Category Archives: editing

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


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Writing:

Alas my writing has suffered for the past several weeks, setting up a new home takes a lot of time and organizing. However, this week I am back into full freelance work and should have a couple more chapters written for the ghost writing project.

I am itching to get back to my YA novella as well as it is tantalizing close to completion. I can then send it to beta-readers and my illustrator. I find not writing saddens me so the sooner I am back the better.

Has ‘life’ gotten in the way of your writing? How did it make you feel?

Books:

Pawn of the Phoenix

My review:
A spectacular sequel to the first boo. I was completely immersed in Keenan & Moira’s struggles to find the Phoenix but also their blossoming love affair.
We are transported to the world of the previous book with wonderful author skill and attention to detail. Well done Jamie.

hovel
My sister sent me this book from England mainly due to the story behind it. My parents always wanted to live in the wilds of Wales on a small holding. They came close with a small cottage and large garden in Narbeth but never the envisioned ‘hovel’ as depicted in this little book.

My review: Delightful insight into the simple life in near isolation in North Wales. Set in the early 1960’s it is a quaint but realistic story of self sufficiency, persistence and ‘making do’. Loved the imagery and the sheer beauty of the natural world around them.
I will certainly try to find the next book – Garden in the Hills.(Footnote: this next installment is out of print unfortunately.)

Currently reading:

Dreamland

Writing Tips:

Set your writing goals for every writing session

Outline your aims for a writing session in order to keep yourself focused. It may help to write down what you want to achieve in the next chapter or scene. However, remember,  to give yourself elbow room. It is okay to depart from your scene summary if you feel the story should go (or wants to go) in a new direction. Personally, I let the story flow but some writers find writing a pre-scene enables them to maintain a clear sense of direction for each scene in relation to their story arc.

Which process works for you?

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

I have to admit I have been rather distracted from my own writing recently (the freelance project is going well however). My distraction came in the form of a Netflix series called Peaky Blinders. Set in 1920’s Birmingham, UK the characters, especially Tommy Shelby, are captivating, raw, beautifully portrayed and ‘binge’ worthy. The story lines are inspired and as a writer this is ‘research’ at its best. The costumes, accents, locations and plot twists make this series one that will be remembered and referred to again and again.

Attention to detail makes the series really great and that is what all writers want to accomplish in their work too. We want our readers to envisaged our characters and their setting in vivid imagery. This is accomplished with speech patterns, descriptions, mannerisms and reactions to certain situations.

What methods do you use to bring your characters to life?

Books:

The second novel in this trilogy certainly does not disappoint.

Pawn of the Phoenix

Writing Tips: Marketing Your Book

 

  • Market and promote your book locally, then gradually expand your efforts. Create advertisements, such as business cards, posters and fliers,  that will catch your target audiences’ eye.  As a general rule, promoting your book locally is your best bet – use local newspapers, libraries, open mic nights, local writing groups and book clubs, etc.
  • Create an “elevator pitch”. With this focused message, aimed at a particular person or group you summarize why they should be interested in your book. Your elevator pitch should be no longer than two or three sentences focusing on your book’s selling points—the ones that make it unique and special.

Do you have any marketing tips to share?

 

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

My week and weekend were a mixed bag of chores, bed assembly, time with my daughter and working on the freelance project of ghost writing a business ebook but I have not really touched my newest YA story, apart from a couple of short paragraphs. It will come but a paying gig has to a priority – right? Although at over 24K words I am tantalizing close to completing the YA novella, so it might be a ‘sit down & write’ weekend.

Last night’s writing meeting was lively and we welcomed three new faces as well. It is always a delight to have new people find our group. Prior to the meeting I used two hours to create the beginnings of a chapter for the ebook – so time well spent.

What are you working on at the moment?

Books:

I’ve nearly finished this swashbuckling adventure and am thoroughly enjoying it. The chapter I read last night was intense!

chronicles

I am unsure which book to read nest as 11/22/63 by Stephen King is a mammoth novel and I think it would be a great read over Christmas. So that leaves me with a choice of these two. I found the first edition, Mind of the Phoenix, fascinating and became seriously involved in the characters. As Jamie is a local author I want to support her obviously.

Mind of the Phoenix

Pawn of the Phoenix (The Memory Collector #2)

Pawn of the Phoenix

Rise of the Phoenix (The Memory Collector #3)

Rise of the Phoenix

I am also hoping to attend an event on Sunday at Audrey’s where another local author, Laurel Deedrick-Mayne has a book signing for A Wake for the Dreamland. So another possibility for my TBR pile.

What’s on your TBR pile at the moment?

Writing Tips:

Introduce your main characters and themes in the first third of your novel. If you are writing a plot-driven genre novel make sure all your major themes/plot elements are introduced in the first third, which you can call the introduction. Develop your themes and characters in your second third, the development. Resolve your themes, mysteries and so on in the final third, the resolution.” — Michael Moorcock

Great sentences:

  • read smoothly,
  • aren’t bloated with excess words,
  • are sharp about the words they do use, and
  • are smart about the context in which they exist.

Care to share a favorite writing tip?

 

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


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Writing:

It may be a day late but I hope you enjoy this Halloween themed story. I wrote it 3 April 2011, when my writing career was starting.

A Glimpse Through a Window

It started with a glimpse out of the corner of her eye. A movement passing the opened window but when she turned there was nothing there. Dismissing it as possibly a bird or a butterfly floating in the warmth of summer sunshine, she turned back to her work.

Just one more chapter and then she would treat herself to a walk to ease and stretch her aching muscles. Janice had woken bursting with inspiration at five o’clock, now six hours later a major part of the novel was complete. With a flourish she hit the keypad and straightens up. There in front of her was a beautiful face peering through the window.  Instinct made her jump and involuntary utter a gasp.

“Hello, who are you?”

The lady smiles but does not answer just reaches out her hand to beckon Janice outside. Her dark shape and long ebony locks float as if in water, it is surreal. Fascinated Janice opens the patio door and enters the warmth of the day time sun.

“Come follow – you will find.”

“Find what, where are we going?”

Without waiting the lady turns toward the rose garden, the oldest part of the cottage garden. The floral scent permanents the air as they approach the blooms.  The dark lady stops in the center of the path and points. Janice’s eyes follow her fingers direction – there blooms an ebony rose so dark it gleams.

“Write its story, Janice and release me.”

“Release you – I don’t understand?”

“My spirit resides within the bloom I am relying on your gift of words to free me forever.”

“What shall I write? Tell me what to write.”

“You know my story it is deep within you.”

Janice’s mouth opens to ask another question but the dark lady has disappeared. Was she dreaming? Everything seemed so real, so tangible – the warmth on her skin, the grass beneath her feet. Janice returns to her desk puzzling thoughts race through her mind. There she finds a dark rose petal lying upon the laptop keys. It was real?

A blank page faces her and her fingers begin to type – a story unfolds.

Esmeralda’s roses were well renowned even as far away as London. Each bloom was perfection itself due wholly to her unwavering commitment to their care. After years of trial and error with combinations of manure, egg shells and herbs, Esmeralda had found her ‘secret’ formula. Each season demanded another ritual before the first buds appeared in April. With careful attendance each bud was nurtured to its full potential. Every flower show saw Esmeralda take first place much to the dismay of her rival, Vanity. The competition between the two women was fierce.

During the sixth annual London show Esmeralda was summoned by the Duke of Suffolk. He commissioned her to produce a truly black rose – something never achieved before. With a deep bow Esmeralda had thanked him for his obvious confidence in her abilities but felt she would not succeed. The Duke took her hands and solemnly stated that if anyone could succeed it was indeed the Rose Queen herself.

Upon her return home Esmeralda began researching the deepest and darkest strains of rose. Using grafting techniques and cross pollination she grew several young plants. As they grew and flourished she waited patiently for the first blooms. She achieved deep burgundy and the darkest crimson but never ebony. Three long years past each new bloom took her a step closer to her goal but never close enough. Then in the fourth year a tiny shoot grafted to the main plant produced a bud unlike any Esmeralda had ever seen. It was the darkest green she had ever seen. She tended to this special bud as with all her charges and waited in anticipation for it to blossom.

