Tag Archives: story

It’s Not Just About the Destination

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“It’s not just about the destination” sums up my thoughts while traveling to escape the noise and fast pace of the city and my work-business life. It is not to escape who I am or what I love to do… my passion and commitment are firm, although, at times, I doubt the strength I have to continue on certain paths. Plagued by self-assessment, as anyone might be while trying to navigate the rough roads of every day, I often wonder if I should just run off on some other trail–change my direction–change my destination. Then, I remind myself… it’s not just about the destination because, in fact, we all end up the same place anyway. It is all about how you see your journey there and I am constantly reminding myself to stay in the moment without worry about what happens in the end. Therefore, I do realize that I see things somewhat differently depending upon my situation and location. This trip was about certain goals, but everything in between, before, and after is up to fate and fortune. What you make of a day is really what thought you put into it and the effort afforded to enjoy every moment. It will all be there when you return, so to worry about “what to do” or “what about” or “what if” is a waste of such a beautiful surrounding.

I am happy I am able to reflect on the time I take away–this time we were really tired at the end of the day and barely had supper and did a few mundane tasks before sleep claimed us. There is something about the mountain air and being out in the beauty of nature that fills you with enough that you are pleasantly exhausted. My knees couldn’t help but remind me that I did more than usual even though I try to do it on purpose, whenever I can, in order to claim every minute of the day in action. To bed early–one would think we’d stay up late writing… however, a tired body won out over a determined mind this week.

Day One arrival was nice and early and we could even check into our hotel room and then go exploring on Wednesday. We took a trip to the Beaver Boardwalk–my daughter recommended it last trip, but we didn’t make it there. Going this time was a treat. What a beautiful nature spot in Hinton! Yes, we have our ponds and walkways here at home, but sorry, Sherwood Park, the most obvious thing missing is setting… I sometimes (well, often) wonder why I still live here with so much soul/spirit connection to the mountains. This park was the perfect way to spend a couple of hours, wandering the boardwalk through the marshes and beaver habitat, traipsing some closer-in trails, and taking a look-out post in the tower to admire the view. I say closer-in because I am not one to wander onto the forest trails–hiking was a younger days sport for me due to my limitations, ones I have accepted, and am able to push to some extent enjoyment of the activities. Also, there’s the fact that we are in wildlife territory and bears and cougars just don’t excite me up close and personal. From the truck window, I am a brave soul – not on foot, however.

Trips away with my dear friend, Mandy, make me appreciate her even more because of the similarities we have –I don’t have to try to keep up and do things I feel out of my comfort zone with… we match in many ways–our appreciation for nature and its fragility to human invasion; yet, the strength and majesty and power of it awes us in the same breath. I could travel the same roads and see the same sights each day or weekend or whatever, and still be in wonder at the amazing embrace of nature–the bold colors of plants, the cuteness of a baby animal, the calming peace of water and wind, the warmth of sun–even if it only peaked through clouds throughout most of our mid-week trip.

We never lost sight of the reason for our trip, although it was in the back of our minds as we connected with the precious moments of each opportunity. The Beaver Boardwalk was more than just walking through a nature setting–it was about stopping and appreciating the finer details of plants, trees, the view, the colors, the sounds, smells, and feel of it all on your soul. Nature caresses one’s spirit with renewing qualities to create a mood of relaxation and connection. There was no sign of any wildlife–other than a couple of birds and fish in the ponds. I wondered about the lack of waterfowl on the ponds… Mr. and Mrs. Beaver must have been relaxing in the shade of their studious home–we saw signs of them being around, of course, but no chance sighting of the animals.

