Category Archives: Literary News

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

This week most of my time will be dealing with the planning of future events, for instance I have a meeting with the local transit director tonight. This is to discuss shuttle buses to the Heritage Day event hosted by the Arts & Culture Council of Strathcona County in June. I also have to create a schedule for performances for the event too. One of the disadvantages of all this pre-planning is how quickly the year goes by! With an AGM and conference in April, a writing retreat in May, the Heritage Day in June and the upcoming Words in the Park event, which is part of Alberta Culture Days in September – poof the year has almost gone!

I have to take a step back sometimes and look at what month I am actually in. The years pass quickly enough as it is.

How about you? Do the seasons come and go at an alarming rate?

time-flies

Other local events:

March 30, 2017  7:00 pm  Whitemud Crossing Library (Whitemud Crossing Shopping Centre, 4211 – 106 Street)
The WGA and EPL present an evening of new work from six multicultural, multilingual writers in celebration of the completion of the 2016 Borderlines Writers Circle. Join Nermeen Youssef, Tazeen Hasan, Mohamed Abdi, Kate Rittner-Werkman, Asma Sayed, and Aksam Alyousef for poetry, short story, historical fiction, memoir and nonfiction.
To learn more about the writers and the Borderlines Writers Circle, please visit writersguild.ca/programs-services/borderlines-writers-circle/
 Refreshments will be served.

LitFest NewWest celebrates readers, writers, and community March 31–April 2 in New Westminster, BC.

Please feel free to add your events in the comments for your area.

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

This week is Board meeting week – my first meeting is tomorrow for the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County – we will be planning our annual conference, which will be held on 22nd April as well as numerous other agenda items. On Wednesday it is the Arts & Culture Council meeting, where once again planning will be in full swing for our AGM on 12th April and our heritage day event in June. So all in all a busy time for the next few months.

I find that involvement in these boards can be time consuming at times but it brings so many benefits. To be involved with these art organizations gives me the chance to meet new people, experience new art forms and have fun planning events!

offthepage-header

I did manage to attend the open mic event last Wednesday evening and read to a full house! I did worry I would begin coughing but manage to read all of my excerpt from The Twesome Loop without coughing once, although my mouth was arid. There were so many wonderful people to connect with and the readings were excellent. One woman read for the very first time in public while others were old hands. We heard poetry, rants, manuscript excerpts and one young poet (14 years old) read an exceptional piece called Beautiful for Women’s Day. She was amazing.

Do you have any writing or reading events this week? Care to share?

Other events:

wordsthaw

In Victoria, BC, WordsThaw returns to warm the University of Victoria from March 16–20.

Writing Wise Words – An Interview with Toni Morrison…


thebookdeal2

I found this interesting and enlightening interview on Alan Rinzler’s blog. There is a wealth of information and insight within this blog, so I suggest you bookmark it..!

The interview is with Toni Morrison, a critically acclaimed author.

ToniMorrison

Read the interview here:

http://www.alanrinzler.com/blog/2015/03/21/toni-morrison-write-erase-do-it-over/

Toni’s books:

bluesteyebeloved1sula

Literary News – Colleen McCullough…


Colleen photo

Again we have lost a wonderful author,Colleen McCullough. I was dismayed at the harsh comments concerning how she looked – what does it matter what the outside looks like? She was an accomplished author and a Neuroscientist. It was her imagination, her drive and her love of life – which is apparent by her gorgeous smile and twinkling eyes. We will value her work and obvious intelligence and her words in some 24 novels and shun the insincerity of ‘face value’, ‘puddle deep’ thinking.

Here is the announcement:

“It is with great sadness that Harper Collins Books Australia advise(s) that the iconic and much-loved author, Colleen McCullough, passed away on Thursday in hospital on Norfolk Island, aged 77,” the publisher posted on Facebook.

Her 1977 novel “The Thorn Birds,” which sold 30 million copies worldwide, was made in to a TV miniseries in 1983, starring Richard Chamberlain, Barbara Stanwyck, Jean Simmons and Christopher Plummer.

