Newsletter June 2021
'If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to write' - Stephen King
The Strathcona Writers Muse is a newsletter to members of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County. It also provides an opportunity for members to publish their works. Anything published in our newsletter is eligible to receive a publishing credit. Since very few, if any, submissions are refused, it is a wonderful way to publish your work. We accept poems and short stories of 1000 words or less. Longer pieces can be accommodated if they can be published in parts. Works can be essays and opinion pieces as well as short stories and poems. We are always in need of new items for each month so don't hesitate if you have something we can put into our publication.
Send submissions to email@example.com care of Henry Martell, editor.
Virtual Sharing Meeting online
Next date June 1, 2021
RSVP on the website and the link will be emailed to you prior to the meeting.
Next Board Meeting: June 8, 2021
Newsletter Submission Deadline: June 25, 2021
Monthly online Creative Writing Workshops
Held last Saturday of every month at 12:30 to 2:30 pm
Go to the website to register - click the RSVP and the link will be emailed to you prior to the workshop.
From a Breeze
A breeze gently tickles the water, as it moves along on its endless journey
The water giggles at the soft touch of the breeze, as it too travels endlessly onward
The breeze, enjoying this game, picks up speed as it dances across the water
Waves begin to form, laughing at the wind for being so playful on its never-ending flight
The wind begins howling with joy, and sends swirls and eddies over the water with its mirth
Waves grow larger, and begin to curl, as the wind pushes them along its random path
The wind begins to build, as clouds form from the moisture the wind draws from the water below
Waves begin to charge forth, shaking their frothy manes, as the wind pushes them with its building force
The sky grows darker, as the wind picks up speed, shrieking as it grows stronger
Waves grow larger, rolling along the surface, crashing, as they curl and toss in the wind
The wind builds to a rage, screaming at nothing at all, as it gains strength building into a cyclone
Waves grow larger and larger, as they try to keep up to the wind’s mounting fury
The clouds become darker and darker, as they take in more moisture from the ocean below
The thunderclaps, and the clouds burst, shedding their excess moisture in torrents of driving rain
Flashes of lightning shooting down from the dark skies above, like arrows from the God's
Illuminating the growing waves below with their eerie light, as the strong wind pushes them onward
The bolts of lightning, exploding, as they hit the water, splashing, spraying it high into the air
Thunders deafening roar, rolls endlessly across the frothing seas below
Funnel clouds form, twisting their way down from the dark clouds above, to the wind whipped water below
Waterspouts suck the sea water up like straws, taking hundreds of gallons into their whirling center
Adding it to the torrential rains already falling to the raging sea below
The wind begins to tire, expending its pent-up rage, the waterspoutsshrink and dissipate
The waves, however, are moving too fast now to just slow down like the wind
The wind slowly loses its rage, and again, becomes a playful breeze tickling the waves
The clouds begin to break up, the rain diminishes to nothing from the downpour it had been only moments before
The waves begin to slow, to lose their momentum, as they carry on their endless journey
The breeze gently tickles the water as it goes on its infinite voyage
From a playful breeze....
Remembering Frog Lake
A Poem by Dennis Wilson
Introduction and inspiration:
Chief Big Bear was camped near Frog Lake when the news reached him. The Metis militia had defeated the North West Mounted Police in a skirmish at Duck Lake, North West Territories.
This news emboldened Big Bear to take action to help his people. Government food rations guaranteed by treaty were being withheld by the Government Indian agent, Thomas Quinn at Frog Lake. By refusing to distribute the promised food rations, Quinn was keeping Big Bear’s Cree people in a state of near starvation.
The trading post at Frog Lake was seized by Big Bear’s raiding party. Then, Quinn, the Indian agent, was taken prisoner at his home where he resisted and harshly refused to comply with Big Bear’s demands to release the rations.
Big Bear’s young war chief, Wandering Spirit, stepped in and shot Quinn in the head, killing him. In the ensuing mayhem, Wandering Spirit and his young warriors killed eight other white men including two Roman Catholic priests.
