Category Archives: writing journey

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

I enjoyed continuing to write my newest #YA story, Bubble the Gruggle over the weekend. With an increased word count by 1494 – I am over 12K in total. The narrative has some way to go so I’m not sure if it will be a novella or longer. I will see where the story takes me. The narrative is set on another world, where a fierce intruder is discovered. It’s DNA is unlike that of the inhabitants, making it almost impossible to track it. My protagonist and her three friends decide to capture it in the hope their heroic deed will ensure their place on the security force, a prestigious assignment.

As I was dog sitting all weekend I enjoyed numerous walking breaks, which helped take out the ‘writers cramp’ and clear my head. My companion was more than happy to stay by my side while I wrote.

Cassie

I have made a decision on whom I am dedicating my newest novel, The Twesome Loop  (launch date 30th September) but have to keep it a secret so as not to spoil the surprise! The book club questions have been written and submitted to the publisher as well as an updated bio and author photo. So now I wait on the cover. The initial image is impressive.

With my ghost writing project on hold due to my client’s changed circumstances, I am free to accept new clients. Feel free to contact me at: https://tailoredthemedtosuit.wordpress.com/

The Long Walk by Stephen King- I only have a couple of chapters to go now on this incredible study of character under immense physical and emotional pressure. The interaction between the walkers and their environment is superbly done.

The Long Walk

I’ve decided this is my sequence for my TBR pile. (Subject to change of course!)

The Mermaid Garden

Mind of the Phoenix

11_22_63

A Desperate Fortune

What are you reading at the moment? What’s next?

Writing Tips:

57 senses

This is such a comprehensive list. Writing great characterization means using all the senses.

Did you realize how many there were?

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:

I am currently working on a dedication for The Twesome Loop and working with my cover artist on creating a cover. With it’s launch on 30th September at Words in the Park, I have to keep on track. Even with two tables booked for the event, I need to decide on how to organize all my books! A good problem to have I suppose – I may have to reduce the ‘extras’ for each book, such as props, hats & T-shirts for each. If I can find a tiered stand it might help with space and the display of five books. I need to have something that will catch everyone’s eye for the new book too.

 

Web site banner WitP 2017_0

Tonight I have a Board meeting at 6:30 pm so can take advantage of the two hours of free time between leaving work and the meeting to utilize my local library and write in peace and quiet. It may be a read through of Life in Slake Patch or writing more for Bubble the Gruggle – just depends on what I’m in the mood to do.

With my ghost writing project on hold due to my client’s changed circumstances, I am free to accept new clients. Feel free to contact me at: https://tailoredthemedtosuit.wordpress.com/

Books:

The Long Walk by Stephen King – As always I am completely captivated by the characters and their stories created by the Master.

The Long Walk

My TBR pile seems to have been growing exponentially recently – I now have the following titles. So my reading order requires some thought.

11_22_6311/22/63 by Stephen King

The Mermaid GardenThe Mermaid Garden by Santa Montefiore  

A Desperate FortuneA Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley

Mind of the Phoenix (The Memory Collector #1)Mind of the Phoenix (The Memory Collector #1) by Jamie McLachlan
What’s in your TBR pile?
 

Writing Tips:

Very

Do you keep writing tips handy when you are writing?

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


After a busy weekend, I am now into Board meeting week! Firstly, Tuesday will be with the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County meeting. We have our annual Words in the Park to plan and organize for 30th September, this will be our 10th year! So we are endeavoring to make it bigger than ever.

Web site banner WitP 2017_0

As part of the Canada 150 celebrations we are also publishing a book of Canadian themed stories. This project entails reading, editing and approving members submissions. The book will be launched at Words in the Park. We have already voted on a cover – to be revealed at the launch!

book project

My second, board meeting will be on Wednesday for the Arts & Culture Council of Strathcona County. We too will be organizing and planning our event, Culture Days in conjunction with our partners the Writers Foundation. The event is also part of Alberta Culture Days, which is celebrating 10 years. In all a busy time for everyone. We will have artisans and performers throughout the day.

Friday evening I will meet up with a writer friend for coffee/tea after work. It is one of my favorite things to do. Connect and discuss with other writers. Our venue is a local non-profit coffee shop, which incidentally stocks several books from my publisher, Dream Write Publishing.

What are you up to this week?

Other events:

From July 13-16, The Saskatchewan Festival of Words takes place in Moose Jaw, SK, featured authors including Marty Chan, Dawn Dumont, Marina Endicott, Anosh Irani, Jael Richardson, Alissa York, and more.

The Lakefield Literary Festival runs July 14-16 in Lakefield, ON, (near Peterborough), with a line-up including Zoe Whittall, Marni Jackson, Lynne Katsukake, Jane Urquhart, Kerry Clare, Douglas Gibson, Steven Price, Lindy Mechefske, and children’s events with Andrew Larsen and Kari-Lynn Winters. The program also includes Craft Talks for writers.

Add your upcoming events – no matter where you are located!

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


canadadaysouthhuron

This week began with Canada Day and the extra special Canada 150 celebrations on 1st July. My ‘new’ country is so young compared to my ‘old’ country, England. It is unique to see the excitement and pride my fellow Canadians take in their country.

road trip

I am away with my dear friend, Linda in Red Deer for the next three days, enjoying the scenery, wildlife, and relaxing in writing companionship. It has been sometime since we have been able to ‘escape’ and it is certainly appreciated by us both. 

I will miss our writing group’s monthly meeting on Tuesday but as it seldom happens I think I’m forgiven. Someone else can take the reins on my behalf.

Saturday will be my joint author signing with Eva Blaskovic at Audreys Bookstore in Edmonton. We are hoping to draw a crowd to buy books and ask us questions. Preparations have been made, a draw basket created and advertising blasted.

New and Improved Author Signing-page-0

On Sunday 9th July I will be once again attending an annual event for Strathcona County- Savor Strathcona. It celebrates the best independent food and art in our area. I will be doing double duty as Secretary of the Writers Foundation and President of the Arts & Culture Council, luckily the tables are together! 

Savor Strathcona

What are you up to this week?

Other events:

Hylke Speerstra, Meet & Greet

hylke

Hylke Speerstra will be presenting ‘The Comfort Bird’, his new book in English translation.

Monday at 11:00–14:00 at Dutch Delicious – 13232-118th Ave, Edmonton, Alberta T5L4N4

And Author Reading and Book Signing 4 July at 11:00–14:00 at The King’s University 9125 -50 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6B 2H3

Toys, Bikes and Books Swap
Hosted by Edmonton Chinatown Chinese Library – 9 July at 13:00–17:00 at 9540 – 102 Ave. Edmonton

china

Recycle Book Sale

book sale

8 July at 11:00–15:00
The Village at Pigeon Lake
6b Village Dr RR#2, Westerose T0C 2V0

HAPPY 150th CANADA


canadadaysouthhuron

I’m sharing my story of my first visit to Canada – this will be published in my writing group’s Canada 150 special anthology.book project

My First Taste of Canada by Mandy Eve-Barnett

My first visit to Canada was in the early eighties, a last big vacation before starting up my company, knowing vacations would be impossible for at least a few years while the company grew. I believed, at the time, that it would be a once in a lifetime trip.

                Arriving in Edmonton in late July invaded my senses with big city life. A country girl all my life with only occasional trips to London, UK for art galleries, museums and shows, the buzz of the city around me was hard to acclimatize to – the heat, noise, fumes, people and sirens – all assaulted my senses. Added to this was attending the unforeseen wedding ceremony and reception of a distant cousin. My mind became blurred at names and faces of people I had no real knowledge of before that day. Maybe a few too many glass of cheer didn’t help!

                The next day my Uncle and Aunt took me on a tour of the city sights, I marveled at the height of the buildings – glass and metal reflected the heat and I quickly became uncomfortable. Air conditioning, an unknown phenomenon until then, was soon my best friend. Large department stores all encased in cool aired malls saved me from heat exhaustion. Fashions, ornaments, accents and manners intrigued and delighted me. An evening meal at a nice restaurant satisfied, but a visit to a local club with a younger cousin was more enlightening than first expected. The club looked like many discos of the era and it took me a while to realize the absence of young men. Not knowing my cousin very well I was wary to ask the obvious question. All was revealed once we sat down and the lights dimmed. One after the other male strippers entertained the all female audience. With a room full of excited and tipsy women the doors opened to the young men who had queued outside waiting on nine o’clock. It was certainly an experience!

