Monthly Archives: February 2014

Author Recognition and Some Fun…


grapes-of-wrath-novel

Yesterday Google celebrated John Steinbeck’s birthday with a doodle. You can view it through this link – http://newsfeed.time.com/2014/02/27/john-steinbeck-google-doodle/?iid=nf-article-mostpop1

Literary heroes are celebrated and rightly so, but shouldn’t they have as much postive fanfare when they are alive? When we list literary greats, many had conflict and dire circumstances in their lives. Would optimistic recognition have helped them or made their particular troubles worse? Some obviously did become the target of media frenzies in modern times but what of earlier authors? Just to take one female author – Charlotte Bronte. She had to write under a man’s name in order to be published and ‘recognized’. In this digital age recognition, whether good or bad is immediate but for these authors they never knew their fame. http://www.policymic.com/articles/62651/9-incredible-writers-who-only-became-famous-after-death

FunDayOn the subject of fame I cannot omit this quote, which in itself is famous!

In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes. ANDY WARHOL

Fame or infamy, either one is preferable to being forgotten. CHRISTOPHER PAOLINI
And now for your fun prompt – You are a sudden sensation and the media are camped outside your home. How do you handle it?

Are You Utilizing Your Notebooks Properly..?


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Notebooks are a writer’s best friend. They capture ideas, characterizations and plot arcs. We may have a compulsion to gather them and set them aside for a future project. Notebooks are available in a multitude of designs and styles, so there is something for everyone.

We treasure our notebooks as they record that moment a new story or character is revealed. From those humble beginnings a narrative is born.

Do you file your notebooks in a particular order? Genre, first to last or by other themes?

Where do you keep them?

However, do you use one just for observations of human behaviour? Yes, an interesting concept and one I had never thought of before. I always think I will remember that old man’s comments to the waitress or the young mother’s dialogue with her baby. I hope you find this article as interesting as I did.

http://thewritersalleys.blogspot.ca/2014/01/the-writers-notebook.html

notebook

Are You Making the Most of Your Memberships..?


Many of us have memberships to organizations but after the inital enthusiactic blush of newness there seems to be a decline in involvement.

Why is this?

We have paid good money for an annual membership, why not ultilize it for the whole year?

I volunteered at a local event both days of this past weekend. The Arts Expo is held annually and show cases local artisans. However, many of the members did not attend, whether as participants or visitors to support their fellow members. I find this extremely sad. Organizations strive to support and promote their members at every opportunity, so why does it fall on the same few members time and again?

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WFSC banner

A membership can give so much if we get involved. Not only it is an opportunity to promote our own work but also network and form new friendships. During the weekend, I got to know several members of my writers group, the Writers Foundation of Stathcona County a great deal more. It was an enjoyable two days and I am glad to help at all the events laid on for our group, my publisher, Dream Write Publishing and the Arts and Culture Council of Strathcona County (ACCSC) who promote all forms of the arts, from weavers to potters to authors and a good deal more. Don’t forskae your memberships – use them to your advantage.

DWP logo

The more we are involved, the more we get out of our membership. Consider your memberships and make the commitment to utilize them to their full potential, after all you paid for it!

We are lucky to have a proactive mayor, Rxanne Carr, who is commited in making culture accessable and promoted within our community. The more we do, the better the results.

Get involved.

Arts Expo 2014 WFSCArts Expo 2013Joe Arts 2014

Save That Bookstore and Write a Story…


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I recently contributed to a fund to help buy a book store. Even though it was thousands of miles away from where I live, I felt it was important to be proactive. Happily, the store was saved from closure by a local person, who has taken over the lease. The lure of ‘one stop’ shopping is hard to resist in a hurried life but once you experience a ‘local’ store and become a regular, you will see the benefits are wide ranging. There is a personal connection, something that is lost in a vast warehouse style mega store. The proprietor will remember you and may put aside books they feel will be of interest to you. There is time to chat and browse without rushing through a shopping list of multiple items.

This week saw a famous author use a large sum to assist small book stores and I think that is not just excellent on his part but also hopefully the spear head for others to follow. Thank you, James Patterson.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/business/media/james-patterson-giving-cash-to-bookstores.html?ref=booksandliterature&_r=o

Quotes: 

Nothing leads so straight to futility as literary ambitions without systematic knowledge.  H. G. Wells

To understand a literary style, consider what it omits.   Mason Cooley

FunDay

And now for the fun part: Write a short story about the little bookstore above or your local one.
 
Support your local bookstore. Keep these delightful realms of adventure from closure.

Do You Cluster..?


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Any idea, tip or advice regarding the creation of our narratives is always welcomed. If you have not heard of clustering before it is a type of prewriting, which explores numerous ideas as they occur. Utilizing a graph similar to the above, you choose a central word and then brainstorm ideas that arise from it. Make sure you write quickly without editing and continue until you have exhausted your thought processes. For example if your main theme is barrel racing, then logical words will automatically appear, such as horse, saddle, paddock etc. but also note words that are not so logicial to broaden the theme.

Heidi M. Thomas

Cluster Diagram “Clustering” is a type of brainstorming or pre-writing that can help give you ideas either before you start writing or when you get stuck. With this technique you can map out your thinking using circles and lines to display“branches” of your ideas or connections between your ideas.

Choose a word, for example the name of your main character. Write it down and circle it. This will be the center of your cluster. Then randomly as each new word or phrase comes to mind, circle it, and connect it with a line to the word that sparked it. It can be other characters in your story, or a physical description, or inner characteristics. Attach each word that seems like an entirely new direction to the center idea.

But don’t allow that ugly inner editor to intrude–don’t get hung up on which words connect to what. The idea is to let thoughts…

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