Category Archives: short story

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

I am moving home this week so will not be partaking in events for obvious reasons. Although, I am sad not to join in the Christmas story reading at Christmas in the Heartland this year, it has been wonderful the last several years I have attended. My writing group, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County resides at a historical house, Bremner House for the day. A day of arts and heritage activities, vintage tractors, aboriginal and Métis traditions, music and more. 1-4 pm 53452, Range Road 225 Sherwood Park.

CITH2017

Freehand Double Book Launch with Alison Watt and Daniel Griffin

2 roads

27 November  19:00 – 21:00 Audreys Books Ltd.

10702 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3J5
bip

3-2-1 Indie Slam Qualifier and Open Mic

28 November at 19:00–21:00 

The Nook Cafe

10153 97street, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 0L4

The Power of Social Media

trio

2 December 13:30 – 15:00

Join Kathleen Smith, Paula Simons and Marty Chan on Saturday, Dec. 2 for a discussion around the Power of Social Media. The trio will discuss how they’ve managed tough situations and issues using social media, and if the social sphere helps or hurts in these situations.

What events do you have on your calendar?

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

As many of you know I love prompts, as they inspire and refresh the Muse. At my last writing meeting our prompt was: you find a box underneath your seat on a train. This was my response.

Box of Resource

My ankle struck a sharp edge and I let out a cry. Rubbing my bruised skin I noticed the brass hinge of a box wedged underneath the train carriage seat. After a couple of tugs to free the object, it was revealed as an old wooden box with elaborate brass hinges and decoration on all sides as well as the top. It was a woodland scene with an inset of silver representing the moon through an arch of gnarly trees. I tried the clasp but it was locked. I looked under the seat again hoping to find a key but only found a discarded piece of chewing gum and several wrappers sticky with candy.

I place the box on the tabletop and turned it this way and that admiring the workmanship. When I lifted it and shook it there was a gentle knocking sound. Something heavy was inside, but what? The guard came walking towards me and asked for my ticket, I produced it and he clipped a hole into it.

“That’s a beautiful box; a lot of work went into that I’m sure.”

“Yes it is lovely isn’t it?”

Once he left I wondered why I hadn’t revealed that the box was not actually mine. Pushing the box to one side I organized my space, backpack beside me, a novel on the table with a bottle of juice and a sandwich. Traveling at night is much more relaxed and not so crowded.

I read for a while and must have dozed off because a gentle shaking of my shoulder woke me.

“You have the box.”

I looked at the man confused at his words as my sleepy mind tried to become fully awake.

“I’m sorry, what?”

“The box of resource, there in front of you, I was not expecting a messenger.”

The man’s words did not make sense but he smiled kindly at me. He lifted the box and put it into a large canvas bag. As he turned away I asked

“What is the box of resource? I found it underneath this seat. I’m not a messenger.”

“Ah, I see that explains your confusion. It contains an ancient scroll that must be returned to the Vatican. It holds the…well I must not delay you.”

He looked up alarmed, turned and exited the train at a run along the platform. I so wanted to follow him but by the time I had packed my backpack he was nowhere in sight. My only clue -he was going to the Vatican. Well Rome is the city I will be living in for the next four years so maybe I will find him again and he will tell me what the box contains.

Why not write a short story using this prompt and share in the comments?

Books: I am enjoying this narrative as it is set in two time periods, like my novel, The Twesome Loop. The characters are well rounded and the ‘discoveries’ are intriguing.

A Desperate Fortune

Writing Tips:

Break writing rules with intention.

As Pablo Picasso so wisely said, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break the rules like an artist.”

There are times to stick to the rules, and there’s those times to think beyond them … in any kind of writing.

What ‘rules’ have you broken?

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

With a few hours in my local library last night I delved into my current YA story. Set on another planet four friends go on an adventure chasing an intruder and discovering a secret plot in the process. I added 1238 words, which is quite good for a couple of hours uninterrupted writing time. The ‘secret plot’ just came to me as I was writing the narrative. I just love when my Muse takes over and steers me in new directions.

Have you experienced this ‘twist’ on your writing? What changes did it bring about to the final narrative?

The reminder of my evening was spent with a select few at the writing meeting, where we shared our responses to a prompt, discussed publishing smaller stories and the upcoming events. The main two being an author reading on 26th August and Words in the Park on 30th September.

What are your writing plans for this weekend?

Books:

I am enjoying this story cast over a couple of time periods and the countryside of England and Italy. The characters interactions and their possible connections are tantalizingly vague ensuring I turn the page.

The Mermaid Garden

What are you reading at the moment? Care to share your thoughts of review?

I think my next book will be this one – written by a local Edmonton author.

Mind of the Phoenix

Writing tips:

Pay attention to punctuation, especially to the correct use of commas and periods. These two punctuation marks regulate the flow of your thoughts, and they can make your text confusing even if the words are clear.

