Spring Brings to Whitby by liaoqinmei



                                                                                                      ! This, That and
                                                                                                        The Other Thing .............. 2
                                                                                                      ! Paeans ................................ 3
                                                                                                      ! Anthology Submissions ..... 3
                                                                                                      ! Challenge Winners ........... 5
                                                                                                      ! If I Do Say So Myself..........7

                                                                                                    A newsletter for writers and editors
                                                                                                                produced by
                                                                                                   The Writers’ Circle of Durham Region
                                                                                                       April/May 2002 Vol. 8 No. 2

 Spring Brings Words                                                                               Ode to Gwynn
      to Whitby                                                                                        By Philippa Schmiegelow
                                                                                            Oh Gwynn you have done such a wonderful
                                                                                            In getting our Word Weaver out as decreed;
   This is the week you’ve been waiting        ACTRA and Juno award-winning audi-
                                                                                            Without a complaint, or a sigh, or a sob
for! Lovers of all things literary come        ence favourite takes to carrying on about    You have gone right ahead
together this week at Words in Whitby,         culture, health care, drugs and many of      and got on with the job
the celebrated reading series.                 Canada’s most volatile “isms” — region-
   Perennial favourite Ted Barris plays        alism, nationalism, socialism — as well as   Now this may be painting the picture too rosy
host to the annual event, which kicks off      our national obsession, hockey.              By making it sound altogether too cosy;
Friday, April 6, with a reception at his-         Words in Whitby made a smart move         But from my perspective (and I’ve been in the
toric Trafalgar Castle School featuring        booking Broadfoot. How else can you get      You have always delivered
Governor General’s Award-winning nov-          a cast of many — Big Bobby Clobber,          While making it grow
elist Richard B. Wright, author of the         Sergeant-Major Renfrew and The
Giller prize-winning Clara Callan.             Member from Kicking Horse Pass — all         Into something worth reading:
   Barris and son Alex then play off one       for the price of one?                        We turn to it quick
another as the consummate broadcasters            Start nurturing your angst now for        To discover the dates
                                                                                            And the deals and the trick
flex their interviewing muscles together       Saturday’s Q & A session with this Order     Of writing a journal that’s never too heavy
in a discussion of their recent collabora-     of Canada recipient.                         But somehow miraculously always is ready
tion, Making Music.                               After lunch, Whitby’s own Susanna
   Two of Canada’s best and brightest          Kearsley, the internationally known          You’ve set a hard standard for others to follow;
authors, London’s Joan Barfoot and             author whose novels include Named of the     That retreat dished up more than memories so
Regina’s Sandra Birdsell, are featured in      Dragon, Season of Storms and Shadowy            mellow
the morning reading section on Saturday.       Horses, appears, followed by Canada’s        For Annette came along and
                                                                                            Liked what she saw —
   Barfoot’s novels include the Books in       eminent historian, Pierre Berton.            And now you have handed her
Canada First Novel Award-winning                  The Whitehorse-born Berton is widely      Over the store!
Abra, Dancing in the Dark, which became        regarded as the premier popularizer of
an award-winning entry in the Cannes           Canadian history. His newspaper career       So to both of you women so beautifully tressed
and Toronto film festivals, and, most          included stints at the Vancouver News-       I deliver this randomly wandering address;
recently, Critical Injuries. She also writes   Herald (where, at 21, he was the             My apologies for daring to call myself Poet
                                                                                            But Annette dished out deadlines
a weekly column for the London Free            youngest city editor on any Canadian
Press.                                         daily), the Vancouver Sun and the            And wouldn’t you know it
   Birdsell was born and raised in             Toronto Star. He has also worked at          I couldn’t resist rhyming off
Manitoba, the fifth of 10 children, and        Maclean’s magazine and has long been a       This short ditty;
began publishing at the age of 40. Her         staple on Canadian television, both on       Perhaps there’ll be those
works The Two-Headed Calf and The              his own shows and as a panelist, perhaps     Who will say “what a pity”,
Chrome Suite were short-listed for the         most notably on CBC’s Front Page             But thank you, dear Gwynn,
Governor General’s Award. The Missing          Challenge. His books include Klondike,       For those days and those nights
Child was awarded the Books in Canada          The Promised Land and the hugely suc-        When you toiled for us all
First Novel Award.                             cessful Vimy.                                Yet stayed gracious and bright
   At Saturday’s gala luncheon, Dave              Berton has won numerous awards and
Broadfoot, an original cast member of          distinctions, including three Governor       And welcome Annette,
the Royal Canadian Air Farce and a gen-        General’s Awards and the Stephen             May you never regret it,
                                                                                            As the Sun and the Moon
uine original, takes centre stage. Prepare     Leacock Medal for Humour.                    Turn to blood —
to roll in the aisles while Broadfoot gets        He is a Companion of the Order of
on a roll. Nothing is sacred when this         Canada.                                      And you sweat it!
2                                                                  April/May                                               The Word Weaver

