nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘writing

five ways to prepare for reading from your work

with 5 comments

I love to read aloud and my work as a writer gives me lots of reading opportunities.

~

Reading at Westminster Books, Fredericton

~

Readings take lots of preparation:

  1. Practice. Stand, read and time your readings. Keeping to the allotted time respects the audience and keeps the reader calm, particularly near the end of the reading. No last minute timing revisions. No being ‘hooked’ off the stage!
  2. Prepare any remarks not in the reading itself. I usually give a little background to my reading and make a few remarks between poems. These words will be delivered more smoothly if they are composed, written down and practiced.
  3. Include a give-away. I sometimes raffle one of my paintings or another associated item during my book launches and readings. Everyone likes bookmarks. Business cards should always be available.
  4. Use props. Once I gave a talk to a group of high school students about career development. I took an old pair of hiking boots with me to talk about my time in the field. The boots make the presentation funny and gave the audience an image to focus on. I often bring my cardboard stand-up aliens when I read from my Meniscus books.
  5. Involve your audience. Always leave time for questions. Consider adding some interactive components to your reading: ask the audience mid-reading questions, pass a book around, include a quick show of hands.

~

my stand-up aliens at a New Maryland market

~

I have two readings and a book fair in the next weeks:

WordsSpring, WFNB

7 PM, May 11, 2018 (Friday) at Quality Inn & Suites Amsterdam, Quispamsis for WordSpring (Writers Federation of New Brunswick) – I will be reading from my two newest books: Meniscus: One Point Five – Forty Missing Days, and Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill. Copies of all my books, including ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’ will be for sale.

Book Launch, Westminster Books

7 PM, May 25, 2018 (Friday) at Westminster Books in Fredericton. I will be launching my book Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill. Cary Caffrey (a.k.a. Terry Armstrong) will also be reading from his Girls from Alcyone Science Fiction Series. Everyone is welcome!

2018 Metro Moncton Book Festival

I will be selling my books at the 2018 Metro Moncton Book Festival, June 9, 2018 (Saturday), 10 AM to 3 PM at the Moncton Lions Community Centre (473 St. George Street
Moncton, NB).

 

Reading at The Attic Owl, Moncton

~

Plan your readings and your audience will appreciate the time you have taken.

~

If you are in the area, please come to one of my readings. I would love to see you there!

~

all my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

May 9, 2018 at 7:00 am

segue

leave a comment »

segue

(verb) move without interruption from one song, melody or scene to another.

(noun) an uninterrupted transition from one piece of music or film scene to another.

~
I am so happy today to be doing some creative work. For months I have been focused on edits and other work associated with my book releases. But today, I clicked on the draft of the fifth book in my Meniscus Series. And there are blanks in the writing! Places to add new ideas. A chance to create!
~
Immediately, on a re-read, I identified a problem. Meniscus: Karst Topography follows two diverging (and then converging) story lines. From chapter to chapter, I switch from story line to story line, back and forth as many books do. However, in the draft, the transitions are sometimes quite abrupt. Instead, I want to help my reader by creating smooth changes from one story line to the next. I want to segue from one set of actions to another.
~
~

Ways of creating smooth transitions, from chapter to chapter, action to action, or scene to scene:

~

  • make sure the tone and rhythm of the writing are similar or appropriate in the transition. This may be particularly important since I am writing poetry. Sometimes, a smooth transition will occur because lines are of a similar length or number of beats, or because the tonal qualities of the poetry are similar. On the other hand, there may be places where an abrupt change is necessary to introduce an element of anxiety or surprize. I compare this to the background music in a movie, carrying the watcher from scene to scene, or changing abruptly to signal a crisis. In the following passage, the terse, rather short lines of Chapter 13 are focused on action verbs and are picked up by terse statements in Chapter 14:

~

Madoline locks the door as she leaves.

Ignores the way to her cell

in the honeycomb.

Turns

towards the centre

of the city.

 

14.

Belnar throws down his pack.

“Not there,” he says.

“Big scandal afoot.

The cook gone.

Eighteen

unconscious

Gel-heads.

Nine dead

Dock-winders.”

~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~

  • use a repeated idea or word to help transition the reader. An example might be the use of colour. Sometimes in movies characters are shown walking down a hallway, for example, and characters in the next scene are also walking down a hallway. In the following passage, the idea of swirling at the end of Chapter 1 is picked up by the word ‘confusion’ at the beginning of Chapter 2:

~

Chill wind kisses cold rock.

Sweeps out, across the Darn’el.

Stirs desert and dust.

 

2.

Confusion in the village.

The women gone.

~

  • have a character in the first scene think about a character in the second. In Chapter 9, the Dock-winder child Don’est remembers Kathryn and Chapter 10 takes us immediately to Kathryn in the Gel-head’s clutches:

~

“And Kathryn

was a bedwarmer,”

says the Dock-winder child,

nodding, the wisp of a smile

on her thin lips.

Her knowledge

not appropriate

for her years.

 

12.

Kathryn waits in the cell

of the honeycomb.

Fiddles with a ring above her eye.

