Category Archives: Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre

Things are hopping!

The hopping started at the Regina Beach Lionesses’ Evening of Elegance, when my cDancing at the Lionesses fundraiserousin-in-law’s band, the Uncoolas Hit Revue, took to the stage.  In the bustle of the summer, it had slipped my mind that they would be the musical entertainment for the evening.  They play K-Tel Record favouriteNancy & Aaron, of the Uncoolass as well as hits from the 1960’s and 70’s.  I had not heard them before so it was a great pleasure for me.  And, within a short time, I was up dancing, as were many of the women in attendance.  Jim’s cousin, Nancy, did great back up vocals to her husband’s lead vocals.  And the band was musically tight!  I had so much fun that my jaw was sore from smiling, my throat hurt from singing and my body ached from dancing!

I’m now thinking that there could be an after-occasion poem in me from that night.  OhSusanWeir, and for a change, I was the last bidder on a work of art by Susan Weir in the Silent Auction.  This will look good in my orange kitchen! (PS:  Art photography is an art I have not acquired.)

The week that followed was a busy one.  I had a great meeting with the Lumsden and District Arts Council and reconnected with Rosemarie Schumann, originally from my hometown, Earl Grey.  They fed me a delicious lunch as we talked about me leading a Words & Art workshop with them at some point in the future.

I also spent a lot of time this week talking to teachers, arranging for workshops in the schools.  If your children are in Grades 1 through 8 at South Shore Elementary, I’ll be working with them.  If they are in Mrs. Winter’s English class at Lumsden High School, I’ll be working with them, too.  And, I think I will be working with Grades 5 to 7 at Clive Draycott School in Bethune, too!

And, the Tuesday night class is carrying on, as well.  This past week we worked on gathering sensory data for writing, ekphrastic writing, and spent some time considering Julia Cameron’s, THE ARTIST’S WAY: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity.  This coming week, we’re looking at re-envisioning, revising, rewriting and editing.  I spent time this morning tracing the development of a poem that began in 2005 and seems to be almost finished some eight years later.

Another good week in the Qu’Appelle!  Ordered a load of wood today in preparation for the cooler nights that seem to be upon us.


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Filed under Bethune, Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre, Literary Arts, Lumsden, Regina Beach, Workshops, Writer-in-residence

A week into September already!

2013-09-02 12.46.19-2There’s never a dull moment in Regina Beach and area!  At least there isn’t for this writer-in-residence!  The Duck Derby Parade was fun!  There I carried a fishing pole with a large worm.  Books bit the worm.  It was a bookworm.  But I had to explaiin it to too many people, so maybe it was not as good a get-up as I had thought it would be. The Moose Jaw Shriners were out en masse.  How can you not love those little cars!  Boys with toys, I always think!2013-09-02 13.12.50

There were a lot of people lined up along the parade route and I handed out a lot of business cards.  And it was hot!  I am forever grateful to the people running the lemonade stand partway through the parade route.  I had forgotten my water bottle in the car and I was thirsty!  I am also grateful to the kind people, one of whom is in my classes who shared the shade with me afterwards.  Oh, and I did not win a prize in the plastic duck race.  Maybe next year!

I began leading writing classes with an introduction to freewriting aka Natalie Goldberg this week.  One student commented on how much writing she accomplished in just a couple of hours.  Another suggested she didn’t have enough time to really get into her writing so I assigned her homework, to write for a half hour at least once this week.  I’m looking forward to leading the students through exercises in gathering sensory data and using it in their work this coming week.


I’m also meeting with a teacher at Lumsden High School to plan for a visit to her classroom and to talk about starting a writing group there.  Oh, how I wish there had been something like that for me as a young person!  That I can in some way contribute to this happening for young people now, is a gift.


But before that, however, there’s a fundraising gala for the Lioness Club.  So, I’m getting all dolled up with make-up and jewelry, stuffing business cards into my hand bag and heading out  to check this out.  I hear there’s a silent auction, too, so who knows what I might come home with!

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Settling into the WIR gig!

It’s been more than two weeks since I started my gig as writer-in-residence at the Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre (LMLCC) and I am starting to feel a little settled, more capable of taking on what I said I’d take on. Yes, moments of doubt haunt me from time-to-time!  But I can and will do this.

garden2 ATC c. B. L. Wagner

Garden 2

I’d already moved a computer desk and chair into my studio space at the Centre.  This morning my husband helped me move in a rather large basket of books and a couple of bags of art supplies.  Attending Gerri Ann Siwek‘s  Artist Trading Cards (ATC) workshop here last weekend reminded me how much fun I’d been having with the multimedia work I’ve been doing on and off for a few years.  So, I’ve decided that while I’m WIR, I’ll spend a bit of time each week working with words in other ways.  The ATCs posted here are from that workshop with Gerri Ann.  Both are unfinished but Garden 3 is the one that really inspired me to take this work forward, perhaps because it provided me with another way into a poem.  I don’t know if I’ll make any more ATCs, but I will be making more poems!

