Category Archives: friends

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

Creating Unforgettable Characters workshop – review.

I attended a library session hosted by the writer in residence. Although the evening was enjoyable and he relayed many personal stories to highlight how we can use our life experience to create characters, there was not much in the way of ‘practical’ tips. This was rather a disappointment to many that attended. A character sheet was handed out but it can be downloaded from the internet easily enough. It would have been a lot more instructive to actually have writing exercises and then discussion so we gained valuable feedback on our character descriptions.

Have you attended workshops that fell short or exceeded your expectations?

The Twesome Loop manuscript review.

I asked a friend, who is not a writer but a reader to give me her honest opinion on my manuscript as there are two time periods and multiple characters in the story. I wanted to know if the story was too complex and required drastic revision. Not only did she read it in record time but loved the story. This was her last comment:

“Finished 5pm local time. From p.89 today. Yay for Gerald , I was swinging punches at Brett too. P.96 love description of Rome, have visited some of those places. Your draft book was enjoyable. Had no problems with characters , followed story OK. Well done.” Doreen.

My reason for wanting this review was that a professional author thought I should cut out characters ‘as there are too many’ – however as he does not write or read historical romance, I was loathe to discard characters I thought rounded out the story. I think I will continue editing but will keep the characters. I did look at the prospect of separating some of the characters into two other novels but I think it would detract from their stories to do so.

Have you stuck to your guns on a manuscript?

Did you drastically revise a novel so characters were omitted?

A freelance client contacted me after some time away asking for more work so now I have to juggle her internet lessons, due 27th February with ghost writing a book for another client. And refining an erotic scene for a reading I am doing on 25th February – what’s that saying – when it rains, it pours! No I am not complaining.

Books:

I am 2/3 through Ava Moss by Joss Landry. After which I have Beyond the Precipice by Eva Blaskovic.

ava-mossbeyond-the-precipice

In addition I have a manuscript to review for an author friend so I have plenty to read.

What book are you reading currently? How do you like it?

Writing Tips:

“Read it aloud to yourself because that’s the only way to be sure the rhythms of the sentences are OK (prose rhythms are too complex and subtle to be thought out—they can be got right only by ear).” — Diana Athill

What’s your favorite writing tip?

Past & Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…Post revision


 

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This past Saturday I had an enjoyable ‘writerly’ day – coffee with a new author friend discussing publishing, promotion, writing and getting to know each other. Then off to an author reading at Social Grounds cafe organized jointly by the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County and Dream Write Publishing. Although the audience was smaller than I would have liked, they were engaged and appreciative. What more can an author hope for?

I read a section of The Rython Kingdom, which some of you may know is a fantasy romance novella set in medieval England. Go figure I’m English! Anyway the book (e-book if you prefer) is actually two stories in one. The first is the story of my protagonist, Guillem Ruet a famed troubadour and how he finds himself not only relaying a tale to the King but aids in the fight against a malevolent witch aiming to destroy the King and his kingdom. The other ‘story’ is the one Guillem tells the King and his courtiers in the great hall.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/214247

http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/retail/books/rython-kingdom

I can reveal that I am working with a cover designer on The Rython Kingdom and will launch a ‘new’ cover in the next few months. Watch this space.

Local events coming up:

YOUNG AUTHOR’S CONFERENCE   FEBRUARY 25, 2017  TOMORROW’S WRITERS TODAY 

https://www.eips.ca/students/yac

If you have an event or reading this week please feel free to add it to the comments below.

Happy Writing.

Man Writing

 

 

 

Past & Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…Post revision


events

arty-party-websmall-logospark_final_logo

Saturday saw myself and the Board of the Arts & Culture Council of Strathcona County host an event -the Arty Party. It took some months of preparation but was well worth the effort. We partnered with the Spark Gallery, which is the most beautiful space and the art work spectacular. The venue itself is inspiring for artisans and lovers of art alike.

