Tag Archives: Life in Slake Patch

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

This post is pre-scheduled as today I will still be enjoying my writing retreat, where there is no WiFi, TV or ‘outside world’ to intrude. Immersed in story since 18th May – I may never come back! (Well given the choice anyway). My plan for the retreat is to read, edit and revise two manuscripts – The Twesome Loop and Life in Slake Patch and hopefully be able to share them with beta-readers on my return. I may also have added enough story on my newest children’s book – Bubble the Gruggle to send the manuscript to my illustrator, enabling him to begin chapter header images.

When I do come back to reality I have two events this week. One an ‘extra’ meeting of the Arts and Culture Council on Wednesday to finalize the Heritage Day event organization and then Thursday I will be co-hosting the senior’s writing group at Silverbirch.

So please feel free to share your local writing events in the comments.

Other events:

WGA Alberta Literary Awards Shortlist Reading and Celebration (YYC)

May 24th 2017 from 7:00 to 10:00pm
Shelf Life Books, 1302 4th Street SW, Calgary
Please RSVP via Facebook Invite

Join the Writers’ Guild of Alberta to celebrate the 2017 Alberta Literary Shortlisted authors and their nominated works! There will be complimentary wine and food from Aida’s Bistro, time to visit with friends, and a series of lively readings. Free admission. Authors scheduled to read in Calgary include: Lee Kvern, Paige Feureu, Lauralyn Chow, Gisèle Villeneuve, Mary Graham, Rona Altrows, Helen Hajnoczky, Georgia Graham, Laurie McFayden, Ellen Close with Braden Griffiths, Richard Harrison, Shelley Youngblut, and Sydney Sharpe with Don Braid.

EWF2017 PosterFinal

On May 28, The Elora Writers’ Festival takes place in Elora, ON, with authors announced so far including Andrew Westoll, Brad Smith, and Adrienne Kress. http://elorawritersfestival.blogspot.ca/

Happy writing everyone

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Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


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Writing:

So my excitement got the better of me and I forgot to write this post – so sorry for my tardiness. I have been busy tying up loose ends, revising freelance projects and ensuring I can leave for my writing retreat tomorrow with a clear desk. On the retreat I will only focus on my writing, which will enable me to ‘complete’ two manuscripts and add to another. These are my retreat goals.

  1. Final read of Life in Slake Patch
  2. Complete revisions and read through of The Twesome Loop
  3. Continue to write my newest story, Bubble the Gruggle.
  4. Enjoy no TV, no cell service and no WiFi.
  5. Converse, share and enjoy my retreat companions company.
  6. Indulge in the most fantastic meals.
  7. Enjoy reading curled up in a cozy corner.

Books:

Her Fearful Symmentry by Audrey Niffenegger – I will most certainly finished this book this week. Just love the characters.

Symmentry

Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn – chances are as this is more novella than novel that I will finish this book over my writing retreat as well.

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Then onto new stories!

Writing Tips:

Learn from the masters:

Read works by highly successful authors to learn what earns a loyal readership.
Read works by the canonical authors so you understand what constitutes a respectable literary achievement.

Creek 2016 7Strawberry Creek

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

 

My weekend was certainly not writing related but a reptile bonanza. I accompanied my daughter to the Edmonton Reptile and Amphibian Society’s spring show. She took her own reptiles to show and educate visitors, something she has done for a good number of years.

ERAS-Spring-Show-2017-Flyer

There were many incredible and fascinating reptiles to discover and hold, which I enjoyed a lot. However, as a writer the ‘people watching’ gave me a wealth of inspiration. Reptile owners and hobbyists come from all walks of life and are passionate about their particular interest. I discovered a type of gecko I had not known existed – Rhacodactylus leachianus = large geckos! They are fabulous and you certainly know you are holding one as they are quite heavy. For comparison those are my hands! Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhacodactylus_leachianus

I did take my ‘animal’ related books with me just in case – Clickety Click’s front cover got a few looks and Ockleberries was browsed.