             This, That and The Other Thing
   Nominations for the WCDR advisory              Victoria Times Colonist. See www.island-              Contact Trish McGrath, executive
board are now being accepted. Three               net.com/vicwrite/infofair/postcard.html or          director, at wotstoronto@sympatico.ca.
directors are needed for the 2002-2003 ses-       e-mail vicwrite@islandnet.com. Deadline:                            "    "    "
sion. Nomination forms outlining the              May 1.                                                 Durham Life, a local weekly publication,
guidelines are now available. For informa-                         "     "    "                       has requested that WCDR members send
tion contact the secretary at 905-259-6520           CPA Annual Poetry Contest. Up to 50              short book press releases if you have pub-
or secretary@wcdr.org.                            lines. Six cash prizes up to $50. Prize win-        lished or self-published a book. Please sub-
                 "    "    "                      ners will be published in Poemata. See              mit a 60-word press release about you, your
  TWUC 6th Annual Writing for Children            http://www.mirror.org/cpa.        Deadline:         book and its availability to Lynda Allison
Contest. Up to 1,500 words. Call 416-703-         June 30.                                            at the WCDR address on back page or by
8982; visit the TWUC Web site or e-mail                            "     "    "                       e-mail to publicrelations@wcdr.org.
projects@writersunion.ca. Deadline: April 23.       Fiction publisher Bollix Playhouse is seek-                       "    "    "
                 "    "    "                      ing to add to its roster of literary, quirky and      CBC Radio One continues to offer oppor-
  2002 Great Canadian Short Story                 unusual children’s picture books, epics and         tunities for writers who love radio. Visit
Contest from Storyteller, Canada’s Short          chapter books. For more information call            http://todmaffin.com/reallife for details.
Story Magazine. Length 2,000 to 6,000             309-676-6522, send a fax to 309-676-6557 or                         "    "    "
words. Stories must contain a uniquely            e-mail thekrauses@earthlink.com.                       Signal, a bi-annual literary arts maga-
C      a      n     a     d    i      a     n                      "     "    "                       zine is looking for submissions for its spring
element (theme, setting, history, institution,      The editor of The New Life Times, pro-            issue. Signal wants work that pushes for
politics, social phenomenon, etc.). Prizes up     duced by The New Life Christian Centre              artistic excellence and that is well crafted,
to $400. All stories that appear in the issue     in England is looking for testimonies,              imaginative and original.
will receive a copy of Corel WordPerfect          poetry or stories (fiction or non). Non-               Send poetry and prose (limit 2,500
2002 Suite (worth about $500.) Get details        paying. Contact editor Debbie Paddock at            words, non-fiction okay) by April 15 to
at www.storytellermagazine.com. Deadline:         dpaddock@cableinet.co.uk.                           Milan Parab, Signal, 371 Blackmarsh Rd.,
April 30.                                                          "     "    "                       St. John’s, Nfld., A1E 1T3 or to signal-
                 "    "    "                         The Toronto Book & Magazine Festival             magazine@hotmail.com.
  Victoria School of Writing Postcard             is seeking a contract festival co-ordinator                         "    "    "
Story Competition. Fiction up to 300              for Word on the Street, Toronto’s annual              The Toronto Sun is looking for community-
words; up to two entries per person. Prizes       one-day book and magazine festival.                 oriented columns about Durham Region for
are full and partial scholarships to the July        The festival co-ordinator works closely          monthly section. Pays $100.
15 to 20 Victoria School of Writing.              with festival suppliers, exhibitors, book             Get details from Sharon Aschaiek via e-
Winning stories will be published in the          and magazine publishers, and volunteers.            mail at sharon.aschaiek@tor.sunpub.com.

