Category Archives: Writers

TENDER TUESDAYS

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WARNING: RACE TO BUOYS AT YOUR OWN RISK!

We can be spontaneous! Can’t we? Plans changed, our expected company cancelled, and guess what? A long weekend out on our Catalina 28 stretched before us (the first one all season, where the gods had aligned us with a free weekend and a perfect wind and sunshine prediction). At least, that’s what we envisioned…

With 4 free days ahead of us, we toyed with destination possibilities and settled on the nearest – Mark Bay (between Newcastle Island and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island) – a mere 2.5 hour sail away from home! My working senior husband was exhausted from attending corporate meetings in Vancouver and his retired author wanna-be wife was due for a break herself. GREAT TIMING!

We hoped to arrive in time to tie up to a mooring buoy, and actually “vedge” for a couple of nights before a final sailing day home. The Captain visualized himself taking the dinghy over to the Nanaimo Harbour and casually making his way up to his favorite marine store, Harbour Chandler. His crew thought they’d walk the Nanaimo Sea Wall and indulge themselves on French toast and lattés at Mon Petit Choux. Obviously hikes around Newcastle and Protection Islands were also on her list.

Naturally, we didn’t get away until work was put away for the weekend and the boat was provisioned for our relaxing water retreat. Not planning ahead, we hadn’t expected the entire Island to have the same last minute plan as us! Obviously they weren’t working on summer Fridays, as every single mooring buoy was reserved by the time we arrived mid-afternoon. DUH! Oblivious us forgot this was Nanaimo’s BATHTUB RACE weekend! Remember?

NO PROBLEM! We’re old hands at anchoring, I mean, really, who needs to be tied up to a buoy?

Evidently, the Captain did! We no sooner dropped the anchor, that he spied a familiar sailboat motor by us. We had just encountered this boat tied up to a buoy while searching through the marine park. Snap decisions were made! The race to the vacant buoy was on! We’d be tied up for the weekend, yet!  (Much more relaxing when one can never rely on accurate weather forecasts!)

The anchor was pulled up and the throttle aimed forward at top speed. As we bee-lined it for the targeted buoy, imagine our surprise when we found the sailboat’s dinghy tied up to it. He was returning to the coveted buoy!

How deflated we felt as the Captain veered away in search of open water (which was getting less easy to find) in which to drop the anchor, once again. The crew casually questioned the Captain about the depth we were in, as it was obvious that we were experiencing low tide (very, very low tide!). His calm response was, ” 3.5 feet, but remember, I’ve calibrated it to always calculate another 8 feet for keel displacement.”

No sooner were the words out of his mouth, KABOOM! CRUNCH! (Oops! Maybe there was a tad of mis-calculation on that calibration!) You can feel it, can’t you? Yep, we were hung up on some flat rocks about 3.5 feet under us!

 You know the saying, Some days you watch the show and other days you are the show!

Indeed! The tide was coming in, but the Captain was anxious to free us from our stony captor- the sooner, the better. (We really didn’t want to prolong the show, now did we?) Reversing just made us KLUNK into some other stony underwater grip. Once we stopped trying to dislodge ourselves, it took maybe 2 minutes tops and the incoming tide freed us and we motored out of the bay with our caps pulled down low and our collars pulled up high. (The crew half expected to hear cheers as we motored our way out of the bay…)

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Sitting on the TwoCan beside the haul out dock, waiting for morning to come to assess our damage, we couldn’t bring ourselves to call or message anyone about our embarrassing little calamity. But wouldn’t you know it? Our dear SCYC friends were on their way to rendezvous with the club’s Summer Cruise and caught the Captain’s request for assistance. They followed the entire radio exchange; of course they did! Words out and something tells me a nomination for the annual “MEMA AWARD”(Most Embarrassing Moment Award) will be forthcoming at the Commodore’s Ball this year…

The Captain is still shaking his head in disbelief. “S_ _ _ HAPPENS!@!” … Oops, forgive me, I meant to say “ACCIDENTS HAPPEN!” (Of course I did!)

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And the woman writing about this little teensy mishap on the water, is in the process of publishing, “WHO’S the CAPTAIN?” Perhaps when you read the AUTHOR PAGE of her nautical picture book, you might understand why this “hiccup” definitely could be possible!

I love cruising with MY CAPTAIN, how about you?  Maybe you’re the CAPTAIN yourself and have some interesting tales to share.  Remember, “misery loves company”! Share some of your stories by clicking on the LEAVE A REPLY (Enter your comment here) below the post. ( We really would feel better if you could top our MEMA moment!!)

 

 

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AUTHOR VOICE

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(Catalogue Article Submission to Red Tuque Books)

 WRITING with VOICE

by Mary Laudien

During my career as an educator/principal, I was innovative in structuring and implementing Writers’ Workshop in West Vancouver schools. The success that the students experienced by taking risks and realizing their potential as writers was brought home years later, when one of my earlier Grade One classes held a Grade 12 graduation party with their parents, and invited my former teaching partner and I to attend. The families wanted to acknowledge that they recognized how their confident children/learners had been so successfully launched in their school careers and were all anticipating exciting post secondary plans for their future. Writers’ Workshop was a powerful tool to bring parent involvement into the classroom as the students were immersed with excellent models through published authors and illustrators, and even their teacher! That’s right! I first started writing stories for my students (and parents), just to model that I loved writing, as well, and was excited to be a risk-taker!

