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It’s National Library Week (April 13 – 19) in America – not a global celebration run simultaneously unfortunately but let’s take it to our corner of the world, shall we? Libraries have changed from the ‘quiet, echoing halls’ of bygone days into spaces enjoyed by all ages, classes and cultures. There is investment in new city libraries and fierce support for numerous small libraries in towns and small hamlets alike. As you can read in this article – libraries are well loved around the globe and have adapted to the needs of their visitors.  The range of traditional and modern buildings is striking.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/14/travel/irpt-library-fascination-travel/

I have included images of our new library, which my community is extremely proud of. The original looked like this. It served it’s community well and there is still a fondness for the ‘old’ building.

Old Strat library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The interior of the new one is spectacular – as you can see here. With numerous specialized spaces it caters to all.

Sherwood-Park0022

08-kidsstrathcona

 

 

 

 

 

 

poppies-strathcona

library_kids_07_strathcona

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is your library like? Do you love spending time there? Does it have a unique feature?

I enjoyed this article and thought we should write our own love letter to our library. So that is the fun prompt for this week. Mine is below.

http://www.chroniclebooks.com/blog/2014/04/15/5-unforgettable-love-letters-to-libraries/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ChronicleBooksBlog+%28Chronicle+Books+Blog%29

FunDay

Love Letter to Strathcona County library, Sherwood Park, Alberta.

With gleaming glass panels reflecting the light and spectacular artwork adorning your walls, you are a vision to behold. A comfortable chair nestled into an alcove embraces the solitary reader while communal study rooms and computer desks cater to the young and senior alike. Your glowing fireplace makes for a cozy reading nook or a place for conversation sitting on low sofas. The story tree changes with the seasons as children read and listen to fascinating words under its branches. You embrace all who enter and feed their minds. It is a privilege to call you my own and I love the hours I spend within your walls.

Share your library love letter below.

 

 

 

 


mandyevebarnett:

Some good advice on creating an excellent competition piece.

Originally posted on onewildword:

One of the hardest things to do as a writer is see your own work objectively.

The past few weeks, I’ve been reading entries in a writing contest. It’s always a great learning experience to analyze other writers’ work, which is one reason I always recommend writers join critique groups.

It’s interesting to see how many issues are common among the manuscripts I read. See if these ideas and tips can help you judge your own work more objectively.

1. Create mystery. Every story should have questions that will spark readers to turn the page so they can find the answers. What does the protagonist desperately want? Make the stakes big so readers absolutely must keep reading to find out how on earth the protagonist will succeed. And while you’re at it, deprive readers of the answer as long as possible.

2. Create active protagonists. I frequently see protagonists who…

View original 186 more words


 articles

My upcoming children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue, centers around two woodland sprites, who help all  the forest animals through illness and injury. The theme was inspired by my lifelong love of the natural world, whether it is exotic animals, such as tigers and red panda’s (my personal favorites) or the more common species, such as rabbits, squirrels or birds. The knowledge and wonder shared with me and my siblings by our parents, lives on in us and we have passed on the message to our children. Every single species has a purpose and is intricately linked to another. The ‘food chain’ is the basis for this but there are so many other relationships in the natural world that we are still discovering.

bee-flower

We have all enjoyed the fluttering of a butterfly but have you ever watched a spider make its web? Such industrious behavior is fascinating to behold, similar to ants rebuilding a damaged nest or a bee collecting pollen. These activities are born of instinct and self preservation. Even with all our technology we cannot manufacture a structure as fine and strong as a cobweb or create a completely natural substance from so few components as honey.

Beetle

The smallest bug or insect is a wondrous thing to watch. Did you know woodlice carry their young under their bellies? My daughter at the age of 4 taught me this one! You may not see or consider a beetle scurrying across your path. But look closer – see its colours, its antenna and its shape. There are many different kinds of animals and insects we ‘miss’ in our everyday lives because we are not looking. Sit on the lawn or near a forest trail and watch the tiny world that is so often under your feet and ignored. You will witness a whole new world of activity and renew your connection to nature.

