nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘Books by Jane Tims’ Category

2021 writing plans

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I am a planner by nature and so I have plans for my writing life in 2021. My main writing work will be to publish the third in my Kaye Eliot Mysteries: Land Between the Furrows and the ninth and tenth books in my science fiction series: Meniscus: Meeting of Minds and Meniscus: Rosetta Stone. These books are all in final draft, so my work will be to revise and format for publication. For creative work, I will begin drafting the fourth Kaye Eliot Mystery: Stained Glass.

I also want to continue with publication of my older poems. In 2020, I completed three books of these: ghosts are lonely here; niche; and blueberries and mink – summers on my grandfather’s farm.

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I have plans to repeat this in 2021. I have three poetry books in mind.

  • waterfall : this manuscript won Honorable Mention in the Writers’ Federation Competition for the Alfred Bailey Poetry Prize in 2012; it includes poems about waterfalls in New Brunswick, about waterfalls inspired by Dante’s Inferno and about waterfalls as metaphors for struggles with relationship.
  • mystery: poems about the mystery in my life. These would include whimsical interpretations of space and time, ghost stories, my approach to urban legend and nature myth, and perhaps my observations of the night sky.
  • a glimpse of sickle moon: this manuscript won Third Place in the Writers’ Federation Competition for the Alfred Bailey Poetry Prize in 2020. These are poems about the natural world as it moves from season to season; deciding how to group the poems will be the biggest challenge.

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To complete these books, I will have to review/revise some of the poems, draw any associated illustrations and do the formatting.

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The agenda I set for myself may sound daunting, but I am driven by goals and I am retired, meaning I have lots of time to spend on this part of my life.

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

January 6, 2021 at 7:00 am

2020 resolution realized!

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In the early days of 2020 I designed a project for myself … to hunt down and organize my older poems. I set a goal to organize the poems into files and to create (and independently publish) three poetry books from three of the files. I had a good start on these books since I had already completed the poems and the illustrations. Some revision work and formatting was left to be done.

The three books are done! I have a new book of poetry published: blueberries and mink – summers on my grandfather’s farm. To order from Amazon, click here

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A brief history and description of the three:

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In early September, I published ghosts are lonely here, a book of 45 poems and 14 of my original illustrations about abandoned features of the human landscape. If you are fascinated by abandoned houses, bridges, vehicles, churches and so on, you will love these poems. To order a copy from Amazon, https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08J5CQ4GC

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In early December, I published niche, a book of 65 poems and 16 illustrations about the spaces plants and animals, including humans, occupy. With a foreword by my friend, award-winning poet Roger Moore, these are poems about plants and animals in the places where I have lived: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Alberta. To order a copy from Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/niche-Jane-Tims/dp/B08QRYXS9D

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Yesturday, I completed my review of the proof of the third and final book in my 2020 series: blueberries and mink – summers on my grandfather’s farm. This book was begun as an exploration of the various buildings on my grandfather’s Nova Scotia farm and evolved to tell the story of change on the farm. It contains some very personal memories of my visits each summer to the farm and my ramblings in the surrounding countryside. The book has 45 poems and includes 26 illustrations. To order a copy from Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RH7MKJS

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By the end of January, these three books will be available in Westminster Books in Fredericton, or from me directly.

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Three new books on my author’s shelf! Hooray!

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All my best!

Jane

Written by jane tims

December 30, 2020 at 1:00 pm

Niche: new poetry book

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Early this year, I set a goal, to pull my poems into a series of books. I have written many poems and I do not want them to be lost when I leave this planet.

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The result is three poetry books I intend to publish in 2020. So far this year I have published one of the three: ghosts are lonely here. Today, I completed another of the books, niche. It will be available on Amazon by the weekend. I will have copies by mid-January.

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In terms of biology, the niche is the quality of a space occupied by a living thing, the sum total of physical, nutritional, biological, psychological and emotional needs gathered together in one place. In human terms, niche can be a metaphor for home, community or personal space. One way of looking at the timeline of life is to think of it as a sequence of niche-spaces lived in, sought after, avoided, encountered, found, or occupied. 

These are poems about niche—the spaces where plants, animals and humans find home. The poems explore the niche spaces found primarily in Canada’s temperate zone where plants and animals have adapted to ecologies with a strong seasonal component. The poems explore the forests and coastal areas of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and the prairies of Alberta.

As you read the poems, you may think about your own niche, its origins and the changes that have occurred.

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My poetry book niche has a Foreword, written by my good friend Roger Moore (not the spy). Roger has guided and inspired my writing as a friend and teacher for more than 20 years.

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The book is illustrated with my drawings.

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The next book in the series will be entitled ‘blueberries and mink: summers on my grandfathers farm.’ It should be published by the end of 2020.

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All my best,

Jane

ghosts are lonely here ….. new poetry collection

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This spring, I began to gather together the various poems I have written over the years. One of my recurring interests has been abandoned buildings and other discarded human-built structures. And now, here is my book of poems about abandoned humanscape … ghosts are lonely here.

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My book is available in paperback and includes 45 poems and 14 of my original pencil drawings. Most of the poems are about abandoned structures in New Brunswick, Canada.

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We live in a time when built landscape is often in a state of abandonment: old churches, old bridges, old schools, old buildings. Add to this abandoned vehicles, abandoned boats and deteriorating stone walls, over-grown roads and decommissioned rail lines, and we exist in a landfill of nineteenth and twentieth century projects, abandoned to time. These poems listen to the histories and stories of the abandoned. The poems are sometimes sad, sometimes resentful, always wise.

