Tag Archives: support

Thank you to my blog followers – you humble me…


stats

Your blog, Mandy Eve-Barnett’s Official Blog, appears to be getting more traffic than usual! 90 hourly views – 1 hourly views on average
A spike in your stats

A huge thank you to my 3206 followers for making my blog the writing community I so wanted to create.

I will continue to investigate, share and help writers near and far with an ever changing blog covering different aspects of the writing life. I love to inspire, support and encourage.

thank you

Write On…

Interview with my dear friend and mentor, Linda J Pedley…


Before we start, I would like to say without Linda’s solid friendship, belief in my writing ability and encouragement, I, for one, would not be a published author. Her constant drive to enable numerous authors to realize their publishing dreams is not only commendable but a reflection of her generosity of spirit and expertise in making a manuscript become a published work. Linda What inspired you to write your first book? Although other books have been published before An Elizabethan Affair was finished, I am going to speak of EA as my first novel length idea. It was inspired by my love for Shakespeare and deep longing for finding that perfect soul mate. I have always wanted to write a novel – it is on my list of life long goals and/or dreams written some time ago. As a writer, it was an obvious destination for my journey. Elizabethan Affair How did you come up with the title? It is inspired by my secret obsession of falling in love with that which or whom you cannot have… It refers to affair as in not only of the clandestine variety, but of or concerning the Elizabethan era. It puts forth the truth, yet alludes to the impossible, drawing together fact and fiction. Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?  I have contributed submissions (poetry, short stories, and essays) to a number of anthologies, co-authored history books, and contributed to a memoir writing instruction workbook. I am currently ghost writing a 3 book memoir for a client, and a business humor series. I have 2 novels published (An Elizabethan Affair, Power Struggle), 2 novellas of a YA series published (A Journey of Brothers, A Journey of Truth), and have several others in various stages, including the 3rd novella in the YA adventure series (A Journey of Desires). Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? With regard to An Elizabethan Affair – I guess the main message would be to never give up on your dreams no matter how big, how out there, or seemingly impossible they may be. Of course, we know we can never go back and have a time travel affair, no matter how much you wished for it, but the allusion to living for your passion is there. Do what you love. How much of the book is realistic? I did a lot of research and a lot of reading on Shakespeare and Elizabethan times – and based on that, it is my hope that references and descriptions are as realistic as they can possibly be. There are advantages to writing of something so distant that those things we know to be true are usually easy to find – the rest can be left to speculation with imagination playing a huge part in drawing the work together. Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life? I based the book, obviously, on William Shakespeare’s life. The life of co-protagonist, modern day Elizabeth, is fictitious with real characteristics based on my own life – single mom, love of writing, love for the words of the masters of literature, and some of the references were based on my experience of living for a short time during 2005 in Toronto. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Nothing would change in this book. I used part of it to apply for a summer writing program in Toronto at Humber College. The author mentor I worked with suggested cutting all the description to clean up the manuscript. Like all good students, I took her suggestions to heart, but did not have the heart to cut it as suggested – it was the type of book I was going for and the way it is written suits the subject. Always be true to your own spirit in your work. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Thank you for reading and supporting writers/authors and the literary arts. It is this connection that encourages us to continue to share, although a writer will always write, whether publishing or not. Journey I What is your favourite theme/genre to write? There is no one favorite – I like to experience variety in my writing journey. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it? Anything that exploits children. A recent challenge was to ghost write a book on the topic of abuse to the worst degree – a memoir – so you know it to be true. What book are you reading now? My own novella one to ensure there is continuity in the follow up editions. As an editor and publisher, I am always reading and am privy to new works to be released by my own company. Nothing else at this time from already published works. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Through my company I have read some amazing work and am so appreciative of the chance to share an author’s journey in that way. Do you see writing as a career? Definitely, yes. Part of my journey. In different ways. Where do you see yourself in ten years? Behind the lap top writing. The setting might change (hopefully to mountainous or nature inspired views) – but the passion will not go away. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Focusing on my own work while fulfilling responsibilities to client’s projects. But, a weekend retreat is always welcome on the agenda for writing. Have you ever hated something you wrote? Not really. If it is not for publishing or public, then private it doesn’t matter. I don’t write anything to hurt anyone and there are topics I won’t write on so I cannot end up hating if for one reason or another. What book do you wish you had written? I don’t. I love my own style and writing and never wish to have done what someone else has done – I love the vision that comes from others’ works, such as Shakespeare, Tolkien, poet Frost, et al., and hope that one day something I have created is used in a similar fashion – to inspire others to follow their own journey. What is your best marketing tip?

