Happy Thanksgiving and a Goodreads Giveaway!

by @AnnieDaylon

On this Thanksgiving Day, in the world of writing, I have much to be grateful for. First, thank you to all far and wide for your response to my recent Kindle offer of my novel, OF SEA AND SEED. Your numerous downloads improved this novel’s rankings on Amazon>>>>

Also, OF SEA AND SEED is a finalist for the Whistler Independent Book Award. This coming weekend I will attend the Whistler Writers’ Festival where I will give  a presentation about this novel,  sell books, and attend writing workshops!

October 12-15, 2017 Whistler Writers Festival

Thursday, October 12:   I will attend the Whistler Public Library Reading Event for fiction and nonfiction finalists in the Whistler Independent Book Awards. Host: Lynn Duncan.
-Looking forward to meeting other authors and to talking about OF SEA AND SEED, The Kerrigan Chronicles, Book I.

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada! Here is a Goodreads Giveaway, an opportunity for you to win a signed print copy of OF SEA AND SEED>>>>

This GOODREADS BOOK GIVEAWAY OFFER has now ended. Many thanks to those who entered!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Of Sea and Seed by Annie Daylon

Of Sea and Seed

by Annie Daylon

Giveaway ends October 15, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

 

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Free on Kindle: OF SEA AND SEED

by @AnnieDaylon


Time’s Up for Free Kindle Offer!
Thanks for all those downloads.
Happy Reading!
*****

Limited Time Offer!
FREE KINDLE DOWNLOAD!

Of Sea and Seed October 4, 5, 6, 2017.
Click Here!

Of Sea and Seed
Meet Kathleen Kerrigan, a ghostly family matriarch who is doomed like some ancient mariner to tell and re-tell the story of the lives of three generations of the Kerrigan family as they struggle to survive tsunami, secrets, and betrayal in early twentieth century Newfoundland. “Heaven does not open its gates to a woman of my ilk,” Kathleen tells the reader.
What is she guilty of?

Don’t have a Kindle, you say?? You don’t need one. Simply download the Kindle App and you can read Kindle books on tablets, i-Phones, Computers. To learn how,
Click Here .

Download OF SEA AND SEED now and enjoy your free Kindle read! 

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

 

Short Story: Post Mortem

 From my collection Passages, an autumn story for the autumnal equinox. Enjoy…


© by @AnnieDaylon

Isadora was not willing to renege a lifetime of promise. For years she had planned, scrimped, and saved and now, at last, opportunity was here. She sprinted through the autumn woods, tendrils of silver hair streaming behind her. Every few steps, she let out a delighted laugh. What a sight she must be! An octogenarian in a full-length, black-velvet skirt, with a bulging shoulder purse hammering her titanium hip. And yet, she was dashing along with the agility of an adolescent doe.  

As she neared the clearing, she slowed her pace and kept her eyes down. What if the cabin wasn’t there? For a few seconds, her mind flirted with the extermination of hope and her body responded by coming to a standstill. A sense of fragility imbued her and she felt as one with each crisp leaf she had just crushed beneath thoughtless shoes. With heart and hope plummeting, should she go on?

Overhead, the call of bird and whoosh of wing distracted her. Isadora’s lips curved into a smile. Canada geese. Bidding their annual farewell. She took a deep breath. Wood smoke. A comforting aroma. Emboldened, she raised her head and instantly clapped her hands in glee. It was there, all of it: the old, log cabin with its red-brick chimney; the faded, inebriated-looking Adirondack chair; the window boxes with their peeling, green paint and stubborn, pink geraniums. Still blooming. Amazing.

She felt content to linger, to stare, but a blast of cold air slapped her, snaked under her billowing skirt, and caused her whole body to shudder. She clutched her purse to her chest and rushed to the rickety porch steps which whined in protest as she climbed. Sidling up to the door, she knocked. A timid knock. She waited.

