nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for July 2017

those don’t look like French fries!

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This time of year in eastern New Brunswick and elsewhere, the potato fields are flourishing and many are in bloom.

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I am so grateful for those potato fields. I love French fries, so much so that I limit my intake by making promises to myself and my son (something like: I promise to eat French fries only once per week for the next three months. I usually stick to these promises because I make them for a specific time.

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I love other potato products. I make great potato salad (potatoes, Miracle Whip, onions, bacon bits, mustard, green relish, pepper and basil). We also eat potato and leek soup regularly (a great hot-day supper). And, of course, potatoes are an ingredient in every stew I make through the winter.

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But although we love potatoes, do we ever appreciate their very pretty flowers? Like so many things, we fail to see their beauty unless we look.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

July 26, 2017 at 7:19 am

a touch of Monet

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Last week, on a drive to Plaster Rock, we passed a pond along the Saint John River filled with water lilies (Nymphaea sp.).

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Lovely. Calming. And reminiscent, in the way they lay on expanses of open water, of Monet’s water lilies at Giverny.

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When I think of water lilies, I also remember Edgar Allan Poe’s short story Silence – “And the water lilies sighed unto one another….”

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So to add to these greats, I have my own snippet from my poem ‘Bear Creek Meadow by Canoe’ (published in Canadian Stories 14 (82 ), Dec 2011 ):

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dignity quiets our paddles

hushed voices heed

the diminishing echo

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pliant as stems of pickerel weed

we honour the whisper

of wild rice

the edgewise touching

of nymphaea and nuphar

amphibian eyes

in the harbour-notch of lily pads

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we are threaded by dragonflies

drawn by water striders

gathered in a cloak of water shield

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

Written by jane tims

July 24, 2017 at 6:44 pm

a moment of beautiful: tendrils

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the place: a planting of cucumber vines on the deck

the beautiful: winding tendrils

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I have a small garden on our deck. This year I tried a new technique; I put a bag of soil on a table, cut a slit in the horizontal part of the bag, punctured the bottom for drainage and planted some cucumbers. Later, when the leaves were established, I ran a couple of lengths of string from the table to a nearby tree.

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Now the tendrils are searching for support. When the cells of the tendril encounter a surface, such as the edge of a string, the cells respond in such a way to twist the tendril. The resulting coils and spirals are so charming!

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a note of music

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Hang on little fellow!

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coils and curls

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

July 21, 2017 at 7:00 am

a summer evening with Roger Moore

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Next week, on Thursday July 27, 2017 at 7 PM, our church will host the fifth in our Authors Coffee House series.

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My good friend Roger Moore will be reading from and signing his books Empress of Ireland, A Cancer Chronicle, and One Small Place (among others). Roger is an award-winning author who was recently sort-listed for the 2017 New Brunswick Book Awards, for his book Bistro. He has published more than 20 books and chapbooks. His poetry is evocative, sometimes sad, and often humorous. Roger has chronicled his life and ours in his poetry. He is a very entertaining reader and story-teller.

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Please mark the date in your calendar and join us for the reading, enjoy some cookies from The Goody Shop and make a free-will donation to Grace House for Women, the Fredericton women’s shelter. The church hall is easy to find – just take Highway 101 to New Maryland and continue to Nasonworth, about five minutes beyond New Maryland. I hope I’ll see you there!

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Have a look at some of Roger’s work on his website http://www.rogermoorepoet.com

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

July 19, 2017 at 7:00 am

Out Soon – the next book in the Meniscus Series!

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Within the next couple of days, my new book in the sci-fi series Meniscus will be out on Amazon, in paperback and Kindle versions.

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This book, Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb, continues the love story of Odymn and the silent Slain, and follows a ragtag group of humans as they try to survive winter on the planet of Meniscus. New characters are introduced to the story and Odymn discovers a secret way to the Themble Wood.

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The book includes 21 of my drawings, an updated Map, a Glossary, a Gel-speak Dictionary and (New!) a guide to the Characters (as suggested by one of my beta-readers)!

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To buy the first two books in the Series, click here for Meniscus: Crossing The Churn and here for Meniscus: South from Sintha.  They are also available from Westminster Books, Fredericton.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

a map to go with a story

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Since I began to read, I have loved to have a map included in the book – the more detailed the better!

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The maps that come to mind include the five maps of Middle Earth and the detailed map of the Shire in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings (Methuen Publications), the maps of Great Britain and Wales inside the front cover of Mary Stewart’s Crystal Cave (William Morrow and Company, Inc.), and the map of Martha’s Vineyard accompanying all of the books in Philip R. Craig’s Martha’s Vineyard Mysteries (Scribner). Although books in the mystery and fantasy genres often have maps, almost any book can include a guide to the geography of the book.

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the completed GIMP map for Meniscus: South from Sintha … every feature has its own layer so I can add a tree, delete a path, or add a house to a village!

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When I began my Meniscus series, I knew a map was needed. I needed it, to help me plot the story and action!

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At first I thought I would do a hand-drawn map and make changes as needed. Foolish girl! I would have been drawing maps forever. I have included a new map with each book, showing the path taken by the characters and any new features they find in the landscape. Fortunately I chose GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), a free on-line app similar to Photoshop Pro. I had never worked with GIMP before, so I took the time to learn the system and I still have trouble with those ‘paths’. The system produces maps in layers. I can have a map for each kind of tree in the forest, a map for the grasslands, one for the villages and cities and so on.

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This week I started plotting for the seventh book in the series (two are now published and the third is expected out next week). I have told all the stories I care to (for now) for the first map (Map of Prell-nan South District, Meniscus), so I have been working on the landscape of Prell-nan North District.

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I first designed this map at the laundromat. Laundromats are the best place to read and write and think. No one bothers you and there is a set time to work. Many of the details of the map will change but it shows the basics of the portion of planet Meniscus I am building.

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a very draft map of Prell-nan North District, Meniscus … the features on this map will be continuous with the map of the South District … the original map is 4″ by 3″  … I drew on what I could find!

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I have now finished most of the layers on GIMP. I still need to label the various features and tidy up some of the layers. Now I can use the map to help me plot the journey of my characters and their actions!

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the first draft of the map on GIMP … I love creating all those little trees!

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Be watching for the next book in the Meniscus series! Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb tells the continuing story of Odymn and the Slain, and gets them through a brutal winter on planet Meniscus! Their love story and adventures continue with some new characters.

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

 

my new garden fountain!

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Enticed by a Facebook advertisement, I purchased a small, solar-powered water fountain for my deck garden.  It floats in a bowl (although it could also be put in a birdbath or larger pond) and uses the sun’s energy to send water into the air. If the sunlight is direct and non-stop, the spray is forceful and continuous. On our deck, where the light is dappled by all the leafy trees, the flow is sporadic but fascinating to watch in all its variety.

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Lots of fun and realizes my dream of having a simple fountain to enjoy! I purchased the fountain at Next Deal Shop here for about $50 including shipping but I notice they have sales from time to time.

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Enjoying summer! Hope you are too!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

Written by jane tims

July 10, 2017 at 11:00 am

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