              News From The                       zation that now numbers close to 300                initiate a Writer in Residence programme to
                                                  members. But that’s only housekeeping               help you polish that anthology submission,
                                                  compared with what she’ll help us accom-            or any other piece you may have in the
                                                  plish in the near future.                           works. (If you don’t have something in the
                                                      You’ll soon be receiving information on         works, it sounds like a very good time to get
            Aprille Janes, president              how you and your writing business can be            something started.)
   Those members who missed the last few          included in our first services directory. This         It also sounds like a great time to be a
breakfasts also missed some of the most           little booklet will list members who write, edit,   member of The Writers’ Circle of Durham
wonderful news I’ve presented in quite a          speak, teach — and probably other things I          Region!
while. The Ontario Trillium Foundation            haven’t even thought of yet. These directo-            In addition, we are acquiring a profes-
approved our application for a grant to help      ries will be made available to organizations        sional display unit for Word on the Street
with administration needs and expanding           such as school boards, libraries, service           and other events, plus two laptops to keep
our presence in the community. There are          groups and other writers’ groups to let them        everything (and everyone!) organised. The
exciting plans being put into action even as      know what we have to offer.                         plan is to have one at the breakfast meet-
you read this.                                        Another new initiative will be an anthology     ings to update memberships, register new
   First, we welcomed Anna Therien as our         of our members’ works. See opposite page for        members and even print nametags and
administrative assistant. Anna’s job will be to   guidelines on how your work can be included.        membership cards once we acquire a
help the board carry out regular WCDR busi-       We want to show the world the talent of             portable printer.
ness and the new initiatives we have out-         WCDR writers. This is your chance to shine.            Again, a big thank you to Trillium.
lined. Only one month into the job and I can’t        On top of this, we will be hiring an expe-      Because of their belief in us we have an
imagine how we ever got along without her.        rienced editor to work with the anthology           exciting future ahead of us. Make plans
   She has already helped Kathleen organ-         team. This means there will be an opportu-          now to be part of it.
ise and bring our membership records up           nity for members to learn about and gain
to date. She is assisting Sue with the book-      real knowledge in putting together a publi-
keeping. And she’s a huge help to me with         cation such as this.
the day-to-day affairs of running an organi-          At the same time, plans are being laid to
The Word Weaver                                                 April/May                                                                   3

   Congrats to Laura Suchan on the publi-         Anna Therien, our administrative assis-
                                                                                                  An Anthology By
                                                                                                  Any Other Name
                                                                                                   The WCDR is on the brink of putting out
cation of her article in the Toronto Star on    tant at WCDR, had her first two articles        its first-ever anthology. All it needs is a
Feb. 16. The piece, which was about mem-        published recently: in Lives Lived in The       name, a cover design and some content!
oirs and centred on June Duffy-Smith and        Globe and Mail and the spring issue of At          But first things first — the name.
her self-published book, The Duffy’s,           Home in York Region magazine. That’s               We know you already can’t wait to get
appeared in the Life section. Both Laura and    quite a debut, Anna!                            your hands on a copy, but think how much
June are WCDR members.                                          "    "    "
                                                                                                more you’ll cherish it if it has a credit inside
                "    "    "                        Jo Sorrill has an article in the             that says you came up with the title.
  The fall/winter 2001 issue of Signal mag-     March/April issue of Fifty-Five Plus maga-         Fill out the form below and send it no
azine, a literary arts journal out of St.       zine, including a throw on the cover no         later than May 31, 2002.
John’s, Nfld., features poetry by lichen lit-              less! You’ll find Fifty-Five Plus       The winning entry will be announced on
erary journal board members Steven                           free on racks around town,         the WCDR Web site on or about June 15.
Laird, Ingrid Ruthig and Ruth E.                            including at pharmacies. Way        Cover contest
Walker. Our hats are off to all.                           to go, Jo!                             Once it’s been christened, we’ll be call-
                "    "    "                                          "    "    "
                                                                                                ing all artists to submit cover designs. So
  It’s a double-whammy for Ingrid,                          Lois Gordon and Gwynn               call on your muse and watch the Word
two of whose poems are appear-                           Scheltema have articles in the         Weaver and the Web for details.
ing in an upcoming issue of the                         spring issue of At Home in York         Call for submissions
Windsor Review.                                       Region magazine and have both                This is your chance to be a part of
          "    "    "                                  become regular contributors, along       WCDR history. Prose, poetry, essays,
   Looking In: Portraits of the                           with Aprille Janes. What a            memoirs — anything that sparked enough
Canadian Soul, an anthology                                 team!                               passion in you to write it down.
of original stories by                                               "    "    "
                                                                                                   Entries must be no longer than 2,500
Canadian e-authors, features a                          Dorothea Helms knocks our socks         words. Deadline for submissions is July 31,
short story by WCDR member                       — or is that suits? — off yet again in the     2002. Submissions must be made by mail
Judy Bagshaw. You can download it               May issue of Chatelaine. “Speaking of           to address on coupon below. Standard
free of charge at http://ceauthors.com/         Bespoke” takes a look at women having           mms format. Excellent advice for standard
ceanthology.htm. That’s e-terrific, Judy!       clothing custom tailored.                       mms format is available at http://www-
                "    "    "                       Dorothea asks that we all take heart in       2 . c s . c m u . e d u / ~ m s l e e /
  Frank Young’s First Person Singular           her experience — the woman who sends            format.html — although we can’t help but
segment aired on CBC March 6th, and             out the rejection letters knew her by name.     point out that it’s an asteriSK, not an
Aprille Janes, our own beloved prez,                                                            asteriX.
recently had her piece accepted.                   Editor’s note: Sincere apologies to anyone      (For those online: Bearing in mind that
  Colour us impressed. Doesn’t that bring       whose news got overlooked in our editorial      hard copy entries are necessary to the
the total to five? We’re thinking The           transition.                                     reading process, but eventually must be
WCDR Show has potential!                           Please write to me and toot your own horn    retyped, simultaneous submission of iden-
                                                at wordweaver@wcdr.org.                         tical electronic file is much appreciated.
                                                                                                Send to: wcdranthology@hotmail.com.)

