Posts filed under ‘speaking’

Write Canada 2016

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Linda Hall, Indie publishing

Next week is Write Canada in Toronto. The committee has been working for months to get it organized and the registrar’s been busy too.

Instead of the intensive like last year, I’ll offering a two-part workshop on writing Creative Nonfiction and another on what you can do Before the Editor Steps In (not the one on your shoulder that taunts you about your writing, but the one who helps get your work ready for publication).

As far as I know registration is still open. Sign up for Professional Day, Saturday, or the whole conference, here.

Looking forward to it and hope you can join us.

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Steve Bell performing at the 2015 Awards gala

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Fern and Ruth share a table at one of the workshop sessions

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NJ Lindquist, ready for gala

CN Intensive Class with CW and SBN

Members of the Creative Nonfiction Intensive group last year with my co-leader, Stephanie (left)

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Sharing photos at gala, l. to r.: Donna Mann, me and Sara Davison

 

 

photos by C. Wilker and others at 2015 conference

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June 17, 2016 at 12:36 pm Leave a comment

Bringing in the New Year

Once a month I post over at the Canadian Writers Who Are Christian blog. Here’s a taste of what I wrote this month, so early in 2016.

22581694128_cdbe97abd6_z                                                                                        At the Fall District 86 Toastmasters conference in Blue Mountain

 

Bringing in the New Year—Carolyn R. Wilker

 

We’re nearly two weeks into 2016, but for a few moments I want to reflect on the old year that we’ve just put aside.

This past year was momentous in so many ways and sad in others. Three people in my circle of acquaintances and friends—some for as long as 30 years—died in 2015, plus one young teen who attended our church. As I mourned the loss, I also felt grateful to have known Kathy, Susan and Patricia, and Samantha. I reflected on the blessings they brought to my life. Susan was part of my early writing life and edited my first book, Once Upon a Sandbox. Kathy had invited us to her place when we were new members at the church and then to the Bible Study she often hosted. Patricia was a kind and generous neighbour who became a friend, and Samantha is gone too soon at the age of 16.

Even while I mourn the loss, there were good times aplenty. My husband and I gained a new granddaughter, an addition to the two small grandchildren we already have. I had new publishing credits (Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamon and Tower Poetry) and requests for a column in our national denominational magazine, Canada Lutheran, and publication therein, but also invitations to do my memoir workshop in new locations to new organizations. There have also been new friendships in the making and a fabulous writer’s critique group in my corner.

Read more here.

 

 

Canadian Networker Fall Business Expo Fall Business Expo in Kitchener, Ontario

January 12, 2016 at 12:37 am Leave a comment

Coming soon– District 86 Fall Toastmasters Fall conference

You haven’t heard from me in a bit, but I’ve been as busy as ever. Sometimes speaking, one day of election work, and getting ready for a big presentation and still writing and editing.

Next weekend, I and many other Toastmasters from District 86 will gather at Blue Mountain resort for the Fall Toastmasters conference. We’ve had all sorts of discussions about it, regarding cost, workshops, accommodations, people receiving their Distinguished Toastmaster status, including two friends of mine, Dawna and Suzanne, who’ve worked so hard for a long time to achieve it. Congratulations to both of you. Well deserved.

We look forward to meeting fellow Toastmasters whom we only see at conference. We look forward to good food and some fun. And looking forward to the Friday evening workshop that I’ll be giving. It’s just about ready. For anyone who doesn’t know what Toastmasters is about, it’s a place to work on communication skills—not just speaking in public, but also on leadership.

If you’ve ever wondered about Toastmasters, pay us a visit on a Thursday afternoon—at the Energetics club in Waterloo— and see what it’s all about. While we’re learning, we’re supportive of each other and we have some hilarious and serious Table Topics. Leave it up to a certain member to come up with zany topics.

But back to the workshop. I tried it out on my club yesterday and got some great evaluations, both aspects that were well done and some that could use a bit of tweaking. It’s good to know that the content is solid. It’s like evaluating my own writing—I can’t always see it clearly. But I was assured that the content was good. So this week, I will be ramping up to the presentation. I won’t tell you more. There is apparently one more day until registration is closing.

