Tuesday is the date of my writing group’s meeting. Due to my on the spur of the moment road trip last month, I missed the last one – this doesn’t happen very often but a whole three days of writing, fantastic scenery and great companionship cannot be taken lightly or for granted. This month’s meeting will follow the usual format – announcements of events, calls for submissions for our newsletter and the Never Been Better page. Sharing of stories, constructive critique and general discussion on our current projects, Q&A on any writing related topics and suggestions for presentations or themes for the next meeting.
Every meeting is unique not just because of the topics or stories read but the attendees who may be regulars or new faces. We never know how many will turn up – some meetings the room is full to capacity and lively or others where only a select few attend, making the meetings intimate. No matter the number each meeting is geared to supporting and encouraging writers – any age, any stage of their writing career.
I attended Kurios – Cirque du Soleil’s steampunk show. It was stunning with many heart stopping moments as the acrobats performed routines that were mind blowing and incredible. Such skill, such strength and precision. For the safety of the performers no photography was allowed once the show started. All I can say is if you get a chance to go – then do it!
The costumes, the choreography and sheer organization it takes to put such a show on is extraordinary. The accordion man was one of my favorites. The costume moves just like the musical instrument. Check out the link for more images: https://www.google.ca/search?q=Kurios+costumes&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjh-ryaubHVAhXr7IMKHSSeCsAQ_AUICigB&biw=1216&bih=615#imgrc=OYk3AGT2sszZsM:
As a writer I also appreciated the show for the time traveler story line and the fantastic world the traveler witnessed.
After a quiet weekend dabbling in a manuscript and reading, this week I have a couple of writing related events. The first is a workshop organized through my writing group. It is an interesting theme and I’m sure we will have fun with it.
How can I add wine or alcohol to a story to enhance it? Can a drunk add interest to a story? How can I talk about these topics believably in my writing?
And, as for whining – what could that possibly add and how can one whine in writing?
Do you attend workshops? What benefits did they give you?
My second event is the regular writing group for seniors I co-host with another member of my writing group. It is always a fun and enlightening evening. The stories of days past and the experiences these wonderful seniors have lived though are always amazing.
Have you heard stories from your elders? Did you write them down?
Our group’s memoir guide book can help organize memories into a cohesive format utilizing photographs, objects and letters etc. It gives a great kick start to your memoir.
Shock up shock I have no events this week – wow that doesn’t happen often. Now what to do with all this ‘free’ time? Well writing of course. I will meet up with an author friend later in the week and probably ‘escape’ to the library one night for uninterrupted writing too.
How does your week look? I have a dog staying until Tuesday so it is nice to walk in the cool of early morning and later night.
I wrote this about my dog a few years ago.
Just Walking the Dog!
The air smells wonderful after the rain, all fresh and clean. The vetch and clover’s scent float like gossamer in the breeze. Drops of water glisten on leaves and grass, leaving wet patches on my feet and legs. The cool is so refreshing after the baking heat of the morning, when I had helped my husband do his lumberjack impression. Hauling branches and logs into the truck, so they can be piled up in the far side of the acreage.
This peaceful walk brings me respite and time to relax without the demands of house, husband and children.
The trials are damp underfoot, the sun dapples through the high branches, gradually making the air more humid as I walk. I watch dancing butterflies of orange and yellow and damsel flies of crimson, burnt orange and emerald green flitting quickly side to side. In front of me the sudden flash of black and white signals the flight of crickets in wave after wave throughout the long grass. As the grass brushes my jeans it leaves little tears of moisture dampening the fabric.
I find a new trail to explore, the earth is wetter here we leave our mark in the sticky mud: paws and shoes. The trial peters out emerging onto a huge earth mound, made by excavators. Looking around for a familiar landmark all I see is the main road I took to get to this off leash area. With no obvious exit, we retrace our steps back to a clearing and find another trial through the birch trees, which eventually brings us back to familiar territory.
Passing the time of day with other walkers, we watch our dog’s engage in the sniffing routine and then part again. Once back to the car park, it’s a bowl of water for my dog and a sip from a bottle for me. I really enjoy this place it gives me time to relax and enjoy the wildlife. One early morning we came across a deer and then a coyote ran across the meadow, quickly chased by my dog until I recall her, just in case there is a pack within the far wood – another story for another time.
