Sunday, April 19, 2020
We may not be able to meet in person, but we're still hoping to continue the inspiration and motivation.
At this point I think any plans we have for Open Mic Night or any other events are totally on hold. We may actually have to skip Open Mic this year. We're taking it one day at a time right now.
1. After a long, hard winter, I couldn't wait to walk in the woods.
2. I was used to seeing wild animals in my rambles through the conservation area, but nothing prepared me for what I saw that day.
3. "What's that, Mommy?" My four-year-old daughter pointed at empty space.
4. I'd been through some tough times in my life. Accidents, betrayal, loss, you name it. Something told me this was going to be the worst yet.
5. As he hurried through the dark street, he hunched against the eyes seeking him. Phantom fingers brushed his spine, wracking him with shudders.
6. Most people think of animals as just animals. As a vet, I've learned each one has a personality as distinct as yours or mine.
7. The whole world was dancing in the jubilance of spring sunshine. Trees and wildflowers swayed in the breeze, birds swooped and pirouetted in a mating dance, squirrels wove arabesques as they chased each other.
8. The warmth of the sun and a teasing breeze lured me into sailing out of the bay. The forecast was good weather all weekend, so when a sudden squall pounced like a lion on my tiny craft, I was unprepared.
9. We spit on our pinkies and linked them in a solemn vow. We would never tell anyone what we were about to do, and no matter what happened we would face it together.
10. I have never told anyone what happened that day, until now. Now that I stare death in the face, secrecy is not only irrelevant but undesirable. People need to know.
Stay tuned for more information on when we will be able to resume meetings and possible events.
Sunday, April 5, 2020
HWG Writing Prompts April 5 2020
The Signs and their Ingredients
While we are all in this crazy state of being forced introverts for a while, I thought I would find a way to keep our brains active and the creative juices flowing.
In the midst of things, I'm busy doing edits for Drop Dead Cowboy which comes out in September. It's the cover ideas I'm struggling with but that will come!
I'm also finding online courses to build my word skills. Too bad it's not helping my typing some days! I tend to stumble over my fingers when I go too fast.
Anyway, I discovered this on Facebook one day and thought it would make for some fun prompts:
Aries: Flames directly from hell, shards of diamonds, the energy of a toddler, a gallon of caffeine
Taurus: clusters of emerald gemstones, the scent of old books, warm chocolate chip cookies, silk pajamas
Gemini: wind from a tornado, a pinch of salt, a child’s laughter, a cup of glitter
Cancer: shimmering tears, the moon’s light, the scent of lavender, water from an ocean storm
Leo: a Hollywood actresses’ tears, the pride of a lion, the morning sun’s rays, beaming highlighters
Virgo: freshly roasted coffee, the scent of new books, a bouquet of daisies, breeze of a fall afternoon
Libra: a cup of rose petals, a bottle of fruity perfume, creamy frosting, voice of Marilyn Monroe
Scorpio: deep rooted secrets, the eyes of a psychic, passion *added for flavour*, a midnight conversation
Sagittarius: a child’s optimism, a folk song riff, a language not yet known, wisdom of a philosopher
Capricorn: the bones of a warrior, a gallon of pessimism, a leader’s authority, Saturn’s tough layered rings
Aquarius: an alien brain, a tablespoon of stardust, holographic beams, one mystery flavored candy
Pisces: melatonin, a cup of cotton candy, the heart of a goddess, tears of a siren
Can't wait to see or hear what you all write!
If anyone wants to share it on our blog, please email me or Pat and we can post it for you.
Until we can read to each other out loud again....
Stay healthy and keep writing!
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Diane's 10th book is coming out! A book launch is being scheduled at BookLore in October. Stay tuned.
Diane participated in Tottenham Crime Writers of Canada Author Showcase and Panel on March 7th. Her review on that is posted below.
Sonja sent a proposal to the library regarding two events - Reader Feedback and a NaNoWriMo Write-in. The group agreed the reader feedback event should be scheduled for September 26th from 2-4pm, This has since been confirmed by the Library. We need ideas for catchy names for both of these events.
Judy read a prose about a childhood memory. This subsequently became our prompt for the day: Write about a childhood memory.
