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The Inkswell

issue no. 2
Welcome To...
What if you could have your work published in a safe
environment, without any intimidating hoops to jump through?
Your peers would curate, edit, and publish all your work -
all you would have to do is create!
Thats what the Inkswell Collective Zine is all about.
Our zine is published bi-monthly in a free .pdf format, on a fully
volunteer basis. Print the published issue, or save the trees!
Come explore the thoughts, ideas, and creations of
other young writers from across Canada. Well come together
to explore the dramatic, comedic, unique, and everything in
between. Whether youve attended the WordsWorth Youth Writ-
ing Residency, or been referred to TIC by a friend, there is no
reason not to share your amazing creativity with our readers!
The creators of this zine hope that it will serve the
writing community well, and allow youth to share their work
throughout the year.
Please enjoy our second issue. We are featuring poetry,
mythical beasts, and three fresh Feature Articles from Erin
Emily Ann Vance, Lisa Murphy-Lamb, and Mary Sanche. We
also welcome our incoming Feature writer, Carter Vance!
With gratitude,
The Editors
Louise began writing in 2008, and is
from Calgary, AB. Recent publications
include Limelighter events and Grip Mag-
azine. Louise also writes an inspirational
blog at gostaystrongforever.wordpress.
Jay comes from a fction background,
with a current focus on creative non-fc-
tion and music. She lives in Edmonton,
AB, where she daylights as a reception-
ist/sales extraordinaire. By night, she
has been featured in Grip Magazine,
co-manages the Inkswell Collective, is a
co-founder of #YEGYAWG.
Louise Fournier
Sakura Seberg
Dorrie Rechner
Jay Lewis
Sophie Pinkoski
The Inkswell
About the
E d i t o r s
Learn more about contributing to our
zine by checking out,
or visiting on Facebook at
1) Get out of bed. An early morning run before
a long day can help you power through almost
anything. And a perk? Te sunrise and crisp air,
plus wakefulness straight out of dream-land
provide ample inspiration for an equally early
writing session.
Many of the writers I look up to in my own life are avid runners. As I write this, Im
staring out the window sipping from my favourite water bottle, aching to throw on a
hoodie and go for a long run. Running boosts your creativity, clears your head, and
helps you focus. It teaches you to meet goals and teaches you endurance. Running is
easy. You put one foot in front of the other and leave your sadness behind. Today is
September 3rd, 2014. Today is the day that I want you, the reader to write down all of
your misconceptions about starving artists and toss them in the fre (its a bit chilly
for the beginning of september). I want you to grab a bottle of water, drink up, lace up
your running shoes, and go. Just go. Remember: One foot in front of the other until
your sadness disappears. Today, September 3rd, 2014, is the day that you start taking
care of your body, to begin taking care of your mind.
Getting ft is easy. Just like writing is easy if youre willing to commit. Lets say you spend
one hour every day writing. Add ffeen minutes onto that for a mind-clearing run, may-
be at the half-hour mark for writing, and youre ofcially a runner. Tats all it takes.
Here are fve tips for running harder to write better.
2) Get of the couch. Around hour two of pa-
perwork, homework, or writing, I get incredibly
restless. My concentration goes out the window,
and I get incredibly agitated. Instead of sitting
down in front of the tv in my yoga pants with
a glass of wine, I pull out my mat, turn on the
news, and do a few sun salutations before a super
quick run, followed by a cool shower. It is incred-
ibly invigorating, and by combining things I like
(TV and showers) with things I know are great
for my mind and body (running and yoga), I am
rested, reinvigorated, and ready to take on that
term paper!
4) Get wet. DRINK YOUR WATER. You know
what happens when youre dehydrated? Your
brain is dehydrated- thats right, your brain
shrivels up and gets SMALLER. How are you
going to win a Pulitzer Prize with a raisin brain?
Exactly. Now go my pretties, drink your daily
35oz and write that novel!
3) Get outside. Shaking up your workout routine is the
best way to stick to your goals. Find another path to run, do
sprints in the pouring rain, dive into a lake. Instead of order-
ing a pizza and watching Harry Potter for the 50th time with
your signifcant other, throw on your hiking shoes and treck
to the Kananaskis for a hike. Turn a romantic getaway into an
opportunity to explore a cave, or a river. Turn a girls night
into an impromptu yoga retreat or 5k!
5) Okay, time for honesty hour. I like exercise, BUT I like Netfix,
wine, and pizza pops more. However, exercise keeps me sane, tedious
as it may seem at the beginning of a run. Te key is to wait for the
adrenaline rush that comes with hitting mile number 3, and hold onto
that feeling; it is the same feeling that strikes afer an incredibly fo-
cused writing session. Exercise your body to feed your mind, because
when you let one go, the other may very well follow.
