Category Archives: novels

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

I am pleased to announce I completed the two beta-read & editing assignments given to me and both authors were happy with the feedback. One will require me to re-read once certain details are confirmed for legal consistency and correctness.

Another project – ghost writing – is proceeding well and I am waiting on some input from the client.

As for personal projects I made progress on my reincarnation romance, The Twesome Loop this past week and the word count is over 80K – so that makes me happy. There is still some polishing to do. A surprise road trip with my dear friend Linda this weekend will give me uninterrupted writing time to do this. Love when we can escape on a whim! I had to plead for a rain check with another friend for a proposed meeting this Saturday but she was accommodating. Thank you Kathie.

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The new book cover for my fantasy romance, The Rython Kingdom is in the hands of my publisher and should be ‘live’ in the next couple of weeks. All in all I am happy with my progress and writing life.

How are your projects progressing? Care to share?

Books:

I am really enjoying this book – it doesn’t give up it’s secrets quickly that’s for sure.

uninvited guests

What are you reading? 

Do you review books on Goodreads? Why not follow me for my reviews and books just click the link on the side of the page.

Writing Advice:

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”Saul Bellow

So is this true? How about you?

I know I have ‘dreamed’ scenes or story ideas but always improve on them when awake.

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


This week is a little less hectic with two events on my schedule. Both are enjoyable in different ways. Firstly I am co-hosting a regular writing group in a local senior’s lodge. These meetings are filled with memoir, wisdom and laughter and I feel honored to be a part of it. The meetings began as part of a program my writing foundation created after creating a guide book of sorts. I also co-wrote the book.

Lifetime

This workbook is based on the presentation, Your Lifetime of Stories ~ Ideas for Writing Memoirs, written and presented by the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County (WFSC). Subsequently the group was asked to present this session at various venues in their community. The positive response received, and the request for more information, prompted members of the WFSC to compile the workshop details and comments into a workable format – so you could begin to collect your memories and share your story. This led to a program for residents in local senior lodges and the creation of regular writing groups.

The practical suggestions included in the pages of this book will suggest to you ways you can identify, record, and organize your collection of memories so you can begin to write your stories. It is not a how to write but a how to begin workbook. http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/retail/books/your-lifetime-stories

Contributing authors: Mandy Eve-Barnett, Linda J. Pedley, and Karen Probert

My second event is at my local library with a friend and fellow author, who wants to discuss her manuscripts and which direct/project she should pursue. Our last meeting was over lunch but ended up being four hours long! Such a treat to be totally absorbed in our writing life.

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What writing or reading events do you have planned this week?

Other local events:

Stories From the Front Porch: Stories for Adults

Strathcona County Library  Mon Mar 20, 7:00pm – 8:45pm
Join Sylvia Hertling and Friends for a cup of tea and to honor the age old tradition of the story-sharing circle.
This informal gathering, powered by TALES Strathcona, celebrates World Storytelling Day with historical, family and personal stories amongst friends. Writer in Residence, Richard Van Camp will also contribute a story at the event.

Edmonton Poetry Festivalhttp://www.edmontonpoetryfestival.com/schedule/

MacEwan University – Book of the Year.

Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven, Book of the Year 2016/17. The free reading is open to the public on Thursday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. Emily will be answering questions on-stage and signing books as part of the evening. http://www.macewan.ca/wcm/MacEwanEvents/AnnualEvents/MacEwanBookoftheYear/ThisYear%E2%80%99sBook/index.htm

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Author Madeleine Thien – Arden Theatre – Mar 29, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

St. Albert Public Library presents a STARFest author: Madeleine Thien. The 2016 book from this award-winning novelist and short story writer, Do Not Say We Have Nothing, tells one family’s tale within the unfolding of recent Chinese history. It won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, and Scotiabank Giller Prize. It was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize….
Ottawa’s Versefest runs March 21–26, and it features writers from all around the world.