This week I have my writer’s group Board meeting which will include a review of our conference and the start of planning for our annual Words in the Park event which will be held on 30th September as part of Alberta Culture Days.

witp

My second Board meeting will be for the Arts & Culture Council on Wednesday, where we are reviewing the Heritage Day plans. This event will be held on 11th June and has a multitude of artisans and cultural associations attending.

heritage day

Obviously I am on countdown for the writing retreat, which starts on 18th May through to 22nd May. I have decided on completing the revisions to The Twesome Loop and will have a final read through for Life in Slake Patch. Then I feel confident they can go to the publisher. I may have time to write more for my newest children’s book set on another planet.

The lodge is set in acres of woodland with a creek running through it so there is plenty of outdoor space to clear the head, refresh the body and be inspired. To be immersed completely in writing for days on end and have three delicious meals cooked for you is blissful. I never want to leave. (A lottery win would mean I wouldn’t have to of course!)

So what are you up to this week?

Care to share your writing goals, plans or events?

Other events:

book pub

May 11, 2017: U of A Press reception in honour of Linda Cameron

The U of A Press is holding a reception for it’s departing director, Linda Cameron, on May 11 in the Saskatchewan room of the Faculty Club (Saskatchewan Drive and 116 Street) from 3-6 with a program at 4:30. Ms Cameron has been with the U of A Press since 2001, and is retiring on August

abaThe Atlantic Books Festival runs May 11–May 18 with events in all four maritime provinces. http://atlanticbookawards.ca/

forest

The Ontario Library Association’s Festival of Trees takes place throughout May, with events in Toronto, London, and Sault Ste. Marie. http://forestfestivaloftrees.ca/

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

The Industry Insiders: Making a Living as a Hybrid Author event I attended spurred me on to do something about my blog. It has been successful but I feel it requires a boost! I connected with one of the panel authors, who agreed to review my blog and give me some pointers on improving my presence on the net. I will keep you posted.

I also spent time editing Life in Slake Patch prior to submission to the Writer in Residence. Unfortunately I did not complete the manuscript revisions (life gets in the way) but hopefully during this week I will. Then it will be back to The Twesome Loop revisions prior to sending it out to beta readers.

My other project over the weekend was to review and detail a ghost writing request from a client. There was quite a lot of research involved, which was interesting but time consuming. My proposal is now in the hands of the client.

Books:

hope

I am enjoying this book but it is not as good as the previous two by this author. It seems a bit contrived. However, I am intrigued as to how the protagonist will survive and the story conclude so will continue. I am half way through at the moment.

On my TBR pile are two novels by a local author, Joss Laundry (see her interview here: https://mandyevebarnett.com/2016/12/05/joss-landry-interview-5th-december/) I’m looking forward to reading them.

Writing TipJonathan Franzen

“The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.”

What writing project are you tackling at the moment?

Do you have a writing tip to share?

What book can you recommend?

 

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Firstly I want to celebrate a personal milestone, 1000 blog posts on my blog as of Monday 9th January!

post-milestone-1000

Writing:

Over the weekend, inspired by the new Writer in Residence, I continued with an edit of my speculative fiction manuscript, Life in Slake Patch. I will send the manuscript for the WIR to review once this is complete. This particular manuscript has been through numerous edits and revisions and needs to ‘get out there’ soon.

Books:

hope

I began the third novel by Claire North called The Sudden Appearance of Hope. It is written in a similar voice as the other two I have read. It is an intriguing concept as the main character is ‘forgotten’ almost from the moment she is out of sight. Time will tell if it matches up to Harry August or Touch.

Writing TipElmore Leonard

“Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. If you have the knack of playing with exclaimers the way Tom Wolfe does, you can throw them in by the handful.”

What writing project did you tackle this weekend?

Do you have a writing tip to share?

What book can you recommend?

 

Blog Wrap Up for 2016…


thank-you

Firstly a huge thank you to all my followers for dropping by to comment, read and share my musings. You are from all points of the globe, in fact  179 different countries have visited this site.  242 flags collected – that is amazing.