Garden 3 c. B. L. Wagner 25August2013

Garden 3

And I’ll be helping others make new poems, too.  And fiction and nonfiction, as well.  That’s what the basket of books is about.  They are almost the full extent of my About Writing reference library.  I’ve been mentally leafing through a number of them since posting the list I created in collaboration with Facebook friends last week, jotting down the occasional note-to-self as a reminder to pass along this or that tip to students.  I’d thought it best to have copies here for easy reference and to leave the library’s copies in the library for those who might be interested in reading them.  I’m excited about our first class beginning on Tuesday night, 7 pm sharp, in the lower level of the LMLCC!

Duck Derby Mascot

Duck Derby Mascot

Before that, I have a busy weekend ahead of me.  Tonight (Saturday), I’ll be at the Lumsden Beach Corn Roast, encouraging people there to submit their work to the anthology we’re publishing next summer.  Sunday, I’ll take some family time because my sister’s visiting from Alberta and there is a Rider game to watch.  And on Monday, I’ll be costumed up and taking part in the Lumsden Duck Derby Parade with the Library’s Book Worm as well as checking out in the festivities there.

Have I mentioned that I love my job?



Filed under Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre, Literary Arts, Lumsden Duck Derby, Ramblings, Workshops, Writer-in-residence

We’re publishing a book!


Another part of being a writer-in-residence is producing a community art work.  When I was here in the spring, we published a chapbook, Tales from the Lake, featuring the work Call for Submissionsof local writers.  This time, we’ve pumped it up a level and plan to publish a full book featuring local writers!  Here’s the call:

Call for Submissions

Do you have a relationship with the south shore of Last Mountain Lake? Are you a writer who lives in or near the area served by the Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre (LMLCC)? If so, you may be interested in contributing your work to an upcoming anthology to be edited by writer-in-residence, Bernadette Wagner, and published by the Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre in Spring 2014.

Submission Guidelines

    1. Submissions are open to all residents and full- or part-time cottagers in the area served by the Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre (Regina Beach, Kinookimaw, Buena Vista, Lumsden Beach, Lumsden or Bethune).
    2. Submit only original work written in English.
    3. No multiple submissions. Submit only one piece of fiction or nonfiction or 3 to 5 poems for consideration.
    4. Open theme, any genre.
    5. Prose word count cannot exceed 7500 words. Our preferred word count is in the range of 5000 words. Poems cannot exceed 66 lines. Our preferred line count is around 33.
    6. Submissions should be formatted as Word Document files (.doc, .docx) or in Rich Text Format (.rtf) in Times New Roman or Helvetica fonts.
    7. Submissions must be accompanied by a cover letter that includes your name, your preferred 50-word bio and your complete contact information, including mailing address, email, and telephone numbers.
    8. Send your submissions to Or, mail to:

Bernadette Wagner, Writer-in-Residence
Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre
Box 70, Regina Beach SK S0G 4C0

    We will confirm receipt of your work within one month.
    9. Deadline for submissions is midnight of FEBRUARY 15, 2014. Our reading period begins immediately afterwards. The editor will work with you from February 15 to March 15 to improve your work, if need be. Letters of acceptance or regret will follow.
    10. Contributors will be paid in contributors copies only for the exclusive first print rights to their work as part of the anthology.


Call for Submissions in PDF.


Filed under Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre, Literary Arts, Writer-in-residence

Upcoming classes at the #LMLCC

Part of being a writer-in-residence is sharing what you know about writing with the bernadette poster 2013community in which you are residing.  I didn’t realize how much I had picked up over my two decades of learning to write until I led a few sessions when I was here for the mini-residency in March and April.  And so, beginning Tuesday, September 3rd, I’ll lead a seven-week series of 2-hour creative writing classes for ages 14+ at the Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre.  I’ll share tips and tricks I’ve learned from various writers over the years.

Here’s what’s in store:

September 3: In the write space provides opportunity for you to:

  • explore your artistic energy;
  • become familiar with your creative process; and
  • develop techniques for entering into writing.

September 10: Stop and smell the roses will focus on

  • considering the impact of sensory data in your writing;
  • techniques to evoke the senses; and
  • making sense work in your work.

September 17: Re-envisioning the words is about taking another look at what you’ve written.  We’ll explore:

  • ways to see differently;
  • the subtle differences among revision, rewriting and editing; and
  • peer into another’s words

September 24:  The workshop method is a proven way to improve writing.  In this session we’ll look at:

  • the value of critique;
  • common sense rules for workshopping; and
  • how to give and receive feedback.

October 1:  The poetry is in the details is a phrase that was given to me by a mentor, early on in my learning to write creatively.  I’ve found it to be useful for all kinds of writing.  In this session we’ll explore:

  • what a poem is and is not;
  • a variety of poetic forms; and
  • the power of condensed and heightened language.

October 8:  Spinning yarns: elements of fiction is the session in which we’ll explore writing fiction.  We’ll look at:

  • what makes a story work;
  • the wordcounts in different types of fiction, including flash fiction, short stories, novellas and novels; and
  • character, plot, setting and theme.

October 15:  The realm of nonfiction is broad.  We’ll explore its breadth:

  • from journalism to creative nonfiction;
  • when a fact is not a fact; and
  • the art of memory.

Sask Arts Board Creative Partnerships logoThanks to the support of the Saskatchewan Arts Board through its Creative Partnerships program, these classes are FREE.  Attend one or attend all.  No registration required.  We ask that you please arrive at 7:00 pm sharp.

If you’d like more information, please leave a comment below or email me: lmlcc.wir (at) and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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