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A Creative Workshop Story

November 7, 2019
mandyevebarnett


 

I attended a creative workshop a couple of Saturday’s ago held by my writer’s group, The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County. The topics were POV and plot lines. We had several warm up exercises and an explanation of the various POV types and the variety of plot structure methods. Then with a timed exercise of twenty minutes, we had to write a short story using those techniques but with a title and a genre picked from a bowl. My title was Clue of the Painted Hand in a children’s book style. Although the last couple of paragraphs were added later, I think I did pretty well to have characters, plot, and a beginning, middle and finally an end!

Capture

Clue of the Painted Hand

Daisy pulled at her mother’s hand as they entered the library. It was her favorite place. Books let her escape to other worlds and made her feel less lonely. An only child, Daisy looked like a mini replica of her mother – blonde, brown eyes and slim -the only difference was the flower shaped birthmark on her right cheek. The reason she was called Daisy.

As usual there were lots of people in the library browsing book shelves and she saw a small huddle of younger children were listening to story time. Daisy felt too old for the short picture book stories and felt proud her reading age was ten years old, more than her real age of seven. She surpassed most of her school class mates in reading.

She looked over to see her mother talking to a friend so made her way to the book shelves in her favorite section – mystery adventure. Daisy loved jigsaw puzzle when she was younger, solving the patterns to create a whole picture. Now it was the same with stories. She would figure out the answer to the clues in the narrative before the end, most of the time.

Sitting cross-legged on the floor, Daisy ran her fingers across the book spines reading the titles. If one interested her, she took it out and read the explanation on the back. One by one she piled up books beside her. She could take out ten books and always finished them before the next Saturday. One book pulled another off the shelf and Daisy dropped them on the floor. As she lay down to grab one from under the shelf her fingers encountered another book shoved under the wooden base. After several tries she prised a dusty old book from under the shelf. It was an old book, its cover tattered and dusty. Daisy used her sleeve to wipe the dust off the cover. The title was immediately interesting – Clue of the Painted Hand. Oh this looks good, she thought. Turning the book over and opening it, she realized there was no library stamp of barcode. How long has it been there? Looking side to side, Daisy felt a real thrill – a book I can keep! A shiver of excitement and guilt went through her young body. No-one would know, she could put it in her coat pocket without anyone seeing. Her curiosity could wait no longer; opening the first page a map covered the first two pages. As she traced her finger over the markings and named streets, she recognized one – Hampton Avenue, where she lived. How could a book hidden under a shelf have a map of her town?

“Daisy, are you ready to go?”

Her mother’s voice startled Daisy and she quickly put the book in her pocket before picking up her selected library books. With the books scanned, they returned to the car. Daisy kept her excitement to herself but raced upstairs as soon as they arrived home. Now I can read the clues and find whatever treasure there is. It only took an hour to read the book. It told the story of an old Jack in the Box made by a master toymaker, who lived in the town many years before. His shop sign was a painted hand. This particular Jack in the Box had a musical mechanism and a doll instead of a jack, which popped up. Daisy read the clue, traced the map’s tracks and realized the location of the box was in the play ground behind her house.

She walked through the back garden, through the gate and counted steps just like the map said – one, two, three – until she reached twenty-five steps. Standing beside an overgrown old fountain, she pulled ivy and weeds away. The instructions said there was a secret detail to push in sequence. Daisy brushed away dirt and old leaves to find the stone carved like a bunch of daisies. She pressed the first petal it did not move, then another. Gradually, she discovered the petals that did move and marked them with a thumbprint. Now how do I press them in the right order? She sat down cross-legged and looked at the stone decoration. It was a posy of daisies, the stems long and disappearing into the weeds. Maybe I should pull these weeds out as well. Her thought propelled her into action. The flower stems were encased in a stone vase decoration with faint lettering on it. After rubbing the grime off with her sleeve, the words were clearer. A riddle! How exciting.

I’m at the peak

Then to the right

Follow me to the base

And reach to the left

A final center will release

Daisy read the riddle three times then pressed the loose petals, top, right, left, bottom and center. A grating sound alerted her to something moving. The vase shape pushed forward to reveal a void. Sitting in it was a dusty square box. With nervous excitement, Daisy pulled it out of its hiding place and wiped it clean. She knew her mother would be upset with all the dirt on her clothes but the treasure was worth it. Gently, she wound the handle on the side of the box until the lid burst open to reveal a beautiful blonde doll, head to one side holding a book and smiling. Music started to play and the doll’s head moved side to side just like if she was reading. This is so beautiful, she looks a little like me. Blowing gently she rid the doll and its book of a layer of dust. That’s when she saw the title of the book – Daisy the Adventurer. It is me! How can that be? Another mystery for me to solve but maybe I will need mother’s help. With great care, Daisy pushed the stone vase back into place, pulled the ivy and weeds back over the fountain and walked home cradling her treasure.

I hope you liked it. 

Which plot method do you think I used? Story map, Story Flow Chart or Story Mountain?

 

Genres of Literature – Biography

April 16, 2018
mandyevebarnett


Biography_Word

A biography, commonly known as a bio, is defined as a detailed description of a person’s life. Rather than dealing with the basic facts of the subject’s life like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person’s experience with life events, presenting a subject’s life story, with highlights of various aspects of his or her life, including intimate details of experience, and may even include an analysis of the subject’s personality.