Oh, and I’ll have a book table at the conference too, similar to what I had at the recent Canadian Networker Fall Business Expo in Kitchener. I’ll have the same books with me, including a new edition of Hot Apple Cider anthology in which I have a story.

Canadian Networker Fall Business Expo

Photo: Dawn Taylor-Gilders, KW Snapd

Me at the business expo, promoting myself and my business

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Proud to have a story in this collection.

Will I see you at the conference?

November 7, 2015 at 12:44 am Leave a comment

Toastmasters, even on holidays

I’m a long-standing member of the Energetics Toastmasters of  Kitchener-Waterloo, and as we were planning our holidays in the Grandview Resort in the Kawartha Lakes region, I thought, I wonder what Toastmasters clubs are in the area. A google search brought up three in the area, one at noon in Peterborough, Naturally Speaking Toastmasters, as well as two others. Not being as familiar with the area as one who lives there year round, I decided on Naturally Speaking, a club that meets in the noon hour on Tuesdays.

With the help of Tony Nelson, founder and former member of the Energetics, now a member of Lindsay and District Toastmasters, I contacted Lisa from the Peterborough club and wrote, “I’d like to attend your meeting while I’m in the area. And I’m open to take a meeting role.” Lisa replied with an invitation to speak or take another role that had not yet been filled. I chose the speaking role. Before we left home, I got an email from Brian who was to be my speech evaluator for details on my project and I sent him a message too.

My husband and I drove into Peterborough that Tuesday morning after our initial few days at our daughter and son-in-law’s location. With the help of ‘Matilda,’ our GPS, we got to Charlotte Street, parked and walked the next block to Empress Gardens where the club meets. The seniors were at lunch on our right and the Fireside Lounge to the left where we met Brian Patrick and Susan Johnston who were setting up for the meeting.

 

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At first it seemed as though the meeting would have a small attendance that day, not unlike our own club during the summer, but they trickled in, including Heather Watson, the meeting chairperson for the day. We were early, after all.

The meeting began with welcomes and a greeting on the theme of compost. This club, at least for today, had the speaker slot early, and I was the only one. Julia Ledgard, Grammarian for this meeting, gave us the word of the day, which was ‘dirt.’ With one hour to meet, there’s no time to waste and the meeting went as planned.  Heather introduced me and gave my speech title, No Such Word, and it was time for me to speak.

For those who do not know about Toastmasters, we help each other with our communication and leadership roles through evaluations and the members took time to give me some feedback on my speech, both grow and glow as we like to call them. Grow points to help speakers improve their presentations and glow for the things they did well.

Jay  Schiller, an organic farmer apart from his office job, led the impromptu speaking session as Table Topics Master. His questions were challenging and the speaking time was 2 minutes each.

I thank the members who offered both appreciation and constructive feedback that I will consider the next time I give this speech again, or another similar one. I appreciated the opportunity to visit this warm and welcoming club and would do so again at another such opportunity. Although each club is made up of different individuals, I noticed the same atmosphere that we have in our own club, one that welcomes guests and makes them feel at home, and a true and helpful spirit where we work together to improve our speaking and leadership abilities.

Thank you to the members for making my husband and I feel so welcome. Best wishes to you in your personal and group goals.

DSCF9084A photo of the members and guests that day, with me at far right, in the beautiful Fireside Lounge

 

DSCF9085Susan K. Johnston and Brian Patrick, holding up their banner. They joked that, between them, they represent many years in Toastmasters

 

Then before we headed out for lunch, we walked up the street and took some pictures of the city

 

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DSCF9088I like how the newer buildings blended with the historic in colour in that square.

 

DSCF9089Looking across at Empress Gardens where the Toastmasters meet

 

 

July 25, 2015 at 1:07 pm 3 comments

Maranatha Says Good-bye to Pastor Kuhnert

IMG324Sunday, January 11th, at St. Philip Lutheran Church, our covenant partners, Maranatha Lutheran congregation, said an emotional good-bye to their pastor of nine years—Pastor Peter Kuhnert and his family. As well we celebrated the baptism of Jesus on this day of the church year.

