top of page

October Muse

October 2022

“Read, read, read. Read everything  —  trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.” — William Faulkner

Editor's Note:

The Strathcona Writers Muse is a forum for members of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County to provide an opportunity for members to publish their works. Anything published in our letter is eligible to receive a publishing credit. We accept poems and short stories of 1000 words or less normally but longer pieces can be accommodated if they can be published in parts. 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 care of Henry Martell, editor.

Important Dates

Writers Circle Virtual Sharing Meeting online

Next date Oct 3, 2022

RSVP on the website and the link will be emailed to you prior to the meeting.

Next Board Meeting: Oct 10, 2022

Newsletter Submission Deadline: Oct 24, 2022

Poets in the Park

Poets in the park meets the third Wednesday of every month online.

Reply to the link on the WFSC website

Next scheduled meeting October 19, 2022

Children's Creative Writing Workshop

Third Tuesday of each month

Next Meeting October 20, 2022

Reply to the link on our Website

This Month's Submissions

An Endangered Species by Karen Probert With their golden eyes gleaming, the huge pack encircled the walls after dark. This was mankind's very last remaining stronghold in North America. During daylight hours groups ventured out in armoured vehicles to the land where they farmed food and manufactured the other necessities for the approximately one hundred thousand people living within the walls. No one ventured out alone, or without a gun. Inside the walls life was regimented by school, duties to keep the population fed and the water sources purified. Those who refused to be a part of the structured life were taken fifteen miles out and abandoned - none could survive. Each evening, via computer, each group or family checked in to be counted and accounted for. By nightfall, from the tops of the walls, the eyes of the wolves could be seen in a huge circle. Over the centuries these creative creatures had learned to co-operate, to take advantage of each man's follies to close the gap. The pack had grown huge and strong. Any person or small group had been attacked and devoured to support the growing pack. The alpha males and beta females of the original twenty-two packs had formed the conglomerate which now controlled the movement of the people into and out of the one walled city. Daily pack members hunted bison, elk, deer and cattle, now gone wild, which roamed the vast prairies and forests which had reclaimed the land once decimated and polluted by man. Former cities were now full of ruined buildings being overtaken by native plants and small animals. The wolves were never hungry for long. The people sent out in hunting parties were easy prey despite their guns and vehicles. Each evening the pack surrounded the walls to howl their superiority into the night air, to romp and play within sight of the guardians of the city walls. This was their way of reminding mankind of who was now in charge and who was endangered.

Daisy’s Magic Dream

"Candies taste sweeter on the moon."

Daisy looked at the old man with his long grey beard and screwed up her face at these silly words. She knew no one could live on the moon - her Daddy had told her all about it, when they'd watched a movie about astronauts going up in a rocket. She remembered his words quite clearly.

"Now, Daisy, the moon is a huge rock, which orbits around the Earth. It is so cold that anything would freeze up there. And there is no air - nothing can breathe."

Daisy had asked question after question about why and why and why - all were answered by her Daddy in his normal matter of fact way. As a scientist, Daisy knew he was right about everything.

"You are wrong Mr. Man; the moon can't be lived on. There's no air!"

"Well, is that so young Daisy. I will have to tell my wife and children when I get back there.

"Where is there?" asked Daisy.

"Well, the moon of course, my dear. I am The Man in the Moon you see and I can live without air as I am magical."

Daisy's mouth dropped open. The man faded into nothing but a pale blue cloud and rose into the sky.

As Daisy's, mother shook her shoulder gently telling her, "Breakfast time, darling."

Daisy glimpsed a ribbon of pale blue touch the moon outside her window. She wondered if there was magic in the world even though her Daddy told her not.

Mandy Eve-Barnett


By John Wheeler

Gather round children, to hear a strange tale

of vampire hunters. So let me regale.

Evil dark monsters, these myths of the night

Sating their hunger before morning’s light.

They come in the night, dead souls of evil

Their thirsting for blood, causing upheaval.

Vampires don’t exist, it’s what people say

Until they take, a loved one away.

But there are the few, brave ones without fear

Who will risk it all, to save those held dear.

With antique weapons, of silver and wood

They chase down evil, wherever they could.

Tracking and searching, these dark spawn from hell.

The hunters follow and sound the death knell.

They never stop these huntress and hunters

Vanquishing horrors, and dark confronters.

So, vampires take note! We know you’re out there.

Hiding among us, like you just don’t care.

But beware the hunt; they’re good at their art.

