Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

The Industry Insiders: Making a Living as a Hybrid Author event I attended spurred me on to do something about my blog. It has been successful but I feel it requires a boost! I connected with one of the panel authors, who agreed to review my blog and give me some pointers on improving my presence on the net. I will keep you posted.

I also spent time editing Life in Slake Patch prior to submission to the Writer in Residence. Unfortunately I did not complete the manuscript revisions (life gets in the way) but hopefully during this week I will. Then it will be back to The Twesome Loop revisions prior to sending it out to beta readers.

My other project over the weekend was to review and detail a ghost writing request from a client. There was quite a lot of research involved, which was interesting but time consuming. My proposal is now in the hands of the client.

Books:

hope

I am enjoying this book but it is not as good as the previous two by this author. It seems a bit contrived. However, I am intrigued as to how the protagonist will survive and the story conclude so will continue. I am half way through at the moment.

On my TBR pile are two novels by a local author, Joss Laundry (see her interview here: https://mandyevebarnett.com/2016/12/05/joss-landry-interview-5th-december/) I’m looking forward to reading them.

Writing TipJonathan Franzen

“The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.”

What writing project are you tackling at the moment?

Do you have a writing tip to share?

What book can you recommend?

 

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

This week will be a rescheduled Board meeting for the Arts & Culture Council, due to last week’s awful weather conditions. I was not happy for Board members to drive on dangerous roads so postponed it until this Wednesday.

Saturday will see us at the Arty Party – networking with artisans from Strathcona County and possibly beyond. Our venue is a gorgeous art gallery space, Spark Gallery and with refreshments, art on display and information on the Arts & Culture Council, I’m sure it will be an interesting and enjoyable evening.

arty-party-web

I am continuing with my edits of The Twesome Loop and managed to send another manuscript, Life in Slake Patch to the local writer in residence for evaluation.

The freelance ghost writing project I am working on required quite a large amount of thought and planning. Now it is in the hands of my client if they wish to proceed. Fingers crossed.

I attended a Q&A panel yesterday hosted by our current Writer in Residence – Industry Insiders: Making a Living as a Hybrid Author. Local Edmonton authors gave us an insight into the multiple ways a writer can broaden their scopes of opportunities. Options include not just writing novels, but also articles related to your specific genre/subject and public speaking. There are also opportunities for interviews either for magazines, newspapers, radio or television.

I have two television interviews to my name and also a radio interview, both experiences were nerve racking but well worth the effort. Have you been spotlighted by TV or radio?

I am also co-hosting at a writing circle this Thursday for local seniors lodge. This is part of a program run by my writing foundation, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County. We encourage the seniors to tell their stories/memories. This project began with a guide book published by the foundation and Dream Write Publishing : http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/retail/books/your-lifetime-stories

YourLifetimeOfStories

Local Alberta events: Writers Guild for Alberta – January 20th   

Loft 112, 535 8 Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta T2G 5S9

What does this week hold for you for writing projects, events and plans?

Friday Fun for Writers, Authors & Readers…


friday_fun

What could possibly go wrong today? A full moon and Friday 13th. For me it has always been a good day. How about you?

full-moon

I thought this literary coffee display was worth sharing today.

literary-coffee

This one will make you groan!

Q: What would you get if you crossed a locomotive with the author of Tom Sawyer?

A: A choo-choo Twain.

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Firstly I want to celebrate a personal milestone, 1000 blog posts on my blog as of Monday 9th January!

post-milestone-1000

Writing:

Over the weekend, inspired by the new Writer in Residence, I continued with an edit of my speculative fiction manuscript, Life in Slake Patch. I will send the manuscript for the WIR to review once this is complete. This particular manuscript has been through numerous edits and revisions and needs to ‘get out there’ soon.

Books:

hope

I began the third novel by Claire North called The Sudden Appearance of Hope. It is written in a similar voice as the other two I have read. It is an intriguing concept as the main character is ‘forgotten’ almost from the moment she is out of sight. Time will tell if it matches up to Harry August or Touch.

Writing TipElmore Leonard

“Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. If you have the knack of playing with exclaimers the way Tom Wolfe does, you can throw them in by the handful.”

What writing project did you tackle this weekend?

