Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Author Interview – Kathie Sutherland

December 22, 2022
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As a poet and a writer, which format do you enjoy writing the most?

Poetry has always been my favourite format. Playing with words in a creative way helps me choose words to express abstract ideas. Because words have nuances and “halos” its important to make clear connections between the words and the feelings behind them. For me, the process of writing, whether poetry or prose involves feelings. For this reason, my Roget’s Thesaurus is a very useful reference book.

If others can relate to what I’m saying or are inspired by my words, I know the meaning has come through. Its comforting to know that someone else feels as I do. Poetry reveals parts of me that might otherwise remain hidden and that gives me courage to reveal my inner self and I can then be true to my values and integrity. When I feel connected to others and to nature, poetry reveals beauty. For me, its essential to be amazed.

Why is metaphor important to you?

Some people are literal minded and think in black and white whereas others colour their worlds with metaphor. This tool of the imagination affects how I see and respond to the world and how I interact with others. Metaphor can bring clarity in communication between people with opposite viewpoints because it expresses a relationship between things and ideas. For example, when my husband and I have difficulty finding common ground, we are able to access mutual understanding in a way that we cannot otherwise. Metaphor offers a big picture perspective. Colourful language creates mental imagery that boosts insight into feelings. Because perspective is so important to me, looking through the lens of metaphor provides a powerful source of soul wisdom for sharing my world.

Was the transition from poetry to fiction writing difficult?

The transition was not difficult but was freeing. A few years ago, when I attended a life writing class to find material for poetry, I wasn’t very confident in my ability to write prose. When I began telling stories about my family history and my childhood, the switch to prose opened a new world to me. I realized I had a unique story and I could share it with others.

How do you choose which format to write in, once an idea forms?

Prose lends itself to the concrete and poetry to the nebulous. I use poetic language in my prose as it creates imagery and is often a way to express difficult situations or emotions, whether my own or someone else’s experience. For me, the two formats are intertwined. I love the threads connecting all aspects of my being: physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. One of the big differences between writing poetry on demand using a prompt and writing prose from a prompt is that poetry come from inspiration. Prose doesn’t necessarily do that and when it comes from my imagination, is becomes fiction.

What inspired you to write a memoir fiction novel?

One of the effects of the constant moving experienced by children who do not have long lasting connection to people and community influenced my access to memory. I took the events that I did remember and built stories around them to make sense of them and find meaning in my life. I had written lot of short pieces and the best format seemed to be a novel-in-short-stories in which I created individual stories based on real experience. Each of the stories could stand alone, but the reading of them in sequence enhanced the whole story as a novel would.

Where did the ideas come from for your children’s books?

My 96-year-old mother is a great storyteller and she relishes family tales about her children. “Not My Daddy” was created from one of her stories about watching for my father as soldiers in identical uniforms got off a bus. “Naughty Alice” is also a story from my childhood. The delightful child in this story is my own Inner Child who wanted to help her Grammie tailor a new coat. The third book “Grandma’s Big, Big Backyard” was created to record the experience of my own grandchildren playing in the backyard.

How important is connection with other writers for you?

Being part of a community of writers allows me to share my writing experience and ideas with others. I enjoy encouraging other writers with positive feedback and constructive criticism. Because writing is a solitary activity, having a community of others who understand the challenges of the writing life is essential. Everyone who writes has something to share with the world and we all need connection to be our best.

Do you have a writing space – describe it.

We recently purchased a ground floor condo with two bedrooms and a study and I was excited to make the study my own. My first priority was to purchase a new desk, repurposed a credenza for storage and utilized an antique china cabinet to display my books and special keepsakes. I love the light that pours in through the frosted glass French doors. I’ve put up all my favourite pictures and made the space my own.

What message do you wish to convey to your readers?

The stories we tell ourselves shape our lives and what we believe about the world. As poet Edith Sodergran once said, “…poetry is a way to me.” All of my writing has been the way to me. I’ve spent my whole writing life searching for this person who is me and I want my readers to know that writing is a wonderful way to discover who you really are.  

