Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – Random Words as Inspiration for a Short Story

January 6, 2022
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As writers, we find inspiration all around us, and incorporate sights, sounds, conversations, observations and more into our narratives. As many of you know, I enjoy using word and picture prompts to spark ideas. Some become a quick paragraph, others a short story and some a full blown novel. As host of my local writing group’s monthly meeting, I encourage the participants to engage their creative juices during the meeting in a ten minute prompt/writing exercise.

This was the case on Tuesday. The words were: puddle, tree, letter, steps, trail, ache. I am sharing my response here, but thought it interesting that the word puddle was the stimulus for me. A word association – puddle, rain, April showers. Hence this story.

April stamped her boot covered feet in the puddle. Murky brown water splashed in every direction bouncing off the stony trail and bordering grass. Little did her mother know when she named April that the name would be accepted by her adoptive parents.

The sealed letter with her birth mother’s arrived that morning, making April’s chest ache with longing and apprehension. As she stepped further into the park, she spied her tree. A special place, she would hide, when she felt uncomfortable or needed space from her step-siblings. Climbing to the thick horizontal branch, she made herself comfortable and took a deep breath.

Now was the moment, she would know her mother – well her birth mother anyway. She had so many questions. The envelope tore open and she pulled out several sheets of lined paper. The writing was cursive , but not difficult to read. This was the connection she had asked for – revealing words, memories and requests for forgiveness filled the lines. Tears ran down April’s cheeks. This letter changed her life.

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For example, a series of random picture prompts were the catalyst for my novella, The Rython Kingdom. Utilizing this method can refresh our Muse, or spark new ideas.

Do you use specific methods to inspire your writing? Care to share?

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – A New Year’s Reading Challenge

January 4, 2022
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I use the Goodreads annual reading challenge to track the books I read and review each year. Sometimes I hit the target, other times I exceed it. This year I began with a novella, To Rome, With Love by D.P. Rosano, which was a Christmas gift. I am now onto my next read The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker.

I have set my challenge for 20 books this year.

Do you set a target for your books?

What are you currently reading?

What was your favorite book of 2021?

I enjoyed If It Bleeds and Billy Summers both by Stephen King – as you all know I love his story telling expertise. These books were very different in genre, but both equally compelling. The other book that rates on my long list is The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick. It was a delightful tale of self discovery and mystery.

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Mandy Eve-Barnett’s Blog Schedule for 2022

December 30, 2021
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I am once again committing to a blog schedule for the upcoming year.

As last year’s topics and posting days proved to be popular, I am going to keep the same schedule for this year. There will be weekly posts divided between writing topics on Tuesday’s, when I will be delving into my writing (and reading) life.

The posting days will continue as Tuesday and Thursday of each week as follows:

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday

Stories behind my published books and also from works in progress.

First pages

Update on events I will be attending – if possible physically, if not virtually in 2022

Glimpses at my current writing project.

Sharing short stories or poem’s I have written from prompts or workshops.

Character Interviews

My book reviews

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday

Special Interviews with authors from Creative Edge

Writing Tips

Writing contests

Literary Birthdays

Author Interviews for Creative Edge Publicity

Also I am happy to host an author interview for anyone interested in doing so.

I welcome your suggestions for inclusion of a topic or a theme, so please comment below.

I will continue with my monthly newsletter, so please sign up when prompted. I hope we can develop a great relationship with this new venture – Sneek Peeks & Glimpses. Thank you in anticipation.

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Wishing everyone a wonderful, healthy and fiction filled Christmas and New Year.

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – My Book Reading Stats for 2021

December 28, 2021
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I love to set a reading challenge through Goodreads each year. Not only does it give me the opportunity to review every book I read, but also to track what I have read. You can see my 2021 list here:

It is always interesting to see the facts – pages read, books read and the average book length. This year that was 318 pages. This of course does not count the number of pages I read and re-read while writing my own!

Do you track your reading? What method do you use?

How many did you read in 2021?

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – A Holiday Book Themed Project and Writing Time

December 23, 2021
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I found a holiday project to do in the week between Christmas and New Year. A small model of a library (although the label says Sam’s Study). I, of course, opened it when it arrived with excitement, but this was short lived when I realized each component – shelves, cabinets, etc. – were not separated, but all mixed together! So my first job was to find the pieces for each item and put them together. The other ‘surprise’ was how fiddly this is going to be! Oh my goodness – frustration beckons, I do believe. Maybe it will not be the relaxing little craft project after all. Time will tell.

I have not planned a word count for the holiday’s, but will utilize some time to continuing writing the second book in my detective trilogy, The Tainted Search. I have over 50,000 words from NaNoWriMo already so another twenty or so is achievable without full time work getting in the way.

What are your writing plans for the holiday?

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