Tag Archives: Relationships

Literary Genres – Self-help Book


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Self-help books are written with the intention of instructing its readers on solving personal problems. The books take their name from Self-Help, an 1859 best-seller by Samuel Smiles. However, they are also know and classified under self-improvement, the term being a modernized version of self-help. Self-help books moved from a niche position to being a postmodern cultural phenomenon in the late twentieth century.

The first self-help writings are most probably from the Ancient Egyptian “Codes” of conduct, the classical Roman, Cicero’s On Friendship and On Duties as well as the Florentine Giovanni della Casa’s book of manners published in 1558.

However, in the last half-century or so the humble self-help book has jumped to cultural prominence, in fact it could be said self-help books have become an addiction in and of themselves. These books cover such subjects as relationships, personal improvement, whether physical or emotional, spiritual enlightenment, and many more.

Have you used self-help book?

Have you written one?

A friend of mine, Kathie Sutherland has a blog that covers personal and spiritual growth and self-expression. Why not take a look?

http://kathiesutherland.com/

A Writers Conundrum – Finding Time to Write..


To have inspiration for our writing we must observe life, to avoid our family and friends abandoning us we need to engage with them, to pay the bills we must usually work a day job, to maintain our word count or deadline we must organize writing time. So the question is, how can we juggle all of these demands on our time with failing at each one?

Finding the ‘perfect’ balance between these is always a challenge. You may be in the depths of a scene when a small hand lands on your lap, a teenager ‘must’ be taken to a friends house, your husband needs help with a project or dare I say it your boss needs something from you? We inevitably crumble and leave the narrative in the hope you will remember the details later? We may scramble to jot down that idea, phrase or even paragraph before being torn away. I have looked to other writers, famous or not, and tried to delve beyond the obvious and gleam an insight into their methods of finding time. There are numerous hints and tips populating the internet but in the end you know your life and its limitations best. You may get up extra early, stay awake until the breaking dawn or cram a few paragraphs into your lunch hour – whatever works for you and your writing – is the right way to go. The trick is how to organize your time productively.

How do you schedule your writing?

What time of day works best for you?

I have to admit my writing is not scheduled. I take advantage of any time I’m left alone and once absorbed find it difficult to let go. Weekend mornings are good for me as I get up early and have several hours while my daughter is still sleeping and my husband is playing about in the garage! Other times I can use are the evenings when I arrive early for writing group meetings and write until the allotted time. Other ‘escape’ opportunities do arise and I always take advantage of them: a cancelled appointment, the house to myself or the glory of a  writing retreat! Obviously, I dream of the day I can shut myself away with my laptop and not have to answer to anyone…it will happen I just need to be patient.

With my freelance work increasingly demanding more of my time, I have to split my writing with that of clients. Maybe I am wrong but I tend to complete a client’s work prior to my own. Having a deadline for a paying job and completing it is, to my mind, more important and vital: a) for repeated work b) for remuneration. That is not to say I believe my own writing is secondary, far from it. Within my writing group, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, I am fortunate to have other writers who engage in an annual novel workshop. At the beginning of the year, when several of us have participated in NaNoWriMo and others are ready to share their first draft, we meet every month until June (sometimes longer). We section our novels and email them to each other, then edit and comment on the narrative. Then at month’s end email our editing and meet to discuss the stories. It is beta reading within a ‘safe’ environment if you will. This mutual assistance enables me to edit my current manuscript with the views of several other authors and a ‘faster’ editing process too.

Care to share your writing schedule or tips you found useful?

My writing area expands a little each year! Where do you write?

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How Do You Nurture Your Publishing & Writing Relationships..?


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I was fortunate to spend time with both of my children (well young adults now!) this weekend. It was a real treat and I relish being involved with their interests and every day concerns even though they are not really dependent on me anymore.

The experience made me think of other relationships and how we nurture them. For example I have forged close relationships with a number of fellow members within my writing group, The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County. http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com/  Without their encouragement and continued support, my writing life would not have started at all and certainly would not be so enjoyable. Becoming the Foundations’ secretary has not only increased my involvement and experience but has also given me the opportunity to meet some well known and established authors.

Writeres Foundation of Strathcona County

Do you enjoy a writing group’s fellowship?

What benefits has it given you and your writing?

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Another relationship that writers need to nurture is with their publisher. It should not all be business (hopefully) and a friendship of sorts can be established. I’m not saying you should be best friends but at least have conversations about mutual interests or exchange plans for the weekend. As an author with Dream Write Publishing http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/ I am fortunate to know the owner well and she encourages each author to be fully involved with the publishing process from format to cover design to finished product. This is an unusual kind of relationship within the industry, however having such a conscientious, hardworking and understanding publisher makes the whole process much more enjoyable. The personal touch is worth its weight in gold. Dream Write enables any writer to achieve their dream of being published and not have the agony of waiting for an extended amount of time for a submission to be acknowledged.

How do you liaise with your publisher?

What kind of relationship do you have with your publisher?

Could you cope with the paparazzi..?


Tumultuous – definition: 1. raising a great clatter and commotion; disorderly or noisy; 2. highly agitated, as in the mind or emotions, turbulent

There have been tumultuous relationships between famous stars for decades. From Richard and Elizabeth to Chris and Rhianna their love life, break ups, fights and rekindled love are splashed across newspapers, the evening news programs and lately social media. There seems to be a fascination that grips the public.  How do extremely rich and famous people act that  way – it is almost ‘human’? Well, shock, horror, they are human! They want the same as most people – a loving relationship. Unfortunately for many that is not achievable when surrounded 24/7 by paparazzi, screaming fans and stalkers.

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RihannaI know I would certainly not be able to cope with that kind of scrutiny and lack of privacy. I have written about the few successful famous couples before. (https://mandyevebarnett.com/2013/07/26/fealty-a-lost-art/  Famously Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward who lived a ‘quiet’ life in Connecticut for most of their 50 years as a married couple. There is a mutual respect and honesty between these couples that maintains their relationships.

As authors we wish for that best seller, the accolades and of course the royalties but would you want your private life to be invaded? Could you cope with the constant camera flashes and questions? The lack of privacy anywhere?

A Canadian author, Alice Munro, has just been announced as winner of the Nobel Peace Prize – how will it change her life? Maybe at 82 years old she will know how to cope with such an accolade.

Parents Love Unconditionally…


Ardent – definition : 1. vehement; fierce 2. intensely devoted, eager, or enthusiastic; zealous

This word describes my parents love for their children and grandchildren perfectly. I lost my Father ten years ago and my Mother on 5th September, 2013. Their legacy of unconditional love, will live on in us all as we love and support each other at this devastating time. Their love for each other showed in everything they did. Together now for eternity.

We may not have been monetarily rich as a family but we never felt disadvantaged or poor as love and encouragement was limitless in our lives as we grew into caring, respectful adults. In turn we are showing our children the same fierce devotion to make them loving, caring people.

Night-night and God bless to the most wonderful parents anyone could ever wish for.

Mother & Fa