Tag Archives: poetry

Retreat Goals

Despite the turmoil of the months leading up to this weekend, my goal in going is to get away from the overwhelming every day – to focus on some of my own writing. I brought with me several projects to follow up on, which will include editing, designing, formatting. I hope to finish a few things so that I might move past this block that haunts me. Another novel to be done – An Italian Son – and my first kid’s picture book needs drawings. Can I determine the style I want to use for the illustrations?

I have also a company project in tow that I want to finish editing – it is in layout format so working through the reading achieves more than one end.

I am also hoping there’s a poem or two to be had – I will try to force the stoppage in order to free some words into a composition I will be happy with – I used to be so connected to poetry. What happened? Did it abandon me or did I abandon it? I know it’s not lost forever… just temporarily misplaced.

My camera is also my constant companion – there is always visual inspiration around, especially here: the birds are welcome subjects, trees and greenery, wood structures and pathways, squirrels and other wildlife supposedly around out there somewhere. If only the rain would let up. I will go out for walks to get some fresh air and connect with nature. It’s cooler, though, and cool, wet weather is not my friend.


I wrote my goals at the beginning of the weekend – it was gloomy when we arrived but soon gave way to rain for the past couple of days. We definitely need the rain and would happily send it up north to the forests. In truth, we couldn’t have a fire inside in the fireplace the first couple of nights because of the dryness here at the Creek. Finally, the rain gauge showed enough moisture accumulation and sharing alongside the fire was a possibility the last two nights of our stay. I love warm spring weather, though… Sunshine – the one from the sky – why have you abandoned us this weekend?


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Strawberry Creek Lodge – Writing Retreat – Spring 2016

Blog 1 – The Retreat


It’s been building since the day we left last year, brought on and encouraged by the positive results and the lasting effects of concentrating for days with one’s own muse. More time! So in answer to that request, we extended the trip one more night on the long weekend, which gave us one more full day of retreating to write. It’s funny that we need to retreat in order to bond or reconnect with our inner creativity. It’s the way life is, though – fast paced and loud, demanding and insistent. Surely a retreat is not always necessary – it’s a mini vacation for the mind and soul. If one truly takes the time to focus on “self”, while appreciating others’ need to do the same, the results are amazing and the argument for retreating is unarguably natural medicine for the ailing spirit.


Planning and soliciting attendance isn’t necessarily difficult or anxiety building until you get closer to the day and unanticipated events happen to cause holes to appear in your apparent flawless and effortless planning. Life happens – things come up that you cannot possibly foresee over the course of a year. The need to have minimum numbers causes the added pressure to ensure all the seats are filled. We are all thankful that a distress call put out there attracted the attention of like-minded individuals who could make the weekend getaway. Financial strains this year had me even questioning my spending; however, the benefit to my mental well-being far outweighed any other argument. It just means more work upon returning home.


Nature. Focus. Amazing surroundings. Like-minded souls sharing your love for words. Ability to socialize, materialize, compromise – or just disappear into your own world, as needed. As a writer, the solitude is a blessing and it is made even more inspiring by the beautiful setting and lodge.

No – you don’t have to go away to write, but a retreat is an experience every writer should try during their writing journey. Most will go back for more – year after year. Others will savor the experience and move on, knowing they can always go again when warranted. For me, it is a place I could imagine retiring to in order to write to my heart’s content for the rest of my life… the whole working for a living thing-money and paying bills- thing that stops me for now. Every trip produces more work and creates memories shared with writing colleagues. Fellowships are forged – friendships are solidified. The wonderful thing about Strawberry Creek Lodge is the myriad of delightful nooks and crannies where one can hole up for a time or stake out for the duration; the rooms are wonderful sleeping and private working quarters to spread out your tools and prepare to produce; the meals… the meals are marvelous. Imagine being called to the table by the cowbell at set times to enjoy amazing meals with your retreat pals. No cooking. No dishes. No cleaning.


None. Unless, of course, you count the fact that you won’t want to go home and you might attempt to kidnap Brenda, our awesome host/cook, because you never want to have to cook again… ever…

As a dedicated writer, invested in your passion – you will utilize every moment possible to focus on your words; be kind to yourself with rest and relaxation; socialize at appropriate times; connect with your inner creativity and nature. For those who couldn’t go – there is sadness in what life brings – but there is always next year.