 BUILDING                                                    I think the anthology should be called:

 L        Think about a country to
        which you’ve never been. Think

        about life there: the sounds, the
        architecture, the standard of liv-
        ing, the government, etc. Now

        write a diary entry as if it were
        the end of a typical day — and
                                                      Phone number:
        you’d been born and raised there.

        What is your life like? How
        much does where you live affect
        how you live?                                         Mail to: Anthology Name Contest, WCDR, P.O. Box 323,

          Do a little research if you’ve                           Ajax, Ont. L1S 3C5 no later than May 31, 2002
        got the time, so you’ll get the
        details exactly right.
4                                                               April/May                                             The Word Weaver

Odds and Eds                                          April/May Challenge
   As my first order of business as the new
Word Weaver editor, I’d like to thank Aprille
Janes and the board of the WCDR for giving      Who doesn’t love a limerick? Okay, not everyone loves them, but you have
me this opportunity. I understand my quali-     to admit they’re fun to write. And after all, serious writers can elevate any
fications were second to none. Also, that       genre. Send your entries by May 15 to wordweaver@wcdr.org or by regu-
mine was the only application.                  lar mail to the editor at address on last page.
   I invite you to join me over my tenure
as we shape the Word Weaver together. It’s                          In this spirit, we hail to the season
my hope that it will continue to be the                          Your poem needs rhyme, but not reason
one envelope for which we can check the                                       The object is fun
mail box eagerly and without fear.                                         As we welcome the sun
   Thanks, too, to the inestimable Gwynn                        And say “Hurry up, Spring, we’re freezin’!”
Scheltema on behalf of the group for

doing a stellar job on the Word Weaver.
   On a personal note, thank you for your
continuing patience.
   For those who don’t know me, I’m a
fairly recent member, a Leo, a would-be
novelist and a long-time staffer at the                   To register for workshops, contact Lois Gordon by e-mail at
Toronto Sun.                                                  workshops@wcdr.org or by phone at 905-259-6520
   But don’t hold that against me.
   As you can see, the look of the Word                       The workshop calendar is posted on www.wcdr.org
Weaver has changed some. When I sat
down to begin my first issue, I discovered
this newsletter is the best toy anybody                 Outrageous                                    I Do Different
                                                          Writing                                        Voices
ever gave me — it’s a chance for me to
trot my literary paces on turf untouched
by advertising; to read and write about
writing and reading, and to put a piece of
myself into something that is an honour to           Workshop: Dorothea Helms                      Workshop: Rachelle Lerner, PhD
mould. And once I sat down at the com-                Saturday, April 27, 2002                         Saturday, May 4, 2002
puter and started playing with it, I just                 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.                               10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
played and played until it turned into this.
You can tell me if you hate it, just please
                                                     Location: Pickering Library                     Location: Pickering Library
be gentle.                                                 Members: $45                                    Members: $45
   Along with the new look, you’ll find a                Non-members: $50                               Non-members: $50
couple of new features, including “If I Do
Say So Myself ...”, a fun chance to get the        If your writing needs a creative shot in         Whether a budding or experienced poet,
answers to a few quirky questions from one      the arm, you’ll find yourself jolted into        you’ll enjoy this fascinating one-day poet-
of your fellow members. Each issue’s vic-       uncharted fiction and non-fiction territory      ry workshop, which offers participants
tim, er, I mean subject, will interview the     in this all-day workshop.                        hands-on exploration of a variety of poet-
next issue’s.                                      Based on Dorothea’s popular eight-week        ic forms such as the lyric, dramatic mono-
   For its inauguration, I asked the ques-      Advanced Creative Writing course, this           logue, confession, haiku and sonnet.
tions of Dorothea Helms, to whom I’m            down-and-dirty writing day is not for the        Sharpen your poetic tools through practi-
forever indebted for introducing me to the      timid. Come prepared to participate in           cal exercises using imagery, simile and
WCDR and who is, let’s face it, a pretty        bold, courageous on-the-spot writing exer-       metaphor. Turn prose into poetry, poetry
quirky gal.                                     cises and pry open your mind with a liter-       into prose. Bring your own poems to recre-
   Enjoy Words in Whitby; it’s sure to be an    ary crowbar.                                     ate in a different form. Additional poems
awe-inspiring event. When it’s all over, send      Workshop leader Dorothea Helms is             will be available for use during the work-
me your impressions for the next issue.         owner of Write Stuff Writing Servies, a          shop.
   If you read my limerick, you’ll guess how    thriving home-based writing/editing                 Facilitator Rachelle Lerner, PhD, has been
much I detest the cold, so it gives me          business.                                        published in literary journals, and served as
enormous pleasure to say good-bye for              She is also a college-level creative writ-    co-ordinator of Descant for several years. She
now with the words, “See you in the sum-        ing instructor, and has inspired numerous        has taught poetry, narrative, drama and
mer!”                                           students to go on to get published and win       other literary courses at the University of
     Annette McLeod, wordweaver@wcdr.org        writing contests.                                Toronto and Trent University.

