nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘community

Available now – Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill

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For those who are reading my Meniscus science fiction series, my new book Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill is now available at Westminster Books in Fredericton and from Amazon, in paperback and Kindle formats here.

I will be launching this new book at Westminster Books on May 25, 2018 at 7:00, so mark your calendars!

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Humans on the planet Meniscus have had it hard. Used as slaves by the Dock-winders and Gel-heads, they live without hope, deprived of family and community. A few Humans have escaped and band together to build the first Human community on the planet. Odymn and the Slain are part of the community of Themble Hill but can they escape interference from the Dock-winders?

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a plan for Themble Hill.jpg

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You will enjoy the continuing adventures of Odymn and the Slain, as Odymn tries to recover from a parkour accident and cope with the Slain’s former girlfriend.

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Find out who is lighting a line of purple gettle-shells (the Meniscus version of the Jack-o-lantern) on the heights of The Fault where the Dock-winders can see them!

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For more information and an excerpt from Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill,  click here.

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five books

Now available … fourth in the Meniscus Series: The Village at Themble Hill

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The new book in the Meniscus Science Fiction Series is now available. In The Town at Themble Hill, humans on the alien planet Meniscus continue to search for freedom and a safe place to live.

My heroine Odymn, who is expert at the art of parkour, sometimes also called free-running, navigates the landscape with runs, leaps and vaults. She never falls. Or does she? Find out how Odymn copes with a loss of her independence.

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Meniscus: The Town at Themble Hill

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… 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.

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home is the safest place … so build a home …

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Get the paperback version of Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill here. The Kindle version will be available soon. For readers in the Fredericton area, Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill will be available at Westminster Books after May 1st.

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'jump to the stack'paperback

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Little Free Library 

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I have heard about these little free libraries, appearing in cities all over North America. And now we have at least two in Fredericton.

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‘little free library’ on University Avenue in Fredericton

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Charming and whimsical …

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‘little free library’ in Sunshine Gardens in Fredericton

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A delightful expression of community! I love the stump or stone step so a child can borrow from the little library!

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The idea is simple … take a book, leave a book. It’s a way to find some great new reading, visit a part of the community you may not know well and promote literacy.

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As of this morning, I have left a copy of my poetry book within easy reach’ at two of these tiny libraries, one in Sunshine Gardens and one on University Avenue. If you want to go on a treasure hunt and borrow a book, make sure to take a book with you to trade! Happy reading!

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

July 6, 2016 at 9:17 pm

old schools in the landscape

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In my last few posts, I have focussed on my research toward a new poetry project I will be beginning. I know there are interesting stories to be told about the ‘inside’ of the one room school. Because of my interests in botany and community history, I would like to reflect on the ‘outside’ of the one room school – its surroundings and geographic location.

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I still have to do some thinking about this project. I know that people who attended one room schools will have stories to tell about how the local terrain and landscape influenced their schooling.

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A school’s surroundings would have impacted learning in many ways. For example, the view of a lake from the school window may have caused many a pupil to settle into daydreams.  Interesting fields, hills, and watercourses would provide the teacher with opportunities for nature study.

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The location of the school would also influence recess and lunch-time activities. My Dad wrote about damming a local stream so they could skate in the winter months. The same stream meant fishing in May and June. A nearby hillside would be great for sledding in January and February. Trees in the school yard?  – A place to climb or to hang a swing.

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'willow swing'

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Students walked to school before the 1950s. The study I made of schools in Upham Parish, New Brunswick suggests that students walked as many as three miles to school in the late 1800s. Hills made the long walk to school more difficult. The winds by a lake or other shore land would be bitter on a winter day. Rivers, lakes and wetlands meant a place to hunt tadpoles. A spring by the road? – A cool drink. My Uncle, forced to wear a hat/scarf he hated, used the bridge on the way to school as a place to hide his headgear!

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One room schools were located near clusters of houses and various community activities. The walk to school may have passed a church, a post office or a community store. Hardwood forests meant lumber mills and, in spring, maple syrup and the sugar shack. Good land meant farms; grazing land meant cows to outstare.

