A New Year of Writing

The latest entry in my Writing Journal with my new pen and a cup of tea.
Getting ready for the New Year


I’ve made it through 2018 and it was a hell of a ride.

This past year, I managed to finish the first draft of a novel that I’m still excited about and eager to complete. I’ve made good headway into my first rewrite after rejigging the outline and synopsis numerous times, each time paring away the excess, digging into the meat of the story and falling in love with my characters.

Even though I’ve been alone most of the time, I haven’t felt particularly lonely. I spend my day with friends and enemies on the page and it’s surprising how much comfort they give me, which is, I suppose, a way of loving myself.

In December, I met a few women as interested in starting up a local writer’s group as I am and we will meet for the first time on the 16th. Maybe we can even encourage a few others to join in.

I signed up for a course at George Brown College which is the first in a series of courses leading to a certificate in Editing. I’m nervous and excited at the prospect. I love learning and school and the stationary gathering that precedes it.

Do you see the large black disc bound notebook in the above photograph? That’s for school. It’s so much nicer than a binder and so much more personal than a laptop. We’ll see how long I get along with my computer before I cave.

Lamy Studio fountain pen lying on my Writing Journal opened to the latest entry
Lamy Studio fountain pen in 2017 LE Racing Green.

The pictured pen is my current pride and joy. It’s a Lamy Studio fountain pen in the now discontinued 2017 Limited Edition colour Racing Green. It’s slim and heavy and sleek and lovely. I can’t write at length with it because my hand cramps up due to my death grip habit but I love it anyway. Right now, it’s filled with Jacques Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor fountain pen ink which is a lovely colour although I’m unsure whether I’m attracted to it for the colour or the name. Emerald of Chivor. Emerald of Chivor. Try saying that without conjuring images of manner houses with drawing rooms.

As part of my New Year prep, it’s now time to clean out last year’s planner and get ready for a brand new set of unmet goals and unchecked checklists. And the smell of new paper and unnecessary stamps and stickers. Off I go!

Breakfast at the Canadiana

I hate getting up early on a Saturday morning but, once a month, at 9am, the Writers and Editors Network meets for breakfast in an old Etobicoke restaurant at Six Points Plaza. I’ve been going to these breakfasts for the past several months and it’s starting to pay off.

Let me back up. Before the breakfast in question, I happened upon an ad for a writing workshop at the tiny Humber Bay branch of the Toronto Public Library and decided to go. I’d never been to this tiny branch (according to the description on the TPL site, it seats eleven. Eleven!) and I was happy to see that several other people had shown up for the event.

The Process of Writing by Anubha Mehta
The Process of Writing by Anubha Mehta, presented at the Humber Bay branch of the Toronto Public Library

Out presenter and facilitator, Anubha Mehta, was excellent and, afterwards, there was some discussion about more workshops at the branch in the new year. Anubha expressed interest in also starting up a writer’s group and there was great excitement.

One of the woman who showed up, Heather, mentioned that she was a member of the Writers and Editors Network and we agreed to chat more at the next breakfast.

So, despite the slush and snow and the early morning, I dutifully rose, showered, dressed, and made my way to the Canadiana. I’m so glad that I did.

The speaker(s) was a collective of thirteen mystery writers, all women, who go by the name of The Mesdames of Mayhem. They write novels and short stories, teach writing through various venues, and also publish an anthology of short stories for which they are currently accepting submissions. I don’t focus on mystery writing but it might be fun to try my hand at it.

For more information on what they spoke about during their visit, WEN has posted a good synopsis.

The Mesdames are an example of a good writers’ group. They have been together for many years, supporting and pushing each other along through the tough times and celebrating each other’s successes. It’s a love story.

This is my dream – to form a fiction writing group of like minded writers who are serious about writing and aren’t afraid of critique.

Heather introduced me to another writer/editor from WEN living in the Mimico area (Barb) who is also interested in creating a group in January, after the obligations of Christmas have passed.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to put this thing together and find a few more writers in the area to join in.

I’m excited. Having the possibility of group starting up in January has already provided me to with a deadline for firming up my latest novel synopsis and spitting out a new draft in preparation for readings.

Are you a fiction writer in the Mimico area interested in forming a writing group? If so, let me know in the comments.