nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Authors Coffee House Resumes!

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After a long hiatus due to the pandemic, we are resuming the Authors Coffee House, an outreach effort of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Nasonworth. We have held the Authors Coffee House since November 2016 and have featured many local writers including Chuck Bowie, Lynn Davies, John Leroux, Shari Andrews, and Gary Campbell. To date we have held 20 Authors Coffee House readings and raised $2221.50 for local charities.

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At the event, the featured author reads from their work, answers questions and signs sold copies. There is always a lively discussion of the topic at hand. The event is held in the actual church so the acoustics are wonderful and the setting is bright and comfortable.

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This month, on May 26 (Thursday) at 2:00, we will present Dr. Ross Hebb and his new book “A Canadian Nurse in the Great War.” The book features the diary entries of nurse Ruth Loggie in France in 1915 and 1916. The book is fascinating, in a very readable, well-annotated format, with lots of photos. Ruth was born in Burnt Church, New Brunswick in 1883.

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We will open with a poetry reading by local poet Eric Burns! Eric is a performance poet and creator of a long-running reading series for children on Facebook.

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There will not be any food served at the event (due to COVID precautions) but there will be water, and books to buy. And a couple of book prizes. Set aside the time in your calendar now. This event’s free will offering will benefit the Fredericton Food Bank.

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Hope to see you there,

Jane

Written by jane tims

May 3, 2022 at 11:25 am

Meniscus: The Struggle … Creating the Cover

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Sometimes choosing the theme for a book cover is difficult. Sometimes it is so easy.

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In my new book, Meniscus: The Struggle, Abra is trying to discover a way to overthrow the alien Dock-winders. As she wanders along the shore of the Vastness, she thinks she sees a Dock-winder from the corner of her eye.

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Startles as she sees a shadow.

Parody of Dock-winder physique—

purple, angular, thin,

long neck, single coil of hair.

Abra relaxes with a nervous laugh.

The shadow an anomaly, a teetering pile

of pebbles built

by some wandering child.

All the real Dock-winders

are gathered in arrogant bouquets

on the streets of Sintha, Enbricktow,

Prell and Bleth.

I liked this idea of the Dock-winders casting their shadows across the sands of Meniscus.

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The cover painting took less than a day to paint. The colours are mellow and there is lots of room for the cover text. All of the Meniscus books have included the two Meniscus moons: Cardoth roe and Cardoth grill’en.

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A lot of the work for the final book is done. The edit is complete, as are the drawings. I was without a scanner for a while but with our new printer, I can scan each drawing and place it in the text where it should be.

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Then I will order a proof and use it to make any final adjustments. Once my beta-reader has had a chance to react to the book, I will be ready to publish.

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June, sometime in June.

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All my best!

Alexandra, a.k.a. Jane

Written by jane tims

April 28, 2022 at 7:00 am

Next Meniscus: The Struggle

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In the Meniscus Science Fiction Series, I am now working on Meniscus: The Struggle, the sequel to Meniscus: Rosetta Stone.

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Meniscus: Rosetta Stone introduced us to Abra, a translator who has discovered a manuscript containing the mysterious Dock-winder language. As Abra works on the manuscript, she begins to think the words will hold the secret to the downfall of the cruel Dock-winders.

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In the sequel, Meniscus: The Struggle, Abra will enlist the help of Tagret, a chemist, to decipher the symbols in the manuscript. She will also try to get the help of Don’est, the Dock-winder child adopted by the Humans of Themble Hill. But will peculiar Don’est be a help or a hindrance?

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Meniscus: The Struggle will be available in June, 2022. Next post, I’ll show you some of my work on the cover of the book.

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

April 25, 2022 at 1:58 pm

my new journal

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Every January, every year of my adult life, I have started a journal, or as we used to say, a diary. Sometimes the idea of keeping a journal lasts the month, more often not. I have lots of information on the Januaries of my life, but little on the other months.

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In the 1990s, I began keeping what I dubbed ‘my rough journal’ and I have stacks of these. The idea of ‘rough’ took away any limitations imposed by keeping track of the date or specific experiences. My rough journals are filled with early drafts of poems, notes from writing workshops I have attended and doodles. Many doodles, since after five minutes have passed, I usually start drawing people or border designs.

