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Archive for the ‘Meniscus: Crossing the Churn’ Category

Watercolour lessons # 2

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In week four of the watercolour course I am taking, we are using the techniques we have learned to paint landscapes.

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First, we were asked to find an image/photo we like. I chose a scene from our cabin property, a photo of the lake through the trees, in late fall. It offered near and distant views and the colour palette I wanted to work with.

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lake at camp

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Then, we planned the painting, either visualizing the final presentation or actually sketching the landscape in pencil. I skipped the pencil because I love to draw and I guessed the end would be a full-blown pencil drawing.

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in the painting, I also wanted to try a technique I have seen on Pinterest. Canadian artist Holly Anne Friezen’s paintings of forest sometimes interpret the jumble of leaves in the canopy as stained glass, and I have wanted to try this for some time. Other artists have also used this technique.

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Scan_20200309 (4)

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To do the painting, I took the work in stages:

  1. I used painter’s tape to mark the locations of the main trees. This way, I could concentrate on the background without worrying about painting the trees.
  2. I painted the background sky, lake and far shore using a wet on wet technique.
  3. I painted the forest floor of the near shore using the colours of the fall.
  4. I removed the tape and painted two types of trees, the mountain birch and the red maples that live along the lake shore.
  5. I switched to a fine brush, to paint the many branches of the trees. For the colour, I used some black, but also created dark grey by mixing the complimentary colours red and green, or orange and blue. I tried to criss-cross the branches so I would have many triangles and odd-shaped shapes to use for the stained-glass part of the work.
  6. After the paint was completely dry, I used orange, red, purple, yellow and green to colour the ‘stained glass’ shapes.

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I loved the result so much, I did three paintings. In my opinion, the third painting is the best.

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Scan_20200309 (6)

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Scan_20200309

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In retrospect, I would have created more transparent, pure colour in the ‘stained-glass’ by not painting the sky, lake and far shore under the areas where I wanted to paint the ‘stained-glass.’

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I don’t always frame and hang my paintings, but I like these so much, I am going to find a place for them in my home.

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 9, 2020 at 10:19 pm

nom de plume

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When I decided to write and publish the science fiction Meniscus Series, I thought it might be a good idea to take on a pen name, just for the Series. I chose to use my first name Alexandra. A pretty name, but always my unused first name and therefore not familiar. But now that everything is electronic, Alexandra is the name I encounter more and more often in my daily life.

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DSCN0008

name of this boat is Alex

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When I was a child, starting school, my parents warned me I might hear the name Alexandra when people addressed me. On the first day of school we all sat on the floor of the gymnasium and listened for our names to be read. I listened extra hard, terrified I would not recognize the unfamiliar name. At last the gymnasium was empty and my name, Jane or Alexandra, had not been called. As it turned out, my parents had sent me to the wrong school!

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Using the pen name Alexandra has been a little strange. When registering for things like Access Copyright and Public Lending Rights I have to remember to register both names.  I show up at launches and behave as Jane since that is the name most people know me by. I started a special blog www.offplanet.blog for posts about my science fiction series but recently I sign “All my best, Alexandra (a.k.a.Jane).” I sign books in the Meniscus series with Alexandra (a.k.a. Jane). I guess I am always going to be Jane.

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five books.jpg

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Do you have a pen name and what has been your experience with using a nom de plume?

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All my best,

Jane (a.k.a.Alexandra)

Written by jane tims

September 24, 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

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Follow the adventures of Odymn and the Slain!

 

 

 

 

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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 …

 

www.amazon.com/Meniscus-Village-Themble-Alexandra-Tims/dp/1546475982

 

Excerpt

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“What is that sound?”

says Odymn.

Looks north-west.

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Green light creeps

towards zenith,

blinking its way.

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The Slain rolls to standing.

Grabs Odymn’s arm.

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“Hide,”

he says.

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Slips over the limb of banyan.

Pulls Odymn after him.

Covers her with his body.

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Tugs at his armour,

five snaps per side

(its electric current

detectable, trackable).

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The armour detaches.

