#StayHomeWriMo Day 2

Writing Prompt: Pick 5 words at random from different blog posts, tweets or articles and use them all in a scene.

My 5 words: Covid, Mama Bear, Happy, Meditation, Puppy

“Come on Covid, come here!”

The old chocolate lab shook his tail happily at the attention but kept his distance. His gentle eyes looked on curiously as the new puppy tried to leap and bound out of Papa Bear’s arms.

“Come on sweetie, come and meet your new buddy!” Covid looked again from Mama Bear, Papa Bear, the squirming crazy thing. He bowed his head, already exhausted by the effort this encounter was causing. How he yearned to find a quiet place on the kitchen floor to meditate.

“Oh- shoot!” Papa Bear lurched forward and the new little bullet shot out of his arms.

Covid’s eyes widened in shock as the fluffy devil skirted around his rigid form. He didn’t dare take his eyes off of it. He leaned in to sniff the bugger, trying to identify his scent. If only the darned thing would sit still!

“WOOF.”

Everybody stopped. Mama and Papa Bear looked on in amazement. They’d never heard their Covid make that sound.

The little fur ball inched closer to Covid.

“WOOF.”

The little puppy sat, staring up in awe.

“WOOF.”

The little puppy laid down, eyes locked on Covid. Covid, satisfied, sniffed momentarily, then sauntered to his favourite cold spot on the kitchen floor and flopped.

The Benefit of the Group

SKLessons from my first writing workshop

In a group, there is little room for doubt. The supportive atmosphere, the excitement of hearing something new, and the opportunity for growth are all contagious parts of the writers group dynamic. I experienced this on Saturday.

Kim Echlin (The Disappeared, nominated for the 2009 Giller Prize), the current Writer-in-Residence at McMaster University, hosted a writers workshop at the Hamiltion Public Library’s Central location. Local writers in association with Kim were asked to read scenes from their writing.  Many who attended were also aspiring writers curious about the craft itself.

For me, I have always been a “closeted writer.” I love to write, and I’ve worked at it for as long as I can remember. However, I’ve never shared my writing with a group of people. Only this year have I finally allowed someone in the writing community to read my work and offer commentary. From this authentic experience, I have gained confidence as a writer and improved my writing skills.

Kim has been an excellent shepherd in the writing community through her support in helping new writers emerge and take pride in their work. With a kind spirit and sweet disposition, Kim’s comments are always open-minded and thoughtful. She has reminded me that writing doesn’t always have to be a lonely or solitary struggle.

 

The following are some tips from Kim and the seven writers present at the event, in response to questions asked by audience members:

 

Some tips about “Writer’s Block”

  • Everyone experiences writer’s block at some point in their writing journey.
  • This usually stems from fear, the feeling of inadequacy or an unknown twist in the plot
  • Writing is the best medicine for writer’s block. Whatever you do, get your butt in the chair and WRITE
  • Try writing some “jibber jabber” or “free writing.” The process of allowing your mind to wander and allowing your characters to take you on a journey may help you reach the next part in your writing
  • JUST WRITE

 

Some tips on “Self-Doubt”

  • Your writing just is. It exists, it is there, it is open for judgement. No one person will think about your writing in the same way as another.
  • Surround yourself with a supportive group that will help you grow, not push you down
  • Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. You are entitled to write.
  • Criticism can help you grow as a writer, but negativity is not necessary
  • Keep an open mind
  • Oftentimes, we write because we can’t not write.
  • Write for yourself. Keep in mind the personal reason you have for writing and never let anyone change that.

My Corner of the Universe

Welcome to my corner of the universe!

I love to write, I love to travel, and I love to inspire. When I travel (even around my home-grown city of Hamilton, Ontario) I love to listen in on the tales and tidings of the people around me. Everybody has a story, a vision, something to say. Why not share these lively adventures? The stories we encounter on our travels make our days brighter, or sometimes cast a gloomy shadow. It is the stories that we encounter that put our own stories into perspective. And it is these stories I wish to tell. Anonymously, I wish to tell your story.

I am also a teacher! Or rather, an aspiring teacher. I was originally unsure about using my real name in my blog because as a public figure, I can and will be scrutinized for my work. As much as I respect this, I also know that I want to take ownership for my writing, and in using my own name I can do that.

I hope you find stories here that you can relate to, that you find interesting or that may inspire you in your own life. I  encourage your insights, I wish to read your comments, I dream of a community that recognizes the importance of each of our stories no matter where we are in the world.

It’s a big big world with a million decisions plummeting towards you every day. Wouldn’t you like to know?

I can’t wait to begin. I hope you can join me!

~Nichole