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This January, I encountered the idea of the ‘bullet journal.’ The bullet journal takes a sort of multi-media approach to journaling. It uses some writing, but also drawings, mementos, stickers, ribbons, scraps and so on to create meaningful memory pages. Sometimes the pages are less about memory and more about planning.

bullet journal is a method of personal information developed by designer Ryder Carroll, shared with the public in 2013. The system organizes scheduling, reminders, to-do lists, brainstorming and other organizational tasks into a single notebook. The name “bullet journal” comes from the use of abbreviated bullet points to log information.

paraphrased from Wikipedia

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One of the things I have liked about the bullet journal is its diversity. I love using stickers, stamps, various papers and tapes. Last year, I discovered ‘washi tape,’ Japanese masking tape, made of rice paper and printed with various designs.

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washi tape, stamps. stickers, all the stuff of bullet journaling

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I have also collected a lot of stickers over the years and today, I printed out my first page of homemade ‘stickers,’ created from some of my many drawings, sized and grouped in PowerPoint, and printed using AVERY 81/2″ X 11″ shipping labels.

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Today, we are almost at the end of April, and I have kept my bullet journal, a bit sporadically, since January 1. I create a page at least once a week and spend about a half hour at any journal session. I find it relaxing, creative and compelling.

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apparently, I can’t spell ‘field’ … my biking is virtual, using Street View by Google Earth

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When I create anything, from a painting to a bullet journal page, I am usually aware of a ‘watching other.’ Some people refer to this as ‘the monkey on my back.’ I find this ‘other’ distracting and a barrier to ‘creative freedom.’ So, when I work in my bullet journal, I try not to satisfy the watching ‘other.’ Instead, I create my journal pages just for me and don’t think to myself: ‘someday they will find this and think how messy and unartistic I am.’ As a result, my bullet journal pages are not always beautiful. They probably wouldn’t get an ‘A’ in school. But they are for me, and I love them.

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

April 22, 2022 at 12:55 pm

New Bookstore for Oromocto

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Amazing! A new bookstore, Dog Eared Books, is opening in Oromocto! Grand opening April 30, 2022. Located just behind the Sour Grape Cafe at 281 Restigouche Road.

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The bookstore will sell second-hand books (lots of good reads remaining!) and book-related items, and will include a section dedicated to new books by New Brunswick authors. Books by Chuck Bowie, Alan Hudson, Vanessa Hawkins, Pierre Arseneault, Peter Gillet, Joe Powers, and others.

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All four books of my Kaye Eliot Mysteries will be there, with a few signed copies. Join the Eliot family as they chase down mysteries in rural Nova Scotia!

How Her Garden Grew

Something the Sundial Said

Land Between the Furrows

Stained Glass

Every book tracks down a mystery suggested by messages from long ago: diaries, old letters, building stones and stained glass.

Drop by and wish owner Emily Mercer all the best in this new venture. A new way for book lovers to realize their dreams of being surrounded in books!!!!

All my best,

Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

April 20, 2022 at 6:05 pm

Stained Glass – new cozy mystery

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It’s all ready for ordering! Stained Glass, my new Kaye Eliot Mystery is live on Amazon, in both paperback and ebook. Stained Glass takes place in Nova Scotia and will take you on another adventure of the Eliot family… Kaye, Michael, Katie and very funny, very lovable, Matthew.

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When Kaye discovers the body of a suicide in his living room, she is unsettled to hear he has made a special request in the event of his death. Spread across the countryside are seven stained glass windows, telling the story of four friends in the 1950s. One of the four has disappeared, never to be seen again. But what happened to her and who was responsible for her disappearance? Only the stained glass windows will tell the story.

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Join Kaye’s family as they drive the countryside to find the windows. Some of the owners will be happy to see her, some will not be welcoming at all. The book will also take you back to the 1950s, to meet the four friends and to see what they were doing to pass the time, all those years ago.

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To order the book from Amazon, click here. If you would like to get the book directly from me, or from Westminster Books in Fredericton, I will have copies by April 20, 2022.

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All my best,

And happy reading.

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 31, 2022 at 7:00 am

A Kaye Eliot Mystery: number four in the series

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Next week, the fourth volume in the Kaye Eliot Mystery Series will be released. Stained Glass continues the story of a family who loves solving mysteries together. Set in Nova Scotia, the cozy mystery sends Kaye and her family on the search for seven stained glass windows. The windows will tell the story of four friends in the 1950s. They will also show what happened to one of the friends, Rita Carn, a beautiful woman whose vanity and jealousy result in her destruction.

