poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘books by Alexandra Jane Tims’ Category

How Her Garden Grew

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Mid-summer and my little garden is doing well. The plants are growing in planters on my deck: three parsley plants, three climbing beans, three snow peas and one cucumber. I have to ‘weed’ every day as the maple keys keep sprouting!


With a small garden, I have lots of time to read. Right now I am reading the forth in the Lane Winslow Mysteries, set in Canada in British Columbia after WW II here. I love mysteries and now I have one of my own. ‘How Her Garden Grew’ tells the story of a mom and her kids who find a packet of old letters and follow a trail of mayhem and murder to summer’s end.  This is the first in a series of three Kaye Eliot Mysteries, set in Nova Scotia in 1995.


How Her Garden Grew is available on-line here. Or at Westminster Books in Fredericton (you should see their new store at 88 York Street!)


final HHGG cover


I am spending my summer (when I am not pulling maple sprouts) writing the sequel to ‘How Her Garden Grew’. It will be called ‘Something the Sundial Said’ and take readers on another cozy mystery adventure.


Enjoy your summer reading!


All my best,


sampling a story

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This week, my new book Meniscus: Karst Topography is out. Follow the continuing adventures of the Humans at Themble Hill … aliens have taken Kathryn, Meghan, Vicki and Madoline from the Village and the Slain go on a dangerous rescue mission to Prell. But at least two of the women don’t need to be rescued … they have found their own ways to get the better of the Dock-winders.


Did you know you do not have to purchase the book if you are part of KU (Kindle Unlimited) and KOLL (Kindle Owners’ Lending Library). Just go to Amazon and read a sample of the book before you decide to buy or not. This is a support for authors since authors are paid by KDP for pages read.

Karst Topography cover

Thank you so much for trying out my new book or any of the series.

All my best,

Jane  (a.k.a. Alexandra)

five ways to prepare for reading from your work

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I love to read aloud and my work as a writer gives me lots of reading opportunities.


Reading at Westminster Books, Fredericton


Readings take lots of preparation:

  1. Practice. Stand, read and time your readings. Keeping to the allotted time respects the audience and keeps the reader calm, particularly near the end of the reading. No last minute timing revisions. No being ‘hooked’ off the stage!
  2. Prepare any remarks not in the reading itself. I usually give a little background to my reading and make a few remarks between poems. These words will be delivered more smoothly if they are composed, written down and practiced.
  3. Include a give-away. I sometimes raffle one of my paintings or another associated item during my book launches and readings. Everyone likes bookmarks. Business cards should always be available.
  4. Use props. Once I gave a talk to a group of high school students about career development. I took an old pair of hiking boots with me to talk about my time in the field. The boots make the presentation funny and gave the audience an image to focus on. I often bring my cardboard stand-up aliens when I read from my Meniscus books.
  5. Involve your audience. Always leave time for questions. Consider adding some interactive components to your reading: ask the audience mid-reading questions, pass a book around, include a quick show of hands.


my stand-up aliens at a New Maryland market


I have two readings and a book fair in the next weeks:

WordsSpring, WFNB

7 PM, May 11, 2018 (Friday) at Quality Inn & Suites Amsterdam, Quispamsis for WordSpring (Writers Federation of New Brunswick) – I will be reading from my two newest books: Meniscus: One Point Five – Forty Missing Days, and Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill. Copies of all my books, including ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’ will be for sale.

Book Launch, Westminster Books

7 PM, May 25, 2018 (Friday) at Westminster Books in Fredericton. I will be launching my book Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill. Cary Caffrey (a.k.a. Terry Armstrong) will also be reading from his Girls from Alcyone Science Fiction Series. Everyone is welcome!

2018 Metro Moncton Book Festival

I will be selling my books at the 2018 Metro Moncton Book Festival, June 9, 2018 (Saturday), 10 AM to 3 PM at the Moncton Lions Community Centre (473 St. George Street
Moncton, NB).


Reading at The Attic Owl, Moncton


Plan your readings and your audience will appreciate the time you have taken.


If you are in the area, please come to one of my readings. I would love to see you there!


all my best,


Written by jane tims

May 9, 2018 at 7:00 am

Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill

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Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill

by Alexandra Tims

an illustrated long poem

fourth in the Meniscus Series

science fiction – romance – adventure




Follow the adventures of Odymn and the Slain!






Meniscus: The Town at Themble Hill


… 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.


   home is the safest place … so build a home …




“What is that sound?”

says Odymn.

Looks north-west.


Green light creeps

towards zenith,

blinking its way.


The Slain rolls to standing.

Grabs Odymn’s arm.



he says.


Slips over the limb of banyan.

Pulls Odymn after him.

Covers her with his body.


Tugs at his armour,

five snaps per side

(its electric current

detectable, trackable).


The armour detaches.

A grid of inert copper

between them.


Above, the drone

nudges sideways,

sinks among the trees.


Odymn holds her breath.

The Slain lays his mouth on hers

but she peeks around him,

wants to see.


The drone hovers

a minute or more.

It blinks, effortless

on its cushion of air.


Then it rises.


to the north-east.


The Slain lifts Odymn to her feet.

Finds a path

through banyan,

in the direction of Garth.


Flawless navigation in dark

and Odymn wonders

what amethyst eyes see

in places where light

does not shine.





About the Author

Alexandra Tims is a botanist, writer and artist living in rural New Brunswick, Canada. Her first five books in the Meniscus series, Meniscus: Crossing The Churn, Meniscus: One Point Five – Forty Missing Days, Meniscus: South from Sintha, Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb, and Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill were published with CreateSpace in 2017 and 2018. She has also published two books of poetry, within easy reach (2106) and in the shelter of the covered bridge (2017), under the name Jane Spavold Tims (both with Chapel Street Editions, Woodstock). In 2016 she won the Alfred G. Bailey Prize in the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Writing Competition for her manuscript of poems about bird calls. She is a fan of science fiction – books, television and film, including Star Trek, Stargate and Firefly. Her websites feature her drawings, paintings and poetry.


Other books in the Meniscus Series


Meniscus: Crossing The Churn

Meniscus: One Point Five – Forty Missing Days

Meniscus: South from Sintha

Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb


Copyright Jane Tims 2018


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. 


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.


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.


two poetry books


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



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


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


Copyright Jane Tims 2018


in the shelter of the covered bridge

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world of the covered bridge.jpg

May 12, 2012 'enter' Jane Tims.jpg~

in the shelter of the covered bridge

by Jane Spavold Tims

poetry with illustrations

Chapel Street Editions 2017

poems about plants and animals living in the vicinity of the covered bridge


SCB Cover


73 poems, 35 bridges, 21 illustrations


apples, Malone Bridge.jpg


From the Preface:

Where I live in rural New Brunswick, driving through a covered bridge is a daily occurrence. The sounds of the tires on the decking, the glimpses of river and sunlight between boards, the fun of seeing a family fishing and the sight of a groundhog carrying her kit across entryway of the bridge — these are touch-stones for my existence.

The inspiration for this book came in 2015, when my husband and I crossed the Patrick Owens Bridge on the Rusagonis Stream and startled a rabbit in the middle of the span. The rabbit raced through the bridge in front of the truck. I can still see the shadow of his long ears and the scurry of his feet. Since the incident occurred during the February 21, 2015 conjunction of Venus and Mars, with the sickle moon just above the planets, I thought of all the legends about the hare and the moon. This led to the poem “conjunction” and a question about what other plants and animals find shelter in or around our covered bridges in New Brunswick.

My husband and I carried out the field work for the book during 2015. We focused on covered bridges in the entire Saint John River Valley, but we also visited bridges in Charlotte and Westmorland Counties. Travelling around the province, visiting covered bridges and paying special attention to the nearby wild life, was an ideal way to spend a spring and summer in New Brunswick. Some bridges were easy to find, others a challenge. Each bridge contributed its own personality, history and component flora and fauna.

The covered bridge is endangered in New Brunswick. In 1900, there were about 400 covered bridges in the province. By 1944, there were only 320. In 1992, when Glen, Michael and I visited some of the bridges for Canada’s 125th birthday, there were 71. In 2017, as I write this, there are only 60 remaining. Vandalism, flood, accident, fire and age claim more bridges every few years.


… In 2018, there are 58 covered bridges remaining …


Book available from Chapel Street Editions



dry wind

French Village Bridge

Hammond River #2


the bridge leans, upriver

wind enters, a beer can

rolls on the deck


white butterflies obey

the valley breeze

navigate the scent of wild roses


avoid the dogs

cooling off in the river

the beach folk, sunning themselves


bracts of Yellow Rattle

and Silene, inflated bladders

dry as old boards


aspens tremble

a song sparrow stutters

a loose shingle rattles in wind


May 12, 2012 'enter' Jane Tims

drawing of the French Village Bridge 2015: ‘enter’


About the Author

Jane Spavold Tims is a botanist, writer and artist living in rural New Brunswick, Canada.  She has published two books of poetry, within easy reach (2106) and in the shelter of the covered bridge (2017), both with Chapel Street Editions, Woodstock. Her first four books in the Meniscus series, Meniscus: Crossing The Churn, Meniscus: One Point Five – Forty Missing Days, Meniscus: South from Sintha and Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb, were published with CreateSpace in 2017 and 2018 under the name Alexandra Tims. In 2016 she won the Alfred G. Bailey Prize in the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Writing Competition for her manuscript of poems about bird calls. She is interested in identifying plants, bird-watching, science fiction and the conservation of built heritage. Her websites feature her drawings, paintings and poetry.


two poetry books


both books available from Chapel Street Editions


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