Do you have a writing tip to share?

What book can you recommend?

 

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours…


events

After meeting the new Writer in Residence yesterday, I will send him an invite to speak at our next writing meeting of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County on 7th February. Richard van Camp is a personable, funny and engaging personality with a drive to help other writers succeed. I feel his residency will propel many writers to publication. I may send him a few pages of my current work in progress too – it is always good to get new perspectives of your work.

http://www.sherwoodparknews.com/2016/12/05/creative-writer-in-residence

My other appointment yesterday was with a new freelance writing client. An interesting concept that will take several months of collaboration.

This coming week I have two board meetings. The first is with the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County and we will set out event dates and new programs/projects for the year. This will include the annual conference, a writing retreat and the annual Words in the Park.

The second meeting is of the Arts and Culture Council of Strathcona County – detailing plans for our Arty Party to be held on 21st January and planning for other events later in the year, which will include a summer BBQ celebrating diversity, culture and Canada’s 150 birthday.

https://www.facebook.com/events/407736716231777/  Arty Party

arty-party-web

What events do you have planned for January? Care to share?

 

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

twesome-loop-002

I managed to embrace the first of two manuscripts I will be revising this year during a day’s sabbatical with a good writer friend last week. It was the jump start I required. Although this particular manuscript has been on the back burner for some time, (I have dabbled with from time to time over the last few years), I felt it was time I grappled with it to make a well rounded, finished product for publication.

The Twesome Loop is a reincarnation romance, which centers on four main characters from two time periods. The subject of reincarnation, many of you know fascinates me and I spent the second half of 2016 covering it here on my blog.

The narrative is an erotic romance novel with a reincarnation twist. The narrative starts its journey in the late 1990’s English countryside, where several characters make seemingly unrelated choices to travel to Italy. Melissa is fleeing a loveless marriage, Gerald wants to find his soul mate, Brett is motivated by greed and Nancy’s insatiable lust drives her. They are drawn not only by the beauty and life of Italy, but by an unexplained inner longing. Each is unaware that a pact made generations before, links their souls to each other and the beautiful villa they will stay in. A parallel story takes the reader to 1874, where a young woman’s happiness is sacrificed for her father’s ambition. Unable to resist she suffers at her older husband’s hands until his brother offers a way to escape.

The villa’s history has become local folklore and the mystery is perpetuated among the village elders. The sudden disappearance of Lord William and the subsequent low-key marriage of his widow, Gabriella and his younger brother, Arthur, fueled speculations as to the Lord’s fate. However, the young couple embraced the village and its inhabitants becoming well-liked benefactors in complete contrast to William’s cruel domination. Arthur and Gabriella’s love is all consuming but unable to contemplate life without each other, Arthur seeks a way for them to love beyond the grave.

Once the modern day characters converge on the villa, passions and memories rise and the pact’s legacy becomes known. Melissa falls completely for Gerald, a stranger but very familiar at the same time, Gerald is convinced Melissa is the one he has searched for and will not let her husband, Brett take her away, ever again. Nancy finds in Brett the one person, who can sate her lustful appetites and although Brett’s greed was the motivation to chase Melissa, he finds in Nancy the answer to his innermost desires.

The Twesome Loop incorporates several aspects to the romance genre of time slip, travel, and past lives. Similar works include Ferney by James Long, Again by Sharon Cullars and Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine. Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn, Maybe This Life by J.P. Grider, Across Eternity by Aris Whittier and Her Past’s Present by Micheal Poeltl.

Books:

When I choose books to read I try to find similar themes to the one I am writing. I found an excellent novel called The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire  North. As the title suggests it is reincarnation based. I was so impressed with Claire’s writing style I immediately got Touch, which is ghosts inhabiting other people just by touching them. It is again well written and I recommend both of these books.

Writing Tip: Bill Harper
Try not to edit while you’re creating your first draft. Creating and editing are two separate processes using different sides of the brain, and if you try doing both at once you’ll lose. Make a deal with your internal editor that it will get the chance to rip your piece to shreds; it will just need to wait some time.

A really nice trick is to switch off your monitor when you’re typing. You can’t edit what you can’t see.