                My Uncle and Aunt owned a small RV and this was our mode of transport to Vancouver, their home town. Our route would take us through the Rocky Mountains and until I saw those magnificent structures I had no field of reference to their size and magnitude. Used to rolling hills and lush greenery these monoliths in dark steel grey, snow capped and craggy were awe inspiring. Mile upon mile of evergreen firs spread outwards in all directions, rising sharply to the base of the mountains and becoming sparse on the rocky outcrops. Taking it all in was mind blowing; my head turned this way and that at speed trying not to miss a single view, a glimpse of a wild animal or roaring river.

After several hours we took a rest stop in what seemed to me an isolated cabin restaurant overlooking a lake. The food was good, the ability to walk and stretch even more welcome. Just as we were leaving a thundering sound filled the air and the owner of the establishment urged us outside. Fearing something awful was about to happen I stayed close to my Uncle. We stood in awe as an avalanche crashed its way down the mountainside on the far side of the lake. The sound echoed around us, the ground beneath our feet shivered, and our chests felt the shock wave of air as it rushed past. In that moment I understood the absolute power of nature, trees snapped like twigs, huge boulders rolled and were consumed and the landslide of snow and ice crashed into the lake water making a tidal wave. Nothing could stop that power, that motion.

                When the last of the avalanche snow slid downwards, we returned into the restaurant by kind invitation of the owner to celebrate with a glass of champagne. He admitted in the fifteen years he had owned the restaurant it was the first avalanche he had seen. We were there no more than an hour and a half and witnessed such a spectacular event. I will always remember the sight and sound of that avalanche it has stayed with me for decades.

                Our onward journey was not without more adventure however. The temperature dropped quite significantly as we drove further into the Rocky Mountain range and I huddled under a blanket, peering out at the scenery that changed dramatically as the sky became overcast. Snowflakes began to fall much to my surprise but not to my Uncle and Aunt, who assured me it was common in the higher altitudes. The snow fell heavier and the mountains disappeared under a white curtain. Our reduced speed and burgeoned windshield wipers made me anxious but my Aunt comforted me saying my Uncle had driven in such conditions before. Then there was a sputter, a sudden decrease in speed and then all was quiet. The engine died and I saw my relative’s shoulders tense. Now what? Unfurling a map my Uncle plotted his route and estimated our location.

“There is a hotel around the next bend, if I’m correct on our position. We will make it that far.”

   Easing the RV along slowly he inched our way toward the hoped for hotel. At the bend we saw a grey shape materialize and formed into a hotel. Spluttering to the front of the building the RV stalled as if to say my work is done. There were only a couple of vehicles outside the hotel so my Uncle went in to investigate. On his return he advised us the hotel staff were working on a grand opening after a refurbishment and that they were not actually open yet. However, understanding our predicament they made up a couple of rooms for us and one young man helped fix the RV the following morning, allowing us to continue to Vancouver. A place I really loved mainly due to the ocean view and salty air so like home for me.

Canada is now my home and I have come to know a small part of it through incredible road trips with my dear friend, Linda. I will never ‘see’ all of Canada – the continent is just too vast but my experiences and friendships have given me some knowledge of Canada and it’s inhabitants.

Happy Birthday Canada

 

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Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

After a wonderful birthday on Sunday, I am feeling thoroughly spoilt, loved and happy. It was such a relaxing day with my ‘kids’ – real one-on-one time with each of them.

This week I will be preparing for an author reading on Saturday. There will be local authors with some Writers Foundation members and Dream Write Publishing authors. I’m looking forward to reading from my newest manuscript, The Twesome Loop. (Official launch of the novel will be 30th September).

The best part of an author reading is the reaction to your words from the audience and the questions they ask.

summer author reading

As I was looking through my notes I found a past blog post which echoed this event. The tips for an author reading are still relevant.

https://mandyevebarnett.com/2016/07/25/summer-author-reading-9-tips-to-prepare-and-read/

How do you prepare for an author reading?

What part of a reading do you enjoy most?

Other events:

Merry

The Freewill Shakespeare Festival
The Merry Wives of Windsor & The Merchant of Venice
June 20 – July 16, 2017
Heritage Amphitheatre, Hawrelak Park

Link: http://freewillshakespeare.com/

Peakbagger’s Guidebook Signing

20 June – 19:00

 10702 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3J5

Edmonton Story Slam June edition

20 June – 19:00–21:30
  • Mercury Room Yeg

    10575-114 st NW, Edmonton, Alberta T5H 3J6

    Open Mic Featuring 2016 National Slam Champ Eitan

    20 June –   19:00–21:00

    Massawa Café & Bistro
    10153 – 97 Street NW, Edmonton, Alberta T5H

    Why not share your local events too?

