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Jun. 25, 2019 | Tuesday
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Writer's Circle: Excerpt from Gallimaufry
Myrtle Burton. (Submitted)


Happily, I have been a member of the Writers Circle in Niagara-on-the-Lake from its beginning. A small writers’ group of people, led by big ideas from a small lady, Hermine Steinberg, caught on right away. I loved seeing new faces of interesting men and women gather, gain momentum, numbers growing larger for each meeting. It appears that it was a group that needed to be established.

I have been a member of the community for 19 years. I never cease to be amazed at the tempo of this small town. Nothing holds it back! That’s what makes the writers eager, constantly finding successes and camaraderie in people that think alike. We are fortunate indeed.

I have written a book which has just been published, and I am ready to defend what I have to say in the book. I am sure that some of the text will be disputed, but that’s fine; writing should make a mark, whether it be finding love, escaping ghosts, or travelling through space to avoid contact with surreal beings. I have not yet conquered the sci-fi type of writing, although I admire it. Until then I will write about things that come to me, real or fictional.

My book is controversial. I know that from reading all kinds of print and listening to bright folks that I deal with daily. I would like many people to read it, not for self-interest but for contemplating what I feel and talking about it. The greatest gifts from those who read and write is the amazing stretch of inner thoughts that are exposed. The result is a feast of ideas that makes one’s mind work. That’s good for everybody.

I titled my book “Gallimaufry.” Nobody - nobody at all - knows what that ancient word means until he or she looks it up. I didn’t either until I made a point of following up on it. It means a bunch of things, or a medley, or a hodgepodge. With serious intent for my book, hodgepodge was not suitable. I have at least three would-be novels on my computer, and I had so many other scenes racing around in my head that I decided to put some of the thoughts into print as a bunch. That’s how this hodgepodge - oops! - gallimaufry began. The stories, articles and poems may appear repetitious also. One often has a mindset that comes about on a regular basis, whether wished for or not.

A passage from one of my stories follows. A lady named Trudy has just purchased a new home, and I tried to describe her personality by describing her taste in decor.

Excerpt from Gallimaufry:

Aunt Trudy had already had window treatments put in with yards of diaphanous white silk. There was an aura of pale blush, not-quite-pink pastel throughout the lower level. Aunt Trudy called the wall colour in the living area “Candied Mist,” and adjoining rooms a closely-related “Palest Tulip.”  The thirty-foot “theatre” room was paneled with walnut. A library or den was a little lighter, as was all the trim and molding, in what Trudy called a toasted maple. The atmosphere was, to Steph, pure elegance. Her face shone with admiration for her lovely aunt who somehow never seemed to warm up to people and yet had such good taste.

The front of the property was not yet fully landscaped. Several red bud trees had been planted, and numerous azaleas would be outstanding in the spring. Gardeners had been there, clipping and pruning the natural trees and bushes, but they had been given strict orders from Trudy. She wanted the growth to be wild and plentiful; she didn’t want “prying eyes gaping in the windows.”

To Steph’s delight there was a small stream at the furthest point of the backyard. There were dragonflies, and small minnows darted at the edges of the water.


(For some reason my stories usually end up as mysteries. I will not reveal what happens to Trudy.)