The party gave everyone the opportunity to network, discover the gallery and find out more about the Arts & Culture Council and what it can do for it’s members. We gained 4 new members on the night! I am a happy President. (ACCSC)

Now I have photos to share:

With confirmation from a freelance client on Friday, I have begun working on a ghost writing project. It is exciting to delve into this client’s vision for her book and create it. Initial few pages are drafted up now.

Spark has another event this Friday too.

beautiful-resolve

Share your local events for this week in the comments.

 

 

 

Packing Tips for Writers – What To Take…


I found this article and thought it was apt as my friend, Linda and I are always escaping on road trips and a few can be applied even if not traveling on an airplane.

http://thewritelife.com/packing-tips-for-writers/

travel-tips

1. Be realistic about how much work you’ll do

Before you go on your trip, make a plan for what you’ll actually do while you’re traveling. Be realistic about how much time you’ll actually have to work.

2. Bring the essentials

Condensing an office’s worth of gear, equipment and supplies into a carry-on sized bag. First, start with the most important things.

Laptop: If you have an alternative lightweight portable laptop/tablet take that instead. Remember your charger!

Reference materials: Take the most relevant materials for your planned project.

Notebook and pen: Always have a small notebook and a pen. Ideas for a novel or character can spring up at any time.

3. Back it up

Make sure you back up your work – a flash drive, emailing to yourself or a data saving source.

4.Go digital

Take digital copies instead of resource material with you instead of hard copies.

5. Bring travel-writing essentials

Even though you’re traveling light, be sure to bring anything you’ll need to transform your trip into a story including a way to take photos. Having photos can also help when you’re trying to recollect specific details and set a scene when you’re writing later on.

6. Safeguard your gear

Make sure you carry your most important items (like your laptop and backups) with you. Consider travel insurance or checking your current insurance policies (such as homeowner’s, renter’s, or automobile) to see if they’ll cover your valuables.

This is my traveling list:

My laptop & charger

A hard drive to back up

Notebook – which includes notes on my current project (these are in addition to my file folders on my laptop. I also use it for revision notes & narrative additions, page numbers of where I am in the process etc.

Pens and a pencil

Cell phone for photos & charger

Comfortable clothes and warm socks, eye glasses, a bottle of wine & snacks and tea bags (Okay I’m English teabags are a must!)

We normally request a desk & two chairs when we book a room to ensure we both have comfortable areas in which to write. Luckily neither of us needs noise so silence reigns unless we are discussing our day or writing. (No TV required either!)

index

 

Interview with Dorothy M. Neddermeyer – Regression Therapist…


quantum-theory

My good friend, Mandy Eve-Barnett, asked me a couple of weeks ago to write a little something on reincarnation. I asked her to provide me with a guideline as this subject could easily be interminable, and she did.

Now, before I go ahead and give you the question and answer period, I want to admit that I have been a vocal proponent of reincarnation for many years. In fact, I was fourteen when I began to question the wisdom around me and consider this possibility. Since, well, let’s just say I have found supporters in many corners of the world, and by acting like the doubting Thomas my father always preached I should be to get to the truth, information began to flow and I began supporting the reincarnation premise even faster. Since, then, I have also come across a few of my past lives in what I call lucid dreaming, and in flashback bits of memory when encountering people who are very familiar to me, or when traveling to places that have spawned memories so vivid, I could not discount the souvenirs. All this information has, of course, strengthened my belief in reincarnation.

Furthermore, for all you enthusiasts who would like to find out more, you can touch base with the writings of Edgar Cayce who was the first sleeping prophet I consulted. His books on the subject provide extensive verification of the matter.

Another theorist on the issue for those of you who wish to make a more thorough investigation in the world of incarnation, you may consult Helen Wambach who worked in this field a long time and has documented many such occurrences using a scientific approach. She has many video interviews on the subject accessible through Internet.

Last but certainly not least, I thought who best to consult on this matter than a friend, Dr. Dorothy Neddermeyer who found interest in this topic as early as 1954 and has embraced her mission with dedication, education, and a vast experience in working in the field most of her life. For the purpose of this interview, Mandy and I (Joss Landry) have submitted a few questions to Dr. Neddermeyer, and here are some of her notable answers. Please note that Dr. Neddermeyer is available for a past life regression consultation through the Genesis foundation: http://drdorothy.info

1. Tell us about your qualifications? and (together with number 2) Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work, Ph.D. in Philosophy Major: Metaphysics.
Certified NLP/Ericksonian Hypnosis Practitioner Certified: Past Life Regression Practitioner 30+ years experience. Past President International Association for Regression Therapists .