As Isadora hovered, another gust of wind sent leaves flying. They swirled and spiralled around her and fell at her feet in a mosaic of ochre, red and brown. Autumn. She grimaced. To some, autumn meant renewal. To her? Her whole life, she had watched as autumn approached, encroached, and retreated, taking all living things with it.

Isadora recalled her first encounter with autumn’s cruelty. She had been playing outside and a single oak leaf, which had magically turned from green to yellow, had fluttered down and landed on her shoe. She snatched it up and ran home, intent on show-and-tell with Mommy, by the fireplace. But an eerie sound emanating from the house caused her to hesitate, to peer through a side window instead of entering. Her eyes widened and flooded as she watched her father fall to his knees, wailing, at her mother’s bedside. Interspersed with his cries, were words of regret and apology. Hard to decipher but, within seconds, the young Isadora understood. Doctors cost money. Her father had no money and, because of that, her mother, like the leaf in her hand, was dead.

That autumn, Isadora watched leaves fall, one by one, until none remained. All winter, she listened as naked trees moaned, echoing her pain. She was alone. Shuffled from one relative to another. Abandoned by a devastated father who knew nothing of raising a three-year-old girl.

Every subsequent autumn, as leaves rained to the ground, regret haemorrhaged through her pores. If only she could have changed things. Doctors cost money. If only she could have given her father money. Somehow, she always felt that she could have done something. Should have done something. But she had failed.

As she stood on the porch now, waiting, Isadora’s hope began to dwindle once again. She repeated the knock. Still no answer. Anxiety crept into her body, causing her to tremble. She let out a sob, formed her fingers into a fist, and pounded the door.

This time the door squeaked open and a tiny girl, a mere waif, stood there. Isadora gasped and recoiled. When she caught her breath, she leaned forward. “Hello,” she said to the bedraggled child who was hugging a filthy, hairless doll.

The little girl was silent.

Isadora held out the purse.

The child’s eyes popped wide. “Mommy’s purse,” she whispered. “That’s Mommy’s purse.”

“Yes.” Isadora opened the purse, displayed its contents, and closed it again. “I kept it all these years, filled it, just for you.” She placed the purse at the child’s feet. “You know what to do?”

The child nodded slowly. “Doctors cost money.”

A tidal wave of realization flooded through Isadora. She had done it.  For a few seconds, she stood, frozen. Then, in measured motion, she turned and headed down the steps. At the bottom, she paused and looked back.

The little girl, waif no more, was still standing there. Her dress, new and pink and velvet, matched that of the pristine, porcelain doll she carried and her waist-length, glistening blonde hair was topped with a pink velvet bow.

 The two exchanged no words, only smiles.

Isadora walked away, gradually picking up her pace until she was skipping along the woodland path. Deep within her, sad memories began to disperse, dropping away one by one, like the falling leaves around her. Soon those recollections were gone, replaced by images of a happy little girl, learning, laughing, and singing, at her mother’s side. 

Isadora returned to the starting point of her journey—the funeral parlour—and slid through the front Passages Book Coverdoor. She entered the viewing room and floated for a while, staring at her body, resting in its mahogany coffin. She sighed in contentment and slipped back into place. Cradle issues resolved, she was ready for the grave.

 

 

My best to you,
Annie Signature Light Blue

 

My Personal Literary Canon

by @AnnieDaylon

The term “literary canon” refers to a collection of works considered representative of a period or genre.

Having studied English Literature (Renaissance, 19th century, Canadian Lit., and Shakespeare), I was familiar with the term, but it was not until I read “Speaking of the Canon” , a post by agent/blogger Janet Reid, that I gave serious thought to the idea of a personal literary canon.

Janet Reid begins her post as follows: “The canon is what one must have read to be considered well-educated. There is the canon for Western civilization which is largely books that are non-fiction. There is the canon of English literature (the books you’d see in an English Lit survey class in college.) There is the canon for literature of the American West.” She goes on to say that there is also a canon for whatever genre you write in.

