Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

An English Woman in a Canadian Winter

October 10, 2019
mandyevebarnett


car in winter

When we first came to Canada it was a trial run over Christmas – not the time you would think is best to get an idea of the country. However, we were thinking of moving to Alberta, where the winter’s are harsh and temperatures drop to ridiculous lows -40 at times. Yes you read that right!

So why come in winter? Because we thought if we came in the most harrowing season and liked it then the rest of the year would be a breeze. Little did we know. The decision was made and we immigrated – there were many obstacles to overcome, too many to go through here that’s for sure – but we arrived in September 2007.

My first morning the sun was shining, the leaves were golden and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. If you have ever been to England we always have clouds. Then the next day it was the same, and the next. It was unusual to me but also pleasing. By the beginning of October we saw our first snow and it was a novelty. Big piles of snow (at that time) were rare in England so we took advantage of all the winter themed activities available. It was fun but as the years passed and the snow came early and stayed, the novelty soon wore off. Vacationing in a winter wonderland is very different to living in one – that was our lesson learned.

There are so few green trees during the greyness of winter and that is what I miss the most. The green lushness year round of England. Albertan seasons are not like ‘home’ – spring is almost an overnight experience – a faint green flush one morning and then the grey sticks of winter suddenly become vibrant emerald and lime green. Summer creeps in and heats up the land in some cases +40 (yes it is a land of extremes). Then fall (autumn to my English friends) comes turning gold and red but only staying for a brief while before the leaves drop.

The snow arrives normally before Halloween and leaves sometime in April or even May – it is a winter gripped land for a long time and we have to live with it. There are many devices that make the winter’s easier – winter tires (tyres), auto-start for the vehicles, so you can warm it up before getting in, in-door shopping malls, winter sports and events, fire pits and Jacuzzi’s.

It has been an adjustment for us all and over time we have found ways of coping but we all wish for one more day without snow! We know it is coming and cherish the time without.

twink

 

 

Seasons Greetings from Mandy Eve-Barnett

December 22, 2018
mandyevebarnett


Merry-Christmas-A-Pretty-Life

I wish all my followers a wonderful festive time with family, friends and loved ones. No matter what ‘tag’ you wish to put on the season:

  1. Merry Christmas
  2. Happy Hanukkah
  3. Joyous Kwanzaa
  4. Yuletide Greetings
  5. Happy holidays
  6. Joyeux Noël
  7. Feliz Navidad
  8. Seasons Greetings

It is a time for everyone to connect with and enjoy the company of those people who are special to us.

I would also like to note that it is not always a ‘special’ time for some people and we should be conscious of their needs at this time of year (as at any other time). So if a friend or family member is grieving, allow them the ability to join in the celebrations if they wish but understand if they only want a one-on-one time. A full house of happy people might be too difficult to handle. Ask them what they would like or are comfortable with – that is your gift to them.

christmas-2018-gift-guide

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday

December 19, 2018
mandyevebarnett


Use these words in a short story or poem: icy, horse drawn carriage, heat.

I’ve shared mine below.

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Winter Treat 

An arm to steady me as I tread on the icy path

Thick warming coats help keep the cold at bay

The ground glistens in the early morning sun

I so wish I could stay beside the hearth

 

My husband’s hands raise me gently upward

Into the horse drawn carriages interior

A winter ride along country lanes

My breath visible with words uttered

 

With a tartan blanket across our knees

The driver cracks the whip high in the air

The carriage jolts forward as we snuggle

My smile shows he has successfully pleased

 

Rosy cheeks and laughter are the heralds

For our return with the noon day sun

The heat of the fire is most welcome

A clink of glasses to wintertime.

 

Please share yours in the comments.

Christmas Themed Books

December 17, 2018
mandyevebarnett


I am sharing lists of Christmas themed books as it is always the best way to enjoy the season of cold and snow. A warm fire, the twinkling lights on the Christmas tree and a cozy blanket and cup of chocolate. 

Dickens

https://www.bustle.com/p/11-books-set-in-winter-to-read-with-a-cup-of-hot-cocoa-by-the-fire-6740051

https://www.goodreads.com/list/tag/winter

https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2017/10-classic-reads-for-the-christmas-season/

Whether you choose a classic tale or a new narrative, festive books bring cheer and a feeling of love to the season.

Have you written a Christmas themed story?

Which is your favorite Christmas story?

You can find these there here: http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/catalog/books

Writing Prompt Wednesday

October 24, 2018
mandyevebarnett


With snow fall here in Alberta, this prompt seemed appropriate.

What does the winter season bring to your mind?

I hope you enjoy my poem.

Creator of Winter

winter

Her cloak glistens and sparkles in the moonlight

Intricately made from icicles and snowflakes.

Gliding across the sky, flakes fall behind her

They increase as they tumble

 

Blown hither and thither by the breeze

Coating branches grass and houses alike

With a thin white gauze

That builds layer upon layer

 

She is cold to the touch

But not cold of heart

Spreading a glistening white cloth

For all to play in and enjoy

 

Her eyes are the purest clearest blue

With skin as pale as the snow she creates

She is a glimpse in your eye

A sparkle in the twilight

 

Please share your response in the comments below.

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