Tag Archives: mini-break

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

My writing has been rather a ‘mixed bag’ this week – continuing with my YA novella, creating the next issue of the newsletter for the Arts & Culture Council, and work on the ghost writing project, as well as preparation for my speech/presentation on Saturday. In all a good writing week.

Last night’s writers meeting prompt was fun we had ten minutes to write a short story or poem –  the title was The Reluctant. Someone who is reluctant to leave or enter something or somewhere. This was my response:

Tom touched the door handle then released it, then touched it again. His nervousness increased and at the third touch he was conscious of his sweaty palm. Just do it – its going to be fine! Breathing deeply he grabbed the handle with as much resolve as he could. It turned slowly releasing the catch. A sudden fluttering above him broke his fierce concentration and he uttered a squeal. Dumb bird get out of here. As Tom turned to face the door again he saw it was ajar – his teeth chattered as his fear increased. What is in there? Why did I say I would go in?

Giggling from the hedge reminded him why – to be in the gang, you had to walk inside and inside for ten minutes. Tom felt Rod, Gary and Sam’s eyes on him. I have to do this or they will forever tease me.

With a deep breath he pushed the door open, walked inside the gloom and shut the door behind him. Dust flew in every direction, old tattered curtains billowed at the glass-less windows and broken furniture lay scattered around him. Graffiti across every wall was evidence of other intruders. He stood still unable to move but determined to make the ten minutes and be part of the Grant Street Gang.

Books: I am tantalizing close to the end of this novel, in truth I don’t want it to end. I love the characters in both modern and period eras. A parallel love interest in both has me turning the pages as well as the dread that something awful will happen soon.

A Desperate Fortune

I have been given a book to review and bought one from a young author on Saturday, these will be added to my pile.

Blood Games by V.I. Cage- https://books.friesenpress.com/store/title/119734000016216269/V.J.-Gage-Blood-Games

blood games

The Chronicles of Captain Shelly Mahur by Nabila Fairuz  – https://www.amazon.com/Chronicles-Captain-Shelly-Manhar/dp/1612967655

chronicles

I also reviewed a unique e-book by RM Wilburn entitled The Cautioner’s Tale (Mary Morgan’s Journal Book 1) The layout is unusual and adds to the mystery and characterization. Go take a look: https://www.amazon.com/Cautioners-Tale-Mary-Morgans-Journal-ebook/dp/B0763DLKD3/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

My review: I read the whole story last night – it is captivating. You have excellent world building, intriguing characters and plot. Love the design – it so unique. Thoroughly enjoy it! Looking forward to the next installment.

tale

So a mixed bag of reading genres too!

Writing Tips:

tips for editing

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

I attended Word on the Street on Saturday in Lethbridge with my publisher, Dream Write Publishing. We arrived rather too early to set up as the organizers were only just putting out the tables and chairs at the time we were informed we could set up. However, it wasn’t long before we saw our allocated tent was ready and we proceeded to arrange our display. With nearly 90 titles now published, we have to allot books to each event now – a time will come when we might need to invest in a half tonne truck! http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/

21752314_10209971606302032_4647287171971880620_nsetting up WOTS

With my new romance novel, The Twesome Loop showing for the first time in public, the day was extra special for me. I even sold a couple of copies – even better!

22007467_10209971596941798_5875090640629021807_nWOTS SEPT 2017 first Twesome sold!

The day was chilly but we maintained our cheer chatting with the many visitors and fellow authors in our tent. 

The Sunday and Monday were mostly relaxing, reading and some writing although mine was mainly a blog post, creating a new title for my YA story and reading up on a potential freelance project.

Books:  I did manage to spend time reading this fascinating and lovely book but did not finish it quite yet.

A Desperate Fortune

Writing Tips:

writer-tips

What’s your favorite writing tip?

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

As many of you know I love prompts, as they inspire and refresh the Muse. At my last writing meeting our prompt was: you find a box underneath your seat on a train. This was my response.

Box of Resource

My ankle struck a sharp edge and I let out a cry. Rubbing my bruised skin I noticed the brass hinge of a box wedged underneath the train carriage seat. After a couple of tugs to free the object, it was revealed as an old wooden box with elaborate brass hinges and decoration on all sides as well as the top. It was a woodland scene with an inset of silver representing the moon through an arch of gnarly trees. I tried the clasp but it was locked. I looked under the seat again hoping to find a key but only found a discarded piece of chewing gum and several wrappers sticky with candy.

I place the box on the tabletop and turned it this way and that admiring the workmanship. When I lifted it and shook it there was a gentle knocking sound. Something heavy was inside, but what? The guard came walking towards me and asked for my ticket, I produced it and he clipped a hole into it.

“That’s a beautiful box; a lot of work went into that I’m sure.”

“Yes it is lovely isn’t it?”

Once he left I wondered why I hadn’t revealed that the box was not actually mine. Pushing the box to one side I organized my space, backpack beside me, a novel on the table with a bottle of juice and a sandwich. Traveling at night is much more relaxed and not so crowded.

I read for a while and must have dozed off because a gentle shaking of my shoulder woke me.

“You have the box.”

I looked at the man confused at his words as my sleepy mind tried to become fully awake.

“I’m sorry, what?”

“The box of resource, there in front of you, I was not expecting a messenger.”

The man’s words did not make sense but he smiled kindly at me. He lifted the box and put it into a large canvas bag. As he turned away I asked

“What is the box of resource? I found it underneath this seat. I’m not a messenger.”

“Ah, I see that explains your confusion. It contains an ancient scroll that must be returned to the Vatican. It holds the…well I must not delay you.”

He looked up alarmed, turned and exited the train at a run along the platform. I so wanted to follow him but by the time I had packed my backpack he was nowhere in sight. My only clue -he was going to the Vatican. Well Rome is the city I will be living in for the next four years so maybe I will find him again and he will tell me what the box contains.

Why not write a short story using this prompt and share in the comments?

Books: I am enjoying this narrative as it is set in two time periods, like my novel, The Twesome Loop. The characters are well rounded and the ‘discoveries’ are intriguing.

A Desperate Fortune

Writing Tips:

Break writing rules with intention.

As Pablo Picasso so wisely said, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break the rules like an artist.”

There are times to stick to the rules, and there’s those times to think beyond them … in any kind of writing.

What ‘rules’ have you broken?

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

I did manage to increase the word count on my new YA novella to just over 18,000 and will further increase it tonight as I have a couple of hours in the library prior to a Board meeting. The story took a surprising turn so I am following it, wondering where it will end. I am toying with the idea of a new title – Bubble the Gruggle – is good but maybe too childish for a YA. We will see.

With two events coming in the next couple of weeks I need to be prepared for displays and readings. Choosing excerpts of a book can be problematic but I have found that if you gauge them to your known audience at the event it is slightly easier.

How do you choose an excerpt to read?

One event – Word on the Street is in Lethbridge which will entail a road trip – always a favorite past time and will allow more writing time, never a bad thing.

WOTS2017

Books:

Mind of the Phoenix

My review:
I had to finish this book last night so into the midnight hour I went…
Jamie has created a world of intrigue, mystery and suspense in this novel. The relationship between Moira and Keenan had me guessing and hoping.
A world of empaths and blockers, and strict social distinctions is beautifully weaved within and around the story. Great world building by Jamie.
This is a novel I highly recommend and can’t wait to read to next installment.

A Desperate Fortune

I’m already entranced by this novel’s story set in two time periods.

Writing Tips:

lyon

 Always get an outside edit.

Whether it’s a novel or a blog post, sometimes we get trapped in our own ideas, and the grand vision clouds our ability to see the actual words on the page.

So work your vision and polish it up as much as you can … but then, get feedback from someone else whose editorial judgment you respect.

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…


writing-hub

Writing:

As this past weekend was a long weekend here in Alberta I made good use of the time to mock-up my display for Words in the Park. As I now have five books to promote I had to decide on how best to give each one a ‘showcase spot’ without making my tables too crowded. The first table is for my two children’s books, Rumble’s First Scare and Ockleberries to the Rescue and my YA novella, Clickety Click. I do have ‘props’ for these books so reduced the displays a little. I have other promotional items as well but will keep them to a minimum. This is the kid’s table.

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I bought coloured card to stick summaries of each book to reflecting the book cover colours, I think it gives them a more professional look? For Ockleberries I am using a handmade ‘door’ I found in an artisan store and have animal figurines reflecting some of the creatures in the narrative. For Clickety Click I found a couple of ‘claws’ in the Halloween section and stuck them to a card above the book. And lastly, for Rumble’s First Scare the soft toy I made of Rumble. He is always very popular with the kids and adults alike!

Promotional items include Rumble pins, toques, T-shirts and bookmarks, Ockleberries has animal quizzes for the kids and Click has specially made toques and ‘monster’ colouring pages.

click hatWOTS set up Sept 2014

For the adult books I found a really nice tablecloth, which is gold in colour. This reflects the golden beast in The Rython Kingdom and the golden light of Italy for The Twesome Loop. The Rython has bookmarks and a glowing orb, which is in the narrative. For The Twesome Loop as it is my book launch I purchased a table easel and have made a larger summary page for it. I will make bookmarks as well. My next task is to make up a draw basket, which will include a signed copy. As the narrative is set in England and Italy I will have to select items carefully. I will probably use a couple of balloons to attract people to my table as well.

The display still needs work but this is the mock-up. I have to wait for the physical books of The Twesome Loop but should have them soon.

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Books:  I have been rather busy so have not finished this novel although should do this week. I’m really enjoying the characters and the author keeps me guessing who is the perpetrator.

Mind of the Phoenix

My friend, Marilyn gave me a lovely book, which is next on my TBR pile.

A Desperate Fortune

What are you reading?

Do you have a particular genre you enjoy?

Writing Tips:

Keep it simple.

It’s easy for your message to get buried in the language. So speaking of revisions, one of the best tools in your review toolbox is always the question, “Can this sentence be simplified?”

If it can be simpler, make it simpler.

Use adjectives and adverbs sparingly.

Regardless of what you’re writing, verbs are your power words. Make them do your heavy lifting, and keep the lightweight descriptors like adjectives and adverbs scarce.

Do you have a  writing tip to share?