Category Archives: poem

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

So my excitement got the better of me and I forgot to write this post – so sorry for my tardiness. I have been busy tying up loose ends, revising freelance projects and ensuring I can leave for my writing retreat tomorrow with a clear desk. On the retreat I will only focus on my writing, which will enable me to ‘complete’ two manuscripts and add to another. These are my retreat goals.

  1. Final read of Life in Slake Patch
  2. Complete revisions and read through of The Twesome Loop
  3. Continue to write my newest story, Bubble the Gruggle.
  4. Enjoy no TV, no cell service and no WiFi.
  5. Converse, share and enjoy my retreat companions company.
  6. Indulge in the most fantastic meals.
  7. Enjoy reading curled up in a cozy corner.

Books:

Her Fearful Symmentry by Audrey Niffenegger – I will most certainly finished this book this week. Just love the characters.

Symmentry

Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn – chances are as this is more novella than novel that I will finish this book over my writing retreat as well.

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Then onto new stories!

Writing Tips:

Learn from the masters:

Read works by highly successful authors to learn what earns a loyal readership.
Read works by the canonical authors so you understand what constitutes a respectable literary achievement.

Creek 2016 7Strawberry Creek

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

This week I have several events to attend, firstly my writers foundation Board meeting on Tuesday evening. Our main discussion will the final details for our writers conference later this month on 22nd. It is our eighth conference and we have made this one Canadian themed in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday!  http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com/node/3090

Conference logo 2017

My second meeting of the week is the Arts & Culture Council’s AGM on Wednesday evening. As President I have to chair the meeting and give an annual review. This will be my first AGM as President so wish me luck!

accsc logo

Finally I will be reading on Saturday at a local coffeehouse, I will probably read from Ockleberries to the Rescue if there are children present otherwise from The Rython Kingdom. Just need to decide on the sections I will read. I also wrote several little stories for this event as we are giving out ‘story eggs’ to the audience.

sgc reading 15 April

Please share your local events in the comments. Whether near or far.

The Bosun Chair.jpeg

Audrey’s Books, Jasper Avenue, Edmonton

https://www.facebook.com/events/279415175825554/

Register for our conference if you are in the Edmonton area.

Conference logo 2017

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

This week I have two events. Firstly, tonight I will attend a meeting of the Diversity Committee, who are co-hosting an event with one of my other organizations I volunteer with, the Arts & Culture Council. The event is a celebration of Canada’s 150 but also to bring the artistic and cultural diversity of our locality to the public. There has been a hive of activity to bring together numerous groups and individuals for this event and it is logistically demanding. Luckily with so many volunteers assisting in this venture the workload has been spread, making it easier to cope with. We are on countdown to 11th June for Heritage Day of Strathcona County.

Heritage Day 2017

My next event is on Tuesday, which is the regular meeting of my writing group, the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County. I always look forward to these meetings not only because it is fun to exercise a writing prompt, I create and hear the responses but to share my work and get valuable feedback as well as network. There are a few core people that never miss the meeting but lots of ‘new’ and ‘irregular’ visitors as well so we never know how many people to expect. Sometimes it is five other times nineteen. It makes the evening a lot of fun.

Writeres Foundation of Strathcona County

Do you attend a regular writing group?

What format does it take?

Other events:

From April 5–9, over a dozen Canadian writers will gather for the ImagiNation Festival at the Morrin Cultural Centre in Quebec City, QC.

The 18th Annual North Shore Writers Festival happens April 7–8 at North Vancouver City Library in North Vancouver, BC.
Book Cover GritLit

The fantastic gritLIT Readers and Writers Festival takes place April 7–10 in Hamilton, ON; the lineup is yet to be announced.  UPDATE HERE: http://www.gritlit.ca/

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


This week is a little less hectic with two events on my schedule. Both are enjoyable in different ways. Firstly I am co-hosting a regular writing group in a local senior’s lodge. These meetings are filled with memoir, wisdom and laughter and I feel honored to be a part of it. The meetings began as part of a program my writing foundation created after creating a guide book of sorts. I also co-wrote the book.