 E-Word Weaver
                                        Thanks to those who have opted to receive the Word Weaver by e-mail. This helps the WCDR
                                      save printing and mailing costs. If you’d like to give it a try, contact Dorothea Helms to try the test
                                      PDF file, then let her know if you’d like your name added to the E-Word Weaver list.
The Word Weaver                                                   April/May                                                                5

              February/March Challenge Winners
       Last issue’s challenge was to write a short story or poem about
    ending or leaving. All these submissions share a common thread                              Untitled
    — that ending something is always a beginning too. There were                              By Barkley Fletcher
    many beautiful and thought-provoking submissions — no one                 Leaving is not ending
    told me the hardest part of this job would be leaving some out!           But I want it to end
    Thank you all.                                                            The beginning was good
                                                                              The middle fair
                                                                              But the end
                The Finishing Line                                            Will be unfriendly
                                                                              But I do not care
                          By Pat Skene
      I sit and wait                                                          Let it end
      Alone                                                                   Then I’ll leave
      Cold cement seeps through my linen pants
      Arms hold quivering flesh together
      Court House noises with vacant detached faces                                          Graduation
      Clacking feet pound a hollow beat through the halls                                       By susana gomes
      Echoes of divorce                                                     It’s over. Four years. Twenty courses. One degree. Sixty-
      On graffitti-grey walls of stone                                   two books — forty-eight second-hand. One dog-eared
                                                                         Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Eight poems read at the pub on
      Mahogany groans at the hinges                                      Friday’s Open Mike. Thirty or so friends - three good ones.
      Ceremonious announcements                                          Five lovers. Two one-night stands. Four words of wisdom.
      At the finishing line                                              One Pontiac Sunbird — used, but red. Five macaroni and
      I walk the aisle                                                   cheese lunches per week. One roast beef dinner each
      Alone                                                              Sunday. Twenty-one days no dinner at all. Six weeks tree
      A chancel of black robes await                                     planting near Dryden each summer for three years. God
      I remove my ring                                                   knows how many trees. Two black bears in the middle of the
                                                                         night. One native hunter. No bears at all. One summer
      Promising shadows fade in sun blistered paint                      cruise on the Ottawa River at sunset. One airplane ride to
      I was always                                                       Portugal. One grandmother’s funeral. One long flight back
      Alone                                                              home. Eight weeks job hunting and eight weeks considering
      He never had the time                                              a second degree. Eleven job interviews. Three-hundred and
      Not even today                                                     nineteen dollars in my bank account. Eight thousand dollar
      To celebrate the wreckage                                          limit on Dad’s credit card. Fourteen boxes stacked in the
      Of his victory                                                     corner of my dorm room. Two narrow beds. One look back
                                                                         at me, over your shoulder, your golden hair loose and shim-
                                                                         mering in the summer morning sun against the black of your
                            Leaving                                      graduation gown. It’s over. It will never be like this again.
                       By Kathleen M. Martin
       When I emigrated from Scotland, I left behind a feeling
    of belonging; a belonging where my name, heritage, family,                                 The End
    friends, culture, work and dialect all declared my identity. I                              By Judy Bagshaw
    left with a sense of loss of the known, where my space and              Shari sat filled with apprehension, and surveyed the boun-
    place with its familiar boundaries meant security. I left a city     ty before her. It had been Edward’s suggestion to come here,
    built on a hill overlooking the river Tay, an industrial city        to celebrate their anniversary in high style at their favourite
    with foundries and jute mills with rackety machines, jam             place, a place filled with warm memories of happy times. She
    factories, narrow laneways, tenements and double-decked              had balked at first but then, seeing how much it meant to
    buses. I left with images etched in my mind where buskers            him, relented. How could she explain to him that she need-
    entertained at street corners, vendors sold whelks, mani-            ed to forego these small pleasures, that she needed to be
    cured parks beckoned long Sunday walks, purple heather               strong? He wouldn’t understand, not really. He never did. At
    carpeted distant hills, pipe bands stirred up pride, and where       these times when she fought so hard against her own weak
    dancing at the Palais fulfilled my spirit. I left savouring the      nature, he merely expressed how much he loved her, how
    smells and tastes of sweeties in paper bags, Macintosh toffee,       beautiful he still found her. He didn’t understand that it was-
    fish and chips soaked in malt vinegar and wrapped in news-           n’t enough. And now, here she sat, the moment of truth
    paper, currant dumpling with money hidden inside and                 arrived, when she must make the decision forced upon her.
    scones with marmalade.                                               Slowly, with shaking hand, she lifted the fork to her mouth
       Newly wed, with my new identity recorded in my pass-              and tasted the succulent richness of the Alfredo sauce. There
    port, I left the land of my birth with mixed feelings.               it was, the end of another diet.
6                                                              April/May                                         The Word Weaver