Our interests can be a vital component of our narratives and will give depth to the story because of our knowledge and love of that particular subject. Delve into your depths and find those links to broaden and heighten your subject. It will show in your writing and engage your reader.

What interests have you incorporated into a novel (or novels?)

OckleberriesProof copy cover only. Illustrations and new cover in process.

 


 FunDayHappy Friday! A bit of fun today on your book knowledge – let me know how you got on…!

http://www.britannica.com/quiz/23/the-literary-world/questions

Quotes:

Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become. C. S Lewis

Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book freinds. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwrdness.  Helen Keller
 
 
Sadly Sue Townsend has passed away. For those not acquainted with this author, she wrote a series of books centered around a character called Adrian Mole. It is always sad when we loose an author, their words carry on though for future generations.
 
TheSecretDiaryOfAdrianMole 
 
Today’s prompt inspired by Adrian…what is your recollection of being 13 years old?
 

reblogToday’s reblog refers to female lead characters – some awesome advice and views on these blogs.

Have you got a strong female lead in your work?

How do you categorize her?

What traits did you want to show in her character?

Enjoy.

http://corsetsandcutlasses.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/how-to-create-strong-female-characters-in-historical-fiction/

http://corsetsandcutlasses.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/on-writing-strong-female-characters-make-them-human/

 http://ginablaxill.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/what-makes-a-strong-female-character/

Amelia_Earhart,_circa_1928Amelia Earhart – a true hero

Modern day female heroes tend to be portrayed in scantily clad costumes and yearning for a male counterpart – is this really necessary? Can’t women characters be strong, confident and capable without having to be ‘frail’ in some way?

Katniss_EverdeenKatniss Everdeen – make believe hero

What is your view?

 

 

 


articles

Having carte blanc when it comes to the location of our narratives, we are at liberty to indulge ourselves. We can place our story and its character’s wherever and whenever we please. It can range from a favorite exotic destination to a particular era or even an extraterrestial area. There is no limit to our imaginations or preferances.

How did you choose your location?

location

Here are my locations:

Rumble’s First Scare the dark depths underground

The Twesome Loop, my soul’s home, Italy in particular Rome and its surrounding countryside.

Life in Slake Patch, prairie lands in the future after a global war, as I now live on the Alerta prairies.

The Rython Kingdom, set in medieval England because I am originally from England and love castles!

Ockleberries to the Rescue, a lush woodland with a steep valley bordered with meadows and a river coursing through it. Due to my life long love of nature.

Willow Tree Tears (current WIP) set in Texas, an area I have never visited but am researching. This choice was mainly due to the character being a champion barrel racer.

Do you have a list of locations you want to include in your stories?


Sherlock

Recently I enjoyed the Harry Potter Exhibition (see here: http://mandyevebarnett.com/2014/02/03/creating-monsters-to-delight-and-scare/) so was intrigued to see an article advertising a touring exhibition for Sherlock Holmes. This is an exciting concept for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle enthusiasts. The exhibition will tour until 2017.

See the following links.

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2014/03/20/arts/artsspecial/20140320-SHERLOCK.html?_r=0

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/20/arts/artsspecial/entering-world-of-literatures-great-sleuth.html

This tour raises the question, will all literary heroes have their own exhibtions in the future? We could enjoy the intricacies of our favorite characters in a tangible, hands on way. Would the exhibitions remain excellent or would the promoters begin to get on the bandwagon? These exhibitions are not cheap to devise, create or transport thus ticket prices will remain high. Hopefully the quality will not suffer as more tours are created.

Which character or characters would you like t0 ‘meet’?

Holmes

Today’s quotes have tobe from Sherlock himself of course.

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

Sherlock Holmes -The Hound of the Baskervilles

‘You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.’

Sherlock Holmes  -A Scandal in Bohemia

Our prompt will be a crime mystery sentence to draw your reader in.

My response:  With quivering hand, she plunged the knife deep into flesh.

Happy Writing! 

 

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