nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Gargoyles?

with 4 comments

I am working on my poetry manuscript ‘a glimpse of waterfalls.’ As always, I workshop some of the poems with my writing group Wolf Tree Writers. Wolf Tree has been together over thirty years and has assisted me greatly in improving my poetry.

~

This past week I read a poem to Wolf Tree called ‘from a window on the 3rd floor.’ In the third stanza, a gargoyle is mentioned. We talked about how a gargoyle is an ‘Old World’ (European) reference. It made me curious about gargoyles in Canada.

~

~

A gargoyle is a sculptural architectural feature used like a waterspout to transport rainwater away from the building. A gargoyle often depicts a grotesque other-world figure and also serves to frighten daemons away and remind people of the perils of doing harm. Sculptural features which look like gargoyles but which do not convey water are called grotesques.

~

~

Canada has many examples of gargoyles, occurring wherever architecture is gothic in design. There are many examples in Montreal, including on the campus of McGill University (Redpath Hall and Library), on churches (Christ Church Cathedral) and on private buildings (the Elspeth Angus and Duncan McIntyre House). The Peace Tower (Parliament Building) in Ottawa has numerous gargoyles and grotesques. For more information see https://sencanada.ca/en/sencaplus/how-why/gargoyles-and-grotesques-parliament-hills-sinister-sentinels/

~

~

from a window on the 3rd floor

~

I nudge curtain, interpret

streetscape, sirens

stream down the glass

fractal paths where drops

meet and coalesce

meet and coalesce

~

the puddle on the cobbled street

a pool at the base of a waterfall

edged in rock and fern

candy wrappers, paper coffee cups

brick an escarpment, rain spills

from ledges of stone

edges of stone

~

above, a gargoyle gushes

glimpse of reckless sky

heartened, I consider

merits of solitude

building facade

pavement pulses

red and blue

red and blue

~

~

Are there any gargoyles in the architecture of your area?

~

All my best!!

Jane

Written by jane tims

January 13, 2021 at 7:00 am

2021 writing plans

with 4 comments

I am a planner by nature and so I have plans for my writing life in 2021. My main writing work will be to publish the third in my Kaye Eliot Mysteries: Land Between the Furrows and the ninth and tenth books in my science fiction series: Meniscus: Meeting of Minds and Meniscus: Rosetta Stone. These books are all in final draft, so my work will be to revise and format for publication. For creative work, I will begin drafting the fourth Kaye Eliot Mystery: Stained Glass.

I also want to continue with publication of my older poems. In 2020, I completed three books of these: ghosts are lonely here; niche; and blueberries and mink – summers on my grandfather’s farm.

~

~

I have plans to repeat this in 2021. I have three poetry books in mind.

  • waterfall : this manuscript won Honorable Mention in the Writers’ Federation Competition for the Alfred Bailey Poetry Prize in 2012; it includes poems about waterfalls in New Brunswick, about waterfalls inspired by Dante’s Inferno and about waterfalls as metaphors for struggles with relationship.
  • mystery: poems about the mystery in my life. These would include whimsical interpretations of space and time, ghost stories, my approach to urban legend and nature myth, and perhaps my observations of the night sky.
  • a glimpse of sickle moon: this manuscript won Third Place in the Writers’ Federation Competition for the Alfred Bailey Poetry Prize in 2020. These are poems about the natural world as it moves from season to season; deciding how to group the poems will be the biggest challenge.

~

~

To complete these books, I will have to review/revise some of the poems, draw any associated illustrations and do the formatting.

~

The agenda I set for myself may sound daunting, but I am driven by goals and I am retired, meaning I have lots of time to spend on this part of my life.

~

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

January 6, 2021 at 7:00 am

2020 resolution realized!

with 8 comments

In the early days of 2020 I designed a project for myself … to hunt down and organize my older poems. I set a goal to organize the poems into files and to create (and independently publish) three poetry books from three of the files. I had a good start on these books since I had already completed the poems and the illustrations. Some revision work and formatting was left to be done.

