The theme of this blog is creative writing. Any writing on this blog by authors other than myself is by permission of the author. I've written many poems, short stories, novellas, novels, and more. I hope you will want to get to know me and, of course, I hope you will want to buy a book or two.
The exciting news is that ELWW has received an Ontario Arts Council Grant to assist us in the presentation of the very first Elliot Lake Writers' Fall Festival which will be taking place in the Lester B. Pearson Civic Centre, Saturday, October 22, 2011.
We have confirmed two guest workshop faciitators for our Festival. Brian Henry, Professor at Ryerson University and George Brown College in Toronto, will conduct a workshop on "How to Get Published". Dr. Ross Pennie, Medical Mystery Novelist, Professor at McMaster University and Medical Doctor from Hamilton, will conduct a workshop on "Memoir Writing".
On this day members of Elliot Lake Writers' Workshop will, indeed, celebrate because the very first anthology written by local authors titled Elliot Lake Writers' Anthology of Short Stories and Poetry will be launched at the Writers' Fall Festival.
The Festival will also include Writing Competitions with prizes; Open Mike Readings of Poetry & Short Stories; Vendors' Tables; Entertainment on the piano by Mr. Ken Little and by Mr. Denis Morel. There will be fun-filled activities for all ages.
Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Civic Centre.
The day's activities are followed by a cash bar at 5 p.m. and Gala Dinner at 6 p.m. with after-dinner guest speaker, Dr. Ross Pennie, at the Renaissance Centre.
ALSO: Elliot Lake Writers are enjoying publishing success.
(1) Gloria Jean Hansen's newest release titled Rural Roots published by Wynterblue Publishing Canada will celebrate its launch at the Civic Centre Monday April 18th from 2 pm to 5 pm.
(2) Audrey Austin has three new publications all published by Wynterblue Publishing Canada.
The Silent Star Plus a Dozen is an Anthology of competition winning short stories.
Reawakening is a sci fi novel and Keeping it Simple is a self-discovery manual on the topic of emotional healing through the trinity of meditation, the chakra system and psychospiritual therapy.
All three books as well as copies of Austin's first novel Sara, a Canadian Saga which is into its third printing will be for sale at the Spring Craft Show, Collins Hall, April 10th and also at the Elliot Lake Trade Show the weekend of April 29th.
ALSO: Sara, a Canadian Saga is being published by Wynterblue Publishing Canada as an E-book and will soon be available through Amazon Books.
(3) Local author, Frank Spence's book titled Four Seasons RVing is also available.
Avid Canadian RVers Frank and Lucy Spence
share their enthusiasm and knowledge in their
104 page book Four Seasons RVing.
Seminar hosts and published magazine
authors they understand and demonstrate the
techniques that have worked for them and can
work for you to extend your RV camping
season beyond the traditional warm weather
months. With over 115 of their own colour photos, they illustrate the
(4) It is important to mention that all my book covers are designed by local artist, Susan Krupp. Susan's art work is also available to the viewing public in the Gallery at the Centre, Elliot Lake.
ALSO: A new book titled Fretta and Thin authored by Susan Krupp and published by Wynterblue Publishing Canada will celebrate its book launch the weekend of April 29th at the Elliot Lake Trade Show.
Writers in Elliot Lake are a vibrant bunch. We are overjoyed to have received the support of Ontario Arts Council which will greatly assist us in the presentation of our first ever Elliot Lake Writers' Fall Festival. From our hearts, thank you.
Members of the Elliot Lake Writers' Fall Festival Planning Committee move with confidence toward our special day which will be Saturday, October 22, 2011.
On this special day we will celebrate the first ever Writers' Fall Festival in Elliot Lake. Our celebration will include guest facilitators, Brian Henry (How To Get Published) and Dr. Ross Pennie (Memoir Writing); writing competitions with prizes for adults and children; Open Mike poetry and short story readings; Entertainment; Vendors' tables and the launch of the Elliot Lake Writers'Anthology of Short Stories and Poetry.
Mark your calendar early! Saturday, October 22, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lester B. Pearson Civic Centre followed by Open Bar at 5 pm & Dinner, 6 pm, at the Renaissance Centre with after dinner guest speaker, Dr. Ross Pennie.
This will be a day to remember! Mark your calendar early!
