nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘pencil drawing

how much for a trip to space?

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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.”

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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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

An Upcoming Trilogy in the Meniscus Series

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To the right of the post, you will see, in a column, a list of the nine existing books in the Meniscus Science Fiction Series. This summer, I am working on books 10, 11 and 12, a trilogy in that the books are connected in theme and story. The three books are (provisionally) entitled:

Meniscus: Rosetta Stone

Meniscus: The Struggle

Meniscus: Return to Sintha

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The books tell the story of how Abra, historian and transcription expert, works to solve the mystery of the Dock-winder language, hoping an ancient manuscript written in Dock-winder will contain a clue to the downfall of these oppressive overlords.

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The books contain many old friends from previous books in the Meniscus Series, including the people of Themble Hill. They also introduce two new characters: Abra and her husband Trath, a Slain.

From the list of characters at the end of each book:

Abra– an historian; transcribes, transliterates and translates Museum manuscripts from Gel-speak to English; brought to Meniscus in the 2013 harvest; taken as she worked in the library of the Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven, Connecticut, translating a codex of Maya glyphs into English; used as a processor of the beelwort drug by the Dock-winders of the Prell-nan Ogle-hath syndicate; met her husband Trath when he brought raw beelwort to be processed; lives with Trath in the Museum of Dock-winder Legacy, Prell; as she works in the Museum library, she sometimes forgets she is no longer on Earth.

Trath – a trader; gathers wild beelwort for sale to the city syndicates and hospitals; brought to Meniscus as a baby by the Dock-winders in the 1988 harvest and genetically altered to be a Slain; makes his home in the Museum of Dock-winder Legacy, in Prell; addicted to beelwort; married to Abra.

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Here is an excerpt from Rosetta Stone:

“Why did you leave me?”

says Trath.

Abra lifts her head.

Stares at Garnock,

the Wandering Star.

Careful of her words.

“You are never home.

Never tell me

where you have been.

Hardly speak to me

when you are there.”

“You are always

in the archives,”

says Trath,

“with your books and papers.

Never seem to care if I come or go.”

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All my books are illustrated and include maps, a character list, a glossary and a Gel-speak dictionary.

~

Meniscus: Rosetta Stone will be out this fall.

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All my best,

Jane (a.k.a. Alexandra)

taking an art course

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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.

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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.

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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.

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simple shape drawing of Nymphaea odorata

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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

drawings of waterfalls

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For me, a waterfall is the most beautiful expression of water on the landscape. The feeling of water droplets on your face, the sound of splashing water, the sight of sunlight on fast-moving water. I have tried to capture these in my collection of waterfall poems a glimpse of water fall. The book includes forty-four poems and twenty-three pencil drawings of waterfalls and other water scenes.

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We have many beautiful waterfalls here in New Brunswick. Over the years I have visited quite a few. In New Brunswick, we are lucky to have two great resources for lovers of waterfalls: a great guide by Nicholas Guitard (Waterfalls of New Brunswick: A Guide, now in its Second Edition, Goose Lane Publications), and a very active Facebook Group – Waterfalls of New Brunswick.

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My poetry book about waterfalls, ‘a glimpse of water fall,’ is now available from Westminster Books in Fredericton and from Amazon (click here). Enjoy!

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

July 6, 2021 at 7:00 am

a glimpse of water fall

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If you love the sound of water falling, the sparkle of water in sunshine, the feel of water beating at the back of your hand, you probably love waterfalls.

Most people know at least one waterfall. A place to go to cool off on a summer day, or to admire sculpted water in the midst of frozen winter. A place to drown the senses, to still … thoughts.

Waterfalls are musical, magical, calming and exciting at the same time. They are soothing yet, in their own way, are a violent interaction of land and water, water and land … sometimes a metaphor for a dramatic shift in the course of a life…

My seventh book of poetry honours the waterfall. It includes poetry written about various waterfalls in New Brunswick and drawings of several of these waterfalls. The manuscript won Honorable Mention in the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick writing competition for the 2012 Alfred G. Bailey Prize for a poetry manuscript.