Don’t sit down in the middle of the woods. If you’re lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page. Margaret Atwood

Description is hard. Remember that all description is an opinion about the world. Find a place to stand. Anne Enright

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


Shock up shock I have no events this week – wow that doesn’t happen often. Now what to do with all this ‘free’ time? Well writing of course. I will meet up with an author friend later in the week and probably ‘escape’ to the library one night for uninterrupted writing too.

How does your week look? I have a dog staying until Tuesday so it is nice to walk in the cool of early morning and later night.

I wrote this about my dog a few years ago.

Just Walking the Dog!

The air smells wonderful after the rain, all fresh and clean. The vetch and clover’s scent float like gossamer in the breeze. Drops of water glisten on leaves and grass, leaving wet patches on my feet and legs. The cool is so refreshing after the baking heat of the morning, when I had helped my husband do his lumberjack impression. Hauling branches and logs into the truck, so they can be piled up in the far side of the acreage.

This peaceful walk brings me respite and time to relax without the demands of house, husband and children.

The trials are damp underfoot, the sun dapples through the high branches, gradually making the air more humid as I walk. I watch dancing butterflies of orange and yellow and damsel flies of crimson, burnt orange and emerald green flitting quickly side to side. In front of me the sudden flash of black and white signals the flight of crickets in wave after wave throughout the long grass. As the grass brushes my jeans it leaves little tears of moisture dampening the fabric.

I find a new trail to explore, the earth is wetter here we leave our mark in the sticky mud: paws and shoes. The trial peters out emerging onto a huge earth mound, made by excavators. Looking around for a familiar landmark all I see is the main road I took to get to this off leash area. With no obvious exit, we retrace our steps back to a clearing and find another trial through the birch trees, which eventually brings us back to familiar territory.

Passing the time of day with other walkers, we watch our dog’s engage in the sniffing routine and then part again. Once back to the car park, it’s a bowl of water for my dog and a sip from a bottle for me. I really enjoy this place it gives me time to relax and enjoy the wildlife. One early morning we came across a deer and then a coyote ran across the meadow, quickly chased by my dog until I recall her, just in case there is a pack within the far wood – another story for another time.

Story Slam

Location: The Mercury Room, 10575 114 Street, Edmonton
Event Cost: suggested donation $5 at the door
Contact: Alison Hagan
http://www.edmontonstoryslam.com/
http://www.edmontonstoryslam.com

Story Slam is every third Wed of the month, every month
Competitive story telling event with no censorship. Up to 10 people have 5 minutes to tell a story. 5 random judges are in the audience. Winner takes home the donation hat and total glory.

OPPORTUNITY ALERTS

The Golden Quill Awards. The theme is “Liberation.” $500 first prize. Short fiction, poetry and personal essay categories. Up to 1500 words for prose, 40 lines for poetry. Entry fee $15. Deadline September 15, 2017. 

University of New Orleans Press Lab Prize. A prize of $1,000 and publication of your book-length manuscript by UNO Press for a short story collection or a novel. The selected manuscript will be promoted by The Publishing Laboratory at the University of New Orleans, an institute that seeks to bring innovative publicity and broad distribution to first-time authors $18 entry fee. Deadline August 15.

Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards.  Write Romance, Thriller, Crime, Horror, Science-Fiction, and Young Adult? Short fiction: 4,000 words or less. $20 fee. Grand prize $2500. Deadline October 16th, 2017

What local events do you have coming up?

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

This week I have been editing submissions for my writing group’s Canada 150 book project. All the stories are Canadian themed in one way or another and it has been most enjoyable reading them. I even managed to write one more submission of my own, regarding my first visit to Canada back in 1981. Yep that long ago! At the time I had no idea I would be living here.

My editor and publisher has read my manuscript submission, The Twesome Loop and commented: Yup, it was pretty steamy 😮 – at least a good reaction. I am still working on the cover with my illustrator and final pages.

My freelance client has several important events to attend so has not, as yet, come back to me with the answers I require to continue. I’m hoping it will not take too long as we are edging closer to the deadline date.

I am escaping for several days next week, which will give me plenty of time to immerse myself in two manuscripts – Bubble the Gruggle now over 9000 words. I have sent this text to my other illustrator to give him an idea of the story so far. And I can return to The Giving Thief to enhance the narrative.

canadadaysouthhuron

What are your writing plans for the weekend?

If you are Canadian it is a long weekend for Canada Day 1st July, an extra special celebration for the Canada 150 – so even more time to write.

Books:

Merryweather Lodge by Pauline Holyoak.

I’m enjoying this story as it is set near my old home in England. I spent many a childhood visit at Stonehenge chasing my siblings up, over and the stones. Alas no more, it is all fenced off.

merryweather

TBR pile: It will be difficult choosing which one to read first. Both were birthday gifts.

Writing Tips:

Try not to edit while you’re creating your first draft. Creating and editing are two separate processes using different sides of the brain, and if you try doing both at once you’ll lose. Make a deal with your internal editor that it will get the chance to rip your piece to shreds; it will just need to wait some time.

I am sharing an old blog post on editing, which I hope you will find useful: https://mandyevebarnett.com/2013/01/06/a-necessary-chore-editing/