Mandy Eve-Barnett's Official Blog

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#AuthorToolboxBlogHop: Six Tips to Tame the Story Idea Flood

September 18, 2019
mandyevebarnett


Idea Source

Many of us experience, from time to time, the dreaded writers block, that awful feeling while staring at a blank page or screen when words do not flow but what happens when there are too many story ideas bombarding our brains? It can be just as debilitating as staring at that blankness. Bizarrely the symptoms are quite similar – crippling  indecision, procrastination, and even insomnia and anxiety.

As writers we usually have numerous story ideas bouncing around inside our heads usually gleaned from something we see or hear. This may seem like a good problem to have, however, the dilemma is how do we ensure these golden nuggets are not lost or are even worth investigating?  We can make frantic notes, some which, unfortunately make no sense whatsoever later on! That middle of the night scribble is so common. But timing is everything – musing over where a new idea could possibly lead, can lead to a devastating interruption to a current project. So how do we identify if this ‘new’ idea is worth pursuing without jeopardizing our current writing?

There are strategies we can employ to enable us to identify the ideas that are worth keeping – here are a few.

a) Leave the chaos of your writing space with pen and paper or recording device and go for a walk. Once you are in a new environment the most exciting and prominent idea(s) will stay with you. Write or record them and let your imagination flourish with them for a while.

b) Restrict your time on musing about new ideas by setting yourself a time limit. Even a ten minute burst of inspirational writing will ensure you get the idea down but not ‘waste’ too much time on it. Once it is written put it to one side and continue with your current project, safe in the knowledge the idea has been dealt with.

c) Take some time to really dissect the new idea. Can you envisage the plot arc, the ending, the characters? If the majority of the narrative reveals itself to you, then mark it down as your next project. However, if the idea is vague, do not pursue it – just jot down the outline and file it for another time.

d) Utilize your passion when defining whether an idea is worth reflection. If it excites you or is on a subject you feel passionate about then it should be considered in depth.

e) Get yourself an idea board. Organize each idea into genre or categories and when a new plot, character or scene comes to you place it with the other components of that particular story or idea thread.

f) Bounce your ideas off a few trusted friends or members of your writing group.

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Not all ideas will make it and that’s okay. Use your internal writer instinct to guide you on which idea excites your specific Muse, the one that takes hold of your imagination and let the words flow. Story is our power and knowing which ones we are best at telling is key.

Nano Blog and Social Media Hop2

Blogger Q & A Tag – My Turn…

November 21, 2016
mandyevebarnett


I have been tagged by Eva Blaskovic at https://evablaskovic.com/ to play along with this Q&A, so here goes.

tag

Rules: Thank the blogger who nominated you. Thanks Eva (I think!)
Answer the questions you were given by that blogger.
Nominate 10 bloggers, give them 10 new questions, and let them know they’ve been tagged.

The questions I received were:

Country or city?  Most certainly country – I like my space, the sound, smells and sights of the great outdoors. I grew up in the  English countryside and find cities too noisy and crowded to stay very long.

For writing: silence, music, or other? Depends on my mood – sometimes silence, other times classical music, however once absorbed in my words everything around me disappears.

What/where is your favorite writing retreat? A difficult question as I have quite a few – Strawberry Creek Lodge, anywhere I holed-up on road trips, my local library or coffeehouse or even when alone in my house for several hours.

What do you consider to be the most meaningful book to you and why? Another difficult question as different books meant different things to me as I grew. I loved Stig of the Dump by Clive King as a child, the idea of befriending a caveman appealed to me. Ferney by James Long is a book I re-read over and over, it is beautifully written and I love reincarnation theme, it is a subject I researched in depth when nursing and again when writing my novel, The Twesome Loop.

Can you write in a language other than English? If so, what is it? Nope – English is it for me! If I thought I could do it I would love to learn Italian.

Would you like to live in the past, present, or future? If past, what is your favorite time period in history and what do you like about it? If you are asking for the ‘romantic’ view of past eras then porobably Elizabethan England, however if you mean to go back as it actually was then 1950’s. The reality of the 15th century with poverty, short life spans and dreadful mortality it is less appealing. For the 1950’s I could enjoy the music, dance and experience the cusp of the sixties movement.

Spring, summer, fall, or winter? Can I say I love more than one? The sudden greenness of spring after winter brings me joy. The possibilities of road trips in the summer and fall are exciting and a chance to discover new places.

What is your dream goal or dream job, if you’re not already doing it? A multifaceted goal – to write for a living travelling the world for inspiration and publishing novels reflecting the places I stay in.

Have you ever wanted to do anything “out there” like skydiving, spelunking, deep sea diving, or visiting Antarctica? I would love to skydive, go in a hot air balloon, swim the Great Barrier Reef, walk the Great Wall of China, visit Victoria Falls (the place of my birth) and live in Rome.

Would you go to the moon or to Mars? To be honest neither – there is so much to explore in the beauty of our planet.

Now for my blogger nominees:

http://www.mikederegowski.com/

https://ethanjonesbooks.wordpress.com/

https://marthareynoldswrites.com/

https://tobreatheistowrite.com/

https://biancarowena.wordpress.com/

https://kellysamarah.wordpress.com/

http://www.rebeccabradleycrime.com/

https://gerribowen.wordpress.com/

https://authorcharmainegordon.wordpress.com/

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/

You are my potential nominees. You may post your answers here in the comments or create your own blog post, as I have done.

There is no time limit on this Q&A Blog Tag. Please do not feel rushed or even obligated to take part, I know we all have a lot of projects to complete and life stuff to do!

Your questions are:

Which do you prefer – tea or coffee or something else?

Vacation destination – beach, city, cruise or adventure?

As a writer do you plot your novels step by step or free flow allowing the idea freedom?

Given the choice would you either write your memoir OR the autobiography of someone else?

What inspires you to write?

Do you prefer one genre or many to read? If one genre – why that one?

Which TV show from your childhood was your favorite?

What is your preference for a pet? Dog or cat or some other animal?

List two items you would rescue in the case of a house fire.

What skill do you wish you had?

Thank you for joining in, Mandy

you-are-it

 

 

 

Let’s Play Tag – 15 Questions Just for Fun…

February 26, 2015
mandyevebarnett


I grabbed this from Jackie over at To Breathe Is To Write – a great idea. Why not do your own answers?

15-questions-tag

What do you think you can do but can’t?

Be all things to all people – but I do try! It is a female’s dilemma to nurture, protect and create an all encompassing loving and creative environment for her family and friends, and if there is time or space a little something for herself.

What’s a difficult word for you to pronounce?

I’m told I say ‘demons’ – wrong! Sounds like ‘demonds’ so I’m told. 

What are your favorite TV shows from your childhood?

Wow now you have me thinking. Robinson Crusoe, White Horses, Animal Magic, Dr. Who, Crackerjack,  Steptoe & Son, Dr. Finlay’s Casebook (Dr Finlay (man on right of photo beside little lady- was my first crush) Steptoe & Son – tag line “You dirty olde man.  The White Horses – I can still hear the theme tune.  I grew up with Dr. Who from the original Doctor onward. There are too many to name and they weren’t all in black & white!. 

Dr FinlaySteptoe & Sonthe-white-horses35mm

What are your virtues and vices?

Virtues: Fierce loyalty and love to family and friends.

Vices: Can be selfish with my time when the Muse speaks.

What’s more important: love, fame, power, or money?

Love of family, money to ensure they are looked after.

If you could live in any era/time period, when would it be and why?

1960’s – life was seemingly simpler but probably because I was a child then. There was respect for our elders, less technology and childhood innocence.

If you had to redo your entire wardrobe with 2 stores, what would they be and why?