Freelance Writer | Autism Advocate | Aspiring Lawyer
| English Major | Hopeless Romantic | World Traveler |
Animal Lover | Rock Climber
Erin Emily Ann Vance
What made you change your mind from law to education? -Louise, 18
I wouldnt say that Ive changed my mind, per say. However, I have acknowl-
edged the fact that I will never be the kind of person who has one static career
throughout their working lives! Law at the moment, is my main objective, because
it is a fantastic challenge. I will have to rewire parts of my brain to focus on logic
games and reading comprehension to take the LSAT, and I would love to work in a
fast-paced ofce environment, and the skills acquired in law school are extremely
transferable to any other career! In law, I would have the option to work in many dif-
ferent sectors, and when I decide to have a family, will be able to take time of more
easily than if I were a teacher.
I will still be able to create change and work in systems such as education,
health care, and social services, only my impact will take a diferent shape.
I do think that eventually I will go back and get a masters degree in education, so
that I can combine the two careers and work towards creating more efective curric-
ulums for children who face challenges.
For now, my goal of law school is about opening doors. Tat, however, is not
the only door I am opening for myself. I am entering my third year of university,
completing an undergraduate degree in English with a concentration in creative
writing. I am trying to get into the honours English program, because 1) ENGLISH
IS THE BOMB and 2) its a great asset for those applying to law and/or graduate
school. Boom. Two doors opened! My second language for my degree is Italian,
however, next year I am planning on getting French Certifcate through Continuing
Education and I am planning to take my DELF (international French profciency
exam), thus opening the doors of bilingual education, should I choose to become a
Add a technical writing certifcate in there, and Ive opened a serious buttload
of doors for myself, and by the time I fnish law school, or my education degree,
or publish my frst book as a stay-at-home mom, I will have spent years of my life
studying so many things that I am passionate about. Im only 20, and with so many
interests its impossible to choose! But I dont have to, and neither do you! Use your
early twenties and your undergraduate years as a time to build a really sturdy diving
board from which you can leap into the career of your choosing. You dont have to
decide what you want out of life right now, but you do have to take steps to ensure
that youve opened enough doors to take your pick of futures.
i thought you had diamonds lining walls of your body
in a few years, black rock dominating my airways
would absorb
turn to gems, you
were decomposing remains of everything i went
wedding rings
Karissa Schreyer may be the age of the dancing queen, but
shes far from graceful. Northern Alberta gets the privilege of
housing her clumsiness, along with Moleskine inspiration and
knee-length dresses.
The Incredibly Busy Indie Summer
Back to school is always a
tense season - whether stu-
dents are dreading it or look-
ing forward to it, the transi-
tion from summer to school
year is always strange. For me,
this year was especially bizarre
- afer taking some spring
courses, my summer was only
a shortened two months, rath-
er than the standard post-sec-
ondary four. But the idea of
school was welcome, because
in a way, it was a break. School
is the place where people give
me clear assignments. Sum-
mer is more nebulous.
Multiple times this past
summer I found myself won-
dering if I had taken on too
much work. I wasnt even
employed anywhere ofcial-
ly - I did all of my work from
home - but I was working,
concurrently, on transcribing
and designing the anthologies
for the WordsWorth camp for
young writers, doing writing,
art directing, and art produc-
tion for the Diviner (an indie
text-based RPG), as well as
starting my frst solo comic for
part of a friends documentary
- a 23-page, full-colour sci-
ence fction piece. People were
constantly astounded by how
much I was doing. For me, it
felt natural, until the summer
began to wane and I realized
that Id still be working on
these projects well into the
school year. All of this work,
with school on top of it? More
than a few stressed, angry
nights were had.
Would I work like this
again? Not if I could help it.
But despite all of the chaotic
developments along the way,
and despite the fact that I am
still in the same situation, I
feel like having an incredi-
bly busy summer has really
opened my eyes. Under stress,
I have learned so much about
myself - my work rhythms,
my limits, my bad habits. My
difculties in juggling writing,
art, and design at the same
time. Above all else, I learned
that I am dedicated to a fault:
I would die before I let any of
my summer projects drop.
I like to think, though, that
the sheer amount of things
I did this summer gives me
some sort of authority to ofer
advice. I know what its like
to be freelancing alone, at
home. I know what its like
to be telecommuting to work
with people all over North
America, who you sometimes
cant reach for days when you
really wish you could have
their immediate support. Its
stressful to be alone all of the
time. I had nobody around
that I could talk to when I was
having trouble writing for Di-
viner, nobody who could give
me guidance on making my
frst full-colour comic. I was
responsible for myself and my
productivity. If I wasnt work-
ing, I was berating myself for
not working - with no one to
reassure me.
