The Teleported Workshop

TOpoet walked down to Harbord from Bloor with a Starbucks coffee heading for the Czerndea workshop. It was downstairs at Bakka bookstore. The first thing he looked for was the bathroom.

G’arth teleported from the command module to the debriefing. The first thing he looked for was the microgenetic plastic explosive.

To’oet teleported from Bloor with a Starbucks coffee to the Czerndea workshop. The first thing his sensors looked for was the microgenetic plastic explosive that had been implanted in one of the participants.

cheerio microgenetic cherrios

The above are examples of settings that lead to world building, story & suspense. Lessons learned in the Julie Czerndea workshop. Names, locations, methods of transport – all factors in creating & sustaining a story that builds a realistic world for the reader.

roller roller-ing along

The workshop was tightly & effectively organized. It was a reasonable sized group, equally spit male & female (unlike amy workshops I go to where men are in the minority.) Julie gave us productive exercises to help develop our own particular world. Easy, understandable & unhurried ways to take a simple action and expand it into elements that tell a story.

Though I don’t write fantasy, scifi – the locations I chose tend to be real Earth bound but still need to be made real to the reader. For Coal Dusters I created a coal mining town in Cape Breton, as opposed to using a real location.

stuff details – chilled

The workshop was too short, which is a good complaint. Not that I go to socialize but I would have liked to have learned a bit more about the other participants – like the genres they worked in – I don’t even know if any of them are from Toronto. But that didn’t keep me from giving them each a copy of my Go Bump chap book. A great workshop at an excellent price in a convenient location with an articulate focused leader & a group of writers who were equally focused on the writing – who could ask for more.


May 26 – attending – King John – 2 pm – Stratford

June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words


June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont

raven carrion crow at Loyalist

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada


The Cell


a man weeps on the subway

well-dressed   mid-twenties   needs a shave

turns his face from us

with no corner to hide his tears

rubs a cell phone in his left hand

squeezing it as something to hold on to

glances at the screen

bumps his head on the window

harder and harder

should someone stop him

he stops lurches up

gets off at the next station

stares immobile as the train pulls out

was that even his stop

was he ashamed of strangers seeing his sorrow

our eyes wanting more

was our pity   curiosity   inaction

too hard to bare

on top of what he wept about

his cell phone still where he sat

I pick it up look around

no one acknowledges what I have done

what should I do with it

phone the numbers that might be on it

track him down

did he abandon it   leave his sorrow behind

I get off at my stop

take the cell with me

open it in the privacy of my home

I press the right buttons

nothing lights up dead

my recharger doesn’t fit

I’m at a loss about what to do

suddenly it lights up   rings


all I hear is

painful gut-wrenching sobs

dizzy how it turned out

One thought on “The Teleported Workshop

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