Sunday, January 31, 2016

Gratitude to a Writing Group by Diane Bator

April 2016 will mark my 9th year as a member of the Headwaters Writers' Guild. I can honestly say I owe my writing career to the amazing members of this group.

When I first joined the group, I had already been writing for many years, but always afraid to publish the things I wrote. I never believed I was good enough. The members of this group were as gracious with their praise as they were their criticisms. At each meeting, I gained strength and belief that I did have a little bit of talent and worked hard to stitch together the things I wrote to create my first novel The Bookstore Lady, which I shopped around to several publishers. In 2010, I won a writing contest sponsored by Wynterblue Publishing. From there, my writing career sprouted fledgling wings.

It wasn't until I met a lady in an online critique group that I was introduced to my current agent, Dawn Dowdle at Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Dawn sold my first book to Books We Love, Ltd and my first series, Wild Blue Mysteries, was born. What a great celebration to hold that first book in my hands and be able to share it with the rest of the group. That was quickly followed by two more books with two more on the way.

Then in 2013 I submitted a second book to my agent. In no time, we'd secured a contract from Gemma Halliday Publishing for my Gilda Wright Mystery series. As I write this, I am awaiting the release of the third book in this series on April 11, 2016.


I am also in the process of writing an entire new book based on Gemma Halliday's Danger Cove series. For the first time ever, one of my main characters is an English Sheepdog found by protagonist Laken Miller. Should be a fun ride!

Thank you to all of my great friends here at the HWG! Without your love and support, I wouldn't have all these great stories to share with the world. What an amazing group we have!! 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Brian Henry Writing Workshop - Dufferin County Area

Writing Your Life & Other True Stories, Saturday, March 16, in Alton

The Caledon Public Library presents…
Writing Your Life & Other True Stories
Saturday, March 19, 2016
10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Alton Branch of Caledon Public Library, 35 Station Street, Caledon, Ontario (West of Hwy 10, North of Regional Road 24, south of Hwy 9. Map here.)

Have you ever considered writing your memoirs or family history? This workshop will introduce you to the tricks and conventions of telling true stories and will show you how to use the techniques of the novel to recount actual events. Whether you want to write for your family or for a wider public, don't miss this workshop.

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’s most popular blog for writers, teaches creative writing at Ryerson University and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Charlottetown. Along with Cecilia-Anca Popescu, Brian is the co-author of Bloody Christmas, a memoir of love and revolution, which is currently under consideration with a literary agent. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get published.

Fee (including lunch!): 40.71+ 13% hst = 51 paid in advance
or 43.36 + 13% hst = 
55 if you wait to pay at the door

To let us know you’re coming, email
Or phone the library at: 905-857-1400

To register, bring cash or drop a cheque off at any branch of the Caledon Public Library (Albion-Alton, Belfontain, Bolton, Caledon East, Caledon Village, Inglewood, or the Margaret Dunn Valleywood Branch – map of all branches here) or mail a cheque to:
Albion-Bolton Branch Caledon Public Library
150 Qyeen Street South
Bolton ON L7E 1E3

Battle of the Stories--Last chance to vote!

Words the Orangeville Way - Battle of the Stories

Vote for your favourite story.
L-battle of the stories.jpg
At this year’s second annual Words the Orangeville Way (WOW) literary festival on Saturday, November 21, a literary duel took place at the Battle of the Stories workshop facilitated by local authors Harry Posner and Anthony Carnovale.
Participants of the Battle of the Stories workshop were split up into two teams to delve into diction, mangle metaphors, and collaborate to create a short story that could withstand the rigours of battle and public opinion.
The time has now come for the public to vote and tell us which short story is the victor!
It Doesn't Fit
Round Three
After reading through each short story, please vote for your favourite by going to the link below.
Voting will end January 31 and the winner will be announced on February 1.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

"The Muse" by Nancy Rorke


Some days I don’t know why I even bother to write. On these dismal days, I ask the muse to pour inspiration into my creative soul. It seems as if she taunts me. I can almost hear her say:

“Why should I show up at your command? Wouldn’t it be best if you practiced every day? How much easier would it be for me to find you? I never know when you’re ready to sit down and write.

If you wait for inspiration, you could die, waiting. Great writers sit their butts on the chair at regular intervals and I know where to find them.

If you want to be a writer, write. With each word that you put on the page, you are one step closer to realizing your dream of finishing your first draft of your novel or anything else that you have chosen to write.

Don’t talk to me of distractions. Do you think I’m never interrupted? Constantly, writers call on me asking why I have forsaken them. I have never abandoned a committed writer. I hover beside them, and I pour inspiration into their creative souls.

They understand the key to writing is within. Committed writers ban their inner critic to the slush pile. They ignore it, knowing that writing begets writing. Dedicated writers focus on writing. They know that the act of writing will bring inspiration.

Don’t pick on yourself. You already have fear attacking your every pore. Why would you degrade your creative child by saying, ‘my writing sucks' or 'I’ll never become a writer.’?

Don’t let the demons of doubt paralyze you and prevent you from accomplishing your calling or your vocation.

Remember within each person lies the ability for greatness. Persevere and become the writer of your dreams."

By Nancy Rorke
From her soon to be published book Voice of the Soul.

January 24, 2016 HWG Meeting

S.J. led the meeting today. She gave us the first page of three different books to read, analyze and discuss. Though we had differing opinions, we agreed on the following points that must be present on the first page of any book.

  • wondering/mystery should invoke the reader
  • characters - make us care
  • the first line must hook the reader
  • setting, conflict and story line/topics are important for the opening
  • pacing shouldn't be slow
  • avoid cliches and extra words
  • be careful of inconsistencies and inaccuracies
It was a lengthy discussion among our seven members in attendance. There was no time to write so it is our homework for the next meeting to write an opening page to a story (2-3 paragraphs) keeping the above notes in mind. Hopefully we'll see some posted here.

Our next meeting is Sunday, February 7th at 1:30pm

2016 - A New Year for the Headwaters Writers' Guild

I took a picture of one of our members at group. As I came to post it I decided to write a little ditty to go with it. So here is Clare, and think of the tune to the Beverly Hillbillies.

Let me tell you a story 'bout a man named Clare
A retired school teacher who is losing his hair.
One day he was shooting a bunch of crap
When he turned around and bought this cap.

Fur, that is, coyote fur.
Worn on his head.
Keeps him warm, he said.

A new year for the Headwaters Writers' Guild, our 13th year. And we're going to become a little more active here. Members of our group will be submitting and/or posting essays about writing, excerpts from stories they've written, poetry, or writings from prompts at group.

Now I'll share a picture of the wishful thinker who is running this page:

Mary Patricia Bird