I'm a little late getting this post out, but it's not owing to a lack of sincerity in its creation. Canadian Library Worker's Day was Oct 15th! However, October is still Canadian Library Month, so I'm not too late!!
I love my local library and try to visit weekly, although it's ended up every second week or so lately. There is so much going on in a library, I wanted to share a proper tribute to the library and prompt people, if they haven't, to check out their local library and maximize its use!! I never, never want to lose the library, so please, please, please, support your library.
To quote the Canadian Federation of Library Association, "More than just a place to find books, libraries promote cultural awareness, engage in the community, provide educational programs, support freedom of expression and so much more." It's easy to see how important the library is!
Here are my 7 reasons Libraries rock.
1. Free books.
Of course, this has to be number one. Books, and more books. And if they don't have a book in at the moment (my local library is small but mighty), they'll have it brought down from another library in the chain for you. That's right, a personal book delivery service. I can read ALLL the books I want!! (Or at least the ones I have time for….)
2. Audiobooks and movies and DVDs and magazines!
It's not just free books; it's also other media. Audiobooks can be checked out online these days. BD/DVDs range from self-help to kid videos to popular fiction. They even have magazines, and they are not the old issues; they get new magazines every week! So even if a book is not your jam (I'm not judging!), there's still something worth borrowing.
3. Cheap books (and other things).
When I'm not just checking out a book to return, I can browse the cart sitting by (or outside in nice weather) the front door, where the books and DVDs are for sale. Our local library tends to have them for free, but many libraries have a small fee for old books. I've picked up several from that cart, no longer worrying about due dates but still snagging a classic tale or new author to try. It's a treasure hunt that doesn't break the bank!
Storytime, yoga, dance, author readings, crafts, and games… The library is running all these things! My local library even did a take-home mystery kit for the kids that involved everything from word searches to making invisible ink over the summer! Kid's events are great for encouraging creativity and a love of reading, plus it gives my kids something to do for forty-five minutes! For the adults, there's something every week, the perfect setup for the perpetual student!
5. Computer access.
I'm fortunate enough to have my own computer, but the library has Wi-Fi too to use. And for those without a computer, the library is a place for checking emails, looking up jobs, researching school papers, and more. It's a lifeline for many!
6. A space to meet
This was less so with COVID, but the library is a wonderful place to meet. Our local writer's group used the facility, as did chess, gaming, and book clubs. It's a great change of scene for those moments when a writer wants some peace. They are also one of the few public places still around that expects you to loiter! Even when traveling, I'll seek a library as a safe place to sit for a while, read or write, and generally enjoy a bit of quiet.
7. Great people
Librarians are fantastic! We love having friendly faces greeting us, helping my son check his books out, and directing us to what we need. I am very grateful for all the wonderful people working at the library. Their work is never done; it's a constant rotation of books being put away, only to be disturbed again, yet they are patient and kind and so very knowledgeable.
So there you have it. Support your library and all the fantastic work they do! Only by using the service can we ensure it's there for those who need it! Happy Canadian Library month!
Are you a library fan? If not, why not? If so, what did I miss from the list?
We had a good time at the launch on Saturday, despite the temperamental weather! But I know some people couldn't make it out for a variety of reasons, including illness, time constraints, and travel delays! So I promised to put together a video to cover the same stuff.
No problem, right?
I have been ambushed by cats twice, kids three times, had a power outage, and can't get my words to line up! To add icing on the cake, this post has gotten erased once already.
I persevered. HERE are the result.
And for fun, here are a few outtakes. Levi has a cameo... he got surprised by the kitten!
Someone once told me that the knife-throwing game in the first book of the Son of No Man series was a great way to symbolize the Northlander War. Sure, it fit. Carsh didn't know the rules (like Tohmas not knowing the whole story about the way), and some of the victory was in how flashy the goal was achieved. And in the end, it's close, very close. So ok, I see it. The problem is, I didn't write it on purpose as a symbol at all.
I'm not sure if I do these things unconsciously, or if people just see it in places it wasn't because they are looking for it! I love when these things come together, far more than putting deliberate symbolism in and making it sound too contrived. I think that comes from my English classes in high school.
I generally did well in school, but my lowest mark was in English class for a while. Not because of the rules of writing, as I knew those, but because English required me to do something no other class did: made me interpret the MEANING of things.
That was something my poor academic head couldn't do well. There was no right or wrong answer, at least in theory. I suppose if there had been NO wrong answers, I would have done better. But it made me work hard in English class, seeking to understand the stories or poetry because I figured if I just tried hard enough, I would get it. But when I read about a horse bite, I thought it was a person getting bitten by a horse. I didn't understand the deeper meaning. Symbolism was lost on me. I kept getting things "wrong."