  1. Don’t sell yourself short.
  2. Don’t oversell yourself.

(Sounds contradictory, but it covers the range from: “be humble, appreciative, proud, and own your work” to “don’t constantly stick in others’ faces with buy my book, buy my book, buy my book…”)

  1. If you don’t know, ask.

What genre is your next project? What is it about? I have not decided what project will be next – I have a novel to edit written a few years ago. I have to format and release on of my novels on EBook, and another vice versa – in print. I have several ideas on file awaiting their turn, and other projects poking their heads into current business. Genre? Not sure. A Journey of Truth Can you tell us about your upcoming book? Novella II is just released, A Journey of Truth, which continues the story of Aaslan and his sister, Aisha, from A Journey of Brothers, released in 2012. Novella III, A Journey of Desires, completes the 3 part YA adventure series set in Turkey. (No, I’ve never been there… research!) How do we find your books, blog and bio? I publish through my own company Dream Write Publishing. You can find my books in print and online, POD and EBook. www.dreamwritepublishing.ca You can follow me on my blog “Freeing the Creative Spirit” for ongoing writing, projects, travel writing & photography, reflections on my writing life, poetry, etc. with links to my social media pages, and for more information about me. www.wildhorse33.wordpress.com

Save That Bookstore and Write a Story…


bookshop

I recently contributed to a fund to help buy a book store. Even though it was thousands of miles away from where I live, I felt it was important to be proactive. Happily, the store was saved from closure by a local person, who has taken over the lease. The lure of ‘one stop’ shopping is hard to resist in a hurried life but once you experience a ‘local’ store and become a regular, you will see the benefits are wide ranging. There is a personal connection, something that is lost in a vast warehouse style mega store. The proprietor will remember you and may put aside books they feel will be of interest to you. There is time to chat and browse without rushing through a shopping list of multiple items.

This week saw a famous author use a large sum to assist small book stores and I think that is not just excellent on his part but also hopefully the spear head for others to follow. Thank you, James Patterson.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/business/media/james-patterson-giving-cash-to-bookstores.html?ref=booksandliterature&_r=o

Quotes: 

Nothing leads so straight to futility as literary ambitions without systematic knowledge.  H. G. Wells

To understand a literary style, consider what it omits.   Mason Cooley

FunDay

And now for the fun part: Write a short story about the little bookstore above or your local one.
 
Support your local bookstore. Keep these delightful realms of adventure from closure.

2012 in review


A personal thank you to all my wonderful followers…see you in 2013 for bigger and better blogging and sharing of our writing journeys.The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

National Novel Writing Month…


nanowrimo

It has begun…this frenzied word counting month. Good luck to you all and drop by to the NaNo site to add me as a buddy. We can travel this journey together in panic, surprise and accomplishment.

NaNo handle – MandyB.

Newest article for Strathcona Connect…


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.

First Article for Strathcona Connect


With so many sporting activities available within our community, it seems easy to forget that there are other pastimes to enjoy. One creative outlet is writing. Whether it is prose or poetry, fiction or non-fiction, short story, novel or memoir, this particular art form crosses every age group, ability, topic, interest, and theme. Some are brave enough to share or publish their work, while others are content to file it away, either as a legacy for their family or for more personal reasons.

The act of writing is not only cathartic but also a thoroughly enjoyable pursuit. However, it can be a lonely activity if you allow it to be. We are extremely fortunate, therefore, to have a renowned writing group within our county. The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County (www.wfscsherwoodpark.com) has grown from a small group in 2001 to, not only a large number of local members, but also many virtual ones, across Canada, in the USA and Australia and expanding all the time. With such a broad spectrum of contributors, covering every possible writing style, their membership can find constructive critique, support and encouragement.

The foundation’s web site is a vital link not only for their virtual members but also as a place to share pieces of work and have comments made upon it. The group’s motto- “Supporting writers…any age, any stage of their writing career” is the basis for their continued success and mandate for garnering a sense of community.

The group is very active and holds several meetings each month, year round. The main sharing meeting is held on the first Tuesday of every month at the Sherwood Park library in the Birch room at 7 pm with a smaller meeting on the third Tuesday, also in the library at 7pm but at varying locations. For those members wanting a more structured workshop type meeting, there are two ‘Writing Friends’ events each month on the second and fourth Thursday in the library at 10 am. Anyone is welcome to attend these meetings as membership is not required for ‘come and see’ visits.

The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County has been a partner with the Sherwood Park library for many years and has enjoyed creating cooperative events to further literary and literacy programs within the county.

One such event is Words in the Park Book Sale and Fair, which is held each fall focusing on local authors and literary endeavors in Strathcona. This year’s event will coincide with the LitFest week with author readings and workshops available on Oct. 27, 2012 from 1 – 4pm in the community centre and library complex at 401, Festival Lane, Sherwood Park.

If you have dabbled in the written word or have drawers full of novels, take a look at The Writers Foundation of Strathcona, you will be pleasantly surprised.

http://strathconaconnect.ca/strathcona-county-gets-writing-p219-96.htm