 

IMG328Our greeters, members of Maranatha and two of Pastor Peter’s daughters

 

Pastor Peter`s wife, Pastor Karen Kuhnert, assisted with the service, with Bishop Michael Pryse, of the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church on hand for the ceremony of release.  Pastor Peter welcomed Pastor Claudine Carlson, interim pastor for St. Philip, to say a few words in introduction. She will also be doing a communion service once a month for Maranatha as part of her work here.

And though Pastor Peter has been pastor of Maranatha and not St. Philip, we have shared the space and celebrate Lenten services and supper together as well as Christmas Eve and Black History Month services, and thus we have gotten to know both him and his family. I might add that my brief time on the liaison committee has helped with that too.

 

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Member of the Starlite Steel Band played as members and guests entered the sanctuary and again during communion. (photo: S. Fletcher)

 

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Emmanuel George, Faith Life rep gives a contribution to Sharon Heeralall, council chair of Maranatha. (Photo: S. Fletcher)

 

The service opened with remarks from Pastor Peter and Sharon Heeralall, council chair of Maranatha, who welcomed all in attendance and gave an emotional and heartfelt thanks to Pastor Peter on behalf of their congregation.

Bishop Pryse, in his brief remarks, called on his memories as a child of this congregation (St. Philip), the first baptized at St. Philip, and promised support to Maranatha Lutheran as they move forward. “We will walk forward together, celebrate the sweetness even among the bittersweet.”

The singing was joyful and mixed with tears too, as Maranatha said good-bye. We go forward together—St. Philip and Maranatha—knowing that Jesus Christ is with us and that God holds our futures.

In his sermon, Pastor Peter recounted his time and various events with his congregation.  He reminded us that “every day we are washed in God’s blood” and that “Baptism is a day of endings and beginnings.” … “Thank you to Maranatha for inviting me into your sacred spaces.”  In reflection on the past year and a half in covenant partnership, Pastor Peter added, “Thank you also to St. Philip for welcoming us into your building.”

 

_SYL5372Serving communion (Left to right) Pastor Peter, Pastor Karen, Bishop Michael Pryse, Violet (member of Maranatha) (photo: S. Fletcher)

 

_SYL5399-Maranatha uses the individual cups for communion wise as do some other congregations in our wider church  (photo: S. Fletcher)

 

_SYL5408-Pastor Peter with his family and the Bishop and member of Maranatha congregational council (photo: S. Fletcher)

 

_SYL5495Katarina greeting along with her father, mother and the Bishop  (photo: S. Fletcher)

 

_SYL5314-Greeters at closing of service: Pastor Peter, Bishop Michael Pryse, Pastor Karen Kuhnert  (photo: S. Fletcher)

[ Personal note: Soon after returning home I learned that the first great grandchild of my friend Karleen in Colorado was baptized this same day.]

 

 

Photos © Sylma Fletcher at Link, by her gracious permission. Other photos © C. Wilker

 

January 17, 2015 at 6:27 pm Leave a comment

An Easter message from Kairos

 

From Kairos

We believe in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection. But it’s a faith that can be  sorely tested in the pain and the depth of our Good Fridays.

Will the fighting in South Sudan end?
Will the climate heal?…

Click on the video link to hear the message:

https://vimeo.com/

 

April 17, 2014 at 9:18 pm Leave a comment

Black History Month–Maranatha– Part 2

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The chicken was delicious. Everything was good.

Over the yummy Caribbean lunch, we talked with people at our table, several who are members of Maranatha. Dana and her husband, from Toronto,  were guests of a member. Dana asked how we, who were not from one of the islands, liked the Caribbean food. I said we’d enjoyed it the year before and this year was no exception. The chicken was especially delicious.

Angie, who sat around the corner from me, said, “You can have more, if you like.”

“Thanks, I told her.  Think I’ve had enough and will save a space for dessert.”

