This will be a busy week! I attended Word on the Street on 21st September in Lethbridge. It is my fourth visit to that particular location for this event and as always have so much fun meeting readers and new authors. My publisher, Dream Write Publishing attended and I assisted with their table.
There were several authors, I wanted to catch up with from last year: Krysta MacDonald, Jenna Greene, and Bianca Rowena. I was pleasantly surprised to find another author, Natasha Deen, whom I had not seen in quite a while.
We were fortunate that the weather was a balmy +21 (unlike last year when we froze!) as it is a outside canopy event. There was lots to see and many presentations and speakers too.
With that event over I could not sit on my laurels, as I have another event this Saturday 28th September – Words in the Park. So it was home late Monday night, unpack and reorganize. You can imagine my excitement when I found a box of books waiting for me. These are the long awaited sequel to The Rython Kingdom. So many readers wanted a sequel and I spent quite a long time (to my readers frustration) pondering what that story would entail. Now it is here: Rython Legacy – the sequel.
I hope to see you this Saturday – Agora, Community Center, 401, Festival Lane, Sherwood Park, Alberta. 10 am – 4 pm Free admission with local authors galore, music, story telling, treats, games & interactive sessions and prizes too. A family friendly event with something for everyone.
I have been tagged by Eva Blaskovic at https://evablaskovic.com/ to play along with this Q&A, so here goes.
Rules: Thank the blogger who nominated you. Thanks Eva (I think!)
Answer the questions you were given by that blogger.
Nominate 10 bloggers, give them 10 new questions, and let them know they’ve been tagged.
The questions I received were:
Country or city? Most certainly country – I like my space, the sound, smells and sights of the great outdoors. I grew up in the English countryside and find cities too noisy and crowded to stay very long.
For writing: silence, music, or other? Depends on my mood – sometimes silence, other times classical music, however once absorbed in my words everything around me disappears.
What/where is your favorite writing retreat? A difficult question as I have quite a few – Strawberry Creek Lodge, anywhere I holed-up on road trips, my local library or coffeehouse or even when alone in my house for several hours.
What do you consider to be the most meaningful book to you and why? Another difficult question as different books meant different things to me as I grew. I loved Stig of the Dump by Clive King as a child, the idea of befriending a caveman appealed to me. Ferney by James Long is a book I re-read over and over, it is beautifully written and I love reincarnation theme, it is a subject I researched in depth when nursing and again when writing my novel, The Twesome Loop.
Can you write in a language other than English? If so, what is it? Nope – English is it for me! If I thought I could do it I would love to learn Italian.
Would you like to live in the past, present, or future? If past, what is your favorite time period in history and what do you like about it? If you are asking for the ‘romantic’ view of past eras then porobably Elizabethan England, however if you mean to go back as it actually was then 1950’s. The reality of the 15th century with poverty, short life spans and dreadful mortality it is less appealing. For the 1950’s I could enjoy the music, dance and experience the cusp of the sixties movement.
Spring, summer, fall, or winter? Can I say I love more than one? The sudden greenness of spring after winter brings me joy. The possibilities of road trips in the summer and fall are exciting and a chance to discover new places.
What is your dream goal or dream job, if you’re not already doing it? A multifaceted goal – to write for a living travelling the world for inspiration and publishing novels reflecting the places I stay in.
Have you ever wanted to do anything “out there” like skydiving, spelunking, deep sea diving, or visiting Antarctica? I would love to skydive, go in a hot air balloon, swim the Great Barrier Reef, walk the Great Wall of China, visit Victoria Falls (the place of my birth) and live in Rome.
Would you go to the moon or to Mars? To be honest neither – there is so much to explore in the beauty of our planet.
As Christmas gets ever closer the advertising machine goes into overdrive. There are numerous adverts on the television and other outlets for an abundance of toys and gift ideas for all the family. As I do not watch much television, when I happen to catch a stream of adverts I am amazed at the toy choices given. Why, you may ask? Well it is the lack of toys that encourage a child to use their imagination. Everything is themed or a character figurine or a ‘set’ of some kind or other.
I make the comparison with lego – when I was a child lego consisted of various shaped blocks with which you used your imagination to build a plethora of objects. Today lego blocks are in kits, which make a single themed toy. Where is the imagination element? How can a child conjure up fantastical creatures, futuristic vehicles and unique buildings when the blocks limit their creativity?
To be a ‘whole’ person, we need to explore our physical, spiritual and mental capacities, in essence to find what we love, what we are passionate about. If we are limited in that exploration we, and our future generations, will experience a imperfect life.
Take a simple cardboard box at Christmas it is the focus of young children while their expensive gifts are discarded. Why does a simple box engage so? Well, because it can be ‘anything’ – atunnel, a car, a house, and much more because their imagination makes it that way. It is limitless in its possibilities.
Let’s look at guarding our imagination and that of our children.
My community announced the new Writers in Residence for 2014 recently – the details are below.
I would like to say if you have the opportunity to meet and gain wisdom and help from a Writer in Residence, then do so. Having an expert review your work and give you authoritative assistance, all for free, is worth its weight in gold. If you are unsure contact your local library for their residency details.
Margaret Macpherson has worked as a full-time professional writer, teacher and editorial/educational mentor for the last decade. With a Masters of Fine Arts (Creative Writing) from UBC and she was widely published in newspapers and magazines both nationally and internationally before moving to Alberta in 1994.
After a career in journalism and teaching, which took her to the East Coast and Bermuda, Margaret began playing in long narrative prose. She has subsequently published seven books, both fiction and non fiction, including a biography entitled Nellie McClung: Voice for the Voiceless which won the Canadian Authors Association (CAA) Exporting Alberta Award in 2004.
Her collection of short stories Perilous Departures (2004), and her first novel, Released (2007) were both nominated for Manitoba Book Awards and her last novel Body Trade won the DeBeers Northwords Prize in 2012.
An essayist, poet and storyteller, Margaret has worked as a fiction editor for three different literary magazines and regularly performs poetry and aural story telling.
She represented Alberta in the National CBC Poetry Face-Off (2006) and has won (and lost) the coveted Story Slam championship.
An expressive arts practitioner, Margaret mucks about with oils and pastels and has sold the odd watercolour. She has written and co-produced a CD of original music and has had one of her plays produced in Vancouver’s NewWorks festival.
Although Edmonton has been home for the last 18 years, Margaret grew up in the Northwest Territories, and has lived extensively in Halifax, Bermuda, Vancouver and Nelson, BC. She lives with her husband, three kids and a very black cat.
Jason Lee Norman
Jason Lee Norman was born and raised in the Edmonton area. With a degree in English from the University of Alberta and a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester he returned to Edmonton in 2009 to make his fortune. He is the author of two short story collections: ‘Americas’ and ‘Beautiful Girls & Famous Men’ and is the co-founder of the #yegwords (Words with Friends) creative writing collective which holds regular events in Edmonton throughout the year, including the very popular Word Crawl.
In 2013 he introduced Edmonton to 40 Below: Edmonton’s Winter Anthology. 70 pieces of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction all about or inspired by winter in Edmonton. 40 Below was published by Jason’s small publishing concern Wufniks Press.
In the past few years Jason has nominated himself for dozens of awards but has won very few. He hopes to one day finish his novel so that it may receive a scathing review in the National Post. Thus completing the circle of life