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In 2016 for the first time, I split the themes of each day into two six month slots – firstly  Lost Words kindly approved by the http://phrontistery.info/ were on Mondays from January until June and then I invited author interviews, writing tips, stories etc for the second half Mondays. I also shared my road trip adventures around Alberta.

Wednesdays began with a look at alternative lifestyles in deference to my speculative fiction novel I was working on entitled, Life in Slake Patch. The second half was reincarnation/life after death, which tied into my reincarnation romance, The Twesome Loop but also because this subject has always fascinated me. I was fortunate to have some special guests involved in these posts.

On Saturday’s I posed writing prompts and the added incentive of prizes for whomever responded.

As 2016 becomes 2017 – I wish you all a healthy, loving, and exciting year.

2017

Reincarnation Series Beginning…


Today I start the year’s second series on reincarnation to coincide with the revision of my romance, The Twesome Loop, which has several character’s meeting their soul mates. However, as my speculative fiction novel, Life in Slake Patch has just undergone a radical change of thought, I will be working on it for the month of June. Writers out there will understand this particular predicament only too well.

old to young

I have always been fascinated with reincarnation, life after death, ‘tunnel’ experiences and so on, since working as a nurse (many moons ago!). Geriatric wards at night are a plethora of sights and sounds relived by the patients. I even had an experience with my grandfather, which I will relay at some point. Some posts will be general, while others will be personal experiences.

There are many religions that believe in the return of souls so we will explore them together.

One last lost word from http://phrontistery.info/clw.html – which I thought apt for the start of this series.

eternitarian         1746 -1746
one who believes in the eternity of the soul
Though she held to no particular faith, she remained a hopeful eternitarian.

eye

 

Good Luck to NaNoWriMo Writers – I’m Not Participating This Year…


nanowrimo

For those of you who have made the commitment to this mad, exciting, panic-inducing challenge – I say good luck, may your muse always be at your shoulder and your words flow smoothly upon your page.

To find those extra minutes in the day to write is tricky to be sure but it is a mindset. Do you have a lunch hour? Can you slip away whilst your family is watching TV? Does it really matter if the slow cooker is the only means of cooking for the month?

I know I become totally possessed during NaNo and write several paragraphs while the meal is cooking, skipping lunch so I can address a characters next move or ignore my eyelids closing as I write into the early hours. NaNo may seem like a daunting assignment to undertake, but there are incredible benefits too. It can be a personal challenge to see how you manage under a deadline, an outpouring of ideas, character development or finally beginning that wished for novel.

Writing to a deadline, for me anyway, results in almost complete novel length stories. These can be revised, added to and edited at my leisure in the following months. Even if you do not manage the fifty thousand word total, you will have laid down enough words to forge ahead with your own narrative. It can be the start you have avoided for months or years.

Knowing there are many, many writers around the world absorbed in the same challenge is not only exciting but a companionship of sorts. The NaNoWriMo site has a buddy system and you can connect with other participants, giving and receiving encouragement and support. Whether you use a pen and notebook or type your story, it is the words that matter.

This month will see thousands of stories created, their characters forging forward and overcoming obstacles. Some will be happy, some will be sad, but your story will be told.

Enjoy the process, scary as it is – the result is so very rewarding.

The Giving Thief cover

This year I will not be participating as I have to revise and edit last year’s manuscript The Giving Thief. I thought I would get this manuscript completed by now but other projects took precedent and it was pushed to the side. My western romance, Willow tree Tears was edited, revised and submitted to Harlequin and a Steampunk short story contracted to a publisher, so time was slim to say the least.

Now I can concentrate on the Thief manuscript and find a possible outlet for it. My hope is that once it is completed I can return to two other manuscripts that have been languishing in their folders for some time. A romance with a reincarnation twist, The Twesome Loop and a speculative fiction story, Life in Slake Patch.

Twesome Loop 002

Life in Slake

Good luck to you if you are embroiled in National Novel Writing Month. 2015

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Book Review: Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman


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Herland 1915

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

I first heard about Herland a couple of years after I wrote my first NaNoWriMo in 2009, resulting in the basis of my novel, Life in Slake Patch. The premise of my speculative novel, Life in Slake Patch, is a future matriarchal society forced by a global war’s destruction of the planets civilization and a large proportion of the male population, to take control. This developed a segregated lifestyle maintaining men and women into defined roles. The population is bound by strict rules on activities, living quarters and parings (marriage).

So when I discovered the Herland story, I was curious to read it. Maybe it was my naivety but I assumed the book would be the usual novel length, however it is only 124 pages, so more novella than novel. Due to a series of writing activities – writing a further four novels, publishing two children’s books and an adult fantasy and launching my freelance career, I never seemed to get the time to buy Herland. Well until a couple of weeks ago!

It is surprising how Gilman formed the concept of an all female land in an era when women were seen as delicate housebound wives. Although, Gilman was hardly typical of her time as she was a turn-of-the-century social critic and lecturer. Her short story ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ is probably more widely known than Herland. The style of Herland is of course a reflection of the era’s writing style but even so fascinating and enthralling. Gilman tells the story of a feminist utopia from the viewpoint of a trio of men, who discover it by chance. This was my first surprise as my novel, Life in Slake Patch; written I hasten to add with no knowledge of Herland; from the viewpoint of a young man living in the male compound, Slake.

Gilman’s verbiage can distract the flow of the story, which in itself does not have the modern trait of increasing action and concluding climax. In truth it is monotone rather than stereo, devoid of suspense. However, it has beautifully written exposition giving the reader a real feel of the land and its inhabitants. I feel Gilman must have had an expansive imagination not only because she created a woman only land, but also she obviously thought of the ‘perfect’ woman world, cut free of the stereo type she personally experienced. Gilman goes into great detail on how the fruit trees were cultivated, the traditional meat animals were foregone and the garments the women wore were practical and comfortable. She writes in great detail of their psyche and how the population works together and abides to a thoughtful and exacting structure of life.Her explanation of their history is also creative.

The male narrator explains throughout the book how he and his companions try to impress the women of their male dominated civilization. Over time two of these men find that Herland has a much better way of life, utilizing forethought and planning, which over the generations made the utopia. One man is, however, not convinced and is determined to ‘show’ the female leaders, how they should be mastered.

In our modern age it is probably thought of as a naive story but at the time I would think it was shocking. Women ruling their own world and equal to men! The women of Herland were strong, capable and fearless of the men. Their interest was purely educational, a thirst for  knowledge of the world beyond their fortified enclave. The woman’s way of life was based on motherhood. This was their governing and abiding focus in everything they did, from nurturing the female only babies to caring for each other to sustaining themselves.

The second surprise was Gilman’s explanation of how the women managed to reproduce without men. It is a kind of immaculate conception, (actually a parthenogenesis process), which occurred several generations after all the men were killed and the women cut off from the outside world. One woman gave birth and her daughters also carried the genetic ability to reproduce. In our modern day of science fiction and fantasy rich environment, where anything is possible this seems fanciful but in 1915, I would think it was inconceivable (pardon the pun!) to most of the population.

Although, I bore in mind the era in which it was written whilst reading, Herland is quite exceptional in its concept. Gilman was a woman before her time and I’m sure if it were written today in our accepted style, it would be a great hit with speculative and fantasy lovers.

Charlotte

Charlotte Perkins Gilman  1860-1935

Character Interview – Evan from Life in Slake Patch…


This post is a day early but Kathy invited me to interview my character, Evan from Life in Slake Patch. This was my first attempt at writing a novel during my first NaNoWriMo – talk about pressure! Prior to that NaNo, I had only written short pieces and plunged into the challenge full heartedly. I plan to revise and edit Life in Slake Patch next year.

I hope you enjoy the interview and please remember to comment on Kathy’s blog and share.

http://idea-creations.blogspot.ca/2015/01/character-interview-evan-from-life-in.html

LifeinSlakePatch