Tag Archives: Strathcona County

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

This week is Board meeting week – my first meeting is tomorrow for the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County – we will be planning our annual conference, which will be held on 22nd April as well as numerous other agenda items. On Wednesday it is the Arts & Culture Council meeting, where once again planning will be in full swing for our AGM on 12th April and our heritage day event in June. So all in all a busy time for the next few months.

I find that involvement in these boards can be time consuming at times but it brings so many benefits. To be involved with these art organizations gives me the chance to meet new people, experience new art forms and have fun planning events!

offthepage-header

I did manage to attend the open mic event last Wednesday evening and read to a full house! I did worry I would begin coughing but manage to read all of my excerpt from The Twesome Loop without coughing once, although my mouth was arid. There were so many wonderful people to connect with and the readings were excellent. One woman read for the very first time in public while others were old hands. We heard poetry, rants, manuscript excerpts and one young poet (14 years old) read an exceptional piece called Beautiful for Women’s Day. She was amazing.

Do you have any writing or reading events this week? Care to share?

Other events:

wordsthaw

In Victoria, BC, WordsThaw returns to warm the University of Victoria from March 16–20.

Cheeky Reblog Wednesday: One of My Own…


reblogI know it’s a bit cheeky but I’m re-blogging a short blog piece I wrote for a client today. Restricted to 200 words, I keep them simple but hopefully interesting enough to encourage conversation.

http://www.kelseyincorporated.com/lets-talk.html  – blog tab – Benefits of Buying Local

After submitting the post, I thought about how some local businesses help my publisher, Dream Write Publishing – http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/ – in promoting their local authors. Smaller book stores, a volunteer run cafe, an artisan market and a few other general stores assist in stocking the books for sale. The benefit in liaising with the store owners gives each party a deeper understanding of the narratives content as well as the opportunity to meet and greet the authors with signings and the added advantage of an expanded promotion of local events.

Do you have local stores stocking your books? 

What is your experience?

This graph for shop local is a great visual guide to how shopping local benefits the community in which we live.

buying-local-graph

Christmas Story Telling – An Opportunity…


My writing group, the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County (http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com/) were invited to participate in story telling at a locally organized event on Sunday – Christmas in the Heartland (http://www.strathcona.ca/departments/economic-development-and-tourism/tourism/christmas-in-the-heartland/)

Bremmer House Read 30Nov2014

The venue was Bremmer House, a beautiful old house in the midst of renovation. (http://www.strathcona.ca/local-government/about-strathcona-county/strathcona-county-history-and-heritage/places/historic-buildings-and-sites/bremner-house/) 

Myself and two other Board members of the foundation attended and two of us read Christmas themed stories to visiting children.

Books at Bremmer

The room as you can see was beautifully decorated to enhance the Christmas atmosphere. Unfortunately, our room was also the only one that did not have adequate heating so we remained in our coats and boots throughout the day. It brought realism to the reading if nothing else!

Books displayed.

Captive audience

The event not only gave Karen and I valuable experience in reading and interacting with an audience but also enabled us to spread the word about our writing group and our published works. Volunteering for events is a great way to be involved and meet new people.

Reading Nib the mouse who made a house in a Christmas cake.

Karen at Bremmer

Karen wrapped up cozy.

What have you learnt from your author readings?

What was the most unusual setting you read in?

Life Changes Roll with It or Stagnate…


Man Sitting In ValleyWe all have different coping mechanisms when it comes to changes in our lives. Some changes are welcome, some raising curiosity while others are certainly not wanted or wished for. I experienced two smaller occurrences in the last couple of days and it began a line of thought I wanted to share. Do I resist change or embrace it?

As some of you will know I attended Words in the Park over the weekend. The hall was full of forty nine authors and nine vendors – all displaying books and accessories for the discerning book lover. In past years, I have been positioned close to my publisher, Dream Write Publishing and my writing group, The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County. This has led to an enjoyable time overseeing these tables in rotation with others and conversing and chatting with friends and visitors alike. This year as I had booked a whole table instead of half, I was placed on the other side of the venue, away from my usual comrades. It may seem childish (especially considering my age!) but I felt excluded at first. I could see them talking and laughing but unable to join in. Then I realized that I should take advantage of the opportunity and be more proactive in my promotion rather than await passers-by. I surveyed my display and knew it was eye-catching so stood behind my table and greeted everyone, stating the age groups for each book and a short description of the stories. It was a successful day for sales and I also received lots of compliments on my table arrangement and each individual book’s themed items. Several friends did stop by for a chat and one looked after my table while I went to participate in an author reading. All in all I feel I made more sales because I was more engaged and not distracted to my goal.

Today was a day of change as well at my workplace. After nearly two years, my manager and I have a new work colleague. We have been comfortable in how we arrange our work days and the day to day routine is pretty much set. The new employee will bring her own ideas of regime and structure and it is probably not a bad thing. We can all get stuck in a rut so easily. We will embrace this change and see what it brings in the months to come.

What changes have you experienced lately that made you leave your comfort zone?

Was the outcome successful?