I write historical suspense set in Newfoundland, modern day suspense set in Vancouver, and short stories with… you guessed it, suspense. I read a lot, nonfiction and fiction (literary and commercial.) When I started writing, my reading became studying. And I found my influences, my personal literary canon. These are books from writers I admire, books which sit on my shelves (not just in my Kindle) so I can go back to them frequently, riffle through the pages, find sections or paragraphs or sentences or phrases that moved me, and get transported all over again. These books make me want to write better. 

My literary canon is listed below, alphabetically by author (no affiliates here, by the way.) This list is fluid in that it changes as I learn and grow. 

Amazing things come from the dark! I fell to my knees and crawled beneath a giant fir tree to get this image.

 


Do I have an absolute favorite?

Actually, I have two:
The Crimson Petal and the White (dark) and
Fall on Your Knees (darker still.)

 


Authors, do you have a literary canon? Which writers move you to write better? Readers and writers, any titles you can suggest to me?? 

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

Anecdote on Re-Adjusting to Academic Life

by @AnnieDaylon

Back to School Anecdote

Today is Labour Day in Canada. That means tomorrow, for many, is Back-to-School Day. 

Memories always emerge around this for me, mostly memories of returning to teaching. This year, however, prompted by the knowledge that a cherished relative is returning to school after a long stay in the work world, I’m remembering the time when, after ten years in the work force, I decided go back to university.

Yours truly. Grade Two.

Yours Truly.
Second Grade.

I’d always liked being a student so I gave no thought to the fact that I would have to re-adjust to student life. The first course I signed up for? Statistics. (Ouch!)

I hadn’t studied Math at all in my undergraduate work; the last Math class I had taken was grade eleven Algebra, a mere fifteen years earlier.

In my first Stats class, the professor distributed a pre-test to “see where we stood.” My score? 63%. When I asked that professor about improvement strategies, he told me that I was not likely to improve at all. The laws of predictability and outcome were such that my pre-test grade would not change.

I’m sure my mouth was agape while I stared at him. I don’t recall what I said to him but I remember exactly what I was thinking: Chuck you, Farley. You can take your statistics and stick them where the sun don’t shine.

Did I quit? No. 

For a couple of classes, I watched the other students. I picked out the highest achiever and I approached him. I offered to pay him to tutor me. He said he would tutor me but he wouldn’t charge me because he saw this as an opportunity to improve his teaching skills. 

The long and the short of it: I worked with him, I worked on my own, I worked my ass off. On the first mid-term exam, (and I think it darn near killed that stats prof to tell me this) I scored 93%. Apparently, all I needed was adjustment time and a little help.

To all those of you who have decided to return to the classroom: becoming a student again is a transition. Give yourself time to adjust. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Be determined. Beg, borrow, barter… whatever it takes, seek the help you need.

Yours Truly. M. Ed.

Yours Truly.
          M. Ed.

You made the decision to go back. Make it work, your way.  

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

How I Got My Indie Novel into the Library System

by @Annie Daylon

 

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I had no idea that indie authors could apply to have books purchased by libraries. When the illustrator of my picture book mentioned it, I delved into research. When Stephanie Hopkins of IndieBRAG asked me to share my journey on their blog, I jumped at the chance.

Here’s a snippet:

At my local library, I spoke with the community librarian who gave me the contact information for the acquisitions librarian.
In my application email to acquisitions, I included:

  • a brief bio;

  •  cover images of available titles (linked to Amazon);

  •  mini-synopses;

  •  website link; and

  •  contact info.

When a couple of weeks passed with no response, I emailed again.
Still no reply.

SEE MORE HERE

ATT: Canadian Authors>>> Did you know that you can be compensated for having your books in (purchased by) Canadian Libraries? Check my next blog post (July 11, 2016) for details!


Free Short StoryA free short story is yours when you join my email list! My newsletters contain book news, blog posts, sneak previews, and, occasionally, fun facts about my beloved island of Newfoundland. To join, place the required information in the space provided on the right. Rest assured your email address will not be shared for any reason.

 

Many thanks to Stephanie Hopkins, BRAG Medallion, and the Fraser Valley Regional Library System!