Sunday, March 22, 2020, 1:30-3:30pm
Monday, March 9, 2020
Last year, with seven published novels under my belt, I finally joined the Crime Writers of Canada. I was part of our Crime Writers Event in Orangeville last fall on September 28, 2019. I was nervous meeting such talented writers but came away inspired.
Then again on March 7, 2020, I attended my second CWC author event and I totally enjoyed it! This time, I was more relaxed and felt more like I belonged among such talented company, especially since I’d been on the Orangeville panel with Judy Penz Sheluk and Anita Arvast in September.
Eleven authors (6 women and 5 men) met at the Tottenham Community Centre and spoke to a small, but attentive audience about our process as well as answering a few questions from our wonderful host librarian, Kim Burgess. I found it intriguing that out of all eleven of us, only one professed to being a true plotter, aside from the non-fiction crime writers.
The highlight for me was getting to mingle and talk to fellow authors later. We exchanged stories about other events, how we come up with ideas for books, what we do to promote our books, and even what printer we use to get hard copies.
Our amazing panel:
Anita Arvast – Dr. Arvast is a professor of humanities and writes books in the true crime genre with an orientation to social justice. Her first book, Bloody Justice, was short-listed for the Arthur Ellis Award. Her subsequent book, What Killed Jane Creba, is being turned into a play.
David Albertyn – Born in South Africa, David Albertyn immigrated to Toronto in 1993. Writing stories since the age of six, a graduate of Queen’s University and the Humber School for Writers, David’s goal is to write visceral novels that are both thrilling and meaningful. He has coached tennis since 2005. https://davidalbertyn.com/
Diane Bator – A born writer and storyteller, once Diane Bator started writing, she’s never looked back and is the author of several mystery novels. When she’s not writing, she works in a theatre which may be subjected to immortality in a whole new series. She might even try writing a play.
Karen Grose – Karen Grose was born in Canada and lives with her family in Toronto. After a career as a teacher, principal, and superintendent, she turned her attention to writing. Set in Ontario, The Dime Box is her debut novel and she is currently working on a second. https://karengrose.ca/
Jim McDonald – Jim McDonald is a teacher, marriage officiant, DJ, actor, publisher and author. Jim is close to completing Heavy Weather, a historical thriller that follows the 1970 guerilla actions of Weather Underground, the terror group that bombed draft boards, courts of law and even the Pentagon. http://www.jimmcdonald.ca/
Daniel McTavish – Daniel McTavish has worked in the computer industry for over twenty years, spending thirteen years in North Carolina. He currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, but spends what time he can at his cottage in Norway Bay, Quebec, sharing morning writing sessions with passing porcupines and racoons. https://mctavishpublishing.com/about/
Hyacinthe Miller – An award-winning author, Hyacinthe’s work has been published in anthologies, magazines and online. Her debut novel, Kenora Reinvented, was released in late 2019. Hyacinthe is a founding member and Past President of the Writers’ Community of York Region and a member of numerous Canadian and International professionals writers’ groups.
Lorna Poplak – Lorna Poplak is a Toronto-based writer, editor and researcher with a fascination for the stories behind historical events. Her debut book, Drop Dead: A Horrible History of Hanging in Canada, was released in 2017. She is currently working on a second non-fiction book about Toronto’s infamous Don Jail. https://www.lornapoplak.com/
John Simpson – John Simpson was a journalist for many years as well as the author of crime fiction. His first book, Undercut, was runner-up to Kathy Reich’s Deja Dead in the first-novel category of the 1997 Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Awards. He lives in Barrie.
Judy Penz Sheluk – An Amazon International Bestselling Author, Judy Penz Sheluk writes the Marketville and Glass Dolphin Mystery series. Her short stories are included in several collections, including The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery and Suspense, which she also edited. Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, South Simcoe Arts Council, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves on the Board of Directors as Vice Chair. She splits her time between Alliston and Goulais River. http://www.judypenzsheluk.com/
Keith Weaver – After a 37-year career in engineering, and more than 50 years into a continuing reading addiction, Keith Weaver turned full time to a long-standing interest, writing. But instead of technical writing, he focuses now on fiction. Eight books later, this very active retirement continues.
While I’m still relatively new in the Crime Writers of Canada circle, I’ve found being a part of the group beneficial and am branching out to other groups such as Sisters in Crime as well. I meet new crime writers, learn more about the tax implications of being a writer, and find out more from other authors about their processes. What works for some, doesn’t always work for others.
For now, sharing their work, and mine, is what works for me!
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Hi all. Please take note of this event and date, and then contact me to register to take part in order to support an important service organization in our community. Summer is the leanest time of the year for the Food Bank, so here is a chance to top up their resources by doing what we love to do. Get in touch with any questions. Cheers.
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Sonja reported that she sent a proposal to the library regarding a NaNoWriMo event and a writers feedback event. The library is reviewing the proposal and will get back to us.
Judy suggested running a Shakespeare Sonnet Workshop (1 hour). Virginia suggested having Brian Henry in to give a writing workshop. We agreed to wait until we hear back from the library before putting forth more proposals.
After our prompts (below), June mentioned something about an Ode to a Salad. Since there was still some time left in our meeting we all decided to write an Ode to a Salad.
The writing prompt was taken from Writer's Digest - a game of Mad Libs.
Fill in the following:
1. A name
4. A place
8. Body part
10. Time of year
11. A verb ending in -ing
12. A consumer product
13. A formal occasion
14. Plural noun
15. A verb ending in -ing
17. Plural form of something you wear
18. A place
Now, insert the words in the story below where numerically indicated.
Call me _____1______. Some years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little to no _____2_____ in my _____3______, and nothing particular to interest me in ______4______, I thought I would ________5______ around a little and see the _____6______ part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing ______7_______ about the ______8_______; whenever it is a ______9______, _____10______ in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily ______11________ before ________12________ warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every _______13_______ I meet; and especially whenever my ______14______ get such an upper hand of me, that it requires strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately _____15_____ into the _____16______, and methodically knocking people's _____17________ off - then, I account it high time to get to _____18________ as soon as I can. This is my substitute for ______19______ and ____20______. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword, I quietly ______21________ to the _____22_______. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or the other, cherish very nearly the same feelings toward the ________23________ with me.
Sunday, March 8th, 1:30pm
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
This week's prompts had a romantic theme in honour of Valentine's Day.
What is Romance?
In the strictest academic terms, a romance is a in literature that involves a mysterious, adventurous, or spiritual line where the focus is on a that involves bravery and strong values, not always a love interest. However, modern definitions of romance also include stories that have a relationship issue as the main focus.
Examples of Romance
In the academic sense, an example of a romance is a story in which the main is a hero who must conquer various challenges as part of a quest. Each challenge could be its own story and can be taken out of the overall story without harming the plot.
§ A knight who wishes to prove himself by recovering a stolen heirloom from an enemy may find himself attempting to make his way through a dangerous wood filled with thieves.
§ Once he has accomplished this challenge, he may find himself climbing a tall mountain on which a group of people are in trouble. He would save the group somehow, and then move on.
§ Then the final stage: the enemy’s kingdom. There may be a fair maiden whom he meets and somehow helps or rescues, or perhaps she helps him.
But the fair maiden is not the focus of the story – his quest is the focus. Each story can be taken out, yet each builds the hero’s strength to face his final quest. These stories tend to be serious rather than humorous and touch on strong values.
A modern romance would include:
§ The story of a who keeps meeting the wrong type of people in his or her relationships or has run into a problem with a current love relationship.
§ The story would focus on the struggles the character faces while finding Mr. or Mrs. Right. The whole focus would be the relationship, although the character may also be dealing with other struggles, such as losing a job, handling difficult parents, etc.
These stories may be funny, sad, tragic, serious, or a mix. The obvious to the conflict would be finding the right person or saving the present relationship.
1. “I never stood a chance did I?”
“That’s the sad part. You did once.”
2. “I love you,” he whispers under his breath as the love of his life walks down the aisle to the man he is paid to assassinate.
3. She was beautiful in every way but, God, her feet stank.
4. I was used to being alone. Immortals learn to accept solitude after awhile. I only went on the blind date so that my friend would stop bugging me.
5. Father John looked over at Sister Mary. He didn’t even know her name before she’d taken her vows, but God help him, he was in love with her.
