Artist Circle 2015

writ1It’s that time of year again. The holidays are over and I need some prodding to get back to the page.  So I’m organizing the annual Artist Circle to begin February 1st and run for 10 weeks using Julia Cameron’s book “The Right to Write.” It’s an e-mail group that utilizes the principles of “The Artist Way.” There are 10 spots open, to be filled on a first come, first serve basis. It is not a critique group, but an opportunity to explore personal strengths and stumbling blocks, and to put pen to page at your own pace; while sharing discoveries with a supportive group. For more information you can contact me at  shadowsfall@kathy-dianeleveille.com

Happy Writing!

Kathy-Diane

Answering the Call X: Writers’ Retreat

art40It’s time! Time to tackle the manuscript you’ve been letting gather too much dust. The fall retreat is scheduled:

Answering the Call X: Releasing the Writer Within

    A WORKING WRITERS’ RETREAT

WHERE: The Villa Madonna in Renforth, New Brunswick (just outside of Saint John)
WHEN: November 14, 15 and 16, 2014

FORMAT:

November 14, 2012:
5 p.m.-6:00 p.m.- Arrive and settle into your room.
6 p.m. Opening Welcome: Answering the Call by Kathy-Diane Leveille
6 to 9 p.m. Meet and Greet, explanation of weekend structure, sharing optional writing exercise, social

November 15, 2012: Full writing day
7-9 p.m. Optional Critique Group

November 16, 2012:
11:00 a.m. Closing and wrap up.
1:00 p.m. Heading home after lunch and out by mid-afternoon.

FEE: $176.00 which includes single room and board.

This is not a leader-guided writing retreat. Rather it an opportunity to give yourself the gift of uninterrupted time to write. Over the years, Kathy-Diane has created a loose structure that provides touchstones within the weekend’s framework for optional opportunities (between writing) to connect with other writers. How those connections happen vary with the individual and the ultimate shaping of each group. There is no predicting. Sometimes works-in-progress are shared, sometimes tentative ideas are given words and take more concrete shape, sometimes the room door is closed tight and the pen flies across the page. We each go willing to drop the hindrances keeping us from our writing and wait and see what unfolds. Rooms are single and private.
E-mail shadowsfall@kathy-dianeleveille.com for more information or to hold a spot.
(*NOTE: Cancellations after November 1 subject to a 50% refund/No refunds after November 10).

Hope to see you there! Send me a friend invite on FaceBook….

Happy scribbling,

Kathy-Diane

“Standing in the Whale’s Jaw is a swirling, twisting tale of intrigue. Two bright and daring young women weave through a cast of characters… to solve one great mystery and open their minds to a greater one. A rollicking ride with many surprises along the way.” -Linda Little author of Scotch River

Writing and Kurt Vonnegut

danceEvery winter I hold an artist E-Circle that follows one of Julia Cameron’s books (Artist Way). This year’s book is “Walking the World.” We exchange weekly e-mails on the chapter readings and spotlight our individual works-in-progress; mostly it helps to share writing struggles and triumphs. Thanks to all who joined up. Speaking of triumphs, congratulations to member, Elizabeth Copeland, whose novella won the Ken Klonsy novella contest and will be published by Quattro books in the fall of 2014. Wonderful news! And thanks too to Kathleen who shared this inspiring letter from Kurt Vonnegut below that she found on-line:

Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood…:

I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don’t make public appearances anymore because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music singing dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.

Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?

Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash receptacles. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

God bless you all!

Kurt Vonnegut

He’s a wise man!
Dancing home…
Kathy-Diane

Book Launch at the FogLit Festival

foglit2  Join me for the launch of my  new novel “Standing in the Whale’s Jaw” (Tightrope Books) at the opening ceremony of the FogLit Book Festival on October 3rd at 1:00 p.m. in the Saint John Free Public Library at Market Square. Drop by for a reading, signing and munchies. It’s free! Enter a draw to win a gift certificate from Element 5 Day Spa.  A portion of each book sold is being donated to WORLD VISION TRAUMA RECOVERY CENTERS for victims of child trafficking.  If you can’t make the launch, see the EVENTs page for a list of upcoming books signings.

Last time I participated in a book festival in this library, I was ‘piped in.’ A colorful bag piper– complete with kilt–serenaded the authors in a grand majestic parade through the doors and up the stairs. I can’t wait to see what they have in store this time. By the way, the FogLit Festival runs through the weekend and features free writing workshops and readings. Indigo is running the book table so lots of bookworm browsing to be done. There’s ghost stories, historical walks, music and, if you’re 19 or over, a wine tasting. Authors  include Beth Powning, David Adams Richards, Donna Morrissey and many, many more.  The writing workshops run the gamut from memoir, short fiction, poetry and, for the kids, comic books. Be sure to drop by.

