Mandy Eve-Barnett's Official Blog

Inspiration for Writers & Building A Community ©

Writing Prompt Contest – Window View…

May 28, 2016
mandyevebarnett


window view Shaw

Today’s photo is actually from the upper floor window of my old school – Shaw House in England. It is an Elizabethan manor and the Roundheads took a shot at King Charles I through this window. The hole in the wooden paneling has been preserved. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaw_House,_Berkshire

Give your imagination free reign and write a poem or short story (1000 words maximum) to reflect those facts or something entirely different.

Have fun.

After voting prizes will be awarded quarterly to the most voted response. Remember to post your response in the comments.

 

What’s Your Forte..?

July 10, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Forte – definition: 1) a special skill, an ability of special worth or utility; 2) the stronger part of a sword blade between the hilt and the foible

I believe we all have a special quality. One that should be shared. By sharing it we enhance/improve another person’s life. It may not be a mind blowing ability – but worth its weight in gold all the same to someone else. A listening ear, the ability to explain something simply or show compassion where others do not.

Within my writing group, there are several individuals who freely give their expertise. The reward? Knowing they have helped ‘solve’ a problem or enlightened another person to a process that had given them trouble. Seeing these individuals generosity encourages others to do the same. It is an awesome snowball effect.

What is your forte?

sickle

In regard to the other meaning of forte, I know details are key in most story writing. If our readers can ‘picture’ our characters or the scene, we have accomplished our goal. In Life in Slake Patch, I had to decide on what type of weapony was used. It is set several generations after a world war with devastating loss of life and destruction of ‘modern’ environments. Under matriarchal rule, arsenals of modern weapons were destroyed, leaving utilitarian objects as a resort. I needed to have something better than sickles and clubs so did enable knives to be used.

Have you manufactured weaponry in a story?

Famous Usurpers and A Close Encounter…

June 29, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Usurp – definition: to seize and hold a position, an office, or power by force, or without legal right

Most of us know the more famous usurpers, such as:

Napoleon Bonaparte

In the Coup d’état of 18 Brumaire, (9 November 1799) Napoleon overthrew the Constitution of the Year III and established his rule as First Consul, and five years later as Emperor.

William 1

When Edward the Confessor died Harold crowned himself Harold II so William then invaded England with his own army. William victored at the Battle of Hastings during which Harold II was killed. William then crowned himself King of England.

Louis Philippe

Louis Philippe took the throne in the aftermath of the July Revolution, which had resulted in the abdication of King Charles X in favor of his grandson, a young child.

I was fortunate to attend a school in England, where a battle between King Charles II and Oliver Cromwell actually took place. Our history room was a wooden paneled room.  A brass plaque on one side of the window protected a musket hole. It was thought the Roundheads tried to storm the house where the King was staying. If that doesn’t bring history to life, I don’t know what will.

shaw_house_wideThis is the school, Shaw House. As children we didn’t really appreciate the history of the building, apart from that musket hole! Luckily the building has been saved and is now a heritage site.

Just in case you would like to know more, here is a link : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Battle_of_Newbury

Interview with N.M. Pondus…

March 14, 2013
mandyevebarnett


May I introduce N.M. Pondus, who wishes to keep his anonymity with an icon instead of a photo. His work is influenced by mythology and the standards of those era’s, which links to today’s word quite nicely. Probity – definition: honesty, uprightness.

ceddb9e92657db25354791ba2eadbe2b_bigger

a)      Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why? I definitely like my main character, Diomedes, the best. He was the inspiration for all my stories so far. I’ve always been a mythology and folklore nut and loved the heroes from Homer’s Odyssey, but we only hear about a few of them. The more I read and did research, the more I kept coming back to Diomedes, Son of Tydeus and King of Argos during the Trojan War. Most people never get beyond Achilles, but much more humble and just as capable was Diomedes, who, according to the stories was far more feared on the battlefield than any other Greek in the war. In fact, he is the only human ever to have wounded, not one, but two Immortals in battle—including Ares. He was fearless, and more importantly, incredibly intelligent on the battlefield, and he was the best fighter out there. He was also honorable and loyal.

Diomedes and Athena attacking Ares

Diomedes and Athena attacking Ares (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His back story is awesome, too. At 15, he and a group of young men lead an army to restore the proper king to the throne of Thebes in the War of the Epigoni, the greatest war until Troy. They did what their fathers could not and it cemented his legacy. The coolest part of his story and the one that played best into the mythology of my stories is that he was so honorable in battle that Athena chose him as her champion at Troy and she granted him special abilities and powers to enable him to see and attack Immortals during battle. At the end of the war, Athena offered Diomedes immortality, but nothing is written much beyond some conflicting stories except he simply disappears over time. That was my cue: A human with the abilities to recognize non-human beings influencing and using humans for their own gains and strong enough to defend them. He’s also got a bit of me in him, too.