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

Add your local events here too

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

As I mentioned last week a prompt picture at my writers meeting resulted in a short story. I thought I would share it. This is the picture inspiration.

lampost girl.jpg

Annabel kicked the tuffs of grass as she walked down the street. She was angry with herself for forgetting her door key again. She knew her mother would rant and rave about her stupidity, so Annabel decided not to try and break into the house – again! The bathroom window had seemed the easy option last time until she was firmly stuck and had to wait for her mother to arrive from a late shift, by which time her leg’s were numb and she had thrown up because of the pressure on her stomach as she was suspended in the small window frame. What made matters worse was the vomit had oozed slowly down the inside of the bathroom wall pooling beside the sink.
Her mother had screamed and stomped around for hours refusing to let Annabel have any supper. Instead she’d watched from the doorway as Annabel washed the wall and floor. No it just wasn’t worth the hassle to try and break in.
All Annabel could do now was watch the traffic and pick at the threads on her school bag until she knew her mother would be home. She thought up an excuse to explain why she wasn’t home. A trip to the library for an assignment would not raise suspicion, hopefully.
Weary of walking back and forth she sat down on the sidewalk and leaned against a signpost. Wishing she had a snack of some kind as her stomach growled. Better hungry than a smack on the back of the head from a screaming mother though.
As soon as she was home she would find that stupid key and make a necklace to hang it on. Never again locked out, hungry and fed up – hopefully.

With the imminent launch of a new cover for The Rython Kingdom, I read through the novella again and made a few changes. There are always a few little edits that need refining. I also added that there will be a sequel following Celeste and Maralynn.

Here is a teaser:

rython3dreveal

I am continuing with edits for two friend’s manuscripts and have made some progress on my reincarnation novel. Busy, busy.

What are you working on?

Books:

the-outcasts

I finished The Outcasts – a neat story with extraordinary imagination of a Grade 7 (UK) young lady. The story is full of tension and wonderful characters. Looking forward to seeing her develop and write more stories.

I browsed the library shelves and found two books. The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones and The Faraday Girls by Monica McInerney. I have begun the Uninvited Guests – so far it is enjoyable. Unfortunately my book hold had lapsed for Bookshop at Waterès End by Patti Callaha Henry but I will order it again.

What are you reading? 

Do you review books on Goodreads? Why not follow me for my reviews and books.

Writing Tip:

Have two or more projects on the go: Having more than one project on the go is never a bad idea. Although focus and dedication are paramount to completing a work, sometimes you inevitably get stuck. It’s good to be able to move on to something else instead of feeling frustrated and stagnant. You don’t have to have a few big projects happening either … maybe you’re penning a novel, but also some short stories and an article or two. Chuck Sambuchino

Do you have a tip to share?

 

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!

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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 Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

With numerous activities requiring my attention, the revision of my reincarnation romance had stalled recently but I did manage a couple of hours last night prior to my writing meeting. This refreshed my enthusiasm somewhat and gave me a chance to decide on which segment to read tonight.

The meeting also resulted in a short story from a picture prompt. I think it could be expanded a little more. Although not sure where I could use it at this moment in time.

I continue to beta-read two manuscripts, which are polar opposites in genre and style but equally enjoyable. The ghost writing project is making good progress as well.

What are your writing commitments? Care to share?

Books:

beyond-the-precipice

Absolutely loved this book. The writing reflects the musical undertows of the story flowing with beautiful but precise notes from depths of sorrow to heights of passion. The characters are well rounded and I felt emotionally attached to them. Secrets and tension, blossoming love and uncertainty weave a complex and intriguing story.
With its locality of Edmonton, Alberta the reader has a sense of place and life in this city.
I thoroughly recommend this book.

I will no doubt read and finish the next novella, Outcast in no time at all and have already put a book on hold at the library.

the-outcasts

BOOKSHOP AT WATER’S END  Henry, Patti Callahan

index

What book are you currently reading?

Writing Tip:

“Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. If you have the knack of playing with exclaimers the way Tom Wolfe does, you can throw them in by the handful.” — Elmore Leonard

What’s your writing tip?

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

This week’s events for me are:

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My regular monthly writers meeting is on Tuesday evening. It is always different as we never know how many members and visitors will attend – new faces arrive all the time. After introductions we announce future events and encourage submissions for our newsletter, the Canada 150 book project we have scheduled this year and use of prompts on our website calendar. http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com

I organize a prompt exercise to start the evening or on request plan a presentation on a particular subject regarding writing. Then we share and discuss current work in progress. Our mandate is constructive critique and acceptance of everyone’s individual style.

