Story Starters Contest – February (FEBRUARY SUBMISSIONS CLOSED)

February Story Starters Inspiration Piece (FEBRUARY SUBMISSIONS CLOSED)


In its 5th year, the Ontario Writer’s Conference continues to celebrate all art forms. This year we are very excited to include visual arts into the conference with our very first Story Starters contest.

On January 1st, February 1st and March 1st, our website will feature an extraordinary work by a local artist and we invite you to enter a piece of writing inspired by that work.

Need a peek at the rules? Want to seek inspiration among our January entrants? Click here to view January’s art, entries and contest rules!

If you have questions about this contest please send us an email. Thank you and good luck!

February’s featured artist: Lory MacDonald

Lory MacDonald

Lory has explored many approaches to creating works throughout her lifetime of painting and creating crafts. Recently, she has put all of her skills and experience as a painter and craft artist together to develop a number of exciting new series of paintings. These include the water, dream and tree series derived from a set of drawings depicting imaginary worlds, trees, landscapes, flora, fauna, and creatures.

They are created on panel board by combining mixed media acrylic painting, collage and caulking. The creative process involves scanning, manipulation, layering, distortion, repeating, resizing, colouring, mirroring and combining the line drawings into new compositions. Observers have commented that the finished paintings are multi-dimensional works that include aerial imagery, landscape vistas and subterranean worlds.

Growing up on Toronto Island in a family of thinkers, doers and inventors, Lory spent all her time playing and dreaming outside in the parks and beaches of the island. Another influence on her work has been many years of teaching children’s art as the founder of the Magic of Children in the Arts Show in Collingwood, Ontario. This has driven her imagination and has added a childlike quality to her colourful paintings and drawings. Lory’s work has been influenced by Gustav Klimt, Henry Matisse, Claude Monet, Wassily Kandinsky, Joan Miro and Hundertwasser.




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    • Can you feel the strength within you? Feel it through your body, your mind and your soul. It is powerful. It is sensual. It is incredible. You are amazing all on your own and now you have found someone that makes you feel even more complete. It is overwhelming and beautiful. Float away with it. Sing about it. Feel all of it. Enjoy all of it.

  • Ever wonder how the world came to be? A turtle
    Who is oblivious to a growth on its back; A god
    Who dreamed a dream unknowingly growing a garden;
    So many unanswered questions entangled in so many thoughts.
    Even these words baffle you lot.  

    But one truth remains: the word binds.
    It creates these clouds of thought and query,
    These moments of empathetic joy,
    Noise to salute the tale we hold to truth.
    So sing your song, sing how we are wrong,
    That we may continue our conflict in songs of songs.

  • Without Borders

    Let not our Economics, separate us…

    Let not our Sexuality, define us…

    Let not our Race, give us power…

    Let not our Religions, make us just…

    A world without such borders…

    Love…is the universal language of peace.

  • Hold little value in the reflection in the mirror,
    Such lies, feed a hunger fueled by a falseness we seem to revere.
    Let us strip away each layer, the ego feels it so desperately needs.
    To finally release the soul, to reveal the only truth of whom we really are…

  • The harmony of life between the two is played through the body and onto the heart. When sung together we two shall be become like one. It was the sun and stars that made the sky. It shall be love made by you and I.

  • I find starlight falling from my inside
    You say:
    But I am moon to your sun – this is just a passing, love

    I find the taught wire binding severe
    You say:
    But I am bound with you in life, love

    I find deafening the screams from my stretched mouth
    You say:
    But I am stretch-mouthed too – together the world will hear, love

    I feel extinguished, descending into dark flames
    You say:
    But we will quench each other, love

    I need to rip open blind eyes and loosen from you
    I say:
    I have to leave
    You say:

  • Oh, how I long for a kindred spirit,
    a selfless vessel of sisterhood.
    There … “With” … Me.
    Open, Honest, Judgment-free.
    A perfect partnership …
    as bee to flower, flower to bee.
    We’d fly on high
    and then burst into bloom to …
    sing, in sweetest harmony.
    The moon, the stars, the planets, all
    would revel in our cosmic call.


    I’ve never wanted quite so much
    to feel a kindred spirit’s touch.

  • Genesis

    She wrapped her arms about my waist.
    We hugged, we kissed, again embraced.
    While muffling short excited cries
    she looked directly in my eyes.
    Her toes were tapping all about.
    She gripped my arms and asked, “No doubt?”
    “No doubt!” I said. She squealed with joy.