2. How you became interested in past life regression? At age 7, I received a message that I would have a significant impact in people’s lives. I learned about Past Life Regression work reading about Virginia Mae Morrow, the Colorado woman whose hypnosis-induced recollections of Bridey Murphy was first told in articles by William J. Barker in The Denver Post in 1954 . I was 12 years old

3. Have you encountered unusual past life stories? Having facilitated hundreds of Past Life Regressions many interesting past life juxtapositions have been uncovered. People from other planets? Yes

4. Are birthmarks signs of injury from a past life? Yes, birthmarks and other physical abnormalities and illness are often from a past life. The past life can be accessed and the trauma that has been carried into the current life can be processed and released.

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5. What aspects of a person’s past life might carry over to their new incarnation? All issues–mental/emotional, physical and spiritual that the person came to resolve in this life time.

6. Do you feel introverted people are a sign that they are holding on to a past life? It can be a sign, but is not considered an absolute indication of a past life.
Are they easier subjects for hypnosis? There is no research that I am aware of that posits introverts go into a trance easier than others.

7. How can you identify a soul you’ve met before?

• A strong attraction or aversion to a person — There are three types of soul mates.
• Overwhelming emotions when meeting.
• You click immediately/quickly.
• A sense of having known the person before.
• You read each other like a book. You have many things in common.
• Time seems to stand still when you are together.
• You have a strong connection even when apart.

8. Is there a limit to how many times you reincarnate? Incarnation is for the purpose of Emotional and Spiritual growth. As long as the soul desires to evolve in Emotional and/or Spiritual growth the soul has the option of incarnating to finish the work.

dorothy

Dorothy M. Neddermeyer. Ph.D.
about.me/drdorothy

Blogger Q & A Tag – My Turn…


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

 

 

 

A Look Back – My First Attempt at Writing…


I was looking back on my writing progress this weekend and came across a blog post I wrote in February 2011. Prior to that piece of writing, I had not tried out my ‘writing muscles’ in any form.fire

When I first joined my writing circle I was too shy and unsure of my ‘talent’ to read, but did enjoy listening to other members work. Eventually I summoned up the courage to read a piece. It was short and the result of a 5 minute writing exercise. The shocked faces around me as I finished reading will stay with me forever. It is still a conversation piece even now! So I thought I would share it – the three words I was challenged to use were Fire, Clock & Certainty.

Fire light flickered on the walls and ceiling as Joan sat with a glass of her favorite red wine. Watching the flames lick the logs and send little sprays of ash and sparks upward, she tried to calm her mind. It was a certainty that Thomas would be angry with her once he knew of her accident. The clock ticked as its hands made their gradual path towards 9 o’clock and the inevitable argument.
Joan had tried to cover up the dented fender with a casually placed cloth but Thomas would immediately know something was wrong as she had parked in his place in the garage. Such a creature of habit, her husband he had rules and very particular likes and dislikes. His routine had to be strictly adhered to or there was hell to pay. She knew he would go over the top with his recriminations and probably ban her from driving for months.
The clock struck nine and she heard the garage door open as Thomas drove up to it. Straining her ears she heard his car drive forward and then shriek to a halt. His place was taken up by her car now he would be mad. A slam of the driver’s door told her he was walking through to the kitchen and she could feel his presence enter the lounge.
She squeezed the trigger slowly as the instructor had told her and Thomas’ face flew apart. No more shouting, no more rules, no more living in fear. Watching Thomas’ foot twitch as the life left him gave her a rare feeling of joy. No more tormentor.

What was the first piece you read aloud to an audience?