The second event is an open mic at a local cafe, Common Ground Cafe hosted by our current Writer in Residence. As I missed the last reading due to ill health I hope to attend.

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8th March – 7 pm to 8.30 pm – all welcome whether reading or listening!

Other events:  

Growing Room: A Feminist Literary Festival is a celebration of diverse Canadian writers and artists presented by Room magazine.
The festival runs March 8th – 12th, 2017 at various locations in Vancouver, BC.

The festival features 50 writers and artists in more than 20 events over 4 days. Among the line-up are acclaimed writers Amber Dawn, Evelyn Lau, Lorna Crozier, Audrey Thomas, Jen Sookfong Lee, Hiromi Goto, Betsy Warland, and Rachel Hartman, who’ll share the stage with a host of other established and up-and-coming names.

Why not share your events too?

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

My current flu has made concentration rather difficult so my creativity has suffered this past week.I think it is struggling against a ‘fuzzy’ head that has made creation arduous.

What illness / situation has made your creativity stall?

However, I was able to begin beta-reading two manuscripts for author friends, one is a thriller and the other a memoir. Both are intriguing in their own way. I am reading each one at separate times of the day so that I am ‘clear’ of one story line before reading the next one. I have shared a list of tips on beta-reading for those of you interested.

Books:

I continue to enjoy Beyond the Precipice by Eva Blaskovic. The writing is creative and the interwoven music elements make the story unique.With my other reading projects it is nice to let the story embrace me and lead me forward.

beyond-the-precipice

Do you tend to read one book at a time or many?

Do you lean towards fiction or factual?

I still have this novella on my pile too:

the-outcasts

https://www.amazon.com/Outcasts-Maddison-Lily-Fox-Andrews/dp/1908128720

Writing Tip:

beta

If you are unsure of how to beta-read try these steps – I found them at http://jamigold.com/2014/08/introducing-the-beta-reading-worksheet/

Opening Scene:

Does the story begin with an interesting hook, creating a desire to read more?
Does the manuscript begin in the right place?

Characterization & Motivation:

Are the characters compelling, sympathetic, or someone you can root for?
Do the characters feel real and three-dimensional, with distinct voices, flaws, and virtues?
Are their goals clear and proactive enough to influence the plot (not passive)?
Do their motivations seem believable, with well-drawn and appropriate emotion?
Are the secondary characters well-rounded and enhance the story rather than overwhelming the story or seeming like they should be cut?
Are the relationships between the characters believable and not contrived?

Plot & Conflict:

Are the internal and external conflicts well defined for each main character?
Are the internal and external conflicts organic and believable, i.e. arising out of characterization and circumstance rather than feeling contrived or forced?
Are there enough stakes and/or tension throughout to make it a “page turner”?
Does the premise avoid cliché and/or bring a fresh perspective to an old idea?
Are the plot twists believable yet unexpected?
Do the characters act or react to events in a plausible, realistic, or believable way?

Pacing:
Do scenes progress in a realistic, compelling manner and flow with effective transitions?
Does every scene add to and seem important to the story?
Does the story move along at an appropriate pace, without rushing or dragging?
Is there a hook at the end of each chapter or scene that makes you want to read more?
Is the story free from information dumps or backstory that slow the pace of the story?

Setting & Worldbuilding:
Are descriptions vivid and give a clear sense of time and place?
Do the details enhance rather than distract from the story?

Dialogue:
Is the dialogue natural and appropriate for the story, not stilted or overly narrative?
Does dialogue move the story forward and reveal the characters?
Are characters’ voices consistent and distinct from one another?
Is there an appropriate mix of dialogue and narrative?

Craft:
Does the writing “show” the scene with the senses, using “telling” only as appropriate?
Does the writing quality allow the story to shine through and draw the reader in, or are flaws jarring or intrusive?
Is the tone appropriate and consistent for the story?
Is the point of view (and any changes) handled appropriately and consistently?

Overall Impression:
Is the voice unique, fresh, or interesting?
Does the story deliver on the promise of its premise and opening scenes?
From a reader’s point of view, did you enjoy reading this story?

