Mandy Eve-Barnett's Official Blog

Inspiration for Writers & Building A Community ©

Where Did Imagination Go..?

December 15, 2014
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As Christmas gets ever closer the advertising machine goes into overdrive. There are numerous adverts on the television and other outlets for an abundance of toys and gift ideas for all the family. As I do not watch much television, when I happen to catch a stream of adverts I am amazed at the toy choices given. Why, you may ask? Well it is the lack of toys that encourage a child to use their imagination. Everything is themed or a character figurine or a ‘set’ of some kind or other.

lego

I make the comparison with lego – when I was a child lego consisted of various shaped blocks with which you used your imagination to build a plethora of objects. Today lego blocks are in kits, which make a single themed toy. Where is the imagination element? How can a child conjure up fantastical creatures, futuristic vehicles and unique buildings when the blocks limit their creativity?

To be a ‘whole’ person, we need to explore our physical, spiritual and mental capacities, in essence to find what we love, what we are passionate about. If we are limited in that exploration we, and our future generations, will experience a imperfect life. 

Take a simple cardboard box at Christmas it is the focus of young children while their expensive gifts are discarded. Why does a simple box engage so? Well, because it can be ‘anything’ – a tunnel, a car, a house, and much more because their imagination makes it that way. It is limitless in its possibilities.

Let’s look at guarding our imagination and that of our children.

What is your view on imagination and creation?

cardboard box

Creative Catharsis…

December 5, 2013
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Catharsis – definition: a feeling of release, purification, or purgation of the emotions (often through art)

emotional

I would love to hear from you all regarding your thoughts on how your ‘art’ effects your emotions or visa versa.

In my own experience, I have always been creative and have embraced numerous art forms in my life. Drawing and painting were my initial loves, which gradually progressed into sculpture and then a combination of the two. I dappled in knitting, crochet,  sewing, oil paints, charcoal and pencil drawings (some which were entered by my art teacher for an exam I have not thought possible), pottery and a few more ‘art and craft’ hobbies.

Writing, apart from a few stories for my children, was not something I considered at all. The reason? I have no idea to be truthful. I happened across a writing group once I emigrated to Canada and thought I could try it out among other offered groups and crafts.

As the saying goes I went from strength to strength after a couple of meetings and became ‘hooked’.

As a free flow writer my subconscious is the main source for the component of my stories. I have found that when I write I feel calm and happy. A day or so without writing finds me irritable and unhappy. That is the extent of my obsession and love of the craft.

This graph is fascinating and I will be studying it in detail later. There is a reason we have ‘body’ issues beyond the obvious after all.

I wish you joy in your writing as we head towards 2014 and another year of words, projects, manuscripts and fellowship.

What are your writing  plans for 2014?

Lurid Tales & Violence…

September 27, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Lurid – definition: 1. gruesome; horrible; 2. glaringly vivid or sensational

Macabre Base instincts are difficult to confront at the best of times. Unfortunately, we are bombarded with gruesome scenes on the daily news ranging from senseless bombings to murders and violent acts between people. Have we really evolved from caveman mentality? On a global scale, countries are grabbing resources from each other and stock piling weapons – usually in secret or so they think! On a lower level violence has become lessened in its impact with a multitude of games and movies favoring violent acts as the main theme.

How can we teach future generations that there are consequences to such acts when they only see a player resurrected and literally get away with murder? Can we ‘unlearn’ this ‘need’ for violence? Is it possible to show real consequences and ensure our youngsters understand it is make believe unless, sadly the images are on news programs?

Have you written lurid scenes for a novel or story? Care to share? How did you balance the good and evil? Did you become uneasy with the character?

William, a character in my novel, The Twesome Loop, has bizarre sexual practices and I had to think outside my comfort zone for his motivations and desires. Sinking into such a mindset is disturbing to say the least but William had to be true to his personality. His accomplice shares his desires (or claims to!) and supplies William with victims thereby releasing herself from being subjected to his debauchery. Once I had structured William’s base instincts, I was asked what his redeeming quality was. Honestly, I had not thought it mattered if he had one or not, but no-one is all bad. So I had to create a feasible reason for his adult actions. I will not spoil the story by revealing what it was but my fellow writing group members thought it clever and believable.

What’s Your Truism..?

June 26, 2013
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Truism – definition: a self-evident, obvious truth

Do you have a truism in your latest project? It doesn’t have to be as blatantly obvious as good over evil or love conquers all. On reflection I feel my novels have a common link – careful what you wish for!

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Just for fun – some truisms.

Bee to the blossom, moth to the flame, each to his passion, what’s in a name?

Brevity is the soul of wit.

A closed mouth gathers no foot.

A new broom sweeps clean.

Dreams die hard.

Failure is no crime, too low an aim is.

Do you have a favorite?

Guardianship themes…

June 14, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Tutelage – definition: instruction : protection : guardianship

Winner of NaNo

My current work in progress is the result of my successful participation in NaNoWriMo 2012. It is a children’s book about woodland sprites helping the animals that live within their forest. The sprites knowledge of healing was passed down generation to generation. Elders instructing their offspring.

With all new project’s; after the initial idea is laid down, the real work begins. I had to create a history for the sprites and their kind as well as decide, which animals I would have them interact with. Each animal also required their own history and an ailment the sprites could fix. I researched herbal medicines and fabricated instruments the sprites could use. Coming up with names for all these characters was also really enjoyable. I tried to match the name with the animal’s personality. For example the wise old owl is called Xavier, while the mole is Morry.

Woodland sprites front door

Woodland sprites front door

When I thought about today’s word, it occurred to me that these sprites are guardians of the forest dwellers. They ensured the well being and safety of their charges. In a different way, my protagonist, Evan in Life in Slake Patch also had a guardianship role. Although his difficulties were much more complicated. He fought to maintain the matriarchy rules, whilst discovering opposing views to the system and becoming instrumental in historic changes.

What is your current project’s theme?

Do you have guardianship in one way or another?

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