nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘writing

review of ‘within easy reach’

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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).

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

July 31, 2017 at 7:41 am

reading tonight!

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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

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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.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

Written by jane tims

July 27, 2017 at 7:33 am

a muse takes over – structuring a project

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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.

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book-cover

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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a map to go with the story

a map to go with the story

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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.

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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.

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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 ??

 

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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.

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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/ ).

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

 

a muse takes over – introduction

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Copyright 2017  Jane Tims

 

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

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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.

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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.

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

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Jane Tims August 25 2016 'rose hips'

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

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

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

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Untitled

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

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

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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’.

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

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Copyright 2016  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

November 30, 2016 at 7:43 am

in the shelter of the covered bridge – final manuscript

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In the last weeks, I have been working towards completion of the book-length manuscript for ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’. It includes poems and drawings about the plants and animals living in and around some of the covered bridges in New Brunswick.

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Earlier this summer I was lucky enough to win a mentoring package from the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick. I chose a talented, award-winning local poet to work with me on the manuscript and during the early part of the summer, with her expert guidance, I made revisions to the poems. She focused my attention on word choice, clarity and ‘showing not telling’. She also helped me with a handful of poems I thought were not salvageable and now some of these will make it into the manuscript!

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In the last few weeks, I have worked on revisions, ordering of the poems, and, hardest of all, my footnotes. Since the poems are about the remaining covered bridges in the St. John River watershed, I want to include some basic information in the footnotes as well as notes I made during my visits to each bridge. I have also worked on the drawings I will include in the manuscript.

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pickerel weed - Canal Bridge

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The process of preparing a manuscript is long and certainly goes beyond the fist few lines written on the page way back when this manuscript was just an idea. But if the way is about the journey, this has been such a memorable experience.  Best of all, I have been lucky to make the acquaintance of many of New Brunswick’s covered bridges. Last Thursday, as we returned home from a visit, we saw a double rainbow in the sky and I was able to snap a shot as we waited to take our turn crossing the covered bridge across the Rusagonis River (the Patrick Owens Bridge):

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double rainbow over the Rusagonis #2 Covered Bridge in Rusagonis August 19, 2016

double rainbow over the Rusagonis #2 Covered Bridge in Rusagonis, New Brunswick – August 19, 2016

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

August 22, 2016 at 7:00 am

two old schools in Carleton County, New Brunswick

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On our way home from Victoria County last weekend, we took the rural road from Hartland through Millville. We found two old one room schools along the way.

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carlisle area schools

The location of two old schools in Carleton County. (Map Source: New Brunswick Atlas, Second Edition, 1998)

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The first of these was in Lower Windsor, Carleton County (once called Windsor Settlement).

in 1898 Lower Windsor was a settlement with a post office and a population of 100

to the north was Windsor, settled about 1840: PO 1864-1945: in 1866 Windsor was a farming settlement with approximately 50 resident families: in 1871 it had a population of 200: in 1904 Windsor had 1 post office, 1 store, 1 church and a population of 200.

Source: Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

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When I got out of the truck to take some photos, I was overwhelmed by the smell of licorice. The source was Wild Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.), probably planted at the site (now used as a cottage).

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Carlisle School, Carleton County 2016

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The next school was in Carlisle, Carleton County.

first called Northville Settlement: renamed Carlisle with creation of the post office: PO 1877-1924: in 1898 Carlisle was a settlement with 1 sawmill, 1 grist mill, 1 church and a population of 300.

Source: Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

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The door of this old school was open to the elements.

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Although I intend to focus my ‘old schools’ writing project in Kings, Queens, Sunbury and York Counties, I am delighted to have found these old schools in Carleton County!

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The distance between these two old schools was 4.5 kilometres. Not far unless you are a young child on a snowy day!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

July 25, 2016 at 7:00 am

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