A Writing Retreat. It is not something that is necessary – but it is something life-altering to those with a serious passion for word creativity. The retreat is a great way to immerse yourself in the beauty of solitude away from every day distractions to focus specifically on writing. It’s a recharge for the creative battery.

See you next year – keep on writing!

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Define Yourself as a Writer

My passion and enthusiasm leads me astray. It will get to a point, though, that I must rein it in and tie it down, despite the ‘no fences’ rule. I wear several hats, of late, and it is no wonder that confusion plays it course upon my condition. I love my company and I love the people who have discovered the amazing way collaboration works. Supporting one another is truly the way to become better at what we do – it is the way to widen your perspective, cultivate new interests, define your goals – all of which allows us to plant sign posts with remarkable achievements along our writing life journey. But, if I do not write, I begin to feel discouraged, frustrated, sad… I need to write. It is as vital as air and as soothing a sunshine upon my face.

I read a great post shared by someone who walks the talk – she supports and encourages and I am so lucky to call her friend and confidant. The Writer’s Digest article talked about the October Platform Challenge… we all know how I love a challenge! So what better way to get myself out of a rut than to revisit the deepest part of my creativity. I am going to rediscover my muse and drag him/her screaming to the surface.

Day 1 Challenge – Define Yourself as a Writer 

This exercise is to identify and lay claim to all the things that make you a writer. Own it.

Name (as used in byline): Linda J. Pedley

Position(s): Owner/President of Dream Write Publishing Ltd * Co-founder/Director/Treasurer/Member/Volunteer of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County * Business Management Coordinator for my day job at the Alberta Federation of REAs * Freelance Writer/Editor * Published Author * Artist & Illustrator * Truck Window Photographer

Skill(s): Creative writing * non-fiction writing * poetry * editing * book design * blogging and web site content writing * social media promotion and platform building * newsletters * business document writing including business plans, reports, business case proposals, government position papers * individual-team-community builder * teaching and mentoring * color and design * photography * art composition and basic lesson plans * computer use

Social media platforms (active): Facebook * LinkedIn * Google+ * Twitter

URL(s): wildhorse33.wordpress.com  / dreamwrite10.wordpress.com  / dreamwritepublishing.com  / strathconaconnect.com 

Accomplishments: BA General – Sociology Major/Political Science Minor from the University of Alberta * Author of several published novels: YA adventure series – A Journey of Brothers/A Journey of Truths/ A Journey of Desires, Power Struggle, Ode to the Bard – My Writing Life, and An Elizabethan Affair * Co-Author of Your Lifetime of Stories and From a Solitary Drop * Contributing Author to several compilations and/or anthologies including Christmas Chaos and Writing Prompt Journey * Awarded the Pride of Strathcona community award in Arts, Culture & History for our writers group, The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, in 2011 * Awarded the Pride of Strathcona community award in Arts, Culture & History in 2012 for personal work in this category * Certificate in Article and Short Story Writing from Long Ridge Writers Group in the US  * Certificate of Participation in Writer’s Camp at Humber College, Toronto in 2004 * Effective Communications Certificate from Grant MacEwan College * Publisher of over 60 books and 5 years in business with Dream Write Publishing – a creative option for today’s writers to see their work in print.

Interests: Writing – all genres * art appreciation * travelling Alberta and driving in the mountains in my “Sunshine” Toyota FJ Cruiser * truck window photography * all things Shakespeare * coffee with close family members * sharing interests and good times with good friends * horses * spending time with my daughter watching favorite TV shows, drinking wine, or collaborating on work projects * drawing * computers * reading and having lots of books *

In one sentence, who am I? Linda J. Pedley is a writer who works her day job to pay the rent while dreaming of the things she could do if only she could just focus on the passion of creating and working page-deep in books every day.

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January 5, 2015 – 30 day Photo / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge

January 30-day Photography / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge

Day 5>> After Dark

Day 5 - 30 day challenge After Dark

The darkness can be your friend where you can hide from the bright lights that act as spotlights upon your every day move. Is the darkness a mask that conceals the truth? Our minds never turn off the memories. After dark, when other things around us slow down, recollections can be much brighter in our minds.


“When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected;
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
And darkly bright are bright in dark directed.
Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright,
How would thy shadow’s form form happy show
To the clear day with thy much clearer light,
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so!
How would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made
By looking on thee in the living day,
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay!
All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me. ”

~William Shakespeare

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Inspiring Blog Award

I have been nominated by fellow blogger, Mandy Eve-Barnet – thank you, Mandy!

Please visit her blog http://mandyevebarnett.com/ as she inspires and supports fellow writers.

Before we continue with the details of the nomination and requirements for posting, I would like to take the time to share a little side note here to say that blogging has changed my writing life – for the better! I am an avid writer and used to fill journal after journal of words, thoughts, ideas, rough drafts, etc… I still do to some degree, but not with the viroucity that once attacked my pen. With increased use of the computer and an increasing number of outlets one continues to update on line, I find it handier to blog. Even sharing becomes a involved process of research, reading, and posting… especially an article or a link that may be of interest to my followers and fellow writers. Recognition of others who share this passion is one way to not only share this wonderful achievement but to connect with others who write because they must. When we take the time to realize how much more is out there to discover – it is truly an amazing community. 

The nomination rules: thank your nominator, and note other blogs you’d like to nominate … and then let them know. But first, as part of the nomination process, I must share… seven things about me:

1 – Family is above all.

2 – My writing life not only includes my own words but supporting the work of others.

3 – Publishing is lots of work but so very rewarding – released first ebook last month!

4 – My love for horses is evident through my Facebook page – can there ever be enough beautiful spirits?

5 – I am thankful for my one and only child – she is my precious, pride & joy!

6 – Supporting the community where I live – through work, business, volunteer, and personal commitments – makes me proud.

7 – Connection to fellow writers, authors, artists – through social media is an amazing addition to my writing life.

Here are my nominations:










Not the 15 requested of the original post, but significant contributors to the value of the blogging community, whether through opinion, story, fact or fiction – they are worth reading. Thank you. #amwriting

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Sonnet V – Not of My Time

There was a time you were unknown to me

We walked our separate paths upon the earth

Then life presented chance discovery

and need displayed at face our meeting’s worth

Below the surface boiled submissive fire

Tempting us to warm to nature’s draw

You appeared despite your oath’s desire

Soothing o’er my wounds that still bled raw

As two forbid complete within one bed

Although our draw and writ would argue so

Brief encounters filled with cautious dread

Midnight hour tolled and soon must go

Not free to roam, you travel guarded way

Content with offered tryst, I’m held at bay

(c) Linda J. Pedley  (from Elizabethan Affair – soon to be released novel)

Victorian artist ~ William Powell Frith














Victorian Artist~ William Powell Frith ~ “Lovers” – 1855


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Heed the Call – A Graduation Dedication on Life

Waters ripple… breezes beckon… conspiracy tempts the soul to motion.

Pitch and roll… whispered secrets, call little boats out to the ocean.

“Come see what land lies far beyond the protected shelter of your bay.

Maybe there a brand new life… untold treasures… a brand new day.”


Tethered to a dock below… while maternal mountains tower above

Mighty eagle shares the sky with hawk and harmonious dove.

Shoreline grasses dance their best to lapping sounds of waves at crest.

Sunshine blesses happy home… tied to wharf where safe it rests.


The waters repeat their gentle pull and winds they whip the boat astern.

“Come out to sea… adventurous be… there is so much more for you to learn.”

A tempting draw to far off lands beyond the dune of comfort sands,

But they will not coax too far this time… destiny not yet in one’s own hands.


Abrasive sea. Relentless fear… it wears upon the shaken hull.

Stormy weather threatens high before there is another lull.

Chipped and worn and tossed about… what’s to become of thee?

Salty tears for journey’s loss… feeling unworthy of the sea.


Loving hands mend wounds that show and soon will heal okay.

A fresh new coat of make-up paint covers pain of yesterday.

But what of scars too deep to mend… internal bonds a rift?

Silent waters… emotions deep… despite care’s loving gift.


What of the winds that call out to you, “Come to the great beyond.”

Home is dear, but lands far and near, encourage you to respond.

Someone said the sorrow sweet in ways when we part so…

Then set it free to chance the storm… untie it… let it go.