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

I enjoyed the fellowship of writing friends at a special supper for a member who moved to Newfoundland but continues to be a ‘virtual’ member. We talked up a storm, enjoyed a delicious meal and then attended the monthly writers meeting. It was a packed house! Sharing words, enjoying the fellowship and receiving great feedback. Our group always amazes me how supportive of each other they are. No matter what style, stage of writing or genre, we learn from each other.

IMG_3343[1]

What benefits have you found from your writing group?

My personal writing has stalled due to the major event on Sunday 11th June requiring a lot of attention. After many months of organizing it has become a day full of artisans, cultural groups, musicians, food delights and so much more.

However, once it is done I can plunge back into The Giving Thief revisions. I did managed to submit The Twesome Loop to my publisher so at least I have achieved one of my many goals.

Books:

Evidence of Life by Barbara Taylor Sisselwell written and has me turning the pages.

Evidence of Life

Writing Tips:

Start a blog. Use it to talk about your own writing process, share your ideas and experiences, or publish your work to a reading audience.
Subscribe to writing blogs on the Internet. Read them, participate, learn, share, and enjoy!

I have found my blog has not only covered multiple topics but has also allowed me to connect with writers from all around the globe.

Right click on a word to use the thesaurus. Do it again on the new word and make the best use of your vocabulary.

Author Book Signing – 8th July 2017…


I’m too excited to wait so I’m posting this event now! My fellow author pal, Eva Blaskovic and I are having a joint book signing on 8th July at Audrey’s Books, Jasper Avenue, Edmonton 12:00 – 1:00 pm. Everyone is welcome!

Come and see our new and improved novels, get your book signed and ask us questions on the stories or our writing process.

New and Improved Author Signing-page-0

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

Writing took a backseat this weekend as I helped my daughter move into her new apartment – exhausting but fun, emotional but proud as any mother would be. It is a big step for her and me and now I have an empty nest. There will be a transition and adjustment in the months to come.

My next ‘writing’ event is tomorrow evening when I will be attending at 7 pm-First Five Pages & Avoiding a Saggy Middle in your Novel – this is hosted by Jennifer Snow (http://www.jennifersnowauthor.com/writer-in-residence) who is resident writer in a local bookstore, Audrey’s in Edmonton. I’m looking forward to the evening and learning new concepts.

Other events:

Wishless_shelfLifePoster01

Wishless: A Graphic Anthology

May 30 @ 7:00 pm9:00 pm
Shelf Life Books,

1302-4th Street SW, Calgary, Alberta Canada

http://shelflifebooks.ca/event/wishless-a-graphic-anthology/

Film-with-Shane-May-31-Shelf-life-poster-final-194x300

Thinking in Pictures – Shane Book & Michal Lavi

May 31 @ 7:00 am9:00 pm
Shelf Life Books,

1302-4th Street SW, Calgary, Alberta Canada
 

high level

HIGH LEVEL LIT: SALON SERIES #2
MAY 31, 2017 AT 6PM
MERCURY ROOM (10575 114 St. Edmonton)

In collaboration with Eighteen Bridges Magazine and LitFest Alberta, Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF) presents a Salon Series to highlight the contributors of High Level Lit: Musings on YEG for Canada’s Sesquicentennial.

We’ve chosen 12 writers with a connection to Edmonton to reflect on our city in light of Canada’s 150th and will be featuring these literary heavyweights throughout the year in the High Level Lit Salon Series. In Salon #2, audiences will hear from former Poet Laureate Anna Marie Sewell, LGBT historian and playwright Darrin Hagen, and culinary-culture maven Jennifer Cockrall-King. Hosted by Minister Faust, this is sure to be one of Edmonton’s literary highlights of the year!

This High Level Lit Salon is FREE to attend, but seating is limited and guests must RSVP via Eventbrite here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/high-level-lit-salon-2-tickets…

Seating will be provided on a first-come basis. Doors open at 5PM, presentations begin at 6PM. Following the presentation, guests are invited to stay for hors d’ouvres and mingling with folks from ECF, LitFest, and the YEG literati!

In October the collection of essays and poetry will be printed as a special anthology in Eighteen Bridges Magazine and launched during LitFest, Canada’s only non-fiction literary festival. Stay tuned for more information on the High Level Lit Series salons throughout 2017.

Please feel free to share your local events in the comments – promotion is always a good thing!