nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘art

Next Meniscus: The Struggle

leave a comment »

In the Meniscus Science Fiction Series, I am now working on Meniscus: The Struggle, the sequel to Meniscus: Rosetta Stone.

~

~

Meniscus: Rosetta Stone introduced us to Abra, a translator who has discovered a manuscript containing the mysterious Dock-winder language. As Abra works on the manuscript, she begins to think the words will hold the secret to the downfall of the cruel Dock-winders.

~

~

In the sequel, Meniscus: The Struggle, Abra will enlist the help of Tagret, a chemist, to decipher the symbols in the manuscript. She will also try to get the help of Don’est, the Dock-winder child adopted by the Humans of Themble Hill. But will peculiar Don’est be a help or a hindrance?

~

~

Meniscus: The Struggle will be available in June, 2022. Next post, I’ll show you some of my work on the cover of the book.

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

April 25, 2022 at 1:58 pm

my new journal

with 2 comments

Every January, every year of my adult life, I have started a journal, or as we used to say, a diary. Sometimes the idea of keeping a journal lasts the month, more often not. I have lots of information on the Januaries of my life, but little on the other months.

~

In the 1990s, I began keeping what I dubbed ‘my rough journal’ and I have stacks of these. The idea of ‘rough’ took away any limitations imposed by keeping track of the date or specific experiences. My rough journals are filled with early drafts of poems, notes from writing workshops I have attended and doodles. Many doodles, since after five minutes have passed, I usually start drawing people or border designs.

~

~

This January, I encountered the idea of the ‘bullet journal.’ The bullet journal takes a sort of multi-media approach to journaling. It uses some writing, but also drawings, mementos, stickers, ribbons, scraps and so on to create meaningful memory pages. Sometimes the pages are less about memory and more about planning.

bullet journal is a method of personal information developed by designer Ryder Carroll, shared with the public in 2013. The system organizes scheduling, reminders, to-do lists, brainstorming and other organizational tasks into a single notebook. The name “bullet journal” comes from the use of abbreviated bullet points to log information.

paraphrased from Wikipedia

~

One of the things I have liked about the bullet journal is its diversity. I love using stickers, stamps, various papers and tapes. Last year, I discovered ‘washi tape,’ Japanese masking tape, made of rice paper and printed with various designs.

~

washi tape, stamps. stickers, all the stuff of bullet journaling

~

I have also collected a lot of stickers over the years and today, I printed out my first page of homemade ‘stickers,’ created from some of my many drawings, sized and grouped in PowerPoint, and printed using AVERY 81/2″ X 11″ shipping labels.

~

~

Today, we are almost at the end of April, and I have kept my bullet journal, a bit sporadically, since January 1. I create a page at least once a week and spend about a half hour at any journal session. I find it relaxing, creative and compelling.

~

apparently, I can’t spell ‘field’ … my biking is virtual, using Street View by Google Earth

~

When I create anything, from a painting to a bullet journal page, I am usually aware of a ‘watching other.’ Some people refer to this as ‘the monkey on my back.’ I find this ‘other’ distracting and a barrier to ‘creative freedom.’ So, when I work in my bullet journal, I try not to satisfy the watching ‘other.’ Instead, I create my journal pages just for me and don’t think to myself: ‘someday they will find this and think how messy and unartistic I am.’ As a result, my bullet journal pages are not always beautiful. They probably wouldn’t get an ‘A’ in school. But they are for me, and I love them.

~

~

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

April 22, 2022 at 12:55 pm

working on a poetry manuscript

with 2 comments

This week, I am assembling a new poetry book in the ‘a glimpse of…’ series. The first two books, a glimpse of water fall and a glimpse of dragon gave readers a peek at some of the beautiful waterfalls in New Brunswick and the bits of magic in all our lives. A glimpse of sickle moon will explore the seasons in New Brunswick. The manuscript won Third Place in the 2020 New Brunswick Writers’ Federation Competition for the Alfred G. Bailey Prize.

