Are you a scribbler?

writing-group-1If you’re a writer or ‘wannabee’ writer, you may want to consider joining this new writing group.

We will focus on honing writing skills through ‘short short stories’ (also known as Flash Fiction). We’ll focus on various aspects of writing including, grammar, punctuation, word usage, phraseology, point of view, style and more. It’s always more fun to have a goal when embarking on something new. Our goal will be to produce an Anthology with our writing collection and—publish it! We will also register Oliver Scribblers with the Federation of BC Writers.

For those not familiar with Flash Fiction here is a very brief description:

A Flash is a story with beginning, middle and end in approximately 1000 words or even less. It’s not just a matter of writing something and then trying to reduce the number of words. It’s deceptively complex. It involves painting a picture that encompasses a mystery or a twist with an emotional impact. It means selecting the right words with the right shades of meaning without strangling the plot or characters.

Writing Flash is not a fad, it’s an art. Some contemporary Flash writers are Meg Pokrass, Sherrie Flick and Stuart Dybek. One of the masters is Hemingway. Here is an example of Hemingway’s famous six-word story. ‘For Sale: baby shoes, never worn’. The last two words evoke a powerful image —grieving parents coping with tragedy and writing this classified ad.

Developing skills to write Flash is an excellent basis for other writings – novels, memoirs, family histories, business letters, letters to editors, essays and biographies.

If you are seriously interested in sharpening your writing skills, join Oliver Scribblers. The tentative plan is to meet once or twice a month for a couple of hours in the morning. The venue will depend on the number of people in the group. All the details will be decided at the first meeting to be scheduled later.

I’m a member of the Federation of BC Writers (FBCW) and you can view my profile at

http://www.bcwriters.ca/member-directory/#action=Listing&value=11504&searchID=12011&cid=1226&did=100

Use this one February 2010

Simply click on the address and it will take you directly to my profile.

Oliver Scribblers – Head Scribbler -Vi Brown vi.oliverscribblers @ gmail.com

Collection of short stories stirs many emotions

IMG_1023Author Gail Prior recently entertained members of the arts council with a short reading from her collection of short stories and poems, The Cap, during the April Arts Jam! gathering of the OCAC membership. Earlier, she marketed her book at the Spring Arts Faire. Didn’t pick up a copy? It’s not too late!

Gail’s early retirement from a career in social work opened the doors to hone her writing gift.

She moved from the coast to the sunny Okanagan and began to write seriously. She was encouraged by joining the Penticton Writers and Publishers group, as well the River Writers in Arizona. Previously she produced a weekly vegetarian cooking column for a small newspaper in the Gulf Islands.  Her stories and poems have appeared in a variety of publications. The Cap is self-published.

thecap

Gail divides her living and writing time between Oliver, B.C., Little Bear Lake, Saskatchewan and Bullhead City, Arizona.

Copies of The Cap can be ordered directly via her email gaileyprior @ gmail.com for a special price for OCAC members  of $10. Not an arts council member? You can still get one at the regular price. Here are some of her readers’ comments, from the A2Z Books website:

Loved Gail’s book, The Cap. We can all identify with the characters who experience love and loss in life. Quick read and definitely left me wanting more!

Beautiful cover and photos. I related easily to feelings in stories. The Cap story made me cry.

Gail’s stories take us into the minds and emotions of her characters. Most of us can relate to stories about love and loss; it can be loss of a parent, or parents, or a lover~ we can empathize.

Makes a great little gift for Mom – and not just on Mother’s Day!

Be a BC Book Prize Groupie

If being a rock band groupie isn’t your style, try being a BC Book Prize groupie!

Two authors shortlisted for the BC Book Prizes are touring the Okanagan. and will be visiting the Oliver Regional Library branch on Monday May 7 at 7:00 p.m.

Come meet JJ Lee, the author of “The Measure of a Man: The story of a Father, a Son and a Suit” and Gary Kent, the author of the children’s book, “Fishing with Gubby”. They will be talking about their books and the ideas and stories that inspired them.

The Measure of a Man is JJ Lee’s debut book. Taking as its starting point a son’s decision to alter his late father’s last remaining suit for himself, this is a deeply moving and brilliantly crafted story of fathers and sons, of fitting in and standing out — and discovering what it means to be your own man. For years, journalist and amateur tailor JJ Lee tried to ignore the navy suit that hung at the back of his closet — his late father’s last suit. When he decides to finally make the suit his own, little does he know he is about to embark on a journey into his own past.

As JJ moves across the surface of the suit, he reveals the heartbreaking tale of his father, a charismatic but luckless restaurateur whose demons brought tumult upon his family. He also recounts the year he spent as an apprentice tailor at Modernize Tailors, the last of Vancouver’s legendary Chinatown tailors, where he learns invaluable lessons about life from his octogenarian master tailor. Woven throughout these two personal strands are entertaining stories from the social history of the man’s suit, the surprising battleground where the war between generations has long been fought.

With wit, bracing honesty, and great narrative verve, JJ takes us from the French Revolution to the Zoot Suit Riots, from the Japanese Salaryman to Mad Men, from Oscar Wilde in short pants to Marlon Brando in a T-shirt, and from the rareified rooms of Savile Row to a rundown shop in Chinatown. A book that will forever change the way you think about the maxim “the clothes make the man,” this is a universal story of love and forgiveness and breaking with the past.

Fishing with Gubby is the marvelously illustrated, authentic account of one season in the life of a salmon fisherman. Based on actual events, the story is told by award-winning children’s illustrator Kim La Fave and former fisherman Gary Kent. Together they make the wharfs, boats, fishermen and villages of the BC coast come alive with remarkable detail and humour.

Gubby’s journey first takes him up BC’s west coast, through Georgia, Johnstone and Queen Charlotte straits and north past Port Hardy. He then heads into the open ocean towards treacherous Cape Scott, through to Winter Harbour and Quatsino Sound to settle in for a summer of fishing. Gubby and Puss face rolling rapids, rough and tumble storms and banks of fog, tussle with a basking shark and a pod of orcas, all while trolling for spring and coho salmon and visiting other fishermen and homesteaders along the way.

Books will be available for purchase. Get your copy signed, or buy one for a friend. Or be a BC Book Prize groupie and bring your camera for a photo. Who knows? You may be posing with a winner!

Library hosts e-reader session

The Friends of the Oliver Library (FOTOL) host several events in the coming weeks. Don’t miss these great opportunities to add some pizzazz to your reading experience!

First up is an evening to welcome BC Book Prize nominees.  On Monday May 7 join us at 7 p.m. to meet these yet-to-be-announced special guests and hear excerpts from their nominated books. Be BC proud!

Want to learn more about e-Reading? It’s e-easy!   Learn about the variety of e-readers and tablets. Break-out sessions will address the individual types now on the market. Simply bring your questions to this introductory session, or bring along your portable e-reading device (tablet, laptop, iPad, Kindle, e-Reader or whatever) on Saturday May 12 at 10 a.m. This is a free event but please register in advance by calling the library at 250-498-2242 or by stopping by the library. Refreshments will be served following the session.

The monthly Tuesday Morning Coffee happens every third Tuesday of the month. Coming up, it’s Tuesday May 15 at 10 a.m. Make yourself at home!  Interested in the behind-the-scenes of the library? Join us an hour earlier at 9 a.m. for the FOTOL meeting. Volunteers welcome.

Travel writer Laurie Carter is the guest on Wednesday June 20 at 7 p.m. She is the author of Grandma Wears Hiking Boots, chock full of details on  Okanagan trails, wildflower excursions, wine tasting, farm tours, family attractions, historic sites, cultural pursuits, mine tours, jumping off mountains and her favourite subject—food. Carter will entertain with anecdotes and with excerpts from her books.

Start saving those books! The Library’s Annual Book Sale is on Saturday July 7 from 9 – 2.  in the Oliver Regional Library parking lot. Your used books can be dropped off at the library.

Watch for the Friends of the Library entry into the International Sunshine Festival Parade on Saturday July 14!

"Roadside Geology" at Heritage AGM

Have you ever looked around this great valley we live in and wonder just what it is you seeing? What forces came together to make McIntyre Bluff or Balancing Rock? How were the precious metals deposited here? What is it about the geology that makes this such a good wine growing area?

As the special presentation for our Annual General Member’s meeting this year, the Oliver and District Heritage Society is fortunate to welcome well-known geologist, author, and artist Dr. Murray Roed, who will answer some of these questions. The public is welcome.

Accompanying the presentation will be a display of Murray’s artwork. As a self-taught artist, Murray has put his love of geology to the fore within beautiful landscapes that adorn his books. Some of Roed’s artwork, capturing the backbones of the Okanagan Valley on canvas, is presented here. More about this wonderful artist can be found at his websites:

http://www.worldarttours.net/MARbiognew.html
http://geoscapes.ca/

Murray has a new book fresh off the presses called Okanagan Geology South: Geologic Highlights of the South Okanagan, British Columbia. This book describes the geologic development of the Valley clearly and concisely. It also provides maps for ‘roadside geology’. By following the maps and directions, you can take a self-guided tour of the major geologic features of the South Okanagan. This is a unique and well-appointed addition to the resources that aid in the understanding of the natural environment that surrounds us. Murray will be talking about the development and purpose of the book, introducing some of the unique geologic finds in our area. Murray will be signing copies of his book, which will be available at the AGM.

The local arts community will add to the exhibit with their own works on display. To round out the evening, there will be an opportunity to taste local wines.

All of this takes place on

Wednesday, May 18
 7 PM
Quail’s Nest Art Centre
34274 – 95th St.,  Oliver

We welcome everyone to come and enjoy this unique opportunity as we celebrate another year of development in the heritage of the Oliver area!

For further information, please call Lynn at the archives, 250-498-4027, or Darryl at the museum, 250-498-0490.

“Roadside Geology” at Heritage AGM

Have you ever looked around this great valley we live in and wonder just what it is you seeing? What forces came together to make McIntyre Bluff or Balancing Rock? How were the precious metals deposited here? What is it about the geology that makes this such a good wine growing area?

As the special presentation for our Annual General Member’s meeting this year, the Oliver and District Heritage Society is fortunate to welcome well-known geologist, author, and artist Dr. Murray Roed, who will answer some of these questions. The public is welcome.

Accompanying the presentation will be a display of Murray’s artwork. As a self-taught artist, Murray has put his love of geology to the fore within beautiful landscapes that adorn his books. Some of Roed’s artwork, capturing the backbones of the Okanagan Valley on canvas, is presented here. More about this wonderful artist can be found at his websites:

http://www.worldarttours.net/MARbiognew.html
http://geoscapes.ca/

Murray has a new book fresh off the presses called Okanagan Geology South: Geologic Highlights of the South Okanagan, British Columbia. This book describes the geologic development of the Valley clearly and concisely. It also provides maps for ‘roadside geology’. By following the maps and directions, you can take a self-guided tour of the major geologic features of the South Okanagan. This is a unique and well-appointed addition to the resources that aid in the understanding of the natural environment that surrounds us. Murray will be talking about the development and purpose of the book, introducing some of the unique geologic finds in our area. Murray will be signing copies of his book, which will be available at the AGM.

The local arts community will add to the exhibit with their own works on display. To round out the evening, there will be an opportunity to taste local wines.

All of this takes place on

Wednesday, May 18
 7 PM
Quail’s Nest Art Centre
34274 – 95th St.,  Oliver

We welcome everyone to come and enjoy this unique opportunity as we celebrate another year of development in the heritage of the Oliver area!

For further information, please call Lynn at the archives, 250-498-4027, or Darryl at the museum, 250-498-0490.

BC Book Prize Tour Stops in Oliver

The Friends of the Oliver Library hosted Silvia Olsen, children’s author  (pictured at left) and poet Fred Wah during the Lieutenenat Governor’s  BC Book Prize Tour on April 21.  Both authors shared their experiences writing their nominated works, read excerpts , and answered questions.

Here’s a little more about Olsen’s book, Counting on Hope :

“Set against the backdrop of the confusing events surrounding the English colonization of British Columbia, and an 1863 naval assault on Kuper Island, Counting on Hope tells the story of two girls whose lives are profoundly changed when their two cultures collide. Alternating between free verse and prose, Sylvia Olsen follows the girl’s individual storylines before, during and after their meeting. She captures the wonder and joy with which Hope and Letia develop their friendship and describes the tragic events, suspicion, fear and confusion that characterize so many early encounters between Europeans and the First Peoples. This sensitively drawn depiction of innocence lost and wisdom hard won follows Hope and Letia out of childhood, off their island paradise and into the complex realities of an adult world. Married into the Tsartlip First Nation at seventeen, Sylvia Olsen is a historian specializing in Native/White relations in Canada, and the author of twelve books. She lives in Victoria.”

Fred Wah won in the poetry category, for his collection is a door :

“Including poetry projects, a chapbook and incidental poems, is a door makes use of the poem’s ability for “suddenness” to subvert closure: the sudden question, the sudden turn, the sudden opening — writing that is generated from linguistic mindfulness, improvisation, compositional problem-solving, collaborative events, travel, investigation and documentary — in short, poetry as practice. Much of this poetry is framed by Fred Wah’s acute sense of the marginalized non-urban local “place” and coloured by his attempt to articulate senses of otherness and resistance. Fred Wah was one of the founding editors of the poetry newsletter TISH and a pioneer of on-line publishing. He is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Waiting For Saskatchewan which received the Governor General’s Award in 1985. Diamond Grill, a biofiction about hybridity and growing up in a small-town Chinese-Canadian café won the Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Fiction in 1996. He lives in Vancouver.”

Congratulations, Fred!

Visit http://www.bcbookprizes.ca/tour/category/southern-tour-2010/  for more information about the southern BC potion of the tour, or http://www.bcbookprizes.ca/winners/2010 for a list of the finalists’ books and the various winners. A great source for your summer reading picks!