An end…and a beginning?

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It’s been really quiet here as I’ve switched my focus from writing to learning to draw. (Somehow the same creative muscles seem to be involved in both, and lately, learning to get things down visually has captured my interest.)

However, there is a writing project that I’ve been working on since 2014—a sequel to my biblical fiction, Destiny’s Hands. It’s finally finished. I wrote “The End” sometime this spring and for the last few weeks have been primping it. Yesterday I sent it off into the world on its first outing. Whether it ever goes farther than a file on my computer remains to be seen. But I feel wonderful having completed it to this point!

The drawing above is the sketch journal entry I drew yesterday in honour of being done!

Here are the sidewalk work directions that inspired my sketch. (How serendipitous, I thought, to run into that bit of graffiti just at the time I was at the “END” of my project.)

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Borrowed Gardens – new poetry anthology

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It’s here at last–the project that’s been in the works for over a year! And just in time for Christmas too.

Borrowed Gardens - poetry anthologyBorrowed Gardens

Authors: Bertoia, Jeannine; Fisher, Tracie; McNulty, Del; Nesdoly, Violet

Publisher: SparrowSong Press (printed by First Choice Books), December, 2014, Paperback, 128 pages

ISBN: 978-1-77084-501-5

About the Book (cover text)

“A collection of poems to touch hearts. They are personal—time and circumstance snapped through the lenses of four women. In their word photos memories abound, family is honoured, love is voiced. Together they speak to a mosaic of people and places, in lands far and near, to times lived and yet to live.”

About the Writers (cover text)

“The pieces represented in this collection are the work of four Vancouver Lower Mainland women. Jeannine Bertoia and Tracie Fisher met in the Fine Arts Department of Kwantlen Polytechnic University. They began to share their poetry in 2005. They were joined in 2006 by freelance writer and poet Del McNulty and finally by author and poet Violet Nesdoly in 2007. The group meets regularly to support and further each other’s creative endeavours.”

A personal note:

I’m so proud of this book—the joint effort of all four of us.

The cover is a painting by Jeannine: “Spring Garden.”

Del conceived the cover design with its stylish bookmark flaps.

The title is taken from one of Tracie’s poems and reflects the theme of gardens, plants, and flowers—one of the subjects that runs through the book. (Other topics that keep recurring are home, family, nature and travel.)

I did the layout and typeset the book’s contents.

Here to whet your appetite are some of my favourite lines from my fellow poets:

From Jeannine’s prose poem “Stories”

“…Huddled on a grey rock, a yellow towel on our laps we told each other stories, yours a stream of laughter, mine told over and over until we became the story. I felt the child under my skin and her face a reflection of my mother and daughter…”  – p. 35

From Del’s poem “The Going”

You will go
it will be so tomorrow
where harvest sun
flames the path no longer narrow
we will part then
as light simmers on leaf and limb…”

– p. 66 – this poem won the 2010 Surrey International Writers Conference Poetry Award.

And from Tracie’s title poem “Borrowed gardens”

I wander in borrowed gardens
on pollen-painted legs
trail my hands
through rivers of rosemary
rows of lavender
my fingers retain
lingering aromas…”

– p. 112.

Borrowed Gardens is available from the individual authors.

Price: $15 Cdn. + postage (I will post exact price to mail within Canada & to the U.S. shortly)

Order from me by email (Please put “Borrowed Gardens Order” in the subject line)

Payment by personal cheque or money order.

Interview & giveaway!

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Destiny's Hands - Violet NesdolyIt’s May 1st. Time to announce the winners of the giveaway. They are: Bonnie and Patricia.  Congratulations!

I’ll be getting in touch with both of you for your mail addresses. Hope you enjoy!

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I (and my book Destiny’s Hands) are thrilled to be featured today on the blog Interviews and Reviews. Thank you, Laura Davis, for interesting questions and an opportunity to talk about this project.

Though Destiny’s Hands is not a new book (it came out in 2012) it is a timely read as it tells the story of the first Passover. The modern celebration of the Jewish Feast of Passover begins at sundown tonight, April 14th.

To complement Laura’s interview, I’m giving away two paperback copies of Destiny’s Hands.

Interested in winning a book? Simply sign up in the comments below (by April 30th) and I’ll put your name in the draw. I’ll announce the winners here on May 1st.

Digital copies are also available for new-school readers who prefer the weightless version. (Sorry, I can’t give those away.)

And we’re off! (#ICWriters)

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2014 is off to a great start!

"Yes" written on lined paper

Writing has changed a lot since I sold my first article in 1997. Then it was a solo business for me. I was in the middle of taking a writing course and submitted those first pieces to see if I actually had what it took. It was all done by surface mail. (I sound like a real old-timer!)

Last year, after spending the end of 2012 marketing my novel, I decided to get back into freelance writing. Nowadays, the temptation for me is to write a lot but for free. Many publications have folded, and there are far fewer paying markets than there ever were. For the first quarter of the year, my goal was to change bad habits and submit one article per week to a paying market. Now my humble ships are coming in!

At the end of 2013 I received my contributor’s copy of  the January/February 2014 issue of Pockets. It had my article on Jean Vanier in it. I’m always thrilled to be published in that beautiful children’s magazine!

January 2nd brought word of contest results for the Time of Singing Winter Contest (8-line rhyming poems). My poem “Ananias explains the situation to Sapphira” won—first place! Pinch me!!

Yesterday  the latest Faith Today went online. My review of Janet Sketchley’s Heaven’s Prey is in it.  I was so pleased to get a chance to review this suspense-loaded novel authored by my friend.

Also yesterday my contributor’s copy of Cadet Quest (February 2014 issue) arrived with a word-search puzzle I put together for their  “Let’s Get Fit” theme.

It’s all fruit of work I did months to a year ago. Sometimes it seems like you labour and labour and nothing comes of it. And then the results return in a wonderful week or two of deluge! It’s not the instant gratification of fifteen LIKES on a Facebook update. But it has more impact on a resume!

Inscribe Fall Conference – I’ll be there!

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I’m excited to share the poster for the Inscribe Fall Conference. It still seems eons away but September 27 & 28th will be here before we know it!

Inscribe Fall Conference 2013

Inscribe Fall Conference 2013

Learning From Our Peers

I’m also excited to be a workshop presenter. My poetry workshop “Learning From Our Peers” will happen Saturday morning of the conference. Here’s the description of that workshop from the Conference Workshop page:

Description: Explore what contemporary Christian poets are writing. In this 90-minute workshop we’ll look at poems and collections by contemporary Christian poets to discover: 1) the things they write about; 2) the poetic techniques they use; and 3) the sorts of books they assemble.

The goal of this session is to send poets on their way with a fuller kit of poetic tools, ideas for individual poems, and inspiration for possible collections.  Come prepared with one of your own poems to share during a short reading time at the end of the session (participation in the reading is optional). There will be poetry book giveaways!

You can also read about other workshops being offered at the link above. Find out more about the conference, a writing contest you can enter, accommodations in the Wetaskiwin area and how to register HERE.

Consider yourself invited!

Local poetry event

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I’m excited to be part of the launch of Emily Isaacson’s new book Hours From A Convent  one week from today (May 2nd). If you’re in the area, consider yourself invited! Details are on the poster.

HOJ-B

You might also want to shop for Mother’s Day:

  • destiny's hands ebookMy book Destiny’s Hands (2012) will be on sale for only $10.00 that night (regular $15.00 & 17.99 online).