The generation spanning novel is set in the Australian outback. “A priest torn between his calling and the lure of a rancher’s daughter in this sumptuous epic…resulted in the second highest rated miniseries ever after Roots,”according to TV Guide.

At the time, the book’s paperback rights sold for a record setting price of $1.9 million.

McCullough was born in Australia, but lived and studied abroad for many years. She was a neurophysiologist and worked at hospitals in Australia and Britain, and for 10 years at Yale Medical School in New Haven, Connecticut.

 Thorn Birds cover

Aside from “The Thorn Birds,” McCullough wrote more than ten other novels including the historical series “The Masters of Rome.” Her most recent novel, “Bittersweet,” was published in 2013.

She was also featured on an Australian Post postage stamp. “She was one of the first Australian writers to succeed on the world stage,” according to HarperCollins Books Australia.

“It is very sad to lose Colleen McCullough. Her contribution to storytelling is the stuff of legend, she will be greatly missed,” Random House Books Australia tweeted.

Did you read The Thorn Birds? Watch the TV series?

Which novel of Colleen’s did you enjoy the most?

A Literary Year in View…


literary news

A New Year brings anticipation of our goals and the fascinating reveals of new books and movies for the year ahead. This literary calendar will keep you informed as well as marking important dates to remember.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/02/books-2015-calendar-year-kazuo-ishiguro-jonathan-franzen-toni-morrison

Are there any that you are excited to see?

Unfortunately I could not find an equivalent for Canada or America so if you do find one please share it.

New Blog Schedule for 2015…


It has taken sometime to come up with a fresh blog schedule but at the last minute inspiration struck (luckily!).

This year I will post on Mondays and Thursdays. Posts will be:

articlesEither relevant news stories concerning writing, publishing or something to inspire a story.

 

 

 

article-new_ehow_images_a00_0h_jc_format-manuscript-submission-800x800Or my short stories, poems or excerpts from my books.

I would like other authors to participate in this and submit their own work.

 

 

AuthorInterview

Or interviews – some will be from past interviewees, giving us an update on their current projects, and some from new authors.

If you are interested in being interviewed please contact me.

 

A happy, inspiring and writing filled 2015 to you all.

 

Designing Your Own Book Covers & Which Cover Is Your Favorite..?


As a winning participant in NaNoWriMo, we are offered the opportunity of creating proof copies of our November novel. Part of this process is of course deciding on a cover for the book. I created one for my latest narrative, The Giving Thief. I liked the basic design and inserted a photo of a forest cabin. It will give me a good starting point when I design the final cover as I would like more texture in the final image. Once the narrative has been edited and revised I will be able to create a cover to intrigue my readers.

The Giving Thief cover

How did you decide on your proof copy cover?

Was it a generic one or did you design your own?

I found these links, which are really cool. Can you pick one or two?

http://flavorwire.com/206111/the-20-most-iconic-book-covers-ever

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/12/08/books/review/best-book-covers-2014.html?_r=0

http://flavorwire.com/322090/the-first-edition-covers-of-25-classic-books

Quote – probably the most famous of all when it comes to a book cover:

Never judge a book by its cover
The external appearance is not a reliable guide to the quality of what lies within.
Prompt logoSo today’s prompt is: Find a cover you enjoy and then describe it.

Artistic Organizations Need To Keep Creativity Alive…


It is always sad to see established publications, publishing houses and book stores close. The latest to be reported is the Descant literary journal:

omega_logo

 

http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/books/2014/12/11/descant_literary_journal_folds_after_44_years.html

As you can see from this article another stalwart, The Capilano Review is fighting to stay afloat with a kickstarter campaign. Finances are the death toll for many literary organizations struggling in this society we live in, which wants everything ‘instantaneously’. There is no patience nowadays, all too clear with the  ‘we want it and we want it now‘  slogans bantered throughout the media. Gone are the weeks and months of waiting and saving for a particular item or placing it on our wish list.