A grid of inert copper

between them.

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Above, the drone

nudges sideways,

sinks among the trees.

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Odymn holds her breath.

The Slain lays his mouth on hers

but she peeks around him,

wants to see.

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The drone hovers

a minute or more.

It blinks, effortless

on its cushion of air.

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Then it rises.

Swoops

to the north-east.

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The Slain lifts Odymn to her feet.

Finds a path

through banyan,

in the direction of Garth.

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Flawless navigation in dark

and Odymn wonders

what amethyst eyes see

in places where light

does not shine.

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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.

 

www.offplanet.blog

www.janetims.com

 

Other books in the Meniscus Series

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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. 

Jane

Meniscus: Crossing The Churn

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Meniscus: Crossing The Churn

by Alexandra Tims

an illustrated long poem

first in the Meniscus Series

science fiction – romance – adventure

 

~

Follow the adventures of Odymn and the Slain!

 

 

On the alien planet Meniscus, Humans are slaves. Every twilight, Odymn runs through the forests outside the city, practicing the art of parkour. Her runs give her strength, flexibility and endurance, and a way to survive a life of servitude under the oppressive Dock-winders. When the silent Slain rescues her from a brutal encounter with a gang of Gel-heads, Odymn believes she has reached the end of her search for freedom. In their travels through the Prell’nan District of Meniscus, she and the Slain encounter dangerous woodlands, dramatic water-climbs and an impassable water churn. Odymn and the Slain work together to evade the Gel-heads and overcome the dangers of the landscape. But is Odymn really free or is she caught in a cycle of trying to escape the inevitable?

 

In the first of the Meniscus series, Crossing the Churn tells the story of the meeting of a young woman and a genetically-engineered Slain whose kindness may not be consistent with his purpose.

 

try …. fail … repeat …

sometimes no matter how hard you run, the past grabs at your heels …

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1542342635

 

Excerpt

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The sky congeals,

coughs up churning darkness,

and the air moves.

 

Reminder of home, on Earth.

The creaking weathervane

above the hay barn door.

 

The wind tosses sparse droplets.

Plucks handfuls of dust.

Pebbles like sleet.

 

The broken hills kilometres away.

Obscured by a looming sandstorm.

 

The Slain walks faster.

Distance widens between them.

She stumbles, falls to her knees.

 

“Why should I follow?” she whispers.

 

His hand grips her arm, drags her to standing.

Forward in uneven strides.

Leaning into wind.

 

About the Author

Alexandra Tims is a botanist, writer and artist living in rural New Brunswick, Canada. 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. 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.

 

www.offplanet.blog

www.janetims.com

 

Other books in the Meniscus Series

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Meniscus: One Point Five – Forty Missing Days

Meniscus: South from Sintha

Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb

 

 

free book – Meniscus: Crossing the Churn

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Want a quick read? A chance to explore a distant planet with two spirited characters? The first book in my science-fiction adventure series Meniscus: Crossing the Churn (Kindle version) is available for free for the next five days on Kindle.  From January 27 to January 31, you can meet Odymn and the Slain, and learn about their meeting and their first travels together across the landscapes of planet Meniscus.

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From the dangerous streets of Prell-nan to the dark woods of the Themble, this is a dystopian adventure, set on a planet where Humans are slaves to an alien race. Their only hope for freedom is to work together, foraging for their food, running from the nasty Dock-winders and battling the wild life. The only way to survive will be in their growing love for one another.

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A sample from the story …

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She watches the fire,

the space where flames

feign glowing eyes.

 

The creature speaks and she startles,

then knows the words are the endless friction

of two close-growing limbs of banyan.

 

High pitched squeal, low grown.

 

She peers at the Slain.

 

“I’m Odymn,” she says,

points to the place

between her breasts,

the now-charred microchip.

 

Points at him.

“Who are you?”

Emphasis on ‘who’ and ‘you’.

 

Unwavering stare.

His eyes not black, but amethyst,

dark rings around the iris.

 

At the edges a pale film,

nictitating membrane.

Long lashes.

