Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Is It Really Cold Outside – It’s All Relative…

November 14, 2014
mandyevebarnett


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No matter where you live low temperatures are unpleasant, however ‘low’ is relative. Low in a normally tropical location maybe a summer’s day heat in others or a dry cold can be ‘warmer’ than a ‘damp’ cold. I spent the majority of my life living in England – the green and pleasant land. However, the ‘green’ was derived from a great deal of rain. I was used to it and never took much notice of the overcast days – it was normal. When I came to live in Canada, however my first ‘surprise’ was the almost constant sunshine. I was not used to it but really loved it. Such a simple change impacted on how I saw the weather as a whole. Now we can have -30 (and yes its cold) but we also have bright blue sky and sunshine at the same time. So the perception is a glorious day until you step outside!

This is our current 10 day trend:

Nov weather

As the global weather patterns change more of us are experiencing unusual weather. This can be warmer winters, colder summers and everything in between. So how do we reflect this kind of change when we are writing a story set in a particular location, where the ‘normal’ view is tropical, arctic or temperate? Do we continue to use the stereo-type perceptions of the location or utilize other ‘clues’ to the region with flora and fauna, style of buildings and accents?

It is a ‘new’ problem for writers, for sure, but with creativity we can overcome.

Have you come across this particular problem in a recent narrative you are writing?

Quotes:

Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors, played by somebody I do not know.

John Keats

We welcome all enquiries about the UK climate after all, we have more weather available in this country than anywhere else.

Sir Sydney Samuelson

Prompt logo

Prompt

Set your scene in a preconceived location then change it up…

Today’s desk diary word…sparks a writing tip

January 2, 2013
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Cerulean (adjective) – si-roo-lee-in

Definition – a deep sky-blue colour.

Just saying this word conquers up lazy summer days, lying on the beach or a lush green lawn looking upward in that happy childlike innocence. Here in Alberta we are very fortunate to have cerulean skies a large part of the year, yes even when its -37 degrees!

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I remember waking up the first morning I had emigrated here and thinking ‘how cool a nice sunny blue skied day to welcome us’. Never imagining that I would wake up for the next eight days welcomed with the very same thing! Coming from England, which has cloud cover the majority of the time it was amazing.

The other thing I came to notice about the Albertan sky was how huge it was. Now I know that seems like a strange thing to say but it does seem to stretch forever upward and horizontally. My theory is that the land mass is so large and flat that there is no ‘interruption’ to your view. Even the clouds are different! Each has a ‘flat’ bottom instead of soft fluffy curves. Again this may be due to the prairie lands affecting them. In England we glimpsed the sky through dense trees and hills. A very different landscape where clouds were massive and covered vast areas of the sky.

As you can see from just one word a myriad of images and ideas can come to mind. Using such words enables a writer to create a sense of time and place for their readers, without having to describe them in minute detail. Too much description tends to ‘shut your reader off’ so your use of words is vitally important. Yes its that old adage ‘show not tell’, which raises its head time and time again.

NaNo Race…

November 24, 2012
mandyevebarnett


I’ve an even shorter time to finish my NaNoWriMo this year as I am flying off to Palm Springs to visit a good friend and fellow author, Suzanne Burkett,  on Wednesday 28th November. So I need to have my word count over the 50,000 before then. It is a race as always but just a smidge more stressful with two days less but I am determined to succeed.

An oasis in many ways.

My visit was booked way back in June so its been a long time coming. It will be a time for exploring, connecting and sharing and I’m sure inspiration will follow. Maybe a novel idea will spring up – LOL I know bad joke. Palm Springs has a very creative and artistic culture that I am excited to see for myself. Getting away from the Albertan cold will be a nice bonus too. Of course I have organised meals for the family in my absence and hopefully they will survive.

Do you ‘abandon’ your family for vacations or retreats ? What is or was your favorite one?

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