This week is Board meeting week – my first meeting is tomorrow for the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County – we will be planning our annual conference, which will be held on 22nd April as well as numerous other agenda items. On Wednesday it is the Arts & Culture Council meeting, where once again planning will be in full swing for our AGM on 12th April and our heritage day event in June. So all in all a busy time for the next few months.
I find that involvement in these boards can be time consuming at times but it brings so many benefits. To be involved with these art organizations gives me the chance to meet new people, experience new art forms and have fun planning events!
I did manage to attend the open mic event last Wednesday evening and read to a full house! I did worry I would begin coughing but manage to read all of my excerpt from The Twesome Loop without coughing once, although my mouth was arid. There were so many wonderful people to connect with and the readings were excellent. One woman read for the very first time in public while others were old hands. We heard poetry, rants, manuscript excerpts and one young poet (14 years old) read an exceptional piece called Beautiful for Women’s Day. She was amazing.
Do you have any writing or reading events this week? Care to share?
In Victoria, BC, WordsThaw returns to warm the University of Victoria from March 16–20.
A New Year brings anticipation of our goals and the fascinating reveals of new books and movies for the year ahead. This literary calendar will keep you informed as well as marking important dates to remember.
Are there any that you are excited to see?
Unfortunately I could not find an equivalent for Canada or America so if you do find one please share it.
There is a blending/blurring of genres taking place almost constantly. The latest is crime and fantasy – which by all accounts is not a new genre at all. See this link: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/15/crime-fantasy-literature-crimefest-bristol-literary-genres
Have you blended genres within your novels? Which ones?
Send your congratulations to the women who have been recognised in the Miles Franklin Prize – http://www.theguardian.com/books/australia-culture-blog/2014/may/15/women-dominate-shortlist-miles-franklin-prize
There is good and mediocre writing within every genre. Margaret Attwood
Genre might certainly increase some of your narrative freedoms, but it also diminishes others. That;s the nature of genre. Junot Diaz
Literary fiction, as a strict genre, is all but dead. Meanwhile, most genres flourish. Dean Koontz
Use opposing genres in a short story or poem to reflect how they can be blurred. Have fun with it. Romance and graphic novel, crime and sci-fi, horror and YA…find one to experiment with.
Yesterday Google celebrated John Steinbeck’s birthday with a doodle. You can view it through this link – http://newsfeed.time.com/2014/02/27/john-steinbeck-google-doodle/?iid=nf-article-mostpop1
Literary heroes are celebrated and rightly so, but shouldn’t they have as much postive fanfare when they are alive? When we list literary greats, many had conflict and dire circumstances in their lives. Would optimistic recognition have helped them or made their particular troubles worse? Some obviously did become the target of media frenzies in modern times but what of earlier authors? Just to take one female author – Charlotte Bronte. She had to write under a man’s name in order to be published and ‘recognized’. In this digital age recognition, whether good or bad is immediate but for these authors they never knew their fame. http://www.policymic.com/articles/62651/9-incredible-writers-who-only-became-famous-after-death
On the subject of fame I cannot omit this quote, which in itself is famous!
In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes. ANDY WARHOL
Fame or infamy, either one is preferable to being forgotten. CHRISTOPHER PAOLINI
And now for your fun prompt – You are a sudden sensation and the media are camped outside your home. How do you handle it?
I recently contributed to a fund to help buy a book store. Even though it was thousands of miles away from where I live, I felt it was important to be proactive. Happily, the store was saved from closure by a local person, who has taken over the lease. The lure of ‘one stop’ shopping is hard to resist in a hurried life but once you experience a ‘local’ store and become a regular, you will see the benefits are wide ranging. There is a personal connection, something that is lost in a vast warehouse style mega store. The proprietor will remember you and may put aside books they feel will be of interest to you. There is time to chat and browse without rushing through a shopping list of multiple items.
This week saw a famous author use a large sum to assist small book stores and I think that is not just excellent on his part but also hopefully the spear head for others to follow. Thank you, James Patterson.
Nothing leads so straight to futility as literary ambitions without systematic knowledge. H. G. Wells
To understand a literary style, consider what it omits. Mason Cooley
And now for the fun part: Write a short story about the little bookstore above or your local one.
Support your local bookstore. Keep these delightful realms of adventure from closure.
With the jurors chosen for the Neustadt Prize, there is the usual buzz of excitement as to whom they will ultimately choose.
Apart from the $50,000, which every writer would welcome with open arms, the winner receives a replica of an eagle feather cast in silver and a certificate of recognition. The feather is stunning and worthy of a picture. Isn’t it beautiful?
Have you ever entered a prestigious competition?
There are two kinds of writer: those that make you think, and those that make you wonder.- Brian Aldiss
Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret.- Matthew Arnold
Friday Fun – Starter sentence: The old woman was laughing hysterically sitting at the bus stop.
Why was she laughing? Do you join in?
Share your response…
The passion for books is not dead and this article proves it. If so many people are willing to brave the cold to physically pass thousands of books into a library, then we have hope that reading for gaining knowledge and for pure joy is alive and well. History is unfortunately littered with book burning’s for political and religious reasons but the human spirit and love of books has never been squashed.
When you realize how long the list is, then you understand books are more than paper sheets bound together – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_book-burning_incidents
Saving them is paramount for future generations not just for historical reasons but for the author’s words to be shared and loved beyond their life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_burning
“The people who stood in the Baltic Way remember that feeling of being shoulder to shoulder with complete strangers. The people taking part in the book chain who are prepared to stand here on a cold winter day are taking this seriously too – we are literally standing up for culture.”
Quotes: “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” ―Cicero
A personal favorite as an English woman: “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” ― C.S. Lewis
And now for the fun part of today. A prompt to spark your imagination:
While hiking through a ancient woodland you discover a moss covered metal box with ornate brass decorations. What is inside? Where did it come from?
Share your responses.
Happy Friday everyone. Here is my Friday Fun Day submission. If you have something you would like me to post on a Friday please feel free to contact me. Interaction is key for writers after all.
Literary News :
A couple of quotes to ponder: It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly. C. J. Cherryh
Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short. Henry David Thoreau
Fun prompt to get that muse working: The fire alarm goes off in your building just as you step out of the bath. As you hurried wrap a towel around you and rushed into the hallway a shame faced neighbor rushes out of their door, apologizing profusely. “I was using my oil-less fryer and it filled the room with smoke. I opened the door to disperse it.” How would you or your character react?
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 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
Full article here: http://metrowir.com/
Literary Magazine link: http://www.everywritersresource.com/literarymagazines/
And for the fun part of today : Invent your own country! It can be on earth or another planet. Inhabited by humans or aliens. Hostile or idyllic. Let your imagination go wild.
Today is a new beginning for my blog.
After a year of utilizing desk diary words for a post every day in 2013, I will be posting three times a week in 2014. This is the schedule I have come up with :
Mondays : A series of articles exploring topics reflected in my novels.
Wednesdays : Re-blog Day. Offering other bloggers a space on my blog to comment, post and discuss.
Fridays : Fun day. Prompts, quotes, literary news and more.
I will begin this new routine on 6th January 2014. Please come along and join me. I am always open to suggestions, blog links and comments.