Tries to ignore confining walls,

paltry inflow of air.

~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~

  • signal to the reader that something new is coming. If the location changes, name the new location to make sure the reader knows where the action is situated. In Chapter 7, Don’est, the Dock-winder child, reminds the others that she and the wolf-like Kotildi are also part of the community of Themble Hill. In Chapter 8, the action is taken far from the Themble Wood, in the city of Prell:

~

Len, len.

And me,”

says Don’est.

“And tame Kotildi.

 

“Elan’drath

in the Themble Wood.

 

8.

Tal and Daniel in a room

as unlike the Themble Wood

as it is possible to be.

Del-sang ma’hath,

Acquisitions Tracking,

Prell.

~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~

  • report on an event happening in the previous chapter. In the following passage, Odymn rocks the new baby in Chapter 22 and Vicki refers to the birth of the baby in Chapter 23:

~

Odymn weeps when she sits with Malele

and rocks the tiny baby.

 

23.

“Fourteen days,”

says Vicki.

“Fourteen days

and we’ve made

no progress at all.

 

“Back in the Themble

Malele’s baby will have been born.

They will be wondering

if we will ever return.”

~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~

So my first task in creativity is to look at each shift from one chapter to another and write in some segues. Sounds a little like editing to me!

~

What do you think of the transitions I have written above? What devices do you use to make certain there is a smooth transition from one chapter to the next?

~

~

Copyright 2018 Jane Tims 

Written by jane tims

February 7, 2018 at 10:26 am

review of ‘within easy reach’

with one comment

 

~

My book of poetry within easy reach (Chapel Street Editions, 2016) has been reviewed by James Deahl (Canadian Stories 20 (116): 66-67, August/September 2017).

~

~

~

~

Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

July 31, 2017 at 7:41 am

reading tonight!

leave a comment »

For those of you in the Fredericton area, it looks like a dull, muggy day. Just a reminder … tonight at 7 PM, Roger Moore will be reading from his books at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Nasonworth (Highway 101, just beyond New Maryland). There will be cookies and ice cold refreshments, and the free will offering will go to ‘Grace House for Women’ in Fredericton. Hope you can come out to hear Roger read! The church hall is cool and the acoustics are great!

Roger at the creative business of writing

~

Roger has written almost thirty books and chapbooks. His book ‘Bistro’ was on the short list for the 2016 New Brunswick Book Awards and he has won the WFNB Alfred G. Bailey Prize for his books of poetry. His poetry can be very funny, but he writes on serious topics. Some examples of his work? His ‘A Cancer Chronicle’ provides insight into the battle many will face during their lifetime. ‘The Empress of Ireland’ explores the history and emotions of the famous St. Lawrence River shipwreck. His most recent book ‘One Small Corner’ is the outcome of his artist’s residency at the Kingsbrae Gardens in Saint Andrews, New Brunswick. Roger is a born teacher and gives of his experience generously. I am so happy to call him my friend.

~

~

Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

Written by jane tims

July 27, 2017 at 7:33 am

a muse takes over – structuring a project

leave a comment »

When I wrote the first ‘book’ for my sci-fi series about enslaved humans on the planet Meniscus, I really didn’t know where the series was headed. The characters were clear to me and my focus was the building of a relationship between the main two characters, Odymn and the Slain. However, as I neared completion of the first story, I discovered: the first book needs the guidance of the second to set the stage for a book series.

~

book-cover

~

By the time I completed the draft of my second ‘book’, I knew where the series was headed. This is a story of how a small group of human beings overcome all odds and challenging enemies to rebuild a social structure stolen from them.

~

vicki

Vicki, Odymn’s friend in Prell-nan, plays a very minor role in the first two ‘books’ and a major role as the story progresses.

~

In the end, the project will be five books, telling the story in sequence. I thought I would begin this series of posts near the middle of the creative process, when I am deciding how to frame and present my five books and the one over-arching story.

~

Each book in the series will tell one part of the over-arching story, in the form of a long poem. This will be accessible poetry, written in short lines and stanzas. The less-accessible part of the story will be the vocabulary and strangeness of the planet and the characters.

~

Each book will have its own story arc and these stories will build on one another. Each story will feature recurring characters and a few new characters. All of the stories occur in a particular area of the planet Meniscus, known as the Prell-nan South District (Prell-nan is the main urban area in the story). This allows me to expand on the original five books, if the muse continues to inspire me, into the North District!

~

a map to go with the story

a map to go with the story

~

Presently, the five stories are in different stages of completion. Book 1 (Crossing The Churn) is in final draft and with my editor for comment. Book II (South from Sintha) is in final draft. The story arcs and drafting of Book III (Winter by the Water-climb) are mostly complete. Book Four (The Town at Themble Hill) is experiencing the agony of story arc resolution. Book Five ( ?????) is in early, early draft.

~

At this point, I am trying to make sure the five stories are balanced in their presentation. To do this, I keep in mind the length of each story, measured in terms of the number of words,  ‘chapters’, pages and characters.

