Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Tirade…Animal Care..

May 11, 2013

Tirade – definition: a long, angry speech

Due to my immobility this week I have found it difficult to sit for any length of time at my writing desk. This has given me time to watch TV, which is unusual for me. As an animal lover when I watch programmes of animal cruelty all I want to do is find the brutes responsible and give them a taste of their own medicine.


I cannot fathom how anyone can torture a defenceless animal. What kind of mindset do they have? Are they devoid of any emotion at all? It is probably not politically correct to want to harm these mindless brutes but given the chance I sure would. Watching animal care authorities rescue abused ‘pets’ I only get angry, how these volunteers do not react stuns me. In the same position I would be beating the owners with the nearest heavy object.

All life is precious and should be respected as such. I have rescued numerous animals in my lifetime and brought most of them back to health with the help of my daughter; the animal expert. Some unfortunately were beyond our abilities or the local vets and we gave them relief from pain and suffering.


I applaud the many people who give their lives to the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of abused animals. So please always consider adopting from a rescue center before a breeder. These animals are the more loving despite their previous experiences.

My own Twinkle was from an animal shelter. She was surrendered at four weeks unwanted, poor little thing. Much too young to be separated from her mum and siblings. She was put in one shelter then taken in a van to another center miles away. That is where we found her. She was in the company of a Jack Russell and a Labrador pup. Twinkle was thought to be the mix of a lurcher and a Labrador but it was only a guess.

She was the most intelligent, loving and endearing dog you could have ever met. Friendly with everyone and all other animals. With a fairly regular influx of rescues in the house as well as our other pets, she was gentle with them all. She would even give up her food and water bowls for them.


I may be late…

January 19, 2013

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.

Literary Weekend…

September 20, 2012

I’m almost jumping up and down with excitement as I count down the hours until I head off with my dear friend, Linda, to Saskatoon.  We will surely enjoy the scenery as we drive and can look forward to staying in a nice hotel for the weekend. On Saturday 22nd September, we are attending a seminar entitled –Connect, Celebrate, & Collaborate hosted by P.W.A.C. (Professional Writers Association of Canada). Armed with pen and notebook, I’m sure to be scribbling furiously.

On the Sunday we will be part of the Word on the Street event. Linda’s publishing company, Dream Write Publishing, will be launching a Saskatoon author’s first novel as well as selling numerous other books in her catalogue. It will be a day full of literature and literary interests and people, something for all the family. If you go to the web site you can get all the information:

We have decided, instead of rushing back on the Sunday night, we will do some sightseeing and travel back home at a leisurely pace. How civilized a weekend you will agree.

So what are your plans for this weekend – do you have a Word on the Street event near you?


June 28, 2012

ImageWe can be overwhelmed with our own and other people’s expectations when creating a writing project. Questions race through our minds, taunting us – Am I good enough? Have I really got the skill? or Will anyone think my work worthy? Don’t feel these insecurities are the soul territory of the novice writer as many well known authors still suffer angst of one sort or another, even if it is only – Will this story be as enthralling as the last? Self imposed expectations can stall or even stop your creative flow, a scary place to be for all creative minds and in particular writers, who sit before a blank page with a whirling dervish of emotion crowding out any creativity.  In some cases this insecurity will be compounded by friends and family, who may demean your passion as a passing fancy or treat it with distaste or derision.

It is true writing is a solitary endeavour but there are ways to make connections. Of course there is the internet route, where everything from writing tips to author blogs to social media is at your fingertips, but do these give you a real connection? What we all yearn for is actually a more personal conncetion to someone (or even a group) who can encourage and  support us in the real world as opposed to the cyber one. Isn’t it nicer to sit down with like minded people and share our work? Constructive critque over a coffee or within a writers group meeting is not only of practical help but gives us a  feeling of community. An added bonus and one that truly boosts our confidence is when another writer will ask for help, an opinion, a viewpoint or even request mentorship. All of us can give as well as receive thus making our writerly life not so solitary.

Reach out to others – find a local group or even start your own! The benefits are countless and to be frank make our passion so much more enjoyable. Some of the following places may help:

Your local library. Search MeetUp or your local yellow pages. Your area’s Writers Guild or Association.

A great source of advice is –  – the book gives tips on starting your own writing circle.


December 17, 2011

Surrounded by members of my writing group at our annual Christmas party, brought me incredible joy. The fellowship I have found within this group is nothing less than a miracle. We are an eclectic group of differing ages, genders, genre’s, skill and styles but that is the reason the group is so wonderful. Whether sharing at a meeting of many or conversing with another member one on one – the feeling is the same – camaraderie of a shared passion.
I admit there are several members who have become special to me on my writing journey. Some have mentored me, others have needed me to mentor them but all have become close friends – that is the phenomenon of The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County. Certainly without this group I would have a very different ‘new’ life here in Canada. A reason, a season, a lifetime as the saying goes – well now I know the WFSC and its members are for a lifetime.
To all those of you obsessed with or tinkering with the art of writing – I wish you happiness and many words for the season and the coming years.

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