Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Creative Explorations Workshop

This evening, Nikki Everts-Hammond facilitated a two-hour creative writing workshop at the main branch of the Guelph Public Library. She provided a number of exercises designed to release creativity.

A few examples...

Scenario--If you were a vegetable, what vegetable would you be?

If I were a vegetable I would probably be a potato. I've certainly been mashed, boiled, baked and fried more than a few times in my life. There's nothing very special about me but I'm positively unavoidable. I don't do raw very well. I prefer to be dressed, buttered up and well seasoned. I work well with others. Put me in a group or soup...whatever you may call it.

I don't mind coming from dirt, being rather plain in appearance, functional, dependable. I have a thick skin, don't bruise too easily--sometimes. It all depends on what you expect from me.

I have eyes in the back of my head--or so I 'm told. I have a large family and we're a loyal bunch, lots of little tater tots in the family now...

Scenario: You are in a closet with a door closed behind you. A time machine takes you to the past or future.

Of course it's a time machine. It's where all the luggage is kept--in a large dusty closet under the basement stairs. The two large Samsonites with the airline tags still attached to the handles and their bright Christmas bows so that we'll recognize them amid all the other luggage rotating happily on their airport carousels. The carry-on bags are also in there, along with the snorkeling equipment still covered in gritty, white Jamaican sand. If I crawl into the closet and close the door behind me, I can still smell the musty smell of damp clothes, bathing suits that never dry in the moist Mexican humidity.

If I close my eyes and wish hard enough can I get there--that beach in paradise--without all the hassles of planes, trains and automobiles, lineups and snotty customs officials, passports and paperwork. Why can I not in this day and age of high tech gadgets just close my eyes and say: Beam me up Scotty, there's a poolside bar stool waiting for me somewhere.

Written by Patricia Anderson

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Information Update

The Chicken Soup for the Soul Book series is looking for inspirational, humorous or heart-warming stories that take place in Canada or are written by Canadians. The deadline is Monday, February 28, 2011. Visit the website or more information.

A two-day writers workshop will be held at the University of Guelph on Thursday, February 24 Friday, February 25. The workshops are free to U of G students and staff. Members of the general public can pay $30 per workshop. Visit the website for more information.

Written by Joanne Guidoccio

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Energy

Yesterday evening, eight of us braved the pre-storm conditions to meet at Symposium Restaurant.

There was new energy in the room. We were joined by Cindy Carroll and two other members of the Guelph Write Now Group--Kasia and Kevin. Matthew Wren, one of Dennis' students from the last creative course also joined us. Our own prodigals--Bonnie and Sarah--returned and gave us updates on their writing and non-writing lives. Congratulations to Bonnie who is a regular contributor to a Puslinch paper. We hope to see some of her articles on this blog.

Cindy has invited us to her group's events. Visit the website for more information.

A few upcoming events and contests...
  • Sarah Totton will be presenting an Aspiring Writers workshop at the main branch of the Guelph Public Library on Wednesday, February 9th at 7:00 p.m. No registration is required.
  • The deadline for the Postcard Contest is Monday, February 14th.
  • The deadline for the Annual Ultra-Short Contest is Tuesday, February 15th.
  • There will be a Creative Explorations workshop at the main branch of the Guelph Public Library on Wednesday, February 16th at 7:00 p.m. No registration is required.
  • The deadline for the Toronto Star Short Story Contest is Sunday, February 27th.
Written by Joanne Guidoccio