I eventually learned how to play the game. I figured out the patterns, and even if I didn't believe it, I could throw together a good argument. I didn't like what we read or how we read, taking apart every syllable, but I learned how to do it.
In my final year, I put those skills to work during a Provincial Exam practice. I wrote an essay that was essentially a person walking down a hallway. That was it. A man walks down the hallway, looks at doors.
I coated the hallway in symbolism.
Every door handle was unique: dented, tarnished, or freshly polished, yet seldom used. There were colours in everything. Red door frames that had been chipped where hands often passed. Blue, faded carpet. Flowers of bright, shining yellow peeling on a grey-black surface.
You're doing it, aren't you? You're reading into those details.
Dented- it's been used but not repaired. Was there violence?
Tarnished- old, worn, not replaced. Something valuable and kept well past its time.
Red frames- anger, perhaps blood.
Peeling paint of the flowers- once chipper but losing to the pressures of the real-life grey.
The specifics turned the entire thing into a perfect metaphor. Only it was a metaphor of nothing. It meant nothing. I had no message. It was just a very well-described hallway, but it got me a damn good mark.
My point is not that it's not worth putting in symbolism, but rather that, as readers, we must be aware of the bias we bring into our interpretation of things. Because it's not always about the author and what THEY meant. It's about what YOU see as the reader. It's what YOU get out of it in the end.
I feel like books are like many people I know; better face to face!
Rydan (Book 1 of Son of No Man) is here at last, in the flesh. Or at least in the paper-flesh. And it's even cooler than the images would have made me believe. I was a little on the fence about the turquoise and amber but boy, it's smart! I love the colours!
So if you'd like a copy, give me a shout! I'll ship! There's a new FORM here to start the conversation. If I don't get back to you within a few days, poke me! This may have some growing pains as I've got a new email (d.lambert at dlambertauthor.com) and I'm ironing out the kinks!
Hey! My shirt matches...
Yep! It's here! Online, at least!
Rydan is the first book of the adult Fantasy series "Son of No Man" and it's available starting NOW!!!
When I started writing "Rydan" I wanted to capture the "truth" behind the legend of the First King of Espar. I knew Tohmas Galanth was not the perfect hero. He was a legend and legends form after the fact. So what had really happened? Why did people believe in him? How were they misled?
I was inspired by history a lot in this! Check it out!
For paperbacks, check out the new form on the Contact page HERE. I've not got the paperbacks of RYDAN in yet, but am expecting them soon! Fill in the form and I'll be in touch with shipping costs. I'm not quite at the level of an online store right now, but the bonus is you can get it (or any of the others!) personally autographed!
Having just discovered this myself, I wanted to share. One part because it's hugely useful to fellow authors, and one part because, of course, FREE BOOKS!
I was introduced to StoryOrigin through one haphazard comment. I felt an instant connection solely based on the capital letters (if you've read my books, you know why!). Then I got to know it a bit and, holy crow, I think I'm in love.
StoryOrigin is the brainchild of Evans Gow who apparently had the know-how to make it happen. It's like bookfunnel, booksprout, and a social media platform got together and had beautiful new website. If those words mean nothing to you, it's a huge online program that allows you to set up pretty much all of your required links for promoting and distributing your books. You can hook up with ARC readers. You can organize promotions and deals. You can give out copies of your material. You can set up newsletter sign ups. You can set universal links.
You still need a newsletter distributor, but it integrates with the common ones (like mailerlite, which I use but is capital letter deficient in my view). I can even update it so that it tracks how many subscribers I have, which is useful when it comes to cooperation.
The coolest thing it does is help author work together. Group promotions, newsletter swaps and reviewer platforms allow other users to link their works to a single download page for maximum visibility and effect. In fact, I got involved in TWO links this week and it means I can share lists of FREE BOOKS right here and now!
These ones come with a small caveat- you have to sign up for a newsletter. But free books and unsubscribe any time! So take a look and see if anything tickles your fancy! And yes, Dragon's Voice is in there, the entire novel, for FREE as an ebook right now. Share to a friend!
So much news!!!
First off, you'll get most of it in the Newsletter! Sign up HERE to NOT ONLY get a FREE series of four short stories but ALSO be the first to know the rest of the AMAZING news coming up for August!
For now... It's official! Rydan is coming!!!
Book 1 of the Son of No Man was written over an 18 month period while I was in vet school. I assume my brain needed to push back against the enormous amount of memorization and studying. So, over five years, I wrote the entire series, starting with Rydan. I got to know Tohmas Galanth, the First King of Espar and his rather dubious upbringing. His was already a legend in Dragon's Talon and SoulBurner, but I had to go back to the beginning to see how he became the man who brought together Espar.
And the funny thing is that he did it for all the wrong reasons.