~

~

The poetry book presents fifteen years of seasons, each presented as four poems about spring, summer, winter and fall. The poems about spring talk about floodwaters, under-story flowers and waking from hibernation. Summer poems tell about hurricanes, picking raspberries and sheep in the morning meadows. Fall poems explore first frost, wasp nests, fading flowers and ripening blackberries. And in winter–ice caves, snow drifts, walks in the falling snow and feeding birds.

~

~

I have struggled with how to present these poems. I thought of making each suite of four represent a year in my own life and entitling the section 1978, 1980, 1996, 2012 and so on. I thought about titling each section as a special year–‘The Year of the Path,’ ‘The Year of the Groundhog,’ and so on. I have finally settled on a title drawn from a common theme in the four poems presented–‘paths through tangled woods,’ ‘where shadows meet,’ and ‘a sliver from full.’

~

~

For the cover, I will create a painting of the crescent moon, seen through the branches of birch trees. The image below is a facsimile.

~

~

All my best as you work on your own project.

Jane

Written by jane tims

January 14, 2022 at 7:00 am

now available: a glimpse of dragon

leave a comment »

a glimpse of dragon, second poetry book in the ‘glimpse of’ series, is now available at Westminster Books in Fredericton.

~

The book is illustrated with my black and white drawings and considers extraordinary things in ordinary life. These are poems about comets in the sky, ghost cars in the covered bridge and dragons lurking in the campfire.

~

~

campfire dragons

~

dragons prowl

in balsam

backcrawl in amber

blisters of pitch

~

dragons lurk

under mantles of smoke

blacken the stones

spurt throatfuls of fire

~

dragons leap

to the Draco sky

watch us grow small

with sparking eyes

~

close their lids

and sleep in flight

~

~

You can also order a glimpse of dragon at Amazon, click here.

~

I hope you enjoy ‘a glimpse of dragon.’

Jane

Written by jane tims

December 20, 2021 at 3:28 pm

a glimpse of dragons

with 7 comments

This year, I am continuing to gather my various poems into categories for publication. I intend to publish three books of poetry in the ‘a glimpse of…’ series.

So far, I have published ‘a glimpse of water fall,’ a collection of poems about waterfalls and the way lives can sometimes take a ‘downwards’ turn. In 2012, the manuscript for a glimpse of waterfall won Honorable Mention in the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick’s competition for the Alfred G. Bailey Prize.

Next year, I will publish ‘a glimpse of sickle moon,’ poems journeying through the various seasons of the year. In 2020, the manuscript for a glimpse of sickle moon won Third Prize in the Bailey competition.

Later this fall, I will publish ‘a glimpse of dragons.’ This poetry collection is about the mysterious events in my life that take imaginative reasoning to understand. The title comes from the idea, in the Dark Ages, that unexplainable celestial events were the actions of dragon-kind.

I have gathered six types of poems into this collection and I illustrate many of the poems.

1. those ordinary things in my life that seem imbued with magic;

2. my ‘observations’ of dragons;

3. unexplainable events in my life that would fall into the category of ghost stories;

4. my encounters with magical people;

5. poems about my deep appreciation of sky and the awe that accompanies trying to understand the reality of space;

6. a tribute to the crow, an animal I feel kin to, and the dark women I associate with crow-kind.

~

The poetry book ‘a glimpse of dragons’ will be published by kdp and available in paperback on Amazon in December. The book will also be available from Westminster Books in Fredericton.

~

Take care in these days of pandemic,

all my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

November 10, 2021 at 2:07 pm

how much for a trip to space?

with 4 comments

Yesterday, October 13, 2021, will be part of Star Trek history since William Shatner (a.k.a. Captain James T. Kirk) took a real journey into space, on board the space tourism ship, Blue Origin’s New Shepard. The cost of a ticket is variable, but in the range of hundreds of thousands into the millions. I said to my husband, “I’ll pass. I’ll just let the Dock-winders come and get me, and ‘take’ me to Meniscus.”

~

So, if you are a reader of the Meniscus Science Fiction Series, you will know that the Dock-winders of Meniscus have visited (or will visit Earth) seven times: 1982, 1988, 1995, 2008, 2013, 2020 and 2023 (two years from now). Each time, they harvest Humans for transport to their planet. In every Meniscus book, there is a list of characters and the years they were taken. Next year, I will be publishing three novellas, short urban mysteries, in the Meniscus Peripherals Series. In each book, set on Earth, there will be a mention of a Dock-winder abduction and a connection to a Meniscus Science Fiction Series story.

~

If you are not fussy about being ‘taken’ to Meniscus, for free, you can still be transported to the Meniscus world, for the small price of a paperback or e-book. There are now nine Meniscus adventures (ten if you include 1.5), and the tenth in the series, Meniscus: Rosetta Stone, will be released tomorrow, Friday!

~

~

The books in the series are:

Book One – Meniscus: Crossing The Churn

Book 1.5 – Meniscus: One Point FiveBook One – Meniscus: Crossing The Churn

Book 1.5 – Meniscus: One Point Five

Book Two – Meniscus: South from Sintha

Book Three – Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb

Book Four – Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill

Book Five – Meniscus: Karst Topography

Book Six – Meniscus: Oral Traditions

Book Seven – Meniscus: Encounter with the Emenpod

Book Eight – Meniscus: The Knife

Book Nine – Meniscus: Meeting of Minds

Book Ten – Meniscus: Rosetta Stone

~

~

Reading will transport you to Meniscus, second planet in the solar system of Tathlet-Amblyn, a double sun. Meniscus is a world of woodlands, deserts and mountains and the cities of Prell District, North and South. The plants and animals are peculiar and sometimes dangerous. And water moves upward, not down. Rivers do not flow and water is hard to swallow. The Humans who find themselves on Meniscus are the slaves of the Dock-winder system. But sometimes they are able to escape and, with other Humans, build relationships and communities and have exciting adventures.

~

~

Meniscus: Rosetta Stone will introduce two new characters, Abra and Trath. Abra, an historian, finds a manuscript written in both Dock-winder and Gel-speak. Abra believes translation of the document may reveal a secret to overthrow the Dock-winders. She sets out for Hath-men, a village where The Resistance is centred. But traveling alone on Meniscus can be very dangerous.

~

Meniscus: Rosetta Stone will be available on Friday, October 15, in both paperback and e-book versions. Once I get copies, it will be available from me or at Westminster Books in Fredericton.

~

All my best.

(The Dock-winders are fictional.

You don’t have to worry about them!)

Jane

(a.k.a. Alexandra)

Written by jane tims

October 13, 2021 at 5:24 pm

taking an art course

with 2 comments

I trying to add some diversity to my day, so I am taking a course from Domestika: A Meditative Approach to Botanical Illustration. I have been through the introductory videos and last evening, I began the drawing exercises. Where I am, I have no scanner or camera, but I will use some photos and drawings from past excursions to illustrate what I have to say.

_

_

The first lesson is to observe simple shapes in the plant you want to draw. The instructor uses cacti for his subject matter. I am using water lilies of various types. I usually draw with pencil, so this is the first time I have used pen. I am a ‘maker of mistakes,’ so the eraser does a lot of work when I sit down to draw. Using pen sounds a bit intimidating, but I will prevail.

~

~

The simple shapes associated with the water lily are the elongated outlines of flower petals, and the deeply-notched spherical outlines of the various leaves. For my drawings I chose Nuphar lutea, Nymphaea odorata, and Nuphar microphylla, all species found in New Brunswick.

~

simple shape drawing of Nymphaea odorata

~

The above is a crude copy ‘by finger’ of one of the drawings I did, this one of Nymphaea odorata, showing the basic shapes.

The next lesson is a more accurate representation of the plant.

I am feeling that you have to go backwards to move forwards. We will see.

~

All my best

Jane

Written by jane tims

July 22, 2021 at 11:15 am

Book Cover – Land Between the Furrows

with 4 comments

I have been working on the cover painting for the new book in the Kaye Eliot Mysteries: Land Between the Furrows.

First, I do a pencil drawing of the idea I have for the cover. In this book, grind stones from a local grist mill figure in the mystery.

~

~

Then I do a painting, based on the pencil drawing. This painting is in acrylics, 16″ by 20″.

~

~

Finally, I create the cover. This is, for me, the hardest step. I take the photo of the painting into GIMP, crop to get the correct dimensions (6″ by 9″) and scale the image to 360 dpi (pixels per inch). Then I bring the image into the KDP Cover Creater and add the text and so on.

~

~

The book will be ready to go live on March 15, 2021.

All my best,

Jane

a storm of birds

with 2 comments

We are expecting major snowfall/freezing rain in the next couple of days. I think the birds must sense this because there is a veritable storm of birds at the feeders this morning.

~

~

We have evening grosbeaks, a downy woodpecker, chickadees, nuthatches and mourning doves. By far the largest numbers are the redpolls and goldfinches. We also have red and grey squirrels, but they didn’t show up this morning.

~

~

The birds fly in from our surrounding trees and feed for a while, coming and going. Then a dog barks or a car goes by and the whole flock leaves at once. Only a few brave grosbeaks cling to the feeder. Eventually, all the birds return and begin to feed.

~

~

We keep the feeders full during the cold weather and feed with nyjer (thistle) seed and black-oil sunflower seeds.

~

~

Watching the birds is lots of fun. Each species seems to have its own feeding-personality:

  • the chickadees land, grab and leave as quickly as possible;
  • the woodpeckers cling to the feeder and only leave when they’ve had their fill;
  • the finches (redpolls and goldfinches) arrive as a flock and stay, to feed mostly on the fallen seed under the feeders;
  • the grosbeaks, much bigger than the finches, mingle with them and hang on to the feeders even after other birds have been frightened away.

~

~

Bird watching is a great way to spend time during these days of pandemic lockdown. Still haven’t seen my first cardinal! And this year I haven’t yet seen a purple finch, so common in previous years.

~

~

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

February 15, 2021 at 2:00 pm

Gargoyles?

with 6 comments

I am working on my poetry manuscript ‘a glimpse of waterfalls.’ As always, I workshop some of the poems with my writing group Wolf Tree Writers. Wolf Tree has been together over thirty years and has assisted me greatly in improving my poetry.

~

This past week I read a poem to Wolf Tree called ‘from a window on the 3rd floor.’ In the third stanza, a gargoyle is mentioned. We talked about how a gargoyle is an ‘Old World’ (European) reference. It made me curious about gargoyles in Canada.

~

~

A gargoyle is a sculptural architectural feature used like a waterspout to transport rainwater away from the building. A gargoyle often depicts a grotesque other-world figure and also serves to frighten daemons away and remind people of the perils of doing harm. Sculptural features which look like gargoyles but which do not convey water are called grotesques.

~

~

Canada has many examples of gargoyles, occurring wherever architecture is gothic in design. There are many examples in Montreal, including on the campus of McGill University (Redpath Hall and Library), on churches (Christ Church Cathedral) and on private buildings (the Elspeth Angus and Duncan McIntyre House). The Peace Tower (Parliament Building) in Ottawa has numerous gargoyles and grotesques. For more information see https://sencanada.ca/en/sencaplus/how-why/gargoyles-and-grotesques-parliament-hills-sinister-sentinels/

~

~

from a window on the 3rd floor

~

I nudge curtain, interpret

streetscape, sirens

stream down the glass

fractal paths where drops

meet and coalesce

meet and coalesce

~

the puddle on the cobbled street

a pool at the base of a waterfall

edged in rock and fern

candy wrappers, paper coffee cups

brick an escarpment, rain spills

from ledges of stone

edges of stone

~

above, a gargoyle gushes

glimpse of reckless sky

heartened, I consider

merits of solitude

building facade

pavement pulses

red and blue

red and blue

~

~

Are there any gargoyles in the architecture of your area?

~

All my best!!

Jane

Written by jane tims

January 13, 2021 at 7:00 am

%d bloggers like this: