The Greater Canton Writers' Guild, Inc.
Mused - an announcement of sorts Mela Saylor
After intermittent bursts of energy immediately followed by lethargy, with much wailing and gnashing of teeth, we finally have a website running again. It’s not like our original, or the updated one, or even like the one Julie and Brian Lindsey made for us and given to John to run. You might remember that one - the one that was hacked. Our new site is, different yet again. I think that may be our theme here – always changing. But that’s a good theme for writers – always changing and keeping up with technology and the times. A rolling stone gathers no moss, yada yada.
Change can be difficult – even more so when it’s been thrust on one and there are pieces to be picked up and put back together, challenges to be met, and things to be learned. I have to be honest here – I am not a technical person. I can learn, though. And I have done so with delight this past year.
I challenge each of you this year to make a point to learn something new, to go down roads you never knew were there before. Try a different style of writing, even. Combine two styles. I know of one writer who is making up an entire new genre. How awesome is that? Decide no more ho-hum this year – break out from what you’ve written in the past.
Our new website is far from finished. There’s much more that I want to do with it and if I’ve left your name out of an area, please let me know so that I may correct it. And stay tuned for more details. The official address for this is http://www.greatercantonwritersguild.org/ I need those of you with websites and blogs to send me the information at our new email account GCWG1964@yahoo.com giving me permission to do so – and it shall be done, hopefully with less gnashing of teeth this time.
THE AGE DEMANDED
The age demanded that we sing
And cut away our tongue.
The age demanded that we flow
And hammered in the bung.
The age demanded that we dance
And jammed us into iron pants.
And in the end the age was handed
The sort of shit that it demanded.
A Foodie Guide to Hot Flares Caroline Totten
From years of experimentation, I’ve discovered that old world Jewish rye bread will enhance your creativity to the point where it will shift your perceptions into sixth gear. You won’t run out of gas. Trust me. It is reasonable to assume that if we eat for energy, we can eat our way into the hub of the mind for a festival of invention and insight.
Rye (wry) bread aside, creativity is imaginative play, ideally unsupervised. (Imagine: A pencil eraser takes on the dimensions of a gremlin; it lives in your checkbook. A walk in the woods offers the murmured gossip of giant trees. Drive any distance and license plates begin to read like messages from aliens.)
Creativity tends to have a strong element of the surreal. For an unknown reason, humans extrapolate reality from the surreal. Originally, going to the moon was a concept entertained by dreamers of the fantastic. Not only did we go to the moon, we invented Star Wars.
Often it is difficult to see beyond bureaucratic routine. One of my prize winning poems was inspired while scrubbing pots and gazing from the window over a sink of greasy dishes. What happened? The clouds transmuted into a boat, the wooden spoon, a paddle; the perking coffee pot, a call to duty. I had a hard time explaining this romantic fantasy, but almost everyone could relate to the way the mind opens an untapped vista.
Incidentally, those who write horror usually have a fine-tuned sense of humor. Opposing components create friction, and friction stimulates creativity. I’ve noticed that writers that twist little things into humor have an exceptional capacity for creativity.
I have taken a college course on creativity. Guess what? It was a room full of toys. The assignment? Create a new toy from scattered pieces of disassembled toys. The loudest sound in the class was laughter. The fee for the class was, of course, a horror story.
So I advise, eat rye bread and allow your imagination to alight like a fly on the seemingly ordinary.
For a creative writer, a troublesome relationship may supply endless insights into varieties of affection. One with a penchant for the spiritual may see God in orbs. An African poet put it this way, “Nobody gets to heaven unless they go through maggots.” This may be a metaphor for life, but the magic of chemistry can transport you into thoughts that make waking up everyday an adventure.
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New group project: take these three words and use them in three different sentences. Bring this to the next Guild meeting for a point. "What's a point and what for?" you may ask..You will find out at January's meeting!
Words with Eleni given to you by Eleni Byrnes
Aesthetic. Pertaining to a sense and philosophy of the beautiful or beautifully - Adverb pleasing. To have a sense of the beautiful or characterized by a sense of beauty satisfying to the senses.
An association can be made with pure emotion and sensations in
opposition to the purely intellectual. That which is appealing to the
Incandescent- To glow with intense heat or inner light, mostly white or red-
Adjective hot,shining, very bright and, or, very brilliantly,gleaming,passionate,brilliant
Languid. To be without energy ,vitality or vigor,weak,drooping,weak,without interest
This Next Meeting
Our next meeting will be on Thursday January 21st at DeHoff’s at 6pm. We've got some new things planned for this year as well as some old things that have been restored and updated. There will be lots of announcements and contests that you will want to be a part of.
The program for the evening is on characters so please bring your favorite character that you've developed and we'll introduce our characters to everyone.
webmaster and editor - MS Saylor
A monthly publication of the Greater Canton Writers' Guild, Inc. dedicated to providing
an atmosphere of continuing education and manuscript
sharing for persons interested in the art and craft of writing.
Founded 1964, Membership $30 per year
P.O. Box 8381, Canton, Ohio 44711-8381
Volume XXXVIII, Issue 1
“Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there are no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones. Literacy will be dead, and democracy–which many believe goes hand in hand with it–will be dead as well.”
Poets Corner Regis McCafferty
I would stand and look out over the roofs
of Paris and think, Do not worry.
You have always written before
and you will write now.
All you have to do is write one true sentence.
Write the truest sentence that you know.
So finally I would write one true sentence,
and then go on from there.
It was easy then because there was always
one true sentence that I knew
or had seen or had heard someone say.
I’ve written the eleven lines above as free verse but they were not originally written as such. They were written as several sentences by Ernest Hemingway in his Paris memoir, A Moveable Feast. When he was having difficulty writing he reminded himself that for a writer, all it takes to begin is to write; to write one true sentence. The point I’d like to make, is that good writing is difficult, whether you’re a poet, novelist or write non-fiction.
I’ll steal another quote from Hemingway because I believe it applies to poetry as well as to fiction. The point he is making is that it’s essential to be as true to yourself as it is to be true to your reader: “This too to remember. If a man writes clearly enough anyone can see if he fakes. If he mystifies to avoid a straight statement, which is very different from breaking so-called rules of syntax or grammar to make an effect which can be obtained in no other way, the writer takes a longer time to be known as a fake and other writers who are afflicted by the same necessity will praise him in their own defense. True mysticism should not be confused with incompetence in writing which seeks to mystify where there is no mystery but is really only the necessity to fake to cover lack of knowledge or the inability to state clearly. Mysticism implies a mystery and there are many mysteries; but incompetence is not one of them; nor is overwritten journalism made literature by the injection of a false epic quality. Remember this too: all bad writers are in love with the epic.”
But even Hemingway was not without a sense of humor or beyond being cynical as can be seen in two examples of his short poems below. They were written soon after the end of World War One while he was living in Paris. The first poem, Captives, is dark, noir if you will, but the second, The Age demanded, in addition to being cynical, is also humorous.
Some came in chains
Unrepentant but tired.
Too tired but to stumble.
Thinking and hating were finished
Thinking and fighting were finished
Retreating and hoping were finished.
Cures thus a long campaign,
Making death easy.