nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

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

with 4 comments

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.

~

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.

~

DSCF2491

4August 20, 2016 ‘pick faster’ Jane Tims (10″ x 10″) acrylic, gallery edges ($45)

~

Jane Tims August 25 2016 'rose hips'

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

~

dscf3342

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

~

Scan0020

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

~

Untitled

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

~

IMG_4863

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

~

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’.

~

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

~

Copyright 2016  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

November 30, 2016 at 7:43 am

the joy of writing

with 4 comments

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

~

dock-winder-inspects-odymn

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

~

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).

~

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.

~

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.

~

odymn

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

~

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.

~

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

~

a map to go with the story

a map to go with the story

~

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.

~

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

~

book-cover

~

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.

~

Back to writing. And ‘administrative’ duties!

~

~

Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

 

Written by jane tims

November 28, 2016 at 7:46 am

two alien characters

with 7 comments

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.

~

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.

~

scan0033

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

~

scan0034

Gel-heads cannot hide the cavities in their teeth.

~

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

~

Copyright 2016 Jane Tims  

Written by jane tims

November 18, 2016 at 7:49 am

choosing book covers and titles

with 2 comments

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.

~

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.

~

I provided the title for my new fantasy tale: Meniscus

and a verbal description of the following cover sketch:

~

horizon

 

~

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.

~

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
~
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.
~
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.
~
book-cover
~
So what is The Churn? …. stayed tuned!
~
~
Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

November 16, 2016 at 7:00 am

three fantasy characters

leave a comment »

On Friday, I introduced my current writing and drawing project – creation of a short fantasy tale. The story is about a young woman who tries to trade an old life for a new. The setting is an alien planet named Meniscus. I have three main characters:

  1. The young woman is a Human named Odymn. Odymn is in her thirties, living a life of servitude on Meniscus. Every night she escapes confinement to practice her passion of parkour.  Parkour is the discipline of moving through the landscape in the most efficient way possible, running, jumping, vaulting, climbing and rolling. The discipline involves strength, endurance and flexibility and has allowed Odymn to reclaim and have control over at least one part of her life. Odymn has bright red hair which is about to get her into a lot of trouble.
  2. The man she meets during one of her parkour adventures is a genetically enhanced human, a Eu-hominid. He is a rover, moving from place to place to earn his living. He wears a special kind of armour and weaponry which taps into the electrical forces in his body. He has strength and endurance but almost no flexibility. He does not engage in idle chatter, to say the least. So far he has no name, so I just refer to him as Eu-hom. It’s OK if you are thinking names are not my strong point!
  3. After some encounters with other hominids and creatures on the planet, Odymn and Eu-hom set off on some adventures. At one point they encounter Wen-le-gone, a sentient, passive, furry creature known as an Argenop. Wen-le-gone adopts Odymn as his friend but does not warm to the Eu-hom, not at all.

~

Now that you have met my characters, I’ll show you what they look like.

~

odymn

Odymn has a peculiar scar on her forehead. How she got the scar and what it means to her is part of the story.

~

eu-hom

The Eu-hom is a rather serious character, not much of a conversationalist and not easy to befriend.

~

wen-le-gone

The Argenop, Wen-le-gone, is the village healer and sage. Looks a little like my cat.

~

Next time, I’ll show you drawings of some of the other humanoids and creatures of Planet Meniscus.

~

~

Copyright  Jane Tims  2016

Written by jane tims

November 14, 2016 at 7:29 am

learning curves

with 4 comments

In the last two weeks, I’ve taken a detour. Instead of working on my poetry or novels, I’ve had some fun creating a fantasy tale. The story is about a young woman who tries to escape servitude only to find herself back in a similar situation. The story takes place in the future, on a planet far from earth.

~

IMG687_crop

~

Writing the tale was fun. Creating a simple language to use in the dialogue was interesting. Finding some names for the characters and places was a challenge but very satisfying.

~

Making a map to describe the setting was no fun at all. I liked creating the spaces, thinking about where to put the landscape features and towns. But, I had to make a decision:

  1. draw the map by hand and risk wanting to change names or details in the future, or
  2. create the map in a layered digital format where I could make changes anytime I want

~

I decided to do the map in GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), a free on-line app similar to Photoshop Pro. I have never worked with GIMP before, so I have had some frustrating hours coming up the learning curve. But, I have prevailed and I now have a map to suit my story.

~

a map to go with the story

a map to go with the story

~

The story is told in poetry and is based on a world where water doesn’t behave as it does here on Earth. Instead it effervesces and tries to flow upward. Hence a water-climb rather than a water-fall. This is just a taste of the story. The main characters are fleeing, pursued by an alien species, the Gel-heads (Gel-heads have transparent skin, like green gelatin).  Windfleers are flocking birds, like large white starlings.

 

Terrain changes. A climb, the way rocky, tangled.

Glimpses of a water-climb.

Shouts in the valley behind them, Gel-heads

sensing the prey is near. Need for stealth and speed.

 

Burst from the forest to a plateau. The En’ast Water-climb

above them. Startle a flock of windfleers. Cacophony

and dithering panic. Two hundred pairs of wings swirl upward,

a tornado of feathers. The Gel-heads alerted.

 

Nowhere to run. The water-climb a bracket at the head of the valley.

A colossal outcrop, sheer walls of stone. Jagged cliffs where water ascends.

Shallow pool at the base, fed by artesian groundwater. The water bubbles

and leaps, each droplet climbs, then falls, net flow upward.

Rocks slick.

~

Copyright Jane Tims 2016

 

Written by jane tims

November 11, 2016 at 12:51 pm

pick faster

leave a comment »

dscf3342

October 21, 2016 ‘blueberries’, Jane Tims

~

pick faster

for Dad

~

blue ripens as morning, deft fingers

noisy pails, hail on metal gutters

this bush spent, unsatisfactory

berries over there fatter

bluer

~

I am certain I see, beside mine

my father’s hands, callused

and quick

~

berries roll between

thumb and fingers

I try to meet

his expectation

pick faster

~

~

Published in: ‘within easy reach’, Chapel Street Editions, 2016

Copyright Jane Tims 2016

~

dscf3346

October 21, 2016 ‘sweet hurts’ Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

November 9, 2016 at 8:35 am

%d bloggers like this: