Mandy Eve-Barnett's Official Blog

Inspiration for Writers & Building A Community ©

Utilize Your Wonder and Respect for The Natural World Within Your Narrative…

April 14, 2014
mandyevebarnett


 articles

My upcoming children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue, centers around two woodland sprites, who help all  the forest animals through illness and injury. The theme was inspired by my lifelong love of the natural world, whether it is exotic animals, such as tigers and red panda’s (my personal favorites) or the more common species, such as rabbits, squirrels or birds. The knowledge and wonder shared with me and my siblings by our parents, lives on in us and we have passed on the message to our children. Every single species has a purpose and is intricately linked to another. The ‘food chain’ is the basis for this but there are so many other relationships in the natural world that we are still discovering.

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We have all enjoyed the fluttering of a butterfly but have you ever watched a spider make its web? Such industrious behavior is fascinating to behold, similar to ants rebuilding a damaged nest or a bee collecting pollen. These activities are born of instinct and self preservation. Even with all our technology we cannot manufacture a structure as fine and strong as a cobweb or create a completely natural substance from so few components as honey.

Beetle

The smallest bug or insect is a wondrous thing to watch. Did you know woodlice carry their young under their bellies? My daughter at the age of 4 taught me this one! You may not see or consider a beetle scurrying across your path. But look closer – see its colours, its antenna and its shape. There are many different kinds of animals and insects we ‘miss’ in our everyday lives because we are not looking. Sit on the lawn or near a forest trail and watch the tiny world that is so often under your feet and ignored. You will witness a whole new world of activity and renew your connection to nature.

Our interests can be a vital component of our narratives and will give depth to the story because of our knowledge and love of that particular subject. Delve into your depths and find those links to broaden and heighten your subject. It will show in your writing and engage your reader.

What interests have you incorporated into a novel (or novels?)

OckleberriesProof copy cover only. Illustrations and new cover in process.

 

Who is Erudite in Your World..?

July 18, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Erudite – definition: characterized by great knowledge; learned or scholarly

Einstein

Throughout our lives we meet people who influence us in some way. Whether it is a particularly wonderful teacher at school, college or university, a relative whose knowledge in a specific area amazes us, or even  a colleague or friend, whose wisdom has guided us.

My maths teacher, Mrs Tyrell, came to mind as I thought about this word. Not only was she a saint for maintaining her patience with me – going over the same sum a dozen or more times, but also because she had a vast knowledge of her subject. This enabled her to explain the equations in numerous ways until I understood. My parent’s vast knowledge of the natural world not only taught my siblings and I about it, but engendered in us a love of all animal and plant life.

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In more recent times, I have been blessed with the friendship of someone, whose knowledge of the writing life has changed mine. Linda Pedley, is not only an experienced author in fiction but also in a vast array of other writing styles and disciplines. Her publishing company, Dream Write Publishing, has helped many authors, whose stories would never have been published without her determination, assistance and support.

Who do you admire or remember fondly for their contribution to your life?

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Condescending People – A Pet Hate…

May 25, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Condescending – definition: showing or implying or patronizing tone towards; talking with an air of superiority

stare

I have to admit this is one of my pet hates – either being the focal point or overhearing a patronizing rant just makes my blood boil. There is no excuse for it, after all there is no human on this planet who knows or can be an expert of everything. As a species it is our diversity and at times conflicting views that makes life interesting! We can all learn from others and when we are sharing our knowledge it should be given politely and willingly, not as if we are deigning our presence on someone else.

The recipient of any condescending outburst will immediately feel unworthy, which is unforgivable. We all want to improve, whether physically, mentally or spiritually and when we are open to others views and experiences we learn much more about ourselves. All I can say is someone who acts in a patronizing way must have some serious inferiority issues.

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I am attending the Words in 3 Dimensions – Write, Edit & Publish – at Grant MacEwan, Edmonton today. Review tomorrow.

One entryway to the Grant MacEwan University c...

One entryway to the Grant MacEwan University campus in downtown Edmonton, Alberta. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I may be late…

January 19, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Palm Springs 068

Hello All,

I am going to apologise as my blog post today will be late! I am attending a seminar : Digital Tools: A Workshop for Writers & Editors.

So as they say ‘watch this space’…! By the way today’s word is Verdant ; definition ‘green with growing plants’ so feel free to take your own spin on it in my absence.

As I drove to the seminar through a stark white and grey winter scenery I remembered today’s word – verdant. I have come to admire the  resourceful  Albertans I live among, who manage their harsh weather on these prairies with block heaters for their vehicles, winter tyres (tires!) and covered malls. Life does not stop for minus something stupid temperatures or massive amounts of snow. It is all taken in their stride, as natural as the seasons themselves.

Alberta Legislature

Alberta Legislature (Photo credit: ericzchu)

The first time I saw a Canadian in T-shirt and shorts at only +2 I was totally nonplussed. What were they thinking it was still freezing? However, five years later the +2 does feel warm after minus 35…it’s all a matter of perspective and experience. Once the warmth arrives no matter how slight it is taken advantage of. It may come as a surprise but our summer’s are hot but short in comparison to the long winter months. This is the time Albertans go all out to enjoy it. Every day is spent outside for as long as possible in an extensive range of activities from gardening to sports to hiking to barbequing. Gardens, or yards as they are referred to here, are resplendent in a multitude of colourful flowers, lush lawns and patio furniture of all shapes, colours and types.

Our first spring was a real surprise as it seemed the trees and plants sprouted green shoots overnight and within a few days bare branches and earth were obscured by foliage. Every living thing hurries to enjoy the summer – human, animal or plant.

In short it is a life lesson – make the best of what you have while you have it.

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