Where can readers find you and your work?

Please look for books by Kathie Sutherland on Amazon.ca or visit my Facebook page Kathie Sutherland Author. All of my books are available from me directly. Contact me at kathiesutherland@shaw.ca or sutherlandkatherinem@gmail.com. My publisher Dream Write Publishing from Sherwood Park, Alberta also sells my books. https://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/ Many of my books are part of the local author library collections at Strathcona County and Fort Saskatchewan Public Libraries.

Bio:

Kathie Sutherland is a mature, observant student of life who is retired and lives in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta with her husband of 42 years. She has two fiercely independent adult daughters, and two adult grandchildren. A Canadian by birth, she celebrates differences in culture, outlook and lifestyle, and appreciates the benefits of living in other parts of Canada and beyond. Her love affair with language is lifelong, and her unique narrative voice infuses all her writing with authenticity.

Over the past 30 years Kathie Sutherland has written poetry, personal essay, fairy tale, a true events autobiographical novel and three children’s books. Her love of words and their “halos” fanned the flame of her desire to understand the profound and lasting effects of her childhood in a constantly moving Canadian military family through personal journaling, continued learning and reflection. She believes that loss and loneliness can be transformed into love and connection by writing short life stories rich in life wisdom. Recently, she has given voice to her playful side in her based-on-real-events children’s books.

Kathie Sutherland is involved in two local writing groups and fully enjoys encouraging others in their writing projects. She also leads a reminiscence group at a local seniors lodge, helps others write legacy letters at the end of life, as well as being active in a local church community. She enjoys aquafit, pastel painting and travel to interesting places.

Creative Edge Author Interview – Kim Lengling

December 15, 2022
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What was the motivation to write the books?

It was a hot August day, and I was sitting on my back deck when, seemingly out of nowhere, I felt overwhelmed with emotions and heard a whisper, “stories to be told”. With a bit of an attitude, I thought, “Okay, if this is God, I’ve already shared my story. It was hard, but I did it. How often do I have to share?”

Again, a gentle whisper was felt; “stories to be told.” The scene before me, which was my backyard, turned into a black and white scene, as if it were an old movie reel. Within the scene was a young lady on her knees, sobbing. You could feel the emotion radiating out of what I was seeing. It lasted a second, but I knew who the person was and what the reminder was. Years ago, the young woman was me crying out to the God I told myself I didn’t believe in.

I knew then what the message was. Stories, as in many stories, needed to be told. So I reached out to a few ladies I knew and asked if they’d like to participate in an anthology I was considering putting together. They said yes. I reached out to a few more ladies, and they said yes. I soon had 20 women who wanted to share their stories of Grace. But it didn’t stop there. More women reached out, and I soon realized this would be more than one book. It turned into a 3-book series, with all three published within 12 months. As time went on, another nudge was received: to share Hope and my newest release, When Hope Found Me was born.

Has writing them given you a new perspective or mission or aided you in some way?

Oh, my yes. Once this journey of coordinating anthologies began, I realized that there is so much darkness and negativity in the world on TV, radio, social media, and within neighborhoods and communities. Seeing and hearing about negative things each day becomes tiring and emotionally draining.

God again nudged me to share, and the word Hope showed up.

The word Hope had been showing up everywhere for weeks at the end of 2021. Finally, I realized that I was to do something with that word.

I bought some inspirational cards, just the small kind, and began leaving them in random places in stores when I would be out and about. You know the kind, “You are amazing!”, “You are awesome!”. But I felt that I needed to do something else. Something more personal.

I then went online and found polished stones with the word Hope engraved on them. So I thought, “Okay, here we go. I’ll call them Nuggets of Hope!”

So now, I carry a few of those Nuggets of Hope wherever I go, and when I feel a nudge to approach someone, I’ll walk up to the person and quietly say, “I’ve got a small gift for you, a nugget of hope.” And I’ll place it in their hand, wish them a blessed day and be on my way. I don’t feel I am to talk with them but to hand them a small nugget of Hope and be on my way.