Sunday 14th April would be a date Esmeralda would never forget – for that morning she witnessed the darkest most beautiful ebony bloom gleaming in the sunlight. She would send word to the Duke that she has succeeded in making his wish come true. However, Esmeralda died that day at the hands of her arch rival, Vanity. It was a dagger to her heart as she breathed sweet words to her special bloom. Vanity took the plant and professed it was her own creation. She became famous over night and revelled in the adulation.

As for Esmeralda her body was buried beneath her rose garden- a place she had loved above all others. Her spirit lived on in the multitude of blooms until one day it rose up and made its presence known. She was the Rose Queen and the ebony bloom her creation.

The words flowed so quickly Janice could not read them quickly enough. At last her fingers ceased their frantic tapping and she realized who her visitor had been. Janice would make sure the real creator was acknowledged for her Black Rose.

Most of my writing for the next couple of months is going to be my freelance project – I have to keep to the deadline! If my brain needs refreshing I will return to my YA novella, Creature Hunt on Planet Toaria, I have maybe 2-3 chapters to complete now. Then I can send the whole manuscript to my illustrator with ideas for the chapter header images.

What projects do you have planned for the winter months?

Books:

I am reading this novel by a young local author. She has created her voice and a wonderful cast of characters. Review to follow.

chronicles

Writing Tips: Hashtags for writers.

#amwriting: Commonly used by writers to indicate they’re generating pages.

#amediting :  a writer is going through his or her pages, revising.​ 

#writingtip or #writetip
Writing coaches, editors, and others whose livelihoods depend on authors will offer up their tweety pearls of wisdom, marked by these hashtags.

#writingprompt
This hashtag is used when writing coaches give a suggestion about what to write, an idea to get the writer going and help to stimulate the flow of the pen on the page.​

And good luck to all who are participating this year.

img_0356-1

#nanowrimo
National Novel Writing Month (November) helps create solidarity among those toiling on their magnum opuses

Other tags:

#book
#novel
#nonfiction
#fiction
#paperbacks
#short or #short #story or #shortstories or #shortreads
#litfic (for literary fiction)
#histfic and #histnovel (used for historical fiction)
#womensfiction
#scifi or #science #fiction
#romance
#paranormal
#crime
#suspense
#kidlit
#cookbooks

What hashtags do you use?

 

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

Writing has been spasmodic this past week but I have accomplished several ‘to do’ items on my list. I have increased the word count on my YA novella, which now has the new title of Creature Hunt on Planet Toaria. The word count stands at 24,491 as of today. I think the new title reflects the age group and hopefully will intrigue them.

The fairy story, I submitted for an anthology has been edited a couple of times and I am happy with the changes.

My freelance project is continuing and the collaboration with my client is working well.

My excitement went into overload this week when The Twesome Loop was on the Edmonton Bestsellers from October 9th to October 15th.
Link for print or ebookhttps://www.amazon.com/Twesome-Loop-Mandy…/dp/B075DRWHXN

Edmonton Fiction Bestsellers

1. This is All a Lie – Thomas Trofimuk *
2. Maybe This Time: A Colorado Ice Novel – Jennifer Show *
3, Raincheck – Marlo Lanz
4. Origin – Dan Brown
5. This Wound is a World (Poetry) – Billy-Ray Belcourt
6. Alice Network – Kate Quinn
7. A Legacy of Spies – John Le Carre
8. Left-Handed Dinner Party & Other Stories – Myrl Coulter
9. Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
10. The Twesome Loop – Mandy Eve-Barnett

 

Books:

blood games Enjoying this detective versus serial killer story even though it is not a genre I normally read. My friend V.J. has a great style and keeps the tension going.

Looking forward to reading this by a new local author I connected with a while ago.

chronicles

Writing Tips for famous authors:

Use concrete imagery when you write about large, abstract themes – Wislawa Szymborska

Work stories out in your head when you can’t write – Alice Munroe

Make people believe in your story first and foremost – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Don’t focus on the end goal excessively as you write – John Steinbeck