The three books are done! I have a new book of poetry published: blueberries and mink – summers on my grandfather’s farm. To order from Amazon, click here

~

A brief history and description of the three:

~

~

In early September, I published ghosts are lonely here, a book of 45 poems and 14 of my original illustrations about abandoned features of the human landscape. If you are fascinated by abandoned houses, bridges, vehicles, churches and so on, you will love these poems. To order a copy from Amazon, https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08J5CQ4GC

~

In early December, I published niche, a book of 65 poems and 16 illustrations about the spaces plants and animals, including humans, occupy. With a foreword by my friend, award-winning poet Roger Moore, these are poems about plants and animals in the places where I have lived: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Alberta. To order a copy from Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/niche-Jane-Tims/dp/B08QRYXS9D

~

Yesturday, I completed my review of the proof of the third and final book in my 2020 series: blueberries and mink – summers on my grandfather’s farm. This book was begun as an exploration of the various buildings on my grandfather’s Nova Scotia farm and evolved to tell the story of change on the farm. It contains some very personal memories of my visits each summer to the farm and my ramblings in the surrounding countryside. The book has 45 poems and includes 26 illustrations. To order a copy from Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RH7MKJS

~

By the end of January, these three books will be available in Westminster Books in Fredericton, or from me directly.

~

Three new books on my author’s shelf! Hooray!

~

All my best!

Jane

Written by jane tims

December 30, 2020 at 1:00 pm

Niche: new poetry book

with 6 comments

Early this year, I set a goal, to pull my poems into a series of books. I have written many poems and I do not want them to be lost when I leave this planet.

~

~

The result is three poetry books I intend to publish in 2020. So far this year I have published one of the three: ghosts are lonely here. Today, I completed another of the books, niche. It will be available on Amazon by the weekend. I will have copies by mid-January.

~

~

In terms of biology, the niche is the quality of a space occupied by a living thing, the sum total of physical, nutritional, biological, psychological and emotional needs gathered together in one place. In human terms, niche can be a metaphor for home, community or personal space. One way of looking at the timeline of life is to think of it as a sequence of niche-spaces lived in, sought after, avoided, encountered, found, or occupied. 

These are poems about niche—the spaces where plants, animals and humans find home. The poems explore the niche spaces found primarily in Canada’s temperate zone where plants and animals have adapted to ecologies with a strong seasonal component. The poems explore the forests and coastal areas of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and the prairies of Alberta.

As you read the poems, you may think about your own niche, its origins and the changes that have occurred.

~

~

My poetry book niche has a Foreword, written by my good friend Roger Moore (not the spy). Roger has guided and inspired my writing as a friend and teacher for more than 20 years.

~

The book is illustrated with my drawings.

~

~

The next book in the series will be entitled ‘blueberries and mink: summers on my grandfathers farm.’ It should be published by the end of 2020.

~

All my best,

Jane

Merry Christmas surprise!

with 8 comments

This afternoon I heard a tiny knock at the front door and arrived in time to see two children walking down our driveway. On the door handle I found a gift hanging! Very festive wrapping in a white dotted cellophane bag, a red card saying Merry Christmas and a gift wrapped in green tissue paper.

~

~

I looked out at the street and there was a group of parents and children walking and waving. I waved back and said ‘Thank you,’ feeling quite festive!

~

~

When my husband got home, we unwrapped the gift and inside was a beautiful sparkling ornament for our tree!

~

~

On Facebook, I discovered people all around our neighbourhood had received this surprise. Makes me feel so happy and part of the neighbourhood!

~

Merry Christmas everyone and especially to the families who made and delivered my surprise!

~

All my best,

stay safe,

Jane.

Written by jane tims

December 12, 2020 at 4:30 pm

Tree down!

leave a comment »

Today is the first day in a long time I have not written a line. I am preoccupied, watching as a local company removes some trees from our yard.

~

Some of these trees were already down but have been decorating our ditch since a storm last winter. One tree was still standing.

~

The standing tree, a big old spruce, worried me. In last week’s wind storm, the top of it broke and flew like a javelin to land in our front yard. The rest of it was dead and leaning towards the house and power lines. It stood at the corner of our shed.

~

the tree last winter

~

The men working knew what they were doing. They tied the tree in the direction they wanted it to fall. They used our tractor to reach high into the tree to brace it in the required direction. Then the tree cutter did his cuts. And the tree fell exactly where he planned. We will be getting ‘The Bushwackers” to do some more tree cutting here.

~

~

I am still too wired to write.

~

~

All my best,

stay safe,

Jane

Written by jane tims

December 11, 2020 at 7:00 am

Starting a new book 3

with 3 comments

So the first draft of my new Meniscus book is written. I have completed a Table to help me through revisions. Now I will do a series of scans to make certain the book is the best it can be.

