Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Everybody Wants a Netflix for Books

March 19, 2014
mandyevebarnett


reblogToday’s reblog is on the subject of increasing the access to books via technology. We have multiple e-reader choices, such as Kobo, Kindle and the like. Do we need another venue? Would you utlize this new technology? Would the technologically loving generations prefer this?

How Do You Cope With Being Overwhemed..?

March 17, 2014
mandyevebarnett


articles

As writers we frequently become overwhelmed with expections, some are self imposed, while others are derived from external sources. We are told we need to have a social media presence, ensure our manuscripts are edited, revised and polished, submit to magazines, publishers, clients, promote our books…the list goes on and on! However, these are only the tip of the iceberg, as many of us also have full time jobs and a family life to squeeze into our daily 24 hours.

How can we cope when we are being fragmented in so many directions? We are advised to maintain a work/life balance but as this article shows it is sometimes more a ‘blending’ than balancing.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/ronashkenas/2012/10/19/forget-work-life-balance-its-time-for-work-life-blend/

My question is should we not ‘switch off’ at some point? Have ‘down’ time? Refresh the creative juices as well as restore our emotional needs?

What is your coping mechanism?

Here is a link detailing how some writers cope. http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/5-ways-to-balance-writing-and-life

Presently, my ‘work load’ looks something like this:  I am helping organize a writers conference, volunteering for my writers foundation as secretary at events, deciding on illustrations for my children’s chapter book, revising my cowgirl romance, working full time, spending time with family, household chores, being taxi for kid, promoting my books, advertising for a writing retreat, maintaining my social media presence, and transcribing my Mother’s journal. I’m sure I have forgotten some things but you get the picture.

How do I cope? Admittedly, I do ‘drop the ball’ sometimes but I try not to beat myself up about it. I realized a while ago that whatever ‘moment’ you are involved in is the one you should be experiencing. It may not be on your schedule but rules are made to be broken after all. I have a weekly schedule but it is flexible. Why not accept an invitation for dinner or a movie? After all there may be inspiration in those experiences, you would miss otherwise. My mantra is New Opportunities – grab them when they present themselves with both hands.

For instance, we are dog sitting at the moment so I did not have time for my morning ritual of reading through my emails. Instead, I enjoyed an early morning walk under the bright glow of a full moon. It was spectacular and if I had kept to my schedule I would have missed it entirely. So let the unexpected intrusions come and enjoy them.

My week is full time work during the day, with writing related meetings every Tuesday evening, aquasize every Wednesday, assisting at my publishers every Thursday, but these are open to change. Such as an author reading to a Brownie troop last Wednesday evening. The evening was extremely enjoyable and the questions raised were insightful and fun. I gained new perspectives on my narratives and the Brownies learnt how books are published and writers come up with their ideas. As always there will always be someone busier than you!

None of us can ‘do it all’ – enjoy what you can do – that is more than enough.

work-life-balance

These tips may, or may not, help you decide on your own balancing act: http://www.webmd.com/health-insurance/protect-health-13/balance-life?page=1  Full descriptions on link.

1. Build downtime into your schedule.

2. Drop activities that sap your time or energy.

3. Rethink your errands.

4. Get moving.

5. Remember that a little relaxation goes a long way.

Are Dictionaries A Forgotten Resource or Retired in Favor of the Internet..?

March 14, 2014
mandyevebarnett


Dictionary

I came across this interesting article today, regarding the creation of the first English dictionary. Fascinating stuff!

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/interesting-object-the-creation-of-the-first-part-of-the-oxford-english-dictionary-was-particularly-arduous-9093931.html

It occured to me in this day and age of the internet being seen as the font of all knowledge, are dictionaries becoming redundant? Today no matter what type of word document you open, it has links to spelling, grammar and a theausaurs as well as dictionary features. An easy click will supply you with all the information you want – doesn’t it?

Do you use a dictionary?

What are your views on paper verus virtual?

Quotes:   Lexicography can be done on the kitchen table.” Eric Stanley.

Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them. Nathaniel Hawthorne

 FunDayFor today’s fun prompt we will use a real dictionary.  Grab a copy and let it fall open. Then with eyes closed point to a word on either page. Use that word to begin your response for a short story or poem.  Here is mine:  Immunity
 
Love’s Immunity
 
Your love surrounds me

Embraces my body and soul

I have no immunity to your adoration

Resisting is not an option

I will suffer no punishment

With your protection

We revel in our freedom

To love and be loved

Capturing Your Snippets of Genius…

March 12, 2014
mandyevebarnett


reblog

Many of us have scribbled notes on pieces of paper, in notebooks even on torn napkins, of ideas for our current or next narrative. These can ‘disappear’ if we are not careful and as we all know once it is gone – it’s gone!

There are techniques that can assist us in capturing and organizing these snippets of genius. Filing notebooks on theme or genre, keeping those scraps of paper in an ideas box or if you are seriously organized typing them up and putting into folders on your computer.  Whatever method works for you, keep doing it. Capture those inspirations – they are precious.

 These wonderful bloggers have great insights on keeping organized – take a look.

http://onewildword.com/2013/11/25/how-to-organize-your-writing-notes-and-observations/

http://nailyournovel.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/how-to-write-down-story-ideas-so-you-can-remember-why-they-were-brilliant/

http://onewildword.com/2013/12/02/let-your-short-story-write-itself/

file-notes

Cross Pollination of Genres…

March 10, 2014
mandyevebarnett


articles

As a cross genre author, I find juggling different writing methods to be exciting and engaging. There are many aspects of each genre that you begin to notice cross over into one another when you write multiple forms.

With children’s stories we are aware of the language limitations and simplistic plot arc. The writing requires quick action and characterisation to keep the reader engaged and interested. With YA, we find teens require even more action but the language can be more forthright and the plot must be intriguing to keep them reading. Adult fiction can run the gamut of red herrings; extended descriptions and complex plot arcs. However, depending on your story structure you can ‘borrow’ rules from each genre to use in another. When I write non-fiction, such as articles, newsletters or workbooks, the rules are again different but to absorb readers, some techniques of story writing can be put into play to make the subject stimulating.

In recent times the romance genre has seen an increase in multiple genre novels. Romantic sci-fi, paranormal or fantasy, are becoming increasingly popular. When I was defining my novels, it was the most basic theme of each I had to recognize. It turned out to be love in its many forms, whether romantic, familial or love of a cause or lifestyle. In The Twesome Loop, reincarnation was the subsequent theme to a love story across time. For Life in Slake Patch, my protagonist, Evan found love and was instrumental in changing laws under  matriarchal rule. My up coming children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue, deals with two forest sprites who, not only love each other but all the animals within their home that they assist.

Common GroundMy recent article in Strathcona Connect – http://strathconaconnect.ca/common-ground-community-cafe-p308-90.htm , highlights a local community cafe. Without the love of its instigators and volunteers it would not have been created.

What is your experience in cross genres?

Did you find identifying a genre difficult?

What method did you use to resolve which genre your novel was?

genre

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