Impressions of the place are best in point form, because that is how they hit you when you are in the moment:

  • The song of the red-wing blackbird
  • The amazing arrangement of wooden walkways over water
  • The variety of flora with bursts of color that stand out so vivid against the greenery
  • The sound and tempo of the wind through the trees as it rises and falls
  • Sun peeking through the overhead canopy in an otherwise dull cloudy sky
  • The man who looked at me funny for taking an overhead picture… yes, look up, too!
  • Wire mesh protecting perimeter trees from industrious beaver clearing crews
  • Signs giving information about the place: make less noise to see more wildlife or be aware and cautious and informed of bears, cougars, wolves… :O
  • Picking up a couple of interesting stones from the rock pathway to commemorate
  • The lookout tower and amazing view of the nearby mountains through the trees
  • Patterns in nature–ripples on the water, long grass blowing in the wind, piles of drift-water-worn limbs

My thoughts may not match anyone else except for those who have the same appreciation for the beauty and magnificence of nature. But, even in that similarity, there are personal differences. The photos I take are not ones that another may take as I look for the shot that appeals to me; I don’t take people pictures; I don’t do selfies. I want the essence of the place where I am–what attracts me, what speaks to me. To each their own.

The take-away for this activity–always invest in the time to enjoy “every precious moment,” as a friend posted. The emotions that grab me in the mountains are awe-inspiring, captivating, yet overwhelming, at the same time. The thought that this glorious world we live in surrounds us for so short a time in comparison to its own life span is one for self-contemplation. No matter what you believe, it’s what adds to a beautiful life–it’s not just about the destination.

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Where Inspiration Grows

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We follow our journey through life – sometimes lost, sometimes exploring, sometimes determined and in a hurry to get to where we think we are supposed to go. Often we don’t even know where that is… but through trial and error we persevere and, by and large, we end up following the path we were meant to take all along. Choices along the way challenge us; some work and some don’t which is a testament to what was supposed to be all along. If it works, then it’s meant to be. If it doesn’t, we have a decision to make in order to get back on track. My journey has led to writing and the writing life, and I’ve been slowly inching my way to into the publishing industry – helping others while I help myself. I have been told I inspire others to follow their dreams just by being true to who I am and following mine. I have not done what I would classify as great things to change the world. I have not discovered a cure for anything; I hold no great wealth to attack poverty or provide homes for homeless or orphans or even stray animals. I sometimes barely stay afloat knowing my lot in life is not wealth; I do what I do not for fame; I don’t stand out as a beauty – based on common misconceptions. 

Everything and everyone around me shapes my writing journey by molding it to their influences and the effects they have upon my life. I have 3 inspirational influences I want to share today. Unlike my obsession with William Shakespeare, these people are a real part of my life. The first is my late mother – feelings are still raw about this and no matter how much time goes by the differences are too noticeable to ever be the same. I am finding ways to deal with the emptiness her leaving created. I know she would want me to continue building my company and her acceptance of my own writing inspires me to do more. I will continue to see her life, and her death, as something I must weave into my work in order to heal and move forward.

The second is my dear friend – Mandy Eve-Barnett. As fellow writer and co-conspirator on many projects and events, she came into my life fairly recently if you look at the big picture; but as we all know, for a reason.  She is a rock of stability and reality in my dream-filled, high hope world. Not that she doesn’t have dreams and hopes of her own but it seems she is able to keep them grounded and does so in much the same way my mother did. Mandy’s writing goals are an inspiration to me and others- she is creative and inventive and meticulous in her plan. She has built in a short time a dedication some take years to develop. You can follow her blog (one a day from the beginning of this year!) at the following link: http://mandyevebarnett.com/

The third person I would like to acknowledge, but by no mean the last, is my daughter, Kelsey Hoople. My little dynamo will shock you with her life advice yet in a short time frame of life she is wise beyond her years – but as she would say “what’s age got to do with it…” It wasn’t a life planned, raising her as a single parent, but one that contributed to her journey and upbringing as well as mine as a person and a parent. Together, we have climbed many mountains and continue to deal with life as a pair. She recently started her own business and aspires to doing great things for those she is prepared to help and the community in which she lives. Her words are posted on her web site under the Let’s Talk tag. http://www.kelseyincorporated.com/lets-talk.html

There have been and are many others and will be many more ahead – people are the greatest influencers in our life. My reminder to this is the saying “a reason, a season, a lifetime.” Good, bad or indifferent, for a short time or forever – lessons are learned, shared, and our stories grow as we live. True inspiration comes to those who are good to one another while being true to who they are and respectful of the journey they travel. 