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Four friends go on a picnic and only three return.

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To date, there are three previous titles in the series, all available by clicking here.

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Stained Glass will be available at Amazon on March 31, 2022. I will have copies by April 20.

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All my best

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 26, 2022 at 4:42 pm

hops or grapes????

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If you owned a bit of property and had a dream of growing grapes, what if the experts told you the property was perfect for growing hops, not grapes?

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Every good book lets you inside the protagonist’s dreams and intentions. This is the case with Alexa Bowie’s second cosy mystery Death Between the Tables and its heroine, Emma Andrews. When Emma is not pondering the problem of grapes and hops, she is busy solving the mysteries that seem to crowd around her.

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In this Old Manse Mystery, Emma works to solve the deadly puzzle of why someone seems to have a spite against her and her friends. A murder, thefts, mysterious fires and sinister warnings have Emma teaming up with the tenants of the Manse and characters in the community to identify who is causing all the grief.

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If you love cosy mysteries, Death Between the Tables will be one to settle with on a chilly winter day. You will find characters to love: the precocious, observant child at a corner table in the basement restaurant; the acting town manager who can’t understand why Emma is not charmed by his ways; Trotsky Birch, the elderly man, who sees all and knows all and helps Emma really see the people of the community. The key to my love for this series is the setting — the small New Brunswick town, the old manse with its curious library and labyrinth of rooms and spaces, the riverscape with its waterfront and hops plants growing along the railroad tracks.

I am looking forward to the next volume in this charming series: curious to discover what new mystery will present itself to Emma and her friends at the old Manse; wondering if a pair of blue eyes will get in the way of her relationship with the local carpenter; and, wondering if she will take up the call and grow hops on her bit of property.

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You can find Death Between the Tables at Westminster Books in Fredericton, or at Amazon here.

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Enjoy your winter reading!

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

February 2, 2022 at 10:05 pm

A little genealogy: where my ancestors once lived …

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I am interested in the history of my family and I have decided to link that with my exercise program. I am again using my stationary bike to improve my fitness and using Street View (Google Earth) to travel virtually as I cycle. It is a great way to pass time and avoid getting bored with the cycle.

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I have chosen to ‘travel’ in Scotland since that is where one branch of my family comes from. In the mid-1800s, John Clark and Jane Cooper traveled with their children to Nova Scotia, Canada. They lived in the Insch (Aberdeenshire) area of Scotland and records say that Keig, south of Insch, is a possible birthplace of my three greats-grandfather in about 1799.

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Have a look at my wellness blog to find out more about my exploration of Keig, Scotland …

Enjoy your mini-tour of the roads where my ancestors may once have walked.

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

January 25, 2022 at 7:00 am

working on a poetry manuscript

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This week, I am assembling a new poetry book in the ‘a glimpse of…’ series. The first two books, a glimpse of water fall and a glimpse of dragon gave readers a peek at some of the beautiful waterfalls in New Brunswick and the bits of magic in all our lives. A glimpse of sickle moon will explore the seasons in New Brunswick. The manuscript won Third Place in the 2020 New Brunswick Writers’ Federation Competition for the Alfred G. Bailey Prize.

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The poetry book presents fifteen years of seasons, each presented as four poems about spring, summer, winter and fall. The poems about spring talk about floodwaters, under-story flowers and waking from hibernation. Summer poems tell about hurricanes, picking raspberries and sheep in the morning meadows. Fall poems explore first frost, wasp nests, fading flowers and ripening blackberries. And in winter–ice caves, snow drifts, walks in the falling snow and feeding birds.

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I have struggled with how to present these poems. I thought of making each suite of four represent a year in my own life and entitling the section 1978, 1980, 1996, 2012 and so on. I thought about titling each section as a special year–‘The Year of the Path,’ ‘The Year of the Groundhog,’ and so on. I have finally settled on a title drawn from a common theme in the four poems presented–‘paths through tangled woods,’ ‘where shadows meet,’ and ‘a sliver from full.’

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For the cover, I will create a painting of the crescent moon, seen through the branches of birch trees. The image below is a facsimile.

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All my best as you work on your own project.

Jane

Written by jane tims

January 14, 2022 at 7:00 am

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