That is now a part of my mission, choosing to sprinkle Hope like confetti. One nugget of Hope at a time.

How else do you spread your words and experiences?

Over the past few years, I have started a podcast called Let Fear Bounce. It is an interview-style show where I have guests from all over the world and from different walks of life share their journey, be it writing, teaching, coaching, or simply having an amazing story or experience to share. I feel blessed to be able to provide a platform for others to share their nuggets of Hope.

What message do you have for your readers?

I hope they feel a spark of something when they read through any of the books. Maybe it will be inspiration or admiration. Perhaps it will be motivation to change something for the better in their own life. Or maybe the stories will spark something inside and provide them a bit of hope; for themselves, humanity, and their family, whatever the case may be. I want readers to FEEL and know that there is hope, goodness, and kindness in the world.

Do you think there are enough resources for sufferers of PTSD?

If you had asked me that question 10 years ago, even five years ago, I would say no.

I prefer to steer clear of the word “suffer.” For me, I choose to say, “live with PTSD.” Because you do, your experience has played a big part in who you are and who you will become. Living with PTSD is a part of you, and you of it. It’s a significant life experience. It is all in how you face and deal with it that matters.

Is it easy? No. Is it worth facing and finding safe and healthy ways to live with it? Yes. Because then you can turn that into a message to help others.

Are there enough resources out there to help all of those who live with PTSD? Maybe not, but great strides have been made. Over the years, I have seen many new programs, counselors, and assistance available, especially for women. I believe that more will become available in the future.

When you began writing, what was the hardest part?

The most difficult part of the process was being authentic. What I mean by that is sharing the whole story. Not just bits and pieces worded in a particular way so as not to make the reader uncomfortable.

I realized that I just needed to be open and honest. Share what was on my heart and share that in a way that was true to me, and hopefully, those who read my words will feel something.

Where is your favorite place to write?

It turns out my dining room table is the place where I typically write. Not sure why; it is just where I end up. I have my days, though, that on a beautiful summer day, I’ll haul my laptop outside and let nature speak to me, and I let words flow.

Do you have plans for future books?

Indeed I do! I have two books I am currently working on. We’ll see where they take me. There are always stories to be write and words to share that inspire!

What does the word ‘rescue’ mean to you?

Being pulled from the darkness. A place where you feel lost and unable to see or feel joy or light. When a person, a book, a song, or a pet provides a spark of light. That small light enters into your darkness, and you lift your eyes. That is a rescue to me. So many rescuers out there aren’t aware of what they have provided. How blessed we are that they exist!

How can readers find you?

Website:                                            http://www.kimlenglingauthor.com

Let Fear Bounce Podcast:              https://anchor.fm/kim-lengling1

Facebook:                                         https://www.facebook.com/letfearbouncepodcast

The Write Stuff TV Show:               https://www.believeinyourdreamstv.com/

Streaming online on your favorite platform. Use the Believe Warriors App

Facebook:                                         https://www.facebook.com/TheWriteStuffTVShow

BIO

Kim is a multi-published author, writer, podcast host of Let Fear Bounce, and TV show host of The Write Stuff, The Authors Voice with the Believe In Your Dreams TV Network.

In addition, she is an active speaker sharing her story of being a female veteran living with PTSD and spreading a message of Hope. She regularly speaks for local veteran and women’s organizations in her hometown area and across numerous global organizations.

She has been writing and speaking with empathy and emotion since 2004 showcasing her faith, nature, love of rescue animals, and advocacy for veterans living with PTSD. She showcases her writing through her books, business, and website; www.kimlenglingauthor.com.

She is the lead author and coordinator of a collaborative 3-book anthology series titled When Grace Found Me. In addition, she is a published co-author in seven anthologies and numerous print and online global newspapers and magazines.

Kim sees each day as an opportunity to spread hope and encouragement, for, without hope, life would be a dark place.

“The world can be a dark place. So I choose to toss nuggets of hope out into the world like confetti; little sparks of light in the darkness.”