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Words and Eventually… A Movie Review

“We all make our choices in life; the hard thing to do is live with them.”
~ The Old Man (The Words, 2012)

I arrived home late afternoon with the winter sun already low enough to darken the January sky. It had been a beautiful day with sunshine and clear roads; I endeavored to complete the tasks I set out for myself. Later, as I parked the car and walked the course of the parking lot to my apartment, I focused on the reality of the day and how its eventual outcomes affected my own writing. I thought about how the day intertwined with my writing life, even though I was out and not at my key board writing. I thought about how others have an influence on me and how my journey is unique because it is mine.

The morning began by meeting with Dream Write Publishing author, George Campbell. Since publishing his book, Good Night Old Man, in late fall 2011, we have met several times to discuss the success of getting his words out there for others to read. George is not interested in the hype of book signings or extravagant parties or making large sums of money, although I am most certain he would not refuse the interview or a large cheque had I handed it to him. George will be 86 this year and his mind full of stories that would be lost if he did not commit them to paper. Sure, some of the facts may have been written before, but his story, the personalized George Campbell story, has not. He shared the idea for his next book and I am so looking forward to reading the anecdotes that go along with learning about a history I know nothing about.

WP_000528The next part of my day involved a peaceful drive along the Anthony Henday (it wasn’t rush hour, hence, peaceful) to highway 14 and then across the country roads to my mom’s property. I spend time on Saturdays going through old receipts and paperwork, shredding things I know she would like disposed of properly. I found a small diary today recording daily tasks from 1966 and 1967, the time we lived out on the farm near St. Albert up to and including the move to the house in Riverdale. Her entries encompassed the busy life of mother and wife, shopping, visiting family, and even recording times we were ill – apparently three of us kids got the chicken pox within the span of 2 weeks! I was 10 at the time. Her words shared her reality and although she did not outwardly aspire to be a writer, I am most grateful I inherited my creativity from her. She wrote profusely at times, but more so as a cathartic release than to humor an imaginative muse.

The evening proved quiet as I reflected upon my day. I knew I would write something but just what angle I hadn’t decided. Ideas shuffled back and forth through my mind ~ perhaps my novel, perhaps my kid’s book idea, perhaps…

I checked out the TV listings to see what was on – I am always swayed by Criminal Minds or a Special Victims Unit episode; my choice between NFL Playoffs and the Shaw Cable fireplace sent me to the VOD to check out the movies. Scrolling through I recognized some recent releases although none attracted until I read “The Words.” Yup, you’re a writer when this entices you! The synopsis caught my attention right quick: “A writer at the peak of his literary success discovers the steep price he must pay for stealing another man’s work.”

Talk about a writer’s reality! Really?

The movie begins with the introduction to the characters – middle-aged author telling his story about a young writer who steals, and rewrites word for word, another man’s story. He doesn’t really steal the words as in taking them from him, physically – but he chances upon them quite by accident. At the moment, I thought, what a wonderful find!  Something for an aspiring author to treasure and find inspiration in… The deception happens when he fails to right an obvious wrong when given the chance. You are drawn to the struggling writer and his inner turmoil as a scribe who has never quite measured up to the standards he believed should be his. You can see the emotion on his face as he receives accolades from his wife and we know he struggles with his own identity and what his journey as a writer really means.

The complication quickly sucks you into the life of each; flashing between the timelines and characters is a smooth transition. They are believable characters and the story grips you with true emotions of love, loss, anguish, indecision, and having to live with your choices and the inevitable consequences.

I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who has a passion for words. It was interesting to read afterward about some of the quirky inconsistencies in the filming of the movie; obviously, I was too absorbed in the plot to be distracted by them. Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Irons did an awesome job ~ I loved the conflict between the young writer and the old man.

The writer in the story deals with something we all seek – recognition for the words we write. Are they good enough? Will someone read them and feel as we do when we write them? When the old man says to Rory in the greenhouse scene that he should feel the pain associated with the words he chose to claim as his, it makes a bold statement of responsibility and truth. The story upon the page is inked in the creator’s blood.

