Arty changes

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My artist corner where, on this day, my toothbrush supervises me drawing her portrait in my sketch journal.

It’s been quiet on this site lately (with just the Israel trip and a few book reviews) as I’ve been pursuing a new interest—in art. Art, as in learning to draw and paint, has used up most of my creative energy and writing has taken a back seat.

I’m at the point where I am ready to go public with this new, albeit still morphing, reality. As a result there will be changes here and in my other online haunts in the days ahead.

Some of the changes are already made, some are in process.

  1. I have imported poetry posts from Violet Nesdoly / Poems to this site. I did that to streamline my current online writing presence to one blog (and have the poems display cleanly on this site with no WordPress ads). I plan to delete the poetry blog shortly.
  2. All the writing pages are now sub-pages of “Writing.” You can get to them by hovering your mouse or track pad over the “Writing” button which activates a drop-down menu. They are also listed and linked on the “Writing” page.
  3. I have put up an “Art” page with its own sub-pages. Here I will display some of the current pieces I’m working on.
  4. POETRY BOOKS and the novel DESTINY’S HANDS are still available for purchase.
  • Info on purchasing poetry books is HERE.
  • Info on purchasing Destiny’s Hands is HERE.
  • BLANK NOTE CARDS with images from my paintings are available for purchase HERE.

“Summer” and “read” are synonyms (Spiritual Journey Thursday)

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Summer. Even saying the word makes me feel good. I think the magic of this season is so much a part me because of the rhythms of school ingrained from childhood. From my earliest memories it has always been ten months of school (September to June), two months of summer holidays (July and August)—the standard in Canada.

Then there’s the weather. Where I live, in the northern hemisphere, much of the year is chilly. The warmest months of the year argue loudly for a break in routine. And that’s what summer is for many of us.

One of my favourite summer activities is reading. I read all year but summer with its beach mornings, its lazy afternoons, its long light evenings makes it especially conducive to getting lost in a good book, or series of books.

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“Egghead” sculpture by Kimber Fiebiger (On exhibit in Castlegar B.C., 2016)
 Explanation of the sculpture: “Egghead is a tribute to all people who are excited by a good book.”

A couple of summers ago I read all of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books. Last year I indulged in Tolstoy, completing Anna Karenina (not the most upbeat read but long-lasting).

A Story

A Story
Tradition
not in her memoir.
No Grannies
bone china.
Grew up in fast company— 
tale of Twisted Tea.
© 2018 by Violet Nesdoly

This year I’m reading the Lord of the Rings books. (Are there three or six? The Kindle collection I downloaded has six!) Though I’ve already been reading it for some weeks, I am only at 36%, it will probably take me much of the summer to complete, and thus it’s the perfect fat summer tome (especially as it’s readily available, without added weight or bulk, on my iPad).

Feeling Small – Version 2

Feeling Small
Joined by marigolds
I am safe in Mother’s arms
reading giant tales
© 2018 by Violet Nesdoly

As well, summer is the perfect time to read the bestseller of all time—the Bible. Whether you read it chronologically in great chunks or selectively a few verses at a time, it’s sure to enhance the spiritual aspect of your summer reading. If you’ve never read it before, try reading a modern version (like The Living Bible – TLB). A good place to start might be the life of Jesus as told in the Gospels of Matthew or Luke (the first and third books of the New Testament).

What about you—do you also enjoy wiling away the summer hours with books? Which ones would you suggest?

(The poems are from my 2017 “Summer Shorts” photo / poem project.)

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spiritualjourneyfirst-thursday-copy.jpgThis post is linked to Spiritual Journey (first) Thursday, hosted today by Margaret Simon on her blog Reflections on the Teche.

 

Book Lover’s Day

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I’m sharing another of my Summer Shorts poems today. August 9th was Book Lover’s Day. As soon as I saw that challenge on my list of Capture Your 365 prompts, I knew what my photograph would be. I pass this whimsical tree whenever I do my creek walk in the morning. He has always caught my imagination.

BookLoversDay

Book Lover’s Day

Father Forest
gives me that look—
he has a story
to share.
Perhaps someday
he’ll be a book
of history
ancient and rare.
A chapter
of earth,sea, and air,
or a tale
of a girl and a bear.
Mystery on the edge
of my chair,
or a myth
of a fair maiden’s hair.
A fable
with tortoise and hare,
or dystopian
sci-fi affair…
I’m very tempted
to come back at night
catch him spilling it
unaware.

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All Rights Reserved)

poetryfridayThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Kay at her blog A Journey Through the Pages.

Freelance Writer’s Almanac – coming soon!

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Anyone who has written freelance knows that wonderful writing isn’t the only thing our piece needs to get accepted. It also needs to be timely. Write and submit an article about C. S. Lewis in 2014 and chances are editors will reject it, whereas they may well have accepted it in 2013. Why? Because 2013 was the 50-year anniversary of Mr. Lewis’s  death (in November of 1963). You may have noticed the large number of articles about C. S. Lewis floating around in 2013, and the anniversary is why!

In order to write timely articles like that we need to be alert to what’s coming up in the birthday and anniversary department as well as the annual holidays that repeat year after year. Of course it’s also feels good to be in-the-know about fun facts like when it’s National Pie Day or Poem In Your Pocket Day.

I’ve been planning for a while to prepare a list of upcoming dates for myself. One day it hit me. If I could use such a list, probably other freelancers could as well. And so I’ve decided to start a new blog feature.

On or around the first day of each month, I’ll be posting a Freelance Writer’s Almanac  piece, listing the holidays and special days of the month we’re entering. This will be eclectic and include information about history, the arts, faith, science, food, Canadiana, and anything else I find interesting.  (This post will replace the monthly writing prompt of 2013).

Freelance Writer's Almanac icon - violetnesdoly.com
So if you need timely ideas of things to write about in blog posts, articles, even books, come back January 1st for the first installment of Freelance Writer’s Almanac.

Blogging changes in 2013

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Blog button“For many of us, the heart of our home base is our blog. It’s where our best thinking lives, the place where others can comment and interact with us, the nexus of our social network,” says Michael Hyatt in his book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.

He goes on to advise would-be bloggers, in eight steps, how to set up or restart a blog. His first step is “Determine a theme.”

Now I’ve been blogging themeless (at my personal blog promptings) for years and it’s been a lot of fun. However, in the last few weeks (actually ever since I started  blogging here at my website), I’ve been mulling over whether it’s time to establish a theme, what that should be, and how it would look in blog format.

In a recent Author Media webinar  Thomas Umstattd echoed Hyatt’s advice. “Find your niche,” he said. “Don’t copy the competition.” His explanation of a blogging theme in relation to other writing we do was most helpful. He said something like, “Imagine your book is the DVD. Then your blog would be the extras on that DVD—the outtakes, the extra scenes, the interesting facts that never made it into the main feature, the interviews with the actors…”

And so I’ve been asking myself, what is my niche, and what extra features would be on my DVD?

‘Writing’ seems the obvious answer to niche. It’s what I know best.  But does the world need yet another writing blog? There are writing blogs galore written by people with a lot more expertise and success than I have.

Another blogging possibility comes to mind as I review what I have written about, and love to write about—the Bible. I have found a lot of inspiration in it. I’ve written a year’s worth of Bible-based devotions for kids. I write daily devotions for adults. In 2012 I published a book of biblical fiction based on the story of the exodus with fictional characters inspired by characters straight from the Bible.

What ties all these writings together is what I am attempting to do in them: BRING THE BIBLE TO LIFE. That is:

1] make the Bible come alive for readers

as I

2] apply Bible teachings and principles to modern life.

Lately I’ve been thinking I could blog about that! In the coming year I’m going to try. In that vein I plan to offer you some of these “DVD extras” in 2013:

  • Articles on the history of the Bible and how it came to us. If you’ve wondered how we ever got this collection of 66 books we call the Bible, posts on Bible history might answer some of your questions.
  • An exploration of various Bible study methods and helps. If your Bible study feels stale and you’re ready for something new, stay tuned. We just might explore a method or find books and helps that breathe new life into your study.
  • An introduction to some of my favourite Bible illustrators from the past. The whole realm of Bible illustration is fascinating. For example, how did/do Bible illustrators know what to dress their characters in? Are they always true to history, or do other factors (like interpretation, symbols, contextualizing the scenes so that contemporary readers can visualize themselves in the picture) play a part?
  • Interviews with living authors, translators, illustrators, and others who work closely with the Scripture. Friends of ours are Bible translators. Some of the dilemmas they face as they attempt to put the Bible into the mother tongue of a culture strange to them are fascinating.
  • Stories of the Bible’s impact on people’s lives.
  • Monthly Bible-inspired writing prompts for fiction, poetry and non-fiction.
  • Reviews of books, especially books that bring the Bible to life. In this department I’m going to focus on biblical fiction but I will continue to review other types of books as well.

Of course I’m open to other topics as well. What would help bring the Bible to life for you? I’d love to hear your suggestions (leave them in comments).

If you enjoy the Bible and would like to find out more about this best seller of all time, why don’t you join me? I’ll be updating once or twice a week.