Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – Weather Affects Our Writing

July 9, 2020
mandyevebarnett


July has been a wet month so far here in Alberta. Walking my little rescue pup, has left us often soaked, but when we do manage to escape a thunder storm and finally catch a break in the clouds, we enjoy the sunshine to the fullest. Sammie is an enjoyable addition to my life – my step count have gone through the roof! Another good point in our writing life – bum off seat for exercise.

BBQ SAMMIE

The weather can affect our writing too. Sunny days draw us out into the warmth away from our usual writing spot. A patio or deck, balcony or beach or mountain retreat become our new inspiring spot. Cold weather has the opposite effect – cozy in front of a fire, huddled in blankets and fluffy socks. Whatever the weather, our writing changes ever so subtly. We may not even realize it.

Do you write more in the colder months or does creating outside in the sunshine increase your word count?

beach3

Do your character’s situations reflect how you feel? Frustrated not to be outside in the warmth? Or happy not to have to trek through snow drifts?

Are your characters experiencing your weather or climate? Does it change how you write the scene? Or does it inspire you to accelerate their situation to extremes of weather?

With the effects of COVID19 across the world, we have either found writing to be an escape or a block on it. Maybe, we cannot find the inspiration for a narrative but our journal writing has increased. A record of our experience for future reference.

sofa

Have you written a scene a certain way because of the weather you were experiencing at that time?  There are ways weather can be used in a narrative. It can give a mood or be symbolic, or even complicate the character’s situation.

I have currently returned to a manuscript, where the main protagonist escapes into the wild and the current storms helped set the mood. I could feel the intense foreboding, the expectation, the fear of the next thunderclap.

What weather inspired writing have you experienced in 2020 so far?

An English Woman in a Canadian Winter

October 10, 2019
mandyevebarnett


car in winter

When we first came to Canada it was a trial run over Christmas – not the time you would think is best to get an idea of the country. However, we were thinking of moving to Alberta, where the winter’s are harsh and temperatures drop to ridiculous lows -40 at times. Yes you read that right!

So why come in winter? Because we thought if we came in the most harrowing season and liked it then the rest of the year would be a breeze. Little did we know. The decision was made and we immigrated – there were many obstacles to overcome, too many to go through here that’s for sure – but we arrived in September 2007.

My first morning the sun was shining, the leaves were golden and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. If you have ever been to England we always have clouds. Then the next day it was the same, and the next. It was unusual to me but also pleasing. By the beginning of October we saw our first snow and it was a novelty. Big piles of snow (at that time) were rare in England so we took advantage of all the winter themed activities available. It was fun but as the years passed and the snow came early and stayed, the novelty soon wore off. Vacationing in a winter wonderland is very different to living in one – that was our lesson learned.

There are so few green trees during the greyness of winter and that is what I miss the most. The green lushness year round of England. Albertan seasons are not like ‘home’ – spring is almost an overnight experience – a faint green flush one morning and then the grey sticks of winter suddenly become vibrant emerald and lime green. Summer creeps in and heats up the land in some cases +40 (yes it is a land of extremes). Then fall (autumn to my English friends) comes turning gold and red but only staying for a brief while before the leaves drop.

The snow arrives normally before Halloween and leaves sometime in April or even May – it is a winter gripped land for a long time and we have to live with it. There are many devices that make the winter’s easier – winter tires (tyres), auto-start for the vehicles, so you can warm it up before getting in, in-door shopping malls, winter sports and events, fire pits and Jacuzzi’s.

It has been an adjustment for us all and over time we have found ways of coping but we all wish for one more day without snow! We know it is coming and cherish the time without.

twink

 

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday

October 17, 2018
mandyevebarnett


Today’s prompt is two-fold. Firstly, a theme: A Fall Walk and secondly, words to include: bird, wheel, envelope.

147cbbac82b9e19e53c118c39afddb9f--autumn-leaves-autumn-fall

Here is my response:

Gerald replaced the letter into the envelope, folded it in half and pushed into his jacket pocket. With a scarf wrapped tightly around his neck to keep the fall chill from creeping in, he pulled on gloves and his heavy hiking boots.

“I’m just popping out for some fresh air, Martha.”

“All right, dear, the soup will take about two hours, so don’t go too far.”

Gerald tutted under his breath. Martha always had a schedule and woe betide you if you didn’t keep to it. He called back as he exited the warmth of the house and entered the golden hued avenue.

“I’ll be on time, Martha.”

With determined steps, he walked along the treed avenue focused on his destination. Turning a corner a bird flew upward from its foraging in the leaf litter startling him.

“Silly bird!” he turned to follow the bird’s flight path and tripped. Stumbling with hands outstretched to save himself. One hand became entangled in the wheel of a bicycle and Gerald and the rider crumpled into a heap on the verge.

“Oh my God! I’m so sorry. I tried to stop when I saw you falling but wasn’t quick enough. Are you okay?” The young man’s voice was tense with worry.

“Just a bit shocked. Although, I think I may have hurt my hand.”

“Let me see. Can you take off the glove?”

Gerald pulled at the woollen material and winched.

“Oh, that doesn’t look good. I’m going to call an ambulance.”

“It’s just bruised, an ice pack will suffice, I’m sure.”

“Well you will have to do that quickly. I should come with you to make sure it is not more serious. I’m a doctor.”

Gerald looked at the young man- how can you be a doctor? You look as though you’re in high school. Not wanting to be rude, Gerald kept his thoughts to himself.

“I live just up here. It’s not necessary to come – really.”

“I insist.”

Gerald let the doctor accompany him home. Martha, of course, made a huge fuss. The envelope’s content would have to wait another day.

Writing Prompt Contest – Bench…

September 10, 2016
mandyevebarnett


fall-bench

Describe sitting on this bench.

Enjoy this prompt and leave your response in the comments. 1000 words maximum for a short story. Poems can be any length.

A quarterly prize will be given for the most voted for response.

A Nice Surprise for Wednesday – A Lovely Blog Award

October 8, 2014
mandyevebarnett


one-lovely-blog-awardIt’s been a while since my last blog award – so it was lovely to receive this one from Ileandra. http://ileandraxraven.co.uk/

And the rules are:

Thank and link to the person who nominated you – done and a pleasure.
List the Rules, and display the award image – done.

Follow the blogger who nominated you – already follow.
Include 7 facts about yourself –

1. My second children’s book, Ockleberries to the Rescue, will be launched at Words in the Park – 25th  October.

http://words.sclibrary.ab.ca/   Book cover

2. I have lived on three continents.

3. I am the secretary of my local writing group – Writers Foundation of Strathcona County

4. My writing style is free flow – I tried plotting once and failed miserably.

5. Rome, Italy is my soul’s home – I will return

6. I miss the ocean – it’s sight, sound and feel

7. Fall (Autumn) is my favorite month due to the colors mainly

Nominate an additional 6 blogs, and notify them by leaving a comment on one of their posts – here is my list:

http://wildhorse33.wordpress.com/

http://ryanlanz.com/

http://the-view-outside.com/

http://www.kathiesutherland.com/

http://andioconnor.com/

http://distraction99.com/

Have fun with your award and pay it forward.

On a side note this is my 660 post! Wow….

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