Waters surround, and then out to sea… waves set life in motion.

The rope untied. Heart filled with pride, as craft sets out upon the ocean.

A distant spot that bobs and rocks… while fading out of sight…

Follow stars. Land near and far; determined dreams you cannot fight.


Although it seems a modest boat cannot compare to ocean liner.

Refurbished bow and stalwart oar… make proud the ship’s designer.

To heed the call of destined squall… a dreaded lifelong wait.

Cut the ties… despite the cries. The journey… a captain’s fate.


Linda J. Pedley © 2003

Photo by Gary Iverson -source Internet


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April – wherefore art thou?

April – my precious month, the beginning of my own spring tides, bearer of my birth. Where have you gone in such a rush? It is not like you will be forgotten, passing into the calendar abyss without renown or reward, but do you have to go so fast? Don’t you know you are my favorite month as you are the time of year I came upon this earth and then as if returning the gift, I presented to you my own offspring to herald the very first day of you? If I write nothing else to post here, it would be to proclaim all the glory that you offer me each year, however fleeting, however quick.

Yes, spring arrives in the waning weeks of March but it is April I connect to; Aries I am borne of… and spring anew is welcomed with open arms each year. There is uncertainty in the time even with all the future holds, so close to grasping summer’s warmth… yet within reach of the cold hold winter still tries to lay claim. You packed surprises with a punch this year as snow fell, blizzards hit, rain and hail and lightning – yet there was sunshine, too, as if to ease the passing of any final winter wares. I celebrated with friends and family as yet another year turned forward and I beam with pride as my daughter continues to mature and grow into a most wonderful human being.

Work keeps me grounded yet my dreams continue to soar as my own publishing business increases in popularity and project. I revel in the marvel of books and the stories authors share. I am honored to help contain those words within personalized covers that will forever house their creative works. April, you will be a banner month for Dream Write Publishing and I would expect the rest of the year will follow suit influenced by your lead.

With all that keeps one busy during the normal course of a day, my days are filled past normal work hours to include my investment of time and expertise to a growing business; I remain overly active in the workings of the local writers group and foundation; events for each of these entities fill weekends and evenings with planning and presentation, and although tiring and taxing upon this body, outcomes are undoubtedly profitable and pleasant.

I have been presented with many profound opportunities and awarded recognition for my efforts – I am deeply humbled and appreciative of all I have to claim. April in all your newness, you bring rejuvenation to a soul wrapped to guard against winter’s chill, and though I hesitantly shed those protective layers as days grow longer and warmer, I thankfully welcome with open arms what is yet to come.

It is almost good-bye April – I will await your visit next year.

Here are some fun April activities involving me and my passions:

http://www.renajtraxelblog.com/2012/04/s-is-for-sonnet.html?spref=fb my interview on Rena J. Traxel’s blog “On the Way to Somewhere” – Rena covered National Poetry Month with tributes to poets and poetry styles using the alphabet. I was excited to be a part of this with “S” for sonnet…

http://www.worldshakespearefestival.org.uk/ Oh, William – you look and sound wonderful for 448 years!! You will always have my heart. Be warned – the site is very, very vibrant in color! (I know I shouldn’t use very, but using two, does that cancel them out, out brief candle … that is the question…)

Planning for the upcoming Writers Foundation of Strathcona County Conference well underway and we have an amazing line-up and outstanding support!  http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com/fp/2012-writers-conference-saturday-may-5th

It was fun participating in the 6th Annual Evening of Poetry on Friday the 13th at the Strathcona County Library – how lucky! I have only missed one event of the six and I not only love listening to the different poets invited as guest readers, I am pleased to share a couple of my poems during the open mic session – this year I shared along with a free verse poem called “Begging” … the sonnet featured in the blog post above, and this one:  https://wildhorse33.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/metamorphosis-of-a-poem/

The recipients are not yet posted on the County’s web site, but I was nominated for this award to be given out on June 11th in a celebration at Festival Place in the category Professional Development: http://www.strathcona.ab.ca/departments/Communications/pride-of-strathcona-awards.aspx  I have the official letter from the Mayor’s office and I am honored to be chosen for this award. I thank (over and over) my colleagues and writing friends for their letters of support (and Mandy for spearheading the application!) Now, if I can get through the acceptance speech without blubbering…

