You Deserve the Best

by Susan Polis Schutz

This life is yours
Take the power
to choose what you want to do
and do it well
Take the power
to love what you want in life
and love it honestly
Take the power
to walk in the forest
and be a part of nature

Combing Through Song Titles

PROMPT:  Song titles are succinct word gems and can give such wonderful starting points for poems and writings…  During the Creative Writing Workshop we combed through CDs (of artists such as Tom Waits, Pink Martini, Feist to name a few) for inspiring, intriguing and captivating song titles…  everyone chose one and we wrote from there.  Here is one of the pieces from that evening!

Home I’ll Never Be (after Tom Waits)
By: Vanessa Ramsey

Sitting at the dark brown antique dining table
In my family’s kitchen
My chair
Facing the white-washed walls with a purposeful clock
And a calendar
As if the date and time were of the utmost importance
My father to the right and my brother to the left
Facing each other as if they were always onto a secret that I didn’t yet know
The regal chair
The papa bear’s chair
Glued to the floor with weights and chains, pulling it down

Thinking of Japan

As the images of earthquake and tsunami come from Japan my heart aches.  I have never been so deeply touched by a country and am so grateful to Japan for the time I spent there and the friends I have made.

Here is a lovely tribute to Japan on Etsy in honour of all the beauty that comes from Japan…

And below are some images from the Meiji Jingu Shrine (from our two days in Tokyo this past summer), I am sure that many prayers are being hung today.


Don’t Have Carrots

By Nathalie Vachon

i saw the moon in you
i saw the sea in your heart
the pounding the night you woke me up at 2am or was it 3 to say your heart hurt
you didn’t want to alarm me so at first you said it was your stomach
then told me it was your heart
the pounding in your chest, an ogre’s heart inside a baby’s body
too big for your ribs, you felt it pressing and pounding
a sea, asia, africa, celtic sea salt of sea dreams under the covers
under the roof of OUR house
you ache and fear that i will be panicked by the news
i turn on the light
we drive in hap-hazard clothes, mismatched socks and coats
to emergency
the sea in me rising like a heron
like a call
like a loon on Friday
across my own lunatic city of traffic and rage


A Gift

PROMPT: bring in a gift that was given to you.  Write about the gift not only from the perspective of what it is… but also what it is not.   This piece was written that night (in the Creative Writing Workshop) and is such a beautiful tribute to friendship:

Red is Best (after Kathy Stinson) – by Evelyn Barsby

It is a deep red translucent cube with metallic swirls that floats about on stilts, above the rest of the world. It is a most precious treasure.

This was not a thoughtless gift. You know me so well. This is my favourite colour after all. “When I see beautiful reds, it reminds me of you”. Red is Best, like the children’s story I had read to my daughter at bedtime. It is a symbol of our closeness. It is meant to be for trinkets, but I keep nothing inside as it reminds me of our great friendship. That is the real treasure.

I see it every day on my shelf. It holds all the great times we shared inside. It is a memory treasure box. Open it and out pops a skate on the Rideau Canal with us taking turns wearing that crazy fur hat. Open it again and we’re having coffee at the Starbucks around the corner. So many memories….. sad ones too, like when you moved away and when you told me about your childhood.

Diary of Letting Go

PROMPT: choose one emotion or state of being (joy, sadness etc.) and write about it from as many angles as possible… (for example: what side of the bed would anger sleep on, what emotion would loneliness have a crush on, what colour would secrecy be?)  Here is one of the poems created that day:

Diary of Letting Go by Kelly Janes

Two hands parting in the wind

grey and blue and fuchsia
dancing together
and back to the wall

They say letting go
doesn’t know
A volcano spewing its juice
and hardening again

A Circle of Loveliness

Each week a group of women gather for the Creative Writing Workshop. With pens, journals, a candle, tea and a few prompts to get them started… they write. They follow the river of words sometimes to memories, sometimes to dreams, sometimes to stories, poems, songs… never knowing where it will take them. They write honestly and bravely, with hearts open and one thing is always for certain when writing from an honest place… there is a feeling that we are in fact in the presence of loveliness.

Included in this section are some writings from the workshop to capture and share the many talents and heart-felt pieces that have been created over the years…