What became a self-knowledge piece for these young writers was VOICE. Through examining the styles of  writers/illustrators, they recognized the patterns that authors use in structuring picture books (eg., cumulative, problem-solving, rhyme and rhythm, chronological, etc.). As well, after studying published picture books through Author Studies, a new story could be introduced and the students were able to identify who wrote the book, based on the VOICE of the writer. This became something that the students strove to develop in their own early writing attempts. When sharing their own published books on Author Podium days, they took pride when a peer acknowledged their success in writing with VOICE.

Now that I publish my own middle grade novels (The Frenchie Series), picture books (Who’s the Captain?), and blog posts, I feel gratified when a reader comments that my writing has a distinct VOICE. This is when I know that my personal style is coming through my work. Authors all have it. And you can find your VOICE, as well!

As just one final tip, if you want to hear your personal VOICE in your writing, you need to constantly do the Author Mumble. This means read your writing aloud, so that you can hear it. You’ll discover a lot about your style and voice through the dialogue flow that you’ve created and the personality traits of your characters.

You might care to know what words I’d use to describe my personal voice. They include: tender, cheeky, amusing with a bit of attitude, and personal.

As you check out my site: FUN HAPPENS-KIDLIT & BLOGS with ATTITUDE, I’d appreciate it if you left me a comment or two pertaining to VOICE.  Don’t hesitate to go back into the  archives (on side panel) as there are numerous examples of cheekiness- I promise!!  Thanks for dropping in.

 

AUTHORS in BLOOM BLOG HOP

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5th Annual Authors in Bloom Blog Hop

Thursday April 7th – Saturday 16th 2016

10 Days of Giveaways-Gardening Tips-Recipes-and More!

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 Plus a GRAND PRIZE you’ll be digging to win!

The 5th Annual AUTHORS in BLOOM is finally here!  I’m so excited to welcome you to FUN HAPPENS! As you realize, not all authors are particularly great gardeners or cooks, but we do our best to leave you a little something… My recipe is simple and delicious. It’s a raspberry pie that when heated and served with a scoop of ice cream, makes for a yummy ending to a lovely dinner.

FRESH RASPBERRY PIE (from Thrifty’s Fresh Summer Magazine)

Prep Time 20 minutes (You like it already, right?)

raspberry pie

YUMMY!

Cooking Time: 50-55 minutes

Makes: 1 pie (8 servings)

  • 6 cups fresh raspberries (from you garden if you’re a gardener…ha!)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (makes the raspberries taste tart, not sweet)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 Tenderflake, deep-dish, double -crust pie shell
  • 1 tsp.granulated sugar

Set the oven rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 425 degrees F. Place the raspberries, sugar, flour, and lemon juice in a bowl and toss to combine (Don’t worry if you crush some of the berries). Let stand for 15 minutes. Brush the bottom pie shell all over with some of the beaten egg to provide a seal between the filling and the crust. (I NEVER knew to do this before…) Spoon and spread the berries into the pie shell and top with the butter pieces.  Brush the edges of the pie with beaten egg. Set on the top crust and crimp the edges to seal. Brush the top of the pie with remaining beaten egg and sprinkle with 1 tsp. granulated sugar. Cut a small hole in the center of the pie to allow steam to escape.  Bake the pie for 10 minutes. reduce the heat to 250 degrees F and bake until golden brown, about 35- 40 minutes more.

This is a picture of my gardening skills from one of my archived blogs entitled, GONE BOY! (May 18, 2015)   (Now you  know why I’m leaving you a recipe, instead of a gardening tip!)                                                               

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WHY, OH WHY ? Where’s the GREEN?!

AUTHOR SITE GIVE-AWAY

Frenchie Tee-SHIRT

YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT…

Everyone (from the USA and Canada)  visiting  FUN HAPPENS! throughout the 10 day blog hop, has the opportunity to enter my Author Site Giveaway.  I love everything FRENCH!  I’m gaga over French bulldogs! I’m proud of my middle grade FRENCHIE SERIES ! And I love Banana Republic summer tee-shirts; especially the ones with an adorable Frenchie on the front.  That’s right, enter the giveaway draw (a $35. value) by doing 2 things:     1. leave a comment below with your email address (so I can contact you if your name is drawn for the giveaway) and, 2. refer FUN HAPPENS! to someone else that you believe would enjoy my site and participating in the Authors in Bloom Blog Hop. The link is: https://www.twocandobooks.wordpress.com                    

GRAND PRIZE ENTRY

Now that you’ve found my blog, #33 on the link list of  authors (found below for your convenience) and have left your comment with an email for my author giveaway, you can keep moving through all the other author sites.  Feel free to visit www.diannevenetta.com/events/ each time you’re ready to visit your next author site, as well. Grand prize entrants will be entered via a rafflecopter giveaway widget, available on the initial (Dianne Venetta’s site) and final landing page of this hop, located on BloominThyme.  All entries (and actions) will be verified to deem winners.  The grand prize is an ereader of your choice (up to $200 value). A second prize is a $25. gift card of the winner’s choice of ebook retailer.  Good Luck! And thanks so much for your visit!

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5th Annual Authors in Bloom Blog Hop

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 https://i2.wp.com/diannevenetta.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/DianneVenetta_AIB-Logo_2015-250x250.jpg

Thurs., April 7- Sat., April 16th

10 Days of Giveaways- Gardening Tips-Recipes- And MORE!

PLUS a GRAND PRIZE YOU’ll be DIGGING TO WIN!!

This is a reminder that the annual Authors in Bloom Blog Hop is scheduled to begin April 7th at 6:00am EST and the tour will continue for  10 days. This gives readers the opportunity to visit 5 or 6 sites per day.

How does it work

All 57 authors participating will post their giveaway, gardening tip, recipe or both on their website, beginning April 7th and leaving their contest open through the 16th.  You will have 10 days to enter each individual author contest and then submit your entry for the grand prize!!  To win the grand prize, you must visit each and every author on the hop.  Each site will post the links of participating authors but please feel free to visit www.diannevenetta.com to find the author link list at any point in time. My blog: FUN HAPPENS! is #33 on the Landing Page (just for your information). Some authors might offer more than one entry to win, ie. a “follow” on Twitter or a “tweet,” maybe even a visit to their facebook or pinterest page, however only one is required to enter.

How do I submit my grand prize entry?

Grand prize entrants will be entered via a rafflecopter giveaway widget, available on the initial and final landing page of this hop, located on BloominThyme.  All entries (and actions) will be verified to deem winners.

What can I expect out of this hop?

Each author will be posting a giveaway, gardening tip, recipe or both!  It’s a spring celebration designed to introduce you to authors and give you a chance to win prizes. Individual authors may offer more than one chance to win their individual giveaway, so increase your odds and enter them all!

What will be given away?

Everything from books to swag, promotional products and more! The grand prize is an ereader of your choice (up to $200 value). A second prize of $25 gift card ~ winner’s choice which ebook retailer gift card, available to INTL residents (VOID where prohibited by law).

Authors will note US or INTL for their giveaway eligibility. Where US or INTL is not specifically noted, US eligibility will apply. The grand prize is available for US entrants only. Winners will be announced on the landing page, BloominThyme.

What do I do when it’s all over?

By April 18th we will post the grand prize winners on the main page and the landing page.  Individual authors will announce and contact the winners of their author-specific giveaways. You will be required to claim your prize according to each giveaway’s terms and conditions.

Mark your calendars, so that you won’t forget to get started on the Blog Hop on Thursday!  It is going to be a blast and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the variety of prizes available and the fabulous blog sites you’ll encounter. If you have any questions or comments before the BlOG HOP begins, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section.  See you on Thursday for the official start! (I can’t wait to hear from all my visitors when you join me on FUN HAPPENS!

Downton Abbey Series Finale Tonight

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It’s time for Downton Abbey fans to say goodbye to the Crawleys’ aristocratic chronicles of this British historical drama!  We’ll miss the series’ characters of whom we’ve all grown so fond. Sunday evenings will become void as we miss the anticipated delight of immersing ourselves into their lives each Sunday night on PBS! Haven’t we all loved the family dynamics, the historical social change process, the setting, and the fashions of this bygone era? The friendship, loyalties, secrets, and realistic family issues have been the core of keeping us glued to this gripping dramatic series.  Many have ordered the DVD’s of the entire 6 seasons and will no doubt revisit them again. Keep your kleenex box handy, as the trailers have hinted that we’re going to feel emotional as we say farewell to the Downton Abbey series.

A TIMELY BOOK REVIEW

WHILE WE WERE WATCHING DOWNTON ABBEY

-A NOVEL   -By Wendy Wax

With the end of the Downton Abbey Series, it seemed an appropriate time to introduce fans who will be missing the series, to a book that centers around the show.  It is a light, humorous, tender read that encourages female friendship and bonding.   As four very different women (in various stages of life), find themselves connecting through the weekly screenings of Downton Abbey, hosted by the concierge of their apartment building. The story becomes one of risk-taking, friendship-making, and supporting one’s friends through the dicier, unpleasant hurdles of life.  You’ll enjoy the Downton Abbey connection, as it will probably encourage you to set up your own weekly screenings with girlfriends (and British refreshments), as well….

If you decide to check it out, click on While We Were Watching Downton Abbey  The book is entertaining and it will give you all kinds of ideas for how to further your entertainment of the Downton Abbey reruns.

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Share your feelings about the final episode of Downton Abbey. (I know you’re feeling emotional like I am!)  Come on, leave a comment so we can all weep together… ha!