Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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

November 2, 2015
mandyevebarnett


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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Writing Retreat in NaNoWriMo Month…

November 10, 2014
mandyevebarnett


Overlander sign

My good friend, Linda and I escaped for a wonderful long weekend of writing on Thursday night to Jasper National Park. Our cabin was perfectly situated for us to enjoy peace and quiet. We find it companionable to write together as we share the passion for the written word. Hours may pass and we have not spoken a word, just typed a lot! This mini writing retreat was perfectly timed to give us both much needed time to devote to our respective NaNo novels.

I have many demands on my time with work, volunteering, home and family and so treasure pure writing time. However, Linda has even more demands as she is a publisher (Dream Write Publishing) as well as an author and volunteer and much more! Due to our shared discipline we managed a substantial word count even when we treated ourselves to a trip through the park into Jasper itself on Saturday. We were extremely fortunate to encounter stunning wildlife and the opportunity to refresh our connection to nature.

Elk

Mountain goats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A browsing session in a couple of souvenir shops gave us gifts and I found a perfect promotional item for my upcoming Western romance, Willow Tree Tears. A figurine of a female barrel racer – my protagonist.

Barrel girl 3

Barrel girl 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We experienced the trip down to Jasper in rain and darkness on Thursday night, bright sunshine and magnificent mountains on Saturday and a large snowfall on Sunday morning greeted us. Each experience was inspiring and special. Returning to our normal routines was difficult – we could have stayed a lot longer but we have our spring writing retreat to look forward to – so let’s start counting the days.

What get-away has given you writing time?

Where do you go?

With whom?

Good luck to my fellow NaNo participants.

 

 

A Give Away from a Author Friend…

August 1, 2014
mandyevebarnett


Lisa with Witchdoctor bookMy good friend,  Lisa de Nikolits  has asked me to include her fantastic giveaway on my blog.  Let’s hope I did this right…!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2dc0b20

Why not take a peek at the book –  http://www.amazon.ca/The-Witchdoctors-Bones-Lisa-Nikolits/dp/1771331267

TheWitchdoctorsCover

 

 

 

 

Story Ideas OverLoad – How Do You Cope..?

July 7, 2014
mandyevebarnett


Many of us have numerous story ideas bouncing around inside our heads.
This may seem a good problem to have, however, too many ideas and no focus can be just as debilitating as staring at a blank page or screen. Symptoms can include indecision, procrastination, failure to meet deadlines, insomnia and anxiety.

The problem is how do we ensure these golden nuggets are not lost?  We endeavor to keep them by making frantic notes but musing over where they could possibly lead to can lead to devastating interruption to our current project. So how do we identify if this ‘new’ idea is worth pursuing?

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There are many strategies we can employ to decide on which are best to keep  – here are a few to try:

a) Leave the chaos of your writing space with pen and paper or recording device and go for a walk. Once you are in a new environment the most exciting and prominent idea(s) will stay with you. Write or record them and let your imagination flourish with them for a while.

b) Restrict your time on musing about new ideas by setting yourself a time limit. Even a ten minute burst of inspirational writing will ensure you get the idea down but not ‘waste’ too much time on it. Once it is written put it to one side and continue with your current project, safe in the knowledge the idea has been dealt with.

c) Take some time to really dissect the new idea. Can you envisage the plot arc, the ending, the characters? If the majority of the narrative reveals itself to you, then mark it down as your next project. However, if the idea is vague, do not pursue it – just jot down the outline and file it.

d) Utilize your passion when defining whether an idea is worth reflection. If it excites you or is on a subject you feel passionate about then it should be considered in depth.

e) Get yourself an idea board. Organize each idea into genre or categories and when a new plot, character or scene comes to you place it with the other components of that particular story.

f) Bounce your ideas off a few trusted friends or members of your writing group.

Have you tried any of these solutions?

Do you have a technique you can share?

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“The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out.  Every mind is a building filled with archaic furniture. Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.”                         – Dee Hock

Seize Your Opportunity…

June 4, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Temerity – definition: reckless boldness; rashness

boldnessHow do you seize your opportunities?

I boldly pursued…

Since finding writing as my favored creative outlet and my group, The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, I have embraced any and all opportunities. Yes, some were scary, such as attempting NaNoWriMo for the first time but others have been awesome adventures. I have learnt new skills and met some wonderful people. My life has improved beyond my expectations.

Before I toiled every day with no true relaxation or interest at the end of the day or week. Running my own company meant ‘the buck stopped with me’ and therefore I could never really shut off. I was also chairman of two Parent Teacher Associations for extended periods and excelled in the organization of fund raising events. However, I was still unfulfilled, missing that ‘something’ that captured my passion.

It took travelling across the Atlantic to find my passion. Rather drastic maybe, but I know I am where I need to be. I have found my creative outlet and embrace it wholeheartedly.

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