nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for March 2020

blue shadows

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Scan_20200326 (5)

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blue shadows

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crawl across the snow

reflect trunks and branches

tufts of lichen

curves of bracket fungi

curls of bark

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blue shadows

nuanced in ultramarine

and pthalo

a dab of violet

but never grey

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sinuous, diagonal

gaps of light

slow alteration

with angle of sun

no flicker of foliage

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Scan_20200326 (6)

 

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 30, 2020 at 7:00 am

writing the next mystery

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Although I am working to assemble a new book of poetry this week, my mind is straying to my next novel, mostly unwritten. This book will be the third in the Kaye Eliot Mystery Series. The title, ‘No Stone Unturned.’ It may seem odd to already know the title but I usually start with a title in my head. I also know the general progress of the story.

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'pebbles and stones' paperback (3)

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Kaye Eliot, my main character, is on the track of another mystery, this time the whereabouts of a lost gemstone. She and her kids have found the ruins of an old stone house on their property, Daniel the stonemason is romancing Kaye’s friend Kelly, and a visitor from Ireland is asking a lot of questions about the community.

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This is the point in a new book I most love to be as a writer: filling out the story, imagining the dialogue and building in a few twists and turns.

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The story and its title began, for me, 40 years ago when a colleague and I were doing a study of hardwood growth in the Poplar Grove area of Nova Scotia. At that time there were the remains of an old stone house in the community and my love of story started the wheels turning. The stone house in Poplar Grove has since been restored by a well-known photographer and has been in the news. To read about the real stone house, check here: https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/news/provincial/the-mystery-of-the-hants-stone-house-255258/

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If you haven’t read any of the Kaye Eliot Mysteries, there is still time to catch up!

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How Her Garden Grew takes place on the north shore of Nova Scotia, and explores the mystery of a sea captain who once lived in Kaye’s old home place, keeping a garden and a lost collection of seashells. Kaye and her kids try to solve the mystery, thwarted at every turn by nosy neighbours and a local gang of thieves.

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07RTMN6WD

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sss cover image corner

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Something the Sundial Said takes place on Nova Scotia’s west coast. When Kaye’s family buys an old estate, they also gain a mystery. They find an old diary describing a century-old murder beside a missing sundial. When Kaye and her kids try to solve the mystery they encounter a local genealogist who will do anything to protect her great-uncle’s good name.

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B085QQ3RGF

I’ll keep you up to date on the progress I make writing the new story!

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 27, 2020 at 7:00 am

crystal ball

with 4 comments

During these incredible days of isolation, our writing group has begun a series of prompts to help stimulate writing. One of our members suggested ‘weird phrases’ as the prompt category. So far we have had ‘ear hair,’ ‘under the fridge,’ ‘spider web’ and ‘crystal ball.’

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I have two ‘crystal balls,’ both small and both more properly called ‘glass spheres.’ But they are as close to a crystal ball as I will ever have. I am certain neither sees the ‘future’ but both show an interesting ‘present’ and both remind me of the ‘past.’

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clairvoyance

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my crystal ball

is a glass sphere

from a claw-footed

piano stool I sat on

to practice my scales

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chipped, it never

snags the sun

will not scry or clarify

occludes

forecasting fog

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it has a past

Chopin’s Butterfly Étude

in half-time

and a furry

Für Elise

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but gaze

though I may

it never resonates

with a note

about tomorrow

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although it has

guessed, after

damaging percussion,

I will never play

Carnegie Hall

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 25, 2020 at 7:00 am

spider web

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My writing group has been sharing writing prompts in this time of isolation.

The most recent prompt was ‘spider web.’

Took me an hour to find a spider photo since I am spider-averse.

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spider web

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web enlarges spider

her domain, her coefficient of creep

extends her occupation of space

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trap for unwary

blue-bottle flies

beetles on the wing

and gnats, nattering

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all of the cobwebs

I have brushed from my face

would not weigh a gram

but they take up

a fair chunk

of brainscape

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just as the spider

is sensitive to vibration

my skin notices

the sub-threshold of touch

the tiniest occupant

of my domain

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 23, 2020 at 5:39 pm

On moonlight bay

with 4 comments

Another of my watercolours …

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 23, 2020 at 7:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

a quilting story: lemons and lemonade

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I am going to share the long, twisty story of my poppy quilt.

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First, I am not a great quilter, but I have made many quilts. To illustrate, a friend once asked if I was ‘basting’ the quilt together first. I was not; I just quilt with long, uneven stitches.

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The story begins last Christmas when I ordered, on-line, a draft-stopper made from a row of stuffed sheep. It was adorable, well-constructed and perfect.

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So this Christmas I decided a cute lap-quilt with a sheep motif would be nice for the easy chair near the draft-stopper. So I looked on-line and ordered this cute little quilt.

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Something went wrong with the order (I think I ordered from a knock-off site) and when the quilt arrived I was beyond disappointed. Someone had taken a photo of the above quilt or one like it, had it printed on rayon fabric and sewed the ‘quilt’ together with a machine stitch.

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Meanwhile, I was planning to make a small quilt for our bedroom which is decorated with a poppy motif. I had some of the fabric, left over from other projects. I looked on- line and found the perfect fabric, in ready-to-quilt 5″ by 5″ squares. 42 squares, just enough for my quilt. Disappointment number 2. The fabric, when it arrived was beautiful. But, only 8 of the 42 squares were in the poppy motif! Grrrrr.

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So I said, dang the price and sent for another 42 (that is 8) squares. Now I still had to purchase a padding for the quilt. Hmmm. I have that ugly sheep quilt.

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So I used the sheep quilt for the backing, sewing individual poppy squares over the sheep in rows. Very pretty although the colours are probably the result of my flower-child years.

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Once I had the top completed, I sent for some fabric to do the underside. The first order was cancelled because the fabric did not print correctly, but, frustration aside, the final fabric is soft and beautiful. You can see my ‘basting’ stitches if you look closely!

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Now I will do a wide band for the edges, this time in a bright California poppy fabric. My quilt will be colourful and warm, and, somewhere within the layers of fabric, sleep 25 ugly sheep!

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All my best and may your quilting projects be without frustration!

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 20, 2020 at 7:00 am

watching you …

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A couple of years ago, I did a set of five small acrylic paintings to reflect my love of mythical dragons.

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Dragons can be nasty creatures. They hoard gold, breathe fire and frighten the villagers. But they have a good side. They provide hours of entertainment, they helped explain comets in the skies for centuries and they have soulful eyes!

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Just to say, there is some good in every situation.

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 18, 2020 at 7:00 am

Posted in myth and mystery

Tagged with , , ,

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