Additional Questions for Comment:
Are there any confusing sections that should be made clearer? (Mark in the manuscript)
Do any sections take you out of the story? (Mark in the manuscript)
Is the story a good fit for the stated genre, and if not, why not?
Who are your favorite—and least favorite—characters and why?
What aspects are especially likable or unlikable about the protagonist(s)?
What three things worked best for you?
What three things worked least for you?

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

There are no writing events on my calendar for this week sadly, so it will be plunging into freelance work and beta-reading instead.The ghost writing project is developing nicely and I also have a thriller manuscript and a memoir to read. Both authors are friends and members of my writing circle, it is an honor to assist them.

Unfortunately, I did not make the reading on Saturday night -On the Keemooch – as I developed a nasty flu just days prior making talking almost impossible let alone reading an erotic segment from my novel, The Twesome Loop. I am so disappointed as I had reworked the piece quite a lot.

What writing/reading plans do you have this week?

writing

WGA Book Club Discussion + Wine/Beer Literary Pairings
With Samantha Warwick in acknowledgement of Freedom to Read Week
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Shelf Life Books, 1302 – 4th Street SW
Calgary, AB

 

Mission Writers and Readers Festival

http://www.lifetimelearningcentre.org/events-by-type/writers-and-readers-festival/10th-annual-mission-writers-readers-festival/

Date: Saturday, March 4, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 p.m.
Location: UFV Mission Campus, Heritage Park Centre
33700 Prentis Avenue, Mission BC V2V 7B1

Add your local writing or reading events below.

 

 

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

With an ‘extra’ day off work this week (Canadian Family Day), I managed to focus on my ghost writing project. A total of four hours spent mainly in a silent house resulted in an extensive review and a lot of added content. I am confident this second draft is more in line with my clients view and deals with all the factors she requires. The draft has been sent and I await a reply.

My other freelance writing project was completed on Saturday and my client now has everything she needs for the launch of her online lesson plans. It will be interesting to see the finished product.

Have you read something to a live audience which made you uncomfortable?

As I have my ‘erotic’ reading this Saturday I will be working on that for the rest of the week, and trying not to let nerves overtake me! It’s one thing writing but quite another reading it out loud to an audience.

Books:

Beyond the Precipice by Eva Blaskovic.

Although I am only several chapters into this book, I must mention the beautifully structured writing, the rounded characters and a sense of place it has given me.

beyond-the-precipice

An old school pal in England sent me her daughter’s novella to read and it is next on my TBR pile. The Outcasts by Maddie Andrews.

https://www.amazon.com/Outcasts-Maddison-Lily-Fox-Andrews/dp/1908128720

the-outcasts

My other reading commitment is a friends manuscript as a beta-reader.

What are reading at the moment?

Writing Tip:

writer-tips

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

We celebrate Family Day today (Canada), which although is a great day off work and the added bonus of being a Monday, it is also extra time to enjoy our families. As an immigrant my writing friends have become family as well as my nucleus family here in Alberta. Over the weekend I enjoyed extra time with my daughter and son with activities and a large roast dinner. I also met a writing friend for lunch, Kathie Sutherland she is a superb poet and a kind soul.

 

family-day-poster-canada

My only event this week is on Saturday, when I will read an erotic segment from my current work in progress, The Twesome Loop. Our current Writer in Residence persuaded me to attend so I have been revising and editing like a thing possessed. This will be the first time I have read such a piece to the public and I admit I am rather nervous about it. Without doubt I will go ‘beet red’ as I read, maybe I can find a fan to help?

On the Keemooch (“On the Sneak”) Celebrate Freedom to Read Week 2017 with provocative spoken word performances and poetry. Adults only. Wine will be served. Sat Feb 25 | 7:00 – 9:00 pm Strathcona County library

keemoch

Have you read something that made you uncomfortable?

How did you cope?

Audrey’s Books, Events, Edmonton

Rick Lauber “Caregiver’s Guide for Canadian’s – Thursday 11.00

rick-lauber-headshot-with-book

Robert Bhatia “Passage across the Mersey” – Thursday 19.00