Stealing someone’s words is, as the old man suggested, stealing someone’s life. The price of fame is not worth the lie but we all make our choices – living with them is the hard part.

"The Words" (2012) Movie Poster

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Autumn Equinox

Persephone danced. With outstretched arms she embraced the sun, her tawny skin alive with the season’s color kissed upon her; beaded moisture played along her flesh and among the lighted beams became alive like dazzling diamonds. Breezy fingers sent shivers up her spine and she laughed as she welcomed the soft-tipped traces as they felt their way up her arm to her shoulder then along her graceful neck and to her chin. Her laughter turned to a pleasant hiss as Summer’s lips touched hers in a sultry, forbidden kiss.

“You must stay with me, Persephone, as I would miss you as I miss the warmth of this season’s day.”

“I cannot.” She was immediately sorry for her sudden and tactless answer. She took a breath and gave an apologetic smile before continuing. “I wish for nothing more, my sweet, but a promise and a pledge must be honored, whatever the toll.” 

“It is not only I that misses you – you know your mother wants you here, where you belong, her own flesh and blood.”

“I feel her desperation while I am gone – it allows me no pleasure, and yet I am expected to provide it.”

“You have pleasure here, you love the sunshine and…” Summer turned a shade of pale pink, a blush that highlighted her youthful face “…you have pleasure in Summer.” Persephone stopped. She glanced upon the girl who dared express rash dreams as bold desires, even as autumn threatened near, yet unseen.

“You are a most precious friend and confidant – our days together will provide encouragement and inspiration enough to get me through my long dark sojourn. But know this…” she grasped the girl’s shoulders, her eyes intense and promise sure… “I will always return to you in the spring.”

Persephone took Summer’s warm hands in hers and they twirled in dancing circles upon a fading green. Their lively show of carefree gaiety mimicked the limbs of beckoning trees and together they swayed on nature’s stage. A circling eagle took up the cry from far above and Persephone paused. Summer came to an abrupt halt. As daylight waned and warmth passed into cooling dusk, where crimson fire melded to a midnight velvet; the hours equal light and dark – Persephone knelt upon the earth and placed her hands upon the soil, her eyes closed, head bowed. A single tear slid down her cheek.  

Quietly, Summer offered her friend a Sunflower bloom. “Please take this – to remember me by – I’m feeling weak as if already without you, and yet you are not gone.” Feeling faint, Summer laid her head upon Persephone’s lap, her hand brief upon her lips to retrieve a kiss, and then touched to Persephone’s tear-stained cheek. The girl’s hand was frosty cold and Persephone shivered.

A golden mantle fell from all around, swirling, teasing, hiding green and calling forth with upraised voice; and the last summer day burdened by its dying wish and in a labored breath spoke of cooler winds and crystal laden air – a brief warning of the things to come – yet trying to hide the treachery and deceit with golden promises and a fleeting warm caress. The Sunflower withered, blackened by the frost and Persephone laid it upon the deadened earth. With a whispered good –bye, she faded into the night, giving in to autumn and its golden splendor, her heart and soul once again called home to Hades.

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A Journey of Brothers

The “goal” of crossing “writing a book” off my life list of things to do has been a true journey. I have loved writing for a long time and most prior keepsakes are of short verses, poetry, and short stories by the binder full, in junior high. My ability to create an image through artwork or creative writing was encouraged by many teachers along the way. I come by the talents naturally, as they are plentiful in varying degrees throughout my family. In 2000, I cleaned house of all my creative endeavors, except writing and drawing/painting, to concentrate on my these true passions.  National Novel Writing Month, November 2009 proved to be fruitful in producing my first novel, An Italian Son, yet to be edited and released. National Novel Writing Month, November 2010, although punctuated with bursts of fury and distraction, allowed me to produce novel #2, Power Struggle, again awaiting another edit before release. My constant love, and perhaps that could be why I am reluctant to devote the time I need to finish it, An Elizabethan Affair – is ongoing. Do I want to let him go just yet? With my schedule, it seemed to make sense that an ebook novella might be the first book to be released.