Story Slam is every third Wed of the month, every month
Competitive story telling event with no censorship. Up to 10 people have 5 minutes to tell a story. 5 random judges are in the audience. Winner takes home the donation hat and total glory.
The Golden Quill Awards. The theme is “Liberation.” $500 first prize. Short fiction, poetry and personal essay categories. Up to 1500 words for prose, 40 lines for poetry. Entry fee $15. Deadline September 15, 2017.
Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards. Write Romance, Thriller, Crime, Horror, Science-Fiction, and Young Adult? Short fiction: 4,000 words or less. $20 fee. Grand prize $2500. Deadline October 16th, 2017
After a busy weekend, I am now into Board meeting week! Firstly, Tuesday will be with the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County meeting. We have our annual Words in the Park to plan and organize for 30th September, this will be our 10th year! So we are endeavoring to make it bigger than ever.
As part of the Canada 150 celebrations we are also publishing a book of Canadian themed stories. This project entails reading, editing and approving members submissions. The book will be launched at Words in the Park. We have already voted on a cover – to be revealed at the launch!
My second, board meeting will be on Wednesday for the Arts & Culture Council of Strathcona County. We too will be organizing and planning our event, Culture Days in conjunction with our partners the Writers Foundation. The event is also part of Alberta Culture Days, which is celebrating 10 years. In all a busy time for everyone. We will have artisans and performers throughout the day.
Friday evening I will meet up with a writer friend for coffee/tea after work. It is one of my favorite things to do. Connect and discuss with other writers. Our venue is a local non-profit coffee shop, which incidentally stocks several books from my publisher, Dream Write Publishing.
What are you up to this week?
From July 13-16, The Saskatchewan Festival of Words takes place in Moose Jaw, SK, featured authors including Marty Chan, Dawn Dumont, Marina Endicott, Anosh Irani, Jael Richardson, Alissa York, and more.
The Lakefield Literary Festival runs July 14-16 in Lakefield, ON, (near Peterborough), with a line-up including Zoe Whittall, Marni Jackson, Lynne Katsukake, Jane Urquhart, Kerry Clare, Douglas Gibson, Steven Price, Lindy Mechefske, and children’s events with Andrew Larsen and Kari-Lynn Winters. The program also includes Craft Talks for writers.
Add your upcoming events – no matter where you are located!
This week began with Canada Day and the extra special Canada 150 celebrations on 1st July. My ‘new’ country is so young compared to my ‘old’ country, England. It is unique to see the excitement and pride my fellow Canadians take in their country.
I am away with my dear friend, Linda in Red Deer for the next three days, enjoying the scenery, wildlife, and relaxing in writing companionship. It has been sometime since we have been able to ‘escape’ and it is certainly appreciated by us both.
I will miss our writing group’s monthly meeting on Tuesday but as it seldom happens I think I’m forgiven. Someone else can take the reins on my behalf.
Saturday will be my joint author signing with Eva Blaskovic at Audreys Bookstore in Edmonton. We are hoping to draw a crowd to buy books and ask us questions. Preparations have been made, a draw basket created and advertising blasted.
On Sunday 9th July I will be once again attending an annual event for Strathcona County- Savor Strathcona. It celebrates the best independent food and art in our area. I will be doing double duty as Secretary of the Writers Foundation and President of the Arts & Culture Council, luckily the tables are together!
What are you up to this week?
Hylke Speerstra, Meet & Greet
Hylke Speerstra will be presenting ‘The Comfort Bird’, his new book in English translation.
Monday at 11:00–14:00 at Dutch Delicious – 13232-118th Ave, Edmonton, Alberta T5L4N4
And Author Reading and Book Signing 4 July at 11:00–14:00 at The King’s University 9125 -50 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6B 2H3
Toys, Bikes and Books Swap Hosted by Edmonton Chinatown Chinese Library – 9 July at 13:00–17:00 at 9540 – 102 Ave. Edmonton
Recycle Book Sale
8 July at 11:00–15:00 The Village at Pigeon Lake 6b Village Dr RR#2, Westerose T0C 2V0