Recently it was my privilege to read a new book titled Fretta and Thin which is written by local writer and artist, Susan Krupp.
I loved the drama, the imagery and the artsy characters. The black cape and the strange waiter gave great connectedness throughout.........I didn't want to put the book down.
I shed a tear at the end. Fretta and Thin is very strange yet intriguing. I really enjoyed the story and the author's simplistic way of writing complex thoughts....and the newspaper clippings throughout were clever and appropriate. Many of them gave me a good laugh.
Fretta and Thin will be on the market, available & for sale at the Elliot Lake Trade Show taking place in our local arena the weekend of Friday, April 30th.
Author, Susan Krupp, will be there for book signings.
This is one book launch you don't want to miss. April 30th, May 1st and 2nd at the Trade Show, Elliot Lake Arena.
Perhaps you will be interested in entering future Wynterblue writing competitions.
And now I begin my final editing and put the final changes and touches on what will be my next fiction release titled Ellen and the Hummingtree.
Ellen is a very private woman of faith who allows us glimpses into her life and her conversations with God.
Throughout the past year I have grown to know and love Ellen. She has written the stories. I have done my best to listen to what she has to say and to type the stories with as few grammatical errors as possible.
Sara, a Canadian Saga was my first venture into novel writing. Sara's first draft was written way back in the 1980's but it was not until many years later that I found the time to devote to the re-writing, editing and finally publication in 2009.
Below is an excerpt from SARA . For those of you who have not yet purchased your copy please email me and if you live locally we will deliver your book to you. For those out of town who wish to order, we will have your book in the mail immediately upon receipt of payment; just get in touch.
"Roy strode towards home. Then he didn't want to go home. He didn't know where he wanted to go. He walked all over town, up one street and down the next. "Women!" he muttered. "What's the world comin' to? They can't make up their minds about a damn pair of shoes in a month of Sundays and then they got the gumption to try to wear the pants and pay for dance tickets! If that don't beat all!
When Roy finally stopped cussing, thoughts of his father came from out of nowhere and he realized that he sounded just like him when he was in one of his rages.
He continued to walk around town for another hour before he headed back to his sister's house. He thought about Sara. He thought about himself. And for some reason he couldn't fathom he thought more about his father than he had done in a long time. By the time he reached home he had made some important decisions. Come hell or high water he would find a way to take Sara to that dance."
I am happy to announce that Sara, a Canadian Saga is now enjoying its third print run. Your copy is available directly from yours truly. To place your order just email.
Also I will be participating in the show at Collins Hall from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 10th, with copies of Sara, a Canadian Saga; Reawakening; The Silent Star plus a dozen and a very few copies of Keeping It Simple.
I will also have a table at the Elliot Lake Trade Show taking place in our local arena on the weekend of April 30th where copies of all books will be available for sale.
I am thrilled that Reawakening is into its second print run. Reawakening is my second novel and I will share with you the comments written by Maggie Kurton, Executive Director of Wynterblue Publishing Canada.
"Every now and then a manuscript comes across my desk that completely captivates me. Austin has reached inside the human heart and removed all boundaries pertaining to everlasting love ... and her ability to play with the English language successfully is astounding.
Austin's Reawakening is a must read. It will take you into a land not far from your heart and bring you back to earth again believing that all things are possible with love and hope."
The Silent Star plus a dozen is an anthology of short stories which were short-listed in Wynterblue Publishing's WynLit 24 writing competitions. The 13 stories were previously published as part of both Confabulation 2 and Confabulation 3 Wynterblue anthology publications.
Thanks to all who participated in the public voting which took place soon after the launch of Confabulation 3. Of all my stories The Silent Star won the most votes and this is why I chose this story's title as the title for my anthology.
Here is a short excerpt from The Silent Star
"Just then the doctor came into the room. I saw the shake of the doctor's head and the sadness in Father MacFarlane's eyes. I didn't cry when he told me what had happened. I was frozen inside. I huddled deeper within and found the quiet spaces that lurked around outside my lonesome heart. I refused to let the pain come into my heart. I was The Silent Star. My ears burned when they received the words, 'There was an accident, Andrew. Willy and Fiona are both in Heaven now, son, and they've taken young Gordon with them.'
Words failed me but the kindly priest must have been able to read my thoughts. He answered my question without me having to ask. 'Catherine and Mary are here in the hospital. They will be okay, God willing, and so will you, son. So will you.'"