~

~

Revision 1: Refinements. I read through the draft, making edits and adjustments. This includes alterations to punctuation, alternative word selections, re-phrasing to refine the cadence, spelling, suiting of dialogue to character and so on. Of all the revision stages, this step takes the most time and effort.

~

~

Revision 2. Continuity. Because my book is part of a series, I have to consider the action that occurs in previous books and in books-yet-to-come. I have thought through and written drafts for each future story in the series, so I can ‘see into the future’ and include small set-ups for future actions. I also have to make certain settings, characters and actions are consistent with respect to previous books. For example, today I found a place where a character with three brothers has only two in a past story. I also like repetition in series I read, so I have certain things I mention in every book: the scar on Odymn’s forehead, the moons, the tattoos on the Dock-winder’s necks, and so on. I keep a checklist of these in a writing compendium for the series.

~

~

Revision 3. Conflict. Using my Table, I make sure each chapter includes a conflict. This could be an internal conflict, played out in the thoughts and actions of a single character, a conflict between two or more characters, or a conflict between character and setting (for example, a character wakes in a dangerous setting where breathing is difficult). I summarize each conflict in my Table.

~

~

Revision 4. Change. I want each of my characters, major and minor, to have a want and a need, and show change during the book. For example, Odymn wants to return to her home on Earth, but to be happy, she needs to make a home for herself, even on an alien planet. By the end of the book, she will realize she will never return to Earth, but that home is where you find those you love.

~

~

Revisions take time. The re-reading can make a writer bored with his/her own ideas. But every revision pays its own way in terms of improving the story for both the writer and reader.

After revisions, editing remains to be done. This includes conceptual, structural, substantive and line edits.

~

Hoping you are making progress with your own writing,

and staying safe,

Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra)

Written by jane tims

December 10, 2020 at 7:00 am

Reminder, free e-book promotion

leave a comment »

Get your free e-book Meniscus: Oral Traditions on Amazon.com from December 7 (Monday) to December 11 (Friday). The book is written in narrative poetry and is illustrated with my drawings. It is a quick read and includes maps, a glossary and a Gel-speak dictionary. Just click here.

This is a story about Tagret who is waking on the alien planet Meniscus for the first time. Perhaps strangest of all her encounters is with the Slain, Rist, who saves her from an unsavory attack by a Gel-head. Rist is likeable and someone Tagret thinks she could make a life with. But Rist has a secret.

Written by jane tims

December 7, 2020 at 2:00 am

Free e-Book Promotion: Break into the Meniscus Science Fiction Series

leave a comment »

Want to give yourself a free gift during this Christmas season? If you are staying at home and would love some down-time with a good book, here is your opportunity.

~

~

The Meniscus Science Fiction Series follows the adventures of humans trying to build a life and a community in an alien, dystopian world. The first five books focus on Odymn and Daniel the Slain as they flee from the Dock-winders and find love in the strange Meniscus landscapes. Book 6 … Meniscus: Oral Traditions … introduces two new characters and the unique problem they encounter as they get to know one another in the streets of the alien city Sintha.

~

~

The story focuses on Tagret, newly kidnapped from Earth, as she opens her eyes on Meniscus and tries to understand the weird world she discovers. A world where taking a drink of water is a challenge and the local sentients are purple Dock-winders and transparent green Gel-heads. Then she meets the Slain, Rist, and comes to understand what those tattoos on his arms really mean.

~

~

Get your free e-ook copy of Meniscus: Oral Traditions on Amazon.com from December 7 (Monday) to December 11 (Friday). The book is written in narrative poetry and is illustrated with my drawings. It is a quick read and includes maps, a glossary and a Gel-speak dictionary. Just click here.

~

~

Enjoy your reading!

~

All my best,

Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra)

Written by jane tims

December 5, 2020 at 7:00 am

Meniscus: The Knife

leave a comment »

If you have been waiting to get a paperback copy of Meniscus: The Knife and find out all about Tagret’s quest to find Rist, the book is available now at Westminster Books, Fredericton. Signed copies! Both paperback and ebook are also available through Amazon, just click here.

~

~

All my best!

Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra) Tims

Written by jane tims

December 1, 2020 at 7:59 pm

%d bloggers like this: