Sunday, March 20, 2016

Laughable Limericks

Following in Clare's footsteps

There once was a man called Clare
Whose face was covered with hair
He said with a grin, as he scratched at his chin
I'm the ginger-haired son of a bear.

More to come later
Marilyn Kleiber

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

In the book club that I belong to, we read a story on DNA and the possible effects that it may have on your actions. A friend mentioned a possible issue with DNA. The homework was to write anything Irish story. I combined my obsession with DNA and then I wrote, I am From.

By Nancy Rorke 

I am from Ui Briuin a fifth-century Irish King of Connacht and the first O Ruarc (a Viking name that means famous king) who was the King of Breifne. I am from the four more O’Rourkes who were the Kings of Connacht and who were one of the most powerful families in Ireland. 

I am from Tiernan O’Rourke (King of Breifne, 11241172) who donated money for the gorgeous The Book of Kells, completed by the church. I am humbled and speechless at its beauty 

Unfortunately, Tiernan fought ruthlessly with Dermot MacMurrough. When Dermot seized Tiernan’s wife, possibly with her consent, they became mortal enemies. Dermot fled to England and brought the Normans to Ireland. The Irish lost everything, including their language, the right to own land, and later, the right to be educated. He became the most hated man in Ireland and his descendants changed their last name.  

I am from John Rorke (b. 17[-) and Phebe Ruddock (born 18681821). John’s father, Patrick Rorke, possibly dropped the O when he became a Quaker. John moved to Waterford near Dublin. He had thirteen children. Most of his family immigrated to Canada between 1820 and 1826, years before the 1845 famine. John died on the way to Canada to join his children, and was buried on Staten Island. 

I am from Richard Coates line, my third-great-uncle, who built the first pipe organ in Ontario, was a musician and an artist. He lives on the pages of the Internet. 

I am from my grandmother, Gertrude Sullivan Rorke. Her mother, Isabellawas Englishbut Gertrude Sullivan’s family fought against the English with my friend’s family, the McCarthys. 

am from the still waters of sorrow, harboured regrets, and an indescribable longing to return home to Ireland. 

I am from the Vikings who live in my DNA and possess me, and who enableme to protect myself or go to the death if need be.  

I am from the dark secrets and the anguish that lives in my soul from the days of long ago. 

I am from eons of Irish and Viking storytellers who embellish the truth to make up the best story possible. I am from those who never let anything go and hold onto to every wrong doing, and try to even the score. I am Irish to the core of my being.  

Posted on behalf of Nancy Rorke

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sonja Wolter's Book Review: Weeping Water by J.T. Ruby

“Not every second chance is a gift.”

This is the tag line that caught my attention when I first picked up this book by local Orangeville author J.T. Ruby. Weeping Water is a fast paced thriller that journeys into a world where reanimation of the dead becomes a reality.

The summary promises the story of Anastasia Ripley and her journey to reconnect with a world that she parted from some fifty years earlier. However, I found that the real story was in the journey of Elliot Asher, a savvy bank account manager, who finds himself on the same journey shortly after securing a deal with CryoCore, an experimental cryonics program that preserves the dead in liquid nitrogen.

I really enjoyed the characters of Elliot and his fiancĂ©e, Cacy Philips. Their relationship before and after the cataclysmic events was loving and real. J.T. Ruby did a fantastic job with these characters and their story. When we do meet Anastasia “Annie” again, she is almost a secondary character in the novel, but I do like the way she and Elliot connect in a synchronistic twist of fate.   

Where the story starts lagging for me is near the end of the book, after Annie meets a kindly couple who are willing to help her situation. After being fully introduced to the couple, they are quickly removed and replaced with a number of other characters that have no purpose in the resolution of the story. There is even one character who seems to have his own short story.

I was hoping for good sense to prevail when Annie finally meets up with Elliot again, but there was a dangerously childish act of “revenge” that left me groaning. None the less, I would have been okay with it if there had been a clear resolution and after story. There wasn’t.  That left me a bit disappointed. There was definitely the possibility of wrapping up the story to some conclusion, but I felt I was left hanging at the end.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. I kept turning the page to see what was going to happen next and that’s certainly the sign of an excellent story. There are a few grammatical and factual blips peppered throughout the book that a good proof reader might have been able to pick up, but they are worth ignoring for the excellent writing that is present for most of the novel.

A great first novel for J.T. Ruby. I look forward to seeing more from this author.

Monday, March 7, 2016

HWG Meeting, Sunday, March 7, 2016


The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.” —Philip Roth

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” —Ernest Hemingway

“Let the world burn through you. Throw the prism light, white hot, on paper.” —Ray Bradbury, WD


1. 2 Gold coins, an old pressed four-leaf clover, a book on magic.

2. I know I've lived before.

3. I will never leave you or forsake you.

4. Only two weeks into the New Year had passed and Tim had already broken his first resolution: Don't kill anyone. (Writer’s Digest)

5. Start with I hadn’t had a drink in nearly 10 years” and end it with “If only I could remember where I left my pants.

6. My grandmother's name was…

7. The windshield wipers squeaked against the window of the abandoned car”

8. In 100 years in the future --- the last shuttle leaves Earth.


1. Create a poem using Emily Dickinson's "Bring me the sunset in a cup" as a starting point.

2. Write a poem about the color red or another color. (Some ideas for brainstorming: How does the color make you feel? What things do you associate with that color?)

Next Meeting Sunday, March 20, 2016

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Richard Scarsbrook returns to Orangeville

Get Writing with Richard - Writing, Revising & Editing

March 31, 2016, 6:30pm - 8:30pm | Orangeville Public Library | Library
Join Canadian award-winning author, teacher and entertainer Richard Scarsbrook for the first in a series of creative writing workshops for adults. This two hour workshop focuses on writing, revising & editing – the three stages of the writing process.

Richard Scarsbrook is the author of seven books: Cheeseburger Subversive, Featherless Bipeds, Destiny’s Telescope, The Monkeyface Chronicles, Nothing Man and The Purple Zero, Six Weeks and The Indifference League. Richard's forthcoming novel Rockets versus Gravity will be published in 2016 with a special book launch at the Orangeville Public Library on September 29.

Richard won the 2011 White Pine Award, and his books have been finalists for the CLA Book of the Year Award, the Stellar Book Prize, and the ReLit Award. Richard teaches Creative Writing at George Brown College and The Humber School for Writers.

This free workshop requires no registration. Workshop dates: March 31April 28May 26, and June 30