                                                   Writers’ Circles
                                                    To join one of the circles below, please call the
                                                              contact person indicated
                                                   For general information, write to Sherry Loeffler
             May 11, 2002                         at loeffler@primus.ca or call her at 905-640-6315
   Featured Guest: Carol Anne O’Brien
   O’Brien will cover the captivating sub-          Group leaders, please notify editor of changes to
ject of copyrighting, along with other                        dates, times or locations
interesting tidbits about the legal aspect of    Circle for Children’s Writers                Richard Ferrier Writers’ Circle
writing and publishing, as well as use of        First Wednesday of each month                Formerly Volume Two
work on the Internet, a topic on which           May 1; June 5                                Third Tuesday of each month
she has published numerous papers.               7 p.m. to 9 p.m.                             April 16; May 21; June 18
   O’Brien graduated from Queen’s                Oshawa Library, Northview Branch             2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
University in 1982, and received her             250 Beatrice St. E., Oshawa                  History Room at Pickering Central
Master’s degree from the University of           Mike Ward, wardswords@hotmail.com            Library
Toronto in 1984. She has worked as a uni-                                                     Tina Ivany, 905-427-1270 or tdivany@sym-
versity librarian, a business information        Durham Write-On                              patico.ca
analyst and a library manager, and graduat-      Tuesdays, every other week                   Ron Dixon, 416-284-5673 or
ed from the University of Ottawa’s law           April 16, 30; May 14, 28                     retro@pathcom.com
school in 1996. She articled with a boutique     7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
communications and administrative law            Call for location                            Senior Scribes of Uxbridge
firm and was called to the bar, and joined       Ruth Walker, 905-728-7823                    Second and fourth Friday of each month
Cassels Brock in 1998.                                                                        April 12, 26; May 10, 24; June 14, 28
                                                 Inkwell                                      1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
             June 8, 2002                        Formerly Bowmanville Writers’ Group          Township Hall, Uxbridge
        Featured Guest: Neil Crone               Third Tuesday of each month                  Joyce Whitney, 905-852-3414
   Join us in June for our annual general        April 16; May 21; June 18
meeting and then a real treat, Neil Crone.       7 p.m. to 9 p.m.                             Word Players
   Crone is an actor and writer who lives        Boardroom, Hamilton and Mutton               Newcastle Writing Group
with his wife, two small boys, two psycho        1 Division St., Bowmanville                  Call for dates
cats and one very patient dog. Crone has         Lynda Allison, 905-623-0365                  7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
performed in dozens of television and                                                         261 Mill St. S., Newcastle
radio commercials and TV shows, and is           Markham Village Writers’ Group               Philippa Schmiegelow, 905-987-4856
the voice of numerous cartoon characters         Monthly
every Saturday morning, He has also done         Send e-mail for times and dates              Write in Whitby
a number of feature films including the          Donna Marrin, katnip40@sympatico.ca          Second and fourth Tuesday of each
soon-to-be-released Red Sneakers, with                                                        month
Gregory Hinds.                                   Newcastle Poetry Club                        April 9, 23; May 14, 28; June 11, 25
   You can catch him on YTV’s kids’ series       Third Monday of each month                   7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Screech Owls, on CTV’s Power Play, the hit       April 15, May 20, June 17                    Whitby Public Library
children’s show Noddy, and as the weirdly        7 p.m. to 9 p.m.                             Lloyd Blair, 905-430-0075
friendly Mr. Crawford on Eerie Indiana.          Philippa Schmiegelow, 905-987-4856
   A Second City veteran improviser, host                                                     Write Now
and stand up comic, Crone also loves to          Northword Edition                            A group for on-the-spot writing
write poems and stories for “big and little      Every two weeks                              Every second Thursday
kids.” His first book, I Am Dead at Recess, is   April 16, 30; May 14, 28; June 11, 25        April 11, 25; May 9, 23; June 6, 20
currently published on the Internet. He          7 p.m. to 9 p.m.                             7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
writes a weekly humour column for the            Uxbridge Public Library                      Uxbridge Public Library
Metroland papers and is a contributing writer    Dorothea Helms, 905-852-9294                 Sue Reynolds, 905-985-1962
for CBC Radio’s new Real Life Chronicles pro-    Actively seeking new members
gramme. Once he meets Don Knotts and                                                          Writers’ and Editors’ Network
Dick Van Dyke, he figures he can die.            Oshawa Scribes                               Breakfast meeting
                                                 First and third Tuesday of each month        Third Saturday of each month
                                                 April 16; May 7, 21; June 4, 18              April 20; May 18; June 15
     See opposite                                1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.                       9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
         page for                                Oshawa Library, Northview Branch             Stemms Eatery
        breakfast                                250 Beatrice St. E., Oshawa                  3300 Bloor St. W., Etobicoke
          details.                               Grace Stevenson, 905-725-0760                Mickey Turnbull, 905-824-5035
                                                                                              or mickeytc@ica.net
The Word Weaver                                                  April/May                                                                                       7

