Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Get That Pitch Perfect For Your Story…

April 23, 2014
mandyevebarnett


reblogToday’s re-blog concerns how to write a good pitch for your story. We all struggle with this necessary evil at one time or another and the more advice we can garner the better. Here are some resources I hope you find helpful.

http://wordsmithsix.com/2012/04/16/pitch-perfect/

http://wordsmithsix.com/2014/04/16/pitch-perfect-2/

http://www.cynthiaeden.com/writers/the-perfect-pitch/

http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/thebusinessofwriting/a/How-To-Pitch-Your-Novel.htm

pitching-manuscript

Do you have any tips or resources that you care to share to help your fellow authors/writers?

 

Newest article for Strathcona Connect…

October 13, 2012
mandyevebarnett


Family

As the old saying goes ‘nothing stays the same’ – children grow up and leave home, relationships alter or falter, younger children may have issues with peer groups or school and the elderly have to adjust to new circumstances and lessened abilities. Life can throw us curve balls at any time and how we cope depends on our personality and family situation. Each event affects us in many ways, emotionally, physically or financially and it is our ability to deal with the transformation these events bring that can make us stronger with help. Our capability to adjust has many variants – it might be our age or how we relate to others or how well we know ourselves. No matter what life throws at us we can seek help – there is no stigma in using professionals to help clarify, support or assist us in coping or adjusting. We do not have to struggle alone and it is certainly not a sign of weakness to reach out.

One look at the demographics of Sherwood Park gives us a real insight into our fellow residents – married couples hold 60% and single persons 27% of the population, leaving 9% for divorced and 5% for widowed.  Within these figures the age groups are fairly evenly spread – 0 – 4yrs 20%, 15 – 24 yrs 14%, 25 – 34 yrs 11%, 35 – 44 yrs 16%, 45 – 54 yrs 17%, 55 – 64 yrs 13% and 64 plus yrs 10%.  (www.zoocasa.com) Within these groups there is the potential for a diverse range of difficulties, which can be influenced by the ethnicities of the population. The top ethnicities are 42% British, 17% Canadian, 14% Ukrainian and 11% French (www.zoocasa.com) This makes Sherwood a real melting pot of diversity giving its inhabitants a uniqueness all its own, which makes for a interesting range of problems to overcome.

There are a multitude of resources we can access through the Internet, our own practitioner or the local library as well as community services. Whatever your situation and cultural background there is a local community service that can help with any circumstances we find ourselves facing. That one local resource is Family & Community Services (http://www.strathcona.ca/departments/family-community-services.aspx) This Strathcona County service covers a variety of social programs for a wide range of family problems from teens to the elderly and everything in-between, giving answers and support to best effect. You may be surprised how diverse the service is once you browse their web site and there is always a friendly voice on the other end of the phone.

In times of strife the ‘virtual’ options for social connections are not enough – face to face conversations and understanding means so much more and in the end leads to better resolution. So don’t feel isolated, there is help available within a stone’s throw.


Strathcona Connect article

My newest article for Strathcona Connect. It is relevant to us all at some stage.

Parenthood certainly keeps us busy. There is never enough time for us and for the most part we accept that fact. But what happens when the nest is empty, how do we fill that void? More importantly, should we wait until the nest is completely empty before planning life without children?

As our children become older we are required less and less, finding ourselves with time on our hands. Don’t waste it looking at the phone, just in case a call comes through or clean their room as a surprise! Use the time to find the ‘new’ you or even the ‘old’ you, who was left behind when children came along. Did you have a hobby or craft you really enjoyed? Are there supplies stacked away in a cupboard waiting to see the light of day? Have you always wanted to try something but never had the time? Re-discover yourself, your passion, the inner you that has been buried for so long. It’s alright to pursue something for yourself not only because it keeps us vibrant and interested but it also shows others, including our children, that we are our own person after all, with a life!

So how do we start? Firstly, don’t jump straight into something or do anything drastic. Selling the house and setting off to backpack your way around the world might need more than a moment’s thought. There will be feelings of loss and emptiness, which is normal, so take time to gather yourself. This may take a few weeks or a few months, each person is different. Whichever it is, take heart in knowing you will always be Mom or Dad but needed in different ways. With the house so quiet, you may feel like you are rattling around in it with a stranger, just remember you are both grieving. Be understanding and actively listen to each other. Have you got similar ideas on what you want to do or are you polar opposites? Either way can work, if there is communication and understanding. Maybe golf three times a week excites you or making quilts for third nation countries is your thing. Whatever your choices, plan around each other’s schedules so you have time to share your new passion, it will surprise you how lively and energetic your partner becomes. This is a fresh liberating stage in your lives, embrace it.

Now where to start? Contemplate your options and interests and decide on one or two to try. Yes, I said try because we change and what was all encompassing several decades ago might not be so inspiring now. Use community resources to find groups or organizations and go along to a few meetings. Get a ‘taste’ of how the group interacts and if the pastime/hobby/craft still appeals, if not move along to the next one. The Strathcona County library has numerous resources and notice boards and you can find event listings on the Strathcona County website or use your search engine to find local groups. Challenge yourself. Make a self-centered goal list…take the time to find what engages you and remember change doesn’t happen in an instant. Enjoy the journey the goal is just the icing on the cake.

Are you panicking yet? There are no hard and fast rules about what you should do and in what timeframe. Maybe start off slow. Have a movie night, read a novel a week, eat take out, meet friends for coffee on Sunday morning, it’s up to you how you enjoy your time. Don’t beat yourself up if the class or group didn’t turn out the way you expected, there are always other options. Just remember it’s your ‘new’ life and tailor it the way you want to live it.

Blog at WordPress.com.