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On a drive last weekend, we found an older building along the Saint John River that may have been a school. The Upper Queensbury Community Hall has all the characteristics of a one room school – the steep roof, rectangular footprint, and tall side windows.

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Upper Queensbury Community Hall 1

Upper Queensbury Community Hall near Nackawic, New Brunswick. I will have to make some inquiries to find out if it was a school house at one time.

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A look at a map shows some of the landscape features in the area.

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Queensbury

Map showing landscape features of part of Queensbury Parish, near Nackawic, New Brunswick. The yellow dot is the location of the Upper Queensbury Community Hall which may have been a one room school.

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The Saint John River was nearby, although further than it is today since the Mactaquac Dam (built in 1968) has raised the level of the water. The river’s possibilities for fishing, skating and boating were only a downhill trek away. The terrain is gently undulating, as the names of nearby communities (Day Hill and Granite Hill) suggest. Local geographic points the community children may have known include the many-tiered Coac Falls and Coac Lake (an old road runs past the community hall back through the woods to the lake, about a mile away). The aerial photo (taken near the end of September) shows the red of the cranberry bog – picking cranberries may have been a well-known activity. Sugar maples are common in the area, as are old ‘sugar shacks’. When I interview people who went to the one room school I will have to remember to ask them about their memories of these places.

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Writing poetry about these ideas will be so much fun!

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Copyright  2016  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

May 9, 2016 at 7:11 am

Buying Local

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The weekend before last, I attended WordsFall (a yearly event of the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick) in Sackville, a town in eastern New Brunswick.  I read at the open mic session, enjoyed listening to the work of the other readers at the session, and attended two Saturday workshops.

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When I visit Sackville, I am always encouraged by the atmosphere of community that prevails. For a small town, they have a lot to offer. My favorite places are the campus of Mount Allison University, the Sackville Waterfowl Park especially its birdlife and boardwalks, the Cackling Goose Market with its delicious sandwiches and gluten-free products, and the landscape of the salt marsh.

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Brochure for the Town of Sackville, New Brunswick

Brochure for the Town of Sackville, New Brunswick

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While I was at the workshop, I picked up a brochure about Sackville. The painting on the front of the pamphlet is by Mary Scobie, ‘Sackville Market Day’ (Oil on canvas, 24″ by 48″) http://www.maryscobie.com . As our winter approaches, it is great to remember the fresh and local produce available in summer.

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The Sackville Farmers Market is one of the oldest in the province and operates year-round.

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Do you attend a farmers’ market and is it open during the winter months?

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Copyright 2015 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

November 27, 2015 at 7:19 am

Arthur – after the storm

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Over a week after Tropical Storm Arthur, I am thinking about the new pattern of life we adopted during our six days without electricity.  Without our usual electric lights, stove, refrigerator, computer and television, we adjusted our days.

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First there were candles.  I have lots of candles, but three pillars in the living room sent enough light into the main part of the house for navigation.   We also had our small flashlights.  They lit the darker rooms and made us safe on the stairs.

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The next ‘necessity’ was gasoline for the truck and for our small generator (2000 watt).  Although we began the storm with very little gasoline (we were not well prepared), we waited a couple of days to fill up, to avoid the long lineups for gas at the few stations open after the storm.  Since most all of Fredericton was without power for the first two days, so open gas stations, fast food places and grocery stores were hard to find!

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Once we had our generator working, we had a hot meal at supper time each evening, on our small electric hotplate.  By the end of the six days, we were using our generator for fans to keep the house cool and to watch DVDs on our television.

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Water, of course, is always a concern.  We had lots of water on hand, about 22 4-liter jugs I keep for emergencies.  We were able to buy drinking water and ice for our cooler, although these items were flying from the shelves!!!  By the end of our adventure, we had filled our jugs a couple of times, once at my son’s home (in the city, they had no power, but they did have water), and once from the Oromocto Fire Department who were so kind to us.