Write a story about:
a. A knight who goes on a quest to save a dragon.
b. People who meet at an animal shelter.
c. Two people who hated each other as children and meet at a singles night event.
d. Someone who falls in love with a ghost.
Choose a candy heart (a box of candy hearts was provided) and use what is written on it to complete one of the sentences below.
i. When I came back from lunch, there was a candy heart on my keyboard. It said __________.
ii. I couldn’t wait to see what was in the mysterious package I’d picked up from the post office. Inside was a bag of candy hearts. The message _____________ was on every one of them.
iii. Cereal was still my go-to breakfast in the morning. But today when I upended the box to my bowl, candy hearts came out instead. They all said ____________.
iv. A stranger bumps into you and you feel them grab your hand. When you look, there is a candy heart in your palm with the message ______________.
Sunday, November 23rd
Monday, January 20, 2020
We discussed possible dates for this year's Open Mic Night. Thursday, April 30th was settled upon. Due to the change in the library's hours, the event will take place from 6pm to 8pm.
There is a giant book sale in Elora on May 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Members of the group are going to go together on Saturday, May 2nd, to fill up their book bags.
We discussed more ideas for events in 2020. An informal event surrounding NaNoWriMo in November will be proposed to the library. It was also suggested we do a Beta Reader Day at one of our meetings inviting authors of the community to participate.
Continue to work on your writing prompts and submit them to Virginia for the anthology. We are hoping to publish this fall.
1. Even a kick in the butt is a step forward.
2. You go for a walk in fresh snow. Suddenly you realize you're not leaving any footprints.
3. He stared at the lottery ticket and read the numbers eleven times before he was sure.
4. Tell a story about a celebrity meeting you.
5. Her job interview did not go so well.
6. Write a story about someone cleaning out their attic. They find an old piece of clothing, and inside of the pocket is an old keepsake.
7. Write about a character's secret area of expertise, something most of their acquaintances would be surprised to learn they know tons about.
8. "You're early," he finally says.
Sunday, February 9th, 1:30pm
Monday, January 6, 2020
Happy New Year!
Virginia announced that we will be proceeding with the anthology. We don't have enough submissions so we are extending the deadline to September 1, 2020. Please submit any of your writings created from writing prompts. Expand on them if you feel it is necessary.
We discussed the 4th Annual Open Mic this coming April. It should be the week of April 20th. Patricia will consult with Harry, and then the Library, as to what date would be suitable.
Brian announced that he participated at his first Open Mic with positive feedback. He is a new member of our group and are proud of how quickly he is progressing.
Brian also announced that the gentleman who played Big Bird passed away. MuppetsMindset.com is accepting submissions of tribute. Brian submitted a poem which was accepted.
January is the month of beginnings. According to the Romans it was ruled by the two-faced god Janus. One face looked backward to the past, one forward to the future. Write a story or an essay inspired by one of the following:
1. A character, looking back, makes a decision about the future.
2. An inauspicious beginning.
3. Something that started out well but ended badly.
4. Something that started out badly but ended well.
5. The beginning of a relationship.
6. People laughed when I told them my New Year's resolution.
7. At least this year started out better than last year.
8. Janusz is the Polish form of "John", meaning "God is gracious" or at least that's what the book of baby names says. The Janusz I went to school with didn't reflect God's graciousness. He was more like Janus - two-faced.
9. There's an old saying "In my beginning is my end". I sure hope that isn't true.
Next Meeting: Sunday, January 19th, 1:30pm
Diane will be leading.
Sunday, January 5, 2020
Happy New Year!
One of the fun things I've been doing this past year is a Sunday blog post called Escape with a Writer Sunday. I've had a very busy few months with some great authors, but I'm always looking for new people to appear on my blog!
Who can join the fun?
Anyone! I've had authors from all over the world send me their bios and book information to help promote their great new novels.
How do you find the site?
Easy, peasey! Check out http://dbator.blogspot.com to see what I do and read about new-to-you authors and their books.
Do you have a book you'd love to promote?
Please find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dianebatorauthor/ or message me via my website http://penspaintsandpaper.com/index.html
All the best in 2020!