See you there!

Kathy-Diane

“Leveille has set her story in a bygone place and time so vividly evoked that the reader is transported to experience it
through the richly realized characters.” -Trudy Morgan-Cole, Author of That Forgetful Shore

“Nineteen thirties rural New Brunswick shines in this multi-layered, coming-of-age murder mystery. I hope we hear from Elsa Byrd and Lavinia Twigg again – they make a first-rate detective team.”     – Laurie Glenn Norris Author of Haunted Girl

Standing in the Whale’s Jaw

Whales Jaw - 5.5x8.5 COVER.inddI love the cover of my new novel “Standing in the Whale’s Jaw.”  It’s finally ready and will be available in a few weeks, but you can preorder it on Amazon or Indigo.  I have had a great time working with Tightrope Books (Toronto) to bring it all together.  They are a hard working bunch. It is always amazing to me that one tiny flash of inspiration can grow into a full-fledged book by putting pen to paper day after day. In the beginning the vision is fleeting and trying to nail it to the page is like trying to catch a wisp of floating pollen.  I have to remember that if I just show up, sooner or later it’s bound to land on me.  It’s astonishing to hold a finished book in your hand. My ego is always tempted to take all the credit, but the truth is, something much bigger collaborates with my efforts to turn the scribbles into a shining story; or tries to–depiste the fact that I keep getting in the way. I’m grateful for the mystery.

STANDING IN THE WHALE’S JAW: Fifteen-year-old  Elsa Byrd is on the verge of becoming a woman in the summer of 1935. In a world run by men, it could be more of a curse  than a blessing. Elsa’s father enters the TB sanitarium and she’s forced to live on her grandparents’ farm. She stumbles upon a stranger hiding in the barn and decides not to tell a soul. When a dead girl is discovered floating in a dory, it quickly shifts from the kind of secret Elsa wants to hug close, to the kind she doesn’t dare let out. Her mentor,  Lavinia Twigg, teams up with Inspector Gerard of the Saint John Police and Elsa is left teetering between risk and danger, silence and disclosure, trust and fear.

Stay tuned for details on the launch, signings and all the fun stuff.

Happy reading,

Kathy-Diane

“Standing in the Whale’s Jaw is a swirling, twisting tale of intrigue. Two bright and daring young women weave through a cast of characters… to solve one great mystery and open their minds to a greater one. A thoroughly enjoyable read, it’s a rollicking ride with many surprises along the way.” -Linda Little Author of Scotch River

Follow Tightrope on Twitter.

Plotter or Pantser?

write7This week Shaun Smith invited me on Open Book Ontario.  He throws out a question on Fiction Craft to authors:

There’s an old question that nicely sums up the plotting challenge: Are you a plotter or a pantser? Meaning, do you plot out your fiction before you begin, or do you fly by the seat of your pants and plot as you write. This month in Fiction Craft, I asked a handful of authors to tell me how they tackle plotting.

The method of plotting a writer uses can be as unique as a fingerprint. Check out Fiction Craft to see how authors James Bartleman, Lauren B. Davis, Janet Gurtler, S.P. Hozy, Claire Mulligan, and Cathie Pelletier work. Oh yeah, and yours truly.

Happy Plotting!

Kathy-Diane

 

Creative Courage

reflectIf you’ve always yearned to live more creatively, you must read the essay “Fail Safe” by Debbie Millman, given recently to a graduating class at San Jose University. It’s on BRAIN PICKINGS. Be sure to scroll down to the beginning: “For most of my life, I followed a safe path….”

I love this!!!! Especially the Robert Frost reference. My writing begins with fear and trembling, and a suspicion that I’m a little crazy to have the audicity to imagine this faint elusive germ of an idea will bloom into a full glorious body of work. It does anyway.
If you read Frost’s quote below and exchange the word writer for poem, it says it all for me.
 
A poem begins with a lump in the throat, a home-sickness or a love-sickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment. A complete poem is one where the emotion has found its thought and the thought has found the words. —Robert Frost, American poet, letter, 1916
 
A writer begins with a lump in the throat, a home-sickness or a love-sickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment. A complete writer is one whose emotion has found its thought and the thought has found the words. —Robert Frost, American poet, letter, 1916
From the happy logophile,
Kathy-Diane
Roads Unravelling is a winding highway of quiet, still surfaces and yawning depths. Patrolling the flow are gape-jawed monsters and small glimmering pearls of real beauty. –The New   Brunswick Reader
COMING IN JUNE “Standing in the Whale’s Jaw” (Tightrope Books).  What happens when a secret you hug close becomes one you don’t dare let out?

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