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue


 

Happy New Year: The First-Foot Tradition

by @AnnieDaylon 

 

Christmas New Year 2013-4 013

According to Scottish and Northern English folklore, the First-Foot is the first person to walk through the door of your home on New Year’s Day.  I became familiar with the concept of the First-Foot through my mother-in-law who, in order to ensure good fortune in the New Year, observes this tradition annually.

Often, the person to be First-Foot is chosen by the householder. It must be a dark-haired male–in our case, my husband– who must arrive bearing the following gifts:

  • a COIN, so that the household experiences financial security;

  • BREAD, so that food be in abundance;

  • SALT, so that life have flavour;

  • COAL, so that the home be filled with warmth;

  • DRINK (usually whiskey) so that good cheer abounds.

Each year, my hubby and I plate these gifts (as above), always making one substitution: matches represent the fuel portion. (Santa never leaves us lumps of coal!)

Here’s hoping you all start 2016 on the right foot!


With best wishes for happiness, health, and prosperity throughout the coming year,
shutterstock_110397353 (2) Happy New Year

Annie Signature Light Blue

Writers’ Associations: Of Value to You??

by @AnnieDaylon 

Writers Associations Value


I am a member of three writing associations– the Federation of British Columbia Writers, the Houston Writers Guild, and the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador–all of which have proved valuable. How? Here are three examples: 

 

 1) At a recent meet up of the Federation of British Columbia Writers, I met up with a very talented artist, Loreena M. Lee who is now preparing illustrations for my upcoming picture book, THE MANY-COLORED INVISIBLE HATS OF BRENDA-LOUISE.

2) I entered my novel, CASTLES IN THE SAND, into a contest at the Houston Writers Guild, won the contest, and have since received the B.R.A.G. medallion for excellence in independent writing for that novel.

3) For most recent manuscript, OF SEA AND SEED, which is set in Newfoundland, I wanted an evaluation by an author/editor who wrote historical fiction in the same setting.  I have worked with editors across Canada and in the United States and am fully aware of the range of cost factors. I found exactly what I needed at a price I could afford through my membership in the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Members of WANL are entitled to receive a manuscript evaluation at 50% off the actual cost; the Writers Alliance pays the rest. The fees for this service are based on the number of pages in the manuscript. My manuscript is 306 pages long; the total cost, tax included, came in at about six hundred dollars. The cost to me? $300. (My membership costs me twenty-five dollars per year.)
The WANL contract promised a turnaround time of three weeks. It was actually two weeks from the day I agreed to the contract that my evaluation arrived. I received not only a fifteen page, single-spaced anecdotal evaluation but also a full version of the manuscript with Track Changes applied.

The take-away for you? Spend a little time checking out your local or national writing associations. Maybe you are a member of one or two, yet don’t know all of their offerings. You too could benefit from a meet up, a contest, or a professional critique.

Thank you to all of the above writing associations for the services they offer. A special thanks to Alison Dyer, Executive Director of the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador, and to author/editor Paul Butler for his prompt, detailed, and professional evaluation of my work.

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My best to you,

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Reading: Book Nook and Book Choices

by @AnnieDaylon

Book Nook 012The Book Nook
A while back, I shared my designated working place in a post called My Write Space. Now I am sharing my designated place to read. From humble beginnings as a child when I hid beneath the covers with a flashlight to cherish my books, I have graduated to the perfect reading space. Ta dah! It includes:

  • A buttery soft chair, swivel, rocker-recliner.

  • A sculptured side table which I am sure is the envy of all avid readers.  (It’s mine: eat your heart out!)Book Nook 034

  • A storage bench which holds treasured books that used to be stacked on the dresser, the night stand, the floor.

  • A lush throw, the color of sea foam, a perfect match for the scheme of the room.

  • A discreetly-covered armchair caddy which holds so many crucial comforts: reading glasses, notebook, post-its, Kindle, pens.