~

To present this in a table:

number in series book title number of words number of pages number of chapters number of main characters
1

 

Crossing The Churn 9,821 147 33  

4

 

2

 

South to Sintha 8,648 104 31 7
3

 

Winter by the Water-climb 12,877 147 53 13
4

 

The Town at Themble Hill 11,389 108 47 16
5

 

???? 761+ 10+ 11 so far ??

 

~

As you can see, these will be short ‘books’, probably readable in about 2-3 hours, allowing for the poetry and a bit of challenging alien vocabulary.

~

This post’s bit of advice:

if you are writing a series, knowing the content and story arcs of the subsequent book(s) will help inform the story and content of the previous book(s).

This worked well for me in writing the “Saving the Landing Church” series (see https://janetims.com/2015/07/03/writing-a-novel-draft-by-draft/ ).

~

Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

 

a muse takes over – introduction

with 8 comments

I have been missing from regular posting for a while. The reason is — I have been totally overtaken by a project I am working on.

~

Something I have wanted to do for a while is independent publication. Although I am dedicated to the publication of my poetry books through traditional publishing, I am interested in alternative means of putting words and stories out to readers. So I have been looking for a project outside the interests of local publishers.

~

Originally I intended to self-publish a book of poems about the use of stone in cultural expression – poems about Mayan stelae, Viking runestones and North American petroglyphs.  I may still do this, but as I thought about publishing this book, another muse took up space in my brain. Space, literally. In November I began writing a science-fiction romance and by December I knew I had found my independent publishing project.

~

img_5098

a scan of the painting I will use for my book cover

~

I have already said a little about the project on this blog. The story is about a dystopian society on a distant planet. It follows the love story of two strangers who meet and encounter all kinds of adventures. The plot involves the difficult search for freedom and community by a group of people who have been enslaved and denied association with other humans.

~

prell-alleyway

My main character, Odymn, has lived in the alleyways of an alien city, using her dedication to the practice of ‘parkour’ as a way of keeping her body and mind fit.

~

The story is written as a series of five long-poems. This is partly because, as a poet, I am drawn to the conciseness and brevity of poetry as a means of telling stories. The use of poetry to tell the tale of Odymn and the Slain is also perfect as a way to convey the oddity of life on a planet where the geography is strange, plants and animals are unfamiliar and all the rules have been broken. Even the water doesn’t behave on the planet Meniscus. It tends to flow upward rather than down!

~

ascent-of-the-enast-water-climb

My main characters are running from the Gel-heads, a nasty alien species. Part of their journey means ascending the En’ast Water-climb where the water flows up instead of down.

~

This post is an introduction to the project. I hope you enjoy the drawings and hints of story they contain.  In subsequent posts I will share the process steps I have used to create plot, characters and story-line. I hope you enjoy these posts and find some ideas for writing your own stories.

~

 

odymn-and-the-slain-together-nings-drawing

My main characters, Odymn and a genetically-modified human known as the Slain, have all sorts of adventures as they get to know and trust one another.

~

I also hope you will look forward to the launch of the first book in the series and to finding out what happens when people try to build a community from almost nothing.

~

~

Copyright 2017  Jane Tims

 

getting ready for December – a gallery of ‘within easy reach’ paintings

with 4 comments

On December 11, 2016 (from 10 AM to 4 PM), I will be at the Delta Hotel (Fredericton, New Brunswick) at Sandra’s Christmas Market Fredericton to sell my paintings and books. This is the first time I have ever tried selling at a craft show and I will be sure to report back on the experience.

~

I began preparing for this event in July, painting a number of small canvasses, all on themes associated with the poems in my book within easy reach (Chapel Street Editions, Woodstock, 2016). Here are a few of the paintings I will have for sale. They are all priced to sell and I will give a discount for anyone buying both a book and a painting.

~

DSCF2491

August 20, 2016 ‘pick faster’ Jane Tims (10″ x 10″) acrylic, gallery edges ($45)

~

Jane Tims August 25 2016 'rose hips'

August 25, 2016 ‘rose hips’ Jane Tims (10″ x 12″) acrylic, gallery edges ($40)

~

dscf3342

October 21, 2016 ‘blueberries’ Jane Tims (5″ x 7″) acrylic, gallery edges ($30)

~

Scan0020

July 31, 2016 ‘wild strawberries’ Jane Tims (10″ x 8″) acrylic, gallery edges ($40)

~

Untitled

August 14, 2016. ‘wild hops’ Jane Tims (12″ x 10″) acrylic, gallery edges ($50)

~

IMG_4863

August 16, 2016 ‘high bush cranberries’ Jane Tims (12″ x 10″) acrylic, gallery edges ($55)

~

My books and paintings would be imaginative Christmas gifts for anyone who loves poetry, wants to re-kindle their own memories of berry picking or gathering other wild plants, or wants a small painting for a corner of a favourite room. I am thinking someone who has a home bar might like ‘wild hops’.

~

I hope the market goers love them! If you are in the Fredericton area on December 11, I hope to see you there!

~

Copyright 2016  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

November 30, 2016 at 7:43 am

%d bloggers like this: