Monday, April 30, 2012


Thanks to all the followers of this blog.

Visit me at my new website.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sundays for Writers

 This afternoon, I met with Cindy Carroll and several other members of the Guelph Write Now group for a poetry workshop.

We shared our poetry and discussed different techniques for writing and editing. Local poet, Matthew George provided many suggestions on how to improve our work.

Some of his tips...
  • After writing the first draft, go back and edit your work. Do not simply leave it. Some poems can require up ten or more edits before submitting to journals.
  • Matthew highly recommends Arc Poetry and Contemporary Verse 2. Other journals to consider are Antigonish Press and Fiddlehead. Read the poems in these journals before submitting your own work.
  • Consider entering the Annual Poetry Contest on April 14/15 sponsored by Contemporary Verse 2. The entry is $16 ($26 includes a one-year subscription). In this contest, you are given ten words and only 48 hours to write a poem that includes these words. 
  • Visit Guelph Spoken Word for information about local poetry events.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


My review of Kim Thuy's book, Ru, appears in today's Waterloo Record and Guelph Mercury.

Read the review.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dinner with Writers Ink

Last night, seven of us gathered at Symposium Restaurant for our March dinner meeting. Most of the discussion centered around Dennis Fitter's upcoming novel--Mexico City: The Golden Years--which will be launched in 13,400 ebookstores tomorrow. Dennis reflected on his decision to take the epublishing route.

Lots of food for thought!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hot WIPs Night

Yesterday evening, Susan Fish, writer and CEO of Storywell, held a Hot Works in Progress Night at the Raintree Cafe in downtown Waterloo.

Eight of us gathered to participate in a writers' version of speed dating. We paired up to deliver the pitches for our works in progress (mainly novels) and every six minutes rotated around the table.

I enjoyed the evening immensely and was exposed to different genres--contemporary women's fiction, Young Adult, fantasy, and cozy mysteries. Afterward, we shared our experiences and discovered that we had all revised and improved our scripts as we moved around the table.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Poetry Workshop

I loved writing poetry during my high school years, but my writing went underground shortly afterward. When I heard about Melinda Burns' poetry workshop at the main branch of the Guelph Public Library, I decided to go and see if the muse was still there.

As I listened to Melinda read her own poem and those of Mary Oliver, Jane Kenyon and Jane Hirshfield, I felt new ideas stirring and the desire to write poetry rekindled. After a short interactive session, Melinda assigned three short exercises which many of us shared.

Food for further thought...
  • "Poetry is eating all my problems." (A little girl from the Poetry in School program in California)
  • Read Amy Bloom's article, "Why Poetry Can Save Your Life?" (Oprah, December 2006)
  • Poetry is a container for both strong and mixed feelings.
  • Poetry acknowledges the inconsolable while giving comfort.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Taking Up Scrapbooking

I just came back from a scrapbooking workshop with Gloria Nye at Eramosa Eden. I have been curious about this popular hobby for a while, and today I decided to try my hand at it.

I am hooked!

Right now, I am organizing my book reviews, but I have ideas for two travel scrapbooks. I appreciated Gloria's advice regarding layout and design and look forward to future sessions.