 

 “Odymn,” she says.

“Named by my father.

 

“Rare earth metal, Neodymium.

Atomic number 60. Silvery,

soft, tarnishes in air.

 

“Common as copper.

Makes a reddish dye,

colour of my hair.

 

“Now you,” and points at his chest.

 

Blue sparks snap to the tip of her finger.

Faint vibration through hand, along arm,

deep into torso.

 

Penetrating stare.

Lazy double blink.

Membrane and lashes close and open.

 

“OK. I’ll choose a name for you.

Daniel. Or James.

Not quite right, too common.

 

“You need an alien name.

Something deep from Dock-winder mythology.

Amblyn, god of fire. Or De-al, water-weld.”

 

Steady stare. Double blink.

One hand lifts. One finger raised to lips.

Be silent.

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To get a free Kindle version of Meniscus: Crossing the Churn (from January 27 to January 31), just click on the book icon in the margin. This will take you to the Amazon website where you can get a free copy downloaded to your Kindle device.

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If you like Meniscus: Crossing the Churn, you will love the continuing adventures of Odymn and the silent Slain – Meniscus: South from Sintha, Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb and the newest book Meniscus: One Point Five – Forty Missing Days, available January 31, 2018.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

New Maryland Fall Show – Jane’s books and paintings for sale!!!

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Last year I tried selling my books and paintings at a local craft fair. I had so many ‘fears’. I wondered if I would sell anything. I wondered how it would feel, sitting there waiting for someone to be interested in my wares. I wondered if I would have any money when I went home (I saw so many things at the fair I wanted to buy)!

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I was pleasantly surprised. I sold both books and paintings. Sitting, watching the vendors and browsers, was very relaxing. And I loved meeting the other vendors and bought some items I still love!

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This Saturday November 4, 9AM – 2PM, I will be at the New Maryland Fall Show (held at the Faith Baptist Church, 525 New Maryland Highway, New Maryland, New Brunswick). I will be selling copies of my books and some of my paintings.

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my books:

‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’ (Chapel Street Editions, 2017) – my new book of poems about plants and animals living in and around some of the covered bridges in New Brunswick (if the book doesn’t arrive from the printers in time, I will be taking pre-orders)

‘within easy reach’ (Chapel Street Editions, 2016) – poems about wild edibles and other local foods

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three books in my science-fiction series (CreateSpace, 2017):

Meniscus: Crossing The Churn

Meniscus: South from Sintha

Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

some of my paintings:

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I am getting close to my 500th follower! If you leave a comment on this post (WordPress or Facebook), you will be entered into a draw for a free, postage-paid paperback copy of my new book ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’! One entry per commenter per post.

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If you live in the New Maryland area of New Brunswick, I hope I will see you on Saturday November 3, 2017 at the New Maryland Fall Show!

at the Faith Baptist Church on the new Maryland Highway, 9 AM to 2 PM.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

get your free copy of Meniscus: Crossing The Churn

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The first book in my science fiction series is available free in Kindle format from now until October 8th.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1542342635

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What lives in the grell burrows?

Why does the Slain carry an ivory button with him?

Who gave Odymn her purple running shoes?

What plants are good to eat in the Meniscus woods?

How do Odymn and the Slain get water in the Darn’el desert?

How did Odymn get her name?

Does the Slain speak English?

What is the Slain’s occupation?

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Just a few questions you’ll be able to answer if you read Meniscus: Crossing The Churn.

 

 

Written by jane tims

October 6, 2017 at 10:39 am

thank you!

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A huge thank you to purchasers of my books. From June 1 -5 I ran a free book promotion on Amazon for the Kindle edition of South from Sintha. I gave away 41 free ebooks and sold a few Kindle editions of the first book Crossing The Churn. Also, thanks to anyone who bought ebooks or paperbacks! I am so pleased to know my stories and words and characters are getting out there!

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my concept of the Meniscus planet’s solar system

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I have found my audience for the Meniscus series is unique … people who love science fiction are most interested. For this reason, I have decided to run a new blog, dedicated to my interests in science fiction and fantasy. I will also put updates about my Meniscus books there.

