Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Nature at Thanksgiving & DIY

October 13, 2020

I trust those who celebrate it enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving. Here in Alberta we enjoyed a chilly and windy long weekend but every day without the ‘white stuff’ is a good day. So no complaining here.

We decided to enjoy nature this weekend and travelled on Saturday to Miquelon Lake Provincial Park. We walked the trail to the beach and kept to ourselves as there were families hosting outside Thanksgiving get togethers! Then , as always, took various back roads to explore.

The first trail off the beaten track was a game bird sanctuary and we found evidence of a busy beaver!

We also visited Kingman the Lutefisk capital of Alberta. Not knowing what lutefisk was we looked it up. A lutefisk is a Swedish delicacy. It is a dried stockfish (normally cod or ling) that has been brined in lye, soaked to remove the resulting caustic solution, and then steamed until it flakes. The end result looks and feels gelatinous. Traditionally, it is served with warm cream or butter sauce and enjoyed with copious amounts of beer. Not sure I will be sampling it though.

I completed a project on Sunday, I have been meaning to do. Updating the bathroom cabinet. I am pleased with the soft green and new handles – gone are the drab wood doors.

Having enjoyed Miquelon Lake so much on Saturday, we returned to walk around the lake. A brisk 45 minute walk but so worth it. We encountered a squirrel who calmly sat watching us and the dogs and never ran off.

Then it was homeward bound and an unusual sight. A beaver lodger with its own satellite dish! I kid you not. I need to write a little story about this. Which channels do you think they watch?

Ambivalence, A Teenager’s Persona…

November 18, 2013

Ambivalent – definition: uncertain or unable to decide about what course to follow


Ambivalence is widely viewed as a teenagers persona. Their conversation is liberally interspersed with ‘I don’t care’, ‘I’m bored’, ‘you don’t understand anything’, and many more. The ‘sudden’ change in a child for many parents is puzzling  and frustrating. No matter what they say or do it is never ‘right’. The reason for the changes are due to new massive hormonal  messages flooding the teenager’s brain in conjunction with the normal and current needs and experiences it has to process. In essence their brain is being reshaped, and reconstructed giving rise to personality changes and emotional instability.

It is essential that teenagers are exposed to encouraging, supportive and sound advice in this period as their personality will be shaped into their adult persona during this time. Negativity in any form will result in devastating results, whether physically, mentally or emotionally. The teenager years are the most venerable and it is the reason they need more love and encouragement. Let them experience new hobbies, research spirituality and get involved in organizations but with supervision and guidance. Above all love them.

Have you experienced the ‘teenager’ period? Are you in the midst of it? 

Can you share tips on how to deal with a teenager?

For my own experience I encouraged new hobbies, sports and interests. Got to know their friends and hang outs. Ensured they understood I would collect them from anywhere at any time if they needed me to. Required a text so I knew they were safe and unharmed. And loved them fiercely. My son is now 21 years and a delight. My daughter is 17 and we are coping with her growing up with understanding and love.

When we write for this age group or create a character from it, we need to understand the workings of their minds. As with all research for novels, the more we understand the better our work will be.

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Learning a New Skill – E-book development…

July 20, 2012


I have jumped out of my comfort zone recently to learn a new skill, that of formatting for an e-book. It is quite different from the ‘norm’ of formatting a manuscript with chapters beginning on a new page, returns and tabs in abundance to get the look just right and those little personal quips to individualize the story. The e-book regime is extremely strict – no tabs or returns allowed as these ‘make’ an extra blank page , which would be very off putting, at the very least, to a reader. You can indent or make ‘block’ paragraphs but no clever dual indents or spacing. Each move must be performed using the header tools even centering your headings – so all in all a more precise method, which has had me concentrating like a new kid in school. The manuscript runs continually regardless of chapters so you are likely to see chapter headings at any point of a page – which is strange and somewhat difficult to adjust to. The download must have a title and copyright page at the start, a dedication can then be inserted and then it’s straight into the story. To end the story you insert three # and that’s it. The last thing to be inserted is your contact details.

I must acknowledge that this point that this is no DIY project – I have an expert friend guiding me and without her help I’m quite sure I would make a right dog’s breakfast of it. Thank you, Linda.

In a week or so I hope to have the text perfect but in the meantime I am working on a cover for my YA fiction fantasy – The Rython Kingdom. It has to be eye catching and reflect something of the story but most of all it has to make readers want to purchase it. A tall order by anyone’s standard but one I am willing to persevere through numerous designs until I find perfection.

Have you dived into e-books? Do you have any tips or tricks you are willing to share? What was the hardest part for you?

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