The Book Choices
With reading, as with most things, I plan ahead; I prefer to have a stack of books at the ready as the lack of same prompts me to use the BUY button on my Kindle far too often. I prefer print copy and usually borrow the book first; if I love it, I buy it.
I read more fiction than nonfiction (most nonfiction choices are about the art of writing.)  I choose fiction based on author, content, style, sometimes even the cover. I search for Giller winners and Booker  winners and Pulitzer winners and Indie BRAG winners. I also seek recommendations from Goodreads. But my favorite way of meeting a new book is word-of-mouth.
A Few Words of Thanks

 

  •  Thank you, Shirley from Tai Chi who suggested My Reading Life . In it, author Pat Conroy listed the books that influenced his writing (if you want to know what those were, check out this Pinterest Board by Liz Whittaker.) I am now reading a book from his list, Look Homeward, Angel which I first borrowed. Then I bought it from The Book Man. From Shirley also came The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber, one of my favorite books of all time.

  • Thank you  to the staff of the aforementioned Book Man: Sara for  White Oleander by Janet Fitch, David for The Timetraveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger and Linda forThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. (If you are an avid reader, you will love this video-gone-viral parody by The Book Man: All About Them Books.)

  • Thank you to critique partner, Mary, for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. What a surprise and a connection it created last spring  when I went via float plane Victoria to meet up with my sister and three nieces, and discovered we had all read and loved that same book.

  • Thank you to former fearless writing group leader, Ken, for literary novel Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks and suspense novel, The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner. I refer to the former when I need a lesson in historical fiction and to the latter when I want to create just the right mood for a dark scene.

  • Thank you, Jeannette who, in email response to  my post Favorite Reads of 2014, suggested Room by Emma Donaghue. That one haunted me and jumped onto my favorite list for 2015.

  • Thank you, Paula, for your comment on that same post, wherein you recommended Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen. I have since read another of Quindlen’s novels and am seeking more.

  • Thank you to a long-time friend, Gini, for a long-time-ago mention of The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.  This was a powerful story that stayed with me for a long time, but also a Masterclass in writing: each family member had a point of view and each voice was remarkably distinct.

  • Thank you Margaret at Tai Chi, for Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. And thank you for warning me that it is challenging and it’s worth if you stick with it.  I have since read everything that Kate Atkinson has written.

     

I am always seeking a great read and a good excuse to spend time in my Book Nook. Any reading suggestions? Please send them along in comments or by email. 

Free Short Story
A Free Short Story will be yours when you subscribe to my author newsletter by placing your first name and email address in the space provided on the right. Rest assured that your email address will be held in the highest confidence and will not be shared or distributed for any purpose.

 

My best to you,
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10 Tips for Page-Turning Plots

by @AnnieDaylon

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At the Surrey International Writers’ Conference a while back, I introduced, and took notes on, a workshop facilitated by New York Times Best Selling Author and dynamic speaker, Robert Dugoni. The session, Creating Plots for Page Turners, was a combination of lecture and writing exercises designed to give participants a better understanding of classic story structure. Here are 10 tips:

 

  1. A story is dialogue in action.

  2. The purpose of a story is to entertain. The characters, not the authors, are the entertainers.

  3. A story is a journey—beginning, middle, end—and is both physical and emotional.

  4. The tone is set right away. What kind of story is it? (Make a promise.)

  5. Interesting character should appear at the onset.

  6. The beginning introduces the story problem. (Who, where, what does main character want, what stands in the way?)

  7. The middle develops the problem through obstacles.

  8. Stories should move! Excessive narrative—opinion, bio, flashbacks, info dumps, anything that can be presumed—should be cut.

  9. The end must be satisfying (Keep the promise you made at the beginning.)

  10. The 1st sentence in every chapter should hook the reader.

shutterstock_48236599Many thanks to Robert for an excellent workshop. To learn more about Robert and his writing visit: www.Robertdugoni.com.

Please subscribe to my newsletter by placing your first name and email address in the space provided on the right. Rest assured that your email address will not be shared in any way.

My best to you,
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