Since this foray into writing, I have experienced an incredible journey. My writing group members have become firm friends, given me encouragement, advice and support. Without my passion and the fellowship I have enjoyed with them, I would not now be personally published, not just once but four times. (And twice in other collaborations).There are many projects for the future and ideas crowd my mind on a daily basis. It is my happy place, where I feel alive and my are words appreciated. I admit I am obsessed with this particular craft form and long may it continue.

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Writing Prompt Contest – The Elephant & Cat…and a personal Thank you


thank-you

I would like to interrupt this prompt to say a humble and grateful thanks to my 3,104 followers. Knowing my hard work in making this prompt varied, interesting, intriguing and fun has attracted so many of you makes my heart happy. Writing became my passion late in life and I have encompassed it wholeheartedly and obsessively.

You are the reason I continue to post here and I hope you will enjoy my yearly schedules for a long time to come.

Thank you so much.  Mandy  

elephant-and-cat

Use this as the starting or finishing point of your story or poem.

Enjoy this prompt and leave your response in the comments. 1000 words maximum for a short story. Poems can be any length.

A quarterly prize will be given for the most voted for response.

Another Road Trip in Alberta…


road-trip

We are taking advantage of another long weekend and traveling west to Wildwood, then stopping over in Drayton Valley. Then an early start to take in the sights via the Brazeau Dam, Lodgepole, Yoho National Park, Kicking Horse Pass, Abraham Lake, Crescent Falls and onto Golden in British Columbia.

We were not so lucky this trip with wildlife – only spotted a herd of elk, a couple of deer, and several wild turkeys as well as a few osprey nests with chicks and one bald eagle – but the scenery is absolutely speculator. Alpine like valleys bordered with massive mountains and pine covered foothills.Stops at some wonderful places like Crescent Falls as I love water!

Sunday’s trip was to Radium Hot Springs and through to Invermere, a lake side town with a large arts and culture presence.

As I am scheduling this on Sunday night, I have no idea which route our trip home will take but as always there will be plenty of stops for photographs and to drink in the beauty around us. Possibly toward Banff but who knows as long as we are on the road enjoying the splendor, who cares?

 

What has been your favorite road trip?

Where did you go?

When the Muse Won’t Stop Talking…


pool

I enjoyed a spur of the moment road trip on Saturday with my dear friend, Linda. We traveled west towards the Rocky Mountains and a lesser popular highway (some unpaved). As writers we notice everything – landscapes, flora and fauna and glimpses of everyday life as we pass by (or in our case stop!) It had been several weeks since we traveled together in that direction and we saw astounding differences in the places visited. This was due to the amount of rain the area has experienced – dry dusty tracks were now mud filled, dried up ponds and stream beds now torrents of water and a beaver lodge, which had been high and dry was now partly submerged. It shows that nothing stays the same – observation is key to a writer.

Part of our discussions during our 11 hour trip was narratives we are working on and the many put aside projects, snippets of ideas and future novels still to be realized. I remembered that some time ago a writer friend had stated that “I’m not sure I have anything to write at the moment. I cannot comprehend this. I have a folder of ‘writing pieces’ on  my laptop – several hundred in fact – all of which have not seen the light of day for some time. I have come up with an idea for these short stories – but that will be a project once I have edited, revised and completed the four novels I am working on this year! (Yes I know I am a lunatic.)

If you have a similar problem to mine and suffer with ‘too much inspiration’ then maybe these strategies might help.

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.

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.

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

It is thought a ‘problem’ to have too many ideas – they densely populate our minds. Crowding out each other and jostling for attention. It can be frustrating when we are embroiled in a current project. We hastily jot down the details of the new idea, too frightened to leave it to chance that we will remember it later. This removes our mind set from progressing with our existing work, if only for a short time. These ‘breaks’ can either be a good thing – returning refreshed and with renewed vigor or a bad thing – lured into the new project and dissatisfied with our current work in progress.

How do you handle the sparse and dense periods of your writing life?

What obscure stimulus has sparked an idea for you? 

How do you approach new ideas? Frantic notes? Plot arc? Character descriptions?

Have you experienced a story unwilling to stay quiet?

new idea

“The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out.  Every mind is a building filled with archaic furniture. Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.”