Check out RYDAN, releasing August 15th 2021 thanks to the awesome people at 4 Horsemen Publishing. Apparently, we'll be pounding the other five books out back to back to back, so it's going to be fast, furious, and fantastic!
I first met Leia Talon at a conference, where she stood out from the masses of excentric authors by wearing a spectacular green cloak. We chatted at meals, then went to the talks together, and found we had a lot in common with our styles, interests, and writing matter. Later, I was delighted to act as a beta reader for her, where I got to know her amazing characters and poetic style, which she weaves within narration seamlessly. She beautifully builds the kind of romances I enjoyed reading (to my surprise). Instead of the often-mind numbing smut out there, her tales were tender relationships. I envy her skill in telling tales of the heart!
When I read “Falling through the Weaving” I was already familiar with “Shelta’s Songbook”, so I felt like I knew Shelta a bit. I had been baffled by the mix of styles and time periods in the songbook, yet with reading “Falling”, it all became clear. A woman lost in the tempest of time, seeking control of her fate; I felt for Shelta and her plights. And, as a mother, I eagerly read Shelta’s passage into motherhood, something rarely depicted. Seeing Shelta with her child was genuine and pure, and something I related to easily.
I encourage people to take a look at “Falling through the Weaving” for an at-time heart-breaking, but soul-lifting time-travel fantasy full of music and love.
For beautiful art and poetry, check out Shelta’s Songbook too!
Poet. Musician. Lioness. Rebel. Leia Talon writes fantasy and sci-fi with romantic elements. Her lyrical style is influenced by a lifetime of turning emotions into poems and songs. Follow Leia’s blog for reviews, writing insights, and the latest on upcoming books: https://leiatalon.com/blog
We're gamers in this house.
Being a 'gamer' has a lot of different meanings these days, but most of them apply! I grew up as my brother's competition on a lowly Nintendo (original, and we had 2 games). He brought the first game console into our house, moving through Xboxes and PlayStations. Learned shooters and farming games. I ran with Mario. I flew with Spiro. On the computer, I was the master of Fury (a jet-fighter game) and I played through Diablo more times than I could count.
But more than any of these, we play games together on the dining room table .
Our family knew many card games, and we all played ramole on camping trips, betting with chips or piles of pennies. We have a cupboard of board games now. The picture above is the kid's smaller version.
Why games? It was where I learned about taking turns. I learned math playing cribbage with my parents. I learned strategy with my sister's chess board. And I learned about losing while playing games. My parents were not the kind who would let the child win. We lost a lot at first. I should have known my younger brother would be my better when, at the age of six, he beat me at chess.
But we learned by mimicking our opponent's strategies. We improved. We learned to be gracious victors.
And we came to see how all the skill in the world could be outdone by luck, yet skill paid off in the long run.
I had the chance to join a Dungeon & Dragons group in high school, and that taught me a lot. I became a Game master after that, where I organized the adventures and guided characters through. Those familiar with the game will know that 'guided' is used loosely; players have a tendency to run off in any and every direction EXCEPT the one a GM is trying to point them to. I learned improvisation. I figured out what people enjoyed in their stories, and when they got bored. I became a story teller.
Has it been a while? Is it time to pull out that deck of cards and find a friend to play?
It took a bit of elbow grease (and some helpful people down in the support community on Weebly) but I got it working!
As of now, when you sign up for the Newsletter, you immediately get access to a free anthology; four short stories from The World of Taint!
Check out the stories below, then click on the image to sign up and claim a copy!
Dragon Speaker (previously published in printed anthology Sooke Writes Again)
As Master Wizard Foran Kinotela prepares to embark upon a quest to save magic, he is the victim of a theft. Finding the stolen enchanted amulet is simple; it's around the thief's neck. But as he moves to take back his goods, the thief stumbles into a potential alliance for Foran's quest.
Will the dragons listen to him, or to the thief?
Someone (previously published in printed anthology Lucky Number seven)
Aleen took a chance and helped a stranger. But his presence upsets her world; her partner is now threatening her, they've found a theif among them, and she may attract the attention of the Lionians who rule Espar.
But now she doesn't want to let him leave.
Black Arrow (Soon-to-be published in printed anthology #8)
He was a slave with a single gift; the ability to read. When the right book falls into his hands, Maltor discovers a world unlike any he has known and begins to believe in something he had never before considered: Hope.
He will be a legend.
To Dream EXCLUSIVE: ONLY available through this offer:
Arekson is meant to be following the prescribed course of his life on Wanter; teaching magic. But rumors of a new kind of thinking drew him outside the polished existence he had believed in. The words spoken by the stranger threaten everything he thought he knew. Dare he risk it all for the chance to dream for himself?
D. Lambert, author
Fantasy novels that entice, inspire, and entertain.