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Abashed at First…

August 27, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Abashed – definition: ashamed or embarrassed

abashed

Does this describe your experience when you first shared your words? I have a clear memory of reading my very first piece to my writers circle just over four years ago. My hands were clammy and shaking and I was the color of beetroot, as a flush of nervousness took over. Prior to reading this piece I had attended a couple of meetings and just listened to everyone else. The more I thought about reading the more anxious I became but knew I would not grow as a writer if I kept my writing a secret.

To that end I used an online writing prompt – write a five minute piece using – fire, clock, certainty. This was the result.

Fire light flickered on the walls and ceiling as Joan sat with a glass of her favorite red wine. Watching the flames lick the logs and send little sprays of ash and sparks upward, she tried to calm her mind. It was a certainty that Thomas would be angry with her once he knew of her accident. The clock ticked as its hands made their gradual path towards 9 o’clock and the inevitable argument.

Joan had tried to cover up the dented fender with a casually placed cloth but Thomas would immediately know something was wrong as she had parked in his place in the garage. Such a creature of habit, her husband he had rules and very particular likes and dislikes. His routine had to be strictly adhered to or there was hell to pay. She knew he would go over the top with his recriminations and probably ban her from driving for months.
The clock struck nine and she heard the garage door open as Thomas drove up to it. Straining her ears she heard his car drive forward and then shriek to a halt. His place was taken up by her car now he would be mad. A slam of the driver’s door told her he was walking through to the kitchen and she could feel his presence enter the lounge.
She squeezed the trigger slowly as the instructor had told her and Thomas’ face flew apart. No more shouting, no more rules, no more living in fear. Watching Thomas’ foot twitch as the life left him gave her a rare feeling of joy. No more tormentor.
 
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Once I had struggled through reading it, I kept my head down waiting for a response – I’m glad to say everyone was shocked by the ending but also congratulated me on a great piece. From that moment on I was catapulted into the writing life.
 
Care to share an embarrassing moment with us? It can be writing related or not. Did the outcome have a positive affect?
 
If we are to promote ourselves and our words, reading them to an audience is something we all have to face at one point or another. Being able to practice with friends makes the transition slightly easier, I feel.
 
What was your first public reading like?

Hard Work Pays Off…

April 28, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Inkling – definition: a vague notion : hint.

Conference 2013 LOGO_0 Conference Review.

Yesterday was the culmination of six months of organization and hard work. From an inkling of an idea, we changed the format of our writers conference entirely this year. Holding a two hour session in the morning, followed by a Q&A panel and then two separate presentations in the afternoon.

With a change in venue, we were able to set up a classroom style presentation room, which was conducive not only to the attendees but the presenters as well.

We were once again fortunate in our presenters. Each one not only gave excellent orations but were insightful in the Q&A panel utilizing registrants work as the basis of discussion, after critiquing the submissions. Yes we work them hard! But we are extremely grateful.

IPPY award winning Toronto author, Lisa de Nikolits flew in especially for our conference – quite a coo wouldn’t you say? Lisa is an absolute delight and a good friend of mine. Her presentation was 8 Components of Story Writing and it was incredibly helpful to established and novice writers. With only a short coffee break at midway, Lisa managed to enthuse her audience for the whole two hours.

The session after lunch was held by Judy Schultz, who is a nationally renowned travel and food writer, the author of ten books, and the winner of numerous awards including the Robert Kroetsch Book Prize for her fiction novel, Freddy’s War. She is also a very charming, generous woman and has graced our conference before. Judy’s presentation was Non-Fiction – 8 Guidelines, which was not only helpful for non-fiction but also fiction writers. Techniques of writing are interchangeable through any genre or style.

Our third and last session was held by Natasha Deen, who is currently our Writer in Residence. Natasha is hilariously funny and had the room in fits of laughter while giving great information on 8 Steps to Utilize Your WIR. I know that many of the attendees will be submitting work to Natasha, me included.

The Q&A panel included the presenters above as well as Karen Probert, who is a founding member of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County and the author of Fragments of Lives. Karen continues to be a vital member of the Foundation as the Past President and the Library Liaison. Her insight into the writing craft is splendid.