What did you learn from the experience?

changes_roadsign

 

Preparation and Excitement for Book Fair…


WITP Oct

The event Words in the Park in Sherwood Park, AB (http://words.sclibrary.ab.ca/) is celebrating it’s seventh year. As the secretary of the co-host, The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County and a local author, this event is the highlight of my year.

This year I am officially launching my second children’s book, Ockleberries to the Rescue. http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/products/ockleberries-rescue

 

Book cover

There is a lot of pre-planning for any event of course and as the event date grows closer there are lots of things requiring attention. I spent several hours on Tuesday evening with other WFSC members, putting out numerous signs for the event around the local area. Then last night it was my friend, Linda and I, busily putting labels on 100+ water bottles and packing up several boxes of books for all her authors (45 books in all) ready for display on Saturday 25th October – 12.00 – 4pm.

All the organizers, including me, will be setting up the tables and displays early on Saturday morning. I practiced my table display several weeks ago and have all my supplies packed and ready to go. Yes, I’m that organized! This is my practice run photo:

WITP 2014 set upOn the left is my adult fantasy, The Rython Kingdom with bookmarks and glowing globe. In the middle is my soft toy, Rumble with his book, Rumble’s First Scare and T-shirts and hats (I have printed out coloring pages too). On the right is Ockleberries to the Rescue with wooden door ornament and forest animal figurines (2 glow!) Hopefully it will attract attention.

I also have a reading on the day at 1 pm so will relate a chapter of my forest sprite adventures in Ockleberries to the Rescue.

When you have an event, how do you plan your display?

Rumble3d3df1f7d1f382285315cbfd851c3329b33bce46

A Nice Surprise for Wednesday – A Lovely Blog Award


one-lovely-blog-awardIt’s been a while since my last blog award – so it was lovely to receive this one from Ileandra. http://ileandraxraven.co.uk/

And the rules are:

Thank and link to the person who nominated you – done and a pleasure.
List the Rules, and display the award image – done.

Follow the blogger who nominated you – already follow.
Include 7 facts about yourself –

1. My second children’s book, Ockleberries to the Rescue, will be launched at Words in the Park – 25th  October.

http://words.sclibrary.ab.ca/   Book cover

2. I have lived on three continents.

3. I am the secretary of my local writing group – Writers Foundation of Strathcona County

4. My writing style is free flow – I tried plotting once and failed miserably.

5. Rome, Italy is my soul’s home – I will return

6. I miss the ocean – it’s sight, sound and feel

7. Fall (Autumn) is my favorite month due to the colors mainly

Nominate an additional 6 blogs, and notify them by leaving a comment on one of their posts – here is my list:

http://wildhorse33.wordpress.com/

http://ryanlanz.com/

http://the-view-outside.com/

http://www.kathiesutherland.com/

http://andioconnor.com/

http://distraction99.com/

Have fun with your award and pay it forward.

On a side note this is my 660 post! Wow….

Take Advantage of Unexpected Opportunities…


After my wonderful long weekend and attendance at Word on the Street in Lethbridge, I was delighted to find out that a short snippet of showing my soft toy of the Rumble character from my children’s picture book, Rumble’s First Scare was shown on the local Global News. It may only be a few moments but I am over enjoyed. If the little girl had not been enamored of Rumble, the cameraman may have walked past. You can see Rumble (little furry guy) sitting watching his visitor at 1.32 on the timeline. He is bottom left of the picture.

WOTS Sept 2014

http://globalnews.ca/video/1577115/word-on-the-street-festival

I have requested a copy of the whole segment recorded and only hope I am allowed to have it. Prior to the clip the little girl was cuddling Rumble…so sweet. Fingers crossed they say Yes.

Today was also an unexpected opportunity. I arrived at work as usual at 7.30 am to find the telephone and computer system were nonfunctional. As this is quite a common occurrence, I made a cup of tea and waited for it to reboot…and waited…and waited. To pass the time I wrote and revised my current story and as usual became quite engrossed. Several hours passed and eventually, my manager left to work at home and I waited and waited. By 2 o’clock several of the staff from downstairs had already left. So I asked if I could also leave. My request was granted and I made my way home in the rain to write this blog post.

So here I am home early on a Friday creating my blog post and preparing for the event tomorrow. Coloring sheets have been printed for Rumble’s coloring contest and Rumble has had minor surgery to fix his ‘floppy’ neck.

Contest download : http://dreamwritepublishing.ca/files/dreamwritepublishing/RUMBLE%20LOVES%20HIS%20YUCKY%20PETS%202014.pdf

Tomorrow will be an early start – we set up at 8.30 am for Alberta Culture Days.

I will be wearing a couple of hats – one for my writing group Writers Foundation of Strathcona County and the other as an author for Dream Write Publishing.

With many interactive displays to try out and lots to see we will have a busy day. Come and see for yourself. The event is free.

http://www.accsc.ca/event-1761413

Arts Days

Quotes:  

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. Milton Berle

Success is where preparation and opportunity meet. Bobby Unser

If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade. Tom Peters.

FunDay

Prompt:

Write about a time you took advantage of a situation.