Way back in June 2009, a writing prompt posted on our group’s web site (http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com/) inspired me to write a short story based on the visual image it gave me. An accumulation of several prompts guided me into a journey I could not control – let alone explain. Stories come to writers, for whatever reason, and they must be told; they are developed in a particular setting because certain details fit, they are populated with characters we flesh out as if they are real. To a writer, they are real in our minds and the goal is to transform those players to the page so they are real for the reader, too. I am not just trying to sell my first ebook to you – I want you to know about the process it took to become a story that will morph into a collection of three novellas by the end of this year. Novella 1 came to be about Aaslan through a series of prompts, like I mentioned above, and as I wrote I wove the prompts together back and forth between brother, Aaslan, and sister, Aisha, and it soon became clear there was a “journey” I had to follow. Specific words and details provided an appropriate setting and, although some details were changed through research and authentication, the story unfolded in the countryside of Turkey. I love the process of finding things that just fit – a synchronicity of sorts. I love the way a tale comes to pass and wonder on its amazing ability to fall into place with little effort, as if it’s meant to be. Why did I have to tell this story? What connection do I have to this tale other than writer? Not sure – perhaps, there is a connection to something between the “once upon a time” and “the end” that exists without explanation. There was a draw to the elaborate yet simplistic lives that come together with one purpose. Writing this also had a profound effect on me in that recollection of school day courses came to mind and reminders of things once read and/or studied brought back feelings of deja vu.

In writing this story, I chose names for my characters that reflected their personality traits already manifest in their being but also soon to be strengthened through their journey. A Journey of Brothers is a novella of just over 23,000 words and follows the main characters of Aaslan, Aisha, Udmurt, Saharra, and Haidar. There are a few secondary characters who play significant roles in book one – but also play significant roles in the back story, one not told directly but referred to during the course of this book. The secondary plot, one in addition to the actual quest set upon by the main characters, unfolds as we move forward to a resolution of sorts by the end of the book. It was amazing how this came to be through a series of prompts used to tell portions in segmented short stories. Putting them together to weave an untold mystery was amazing, for not only me, but for my characters who discovered a hidden secret about their past. Some things wrapped up by the end of the book but there were suggestions of more as the writing continued – it was easy to decide to write two sequels – there are stories yet to tell.

A short description of A Journey of Brothers:

“When Aaslan’s duty to escort his sister, Aisha, to a neighboring village is met with defeat, he must journey to find his sister through the underground tunnels of the Turkish countryside. He fights little boy fears in a grown up world to regain his honor and save her life. With the help of friends, his destiny becomes one of survival and growth. He is soon to earn the name he bears, or die trying.”

A Journey of Brothers is available through #Smashwords, the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks.  In the future, I will publish this book in print copy through my publishing company, Dream Write Publishing. Thank you for sharing my writing journey.

 
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/206099

I want to thank my mom for her encouragement with this book. She read it through and helped with the proofreading. Her support has made a significant impact on me as a writer and her statement a few years ago “you really are a writer” meant the world to me. I don’t look for acceptance and accolades – to me, you do what is right and what is your way. If others accept your honesty in staying your ground and making a stand, then it was meant to be because you are being true to who you are. We all have a “journey” upon this earth – discovering your passion and following that road makes life fulfilling. She would love to see this story as a movie – so would I! Love you, Mom.