Biography’s are usually non-fiction in nature but fiction can sometimes be used to portray the subject’s life. One form of biographical coverage is called legacy writing that deals with in-depth research. 

At first, biographical writings were merely a subsection of history focusing on a particular individual of historical importance. The independent genre of biography began emerging in the 18th century reaching its contemporary form at the turn of the 20th century. Biographical research as defined by Miller is a research method of collecting and analyzing a person’s whole life, or on occasion a portion of their life. This is accomplished through the in-depth and unstructured interviews, or even by semi-structured interview or personal documents. In short the research can come from “oral history, personal narrative, biography and autobiography” or “diaries, letters, memoranda and other materials.

There are two types of biography:

  1. Authorized biography which is written with the permission, cooperation, and at times, participation of a subject or a subject’s heirs.
  2. An autobiography which is written by the person himself or herself, sometimes with the assistance of a collaborator or ghostwriter.

The idea of writing our own biography is a daunting one for most of us and knowing where and how to start can be the main stumbling block for many. What to put in and what to leave out!

With other members of my writing group, I helped produce a memoir writing guide, which gives pointers on how to collect and compile artifacts, photos, letters etc. into a themed collection enabling you to format and theme your memoir/biography.

YourLifetimeOfStories

http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com/fp/your-lifetime-stories

The practical suggestions included in the pages of this book will suggest to you ways you can identify, record, and organize your collection of memories so you can begin to write your stories. It is not a how to write but a how to begin workbook. 

Have you thought of writing your biography?

What would the title be?

 

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…

August 21, 2017
mandyevebarnett


events

This week I will be preparing for an author reading on Saturday. With the theme ‘Back to School’ I will probably read from my children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue. As each chapter revolves around a particular animal, I will more than likely choose one chapter that has a fall/autumn related theme.

Ockleberries_book cover

http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/products/ockleberries-rescue

What events have you got coming up?

Are you attending any events this week in your area?

Other events:

AUG 22  12:00 – 16:00

Fantasy and Horror Book Signing

Chapters Strathcona
10504 82 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T6E 2A4

Konn will actually be attending our Words in the Park event on 30th September, so if you miss this opportunity, you can find him there!

Web site banner WitP 2017_0Spark Gallery, 2257 Premier Way, #116, Sherwood Park. T8H 2M8   10:00 am – 4:00 pm  Free admission.

 

picnic

 

Public Art Picnic – Borden Park
24 August at 17:30–20:00

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Borden-Park/216893458341432

Author Reading

Social Grounds Coffeehouse, 975 Broadmoor Blvd #36, Sherwood Park, AB T8A 5W9

2:00 – 4:00 pm – Everyone welcome.  I will be reading at this event.

back to school

Please feel free to add your own events in the comments, regardless of the location.

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…

August 14, 2017
mandyevebarnett


events
With no immediate events to attend I am busy planning for a couple. The first is a submission for a competition and the other an author reading on 26th August.
Free time is always at a premium for me on the whole so I’m enjoying this relative freedom.  One part of my submission is the dreaded synopsis so I am sharing a previous post on the subject.
I will endeavor to make this local event.

AUGUST 19  10.30 am – 3 pm Festival Place, Sherwood Park.

Artisan Market at Chautauqua

Check out all kinds of beautiful hand crafted goods made by local artists and artisans at the Chautauqua Tent Artisan Market! There will be demonstrations at some booths so you can see how the artist works and chat with them about their process. While you’re there you can stop by our free drop-in workshop to make your own mini work of art and create a button to celebrate Canadian art.

Other Events:

The Writers at Woody Point Festival in Bonne Bay, NL, runs August 15-20, with authors including Eva Crocker, Dennis Lee, Lawrence Hill, Linden McIntyre, Lisa Moore, Kathleen Winter.

And The Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts returns August 17-20 to Sechelt, BC, for its 35th year, its amazing lineup including Donna Morrissey, Iain Reid, Janie Chang, Kamal Al-Solaylee, Bev Sellars, Zoe Whittall, Charlotte Gray, and more.

Do you have local events you would like to share?

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…

August 7, 2017
mandyevebarnett


events

It is Board meeting week for me this week, Tuesday is the Writers Foundation meeting and then Wednesday is the Arts & Culture Council meeting. We have a lot to plan and organize for our annual Words in the Park and Culture Day events. Again we are co-hosting our events as part of Alberta Culture Days. It is a special year not only for Canada 150 but the Writers Foundation and Albert Culture Days 10th anniversaries.

 

We have a new larger venue this year – Spark Gallery, which is the home of the world renowned Canadian artist Glen Roland. It is exciting to have such a beautiful space to display, interact and engage.

With numerous authors and artisans, dance and music performances, children’s activities and a food truck it’s an event for the whole family.

What are your plans this week?

 

When-Words-Collide-Logo_medium
A few tickets are still left for the very popular When Words Collide in Calgary, AB, August 11-13, with Will Ferguson, C.C. Humphreys, Guy Gavri

winterWinterset in Summer – Literary Festival

http://www.wintersetinsummer.ca
The Winterset in Summer Literary Festival in Eastport, NL, takes place August 10-13, with Anakana Schofield, Esi Edugyan, Elisabeth de Mariaffi, and so many more great authors.

What events are in your area? Why not share?

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