#StayHomeWriMo Day 5

Writing Prompt: Go outside (if you safely can). Put on your writer hat and try to notice 5 things to write about! 

My 5 things: gardening, waterfall, Buddha, t-shirt, bugs

The young man looked up to the sun, sweat beating down his face as he raked leaves. Kids ran by in delight down the freshly cleaned path to the waterfall nearby. He watched them with envy– free to make their own decisions, free to bounce and leap down the trail as they wished.

He so wished he could take his standard issue t-shirt off as he worked. Why did they make them wear such heavy material? Wasn’t it enough to be forced to do community service? Maybe it was to slow them down if they tried to run. He chuckled to himself. The guy working next to him gave him a dirty look.

Their site supervisor called out “BREAK” and everyone dropped their tools, huffing. They crowded under a tree for shade and accepted the pitiful granola bar and bottle of water. As if they were school children on rations. He smiled to himself again, remembering how he used to try to trade kids on the playground services like finishing their homework for granola bars like this one.

“What are you laughing at?” the man next to him asked, irritated.

“Oh, I was just thinking…” he started, but the man moved on, swatting flies and giving him a dirty look. He shrugged and sat under the tree, savoring the sweet oats and nuts flavour, trying not to drop anything on the forest floor.

“Okay, breaks up! Back to work!” The supervisor declared. The crowd of orange shirts slowly got up, cracking plastic water bottles in their fists, sauntering back to their work stations.

A group of yogis gathered on the opposite side of the trail, overlooking the waterfall beyond the trees. He watched their gentle movements, their limbs swaying in the breeze, the Buddha around one women’s neck twinkling in the sunlight. He sighed. They looked so peaceful.

Shaking his head, he thought to himself, ‘when I get out, I’m not wasting my time on that!’

Smiling, he went back to work.

Industrious Art

A reflection on the Writer-in-Residence program at McMaster University and my personal experience meeting fellow inspiring writers!

From: http://thepaperstreetjournal.com/read/industrial-art/


If grit and beauty both inspire and repulse you, you’ve likely found a home in Hamilton.

There is no one word to describe a city. Poverty, potholes–even beauty is an unfair hole in which to sink a city. The ever-changing pulse of a place constantly cultivates new talent and creates new possibilities. We are lucky to experience a great shift in Hamilton from industrial work to industrious art. The reflection of these possibilities reside in the hearts and work of artists.

Recently, McMaster University held an evening at the Faculty Hall celebrating the Writer-in-Residence program. Burlington native Kim Echlin was the 2015-2016 Writer-in-Residence, whose newest novel, Under the Visible Life, was recently featured atHamilton’s GritLIT festival. To accompany the evening was pianist Jason Scozzari, a McMaster piano student who picked up the art at the late age of fourteen. Together, these two harmonized a duet of words and music that inspired the audience.

Alongside her daily work as a writer, Echlin involved herself with the Hamilton arts and library community. She has been a hugely positive influence in the community, helping local writers cultivate their craft and perfect their work for various modes.

Seven writers from across the city gathered at the event to share their writing with the audience. All seemed influenced by Hamilton in one way or another, and all seemed proud to share bits and pieces of the city as their characters experienced it.

Each author’s piece of writing created a puzzle,  evoking intense imagery and diverse voices. Poverty was a central theme in multiple stories, one in particular discussing a woman from Wentworth Street who was weathered from a harsh life of mental illness and homelessness. Another story contrasted this through the life of a musician, living with her family on the Mountain Brow and dealing with lifelong struggles of her own.

Two brave authors shared pieces of their memoirs. One discussed a harsh reality of the closet in the dark basement becoming the caregiver to multiple children. In a weathered breath, another author shared his stories of sailing in the GTA. These truths shared by Hamilton writers were both relatable and inspiring to the audience. It was a riveting evening for all.

Writing, if done properly, sheds a light of truth on any subject. To continue the journey, follow this link to read the bios and excerpts of these brave writers living and working in Hamilton.

-Nichole Fanara, Chief Editor – Short Fiction