                         If I Do Say So Myself ...
                                          Q: Annette McLeod            "   A: Dorothea Helms

Q                                                                                                                      A
   I recently ran across this quote from         that carry the reader through The Shipping                               I admire Barbara Kingsolver’s style and
George Orwell’s 1946 essay, Politics and the     News, or Margaret Atwood’s bold omission                              her versatility. She writes stunning fiction
English Language: “A man may take to             of quotation marks in Alias Grace?                                    and creative non-fiction that leaves me
drink because he feels himself to be a fail-        Both ugly and beautiful ideas have been                            awash in awe. When I read her work, I
ure, and then fail all the more completely       expressed using the same language for cen-                            often stop and sigh, thinking, “I wish I’d
because he drinks. It is rather the same         turies. As clichéd as it seems, I refer you to                        written that.”
thing that is happening to the English lan-      author Margaret Wolfe Hungerford’s                                       Kingsolver’s writing is soft and edgy;
guage. It becomes ugly and inaccurate            famous quote, “Beauty is in the eye of the                            kind and tough; subtle and blunt; inven-
because our thoughts are foolish, but the        beholder.”                                                            tive and solid; serious and funny. I find the
slovenliness of our language makes it easi-         But there’s a limit to my open-minded-                             stark originality of her metaphors refresh-
er for us to have foolish thoughts. The          ness. Despite the political correctness                               ing.
point is that the process is reversible.”        trend, I do not accept sentences with sin-                               I’d have to answer Mark Twain for the
Does that resonate with you? In what way?        gular nouns and plural pronouns. To me,                               author whose ideas I most admire. The
                                                 “Each graduate must provide their own                                 man was brilliant, and way ahead of his

   As much as I love all things grammatical,     cap and gown” sounds ignorant.                                        time. Twain had the courage to challenge
I find Orwell’s quote unnecessarily nega-           I’ll rewrite a sentence before resorting to                        accepted societal norms, and he managed
tive. In his essay, he misuses the word          that technique.                                                       to do it through humour.
“which,” among other grammatical trans-             Fact is, I care about grammar, but I’m                                He was Stephen Leacock’s favourite
gressions. By today’s standards, taking          learning to loosen up about it. After taking                          writer, as well as being mine. He’s my lit-
advice on grammar from him would be like         courses through the Editors’ Association of                           erary idol, and if the Humber School for
taking advice on weight loss from me.            Canada, I’ve found out how much I still                               Writers could have found a way to get in
   Language changes, even for the British.       have to learn. Who’s “right,” anyway? Even                            touch with him in Heaven, I’d have him as

(When’s the last time you heard a Brit say       in Canada, publications use numerous                                  a mentor in a flash.
the word “forsooth”?) There are George           styles whose grammar rules conflict. Add
Orwell thinkers in each generation who           to that the fact that I grew up in the U.S.                              What was the most memorable movie
subscribe to the, “We learned language this      and still prefer to place a comma before the                          line you ever heard?
way, so it must be the right way” school of      “and” in a series — and, well, you see why
thought. I was one when I took creative          my feelings are mixed.

writing in 1992. Teacher Marge Green                As an editor, I appreciate it when writers                             I have three. The first is from the James
opened my mind to the fluidity of language,      go to the trouble to use good grammar. I                              Bond classic Thunderball: “Jettison
and encouraged me to start a sentence with       hope, however, that the propensity for lan-                           cocoon!” Whoever designed Largo’s yacht
“But” for the first time in my life.             guage to make it easier for us to have fool-                          was a natural-born lateral thinker!
   Ouch! But once I did it, I admit it           ish thoughts is irreversible. If no one ever                              The second is from Caddyshack, when
became easier a second time. Now I start         dangled participles, humour writers would                             Rodney Dangerfield meets the judge’s wife
sentences with conjunctions when I feel it       lose a lot of fodder for jokes.                                       and says, “You musta been somethin’
helps the flow of a piece.                                                                                             before electricity!”

