was the basis for the ABC TV series of the same name.
Robert was born in Ottawa and lives in Mississauga with his wife, poet Carolyn Clink.

For more information about Robert and his award-winning books, check out his web page:

The annual One Book One County program is presented by BookLore and the Grand Valley, Orangeville and Shelburne public libraries.

Monday, March 17, 2014


Hi all. Just wanted to turn you onto a cool website/podcast at  They encourage authors whose stories are accepted to record their story and send it to them as an audio file. My story MARCY CUNNINGHAM is one of two stories being broadcast for the month of March.  The story is from my (growing) collection of flash fiction tales entitled AND MAYBE YOU FLOAT AWAY. Take a listen. But... if you are prone to depression... beware!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

One Book One County 2014

When I talked to Joanne at the Grand Valley Public Library, she mentioned that the One Book in 2014 is Triggers by Robert J. Sawyer.

I said, "Oh, he's a sci-fi writer. I took some workshops with him."

I don't know exactly how she worded it but something to the effect that Triggers wasn't too science fiction. I laughed but I should have told her that I love sci-fi.

And of course I've read other books by Robert J. Sawyer. I am definitely a fan but I especially adored the Quintaglio Ascension Trilogy: Far-Seer, Fossil Hunter and Foreigner.

Sonja highly recommends Triggers.

For writers of any genre, Robert has valuable information on his website:
One Book One County 2014 - from Orangeville Library March 2014 Newsletter:
Triggers by Robert J. Sawyer

The title for the 6th annual One Book One County (OBOC) Dufferin is Triggers by Robert J. Sawyer. Set in Washington D.C., Triggers is a science fiction political thriller about the nature of memory.

Robert Sawyer launched OBOC 2014 at the Orangeville Public Library on Tuesday, February 25. He gave a lively presentation on why everyone should be open to reading science fiction.

If science fiction is not your usual genre of choice, Robert would like you to remember three key things. He writes science fiction that is set in the near future or present day not some far off world. A scientific event is central to the story and it wouldn't be the same without it. And it is main stream literature that is well written and plot driven.

Robert is a best selling Canadian author who has won every international science fiction award. He is one of only eight authors in history to win all three of the science-fiction field's highest honors (Hugo, Nebula, John W. Campbell Memorial Award)for best novel of the year.

The finale featuring Robert J. Sawyer is on Tuesday, May 13 at 7 p.m. at the Centre Fellowship Church, 375 Hansen Blvd. Tickets are $10.00 and are available at the Orangeville, Grand Valley and Shelburne Public Libraries and BookLore. Space is limited.

OBOC is presented by the three libraries in Dufferin County and BookLore. Check out the library website for more information.