Lifetime

This workbook is based on the presentation, Your Lifetime of Stories ~ Ideas for Writing Memoirs, written and presented by the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County (WFSC). Subsequently the group was asked to present this session at various venues in their community. The positive response received, and the request for more information, prompted members of the WFSC to compile the workshop details and comments into a workable format – so you could begin to collect your memories and share your story. This led to a program for residents in local senior lodges and the creation of regular writing groups.

The practical suggestions included in the pages of this book will suggest to you ways you can identify, record, and organize your collection of memories so you can begin to write your stories. It is not a how to write but a how to begin workbook. http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/retail/books/your-lifetime-stories

Contributing authors: Mandy Eve-Barnett, Linda J. Pedley, and Karen Probert

My second event is at my local library with a friend and fellow author, who wants to discuss her manuscripts and which direct/project she should pursue. Our last meeting was over lunch but ended up being four hours long! Such a treat to be totally absorbed in our writing life.

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What writing or reading events do you have planned this week?

Other local events:

Stories From the Front Porch: Stories for Adults

Strathcona County Library  Mon Mar 20, 7:00pm – 8:45pm
Join Sylvia Hertling and Friends for a cup of tea and to honor the age old tradition of the story-sharing circle.
This informal gathering, powered by TALES Strathcona, celebrates World Storytelling Day with historical, family and personal stories amongst friends. Writer in Residence, Richard Van Camp will also contribute a story at the event.

Edmonton Poetry Festivalhttp://www.edmontonpoetryfestival.com/schedule/

MacEwan University – Book of the Year.

Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven, Book of the Year 2016/17. The free reading is open to the public on Thursday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. Emily will be answering questions on-stage and signing books as part of the evening. http://www.macewan.ca/wcm/MacEwanEvents/AnnualEvents/MacEwanBookoftheYear/ThisYear%E2%80%99sBook/index.htm

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Author Madeleine Thien – Arden Theatre – Mar 29, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

St. Albert Public Library presents a STARFest author: Madeleine Thien. The 2016 book from this award-winning novelist and short story writer, Do Not Say We Have Nothing, tells one family’s tale within the unfolding of recent Chinese history. It won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, and Scotiabank Giller Prize. It was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize….
Ottawa’s Versefest runs March 21–26, and it features writers from all around the world.

LitFest NewWest celebrates readers, writers, and community March 31–April 2 in New Westminster, BC.

Add your local events here too

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

This week is Board meeting week – my first meeting is tomorrow for the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County – we will be planning our annual conference, which will be held on 22nd April as well as numerous other agenda items. On Wednesday it is the Arts & Culture Council meeting, where once again planning will be in full swing for our AGM on 12th April and our heritage day event in June. So all in all a busy time for the next few months.

I find that involvement in these boards can be time consuming at times but it brings so many benefits. To be involved with these art organizations gives me the chance to meet new people, experience new art forms and have fun planning events!

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I did manage to attend the open mic event last Wednesday evening and read to a full house! I did worry I would begin coughing but manage to read all of my excerpt from The Twesome Loop without coughing once, although my mouth was arid. There were so many wonderful people to connect with and the readings were excellent. One woman read for the very first time in public while others were old hands. We heard poetry, rants, manuscript excerpts and one young poet (14 years old) read an exceptional piece called Beautiful for Women’s Day. She was amazing.

Do you have any writing or reading events this week? Care to share?

Other events:

wordsthaw

In Victoria, BC, WordsThaw returns to warm the University of Victoria from March 16–20.