    Most sacred of our gifts on earth …
    The miracle of childbirth.

  • Well, Why Not?!

    Two women from “Heaven Knows Where”
    Made a pact that if they were to bear
    All their assets and curves,
    Since they had no reserves,
    They would also shave off all their hair!

  • I am woman, here me roar…
    A cliche, I think not.
    I am rising to the occasion,
    In a style, shape or form I please,
    Day or Night.
    I will transcend for my Loved ones,
    Until I have reached the stars and the moon.
    Maybe even far into another galaxy.
    anything is possible,
    My Limits are ENDLESS….


    “Women! Their heads are in the clouds … mouths going a mile a minute’bout wanting this thing, needing that thing. Jeez! The nagging and the whining … they’re all the same I tell you!”

    “Hmmm, I hear you, but y’know … sometimes, you just can’t help yourself. You just gotta look past all that Mars and Venus crap and … Whoa! Man oh man! When it gets down to the bare bones, they are the most beautiful creatures to behold. They don’t have to lift a finger for me. I’d move heaven and earth for ’em.”

  • Look to the moon to find him
    He peppers the sky with silver stars, mapping his place so she’ll follow

    They meet between sleep and awake, in the kingdom of magic, where dreams are made

    Swimming in a sea of milk and honey, two blazing bodies blur to become one in song,
    Their voices travel to the edge of existence, shattering into a thousand pieces of light

    “Stay,” he says, so she does

    And for the next while they continue venturing forward,
    Stealing time into this sliver of space and stretch of night
    That will forever belong only to them

  • See the Sun
    It’s great life lives in us
    See the Moon
    Our friend and witness
    See the Stars
    Truths shared in our hearts
    See the Earth
    Anchoring us
    See the Oceans
    Moving us
    Listen to the wind
    It carries our voices


    Once again, I scanned the heavens for guidance and, once again, Pleiades captured my gaze. But this time … this time my home constellation sang out to me in a way as never before. Two sister stars burst forth to instantly merge and sever the sky on a razor sharp course to my heart. My breath was stolen as I fell through the earth on a seemingly endless quest for truth. When I awoke, I was freed of the ambivalence that had rendered me weak and ineffective. I was weightless, transparent … pure. Now, I could LIVE this life.

  • Caught in the lifeless purgatory between Asleep and Awake,
    We cannot decide which way to go.
    Humming in-tune with the tuneless witching hour,
    Our voices are frail and meaningless,
    Like wind over dried leaves.
    We have become The Huntsman’s almost kill-
    Not alive but not fully dead,
    Until finally the weight shifts
    And we are left,
    Two pockmarked pillars of salt
    With pieces that are missing.
    And all that remains twinging on the surface
    Is not vitality
    But the animalistic urge of phantom limbs demanding
    Their lusty desires be fulfilled.
    We cannot help but obey.


    Mythical duology
    Pagan-times philosophy
    The music of our history
    Each duet a symphony

    Positively binary
    A perfect song of symmetry
    ‘Til byzantine corollary
    Pulls us to reality

    Shakespearean soliloquy
    Replaces musicality
    Demands originality
    Yet burdens with finality

    You struggle for serenity
    Once found in aural pageantry
    Now lost in the cacophony
    Of latest newborn family

    Discordant technicality
    This alternate reality
    Where music – once vitality
    Reduced to triviality

    So many work so valiantly
    Still clinging to some sanity
    Yet losing all their vanity—
    While singing “Rubber Ducky”
    until they’re blue in the face

  • life becomes a beautiful song,
    when a child is born,
    or a man and wife when deeply in love,
    tie themselves in a wedding bond,
    music of life continues till we are young and strong.

    as we inherited from Adam and Eve,
    we cannot help listening to satan’s voice,
    succumb to greed and unholy charms of life,
    anger, hatred, adultery, and bribe, ready to decieve.

    alas, we could keep God’s commands,
    every moment in front of our eyes,
    so that our mind does not listen to satan’s voice,
    and life can go on singing all the time,
    Like Adam and Eve, before satan’s crime.


