nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

results of the Christmas sale

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On this past Saturday, I had the fun of being a vendor at Sandra’s Market Fredericton. This was the first experience of its kind for me, although I have attended such sales for years.

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Overall, I had a great time! The venue at the Delta was beautiful, not crowded, and set-up was easy. The other vendors were pleasant and very interesting to talk to. A couple of good friends stopped by and there were lots of shoppers. I took a book to read, but watching the people at the sale was too much fun to miss. I sold five books and three paintings, including the painting ‘teaberries’, seen below.

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I think the best part of the sale was talking to the various shoppers about their experiences picking berries and gathering wild plants. A couple of people mentioned battling the squirrels for hazelnuts. Many of the older shoppers said their berry picking days were over due to ailments. A few people were interested in identifying edible mushrooms.

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wintergreen

December 8, 2016 ‘teaberries’ Jane Tims (acrylic) 8″ x 8″ $30 (SOLD)

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Wintergreen

Gaultheria procumbens

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first gathering in spring

thick leaves as leather crush

weep wintergreen

oil infuses pale tea

milk to swell aroma

sugar and midnight sparks

sweet steam meets breath

aspirin makes undelicate

my heart

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The leaves of Eastern teaberry or American wintergreen contain oil of wintergreen; the chemical in this oil is methyl salicylate, known for its anti-inflammatory properties and closely related to aspirin. Methyl salicylate will build up an electrical charge when dried with sugar and rubbed. In Quebec, the plant is known as la petit thé du bois (little tea of the woods). Flowers are waxy, nodding, bell-shaped and white.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

December 14, 2016 at 7:47 am

cover art for book

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In the past two months I have been working regularly on a science-fiction romance for eventual publication with Amazon. I have now completed the cover art for the book, based on my earlier black-and-white drawing.  Below are the drawing, the possible layout for the book cover, and the painting. My photograph is terrible but this will give you an idea of the eventual look of the book.

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horizon

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book-cover

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December 13, 2016 ‘parting the ferns’ Jane Tims (acrylic) 18″ x 24″

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

December 13, 2016 at 4:23 pm

raspberries in winter

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On December 11, 2016 (from 10 AM to 4 PM), I will be at the Delta Hotel (Fredericton, New Brunswick) at Sandra’s Christmas Market Fredericton to sell my paintings and books. If you are in the Fredericton area, please pay me a visit!

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I have a new painting for sale at the event. December 8, 2016  ‘raspberries’ is painted in acrylics, 7″ x 5″, gallery edges, unframed. It reminds me of picking raspberries on a summer day.

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raspberries

December 8, 2016 ‘raspberries’ Jane Tims (acrylic) 7″ x 5″ $25

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mended by raspberries

for Mary

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drove all the way to Flume Ridge

to pick those berries, large as thimbles

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red as blood after we’d pricked

our fingers on needled vines

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crossed the covered bridge to nowhere

the through road blocked, the way broken

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the covered bridge at our backs

the roar of the flume in our ears

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the tipple of honey bees

lightheaded in the berry canes

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This poem appears in my book, within easy reach, Chapel Street Editions, 2016.

Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

December 9, 2016 at 9:25 am

getting ready for December – a gallery of ‘within easy reach’ paintings

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On December 11, 2016 (from 10 AM to 4 PM), I will be at the Delta Hotel (Fredericton, New Brunswick) at Sandra’s Christmas Market Fredericton to sell my paintings and books. This is the first time I have ever tried selling at a craft show and I will be sure to report back on the experience.

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I began preparing for this event in July, painting a number of small canvasses, all on themes associated with the poems in my book within easy reach (Chapel Street Editions, Woodstock, 2016). Here are a few of the paintings I will have for sale. They are all priced to sell and I will give a discount for anyone buying both a book and a painting.

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DSCF2491

August 20, 2016 ‘pick faster’ Jane Tims (10″ x 10″) acrylic, gallery edges ($45)

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Jane Tims August 25 2016 'rose hips'

August 25, 2016 ‘rose hips’ Jane Tims (10″ x 12″) acrylic, gallery edges ($40)

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dscf3342

October 21, 2016 ‘blueberries’ Jane Tims (5″ x 7″) acrylic, gallery edges ($30)

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Scan0020

July 31, 2016 ‘wild strawberries’ Jane Tims (10″ x 8″) acrylic, gallery edges ($40)

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Untitled

August 14, 2016. ‘wild hops’ Jane Tims (12″ x 10″) acrylic, gallery edges ($50)

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IMG_4863

August 16, 2016 ‘high bush cranberries’ Jane Tims (12″ x 10″) acrylic, gallery edges ($55)

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My books and paintings would be imaginative Christmas gifts for anyone who loves poetry, wants to re-kindle their own memories of berry picking or gathering other wild plants, or wants a small painting for a corner of a favourite room. I am thinking someone who has a home bar might like ‘wild hops’.

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I hope the market goers love them! If you are in the Fredericton area on December 11, I hope to see you there!

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Copyright 2016  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

November 30, 2016 at 7:43 am

the joy of writing

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I have been absent from my blog for a week. Tied up in the sheer enjoyment of writing my fantasy tale.

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dock-winder-inspects-odymn

an illustration of the interaction between the main character of my story and a Dock-winder alien

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I have discovered that there are two main parts to writing: the writing itself and the ‘administration’. The administration includes the editing, the creation of other materials associated with the writing (for me, drawings, maps and covers), the search for publication, the preparatory work toward publication, and the marketing (readings, selling books, making sure the cat doesn’t destroy your boxes of books).

