July 29, 2014

Having fun with poetry by Ruth L. Snyder

This month we're challenged to try a genre that we don't often write. Since I usually stick to prose, I thought it would be fun to learn about some poetry forms and try them out. I invite you to come along on my journey, exploring a few different styles.


This form was developed by Adelaide Crapsy. You can read the history here.
"Cinquains have five lines
Line 1: Title (noun) - 1 word
Line 2: Description - 2 words
Line 3: Action - 3 words
Line 4: Feeling (phrase) - 4 words
Line 5: Title (synonym for the title) - 1 word"

Canadian writers
Encouraging, learning, challenging
Embracing Christ's individual call


These poems are similar to the cinquain, but form the shape of a diamond.
"Line 1: Noun or subject - one word
Line 2: Two Adjectives that describe line 1
Line 3: Three 'ing words that describe line 1
Line 4: Four nouns - the first two are connected with line 1; the last two are connected with line 7
Line 5: Three 'ing words that describe line 7
Line 6: Two adjectives that describe line 7
Line 7: Noun Synonym for the subject"

September opportunity
Learning, celebrating, networking
Workshops, worship, submissions, rejections
Crafting, editing, honing
Word warriors

I Wish Poem

"Each line of the poem begins with the words "I wish" and then you fill in your ideasThe poem should be 8-10 lines long."

I wish every Canadian grasped God's amazing love.
I wish every Canadian accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour.
I wish every Canadian Christian used his or her spiritual gifts.
I wish every Canadian Christian writer received the support and encouragement he or she needed.
I wish every Canadian Christian writer understood the benefits of belonging to InScribe.
I wish every InScribe member obeyed God's call to write.
I wish every InScribe member felt supported in his or her writing.
I wish every InScribe member attended our fall conference.

Thanks for coming on this journey with me. I hope you've enjoyed the ride as much as I have. Thanks for the challenge, Brenda :)

You can learn about some other forms of poetry and write your own samples by visiting Kathi Mitchell's post, Poetry for Kids.

You can connect with Ruth and learn more about her usual writing style at http://ruthlsnyder.com 

July 28, 2014

From A Radio Scanner's Point of View - Bruce Atchison

The blessing of writing without aiming for a particular demographic is that we can venture into creative forms of literature without being reprimanded by our editors. I believe this is good practice since it forces us to structure our stories or poems in unfamiliar ways. It also keeps us out of creative ruts.

Just for fun, I wrote a short story devoid of narration. All I used in it was dialogue and sound effects. It's as if the reader is sitting in front of a radio scanner which is tuned to an amateur radio frequency. The resulting conversations tell the entire tale.

I titled my fiction story Autopatch after a component of a radio signal repeater which allows hams to access the telephone lines while in their vehicles or on foot. In my story, two men are chatting on the repeater when one spots a car accident. Since the cell phone reception in that particular area was poor, the ham used the keypad on his radio to dial into the autopatch and contact the RCMP.

Writing this tale was quite challenging for me. Though I made sure to have the hams identify themselves by name and call sign, I still became confused. After strenuous editing, I straightened out who was speaking to whom.

Choosing the sound effect words was also arduous. Repeaters have courtesy beeps, so named because it allows a second or two between transmissions. If anybody needs to use the repeater to contact some one or for emergency communications, the others on the frequency will be able to hear and let that ham speak. Since those beeps are often at a relatively low pitch, I chose "boop" to represent the courtesy beep.

I also strove to make sure Autopatch was as realistic as possible. This included interruptions. Many amateur radio repeaters use Morse code to identify themselves with their own call signs. I used  "dah" to indicate dashes and "dit" to indicate dots. Quite often, repeaters will send these bursts of code over top of a conversation. The other person in the conversation usually needs to ask for a repeat of what the interrupted person said.

Another difficulty I faced was the use of call signs. Out of respect for my fellow hams, I didn't want to use one belonging to a living person nor one from an amateur who passed away. Then I realized that I could use the call signs of local repeaters for the hams in my story and my own call sign, VE6XTC, for the repeater they were using.

As for where I'll publish my labour of love, I have no idea. The CBC might dramatize it in their three-minute stories feature or some literary magazine might find it worthy of publication. Whatever happens, I hope my experimental prose is seen in print or pixels. How sad it would be to do so much work for naught.

July 26, 2014

The Writing Conference Blog Hop (Bonnie Way)

For a decade, the last weekend in September was reserved on my calendar for the Inscribe Christian Writer's Fellowship's annual Fall Conference. When I went to my first conference in 2000, I knew I'd found a family of writers, and I went back again every year for the encouragement and inspiration I found there. Every year, I found myself returning home ready to keep writing.

Since then, I've had the chance to attend a few other conferences, including The Word Guild's first two Write! Vancouver conferences. This weekend, I'm actually at BlogHer14 in San Jose, California, networking with bloggers and brands and learning more about that genre of writing.

I thought this would be a fun space to share our blog posts about what conferences we've attended (or would like to attend) or about any tips for going to writing conferences. Feel free to link up your posts (old or new) below.

And don't forget that ICWF's Fall Conference is still happening the last weekend of September - that's exactly two months away! This year, Phil Callaway is coming back as the keynote speaker and I can assure you, from hearing him speak in 2000, that he's a lot of fun! Check out the conference trailer and find out more details on the ICWF website.

July 25, 2014

It's Up To You by Vickie Stam


"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21

A thin silver moon casts a shimmer of light across the midnight sky. You're unaware of the tiny moon's existence. The den you burrow in your blankets each night would make anyone believe you possess the skill of a wild animal even though your demeanor proves different. You feel cozy and warm but not entirely protected from the wilderness that looms not far from your lair.

Six months of living in your apartment in the city's shadiest part of town makes you wish you could sleep with one eye open. The break and enters and purse snatchings dictate the monthly rent you pay molding a price that fits your budget. You keep to yourself. Don't make any waves.

Tonight, just like any other night, a noise outside your window wakes you from your not so deep sleep. You lunge forward. Your heart throbs. You call out in a loud voice, "Who's there?" But no one answers. Eyes wide, you search the room and breath a sigh of relief when you realize there's no one standing between you and the light you purposely leave on each night.

You shutter at the sound of breaking glass outside your window. A familiar scene plays out in your mind. You cast your gaze on an old pine chest that once held a family heirloom. The words, "Nothing ever changes around here," ignite a fire inside you, yet you don't call the police. Instead, you lay back against your pillow, close your eyes and wait for the silence to return. How dare you?

The next morning, cops are milling the street questioning anyone who might have witnessed what happened to your neighbour's car. Shards of glass line the sidewalk in front of your building. You tip toe around the crime scene hoping to go unnoticed.

With your nose to the ground you take up your usual quick pace and head west in an attempt to veto any questions the cops might hurl your way. The smell of evil burns your gut. You taste its wicked bile.

"Not so fast!" A tall man in a blue uniform jumps in your way. You swallow hard resisting the temptation to throw up your own shame. The man means business. You see it in his eyes. You know what he needs. A full description; something you can give him. It's time for you to turn this no-good neighbourhood into a good one. It's up to you to change things.

You clear your throat and run your fingers through your short brown hair. Just when you're about to ante up, the man's complexion turns a deep shade of red.

"Someone around here knows something!"

Caught between the battle of good and evil you know what you must do. You must confess. That someone is....you.

This month's theme "New Explorations" challenged me to write in a different voice/style so I chose to write something fiction in the 2nd person narrative using you, your and you're. I prefer to write non-fiction so this was a daring choice for me and my first attempt at such a narrative, one that I just might try again.