 

New Year Schedule Begins -Events…


events

As I begin 2017 my first week includes my writers group meeting on 3rd January. The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County meets every first Tuesday of each month year round. We share our writing for constructive critique, exercise our writing muscles with prompts and on occasion enjoy a talk on a particular writing related subject.

I find these meetings to be a wealth of inspiration, a great place to network and allow me to receive feedback on writing projects.

This week also sees our new Writers in Residence for Edmonton and area. This scheme allows writers/authors to receive excellent feedback on sections of their manuscripts. https://www.epl.ca/news/libraries-name-2017-writers-in-residence/

Our ‘local’ author will be: http://www.albertanativenews.com/edmonton-metro-libraries-welcome-2017-writer-in-residence-richard-van-camp/

richard_1

I welcome you to share your first week’s events, projects, meetings here as well.

Happy New Year to you All.

new-year

 

Writing Prompt Responses 2016…Voting is Open


I would be honored if you would take the time to vote for your favorite prompt contest responses – these participants took the time to write something for the competition and I would like to give them a prize for doing so. Leave your vote in the comment section please.

Stone Car – February 20th Prompt

Linda Pedley  (Wildhorse)
The concrete holds me to the road

As I take the curve into the rain
It’s not the destination but the mode
Let go the nerves and go again.

Can our stories written deep in stone
Change despite apparent plan?
All life’s paths go same direction
Can’t change the fates – no one can.

Eric James Olson

Stone Car in the Woods

What difference does perception make?
Parked here, alone but not beside
the road. Enfolded in leaves and green.
Can I be heard?

I shouldn’t be. Let me be clear:
I’m a car made from stones, scraps of metal, used tires.
That’s no metaphor. That’s what I am.
Literally.

And yet—there’s a consciousness in things
Inanimate. Like the other day.
A boy came out to this place in the woods.
He sat down across from me.

I can’t move, of course.
But he can and he came out to me.
And in his mind, a story formed
Of how I came to be—stuck here

By some unseen hand.
Is that not existence? A man made me.
And this boy saw me. Does it matter that
I can’t see him, feel him, hear him?

What difference does perception make?

Coldhandboyack

I don’t know about this, man.”

“Trust me, Benny. The cops will never spot it this way. We’ll just leave the loot in the car. Give it a couple of days and we can dig it out and drive into the night.”

A Chipmunk’s Life – June 25th Prompt

Sharon Baggs

Adult squirrel Perched on a cliff Must be a girl See her fancy quiff.

She searched the rock To see it was safe. Checked out the talk Saw no friendly face.

None of her pals Was she able to chase Where were the guys’n gals? No one to race.

So on this morn She chewed a treat, Feeling so forlorn They’d planned to meet.

She continued her snack A chew then a nibble, Her lips a quiver and smack. T’is better than kibble.

Out came friend Sue Who was a Chipmunk Abra- ca- dabra she was one too Disguise was her funk.

All the squirrels were mean So she used Dad’s power, Became a chipmunk Queen To frolic with Sue for an hour.

Cause after that Back into a squirrel, She turned stat Gave her head a whirl.

Oh, what fun with Sue If only she could stay, As a chipmunk Whoo Hoo! They could always play.

A Cinderella Dream !

Jade Figure – July 9 Prompt

Eli Pacheco

“Ha!” I could hear her in the other room. I knew exactly what she’d found.
“Um, babe … what the heck is this?”
I abandoned the twist of hangers and clean shirts that would now need cleaning to see her sitting in the middle of boxes with IT. She held it up to the light, strands of her blond hair out of the bun and framing her face. Her smile revealed equal parts wonder and confusion.
“I’ve always said I’d toss that the first move it gets broken in,” I explained.
Marin tapped on the glass with two fingernails. “It’s made of kryptonite, apparently.” She set it on the carpet in front of her and squinted. “Not a sixth-grade art project either, though, am I right?” For such ugliness, the craftsmanship was incredible.
“I think they’ve just mated,” I said, using that line for the thousandth time. It was funny the first time. “Or, they’ve just mated. That’s the boy butterfly, beating it for home before she eats his head.” My college roommate hypothesized they were both girls. But that’s a different story.
I’d followed Marin from Boston to Durham, N.C.
No regrets. Construction jobs come in every city. Marin, though, was an artisan. A carpenter. Can you believe that? The girl has carpenter pants in her closet that have actually held a hammer. Every time I’d compliment her on the craft of building a shelf or decorative piece, she reminded me.
“Carpentry isn’t for sissies, you know,” she’d say, without looking up from her work.
Maybe that’s why she reacted differently from any other woman I’d met to this ugly statue. I’d bought it when I was 11, for my mom, for mother’s day. It became the butt of jokes ever since in the family. The year before, I gave mom a Rodney Dangerfield album. I thought this to be an elegant upgrade.
“Have a place in mind for it?” she asked. She rocked back and onto her feet, arms outstretched for effect. Like she’d just nailed the landing off a pommel horse. I met this girl at a 9/11 vigil just off Boylston Street.
I’d followed my uncle to Boston for work. Only, with so much rain, there wasn’t much to do. I sustained myself on cereal and waited it out. I’d had so little work before the day I met Marin that it felt my hands hand grown soft. The week before, the Sox/Blue Jays finale got rained out.
I had bleacher tickets and everything – two, with no one in mind to take.
Anyway, I met Marin at this rally that I wouldn’t have been interested in had the week not been so rain-soaked and workless. I’d let the troubles of my world bounce around in my mind for days. I thought the relevance of the day could assuage that a bit. And it didn’t.
Until I saw her.
Now here I was, watching her hold up the mistake of a mother’s day gift that had stubbornly survived a handful of moves. She held it aloft, at first close, then at arm’s length. Immediately I remembered the snickering when mom lifted it from an oatmeal container decorated with paint.
“I do,” she said of what would become “fugglyfly’s” new home.
I remembered my oldest brother suggesting a place to put it that wasn’t exactly comfortable. Or probably physically possible. Instead, Marin walked out into the kitchen, to the end of the bar. I followed, as always.
She pushed aside my blender and two small boxes and placed the figure on the kitchen bar, way to the back, where I thought it would be easy to hide it behind something else. Anything else.
“Parfait,” she whispered, even though she knew French about as well as she did decorum. Marin stepped back, over my bag of golf discs, hands on hips. She adjusted a track light onto the figure, and turned it around. Ugly art has no front and back.
“That’s ridiculous,” I muttered, and realized how awful that must have sounded.
It occurred to me I’d assumed Marin’s actions were to ridicule. They weren’t. She didn’t even know the story. She hadn’t even asked. Even now, in my petulance, she leaned on a bar stool and waited. No reaction. No judgement.
I explained the story, and found myself looking more at my hands and feet than my girlfriend. “But it’s jade, isn’t it?” she asked. “It looks like jade. Smells like jade, too,” she said for comic effect. You know what? No one in my family had ever brought that up. Hell yes, it looks like jade.
I waited for the laughter burst, the proclamation, “you poor boy. How did you know it was horrid?” Nope. Still, no such thing. Marin instead told me that when her father died, she found bracelets and rings she’d made for him when she was little, in his jewelry box, next to his wedding ring.
She’d found artwork of hers, some of it unidentifiable, in his safe, with his will.
We talked a little more about stuff from our childhoods. Nothing bitter. I’d felt like a lot of what I did was misunderstood. I turned and looked through the open bedroom door and remembered the cramped closet space and so low to the ground toilet.
I wondered how we’d share sink space. If my beef jerky would go over well with a girl more likely to dry banana and kiwi chips than beef flank steak. I could see some battles, and that didn’t have anything to do with whose tools would go where. Or if my towels were towel-bar worthy.
She’d been the first, though, to unpack this symbol of my childhood mistakes this way. Makes me think we’ll be all right.
Makes me think I could even give kiwi chips a shot.

Invisible – August 6 prompt

Melinda Kucsera

Evasion

She sat reading and fading where she sat.
First her feet slipped into nothing, a toe
at a time. Her legs went next, but she sat
still and continued reading even though
her body shifted out of time part by
part. Her torso next phased out following
her legs. Not some invisibility
trick or try to fool the eye, she’s going
now, her arms are vanishing, soon her head
will go and all that will be left standing
is her clothes and the grimoire that she read.
For the invisibility spell cast
had helped her to evade her past at last.