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

This week’s events for me are:

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My regular monthly writers meeting is on Tuesday evening. It is always different as we never know how many members and visitors will attend – new faces arrive all the time. After introductions we announce future events and encourage submissions for our newsletter, the Canada 150 book project we have scheduled this year and use of prompts on our website calendar. http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com

I organize a prompt exercise to start the evening or on request plan a presentation on a particular subject regarding writing. Then we share and discuss current work in progress. Our mandate is constructive critique and acceptance of everyone’s individual style.

The second event is an open mic at a local cafe, Common Ground Cafe hosted by our current Writer in Residence. As I missed the last reading due to ill health I hope to attend.

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8th March – 7 pm to 8.30 pm – all welcome whether reading or listening!

Other events:  

Growing Room: A Feminist Literary Festival is a celebration of diverse Canadian writers and artists presented by Room magazine.
The festival runs March 8th – 12th, 2017 at various locations in Vancouver, BC.

The festival features 50 writers and artists in more than 20 events over 4 days. Among the line-up are acclaimed writers Amber Dawn, Evelyn Lau, Lorna Crozier, Audrey Thomas, Jen Sookfong Lee, Hiromi Goto, Betsy Warland, and Rachel Hartman, who’ll share the stage with a host of other established and up-and-coming names.

Why not share your events too?

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

We celebrate Family Day today (Canada), which although is a great day off work and the added bonus of being a Monday, it is also extra time to enjoy our families. As an immigrant my writing friends have become family as well as my nucleus family here in Alberta. Over the weekend I enjoyed extra time with my daughter and son with activities and a large roast dinner. I also met a writing friend for lunch, Kathie Sutherland she is a superb poet and a kind soul.

 

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My only event this week is on Saturday, when I will read an erotic segment from my current work in progress, The Twesome Loop. Our current Writer in Residence persuaded me to attend so I have been revising and editing like a thing possessed. This will be the first time I have read such a piece to the public and I admit I am rather nervous about it. Without doubt I will go ‘beet red’ as I read, maybe I can find a fan to help?

On the Keemooch (“On the Sneak”) Celebrate Freedom to Read Week 2017 with provocative spoken word performances and poetry. Adults only. Wine will be served. Sat Feb 25 | 7:00 – 9:00 pm Strathcona County library

keemoch

Have you read something that made you uncomfortable?

How did you cope?

Audrey’s Books, Events, Edmonton

Rick Lauber “Caregiver’s Guide for Canadian’s – Thursday 11.00

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Robert Bhatia “Passage across the Mersey” – Thursday 19.00

 

Past & Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…Post revision


 

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This past Saturday I had an enjoyable ‘writerly’ day – coffee with a new author friend discussing publishing, promotion, writing and getting to know each other. Then off to an author reading at Social Grounds cafe organized jointly by the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County and Dream Write Publishing. Although the audience was smaller than I would have liked, they were engaged and appreciative. What more can an author hope for?

I read a section of The Rython Kingdom, which some of you may know is a fantasy romance novella set in medieval England. Go figure I’m English! Anyway the book (e-book if you prefer) is actually two stories in one. The first is the story of my protagonist, Guillem Ruet a famed troubadour and how he finds himself not only relaying a tale to the King but aids in the fight against a malevolent witch aiming to destroy the King and his kingdom. The other ‘story’ is the one Guillem tells the King and his courtiers in the great hall.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/214247

http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/retail/books/rython-kingdom

I can reveal that I am working with a cover designer on The Rython Kingdom and will launch a ‘new’ cover in the next few months. Watch this space.

Local events coming up:

YOUNG AUTHOR’S CONFERENCE   FEBRUARY 25, 2017  TOMORROW’S WRITERS TODAY 

https://www.eips.ca/students/yac

If you have an event or reading this week please feel free to add it to the comments below.

Happy Writing.

Man Writing

 

 

 

Writing Prompt Responses 2016…Voting is Open


I would be honored if you would take the time to vote for your favorite prompt contest responses – these participants took the time to write something for the competition and I would like to give them a prize for doing so. Leave your vote in the comment section please.