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Although some of the administration is fun, it is the writing I love to do. This includes the research and the joy of creating the characters, the story, the plot, the various drafts.

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This project has been particularly involving. Perhaps it is the creation of an entirely new world. Perhaps the freedom of building characters I have not known before. Perhaps the thrill of writing in a genre I have always enjoyed reading but felt hesitant to write.

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odymn

the main character in the book – a practitioner of parkour and a woman who has hung on to hope in spite of adversity

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My story is simple. It is about a young woman who wants freedom and sets out on a search for that freedom. The plot is a little more complicated. In her search she encounters a man who seems to share her purpose. Adventures and romance ensue.

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So far I have

  • the first in what I hope will be a series of three stories
  • most of the first draft of the second story because it informs the first … in the writing of the second story I discover needed elements of the world I’ve created
  • a cover design … one of the tasks ahead is to create a painting from my design
  • a description of the planet Meniscus
  • a map of the part of Meniscus in my story
  • a glossary since some of the words in the story are unique to the created world – units of measurement, plants and animals, and so on
  • a condensed guide to the main language used on the planet  (everything in the text is translated but having a dictionary is just fun)
  • drawings to illustrate some of the action in the story

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a map to go with the story

a map to go with the story

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My plans are to pull this all together and venture into the world of self-publishing. I have a friend who has lots of experience with Amazon publishing and is willing to share his ability.

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I have also hired an editor to work with me on the project so my book will be the best it can be.

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book-cover

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I will be looking for some beta-readers, so if you are a regular reader, like sci-fi, fantasy, romance, and adventure, and enjoy reading accessible poetry, let me know by leaving a request in the comments, including a little about your reading life and genre preferences, and whether you have been a beta-reader before.

From this I will choose a few beta-readers and I will exchange what I hope is a great read for some feedback.

A beta-reader provides general comments on readability, identifies parts of the story not easily understood, points out any ‘bugs’, and lets me know what they enjoyed/disliked about the book.

The book will be short (9,500 words) and about 100 pages (stretched out since it is written in poetic lines and includes illustrations and a map). There is some violent content, sexual content and alien profanity, so beware.

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Back to writing. And ‘administrative’ duties!

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

 

Written by jane tims

November 28, 2016 at 7:46 am

two alien characters

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In my fantasy tale I have included several alien species. Two of these are in the category of ‘bad guys’. Neither species is sympathetic to human ideals and concerns.

  1. The Dock-winders are intelligent aliens, natives of the planet Meniscus and primarily interested in the economics of buying and selling other sentient beings. They are called Dock-winders because, when they invaded Earth, their long necks reminded people of the big tie-ups at ships’ wharves.
  2. The Gel-heads are also aliens of the planet Meniscus. No one would call them intelligent. They are mostly interested in enjoying themselves and letting others do their work for them. Through the eons they have settled into a trading relationship with the Dock-winders. They are called Gel-heads because their skin is green, transparent and gelatinous, allowing their skulls and musculature to show through.

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Drawing these aliens was fun, but I realise I am in the trap of copying humanoid characteristics such as bi-symmetry, bi-pedalism and head-near-the-top. Two eyes, a nose and a mouth. Oh well, all in fun.

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scan0033

Dock-winders try to look benign and naïve. They blink a lot.

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scan0034

Gel-heads cannot hide the cavities in their teeth.

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I am glad I will never have to meet up with either species.

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims  

Written by jane tims

November 18, 2016 at 7:49 am

choosing book covers and titles

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I was recently at a writing workshop about independent (or self) publishing. The instructor took us through an interesting exercise … creation of a book title and book cover for a story. Each of us was asked to provide the potential name of a book and a verbal description of the book’s cover. The audience tried to guess the book genre, general plot and story.

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This exercise illustrated how important it is for writers considering independent publication of their work to chose titles and book covers carefully. This would be a great exercise for anyone trying to see if their ideas get a good initial reader response.

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I provided the title for my new fantasy tale: Meniscus

and a verbal description of the following cover sketch:

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horizon

 

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Most people guessed correctly that this will be a Science-fiction/Fantasy (I think the alien sky helped). They also thought the book might be about an encounter between alien species.

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Only two people in the audience knew what ‘meniscus’ meant.

Google provides the following definition:

me·nis·cus
noun
Physics
– the curved upper surface of a liquid in a tube.
Optics
– a lens that is convex on one side and concave on the other
Anatomy
– a thin, fibrous cartilage between the surfaces of some joints
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The word is an apt description of the plot of the story since the main character is in the liminal place of passing from one style of life into another, from a life of servitude into one of freedom. A meniscus is also descriptive of water at its interface with air – my setting is a planet (named Meniscus) where water and air do not behave themselves as they do on Earth.
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Probably Meniscus is not a very good title for a book all by itself since it would only mean something to a few potential readers. So, in the tradition of fantasy novels, I think I will add a sub-title and call my book Meniscus: Crossing The Churn. If I continue to like this cover, I will do a painting for the actual cover of the book. If I publish it, I will use my first name since this is a different genre from my poetry book.
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book-cover
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So what is The Churn? …. stayed tuned!
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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

November 16, 2016 at 7:00 am

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