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On Day 6, workers from NB Power and Hydro-Quebec, and a tree trimming crew from Maine arrived to remove the trees from the downed lines on our road.  They worked all day to re-establish power to about 500 customers who depended on this particular line.  We were so grateful to them, knowing they had worked since the storm hit.  We were just one group among many waiting for power.  On Sunday, July 13, there were still 5000 customers without power in Fredericton.  By the time of this post, NB Power says most power will be restored.  It is certainly the longest power outage we have ever experienced in this province.

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three candles

three candles

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three candles

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between ruby glass

and hard wood floor

a slide of light and three

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extinguished candles

smoke lifts from smoulder

each mote a particle

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of spectral light, mosaic

shard, image

reassembled in three

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dimensions

shepherd, hawthorn

lamb

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©  Jane Tims 2011

Written by jane tims

July 16, 2014 at 7:14 am

writing a novel – the community as a character

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One of the first things I did as I was beginning my novel is create character sketches for the people in my book.  By knowing as much as possible about the characters, I knew how they would react in any circumstance.

As I wrote, I began to wonder of the community itself could be a character in my book.  Communities certainly have characteristics… they may be tolerant or intolerant, modern or traditional, rural or urban and so on.  Sometimes a community has a mixture of these characteristics.

Famous examples of books where the community has character include Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1960) and Peyton Place by Grace Metalious (Julian Messner, Inc., 1956).

People in the community in my book will respond to the abandonment and disposal of a church both as individuals and as members of the community.  In any community, places of worship are important.  Churches are important to the community for their religious significance, but also for their historical connections.

Communities in rural New Brunswick, as elsewhere, are not homogeneous.  In my own community, there are people whose families have lived here for generations.  Other families have just moved here, attracted by the community’s rural character and by its nearness for commuting to work.  Sometimes this heterogeneity is a source of divisiveness in a community.  More often people from these different parts of community live together in harmony, coming together for school events, community sports or just neighborliness.

The community in my novel will also be heterogeneous, composed of people of different backgrounds and interests.  For simplicity’s sake, I am thinking of them in three categories.

1.  Many of the characters in the community will be part of the ’embedded community’, people whose families have lived in the community for generations.  These will include most of the members of the church congregation.

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folks who were born and raised in the community
they all have good eyesight or wear contacts
second from the left is the Minister, Oliver Johnston

2.  Other characters will belong to the ‘commuter community’.  These will be people who have moved into the community from away.  They love its rural qualities.  The community is also near enough to the city for them to be able to work there.

commuter folk

the one on the right is my main character
the man to the left of my main character is her husband… looks a little like a movie star from the 50s
I went to university with the lady on the far left

Of course, within these groups will be people who have their own interests and loyalties.  For example, there may be members of the commuter community who fit very well with the embedded community.  There will be those who are part of the congregation of the Landing Church and those who are not, those who will be interested in the church because of its historic importance and those who are not that interested in preserving its history.

3.  There will also be a negative element in the community in my book.  This element will behave very badly and I think of this as the  ‘aberrant community’.

Ed Blake

Ed Blake, the ‘bad guy’ in my novel
my sister will say he looks like Spock from Star Trek

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To help me plan the interactions between these three community components and the main character, I made a graph to guide my main character’s relationships through the book.

community as character

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I want the protagonist’s relationship with the aberrant component of the community to begin on a neutral note and deteriorate with time.

Her relationship with the commuter component of community will begin high and remain that way throughout the book.

A main source of tension in the book will be her relationship with the embedded component of community.  At first, she is an outsider who thinks she can solve everything by moving and re-purposing the church, and her relationship with the embedded community is very poor.  However, during the book, she learns to be more understanding about the community and they learn she is not really so bad after all.    This relationship will grow in a positive direction during the book.

As I write, I will check with my time-line to see if the relationships I am writing about are staying true to my graph.

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

December 12, 2012 at 7:31 am

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