The Roman Catholic church and rectory and all the buildings at the Frog Lake settlement were burned to the ground that same day on April 2nd, 1885, the day before Easter.
Six men from the Cree raiding party, including Wandering Spirit, were later found guilty of the massacre at Frog Lake and sentenced to death along with two other Assiniboine natives from Eagle Hill who were found guilty of two murders in a separate incident.
On November 27th, 1885 all eight men were hanged at Battleford in the largest mass hanging in Canadian history, then buried in a common grave. Big Bear was sentenced to three years in prison after witnesses shared that he did attempt to prevent his people from committing the massacre.
A stone cairn of remembrance still stands in the graveyard of those slain in the massacre at Frog Lake.
The cairn is a short distance east of a country intersection in which a high-speed crash occurred. There, an automobile carrying five First Nations men collided with my car in the summer of 1957.
When I saw them running towards my wreck, my first thought was, “Another massacre!”
The poem:Remembering Frog Lake
Empyreal things occur when God’s angels stir
In the cool of the evening hour.
There is a spell native lands still tell
Where historic graves still flower.
We crashed that night near the killing site
On a lonely road freshly graded;
Spectral Frog Lake flew by as I gazed at the sky
To see where the sun had faded.
I felt the need to check my speed;
Seventy, without correction.
From the corner of my eye an old Chrysler did fly
From a hidden intersection.
There’s knowing ahead by God without dread,
We collided in crossroad’s middle.
‘You are going to die!’ I knew that was a lie;
I’m not playing the devil’s fiddle.
In the shadow of death, I held my breath,
The hood curled up in slow motion.
I spun round and round and lost track of the ground;
“Can’t feel pain” was my first notion.
Blinded by dust and dirt, there was no blood on my shirt.
Five warriors were stomping downhill.
Dirt fog settled, I could see, car parts dangling from a tree;
My vehicle was total roadkill.
No seat belts to undo no airbags to eschew,
I painfully scrambled to get free.
I was late for a date. Lord, determine my fate;
They were rushing forward to seize me.
I was pulled from my wreck; they did a disability check.
Concerned, they asked, ‘Can you still feel?’
I patted myself.“ Nothing hurts”. My thoughts were coming in spurts;
I’ve escaped death. Nothing’s more real!
Almighty is my strong tower; my place of enduring power;
Thank You, no one was injured or killed.
When lonely spirits prowl, prairie coyotes must howl.
Wandering Spirit, Big Bear, be stilled;
These warriors are not yours, but hunters from Frog Lake shores.
Now, birds still sing their stillness song.
In the region, eldritch haps strike without reason;
Keep going. Something might go wrong!
When September Turns Gold
September 24, 2019
By Jessica Roberts
When September turns gold,
The golden leaves fall,
Red birds fly and bluebells die.
When September turns gold,
The harvest moon glows,
Farmers cull golden heads,
And lindy hoppers dance a colourful tread.
When September turned gold,
The red fire was quenched,
A golden halo gained and blue hearts sang.
So when September turns gold,
And the stars turn blue,
Your memory lives on and forever you shall live.
What Are You Reading?
The Muse wants to know what other writers are reading! Are you doing research for a story? Are you reading a great book that you want to tell others about? E-mail the editor and let us know about your book. firstname.lastname@example.org THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT (1983) by Walter Tevis Review by Lana O’Neill As an eight-year-old, my biggest worry was catching the right bus from school (especially in the winter) and my biggest hope was getting a singing stint on Kiddies on Camera with my best friend, Michelle. By the time Walter Tevis’ protagonist, Beth Harmon, was eight she was alone, living a flat-lined existence in an orphanage. Her biggest worry and hope were one and the same- ensuring she gother daily allotment of little green pills (‘vitamins’ to the orphans, tranquilizers to you and me).The Queen’s Gambit is a story of an unremarkable girl who found the game of chess amid theunpromising circumstances life threw at her. Thiscerebral gameis written into the story like a secondary character and readers may become lost in the terminology, if not, the strategies.For my part, watching the Netflix television series of the same name beforehand, went a long way towards my understanding of the game and thus my enjoyment of the plot. The book, though, provides a window to Beth’s thoughts, thus the key tounderstanding herjourney inside a world she mastered to become more than remarkable. Saying Goodbye is Easy by Kathie Sutherland Review by Mandy Eve-Barnett A compelling, complex and enlightening narrative, full of truths, struggles and internal emotions. Every reader will find a connection with the struggles, highs and lows of the narrator. A courageous, heartfelt and revealing story, told in short stories and reflections. This book will change your outlook on your life and your life's path. THE KITE RUNNER (2003) by Khaled Hosseini Review by Lana O’Neill This debut novel of Khaled Hosseini is a poignant tale of loyalty and betrayal before, during and after the turmoil of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in the eighties. Hosseini, an Afghan-American born in 1965 in Kabul, is more than qualified to write the voice of first-person narrator, Amir. We first meet Amir as a grown man but he immediately whisks us back to his childhood so that we may understand him better and why he must try to be good again. Hosseini colors the story of Amir by immersing the reader into the Afghan culture, including its food, people, language, religion and many more delightful depictions. The reader, though, is not spared the horrors of innocents in a war-torn country, especially as Amir comes to realize that ‘sometimes bad people stay bad’. The Kite Runner reads like a trial for the human condition where courage is the key to redemption and thus, freedom.An emotional read, for sure Miss Benson's Beetle by Rachel Joyce Review by Mandy Eve Barnett Absolutely loved this book! Great characters, story, tension, discovery and the power of finding your true self. The descriptions transported you to the locations. I thoroughly recommend it. THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY (2020) by Matt Haig Review by Lana O’Neill Have you ever wondered, ‘what if I’d chosen different?’ I’m sure we’ve all contemplated a crossroad from our past, the ensuing decision and its’ aftermath. Be it good or bad, to be human is to have regrets. How else can we look back on them during times of inner reflection and make judgments of ourselves? But let’s step beyond reality for a moment. What if you could go back, with your current knowledge, and choose another path at that crossroad? Robert Frost analogies aside, the idea is intriguing if not a bit intoxicating. The Midnight Library, by bestselling author Matt Haig, is a journey into this very idea. Haig winds this never-ending philosophical question into the story of Nora Seed, a young woman lost amid the regrets in her life. A fantastical library is the portal through which she can live that choice not taken in an attempt to fix her original mistakes. Reality may not offer second chances on such a grand scale and maybe it shouldn’t. But readers will surely find themselves looking inward as they follow Nora’s journey. Her ultimate decision will reward the reader with a sense of enlightenment and purpose. Make sure to grab the newest writing prompt book published by The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County.
Available for purchase:
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Other publications available by visiting our website
WFSC's publication prior to the Writing Prompts book shares stories of Canadian writers.
We write from the heart about people who are important and things dear to us.
We write with a spirit that leads us to explore and explain.
We write. We are passionate.
We are Canadian.
Postcards from Canada proudly features the words of members from the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County in celebration of being Canadian – during this 150th year of Confederation. Share with us as we take you on a journey across Canada with our words, our images, our verse, our prose… Postcards from Canada - Wish you were here! Get your copy from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca or by contacting any member of the Board. $14.95
Writers Foundation of Strathcona County 2020 - 2021 Board Members and contact information:
Joe McKnight President email@example.com Bethany Horne Vice President firstname.lastname@example.org Never Been Better - Editor Linda Pedley Treasurer Web Site Administration email@example.com 780-445-0991 Mandy Barnett Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org Writing Prompts/ Newsletter Editor Karen Probert Past President email@example.com 780-464-6632 Beth Rowe Director Your Lifetime of Stories Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org 780-718-7253 Henry Martell Director Newsletter Coordinator email@example.com Pamela J. Winter Director firstname.lastname@example.org Guy Chambers Director email@example.com Amanda O'Driscoll Director Instagram Coordinator Library Liaison firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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