‘a glimpse of water fall’ is the first in a poetry series called ‘a glimpse of.’ Later this year, I will publish ‘a glimpse of dragons’ and ‘a glimpse of sickle moon.’ This latter manuscript won Third Place in the competition for the 2020 Alfred G. Bailey Prize.

‘a glimpse of water fall’ is available in paperback from Amazon. Just click here. It will soon be available from Westminster Books in Fredericton.

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Here is a sample from the book:

crescendo

Little Sheephouse Falls

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still

silence

partridge-berry vine

cascades over granite, padding

of feet on pine needles, whisper of wind

rustle in branches of conifer, music of riffle,

incessant patter of falling water on fractured slate

builds to din and rumble of rolling thunder confined

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Little Sheephouse

on its way to Sevogle

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

June 21, 2021 at 7:00 am

a storm of birds

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

February 15, 2021 at 2:00 pm

Gargoyles?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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/

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from a window on the 3rd floor

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I nudge curtain, interpret

streetscape, sirens

stream down the glass

fractal paths where drops

meet and coalesce

meet and coalesce

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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

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above, a gargoyle gushes

glimpse of reckless sky

heartened, I consider

merits of solitude

building facade

pavement pulses

red and blue

red and blue

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Are there any gargoyles in the architecture of your area?

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All my best!!

Jane

Written by jane tims

January 13, 2021 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

creating my niche

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create: 1: to bring into existence;

2a: to invest with a new form, office or rank;

2b: to produce or bring about by a course of action or behavior;

3: cause or occasion;

4a: to produce through imaginative skill;

4b: design. 

– Webster’s Dictionary

I am very interested in creative endeavors and I like being creative.  I am happiest when I am writing, painting, drawing, sewing, weaving, knitting, and so on.

Although I best like to write, I find creative activities substitute for one another. For example, when I am not writing for an extended period of time, I am often embedded in some other activity, such as painting.

Weaving exemplifies the lure of my various creative undertakings.  The producing requires knowledge and skill, and builds confidence.  The process is enjoyable and time is made available for thought and concentration.  The threads and fabrics are luxurious to the touch and the colors are bright and joyful. When I am finished a project, I am so proud of the resulting textile, I want to show the world.

My loom is a simple floor loom, 24 inch wide.  I bought it at a country auction, about 20 years ago.  My sister and I were among the stragglers at the auction, trying to outlast a heavy rain.  In the corner we saw a bundle of varnished wood and some metal parts.  “I think that’s a loom”, whispered my savvy sister.  When the item came up for auction, there were few bidders remaining, and no one know just what ‘it’ was.  At $25, it was a huge bargain.

My loom and I have not been steady company.  It takes forever to install the warp threads, and sometimes weaving is hard on my back.  But the fabrics we make together, my loom and I, are beautiful and comfortable and good for the soul.

What creative endeavors shape your niche space?  What materials do you use and what do you love about them?

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yellow line

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the road is fabric

weave of asphalt

ditch and yellow line

warp of guard rail

fence and heddle

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trees in plantations

lines on the hayfield

shadows on road

hip and curve of the earth

weft as she turns in her sleep

~

shuttle piloted

through landscape

and watershed

textile in folds

texture the yearn of the loom

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faults in the granite

potholes in pavement

rifts in the fabric

where weavers might falter

revisit work of earlier times

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learning the lesson

taught by the loom

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choose your weft wisely

balance color and texture

maintain your tension

fix mistakes as you go

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rest when your back hurts

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listen

to the whisper

of weave

of yellow line

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All my best,

staying at home, staying safe,

Jane Tims

 

the yellow line

Written by jane tims

June 29, 2020 at 7:00 am

Strawberry Kool-Aid Hair with Ribbons

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'nearn' (3)

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Strawberry Kool-Aid Hair

with Ribbons

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strawberry Kool-Aid hair

with ribbons

she pushes the button

to cross Dundonald

serious with her boyfriend

her backpack heavy

~

she is like

the student on roller blades

skilled with traffic

not slowing near the top of Regent

reckless to the river

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or the man

a block from here

a man with a briefcase

leaning across the fence

making a bouquet

of pussy-willows

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All my best.

Stay safe.

Jane

 

Written by jane tims

June 19, 2020 at 7:00 am

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