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Your Story Lives On

Over the course of my writing journey, I have been fortunate to meet many talented writers. My own work has been encouraged by these individuals either through teaching or mere inspiration. As I grow in my craft, I continue to learn, endeavor to share, and strive to create, based upon the development of my own writing philosophy. Continued association with such inspiring people, whether through the local writer’s group meetings, or through my own personal relationships (many of which have developed from the wonderful people I have met in that group), there is opportunity to hear and read their work. Our meetings allow us a chance to be among those who share our love for words and gives us the medium to read and listen, comment and suggest, digest and think… words are amazing and as they are released from their host they become something to cherish. Some writers are compelled to publish their stories after consideration and time, but the act of writing them, whether fact or fiction, is not something they simply choose to do. We all know that a writer writes because they must and will explain it in such as way that manifests itself as a declaration of the impossibility of doing anything else with such passion. I say some are compelled to publish their stories because not everyone embraces the act of displaying their words publicly; they hold them private although they have released them onto the page. Each act of writing is an expression of self and whatever the end product, it is the writer’s story that matters. It is theirs to tell and to share, but once they do – it belongs to the reader, to be read and relived, over and over again. That is where courage lies – it is an offer to the future and immortality for the author.

As a writer I know the bond we have with words and as a publisher I respect the privilege I have been given each and every time I hold someone’s manuscript in my hands or read it upon the screen. They share their words with a trust I hold in complete honor. It does not mean that all words given to me for review are chosen to be published; it does not mean that I agree or hold truth in all words shared with me; it means simply that I respect the writer for the effort afforded in that act.

I fashioned a simple poem as a tribute to those who publish their stories:

Between two well planned covers lie

words of your journey – beginning to end

Mingled among emotions, tangled with the soul

stories begging they be retold again.

Beacons along life’s journey light

words that share your tale – where you live

a quiet memory revived

to breathe upon the pages you give.

Fear not, for your memories will not die

all stories have importance, as do the next

The tales of your life – bound with care

come alive with each who absorb the text.

 

Those covers – birth and death, past and present, then and now – contain the story of your life and only you can write it.

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Opposition in Characterization

Night and day, dark and light… good and evil, truth and lie…Opposites exist on every level of our life. It can be as obvious as the way we learn because of the opposite values that reside in our brains. Right brain – creativity… left brain – logic. It can be subtle. It can be overt. We struggle with opposing views and make decisions based on positive and negative consequences and even weigh choices depending upon the good and bad aspects of those outcomes. We grow up hearing that opposites attract and although the adage seems to be truer for magnets than people, we often hold trust in the truths of old and some of us even end up partnered with them. The balance is often what provides the needed spark to fuse the connection but it can also have the opposite effect if too diverse.

When talking about opposites in writing, I not only think of writing something that is different from my usual repertoire, out of my genre, a different style, or purely experimental; I also think of it as writing something “out of character.” If we do end up writing an aspect to our story that is way out there, we often are reluctant to take ownership for anything that might be perceived as “bad” and sharing that particular revelation can be somewhat embarrassing. A recent reader solicited to review a novel I have in the editing stages, commented “this is not the Linda I know…” True, my character tended to swear more than a little and anyone who knows me, knows I don’t use that kind of language in everyday conversation. I was also aware that it was uncomfortable for them to read scenes you would call explicit because they associate the words with the person they know in so many other ways – except that one. What can be perceived as a particularly dark subject is naturally not easy to write, yet if we are to have a compelling story we need conflict and we need to draw interest based on what is being read. Even the simplest controversy drives some writers into dismay and denial. I had one author tell me that she couldn’t write it into her character to lie because she was taught to always tell the truth. With further discussion, she did relent – but only a little. It was a necessary untruth for her character so that the story could move along to a discovery that brought us to a satisfying resolution. Those misgivings have to be acceptable to the writer because the story belongs to the writer. It also depends on what lesson you are trying to relay and to what audience. Sensationalizing, just to get a rise out of your reader, is not encouraged – you are trying to garner a readership based on well crafted stories, not turn them off.

In all honesty, however, fictional characters are derived from our imagination. We write what we know and include it in the situations to which our characters relate. It doesn’t mean you are a bad person because you have the ability to characterize in such a manner or that you have personally done any of things you allow your character to do. You are probably the total opposite. Being able to write real characters, means you have learned and received this training through life experience and recall, and have developed the ability to adapt other’s situations to your story ideas. We paint a picture of reality in our written images and all characters, good or bad, are based on some such perception. A writer friend tells of an interview she heard involving the Outlander series author, Diana Gabaldon. This author shares the story of readers who told her they hated her antagonist because he was such a despicable character. She replied that to hate him was to hate her…

This article is certainly not written to lay claim that every writer has done or experienced some aspect of the “dark side” in some way, whatever that “dark side” might be… it is just to open a truthful conversation on the nature of writing and how we develop characterization to make our stories as real as possible.

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Conference table musings

There’s a blog in there trying to work its way out of me – you’d think it would be painful by now, having been lodged in deep, wedged sideways unable to squeeze itself out for sometime. Not for lack of trying, idea or want. It is more a time and focus issue that pulls me from the modern journal. I am forever making notes, writing hither and thither, tending to my craft like a gardener hoeing fresh soil to plant seeds – and I know nothing about gardening! And not everything I come across is blog worthy, at least in my books; so I move on.

At present, I am sitting at my display table in the Market Place component of Get Publishing’s 2011 Conference, the Edge of Print. It draws writer, editor, publisher and like-organizations together at the Grant MacEwan, downtown campus. In between the allotted speakers, there is an influx of new and seasoned writers/authors eager to collect new information on the old ways of promoting and producing their chosen craft.

Promotion and distribution is a hot topic, and yet others are just happy to connect with someone local, having already parted with their hard-earned dollars, elsewhere. The global aspects of the Internet and the universal awareness of any industry is not a negative thing, but the need to share your money with another country, evidences the lack of local outlets right here in Alberta. We all know the hit the publishing industry took a couple of years back with big houses either closing or moving away.

I would never discourage someone, outright, from investing in such a manner but I would ask them, firstly, why are you publishing? If you desire fame and fortune, perhaps, then it is best to explore and invest in this larger market. You could also experience the traditional route of “wait and see” with the big publishing houses by sending off your manuscript baby into the big world, anxiously awaiting word of its arrival, acceptance and future.

Sitting here – I think today’s sales are not what I’d have hoped for – but in return, I would also ask myself, why am I here? I do not only come to promote my company, I also promote the authors who have entrusted their work to me, speaking highly and lovingly of their words and stories. So, I love to sell their books in whatever way I can. But it is also about exposure for Dream Write Publishing, and so far, I have not be shorted in this area. The interest in my program has been phenomenal and there is no end to the projects on the horizon, near and far.

It is my desire to move into this realm full-time, publishing and promoting the written word. Books will never be a thing of the past. Perhaps, we can be reserved in our quantities but we cannot limit future generations from the literary wealth we have experienced. There are so many stories to share – fact or fiction – and everyone’s story deserves a chance to live.

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Poetry – Traditional

There are so many forms and variations in poetry and verse that to write one means you have only broken the surface of creativity. Techniques combine with this creative force to display story and rhyme in ways so different to number as many as there are poets. I like to try them all.

Secret Love (Sonnet III)

A secret lover cloaked in midnight veil

Despite her years and what she’s come to know

Slips silent to his bed where dreams prevail

Driven like the April spring-tide snow.

Two lay as one, all other worlds stand still

The future but a heartbeat’s breath away

Moments lost in moments of free will

Done deeds and promise left to yesterday.

That which affects her deep infects as ill

And in her mind she knows the story wrong

Yet that which blinds her eye a curing pill

Heeding naught, save words to lover’s song.

So, if a plea to judge she were to ask –

Put not logic – but a longing heart to task.

(Linda J. Pedley 09/01/08)

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A Character’s Prerogative

Subtitle: I’m Late

As a writer I am forever creating new works that introduce characters who fit the plot, the genre, and the setting. These characters, oft times , invariably sit upon the tip of my tongue, or rather, the tip of my fingers, just waiting to spring forth and live out their own story, as I type. Others still, are loath to show themselves and come out of hiding only as I coax them to the page. No matter the personality, thought must go into the type of character I choose to represent each story because each will require a developed set of traits that allow little quirks and habits to make them seem more real. You must also, give them an endearing quality so they are more apt to create a relationship with the reader, and then give them a suitable name – to fit the situation and time and, of course, for ease of calling.