I am attending on behalf of my employer the Alberta Community and Cooperatives Association AGM in Red Deer to participate in the meeting and cooperative discussions. I represent the AFREA on the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC 2012) planning committee at the provincial level, working down through the communications and grassroots committees, to being a proud part of the local Strathcona County Co-ops Cluster group. Creating awareness of the cooperative business model is our mandate – providing educational/leadership opportunities to young co-op members or members-to-be.                                          



I will wrap up April with other office, work, company, home, family and friend duties and pleasures – but also with a supper at the Morse Telegraph Club annual meeting. I am attending on behalf of my author George Campbell who wrote “Good Night Old Man” and created a stir across Canada and US with his book. It has been well received and written about in many papers; check out this book review:                                                           http://groups.yahoo.com/group/techbooks/message/882


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Metamorphosis of a Poem

The rough draft of this “poem” was written as a prose response to a fellow poet’s challenge – both of us knowing that a poet cannot go too long without writing some words to which they have an intimate connection. Then… special feelings, although cautious due to circumstance, came into play and the “poem’ was going to express this suppressed covetous desire… However, waiting long enough to actually write these words to this end, they became the true feelings of this poet – the love for words and sharing them with you – the reader, whomever you are. Hope you enjoy them, love them, take them with you.


My heart took its time to let go of the words as I pondered the concept thinking it mostly absurd; for it was you who inflicted upon me the desire, yet my responses were cautious… as I stepped over the fire…

The fear of those feelings mixed with welcome ones, too – but the words didn’t hit me right out of the blue… Oh, I thought about them, and then rethought again – or was it perhaps, they just came to me… then –

as if they were cast off, ignored, and not heard, within the tangled emotions, an expression of words; they got caught in my throat – or so it appeared, because I couldn’t separate them from the feelings I feared.

If I were only a poet engrossed in my work pulling imaginary emotions from the depths where they lurk; I could relate to the words without asking to define, but I am more than a mere writer asking you to be mine.

With such intimate detachment there can be such sadness and if explaining your feelings is the ultimate madness; it goes without saying and often goes without thought that your soul and a part of your heart is now caught between some of the spirit embodied then lost; they still glow in the aftermath paid as small cost –

Despite all this dread, I did write the words… disconnecting my soul, not wondering if heard, for I’ve no way to explain, but to say they are free and to say them out loud, they no longer belong to me…for once they are freed by composition and verse –

they now belong to you

for better or worse.


Filed under On Life, On Writing

Words – My Love

It seems only fitting on this cherished day of cupids and cherubs and chocolate kisses, to write about the emotion emblazoned on everyone’s deepest desire – love. And even if we don’t have that special someone to write kissy love poems to some of us realize that we have one true love as a writer and that is … words. With words we spill our reddest ink, share our darkest hours, explain our deepest thoughts, and like draining a wound of pus, some of our demons are purged with the use of words. So, too, are the declarations of forever and always imprisoned – permanent promises are penned on this day “to my love” “with all my love” “eternally yours.”

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without the hearts, the chocolates, the roses, the wine –  a song, a whisper, a kiss, a rhyme… Desperation wrapped in parchment, left on the doorsteps of our heart.

If you are going to write about the good and those warm fuzzy feelings that accompany love, you may have to balance it at one time or another by writing about the tearful fears of being alone or without or of being a part of someone’s past. Those are the lessons of the heart, in truth, in life.

Words are my passion and they seem to be the only love to never have left me, judged me, forsaken me for some other love. They are mine and I give them freely so that they may be given back to me in some form, in some way, and at some time. Like my heart.

Here’s an older poem to share on this day, from “Heartsong”:

A Kiss So Fine

Don’t give me a gift that money buys

To hold me close… engenders sighs.

Don’t give me your heart ~ intangible fire…

so when you are gone I am consumed with desire.

Just give me sweet, oh, such sweet bliss.

A kiss so sweet ~ one that I’ll miss.

Touch lips to mine – my knees are weak.

My heart decides to skip a beat.

Just give me sweet, oh, such sweet bliss.

Treat my to your honey-sweet kiss.

Shivered heat recalled – the moment mine.

Memories linger – you’re gone – I’m fine.

(c) Linda J. Pedley 2005


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