A Busy Weekend of Event Planning …


This week has my writing group hosting their AGM and my publishing company attending a book fair. This entails my time in planning for both.

As secretary of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, I am responsible for the minutes at the meeting but also to ensure notification and reminders have been sent to the membership, that we have copies of last year’s AGM minutes and an agenda. As well as ensuring the Bylaws and Policies binder is up to date and present for viewing. On Saturday, I spent time with the Treasurer, Linda J Pedley, creating the agenda and a President’s report. This was after I had driven to Leduc to record the inventory of Dream Write books in the Leduc Artisan Market and to pick up a Ockleberries to the Rescue promotional item. (See below). We will hold the AGM on Tuesday 16th September and begin another year – our 10th anniversary – with new vigor and plans for a writing conference on 2nd May 2015.

WFSC banner

Sprite door 4

Sprite door 3

Once the writer’s group business was completed, we began planning for the upcoming weekend’s book fair. This event – Words on the Street – is Canada wide and well worth visiting in your location. You have the opportunity to meet authors and hear them read from their current book, purchase and have books signed, receive advice from publishers and find a writing group in your area.Dream Write Publishing will be in stall #17 – opposite the library entrance – so come along and say Hi and also meet the members of the Lethbridge writing group, The River Bottom Writers, who will be next to us.

All of Dream Write’s books will be available for sale and some for pre-order, such as my Ockleberries to the Rescue children’s chapter book. Immerse yourself in literary endeavors for the day. Hope to see you there.

Book cover

wots banner

Promotional Items for Book Marketing – My Latest Rumble Promo and Ideas for Ockleberries Promo too…


Every year I run a coloring competition for my children’s picture book, Rumble’s First Scare. After choosing the picture for the competition, I have to decide on what the prize will be that accompanies a free copy of the book. In past year’s I have given hand-made Rumble puppets, a Rumble bag filled with squishy toy ‘pets’ just like Rumble’s own and this year I have T-shirts as well as hand-made hats. Both of these last items can be offered for sale at any time of course, but I like to meet the winners of the coloring competition, when possible, so have the prizes available at the annual Words in the Park event in Sherwood Park, Alberta. http://words.sclibrary.ab.ca/

I was excited to find a crafter, who volunteered her services to make these marvelous Rumble hats (see below) and production is under way. If you can’t wait until October, send me a PM and I can reserve you one. They are fantastic unique gifts for Halloween too.

RumbleRumble hat

This year’s T-shirts are unique as well – the front says ‘I love Rumble and his bag of pets’ and the back says ‘Grab your Rumble at http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca

Rumble tshirt frontRumble tshirt back

 

I have ideas for my new children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue, as well, which will be launched in October. As the story follows two magical woodland sprites, I want to fashion T-shirt designs but also some sort of toy, for younger children. I already have a couple of animal figurine and glitter filled light-up globes (which you might be able to make

out here – one is a rabbit and the other a squirrel) IMG_0233

What promotional items have you used for your books?

How successful have your promotional items been for you? 

I found this link, which is helpful:

http://writersrelief.com/blog/2014/05/make-promotional-items-stand-out-boost-sales/

Featured on Be A Best Seller.com…


featured 

Hello All,

I have  been featured in the Makin’ It Happen article of the magazine from Be A Best Seller.com today. As this is a subcription only I am just highlighting my piece within it.

Makin’ It Happen
 
 

Mandy Eve-BarnettThis week’s Makin’ It Happen author is Mandy Eve-Barnett, a freelance writer and regular contributor to the e-zine, Strathcona Connect, and the “Never Been Better” page in the Sherwood Park newspaper.

Mandy has been an avid reader her whole life, but it wasn’t until after promising herself an outlet for her creativity that serendipity took her to the Writers’ Foundation of Strathcona County, where the writing ‘bug’ took hold.

Now, Mandy is deeply involved with the Writers’ Foundation and its members as Secretary. Plus, she sets a writing prompt every Saturday on the WFSC website.

You can find Mandy’s writing in an anthology, Writing Prompt Journey. Plus, she regularly blogs about her writing experiences.

Additionally, Mandy has successfully completed four consecutive National Novel Writing Month challenges from 2009 to 2013 with the subsequent volume of work resulting in four novels. 

Her children’s print book Rumble’s First Scare was published in September 2011. And in August 2012, her adult fantasy eBook, titled The Rython Kingdom, was released on Smashwords along with Amazon.ca and Amazon.co.uk and is now available as a POD through Create Space.

Mandy also collaborated to produce a ‘how to write your memoir’ workbook, called Your Lifetime of Stories, which was published in 2013.

 

Currently, the illustrations are being completed for Mandy’s fantasy children’s book, Ockleberries to the Rescue, to be released later this year. Plus, Mandy is in the midst of editing her cowgirl romance novel, Willow Tree Tears, which is also scheduled to be released later this year.

You can learn more about Mandy and her work at: 
https://mandyevebarnett.com/

http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/ 

http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/

You can find more information here: http://www.beabestseller.com

They are always open to contributing authors: http://www.beabestseller.com/contact-experts/

Why not share your last featured blog, article or interview?