Stone Car – February 20th Prompt

Linda Pedley  (Wildhorse)
The concrete holds me to the road

As I take the curve into the rain
It’s not the destination but the mode
Let go the nerves and go again.

Can our stories written deep in stone
Change despite apparent plan?
All life’s paths go same direction
Can’t change the fates – no one can.

Eric James Olson

Stone Car in the Woods

What difference does perception make?
Parked here, alone but not beside
the road. Enfolded in leaves and green.
Can I be heard?

I shouldn’t be. Let me be clear:
I’m a car made from stones, scraps of metal, used tires.
That’s no metaphor. That’s what I am.
Literally.

And yet—there’s a consciousness in things
Inanimate. Like the other day.
A boy came out to this place in the woods.
He sat down across from me.

I can’t move, of course.
But he can and he came out to me.
And in his mind, a story formed
Of how I came to be—stuck here

By some unseen hand.
Is that not existence? A man made me.
And this boy saw me. Does it matter that
I can’t see him, feel him, hear him?

What difference does perception make?

Coldhandboyack

I don’t know about this, man.”

“Trust me, Benny. The cops will never spot it this way. We’ll just leave the loot in the car. Give it a couple of days and we can dig it out and drive into the night.”

A Chipmunk’s Life – June 25th Prompt

Sharon Baggs

Adult squirrel Perched on a cliff Must be a girl See her fancy quiff.

She searched the rock To see it was safe. Checked out the talk Saw no friendly face.

None of her pals Was she able to chase Where were the guys’n gals? No one to race.

So on this morn She chewed a treat, Feeling so forlorn They’d planned to meet.

She continued her snack A chew then a nibble, Her lips a quiver and smack. T’is better than kibble.

Out came friend Sue Who was a Chipmunk Abra- ca- dabra she was one too Disguise was her funk.

All the squirrels were mean So she used Dad’s power, Became a chipmunk Queen To frolic with Sue for an hour.

Cause after that Back into a squirrel, She turned stat Gave her head a whirl.

Oh, what fun with Sue If only she could stay, As a chipmunk Whoo Hoo! They could always play.

A Cinderella Dream !