   Plus, I find it liberating to break grammar                                                                             Oh, oh, and there’s Young Frankenstein,
rules for effect. Would you fill a Michael         Whose writing do you most admire for                                when Inga gets caught behind the book-
Ondaatje book with red marks for the liber-      their style? For their ideas?                                         case after freeing Freidrick and says, “Put
ties he takes with language? How about                                                                                 ... ze candle ... beck!”
Annie Proux and the sentence fragments
                                                                                                                          Time flies when we are having fun
                                                                                            By Kathleen Wilkins Lunn

                                         “They paddle. You steer.”                                                        Caught up with family and our friends
                                                                                                                          Time drags and crawls with certainty
                                           Hamlin Grange, at the March breakfast meeting,                                 When work-day’s end is hours away
                                                      on the dynamics of a good interview                                 Time for you, time for me, time for us
                                                                                                                          A moment, a flicker, a heartbeat,
                                          Breakfast meetings run from 8:30 a.m. to                                        Eternity, tempo, timing, precious.
                                          11 a.m. at Iroquois Park Sports Complex                                         Time is restless; rushing to be gone
                                                      50 Victoria St. W.                                                  If only we could hold it still,
                                                (at Henry Street) in Whitby                                               For when we need it; pin it down
                                                                                                                          For us, forevermore.
                                                  Members, $12; guests, $15                                               Time turns and twists away from us
                                          Your place must be reserved no later than                                       Teasing, flirting, touching us
                                                   the Tuesday prior with                                                 Until we think we have caught
                                               Nancy Rogers at 905-259-6520                                               Elusive time
Jim Ferr,

                                                                                                                          Only to find, that wickedly,

                                                  or at breakfast@wcdr.org
                                                                                                                          Time has run out on us!
8                                                                         April/May                                               The Word Weaver

                                            Calendar events          April 5 and 6, 2002
                                                                    Words in Whitby
                                                                                                                            May 11, 2002
                                                                                                                        Breakfast Meeting
                                                              Featured Guest: Pierre Berton                      Featured Guest: Carol Anne O’Brien
                                                             Writer, Broadcaster and Historian                            Copyright Lawyer

                                                                         April 27, 2002                                      June 8, 2002
                                                                  Outrageous Writing                                    Breakfast Meeting
                                                                  Leader: Dorothea Helms                             Featured Guest: Neil Crone
                                                                         Workshop                                         Actor and Author

                                                                          May 4, 2002                                  To register for breakfasts
                                                                 I Do Different Voices                                        see page 7
                                                                  Leader: Rachelle Lerner                                   For workshops
                                                                         Workshop                                             see page 4

                      WCDR Board of Directors
                 Aprille Janes                                    Kathleen M. Martin                                      Lois Gordon
                    President                                              Secretary                                        Workshops
                  905-985-6453                                        905-905-259-6520                                     905-259-6520
               president@wcdr.org                                     secretary@wcdr.org                                workshops@wcdr.org

               Ruth E. Walker                                          Sue Reynolds                                     Dorothea Helms
                  Past President                                  Treasurer/Memberships                          Public Relations (Electronic Media)
                  905-728-7823                               905-985-1962/Fax: 905-985-9338                        905-852-9294 or 905-852-0551
             pastpresident@wcdr.org                                 treasurer@wcdr.org                         Fax: 905-852-0756/webmaster@wcdr.org

          Alexandra Savage-Ferr                                        Nancy Rogers                                      Lynda Allison
     Vice-President/Events Co-ordinator                             Breakfast Co-ordinator                         Public Relations (Print Media)
                905-430-3540                                            905-259-6520                                       905-623-0365
           vicepresident@wcdr.org                                    breakfast@wcdr.org                              publicrelations@wcdr.org

                                                     Administration: Anna Therien, admin@wcdr.org

        Word Weaver
                                                                                                                    Editor ! Annette McLeod

                                                                                                                Copy Editor ! Philippa Schmiegelow

                                                                                                                     We welcome your input
                                          www.wcdr.org                                                           Send comments and submissions to
                                                                                                                     wordweaver@wcdr.org or
     The Word Weaver is published by The Writers’ Circle of Durham Region as a service to its members and            c/o WCDR, P.O. Box 323
     other interested parties. No one should act upon advice given without considering the facts of specific
                          situations and/or consulting appropriate professional advisors.                               Ajax, Ont. L1S 3C5
      Publications are invited to quote from the Word Weaver upon obtaining written persmission from the
             President, The Writers’ Circle of Durham Region, P.O. Box 323, Ajax, Ont., L1S 3C5                 We reserve the right to edit or reject
                                Phone 905-259-6520. Web address: www.wcdr.org                                      submissions at our discretion
           Word Weaver subscription: $12/year (6 isues); WCDR membership: $40/year, $35/renewal

Famous Last Words
               Which is better — to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill? Piggy, Lord of the Flies

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