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Newsletter: 14/11/8: Our Blog and Prompts for December

Hi everyone,

Well, we had a terrific third meeting on Wednesday. Great poems and stories were read and we each wrote original works inspired by our Tic-tac-write prompts. DG and I also worked more on the editing of his book, Sapling. We rounded the evening off by listening to audio and watching videos produced by us and associated with our writing. We are really getting out there, while still enjoying our work and support here.

We left the meeting with two prompts, each having something to do with reflecting on our lives and the world around us, in honour of Remembrance Day.

Prompt 1

This is one some of us have done already, but it is a great one to reintroduce, particularly to those of us who have not seen it before, since it engages us in seeing ourselves.

Your First Real Life-story, the Story of Your Name
(Gail De Vos)

Describe your name in a story which will entertain your audience and you, and tell them and yourself about you. Ask and answer questions like these (not all questions need to be answered) to help you tell your name’s story.

What is your name? What does it mean? How did you get it and who gave it to you? If you were named after some one or some place or some thing, what is that person, place or thing’s story? Do you like your name? Why or why not? If not, what would you like to be named and why? What does your name mean to others? Who and why?

Here is my response to this prompt.

Prompt 2

This prompt is for those of us who already responded to the first one, though anyone may write it if he or she likes.

This is a picture I did not take
(Unphotographable)

Find a picture or view that catches your attention and intrigues you. Study it or don`t, then respond to it through writing. Include why you chose it.

Here is the start of a one response: This is a picture I did not take of storm clouds sailing through the sky with the promise of rain later in the day …

Have fun. I look forward to hearing your responses at our next meeting on December 3.

Our Blog

One of our key resources for keeping in touch and finding resources was our Write Group wiki. However, Wikispaces, our host, no longer offers free or non-educational wikis. So, we moved. Check out our new digs at The Write Group, our new blog. Most of our wiki content has been transferred into the blog and chunked for easier navigation and expandability.

When you visit our blog, you will encounter our front page and welcome post.

At the top of the blog is the menu. Each of the items on the menu head the different sections of our blog. Under some (soon all) are submenus with further items. Please play around and discover what our blog has to offer.

For those of you familiar with our wiki, you will recognize several of the items. Others are new. Each of the sections is designed to expand, so that our blog can grow; the menu will maintain navigation.

Of particular interest are the Member Pages. These are where anyone in our group who is interested can introduce him or herself and his or her work. You can even contribute to the blog as an author. If you are interested in contributing to the blog, drop me a line and I will invite you to become an author. If you would like an author page, but not contribute, design one and I will add it to our blog. (To keep navigation clean, when you become an author I would prefer you tag and categorize each of your posts with your Handle and not the Members category and Member tag. [Update: This is no longer a problem, as explained on the Posting on Our Blog page.] You can use any other category in addition to this, and add or use any additional tag.)

Note the set up of the Member Pages menu. Under the submenu item Search for Members are further submenus with each author`s Handle as items. Your posts will be collected using the categories itemized in a third submenu — a section for each member. (This is why I want you to categorize your posts using your Handle. By also tagging your posts with your Handle, those posts are visible externally, so promoting them and exposing your writing. Readers of your posts can find all of them by searching for your Handle. Bonus.) By not categorizing your posts with Members, you leave Search for Members to show only the frontiposts for each of us. [Update: Again this is no longer a problem. You may now categorize your posts under Members and tag them with Member.] Your introductory post will also have links in it to your section category.

Clicking on a category or tag, some of which are menu items, will bring up a page that looks like this. This is the page generated by clicking Search for Prompts in the menu. As you can see navigation is simple.

Finally, this is what a post looks like on our blog. Take note of the tags to the left of the post, categories at its top and the list of categories to the right.

[Update: The above description is also posted on our Quick Tour page.]

Please check out our blog and use it. It is chock-full of resources curated just for you. (I still have to enter posts for Events, Competitions and Newsletter.) If you want to be included in our Members Pages, design one and contact me. I will publish it. Check out the Member Pages so far for inspiration. If you want to become a contributing author also let me know and I will invite you to become one. You will need a Member page.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Our next meeting is December 3. Until then,

Keep writing,
Shawn

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