    The Gods held their breath
    And the stars all aligned
    As into their realm
    Two souls intertwined

    Transcending their past
    WIth spirits anew
    They danced on a sea
    Of celestial blue

    They swirled and they twirled
    Passing day into night
    Passing night into day
    Spinning love into light

    When their joy overflowed
    It would spill to the earth
    In a river of song
    To a place of rebirth

    As the laugh of a child
    A young lovers’ kiss
    The bloom of a flower
    A new mother’s bliss

    And the Gods would exhale …

  • Irene Davidson Fisher February 22, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Near or far our souls touch. Life’s pathways take us beyond our imaginations and our souls sing as one. The universe embraces us. The stars twinkle above and the moon shines down from the heavens. We are Sisters, born from the love of our Mother and Father. We are kindred spirits, our minds, our hearts, our lives entwined for eternity.

  • Sing aloud my little moon’s and stars, fill the air of all your woes.

    Face me raw, stripped of darkness and pray like you did so long ago.

    Stray the path of the serpent Greed, he is a sly and sinister foe.

    Tell Pride she has no place before me and demand to Prejudice he must go.

    Turn away from the fiend Temptation, sin and torment are the seeds he’ll sow.

    And now my dearest moon’s and stars your soul’s sing pure and white as snow.

    Ageless love I reward to you, now sing my children, sing away your woes.

  • We are ghost-like and unlimited.
    We are sun and moon
    never seeing each other
    but knowing the other exists
    and is essential to our own being.

    We are the guardians of this world,
    where ever that may be.
    One of us must be constantly
    in watch,
    for these beings
    who are not so ghost-like
    at all.

    We are music notes to be read
    by those who understand.
    We speak our own dead language,
    very alive
    to us.

    We do not see each other
    but we are both essential
    to the continuation
    of our being
    and theirs.

    We are ghost-like and unlimited
    except we must remain
    but also forever apart.

    The key to art
    is the reaction of the viewer,
    whether it be good or bad,
    positive or negative,
    as long as there is reaction,
    it serves its purpose.

    Our existence is the same;
    as long as there is reaction to our being
    we have served
    our performance
    our guardianship
    our purpose.

  • Two harmonious voices revel in the soul stirring sound of beautiful music. We hope to take up their melody. The shared composition of their lives like multimedia in character splashed with the warms and cools that colour their emotions, amid open mouths, ambiguous eyes. The calm, shades of blues, fire of orange, pure streaming white, abysmal blots of black, that dare them to sustain their love as part of a larger environment in which they float. Their forms, subtle lovely differences and pristine intelligent similarities, end in fragile decorative spirals etched over space and time. Love unveiled.

  • This is a more dark rendition of The Duet then the first as everyone enjoys choice. I prefer the lighter one myself that I wrote above. 🙂 Thanks for the opportunity to explore themes and created. I love the artist’s piece.

    The blues rhapsody of a couple is told as they pose parallel, standing tall, never touching, comfortable with hands tucked. Incomplete, ghostly apparitions not entwined but floating in faded blues and bleached white. His and her, solid forms of blue ending in a thin spiraling line, whimsical above a complimentary orange that is their foundation, river of lava and black igneous rock. With their head in the clouds, white noise, digital age, they look out, blank expressions, mouths open, white space for words. Intimacy found in the deep rich purple, and black,like bruises, a cave of colour for two, leaking falling stars to a less than full moon.


    Wanted: THE Duet
    Benefits defy bound’ries
    Mission: HARMONY

    Job-SHARE positions
    Soloists need not apply
    But they should listen

    For an audition …
    Contact your innermost selves
    BELIEVE, breathe and … SING!

    Must both aspire to
    soar beyond your wildest dreams
    in soul PARTNERSHIP

    No resumes please
    Have FAITH in one another
    Make that transition

  • Alexandria woodland, age 11 February 28, 2013 at 1:30 am

    Hi, my name is Luna and my husband`s name is Helium. We’re ghosts! But we’re nice ghosts yet, we can be a little mean sometimes like when we went out on Halloween to show off how ghostly we are compared to people’s table cloths. I was nice once I tried to help an old lady with her groceries but that didn`t turn out too well.

    Helium was nice to me today he made sure I didn’t get burned by the fire pit but then again I don’t have skin so I can’t really get burned!

  • The mystery of music
    Each note a star sent
    Into the ether
    Surround us
    Subdue the silence
    Enlighten creation.

  • Whispers of hope
    Rise above anger
    Though hands tied
    She sings
    Stars spinning,
    Carried on waves
    He tries to break free
    Mired in the red
    He cannot rise.

  • Anne MacLachlan March 1, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    SUBMISSIONS TO THE FEBRUARY CONTEST ARE CLOSED as of 11:59pm on January 31st. Thank you for all submissions. If you’d like to enter our February contest, please click here. Best of luck to all entrants!

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