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To order ghosts are lonely here, click here.

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Have a great day.

Jane

Written by jane tims

September 18, 2020 at 7:00 am

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Do you love picking berries, herbs, other plants from the garden? I think you’d like my book of poetry ‘within easy reach’ (Chapel street Editions, 2016). It is illustrated with my drawings and contains notes on various example of the edible ‘wild.’ Order it here.

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where we step

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my brother and I explore

the old home place, overgrown

and unused, the house fallen

into the cellar, a sock

tossed into the dresser drawer

but, barefoot not an option

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even shod, we are careful

of our feet – nails, glass, bricks

from the chimney, unease creeps

beneath the grass – we watch for

the water well, covered but

with rotted boards

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hard not to love where we step –

the mint enfolds our ankles,

rose and rosemary, our minds

chives lace our sneakers, fold

flowers from purple papers

lavender leans on the walls

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silver, graceful and wise,

the sage surveys our ruin,

thyme is bruised,

everywhere we step

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Stay safe.

All my best!

Jane

dates, days and seasons

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After the first draft is complete, after I’ve done a little work on continuity, I take another step in ordering the manuscript. I assign dates to each chapter and scene of the book. In the kind of mystery story I write, it is useful to the reader to know the date as the story progresses.

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This is important for several reasons:

  1. I have children in my Kaye Eliot mysteries and I want to be certain that student Katie is actually home (and not in school) for her scenes
  1. my characters often interact with government professionals. They don’t usually work on weekends.
  1. my book is set in Nova Scotia where the seasons change; knowing the date gives me information on the likely weather
  2. my protagonist, Kaye Eliot, is a botanist, so from her point of view, the vegetation is an important part of her descriptions of setting. To help with this, I keep a setting journal, so I know that apple blossoms are out around May 30, lilacs are in bloom in mid-June and lupins line the roads from mid-June to early July.
  3. I often put the phases of the moon in night scenes. Knowing the date lets me assign the correct phase of the moon to my settings. Have you ever read a book where the full moon shines all month long?
  4. Knowing the date lets me weave long weekends and holidays into my story.

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My book is set in 1996. A quick Google search will find me a calendar for that year. Believe it or not, most phone books once included a calendar for every possible year. No longer necessary.

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As I said before, my Table of Chapters is a useful tool for keeping track of dates, days and seasons. I can refer to it to get an instant idea of how much time has passed and where I have “time” to insert a new scene or chapter.

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All my best.

Staying home.

Working hard.

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Jane

Written by jane tims

June 17, 2020 at 7:00 am

continuity errors

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As I do revisions of my new manuscript, I find continuity errors in the First Draft. A perfect example cropped up today.

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The story revolves around the clues contained in a shoe box of post cards. About a quarter of the way through the book, someone steals the post cards. In the next chapter, Kaye and her friend Clara make a list of the post cards and a summary of the clues. Hard to do if they don’t have the cards with them! This kind of continuity error is easy to find and correct. Switching the chapters and correcting any new continuity errors is relatively easy.

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post cards

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Fixing continuity errors begins with identification.

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My main tools in this process are the “find” feature of my word processing software and a “table of chapters” that tracks the characteristics of each chapter. The table includes chapter-specific information on scenes, days/dates, setting, characters, Point of View, symbols and so on. This table is a lot of work, but it helps me over and over again during the review process.

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Sample Table

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In my search for continuity errors, I consider:

1. days and dates: I begin every chapter and scene with a day and date. This helps the reader to understand passage of time and helps me with time-related continuity errors. For example, Katie is in Grade 10 at school. On Tuesdays, she can’t be driving around with her mom looking for clues. The table lets me check on these various characteristics of the story and the time/order when events occur.

2. symbols used in the story: mentioned once in a story, a firepit is just a firepit. Mentioned twice, it begins to resonate; it refers to earlier mentions and takes on metaphorical meaning. Mentioned three times, it is all metaphor, a reminder of family, warm memories of a cold night and gathering. When these symbols are identified in the table of chapters, I can forward search on each symbol and read the context. The progression of meaning should be steady and discernible. Ideas out of order can be identified and their order fixed.

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3. character development: sometimes continuity errors are about an out-of-order character arc. When Clara’s home suffers a break-in, she is fearful and unwilling to trust strangers. When she meets Daniel, she learns to trust again, but the progression of this change must be logical and gradual.

4. gradual changes to setting: sometimes significant changes to setting create continuity errors. For example, in my book, an old road is bulldozed. The first time it is used it is muddy, almost impassible. When cars use the road later in the story, I have to explain the change with a spell of dry weather.

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Continuity errors can creep into a story in so many small ways. Character names, hair colour, vehicle make and model, even community names … everything needs to be checked. In the revision stage, it is important to review the story with intent and focus: continuity errors are most easily identified when the writer’s brain is attentive, alert. Drowsy-minded reviews are for finding and removing adverbs!

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All this effort is needed. Readers can be ripped from the world created by a book if the heroine with curly red hair suddenly has hair that is wispy and blond. Readers can be unforgiving.

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'Odymn and Vicki talk' (2016_12_30 00_28_35 UTC) (2)

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Have you ever found an unforgettable continuity error in a book?

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All my best.

Stay home, stay safe.

Jane

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