Tag Archives: prompt

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?

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


 

events
This week I am organizing myself for Word on the Street in Lethbridge with my publisher, Dream Write Publishing. We have attended this event before in Lethbridge but also Saskatoon, so it will be good to return.
I am hoping the delivery of my new novel, The Twesome Loop makes it in time but if not I can compile order sheets to get signed by interested readers. I will have my other books with me – Rumble’s First Scare, Ockleberries to the Rescue, Clickety Click and The Rython Kingdom.
The trip will begin on Friday so we can have a leisurely drive down, settle into our hotel and relax prior to the setting up the following morning. Another Dream Write author is attending, Guy Chambers, which will be a first for him.
As usual I will utilize the time to write – probably on Sunday prior to returning home and if possibly Friday and Saturday evenings. It depends on what is happening as there is a local writers group, The River Bottom Writers we connected with some time ago. So we may spend time with some of the members.
Logo WOTS

The Word on the Street Festival comes to Halifax, NS, on Sunday September 16Lethbridge, AB, on Saturday September 23Toronto, ON, and Saskatoon, SK, on Sunday, September 24. And Word Vancouver will be taking over that town with events throughout the city from September 19–September 24.

Other Events:

runaway

Margo Goodhand “Runaway Wives and Rogue Feminists” Book Launch

19th September  19:00 – 21:00 pm at Audreys Books, Edmonton, AB

blackfoot

Walter Hildebrandt “Blackfoot Country” Book Launch

21st September 19:00 – 21:00 pm at Audreys Books, Edmonton, AB

case

Angie Abdou “In Case I Go” Book Launch

22nd September 19:00 – 21:00 pm at Audreys Books, Edmonton, AB

Logo Telling Tales Festival

The Telling Tales Festival is back on September 17 in Rockton, ON (near Hamilton), with amazing writers for young people, including Erin Bow, Emma Donoghue, Andrew Larsen, Evan Munday, Itah Sadu, and many others.

Logo LiterAsian

From September 21–24Literasian celebrates Asian Canadian literature in Vancouver, BC, with featured authors Eleanor Guerrero-Campbell, Catherine Hernandez, Janie Chang, Jen Sookfong Lee, Julia Lin, Leanne Dunic, Leslie Shimotakahara, and Terry Watada.

Logo Winnipeg International Writers Festival

The Winnipeg International Writers Festival takes place September 22–30 in Winnipeg, MB, with Suzette Mayr, Steve Burrows, Lydia Kwa, Katherena Vermette, Cary Fagan, Méira Cook, Trevor Cole, Pasha Malla, Andrew Pyper, and many others.

Please comment to add your own local events as well.

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.

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

It is Board meeting week for me. Firstly tomorrow with my writing group’s foundation, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County and then Wednesday with the Arts & Culture Council. Our main focus in both meetings will be the co-hosted event, which is part of Alberta Culture Days – writers: Words in the Park and arts – Culture Days. With authors and artisans, food, music, dance, interactive sessions & more it will require careful organization. The venue is a stunning art gallery, Spark Gallery, 2257 Premier Way, Sherwood Park. 10 am – 4 pm free admission.

What events do you have coming up? Care to share?

Other events:

norma

Norma Dunning “Annie Muktuk and other Stories” Book Launch

Audreys Books, Edmonton – Wednesday 13th September at 19:00–21:00

death

Jim Sellers “A Death of Cold” Book Launch

Audreys Books, Edmonton – Thursday 14th September at 19:00–21:00

yardwork

Daniel Coleman “Yardwork” Book Launch

Audreys Books, Edmonton – Friday 15th September at 19:00–21:00

ghosts

D.C.Hooke book signing – The Ghosts of Sundown

Chapters Strathcona

10504 82 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T6E 2A4
Saturday at 13:00–16:00

 

September 14, 2017: The Book Publishers Association of Alberta Annual General Meeting and Conference

Please join us for the annual Book Publishers Association of Alberta Annual General Meeting and Conference from September 14-16, 2017. This year the event is being held in Edmonton at the Delta South. Conference registration is now open. The 2017 Book Publishers Association of Alberta Conference and Annual General Meeting provides an opportunity for Alberta

September 15, 2017: Alberta Book Publishing Awards Gala

Each year we celebrate the best of Alberta book publishing with the Alberta Book Publishing Awards. This year we are excited to be presenting eleven publishing awards, as well as honouring one exceptional individual with a lifetime achievement award and celebrating the life of another well-known Canadian publisher by dedicating an award to them. The 2017

 

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?