Jade Figure – July 9 Prompt

Eli Pacheco

“Ha!” I could hear her in the other room. I knew exactly what she’d found.
“Um, babe … what the heck is this?”
I abandoned the twist of hangers and clean shirts that would now need cleaning to see her sitting in the middle of boxes with IT. She held it up to the light, strands of her blond hair out of the bun and framing her face. Her smile revealed equal parts wonder and confusion.
“I’ve always said I’d toss that the first move it gets broken in,” I explained.
Marin tapped on the glass with two fingernails. “It’s made of kryptonite, apparently.” She set it on the carpet in front of her and squinted. “Not a sixth-grade art project either, though, am I right?” For such ugliness, the craftsmanship was incredible.
“I think they’ve just mated,” I said, using that line for the thousandth time. It was funny the first time. “Or, they’ve just mated. That’s the boy butterfly, beating it for home before she eats his head.” My college roommate hypothesized they were both girls. But that’s a different story.
I’d followed Marin from Boston to Durham, N.C.
No regrets. Construction jobs come in every city. Marin, though, was an artisan. A carpenter. Can you believe that? The girl has carpenter pants in her closet that have actually held a hammer. Every time I’d compliment her on the craft of building a shelf or decorative piece, she reminded me.
“Carpentry isn’t for sissies, you know,” she’d say, without looking up from her work.
Maybe that’s why she reacted differently from any other woman I’d met to this ugly statue. I’d bought it when I was 11, for my mom, for mother’s day. It became the butt of jokes ever since in the family. The year before, I gave mom a Rodney Dangerfield album. I thought this to be an elegant upgrade.
“Have a place in mind for it?” she asked. She rocked back and onto her feet, arms outstretched for effect. Like she’d just nailed the landing off a pommel horse. I met this girl at a 9/11 vigil just off Boylston Street.
I’d followed my uncle to Boston for work. Only, with so much rain, there wasn’t much to do. I sustained myself on cereal and waited it out. I’d had so little work before the day I met Marin that it felt my hands hand grown soft. The week before, the Sox/Blue Jays finale got rained out.
I had bleacher tickets and everything – two, with no one in mind to take.
Anyway, I met Marin at this rally that I wouldn’t have been interested in had the week not been so rain-soaked and workless. I’d let the troubles of my world bounce around in my mind for days. I thought the relevance of the day could assuage that a bit. And it didn’t.
Until I saw her.
Now here I was, watching her hold up the mistake of a mother’s day gift that had stubbornly survived a handful of moves. She held it aloft, at first close, then at arm’s length. Immediately I remembered the snickering when mom lifted it from an oatmeal container decorated with paint.
“I do,” she said of what would become “fugglyfly’s” new home.
I remembered my oldest brother suggesting a place to put it that wasn’t exactly comfortable. Or probably physically possible. Instead, Marin walked out into the kitchen, to the end of the bar. I followed, as always.
She pushed aside my blender and two small boxes and placed the figure on the kitchen bar, way to the back, where I thought it would be easy to hide it behind something else. Anything else.
“Parfait,” she whispered, even though she knew French about as well as she did decorum. Marin stepped back, over my bag of golf discs, hands on hips. She adjusted a track light onto the figure, and turned it around. Ugly art has no front and back.
“That’s ridiculous,” I muttered, and realized how awful that must have sounded.
It occurred to me I’d assumed Marin’s actions were to ridicule. They weren’t. She didn’t even know the story. She hadn’t even asked. Even now, in my petulance, she leaned on a bar stool and waited. No reaction. No judgement.
I explained the story, and found myself looking more at my hands and feet than my girlfriend. “But it’s jade, isn’t it?” she asked. “It looks like jade. Smells like jade, too,” she said for comic effect. You know what? No one in my family had ever brought that up. Hell yes, it looks like jade.
I waited for the laughter burst, the proclamation, “you poor boy. How did you know it was horrid?” Nope. Still, no such thing. Marin instead told me that when her father died, she found bracelets and rings she’d made for him when she was little, in his jewelry box, next to his wedding ring.
She’d found artwork of hers, some of it unidentifiable, in his safe, with his will.
We talked a little more about stuff from our childhoods. Nothing bitter. I’d felt like a lot of what I did was misunderstood. I turned and looked through the open bedroom door and remembered the cramped closet space and so low to the ground toilet.
I wondered how we’d share sink space. If my beef jerky would go over well with a girl more likely to dry banana and kiwi chips than beef flank steak. I could see some battles, and that didn’t have anything to do with whose tools would go where. Or if my towels were towel-bar worthy.
She’d been the first, though, to unpack this symbol of my childhood mistakes this way. Makes me think we’ll be all right.
Makes me think I could even give kiwi chips a shot.

Invisible – August 6 prompt

Melinda Kucsera

Evasion

She sat reading and fading where she sat.
First her feet slipped into nothing, a toe
at a time. Her legs went next, but she sat
still and continued reading even though
her body shifted out of time part by
part. Her torso next phased out following
her legs. Not some invisibility
trick or try to fool the eye, she’s going
now, her arms are vanishing, soon her head
will go and all that will be left standing
is her clothes and the grimoire that she read.
For the invisibility spell cast
had helped her to evade her past at last.

Bench – September 10 prompt

Bernadette

I sit on the bench and wallow in the beauty of orange. The crunch of leaves and the crisp air fill my ears and lungs with sensory satisfaction. And just when I think I could not be anymore content, I gaze up at the bossy Blue Jay and smile.

Artista10

  • Sitting among the colors. Thinking of the many colors of life and the colors that make people’s personalities. Simple. complicated. Stunning. outraged. People. Colors. Life.