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Anyone who likes science fiction and would like to follow my new blog, have a look at www.offplanet.blog. I would be happy to see you there! I will still publish the highlights about my Meniscus books here and, of course, continue to post about my interests in prose and poetry, and in natural and community history.

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This week I am working on edits for the next two Meniscus books: Winter at the Water-climb and The Village at Themble Hill. Here are a few drawings for these new books! The books will follow the continuing story of Odymn and the Slain, but new characters arrive, as the result of a transport crash.

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Copyright Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra) Tims 2017

reflections on a book launch

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The Event: my book launch!

When? a week ago Thursday evening (May 18, 2017) at 7 PM.

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reading with a Dock-winder (one of the aliens in my book) … he doesn’t seem happy to be the bad guy in the book!

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What? 90 minutes of introductions, readings, prize give-aways and explanations. Some by Zachary Hapeman and his very funny poems about the weird and the wacky; some by me, Alexandra (a.k.a. Jane) Tims, about the planet Meniscus and the skills of my very capable female protagonist Odymn.

We gave out three prizes during the evening:

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Zach shows one of the prizes given out during the evening … a framed copy of some of his illustrations!

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Where? At Westminster Books on King Street in Fredericton, New Brunswick ( have a look at their site here, a great local bookstore).  What better place to read than surrounded by books? And helped through the evening by those who love books (Janet North and staff). The day was the hottest of the spring (33 degrees) and I was absolutely dripping by the end of the evening. Some of that is due to my age and lack of stamina. The space is quite comfortable, transformed by chairs into theatre seating for a dozen or more. We had Gel-head punch to drink with lots of ice cubes (green apple, lime juice and gingerale), and three kinds of cookies from the Goody Shop in Fredericton.

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Who? There were twenty-six there to listen, plus Zach and I. Most were friends from my work and church. There were also members of the writing groups where I am a member (‘Fictional Friends’ and ‘Wolf Tree Writers’). Also, one young lady I didn’t know and a woman who was visiting Fredericton and browsing at the bookshop. I suppose we would count my two stand-up life-sized cardboard aliens, a Dock-winder and a Gel-head. And a stand-up life sized ginger-bread man from Zach! It is always wonderful to see my friends and to meet new people. Some of my friends are having a hard time believing I have taken a side-wind into science-fiction.

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the Gel-head stand-up figure … surrounded by all these books, I hope he can read! I think he ate the gingerbread man stand-up figure

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Why? This was the launch of the first book in my Meniscus series — ‘Meniscus: Crossing The Churn’. I wanted to introduce my friends to the world I have built. And get them interested in where the story is going. I hoped to provide some entertainment and to assure them I am doing well in this retirement world. And, of course, I want to sell some books.

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The evening will stick with me for some time. There were many memorable moments. Among others:

  • Zack gave out a little squishy animal to an audience member and told how he often sends these little fellows flying into the audience when he is reading.
  • A member of one of my writing groups, asked to draw for one of the prizes, wondered what would happen if he drew his own name and won the prize … and proceeded to actually win!!!!
  • The out-of-town visitor, browsing the shelves, found my first book ‘within easy reach’ … she was surprised to find the author present and eager to sign her book … my brain had a time switching from Alexandra Tims to Jane Spavold Tims (author of ‘within easy reach’) and signing correctly.  And remembering I usually embellish ‘within easy reach’ with a line from one of the poems.
  • As we left the store at the end of the evening, a group of five young men asked to pose for a photo with the two aliens. They left with a copy of my book so they would know the names of the cardboard stand-ups!

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I show another of the prizes given … a game of ‘Forbidden Desert’ from my son’s store Meta GameZ

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I have a couple of upcoming readings, one at the New Brunswick Writers Federation WordSpring event in a few day’s time. And two at the Alexandria and Goderich libraries in Ontario in September. Meanwhile I can turn my attention to the next book in the series ‘Meniscus: South from Sintha’.

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Copyright  2017 Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra) Tims

 

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