Other titles contained in The Silent Star plus a dozen are When Bubbles Rise; In Control; In the Forest; The Big Book; Quest for Cammirand; Let the Rain Forever Fall; It Doesn't Matter; After Words; Joshua's Journey; Freddie's Athabasca; Once Under Time; At the Edge of His World; and lastly, The Silent Star.
I'm pleased to announce that The Silent Star plus a dozen is now into its second printing. To order your copy please get in touch by email.
Thank you to everyone who has ordered a copy of my newest release published by Wynterblue Publishing Canada. I have only 6 copies left of Keeping It Simple.
If you wish to order your copy please email me. If you live locally we are happy to deliver your book to you.
Keeping It Simple is a book about emotional healing through the trinity of Meditation, the Chakras and Psychospiritual Therapy. This self-help book also contains an affirmative meditation on each of the major chakras.
New print runs of Sara, a Canadian Saga; Reawakening; and The Silent Star plus a Dozen have also arrived so please email to order your copy.
Cover Design on all books by Susan at Yuneekpix Visit her website and you will be amazed by her talent and expertise. If you are looking for someone to design your book's cover your search will be over once you contact Susan via her website.
I have nothing to write about today but I promised myself I would post daily so in order to keep this promise I will simply keep typing and hope what I type will be meaningful to someone.
Attendance at church this morning was enlightening and the minister's message sort of tied in with words I've been reading in a book titled Original Goodness by Eknath Easwaren, on the Beatitudes. Easwaren talks much about self-will. A short quotation, "Each of us have tasted the freedom and happiness that self-forgetfulness brings, although we may not have known it at the time."
I come closest to this feeling when I lose myself in my creative writing characters. When the characters tell their stories and I am just the stenographer working as fast as I can to record their words as they experience them, I do believe I experience that blessed self-forgetfulness.
Self-will and attachment are issues I struggle with........to experience detachment within attachment is a lofty goal. It is good to have goals as we journey through life because, to coin a cliche, it's the journey that counts; not the destination.
It is said that copying is the highest form of flattery........this may be true in some instances.
However when one discovers that a self-published book has been literally stolen and reproduced with a different cover design by someone who takes false credit as being the publisher..........then something nasty is afoot.
I won't say more about this today but you can bet you will hear more about this down the road.
Even though my book has copyright, ISBN# and is filed in our country's National Library.......someone has had the gall to steal my self-published story.
I am angry, disappointed, appalled and frustrated.
I cannot think of one positive attribute that I can offer to a downright thief.
Thieves are stealing books, music, art and all things creative. We know this. And when it hits this close to home it is shocking.
I trust this will never happen to you, my dear fellow writers.
Reminders went out today to members of Elliot Lake Writers' Workshop for our next meeting which will be taking place Monday, March 21st from 6 pm to 8:30 pm in the General Meeting Room at the Lester B. Pearson Civic Centre.
We are also reminded that for those who have not yet paid their annual membership fee of $20 that payment is due to our Treasurer prior to this meeting's start.
And here we are, another Friday, warm & sunny; a perfect day for walking. Finally we have no concerns about slipping on the ice. Spring is definitely on its way. I have set out the welcome mat for her arrival.
Elliot Lake Writers' Fall Festival will be taking place Saturday, October 22, 2011. It will be a day filled with writing competitions; open-mike readings; vendor tables; live entertainment and the launch of Elliot Lake Writers' Workshop's anthology titled Elliot Lake Writers'Anthology of Short Stories and Poetry.
Special guest workshop facilitators on this day will be Brian Henry from Toronto and Dr. Ross Pennie from Hamilton. We are thrilled to be welcoming them to Elliot Lake to participate in our Festival celebration.
Brian Henry will facilitate a workshop titled "How to Get Published"
Dr. Ross Pennie will facilitate a workshop titled "Memoir Writing"
"Have you ever considered writing your memoirs or family history? This workshop will introduce you to the tricks and conventions of telling true stories and will show you how to use the techniques of the novel to recount actual events. Whether you want to write for your family or for a wider public, don't miss this workshop.
Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He has helped many of his students get published, including our guest speaker, Ross Pennie.
Dr. Ross Pennie is the author of The Unforgiving Tides, a doctor’s memoir of Papua New Guinea (Manor House Publishing). He has also signed a contract with ECW Press for three medical mystery novels. The first of these, Tainted, came out last April and won Arts Hamilton Literary Award for Fiction. Ross's next novel will be out this spring. At the workshop, Ross will speak on how to turn ordinary life into dramatic material and will answer questions about how he wrote his memoir and got it published."
Happy St. Patrick's Day! May you always have the luck of the Irish!
My Irish connection goes way back to my great-grandmother Jane Dawson who was a direct descendant of Colonel Dawson of County Monaghan, Ireland.
There is an Obelisk in County Monaghan, a memorial honouring Colonel Dawson. Below is a photo of the memorial.
I've never been to Ireland but I hope one day I will go there and when I do I will certainly want to visit the site of this Obelisk.
May your day be touched
by a bit of Irish luck,
brightened by a song in your heart,
and warmed by the smiles
of the people you love.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
"Patricius was born in Roman Britain in the 4th century. His father and grandfather were deacons of the Church. Two letters about his life tell how, at age 16, he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave and how he was told by God in a dream to flee to the coast and board a ship sailing to Britain.
Upon his return, he joined the Church in Gaul and studied to be a priest, After becoming a Bishop, he was again called by God to bring Christianity to Ireland, remaining true to his evangelical mission for more than 30 years, converting the entire country to Christianity until his death on March 17, 461.
The exact date of his canonization is not clear but Patrick’s sainthood has became a worldwide celebration that would not be complete without the shamrock. Why is the green shamrock plant such an important part of St. Patrick’s Day?
Because Patrick used it as a symbol of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Ghost)."
I'm not a big fan of housework at the best of times but Brian & I know that if we don't do it, then it simply won't get done. The proverbial Good Fairy doesn't seem to pay the slightest attention to our wishes.
And so most of today was spent doing chores.
But I did steal some time to enjoy the warmth of the sun on the backyard deck. I know spring is not far off now.
It is unusual for me to have an entire week with no obligatory things I need to do. What a treat!
And thanks to all who have ordered copies of Keeping it Simple.
I have only seven copies left to sell and I will take them along to the Trade Show where they can keep Sara, Reawakening and The Silent Star company on the sales table.
Thank you to everyone who has ordered a copy of my newest release published by Wynterblue Publishing Canada. I have only 8 copies left of Keeping It Simple.
If you wish to order your copy please email me. If you live locally we are happy to deliver your book to you.
Keeping It Simple is a book about emotional healing through the trinity of Meditation, the Chakras and Psychospiritual Therapy. This self-help book also contains a meditation on each of the major chakras.
New print runs of Sara, a Canadian Saga; Reawakening; and The Silent Star plus a Dozen have also arrived so please email to order your copy.
Friday, March 11, 11 ...........A great day to relax. The wind is howling outside my window and I'm glad I'm at home where it is warm and dry.
This day provides a nice end to what has been a wonderful week.
Company's coming for supper & I will cook Parmesan Polenta smothered in Million Dollar Chicken; a meal I can keep my eye on while readers come by this afternoon to pick up their copies of Keeping it Simple.
And I still have a few copies left of this book on Meditation, the Chakras and Emotional Healing if you are interested in obtaining a copy for yourself.
Copies of The Silent Star plus a Dozen; SARA, a Canadian Saga and Reawakening are now available as well.
What an amazing group of people we are fortunate to have on our Elliot Lake Writers' Fall Festival Planning Committee and Sub-Committees.
The first ever Elliot Lake Writers' Fall Festival will be happening at the Lester B. Pearson Civic Centre on Saturday October 22nd from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a Gala Dinner following at the Renaissance Centre.
Each meeting that takes place moves us many steps forward to meeting our goal which is to present a successful Writers' Fall Festival.
I'm excited. Please mark your calendar early. October 22nd will be a memorable day!
My niece, Karen, and I were sort of playing on Facebook. The idea of taking turns writing a stanza of a poem was acted upon and That's All There Iswas the result. The first and last stanza are written by Karen Monkman Preston and the middle stanza by yours truly.
That's All There Is
"I Am. That's all there is," says he In words not voice or glance or touch, Nor printed on paper to see; And never searching for as much Expression from you or of me.
"I Am. That's all there is," says she In tears not shed or dreamed or dared, Nor blanketed on face to see; And always searching for much more Offering love forevermore.
"We are. That's all there is," they say To a world not comprehending. The volume of their silent ways A-typical, but demanding As squinting sunlight's morning rays.
I love pancake Tuesday. It's rare, indeed, to enjoy pancakes in our household. All those delicious, rich calories we try to avoid. But on Pancake Tuesday, somehow we feel justified.
I have a wonderful yet simple recipe for pancakes. Unlike most Canadians I do not like Maple Syrup but corn syrup does the trick for us. Mmm, good!
Pancake Tuesday is a name we have adopted for Shrove Tuesday and it is the one day of the year when almost everyone eats at least one pancake.
Shrove Tuesday is the last day before the period which Christians call "Lent". It is traditional on this day to eat pancakes.
I've often wondered why. And so I checked it out and discovered the reasoning behind our Pancake Day celebration.
Since "Lent" is meant to be a time of abstinence, a time to give things up, Shrove Tuesday is the last chance to indulge ourselves and to eat the foods that aren't allowed during "Lent".
Because they contain fat, butter, and eggs which were forbidden during "Lent", pancakes are eaten on Shrove Tuesday which is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday and is therefore the final day before the commencement of "Lent", a Christian festival leading up to Easter Sunday.
As for me, I like tradition.
I like tradition almost as much as I like pancakes.
Shrove Tuesday happens 47 days before Easter Sunday. For this reason the date varies from year to year.
I feel very proud to be a Wynterblue author. If it were not for Maggie Kirton, and Wynterblue Publishing Canada, I doubt very much if I would be having the publication success that I am blessed to be enjoying.
Please check out Wynterblue Publishing's website.
You will see there are some new pages there........check out "all Wynterblue Books".
Along with my four publications you will see other books written by northern authors all published thanks to Wynterblue Publishing Canada.
What a privilege it was for me to attend the World Day of Prayer service at St. Peter's Anglican Church this afternoon.
The service was written by the World Day of Prayer Committee of Chile and was a wonderful reminder to all in attendance of the importance of bread; the making, the breaking and the sharing of bread.
Here in Elliot Lake bread is something we take for granted. If we run short, no problem .. we simply run to the food store and buy another loaf.
How easy it is to forget how difficult that acquisition may be in other countries around the world.
The theme of today's celebration was "How Many Loaves Have You?"
The World Day of Prayer was begun by women in Canada and the United States in 1922 and is observed in more than 170 countries today.
The 2010 World Day of Prayer Grant recipients live in Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Cameroon, Switzerland, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, India, Banbgladesh, Pakistan, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Nicaragua, Haiti as well as New York City and different associations throughout Canada.
Today I felt privileged to be part of this international celebration.
"Thursday's child has far to go.." And on Saturday for me it will be back to the drawing board to continue working on the CFDC Grant Application for our Elliot Lake Writers' Fall Festival happening October 22, 2011.
Today I did manage to write a very short piece completing last ELWW meeting's assignment.
And I have worked on and submitted a short story that may or may not be appropriate for Elliot Lake Writers' first ever anthology to be launched October 22nd.
Still working on a story for the Gemini Magazine Short Story Contest. Thursday's child has far to go....this must be Thursday.
I learned this morning that copies of Sara, a Canadian Saga; Reawakening; The Silent Star plus a Dozen and Keeping it Simple will be in my possession early next week. Thanks to all for your pre-orders.
Sometimes I find myself involved in many activities and endeavours that are all "about writing".
These things "about writing" do get in the way of the actual writing itself.
Most of yesterday was spent with friends who stopped by for a cuppa and a visit; very enjoyable. And as I said to one friend, "I have nothing marked on my calendar that I have to do tomorrow. I can hardly wait!"
A day where I don't have to do anything is a gift. It means I will have time to do what writers are supposed to be doing and that is to write, right?
I plan to complete my ELWW writing assignment today.........and I hope to write a short story for the Gemini Magazine Short Story Contest.....
You will notice I use the words "plan" and "hope".
This is because it's early in the day and what I do get accomplished writing-wise depends much on what is said in emails received; how often that doorbell rings and how often I have to pick up the telephone.
If you are a writer then you know what I'm talking about.
Some of my best writing is achieved at 2 a.m. when the rest of my world is asleep.
That sure makes it tough to be alert early the next day though......and life goes on.