Vanished – December 3 prompt

The Bike Ride
by
Suzanne Burkett

It was a frosty morning for a bike ride but ten-year-old Jacob felt the loneliness more than the cold. At least he had his bike; it made his escapes so much easier. He could go faster and farther on his silver bike than on his feet. And that made all the difference for a kid in foster care.
Sure, he had to go back at the end of the day. If he could survive outside he would. But the need for food and warmth always made him turn his bike around and return to the house. There had been so many, it was a wonder he could even find his way back, but he did and there was always a family that barely noticed him, tossed a plate of cold hard food on the table, talked around him and about him, but never directly to him. Unless the check didn’t arrive from the child welfare. Then they got right up close to him and demanded he call his social worker. “Tell her we ain’t gonna feed you if we don’t get paid.”
Sometimes Sharon drove over in her ratty old Subaru and delivered her own personal check to the ‘family’. He loitered outside with his head hanging down while the inevitable argument ensued. One time, two years ago, she showed up with the bike sticking out of the back of her hatchback. “I’d take you myself if I could. You know that don’t you, Jacob?”
He nodded, unable to lift his head and let her see the tears soaking his lashes, one rolling down his cheek, then another until she wrapped her arms around him in a fierce, warm hug. Wiping her own cheeks, striding to her car, cranking the engine three times then finally driving off without looking back. She promised she would always find a home for him. Every time he was returned. Displaced. But could she really keep that promise?
This morning was the same as any other except for the part about it being Christmas morning. Jacob had crept out of the house before the ‘family’ awoke. He’d learned it was best not to sit with them, hopeful and expectant. More times than not, as the wrapping paper flew from the packages, he would get that look. The–oh gosh we forgot about you–look.
He rode along the wet street, water spraying up the back of his red sweatshirt. If he’d been asked what he wanted for Christmas, he would have said, “a rain jacket.”
His fingers were as icy as the trees. He took one hand, then the other off the handlebars, blew on it and put it in the front pocket of his sweatshirt. Over and over for miles he rode, finally turning left instead of right because he’d always wanted to see what was down this empty road. Nobody ever came down the road. And every time he rode past it, he promised himself that one day he would try it. He so much wanted to know where it led. So for Christmas this year he gave himself the gift of courage and turned his bike.
The first thing he noticed was the quiet sound. The trees hung forward like they were whispering to each other from one side of the street to the other. He forgot about his frozen fingers and kept riding, leaning forward, thinking if he rode far enough, if the road went far enough, he would understand what the trees were saying.
Then up ahead in the foggy distance, he saw something blocking the road. Oh no, he thought. There’s someone out here. He squinted. It looked like a red and gold car in the middle of the road, skidded sideways. Someone spun out. He squeezed his brakes. He thought he did but the bike didn’t slow. It seemed to go faster. He pulled his hand off the lever, blew on it, squeezed again but nothing happened. He stood up on the peddles. “Hey!” he shouted. “Hey, I’m here! Look out! I can’t stop!”
For the first time ever, his bike slid out from under him. Not now, he thought. Don’t give up on me now.
He hit the ground, sliding forward on his back, his bike motionless behind him. He skidded right up to the car that was not a car. It was a sleigh, and a man as ancient as the world itself stepped out of it. He scooped Jacob up in his arms. “I got you now,” he said. “You can come with me.”

Writing Prompt Contest – Snow Globe…


You can create your own snow globe. Tell us what you would like it to contain and why.

Enjoy this prompt and leave your response in the comments. 1000 words maximum for a short story. Poems can be any length.

A quarterly prize will be given for the most voted for response. This is the last prompt contest for this year. I hope some of you found it inspiring, fun and I will post a list of eligible respondents next Saturday for your voting.

May your Christmas be filled with love and laughter and I hope 2017 is a good year for you all.

merry-christmas