Bench – September 10 prompt

Bernadette

I sit on the bench and wallow in the beauty of orange. The crunch of leaves and the crisp air fill my ears and lungs with sensory satisfaction. And just when I think I could not be anymore content, I gaze up at the bossy Blue Jay and smile.

Artista10

  • Sitting among the colors. Thinking of the many colors of life and the colors that make people’s personalities. Simple. complicated. Stunning. outraged. People. Colors. Life.

Vanished – December 3 prompt

The Bike Ride
by
Suzanne Burkett

It was a frosty morning for a bike ride but ten-year-old Jacob felt the loneliness more than the cold. At least he had his bike; it made his escapes so much easier. He could go faster and farther on his silver bike than on his feet. And that made all the difference for a kid in foster care.
Sure, he had to go back at the end of the day. If he could survive outside he would. But the need for food and warmth always made him turn his bike around and return to the house. There had been so many, it was a wonder he could even find his way back, but he did and there was always a family that barely noticed him, tossed a plate of cold hard food on the table, talked around him and about him, but never directly to him. Unless the check didn’t arrive from the child welfare. Then they got right up close to him and demanded he call his social worker. “Tell her we ain’t gonna feed you if we don’t get paid.”
Sometimes Sharon drove over in her ratty old Subaru and delivered her own personal check to the ‘family’. He loitered outside with his head hanging down while the inevitable argument ensued. One time, two years ago, she showed up with the bike sticking out of the back of her hatchback. “I’d take you myself if I could. You know that don’t you, Jacob?”
He nodded, unable to lift his head and let her see the tears soaking his lashes, one rolling down his cheek, then another until she wrapped her arms around him in a fierce, warm hug. Wiping her own cheeks, striding to her car, cranking the engine three times then finally driving off without looking back. She promised she would always find a home for him. Every time he was returned. Displaced. But could she really keep that promise?
This morning was the same as any other except for the part about it being Christmas morning. Jacob had crept out of the house before the ‘family’ awoke. He’d learned it was best not to sit with them, hopeful and expectant. More times than not, as the wrapping paper flew from the packages, he would get that look. The–oh gosh we forgot about you–look.
He rode along the wet street, water spraying up the back of his red sweatshirt. If he’d been asked what he wanted for Christmas, he would have said, “a rain jacket.”
His fingers were as icy as the trees. He took one hand, then the other off the handlebars, blew on it and put it in the front pocket of his sweatshirt. Over and over for miles he rode, finally turning left instead of right because he’d always wanted to see what was down this empty road. Nobody ever came down the road. And every time he rode past it, he promised himself that one day he would try it. He so much wanted to know where it led. So for Christmas this year he gave himself the gift of courage and turned his bike.
The first thing he noticed was the quiet sound. The trees hung forward like they were whispering to each other from one side of the street to the other. He forgot about his frozen fingers and kept riding, leaning forward, thinking if he rode far enough, if the road went far enough, he would understand what the trees were saying.
Then up ahead in the foggy distance, he saw something blocking the road. Oh no, he thought. There’s someone out here. He squinted. It looked like a red and gold car in the middle of the road, skidded sideways. Someone spun out. He squeezed his brakes. He thought he did but the bike didn’t slow. It seemed to go faster. He pulled his hand off the lever, blew on it, squeezed again but nothing happened. He stood up on the peddles. “Hey!” he shouted. “Hey, I’m here! Look out! I can’t stop!”
For the first time ever, his bike slid out from under him. Not now, he thought. Don’t give up on me now.
He hit the ground, sliding forward on his back, his bike motionless behind him. He skidded right up to the car that was not a car. It was a sleigh, and a man as ancient as the world itself stepped out of it. He scooped Jacob up in his arms. “I got you now,” he said. “You can come with me.”

Mandy’s Year in Books – Goodreads.


goodreads-300x200

This is a cool graphic from Goodreads – detailing your year’s reading. If you are on Goodreads – take a look at your book reading chart.

https://www.goodreads.com/user/year_in_books/2016/5477628?utm_source=fb

Why not share yours here? Recommend books here too.