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We need to protect the ability to imagine, to create and share the plethora of arts with the world. Fight for your local literary journals, magazines, organizations and groups.

Keep the magic of creativity alive.

 

Quotes

It’s in literature that true life can be found. It’s under the mask of fiction that you can tell the truth.  Gao Xingjian

Every man’s work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.  Samuel Butler

Prompt logo

 Prompt: 

Share something you created as a child with a simple object, such as a cardboard box.

Who Would You Chose To Play Your Novel’s Protagonist…?


There are many classic novels we remember from childhood or young adulthood, one of these for me is Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee. The BBC (UK’s broadcasting company) are making a series of dramas, which will bring to life many classics, including Cider with Rosie, The Go-Between and Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

CiderWithRosie

 

http://www.kidderminstershuttle.co.uk/leisure/national/11533900.Cider_With_Rosie_role_for_Morton/

I can still see in my mind’s eye how I envisioned the characters in these books. Some imaginary characters are so instilled and real that to have an actor play them can be disappointing. Obviously, some chosen actors are so perfect there is no problem alas this is not always the case. We all know some are chosen for their book office popularity rather than their resemblance to a particular character. Daniel Radcliffe will always be Harry Potter for generations of people (not good for his future career of course but we watched him grow up on the screen). We cannot contemplate anyone else as Harry or indeed any of his faithful companions or enemies.To be so immersed in a character is excellent for the reader but also a tribute to the author for creating such a realistic personality. As you can see from Stephen’s quote further down this post Pennywise from It was ‘perfect’ – I still fear clowns to this day!

Which actor was ‘perfect’ and which was ‘awful’ for your favorite book’s movie or TV adaptation?

For me The Shining movie, adapted from Stephen King’s novel, was completely ruined by Shelley Duvall, she was not believable in any part of the movie, however, Jack Nicholson was magnificent.

Shiningnovel

Do you have an actor in mind for your own novel(s)? Who are they playing and why did you chose them?

Quotes:

“When people talk about the stuff of mine that’s frightened them onscreen, they’re apt to mention Pennywise the Clown first.” – IT, Stephen King

“I may be the first writer in America to have a piece of writing make its way to the screen whole and entire. And, when I saw the film for the first time, I was astonished that the characters of Jack and Ennis came surging into my mind again.” – Brokeback Mountain- Annie Proulx

 

FunDay

Today’s prompt – Describe your novel’s character and match them with a real actor.

Stories That Stay With You…


I read with interest this article regarding Lord of the Flies by William Golding’s hand written manuscript. This story has stayed with me for decades not just because of the subject matter but how the author developed the characters with such exquisite detail. It is a testament to Golding’s skill that the book is famous and referred to in numerous classrooms.

This is the article: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/sep/17/lord-of-the-flies-anniversary-william-golding-archive-loan

LORD OF THE FLIES

 Did you read it for school or later?

Has the story stayed with you?

What other books have left a lasting impression on you?

For me there is Stig of the Dump, Hiawatha, Wind in the Willows, and Jack & Jill and the Friendly Badger (this lead to a night visit to a badger sett when I was a child – an incredible experience) HiawathaStig_Dump

TheWindInTheWillowsBook

jack & JillWhat is your favorite?

Do you still have the original book?  I do have Hiawatha – it was first prize for a drawing competition in primary school…no I’m telling how long ago that was!

 

 

 

 

 

My hope is my delightful story of two woodland sprites and their animal friends in Ockleberries to the Rescue (http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/products/ockleberries-rescue) will give children the same sort of pleasure and lasting memories.

 

Book cover

QUOTES

“They used to call me Piggy!'” – William Golding, Lord of the Flies, Ch. 1

“He began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling.”
– William Golding, Lord of the Flies, Ch. 4

“‘Maybe there is a beast….maybe it’s only us.'”
– William Golding, Lord of the Flies, Ch. 5

FunDay

Today’s prompt: Write a description of your favorite childhood story adn why you love it.