nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for April 2018

puddle ducks

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This time of year the St. John River is at flood levels and backwaters are good places to see many species of duck.

Last weekend, when the water still had a few shallow grassy places for dabbling, we saw these fellows along the old Trans Canada between Oromocto and Jemseg:

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Wood Duck … notice the long crest at the back of the head …

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American Widgeon … a rosy breast and a white cap on his head …

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Mallards … notice the white ring around his neck and his yellow beak …

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Ring-necked Duck … a terrible photo … note the grey beak with a white ring, vertical white before wing and black back …

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There were also lots of Canada geese and a Blue Heron we scared up from a roadside pond …

 

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I am not a good photographer but that cannot take away from the thrill of seeing these birds every spring!

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Happy bird watching!

Jane 

 

 

Written by jane tims

April 30, 2018 at 7:00 am

Pileated Woodpecker excavations

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The Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) is a common visitor in our yard. The size of the woodpecker and its triangular red crest are impossible to miss. The male also has a red stripe on the side of its face.

There is a big spruce tree in our grey woods where the Pileated Woodpecker loves to visit. The hole in the tree and the pile of woodchips below the hole say this woodpecker has been very busy.  The woodpeckers drill these holes to get insects.

On a drive to see the Smyth Covered Bridge near Hoyt, New Brunswick, we found a roadside tree with evidence of the Pileated Woodpecker’s industry.  The holes are almost a foot in length and deep enough to hide a hand.

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To humans, the best forests may seem to be woods with healthy trees. To provide good habitat for the Pileated Woodpecker, a forest should have lots of dead and fallen trees, to provide food and nesting sites.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

April 27, 2018 at 7:06 am

Celebrating bookstores and reading – Canadian Independent Bookstore Day

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On Saturday, April 28, 2018, I will be participating in Canadian Independent Bookstore Day at Westminster Books in Fredericton. I will be there to talk with you about my books in the Meniscus Science Fiction Series and sign copies.  I will be at the bookstore from 11:00 AM to noon. Hope to see you there!!!

Canadian Independent Bookstore Day is a day to celebrate the amazing independent bookstores in communities across Canada that develop and maintain a thriving book industry across the country. It is a day to go out into your community and enjoy the unique intersection of art, culture, business and opportunity that bookstores provide. Thanks to your participation, this event can continue to grow and thrive in the years to come. The purpose of Canadian Independent Bookstore Day is to show off the unique community spaces that bookstores create and was born from Authors For Indies.

Authors for Indies was a national grassroots movement in support of independent bookstores. It’s a day when authors take time to give back to the bookstores who support authors every day of the year by volunteering as guest booksellers. We meet and greet customers, recommend books, tell our friends and relatives to come to the store where we are working. Hundreds of authors across Canada have done this for the past three years. It’s been a national phenomenon. 

Jane

Creating a marketing plan

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As a writer, I think a lot about the various stages of writing.

I describe the time spent in these various stages in this way:

Creative Process (the writing, plotting, world-building and character-creation) –  10% of the time.

Editing Process (drafts after the first, grammar and spelling, refining of language and pace, checking character arcs, checking symbol recurrence, refining detail, working with editor and publisher) – 40% of the time

Marketing Process (interacting with publisher, launches and readings, selling books, book fairs, social media, advertising, writing blurbs and press releases) – 50% of the time.

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I am a planner, a bit surprised to say I have never created a plan for the marketing of my books. So this will be the next step in my writing career.

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two poetry books

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A little research has given me the main ingredients of a Marketing Plan:

  1. a summary for reference – pulls together the main points of the plan and states my marketing goals
  2. identification of customers – who they are and where to find them
  3. development of a unique selling point – a way to separate your product from others
  4. a pricing strategy – price of your product and timing of offers
  5. a distribution plan – how customers will buy from you

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In the next few weeks, I will think about and write down these components as they relate to my products: my books and paintings.

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Have you ever created a marketing plan and did it help you to meet your goals?

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

 

Now available … fourth in the Meniscus Series: The Village at Themble Hill

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The new book in the Meniscus Science Fiction Series is now available. In The Town at Themble Hill, humans on the alien planet Meniscus continue to search for freedom and a safe place to live.

My heroine Odymn, who is expert at the art of parkour, sometimes also called free-running, navigates the landscape with runs, leaps and vaults. She never falls. Or does she? Find out how Odymn copes with a loss of her independence.

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Meniscus: The Town at Themble Hill

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… On the alien planet Meniscus, against all odds, a small group of Humans works to forge a new life together. When a Dock-winder drone pays them a visit, Odymn and the Slain trek along the heights of The Fault, to make certain the community is not in danger of invasion. They find a new way to scale The Fault and a perfect location for building a new village. Matters are complicated when Odymn is injured on a parkour run and the Slain’s former girlfriend joins the group. Faced with a dangerous journey through the Themble Wood and the hardships of building a new community, are the Humans in more danger from themselves, the alien landscape, or their Doc-winder overlords?

 

… In the fourth book of the Meniscus series, The Village at Themble Hill chronicles the first days of community life on a planet where Humans are not allowed to associate and freedom is always at risk.

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home is the safest place … so build a home …

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Get the paperback version of Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill here. The Kindle version will be available soon. For readers in the Fredericton area, Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill will be available at Westminster Books after May 1st.

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'jump to the stack'paperback

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

ice-falls in New Brunswick

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An ice-fall along highway #102 in New Brunswick

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One of the sad things about the end of winter is the demise of our ice-falls in New Brunswick. Along the roads, where there are streams intersected by road-cuts, we often have a build-up of ice as it drips from the top of the cut. Some of the ice-falls are spectacular and all are dazzlers in the sun. For more about ice-falls in my blog see here.

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From my reading, I know that ice-falls begin as ‘frazil ice’, a suspension of small ice crystals adhering to soil, rock or vegetation. As meltwater flows over the surface of the frozen ice-fall, new layers are built and a cross-section of the ice will show bands of ice. 

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In New Brunswick, some ice-falls are climbable, and some create caves under the curtain of ice. A famous New Brunswick ice-fall is the Midland Ice Caves near Norton. https://www.explorenb.ca/blog/icecaves

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one warm hand

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icicles seep between

layers of rock frozen

curtains separate

inner room from winter storm

glass barrier between blue

light and sheltered eyes

memory of water flows

along the face of the rock

one warm hand melts ice

consolation, condensation

on the inward glass

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(published as ‘one warm hand’, http://www.janetims.com, March 10, 2012)

Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

April 13, 2018 at 7:00 am

herb growing in winter #5: tomatoes and lettuce

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Since my last AeroGarden update, I have baby tomatoes and leaves of romaine lettuce in my garden.

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In a couple of weeks, I’ll have enough basil, lettuce and Tiny Tim tomatoes for a salad … if I can stop my ongoing snacking!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

April 11, 2018 at 7:01 am

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