Sure, family and friends
were there, but creative work
is intimate. Whether its writ-
ing, design, or illustration, I
fnd theres something far too
personal about it that makes
it hard to fully talk about. Im
languishing in my room over
writing the voices of ancient
gods for a game directed by
someone in Texas, and it just
isnt working out - and who
else can fx that but me? Ad-
mittedly, I made my lonely
boat myself. I sat in it and
refused to get out. Vehement-
ly, I thought that I had to stay
there. It was my boat, afer all;
I got myself into this mess and
I had the obligation to see it
through to the end.
I suspect that this will hap-
pen again in the future, over
and over. Ive been probed
about it by the indie comics
documentary team - do you
want to keep doing this

Feature Article
By Mary Sanche
if its going to make you feel
this way? Of course I do. I get
stressed because I care beyond
all measure; if I didnt care, it
wouldnt matter. My strain is
proof of my passion.
In any case, through this re-
fection, I salute the rest of you
- those who spend all-nighters
fghting with your art, your
writing, your poetry; those
who have flled their heads so
full of projects and inspiration
that they cant help but ex-
plode (or implode). Your love
for your practice is sacred. We
may be insignifcant, singular
college students fretting alone
in our bedrooms, but what we
do is important. Keep doing it, no matter what.
Being back in classes, now that Ive found a school that
fuels my fres, despite the added work, is actually a relief.
Now I can complain to other creative people, who will
laugh and agree and ask if I want to go get a cofee.
Mary Sanche is a second-year
Character Design student at
the Alberta College of Art +
Design. Tis summer, she has
been a worldbuilder, a game
writer, an art director, a de-
sign intern, a comic artist,
and an incredibly busy per-
son all around. She lives in
Calgary, AB.
HAIKUS by Dylan Curle
Birds chirping in trees
Separate strands of grass twitching
As the bugs brush by
Exhaling black fumes
Brakes screeching as the bus slides
Haltingly it stops
A dark musty cave
Tin stream of light from high up
Dylan Curle is an aspiring writer and role-player from
Redwood Meadows, Alberta. Tis is his frst attempt at poetry.
Licht und Blindheit
Tis is the gasp of the trip-switch dawn, cask thunder-crack
in blood-bark walls, wounding wind of wires teeth emboldened
by player-piano keys and backgammon dresses we drape our
fne feathers in.
Bright fash-sudden in the Dublin dark revealing faw-tines,
mirrored blood patches, destines for the next mornings
hazy-grey dress shirt cross folds, next evenings further
wine glass follies.
Castle doors they shutter-slam about us peasants, our
ignorance and willing to batter down, our bitter
pill concoctions swallowed to little deaths dream
afer the chime.
Blinding, the afectations made as danger wandered
cling of dust to fabric collar, cling of name to fngers;
it was your light that tripped me up, yours
and that alone.
Carter Vance is a student and aspiring poet originally from Cobourg,
Ontario, currently studying in the Social Work program at Algoma
University in Sault Ste Marie. His work has appeared in such publica-
tions as Te Bairds Tale and Te Penny Dreadful.
Grown Up
Childrens backpacks food the city centre as Friday
makeshif parade begins in pinwheel swirl the same
Im sure it always has, but do not know.
Pondered by the stone arches, Cheshire waterways,
smiling sundown clouds above Ferris revolving
lights, peak air breath drawn from Inverness down,
how I could have been the pinwheel spinning sharp.
I could have grown up here,
and cheered for Celtic over Rangers,
and learned to wince at tourist camera clicks,
and ate kebabs with wooden fsh-and-chip forks,
and walked the Royal Mile to school and back home.
But I grew up amongst the maple keys falling,
and slipped down the ice-slick hills in Winter,
and scofed at the American accents of summer beach travelers,
and picked strawberries in August at the farm fve miles out
and rapped on suburban fences with replanted oak branches.
A Recollection of Rainstorms
I am as impermanent as the Highlands rocky recollection:
we came both from somewhere long since forgotten, the
space made in time of ice storms, and must return
some day to mere murals on desolations dust visage.
One day, it all crumbles and to the sea restores,
not matter calcifed remain or limestone spire grand;
there is no reassurance in this matter, knowing
our pointless echoes stop in place at natures hand.
Still, could carvings of glacier weight grand know the
immensurate pain of lonesome laying at evenings end,
could the wall stone paintings refections of midnights gentle-
airs in failing from polished shoe leather?
I wore no clans title and a story half-thought,
you surrounded mists in pale-eyed sadness sweater-knit,
carrying pints in plastic cups, at least, we could
have that much tonights together, it seemed.
Piercing run, clumsy-handled questions, shattered storms
a second lasting but decades wished upon, truly
those were the moments in deep night with the
fashing neon pattern to be held immortally close.
Beneath the melting pound of Prestwick airport lounge lights
sleep a haunted thought between mechanical spring clangs,
the disembodied rumblings of freshly-recorded warnings;
I was going somewhere, but no time so soon.
When we parted both tying scarves and looking for
streets we had seen only in map headlines, I stuck
with befores determined conclusion of the night,
but if I hadnt had been lying in steady breath.
Id have spent until lochs hour of dust return
in Glaswegian streets with you.
My work with writers both young and old has taught me that writers want
to write and they want to be a part of a literary community. A literary commu-
nity helps build networks necessary for a successful literary career and requires
writers to give back. Tis is Literary Citizenship and Literary Citizenship is a
warm hug in a career that, at times, can seem isolating and lonely.
Guiding principals for good literary citizenship (ideas from authors and
bloggers like Blake Butler Cathy Day).
1. Read a lot.
2. Write notes of thanks, appreciation, or praise to writers.
3. Interview writers for your blog or website (or another publication).
4. Recommend or review books you like.
5. Read and support literary journals.
6. Buy books.
7. Be passionate about books and writing because passion is contagious.
Te Power of Literary Citizenship, via Kore Press, ofers these additional ways to
give back:
8. Teach
9. Celebrate the achievements of your colleagues. Champion their work.
10. Volunteer. Join a governing board.
11. Practice humility.
12. In workshop, be patient and kind and truthful.
13. Attend talks and conferences. Listen hard
14. Mentor a new writer. Be mentored.
15. Be a good friend to other writers.
Being part of a writing community doesnt have to cost money. What it can do is
open doors. By helping others, you are also helping yourself. Spread the word on
others projects, connect and of course write. Always write!
Literary Citizenship:
Create a Triving Literary Community by Giving Back
Feature Article by Lisa Murphy-Lamb
by Brooke Averns
i am explosive. there is no other way to put it. i am a bomb, and soon
i will blow, but there is nothing around me to be destroyed, for i am
alone. in this void that is my life there is nothing but darkness and the
realization that i will not be saved, for there is no one to save me. i cry
for help, but all i hear is the depressing echo bouncing of the walls of
this cold abyss. i am an accident waiting to happen. these cracks blos-
soming around my body and soon i will shatter completely. this room
screams of mistakes and lost causes and ia m trapped. my bonds will
not loosen, but if they should snap - please catch me before i fall. i am
the wreckage of a broken girl and i will continue to grow, but i will not
bloom again. i am begging you, please meet me where the fre and ice
collide and set me free.
Imaginary Beasts
THE SIMARGH - Te Simargh lives in the Tree of Knowledge and is the
attendant to the Queen of Sheba. It has orange feathers, a silver head, and a
peacocks tail.
THE LESHI - Te Leshi is the Slavic protector of the forest. It keeps cows
from straying too hard from the pasture, and has been known to kidnap
young women.
FLICK - A Flick is a creature resembling a six-legged gecko that lives inside
lightbulbs. Teir sole purpose is to turn lightbulbs on and of. In the early
days, the Flicks love of light led them to create lightbulb-shaped casings.
Tomas Edison knew this, and trained Flicks to turn on and of at the will
of others. He then sold them as lightbulbs. When your lightbulb dies unex-
pectedly, that means the Flick inside has died.
LRID - A Lrid is the soul of another person who takes revenge on some-
one through possession that drives them to madness. It will stay in your
subconscious until either satisfed with the amount of madness inficted, or
the body of the soul is murdered.
KAKAIRO - A type of shapeshifing demon that feeds of of colour. Prefers
humid climates. Its only weakness is Fools Gold.
THE MALG - A humanoid being that changes shape and appearance ac-
cording to the daydreams of other people. It is composed of clouds and
moonlight. Only one can live on the planet at a time, and its average lifespan
is 600 years. While it is not evil, the Malgs abilities can make daydreamers
insane. A Malg can be identifed when it looks in a mirror; it will ficker be-
tween the forms it has taken on in the last moon cycle.
Creatures from Cathy Ostleres First Class in Week One, Various Authors
Edited/Compiled by J. Lewis