Making my way to another table, I asked Sylma Fletcher if I might get a few of her photos for my blog and she was happy to oblige.

Dessert included a celebration cake and plenty of fresh fruit.

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Celebration cake; photo credit, Sylma.

 

Ken Daley art

One of two pieces reproduced for the service program, and gracious permission by artist Ken Daley to  use it on my blog.

The afternoon program began back in the church sanctuary, perhaps a little later than planned, but there had been many people to accommodate in the fellowship hall and the extra time offered a good chance to meet people and chat. For me it included the mother of a child I had once taught in preschool. It’s always a treat to see Chloe and say hello.

_SYL6733Drumming  group from Cameron Heights; photo credit, Sylma

First off in the program was the Cameron Heights drumming group under the direction of their leader, Tim. He gave us some history on how these drums were made, which was fascinating. Then the group went through a drumming routine. Who would know that a drum of that size could produce such variety in sound. But then I am not a drummer.

_SYL6742                                                                                                                  Cameron Heights Concert Choir, under the direction of Mrs. Brenneman; photo credit, Sylma

After the drumming group, the concert choir filed up to the front and Mrs. Brenneman, their leader, told us about the first two African pieces they would sing. After finding their note on the piano, they began singing accapella. The third song was a piece by Bob Marley, African-American singer. The choir performed it, to our delight, and then we were given the opportunity to join them in the four parts. What a wonderful piece and so enjoyable to sing. The tune was in my head for some time after the event.

_SYL6779                                                                                                                                                                              Peter Braid, MP; photo credit, Sylma

Peter Braid, guest and Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo riding, spoke about his opportunity to attend this event. “During Black History Month, our community comes together to learn about and celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black Canadians” and how we celebrate our diversity at such an event as this. He thanked Pastor Peter Kuhnert and the Maranatha congregation “for bringing Black History Month to life.”

Braid had the opportunity to be part of the delegation to South Africa, representing Canada, for the funeral of Nelson Mandela, whose “example of courage and hope was an inspiration to many.” He said, “It was an honour for me to represent my constituents and all Canadians at Nelson Mandela’s memorial in South Africa last December… We entered the stadium to the singing and dancing of thousands of South Africans. While there was a tinge of grief in the air, the atmosphere was primarily one of celebration.  A rejoicing for what Mr. Mandela accomplished for their nation, and gratitude for his long walk.”

Braid said it rained the day of the funeral, and it was unrelenting, but “Africans consider rain a blessing, and fitting on the day of a funeral.”

“It’s as if the heavens were crying” one South African said to me. “Let freedom reign.”

Braid also brought good news about scholarships to be named after Mandela, a fitting tribute to the man. More information will be available later in the year, he said. “Education is the most important weapon you can use to change the world.”

When he had finished his greetings, Ms. Maedith Radlein, a retired school principal, shared her story of overcoming challenges when she first came to Canada and the ones her children also faced. Although she had already been a teacher, she achieved her Canadian certification and then moved on to be a principal of an elementary school. She spoke of feeling as though she was invisible at times, but after much persistence and learning she was successful. She challenged black youth to be persistent and to believe in their goals and to work toward them.

Claudette P. Smith, author of Stone Markers of Grace: A Lasting Legacy gave a short and entertaining reading from her new book. Then an audience member made an announcement about a new film, The First Grader, available in the library, and the program was complete.

Pastor Peter Kuhnert closed the service with prayer. Attendees left the sanctuary to visit with others, clean up after the meal, and go home. It was another successful event.

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DSCF6839I think that Mrs. Smith’s book may be added to the book table next year. Some books of interest in their collection, ones the book club has read and discussed.

 

Peter Braid wrote on Twitter that day after the event: “As I do every year, I enjoyed celebrating Black History Month with the very welcoming congregation at Maranatha Lutheran Church today.”

 

With thanks, once more, to the artist, Ken Daley; Peter Braid, MP; and photographer Sylma Fletcher (for LINK) for permission to share  their art, photography and words on my blog.

March 5, 2014 at 4:54 pm Leave a comment

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