Registrants and volunteers also enjoyed a wonderful lunch, browsed trade tables and bid on Silent Auction items. There were also displays celebrating the Writers Foundation’s timeline and another highlighting the members past and present. These exhibits were part of the Strathcona County 120 year anniversary celebrations.

With another successful conference under our belts we can breath a sigh of relief…for a short while anyway!

Thank you to everyone that attended and made it such an inspiring and enjoyable day.

Sunday Snippets – 14 April 2013…

April 14, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Today I am sharing a scene from my speculative fiction novel, Life in Slake Patch. Young men of the resistant group, known as the Tribe have been captured and secured in a grain store.

LifeinSlakePatch 001sunday_snippets2

Woken by sudden shouting, horse’s hooves and cries of help, I knew something was terribly wrong. Pulling on a pair of britches quickly, I raced out of the long house to see huge flames leaping into the early morning sky. The grain store was on fire and the young men were still locked inside. The heat hit me as I rushed toward the store. Men were lined up between the large water troughs and the burning building, passing buckets of water back and forth as quickly as they could.

Suddenly there was a deafening crash as the store roof collapsed. Screams pierced the air then all at once there was silence. Shocked faces were bathed in the gold of the flames, no one moved for several moments then hectically the bucket line restarted. It took over an hour before the flames were quenched sufficiently for the chard logs to be pulled away, exposing the blackened bodies of the seven members of the Tribe. One by one they are laid out then wrapped in hessian and taken by wagon to the spirit garden out to the east. Each wagon accompanied by the father of the young man within, riding on horseback with black cloths shrouding them, as was the custom.

The Tollst residents watched the procession leave in stunned silence. Death was usually through old age and occasionally an accident but this was an unprecedented event, something that would make its mark on everyone there that day. Merchant Folke stood at the gate and as we watched the last wagon past through he asked us all to say the death chant together.

Please enjoy everyone’s snippets – here is the list.

http://mermaidssinging.wordpress.com/

http://caitlinsternwrites.wordpress.com/

http://ileandrayoung.com

http://wyrmflight.wordpress.com/

http://www.mandyevebarnett.com

http://womanbitesdog.wordpress.com/

http://jennykellerford.wordpress.com

http://jennifermeaton.com/

http://richardleonard.wordpress.com

http://jordannaeast.com

http://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com

http://writerscrash.blogspot.ca/

http://joeowensblog.wordpress.com/

Today’s word for those who would like to know is Promontory – definition: a high point of land sticking out into the sea or over a lowland. I could have found a scene where Evan travelled to a similar place but chose not to. However, I am sharing a wonderful scenic view instead.

4336_il-karraba-promontory-with-ghajn-tuffieha-bay-in-the-foreground-and-gnejna-bay-in-the-background

No Snippets – 7th April…

April 7, 2013
mandyevebarnett


I will not be sharing a snippet today – I have an author interview instead with Paul W Papa. However please look up the other participants.

sunday_snippets2

Fellow Snippet Bloggers for you to visit:

http://mermaidssinging.wordpress.com/

http://caitlinsternwrites.wordpress.com/

http://ileandrayoung.com

http://wyrmflight.wordpress.com/

http://www.mandyevebarnett.com

http://womanbitesdog.wordpress.com/

http://jennykellerford.wordpress.com

http://jennifermeaton.com/

http://richardleonard.wordpress.com

http://jordannaeast.com

http://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com

http://writerscrash.blogspot.ca/

http://joeowensblog.wordpress.com/

Convoluted Trunk – A Writing Prompt…please submit.

April 4, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Convoluted – definition: folded or curved in twisted windings : having convolutions

Isn’t this stunning? What kind of force could make the trunk wind around like that? Was it a natural event or a man-made one?  It’s certainly a great writing prompt if nothing else. Why not create something and come back and share it?  I will do the same then we can comment on each others?  Let’s have some fun for ‘hump’ day…ready, steady…go!

All these likes are wonderful …but where are the submissions????

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My submission –

Contorted bark straining in its perverse shape.

Deep crevices like lesions encircle the trunk.

Small twigs snarled within the constriction.

Twisted trunk baring scars of its abnormal form.

Tangled knots elongated.

Thick roots warped in their searching.

Deformed yet beautiful.

A wonder in its misshapen form.

I would love to read your response.

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