Weekend Words

Last weekend I ran away from home for some good, old-fashioned me time. I went to dinner with my sister on Friday; National Sibling Day. The following day, I met up with a girlfriend for our annual coveted concert outing. We slipped into downtown Toronto for a delicious meal at the Rivoli, before heading over to Massey Hall to be blown away by Damien Rice. The acoustics in Massey Hall were incredible, made that much more impressive by Rice’s talented vocals and acoustic guitar playing. Just, Wow!

Imagine this echoing into your soul, as not a word is spoken by an audience rapt by his charms. You can love me any time Damien…

What a beautiful night.

By Sunday you would think I would be happy for a coffee and to head home, but I was in for one more treat. My girlfriend took me to a workshop luncheon put on by the Writers’ Community of York Region (WCYR) FYI, if you are a writer in this area, it would be well worth your while to join this welcoming community of dynamic writers!

But I digress.

Writers’ Community of York Region

So after two late nights in a row, I grabbed a notebook from my vehicle and followed Corrie to her local writer’s chapter. We got there early enough to join their “Write Before Lunch” writing prompt circle. Time to put my brain into action, as a table full of prompts was revealed and we were given 20 minutes to write a short story incorporating one, two, three or as many of the items displayed as we could manage.

It was a fun challenge, but I suspect I need more practice at the art of free writing, as too many words were crossed out while I hastily penned the beginning of a tale. At the chirp of a bell, time was up though and it was time to share what we had come up with. New to the group, I was timid to raise my hand to share, but eventually all eyes turned to me for a turn. So share I did.

Barry Dempster; poet, writer, editor, motivator

In the meantime, the room began to fill with people greeting others, shaking hands and taking seats at the tables set up around the room. Wafts of our waiting lunch swirled through the group, as I was introduced to the writers that joined our table. They were there to hear Barry Dempster speak, but were curious to hear my story too. We were all writers and our unwritten stories hung in the air around us. But Barry was there to tease some of them out.

I had agreed to attend the meeting with Corrie, but suddenly found myself nervous in the throng of people. I keenly felt my reclusive nature clinging to me, as people asked about what I wrote and what groups I belonged to in London. Too many days I spend alone in front of my computer and this attention was a rarity. The next part of the workshop was the real challenge though, as after lunch dishes were cleared, Barry asked us to pull out pens once more and capture descriptive moments from our lives. There was no time for editing. But he wanted us to share. And gosh, if that didn’t leave me angst-ridden.

Anxiety aside, I enjoyed the event. It was good to be amongst peers. I enjoyed the poetic prose that was created around me and the appreciation for good language which was felt by all. As much as the process didn’t elicit anything I was proud of sharing, it did create one thing which I think I need to foster – the realization that I need more one-on-one connections in my writing world. I felt that big stick poking me to get out and network with more writers. And it just might have to happen closer to home every once in a while too.

Calling all writers in the London, Ontario area! Anyone up for a writing date?

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