By putting a stake, right through your black heart.

'If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to write' - Stephen King

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.

THE SCHOOL OF MIRRORS (2022) by Eva Stachniak Review by Lana O’Neill King Louis XV and his 18 th century court play second fiddle to courtesans, midwives and the impoverished in this latest historical fiction novel by Polish-Canadian author Eva Stachniak. Versailles and the stirrings of the French Revolution create a heady background in a rags-to-riches-to-rags account of the beautiful innocent, Veronique Roux. Stachniak’s trademark first person POV inserts the reader into the mind of 13-year-old Veronique as she is plucked from an under-privileged life in the streets of Paris and thrust into the indulgences of Versailles and eventually the King’s favor. The dream played out only disguises the reality of a woman’s life during this time period where indulgences belong only to those, or the one in power. The reader will enjoy a well-researched journey into pre-revolutionary France but come away, perhaps, a bit unsettled from the immersive power of this author’s telling of the emotional story within. STILL LIFE (2021) by Sarah Winman Review by Lana O’Neill Sarah Winman would be happy to know that her romance, Still Life, elicited a strong response in me. At first, disorientation, from wading through a mire of snappy dialogue denuded of quotation marks. A slower reading pace resulted leading to concern about finishing 452 pages before the one-week library deadline. Frustration surfaced when thoughts of purple prose threatened to slower the process even further. Descriptions decorated every page like blushing rosettes on butter cream icing dappled with chocolate button candies. By then I was entranced. Winman uses personification to great effect and often times, to my surprise. I fell for the slower pace and experienced poetry on every page, the mining of my senses, the wit in the words of each character and the resulting steady flow of narrative. World War II in Italy sets the stage for older Evelyn and younger Ulysses. From there, serendipity takes a chance on a cast of companions from east London back to Italy, to Florence where art features prominently and prods hearts into a response. Preferably about the value in life and love and unrushed moments in between.

While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax Reviewed by Mandy Eve-Barnett Not only are the characters delightful but the plot well paced. Unlikely friendships, an exclusive apartment building and unexpected twists and turns, all make this a superb read. The interactions between the characters and the gradual revealing of their lives was well written. Of course, being English, I not only watched Downton, but also lived very near Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey) and visited any times, so the references transported me 'home'. I highly recommend this novel.

Publications available from our foundation. Anyone can purchase these works through our website at


We are excited to announce new publications through the Foundation.

The winner's of the children's creative writing contest in 2020 and 2021 have been compiled into a book. It will be at a special price until September 30th. Link:

“Creative Writing Workshop Facilitators Kelsey Hoople and Mike Deregowski challenge you to participate in national poetry month.” As part of Poetry Month for April 2020, the challenge was to write to the overall theme - The Great Escape. A different title posted each day provided inspiration for writing a poem a day for thirty days. It was a challenge worth taking up as many of the participants could no longer meet in person due to COVID-19 measures, but they could support one another online! This collection of poetry includes submissions from qualifying WFSC members for 2020. Challenge yourself! Enjoy!

“Creative Writing Workshop Facilitators Kelsey Hoople and Mike Deregowski challenge you to participate in national poetry month.” As part of Poetry Month for April 2021, the challenge was to write to the overall theme - When Life Changes. A different title posted each day provided inspiration for writing a poem a day for thirty days. Amidst the COVID-19 challenge, getting creative was an outlet for our writing group, which enjoyed connecting online and being inspired. This collection of poetry includes submissions from qualifying WFSC members for 2021. Challenge yourself! Enjoy!

Available for purchase:

DWP 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 for $14.95 through the following:

Amazon POD:

Available for purchase:

Writers Foundation of Strathcona County 2021 - 2022 Board Members and contact information:

Joe McKnight President Bethany Horne Vice President Never Been Better - Editor Linda Pedley Treasurer Web Site Administration 780-445-0991 Mandy Barnett Secretary Writing Circle Host/ Writing Prompts/ Newsletter Editor Karen Probert Past President 780-464-6632 Beth Rowe Director Your Lifetime of Stories Coordinator 780-718-7253 Henry Martell Director Newsletter Coordinator Pamela J. Winter Director Poets in the Park Co-ordinator Amanda O'Driscoll Director Instagram Coordinator Library Liaison

Copyright © *2022

Writers Foundation of Strathcona County All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:

PO Box 57083 | Sherwood Park, Alberta | T8A 5L7

Want to change how you receive these emails?

6 views0 comments


bottom of page