June 17 – Minutes

Guest speaker: Colin McClean

Announcements, Opportunities:

  • Congratulations to these WAG members in receiving the Canada Book Award
    Kathleen Gauer:      The Wish Carvers
    Dennis Gazarek:      Be the Awesome Man
    Peta-Gaye Nash:      Bushyhead

  • Canadian writers who wish to submit their book should refer to the Canada Book Awards site for more information.



Member announcements:
Howard P.
Howard has announced that due to another endeavour overloading him with responsibilities, he will no longer be the Presentations moderator. We wish him well in his new endeavours. We invite anyone who is interested in helping WAG, by taking on the role to contact Richard.

Ian R.
Ian has a new dictionary about Philately. Ian explained his publisher has contracted to the publication of his dictionary without stooping to a single pun. We’re glad Ian was able to put his own stamp on this publication as he has been an avid philatelist for a number of decades, never licked by the enormity of the collecting.

Sharon D.
Sharon explained that she is beginning to enhance her poetry now with some dabbling in painting to bring greater life to her literary work.

Sajeda M.
Sajeda continues writing her poetry. Her new passion, to give her a break from writing, is learning music.

Presentation: Book Illustration
Guest speaker – Colin McClean

Peta-Gaye has illustrated her children’s books with the professional skills of Colin McClean who was the guest speaker at our meeting.

Book Illustration
Peta-Gaye demonstrated how her children’s book, Bushyhead, was vividly brought to life with the excitement of outstanding illustrations created by the artist, Colin McClean.

Many of us in attendance expected Colin to explain how important good illustrations are to a book. Colin surprised us wonderfully and with wonder as his talk soared in a completely unexpected direction.

Colin calls himself a ‘career blacksmith.’ His presentation was filled with valuable considerations which many of us would label as ‘tips for living better lives’ as writers and as people.

The artist wore two hats in his presentation, a philosopher and an existentialist, offering many life-coaching considerations that often resonated with the attendees.

Colin illustrated his philosophical points by painting a picture of us as a trio of persons existing in one: a clown, a villain, and a hero. He explained that our lives are based on his formula of “emotions and thinking = life.” Colin encourages introspection to learn more about yourself with self-questioning asking “Who are you?”

Colin further coloured his presentation by dealing with the “hacks” that are obstacles on life’s journey. He reinforced this point with examples from his own life and then he asked the attendees for their examples. He constantly brought his talk back into focus by relating it to the craft of writing. Writers as people have obstacles that challenge them causing bumps on their road of life.

Interruptions, distractions, family members, children’s demands, spousal obligations all cause bumps along the road. Colin feels writers need to assess themselves with these considerations:

  • Who are you?
  • What are your goals?
  • What is your life core?
  • Improving family communication with the above considerations

Colin’s points were made as ‘points to ponder,’ rather than arbitrary dictats. A writer is a person with obligations, responsibilities and professional goals. Each needs to assess, evaluate and prioritize these needs and to manage them in practical and personal ways.

Though the presentation was more philosophical, it did not disregard the practical. Concrete and objective consideration need to be applied to your work, your book, your budget, your marketing and your portfolio.

This was a very engaging presentation shifting the focus of book illustrations to focus of illustrations of the life of a writer.



Questions and answers
Sharon asked as to how Colin did his artwork, tablet? He draws freehand, sketching and colouring as he goes along.

Eva talked about the difficulty of being overwhelmed with things to do which led to a discussion of self-management and prioritizing. We need to be objective about what we do, continually assessing and refining.

Peta-Gaye reinforced the points that what we do has inherent value and that we avoid self-denigration and be more self-believing.

Sajeda also reinforced the same explaining that writing was her route to that goal of greater self-belief.

The closing words as said by Peta-Gaye, “WAG has great leaders who promote, support and encourage WAG writers. We need to continue this work.”

Howard closed that Colin’s words struck vibrant chords in all of us.

Upcoming considerations
The August meeting will be solely devoted to business and all WAG members are invited to contribute to the agenda.

Please refer to the important links below to keep current and be updated with WAG matters.

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