There are loving characters that show every emotion upon their paper sleeve, often giving in too soon to their affections for lowly wanton desires; there are those who are withdrawn and depressive that keep to themselves and usually end up unfulfilled unless they realize their shortcomings through an epiphany, of sorts, appropriately placed during the last dregs of a long middle story, having already been beaten and prodded and poked to that realization. Modern day stories require the with-it, happening fashioned characters that are the epitome of slick, sassy and smart. Step back into history, to bring forth a player from the stages of Shakespeare’s London, and one must research the very…

“Alas, I am a player, and I offer to thee my humble servitude.”

“You interrupted…and… If indeed I called you forth, you would therefore, be late.”

“I interrupted not – you brought me forth, and hence, therefore I am arrived – on time.”

“Matter of argument – besides, I did not call you forth. I was merely writing about the characters I may call upon to tell their stories during my writing journey. So, what is it you want?”

“Master is somewhat pointed with a mere player. Perhaps, I shall forsake thee and run through my sword to maketh a point.”

“You always were the dramatist – now, in words you might understand… begone!”

 “O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die.”

“Nice try. Besides, it’s been done and you certainly don’t look like a Juliet.”

“I could be.”

“Out, out, damn player.” If you let your imagination run away with you, sometimes you must be rigid and hold to the course of your writing. If a character does not fit the personality or does not seem real then, perhaps, you will lose your reader to those superficial qualities. When readers involve themselves in your work they often relate to a character, finding similarities in their situations, recalling memories of things that happened to them in likeness to the events of the story. A character’s situation can bring to light similar feelings, which may be happy, sad, anger or anguish…

“Oh, woe, what am I to do?”

“You are interrupting… but what is wrong?”

“I need someone to tell my story to so that I may find a solution to my… delicate situation.”

“Again… what is wrong?”

“I’m late.”

“I did not call you here and you did not have an appointment, so how is it that you think you are late?”

“Daft writer – I am late, as in I… am… late… and I think I might be pregnant!”

“It is not my pen that poked you there.”

“Smart-assed writer, too, but touché. It is your pen that conjured up that no-good-for-nothing-miserable-lying-clod-character and seduced me to his bed. He said he’d call. Lying bast…”

“Okay, wait a minute. I did not write that story. Are you sure you have the right writer?”

“Yes. I’m sure; you know ‘his denim shirt fell open to reveal taut, tanned skin, wet with the heat of labored work in the hot summer sun. His hand wiped a fallen lock of jet black hair from his forehead, and I could almost taste the salt on my tongue from his perspiration…”

“Whoa, back the hot bus up. Haven’t had the chance to do cheesy romance yet, so, definitely not mine… but, mind if I use that…”

“Wait, you are not Harlequin. Oh, my… copyright… gotta go!”

Your characters are not the only ones getting into sticky situations. You must remember to check all the legalities of writing when you choose to publish your story. Don’t go using another author’s characters – develop your own. Make them real. Check out copyright laws – here in Canada, of course, as soon as you write something it is protected, but it can’t just be a line or an idea. You can’t copyright those. You should also check the names of your characters by doing a Google search – just a first name here and there doesn’t need to be checked. There are a million and one people with the name John, Robert, Anne, Elizabeth, Jason, Jennifer…and so on. But if you are going to use a full name, first and last, check it out before you go inserting that poor being into life altering predicaments. Even if you use the disclaimer that insists “no person, alive or dead, is depicted in this work, and similarities or likenesses are purely coincidental.” It’s just best not to go there.

The most important thing to remember when writing a new story is to not let the development of your character hold up your creative process. It is good story planning to sit down with them before you start the actual story to get to know them, especially if you are planning something as lengthy as a new novel. A character outline or sketch allows you the unhurried task of determining characteristics and based on the descriptions – personality traits, idiosyncrasies, habits, hobbies, physical features, etc. – all will determine how a character will act and react to whatever situation you happen to dream up for them.  

“Hi, there. Time for my story. Am I late?”

“No. Actually, you are “write” on time.”   

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