April 2013 Open Mic @ Village Books

Nancy Canyon

Nancy Canyon

Dear Writers:

Okay weird, my TV is jabbering in the background and a character just said, “Okay Laurel, you belong with Oliver.”

Huh? Oliver Stone? Twist? Whatisname I went to school with? Actually, I don’t think I went to school with anyone called Oliver, but I felt that line needed a third beat so added it.

No, my TV isn’t on all the time. Since I work from a home office I have a rule about when it can be on. Those of you who work at home know that one, right? It’s the kiss of death to your billable hours to turn on the TV during the daytime, kind of like you know one of your key clients will call if you try to cook eggs. I don’t think I’ve had a hot lunch in a decade. But I digress and I still don’t know who Oliver is. I do, however, know several wonderful people who graced April’s open mic reading.


Most pics from April’s open mic did not turn out, so this is a picture of the sky under which all of us writers dwell. Apologies to any creatures of the night. Look away!

Jim Bertolino cruised in to listen. Next time we’ll have to persuade him to share a poem or two. We got right to it with Ted Gibson taking the mic to share his images of landscapes from Stillwater River Valley, Montana; Muskoka, Central Ontario BC and more. Sabine Sloley read the opening from her story “Chip and Kitten Go to the Beach,” in which a character from a company town gets stuck in quicksand and that might be the least of his problems. Next came Seán Dwyer with “A Damn Fool Thing” inspired by a guy he knew from college. Hilarious but also with a dark undertone. You people are dark! I love it! Continue reading

March 2013 Open Mic @ Village Books

??????????????????????Dear Writers:

Okaaaayyy! Sorry this is late but I hope you enjoy a recap of March’s open mic. It was another great evening full of stories, poetry, laughter, and reflection. I always leave the open mics feeling jazzed up about writing. Someone told me they call it karaoke, which is a great nickname, although I didn’t see any lip synching and all the material was fully original!

David Axelrod launched the night with a gorgeous poem called “What If?” and established himself as a great new member of our open mic crowd. Welcome, David! Open mic regular Jim Milstead brought a couple memories, including “Air Borne” as well as some April Fool’s jokes to welcome the new month. Lori Nelson Clouts read “The Lie Detector Test,” the opening to a short story detailing the scenario of a woman encountering a job interview that includes a polygraph—not your everyday job interview! [Lori, I’m not sure I’m correctly reading my own handwriting, so if I got your last name wrong, please correct me. Thanks.]

Tele Aadsen

Along came Shannon Hager with “Raised with Bush Devils,” a tale of a character’s introduction into a secret society in Africa. We can count on Shannon to keep things lively. Next was the inimitable Susan Chase Foster, fresh back from Hawaii (the brat), with poetry including “Kauai Time” plus a ‘backyard composition’ entitled “The Advantage of Being a Squirrel.” Curtis Alden joined our lineup with a torch poem about those breakups that aren’t really breakups until they are. Ouch, but great poem. Continue reading

About Town: Sweet Writerly Stuff

Gate 1 BookstoreDear Writers:

Out following my dog around the neighborhood, I came upon this charming free book exchange. Yes, I may want a groovy Kobo eReader (soon as I pay off my groovy roof), but meanwhile who could resist what I have dubbed Gate 1’s Friendly Neighborhood Bookstore. Props to the homeowner who came up with this idea. You can take a book and leave another or just stand there reading while your dog checks out pee-mail.

Welcome to the middle of the week. Here’s some goings on about town that caught my eye: Continue reading

Spotlight: Tempest in a Teapot by Naomi Baltuck

Dear Writers:
A little while ago I came upon Naomi Baltuck’s blog, Writing Between the Lines. She tells amazing stories with photos and words and I’ve been meaning to reblog her but have had a hard time picking which one to use! Tempest in a Teapot features a house with two front doors that is delightfully Neil Gaimon-esque, so this is the one I chose. I also love her pics of Manhatten and Mexico. Be forewarned, you could get lost in this blog for a while! XO Laurel Leigh

Writing Between the Lines

When my daughter Bea and I were in England, I took her to the picturesque little town of Rye.


Rye was a Cinque Port, charged in 1155 by Royal Charter to provide ships for the royal navy, and rewarded with tax-exempt status and other privileges.

Rye was situated on the coast until The Great Storm of 1287 silted the harbor, and transformed the coastal port into a river port, two miles inland.

The town’s history is colorful, with smuggling, and raids by and against the French, just across the Channel. It’s also said to be the most haunted town in England. There’s the ghost of the girl who fell in love with a smuggler and was murdered by him for her indiscretion.  Turkey Cock Lane is haunted by the ghost of the monk bricked up alive behind a wall for trying to elope with a local lass. The mysterious boy…

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