I regularly do this anyway – thrift stores allow me to change everything cheaply. I tend to avoid clothing stores because of the mark-up they make.

Can you recall what you were doing a year ago on this day?

Exactly  what I’m doing now, sitting at work wishing for the workday to end so I can work with my publisher, Dream Write Publishing this evening, as I do every Thursday.

Do you have reoccurring dreams? If so, explain?

I rarely dream now-a-days. My only recurring dreams were when I was struggling with emotional fears of one sort or another. One was being paralyzed in a hospital bed with blood dripping until it filled the room. The other when my children were young and the three of us were trapped under an avalanche. (which in itself is odd as I lived in England at the time!) To protect them I cut my stomach open, empty the contents and place them inside the void to keep warm…gives you an idea how my mind works when I’m writing now doesn’t it!!!

What’s your horoscope?

gemini

For a while now, you’ve been wanting to do a certain something, but haven’t quite been able to give yourself the necessary nudge to get going — until now. This push may come in the form of someone else’s inspiring story, a sudden influx of cash, or maybe it’s just that little voice inside of you getting louder. Whatever the cause, you will finally get that needed push out of the nest. Hit the ground running and move forward with this fun and exciting adventure!

What does your dream bedroom look like?

I would need to morph these three into one – I’ve always wanted a round bed – don’t ask me why I just have! Earth tones are my favorite as well as large windows, which have to overlook Rome or the Italian countryside and let in the golden Italian light .

master bedimages (1)round bed

What position do you sleep in?

I always slept on my front but after my back injury it is not as comfortable so mostly I lie on my side now.

What are your all-time favorite films?

Another difficult question. There are so many and my answer varies depending on my mood. I love Julie & Julia, Thelma & Louise, Lucy, Carrie – is there a theme here? I also watch multiple genres.

What makeup are you currently wearing?

The usual – Compact powder, eyeliner, mascara and lipstick.

Do you have neat handwriting? Show us!

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New Year, New Regime…

January 1, 2014
mandyevebarnett


Today is a new beginning for my blog.

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After a year of utilizing desk diary words for a post every day  in 2013, I will be posting three times a week in 2014. This is the schedule I have come up with :

articles

Mondays : A series of articles exploring topics reflected in my novels.

reblog

Wednesdays : Re-blog Day. Offering other bloggers a space on my blog to comment, post and discuss.

FunDay

Fridays : Fun day. Prompts, quotes, literary news and more.

I will begin this new routine on 6th January 2014. Please come along and join me. I am always open to suggestions, blog links and comments.

Blog Carnival…Come & Join Us… 1st May

May 1, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Today’s word is not really a reflection of what is happening here and over at Melissa’s blog. http://grosvenorsquare.blogspot.ca/  We are having a carnival of writing spaces.

Attrition – definition: a reduction or decrease in numbers, size, or strength over time. In actual fact the opposite is true. An increase in participants and sharing is happening.

Come and join in the fun of this Blog Carnival.

This is my writing area, it’s still a work in progress but a lot better than my previous make do space.

I upgraded my writing space last June from the dining room table to a proper desk set up at one end of our living room. With the addition of bookshelves, printer, filing drawers and inspirational pictures on the wall. It is my favorite place in the house, with views left and right of our acreage and the wildlife that lives in it. In an ideal world I would have a separate room away from the constant noise of the TV but step by step, I hope to have my own study some day.

This picture shows my old faithful silver laptop, which assisted me through three NaNoWriMo challenges as well as a ton of writing. Unfortunately just before Christmas  it died and I invested in a new one with Windows 8. It has taken some time to get used to the new format but now I am going full blast. The little green creature on top of the shelf is the soft toy version of my Rumble character I made.

New Writing DEsk 003

My inspirational wall, including NaNoWriMo certificates, a letter from Stephen King and the Pride of Strathcona Award, I received.

Picture Wall

My new baby…

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