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – NaNoWriMo Withdrawal

December 8, 2022
mandyevebarnett


After the frantic word count goal of November, for those of us who participated in National Novel Writing Month, December is a strangely quiet month. No longer are we racing home after work to write those elusive 1667 words for the day’s total, and hoping to exceed them. We miss the rush, the excitement, even the panic. Initially, we feel relief, then goalless and at odds with ourselves. Now, we are floating in an undisciplined mode, unable to feel comfortable – that impetuous has gone.

We all know a goal is a good thing to have. It aids our making a deadline for publisher demands, editing and revising or any self imposed goal, whether for our writing or something else. So, what is the answer? Well, we have options:

1. Continue with our NaNo project and complete the novel.

2. Leave the project to ‘rest’ or percolate until the ending, plot arc, story line etc. solidifies in your mind (if it hasn’t already.)

3. Edit and revise what you have written. We all know it will need this at some point.

4. Begin another project, or return to another unfinished one.

5. Take a break from writing. Delve into the season’s festivities.

No matter which course you take, do what is best for you. Struggling to complete a writing project, when the holidays are approaching and you have other commitments, is not the way to go. Your project will be there waiting for you.

Creative Edge – Interview – Chloey Rose

November 24, 2022
mandyevebarnett


No matter the creative process or medium, we all write. A musician writes lyrics, sings songs and creates musical accompaniments. Welcome Chloey Rose, who delves into many creative forms.

1.  When did you start writing song lyrics?

 I started writing songs in my early teenage years and found music enabled me to express myself in a way I couldn’t without it.  I feel as humans we are all unique and we should embrace that! I enjoy watching how a song transforms from basic chords on the piano or guitar to something magical. When songwriting, I always maintain mystery behind the lyrics too, their deeper meaning remaining secret within my heart.

2. Where does your inspiration come from for your songs?

With every song I always find myself intending to share a message with the world, my songs attempt to work through significant moments in my life and those of others I have met, they are often reflective learning from experience and reiterate the power in self-belief. I am mainly inspired by the stories I hear, things I’ve experienced and collaborating with other artists/producers. I also draw inspiration from artists such as the very talented Kate Bush, Billie Eilish and Taylor Swift. I was introduced to Kate Bush’s music by my Dad from a young age and when I first heard her I knew she had this magical voice which was unusual and captivating. It’s amazing to see how much recognition she is currently receiving and how her music has been highlighted through the TV Strangers Things Series. And Yes, I’m obsessed with the show too HA!  Kate inspires me to strive to create my own sound and style without trying to be like anyone else.

3.  Do you start with a melody or the words?

When writing, I usually experiment with certain chords on the piano and what feels right. Then I start humming the melody and the lyrics develop. The beginnings of writing a song are always the most exciting for me because it’s the unknown and I usually just flow with the process and see where it takes me. I try to write songs naturally rather than mechanically, without forcing the structure of a song. Sometimes I choose lyrics that best express what I am feeling or experiencing at that time or words that will best deliver the story and imagery that I am portraying through song. Personally, I feel writing can show vulnerability in the writer as feelings and emotions are shared and depending on whether the content is biographical or fictional. In Hopes and Dreams I was able to reveal my passion for music and personal determination to strive to achieve my ambitions through song. I always maintain a little mystery around each song’s true meaning, which I believe enables people to create their own understandings and interpretations to the songs and what it means to them.

4.  Does your English heritage influence what you write?

It has definitely influenced my music, I feel a lot of my songs are inspired from the experiences I had in my hometown and the people I had met along the way. I am a Lincolnshire girl and I live on the outskirts of a historic fishing town Grimsby surrounded by the Lincolnshire Wolds and farmland. My songs such as Butterfly and Sky is Falling have a nature theme within them and many of my photographs include the background of fields and nature. Golden Sun my latest song release, supports a music video set in the beautiful English countryside. 

5. Which singers/bands did you listen to as a child?

One of the main artists I’ve been influenced by since growing up is the very quirky Kate Bush, her lyrics and music always tell a theatrical story filled with emotion. I feel her performances are always captivating which always makes her stand out against others, her talent and stage presence gave me inspiration to shape my own style and sound without trying to be like anyone else. I liked and still hold in high esteem many artists, but for me it is ‘great songs’ that show great passion and emotion that I connect with even as a young girl. For instance, the outstanding film Titanic influenced my passion for music and I have funny video footage on my sixth birthday belting out Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On. Other early footage of young Chloey Rose includes renditions of Sting’s Fields of Gold and Elton John’s Can You Feel the Love Tonight. 

6. How would you describe your musical style? 

I would describe my music as pop, adult contemporary with a theatrical twist and music that you could hear on the soundtrack of a film or television series. Several of my songs have a folk and country feel to them. 

7. What message do you want to convey with your music? 

I really hope to share messages which help others relate to whether happy or sad and music that is inspirational such as Butterfly. I would like people to feel the emotion within my songs and uplifted by my music. As a performing arts and drama teacher I understand the importance of supporting young people in reaching their full potential and setting and re-setting personal goals and striving to achieve them and I feel my music is reflective of these intentions and holds truth and honesty within. Most importantly I want my songs to be relatable and people to be able to feel the emotions within my song, such as the theme of love and relationships in Hearts on the Line. I consider different themes when songwriting but intend to reflect ‘life’ and its rewards, struggles, fears, hopes and dreams in my music. 

9. Will you continue exploring acting and modeling opportunities?

 Absolutely! I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to do acting and modelling as well as my music. I was fortunate to be Miss Lincolnshire 2018-19 and my modelling has provided great opportunities to perform charity work. I thoroughly enjoyed attending the House of Ikon at London Fashion Week in September and am grateful for all those who support me. Acting has also been a huge part of my life and I love to perform with theatre and film experience and always feel at home on the stage. I love the excitement and challenge of working on different projects and always try to be as open-minded as possible to whichever opportunity comes along as you never know who you may meet, and these experiences continue to inspire new creative ideas. 

10.   Do you have a message for your fans?

I  just wanted to say how grateful I am for their continued support over the years and how much it means the world to me to hear their feedback on all my songs. Thank you for appreciating my Music and I love you all! x

11. Where can people find you and your music?

The best places to fine me are on:

Facebook @ChloeyOfficial

Instagram @chloeyrose

Twitter @ChloeyOfficial

YouTube @Chloey Rose

Instagram @chloeyrose

TikTok @chloeyrosemusic

Bio:

CHLOEY ROSE is a stunning, talented, and unique Musical Artist, Actress and Model. CHLOEY ROSE’s new single “Golden Sun” is out NOW on Spotify, Sound Cloud and all streaming networks. Her music video for “Golden Sun” was released September 16 on YouTube and all music video platforms.

As an actor CHLOEY played the lead role in the BBC First World War Musical production of GREENFIELDS and BEYOND. CHLOEY ROSE also was Awarded “Best Supporting Actress” in Action Film Challenge for her performance in the film GRIMSBY RV, directed by Rob Smith. As a model CHLOEY ROSE was crowned “Miss Lincolnshire” and in addition was a Finalist in “Miss Great Britain”. She placed 4th in the “50 Sexiest Men & Women in Lincolnshire”. ROSE also placed third in “Miss Northern U.K.” and was a finalist in the “Miss British Isles” beauty pageants

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – My Project for National Novel Writing Month 2022

October 27, 2022
mandyevebarnett


I am again plunging into NaNoWriMo this year. I should concentrate on book three of my crime trilogy, The Delphic Murders – Killers Match, but as with all things writing it might be secondary to another ‘bright and shiny project’ – a prequel to my Rython series. I am excited to begin Malgraf’s journey in the novella entiitled Malgraf’s Dawning. So once the 25,000 or so words of that story/novella are completed, I will ‘finish’ NanWriMo with the beginning book three.

Who says writer’s can’t be flexible. Truth be told new ideas are always the shiniest prospect, we are essentially magpies.

I would love to hear about your project for NaNoWriMo this year. And you can always add me as a buddy on the website.   Look up MandyB      

Good luck , happy writing and see you on the other side.           

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