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Dear Reader,

          What does one need most? Several things come to mind--time with loved ones, time with God.  Most answers involve one thing: a break. 

          A break is needed to enjoy the things we need most.  So take this break to breathe, and to think of the one thing you need to enjoy most, and be thankful. 

Introducing my Writing Mentor
Janet Sketchley

     A talented author and a trusted friend, Janet Sketchley has poured her time and love into my life for many years. She has answered writing questions, given sound writing advice, and prayed for me through the ups and downs of life. 

I first met Janet at the Write! Canada conference in Guelph, Ontario. We bonded over being the only two from Nova Scotia, and I later joined her writing community in Halifax, NS, called Metro Christian Writers. Janet and I would both become published in the Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamon anthology, along with two other of our group members.

Janet writes Christian suspense and daily devotionals. Her first published novel, Heaven's Prey, is about a grieving woman abducted by a serial killer.

Check out Janet Sketchley's website!
February 13
Consistent work = consistently meeting goals

As of Valentine's day, the day after this delicious spiced brown sugar latte at Brew Beans coffee shop, I was around 15% of my yearly goal, right on track. At the end of the month, I focused on other special projects, which I'll talk about later on. I'm at the end of my working edits of the First Act of Elida's Story. On to the hardest part of the novel-writing process: slugging through the middle!

Sneak peek into the diary of Jane Seaman, one of my main characters, who writes of the curious things she encounters.
Curiosity #1: My Four Eyes

I've grown

Eyes in the back

Of my bonnet.


Useful, really,

For backstabbing,

My friends’ silent comments,

And the like tomfoolery.


Sunday is a great day

For watching my back.

We may have bought

The best pew in the place,

Built the very church

For our town,


But that doesn’t stop

Ladies from eating

The slop of gossip

And rolling gleaming eyes.


They whispered behind fans,

Jane’s son Job is on his deathbed—

Her family must be cursed!

Four of their children have already died--

Really!


Which is why

The eyes

In the front of my face

Have a constant glaze

Of tears.


“Oh, just my watery eyes” I tell the ladies

Really I have a sick son

A sick heart

A sick mind

But two very strong eyes

Behind.

Recommended: Reedsy Writing Courses
Click for Reedsy Learning Website

         Are you interested in learning about being a writer, from the experts, but in bite-sized chunks?  Reedsy Learning has free 10 day courses in writing, editing,  publishing, and marketing from the best in the business. The learning materials are sent in daily portions to your email account.   There's 50+ courses. Here are few of their course descriptions for you to browse. Click the course title to see more information.

How To Craft a Killer Short Story

    "So, you've decided to write a short story! Many a published author got their starts from publishing short stories. It's the perfect medium for so many authors: succinct, clear, character-driven, and brief. Compared to the giant novel, it makes sense to say that a short story is easy to write and publish . . . right?

    False. The art of a great short story requires a different set of writing skills altogether. And in this 10-part course, you'll not only find out what exactly those are—but also how to put them to good use while submitting to short story magazines."

Building a Rock Solid Writing Routine

     "Some people think that getting the inspiration and ideas to write is the hard part – the bit that really matters. We don’t agree. We think that the toughest part of writing is the writing itself. The daily slog, the getting up at 5am, the missed evenings out and the lost time spent with loved ones. The writing routine is the bit that really hurts – but that’s where our course can help!...

  Our course is based on the latest behavior change research and the science of habits. Over ten email lessons, we’ll give you a bunch of practical, actionable tips to help you understand and face down your procrastination gremlins to find a writing habit that works for you."

Start Writing A Book and Stop Talking About It

     'You have a great idea for a book but don’t know how to start. Or you’ve started, but you keep getting stalled out. It’s making you crazy and you yearn for a way forward. In this short course, book coach Jennie Nash shares the secrets for how to start strong so you can move forward with confidence. It’s a powerful way to stop talking about someday writing a books, and to actually start doing it, by getting the idea out of your head and onto the page."

What changes you when you read a novel?
Character Changed = Reader Changed

     I've been studying K. M. Weiland's Creating Character Arcs over the last year and applying the principles to my novel. A character arc is the trajectory of change in the main character. It should be the driving force behind the events of the novel (or the plot.) 

     A positive arc is a positive change upwards, a negative arc is a negative outcome falling downwards. A flat arc is where the character stays the same but changes the world around her. Most novels' main character has a positive arc, and when you pick these books apart, you'll see the structure of the entire story supports this transformation.

    My novel contains two main character arcs (Elida and Jane), so the amount of planning is more intense. This textbook has been invaluable, and I would highly recommend the questions at the end of each chapter to better develop your arcs. Almost all of the book is available free online,  and in audio version too. 

Take a look at K. M. Weiland's free series on Creating Character Arcs

        Want to know more about the power of strong character arcs? I lead a writing group called Word Nerds at the Truro Library (754 Prince Street) and in March we're focusing on character arcs! 

       It's usually the first Thursday evening of the month from 6-7:30pm. It's a supportive, fun environment. March's meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 5th. Come on out!

SPECIAL PROJECT: COBEQ-CON SESSION ON FANFICTION

  I  am on the planning committee for Cobeq-Con 2020 happening at the Truro Library on March 28 (see below poster). "Con" stands for Convention. 

   I will presenting on fanfiction at one of the sessions. Fanfiction is when a fan writer uses the fictional world of an existing author (such as the Marvel or Star Wars Universes) to create new realities in a world they love. Think of someone writing an Episode 10 of the Star Wars series because they are such a supporter of the fandom.

My presentation "Leveling Up Your Fanfiction" focuses on how to overcome the arch-enemies of your writing like procrastination, fear, disorganization, and internet trolls.

There will be lots of great sessions! Grab your ticket on March 10, and I'll see you there!

       My April 2020 newsletter is scheduled for arrival on the first of the month. 'Til then, take care!

In word and in life,
In word and in life,
Laura Aliese Miedema

20 Willow Street, Truro
Nova Scotia B2N 4Z4 Canada

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