b)     Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one? No, I’m pretty much Urban Fantasy all the way. I love to read all kinds of stuff, but I still head there first when I look for something to read. I love the myths and tales, but I also find great inspiration from our modern, real world.

header_white c)      What do you enjoy most about writing? I love weaving a story and developing characters. I really like those times when I’m doing research and I find things that seem unrelated at first, but then figure out some way to tie them together. I seriously enjoy using mythological reasons to explain unexplained real world events. And developing characters allows you to live outside of yourself for a bit. It’s all fun.

d)     Have you got a favorite place to write? You know I still write on a desktop-based computer so I write in my “office.” It’s actually a spare bedroom with a desk in it. I will say that I use my iPad to do all kinds of research though, which I will do when and wherever an idea strikes me.

e)      Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer? The basic story line and framework is planned, but most of the details are seat of the pants. I know where I want to go, but not necessarily how I want to get there. Again, I do lots and lots of research on stuff, so I constantly get ideas that I want to incorporate and sometimes a perfect opportunity presents itself as I’m writing. It keeps me thinking.

f)       What inspires your stories? Partly my background and interests and partly pure imagination. Sometimes it’s more one than the other, but they all play a role. Originally, I was inspired by a crazy thought about creatures that could only be killed with specific weapons. Why wouldn’t a Barrett M107 firing Raufoss rounds not blow the living snot out of a vampire? It’d blow a hole through a cement wall at 1000 yards and still kill the guy on the other side of it. Simple physics would tell you that much energy would do some serious damage to anything, even if it didn’t kill it. Also, I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to myths and legends. I like things in their original forms, mostly because they were so much cooler. Now we change things to romanticize them or make them fit into a specific world, and we insist on using the same name for the creature. I’m sorry, but vampires just should not sparkle in the sunlight. I’m really big into accuracy and authenticity.

g)      What are you currently reading? A few books. I’m re-reading the Hobbit and I’ve been desperately trying to get through The Naked Edge by David Morrell. I’ve got a big list of books I want to read, but just haven’t yet though. I constantly re-read a lot of classics, too.

h)     Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories? I am an odd childhood story. My parents considered me the “good” one in the family. That’s odd enough. Other than my addiction to fly-fishing, I can’t think of any really bizarre stuff. I once threw up on our pizza at a Pizza Hut when I was little. In my defense, I was sick. I threw up on my younger brother, too. He slept below me in offset bunk beds.

i)        Do you have any pets? Always. Right now, I have a cat and a dog. The dog is a Shiba Inu named Typhon that thinks he’s a Cu Sith. The cat is named Nyx. See, lots of mythology there… and each aptly named.

Shiba Inu

j)       Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one? You know, I don’t. Writing to me is very private and painful at times and I choose to push through on my own. I have a small group of friends and family that support me and act as my Beta readers and I have an outstanding editor.k)     What age did you start writing stories/poems? Technically, not until my late 30s. I wrote academically for scientific journals for years through graduate school and then for magazines, but I never wrote fiction until recently. As a kid, I used to come up with all kinds of stories in my head though.

l)        Do you have a book published? If so what is it called & where can readers purchase it? Alas, not yet. I’m still in that search-for-a-publisher/agent phase, even though I’m just wrapping up my second story. You can still go to my website and read the first few chapters of the first book, Humanity’s Fist and see a description of the one I’m just finishing now, The Hanner Brid.

tumblr_mfyg8ewX6r1rk44vco1_250 m)   If you could meet one favorite author who would it be and why? I guess I would say Jim Butcher, author of Dresden Files series. His stories have been a major influence on me and he sounds much more fun and less uptight than so many other authors out there.

n)     If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be? Anywhere my wife is… but someplace warm, near water would be good, too.

o)      What’s your favorite movie of all time? Oh, holy mackerel… a toss up between The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Jaws, The Count of Monte Cristo (the newer one), and Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.

p)     Where can readers find you and your blog? My website is www.nmpondus.com and it has links to my blog on it, but it’s also at nmpondus.tumblr.com or on twitter at @nmpondus. https://twitter.com/NMPondus

q)     Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Of course! And even the one after that. I get so many ideas from so many weird places that I now keep track of them. It’ll stay in my same story line, with the same characters, just different problems and issues. The real world provides so much fodder for Urban Fantasy its almost unreal!

r)      Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager? Easy–my wife. I’d never have been able to do this if not for her support and encouragement.


http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/214247

Rumble's First ScareMy books are available at

http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/authors/mandy-eve-barnett

A monster story isn’t just for Halloween – you and your children are bound to love Rumble. Find him at the link to my publisher’s web site. For the adults there is my fantasy set in old England – full of magic, vengeance, mystery and sorcery.

Gift buying made easy. Who doesn’t love a good book curled up cozy on a winter’s night?

Blog at WordPress.com.