About Natasha Deen

Quietly biding my time until the day I learn how to hone being a klutz into a super power, I combat writer's block by singing opera to the cats & dogs. Follow me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/natasha.deen.9) & Twitter (https://twitter.com/natasha_deen)

Writer in Residence Retrospective – Marilyn Dumont (2008) & Helen Forrester (1991)

marilyn dumontMarilyn is an award-winning local writer who has published three collections of poetry, and whose work has been widely published in Canadian literary anthologies. Most recently, she helped create an impressive multimedia project – Honour Songs – paying tribute to Aboriginal women during the Edmonton Poetry Festival.

 

 

 

Helen-Forrester-007Helen Forrester was the pen name of June Bhatia (née Huband). She was the author of more than 15 books, including “Twopence to Cross the Mersey,” which was turned into a musical. She passed away in 2011.

Natasha’s Sessions for November

November 1 ~ NaNoWriMo Launch – Stanley Milner Library, 7:00-8:30 PM

Join me and Omar Mouellum for a fun night of writing games, prizes, and tips and tricks to help you celebrate National Novel Writing Month — writing a book in a month!

November 5 ~ NaNoWriMo  Writing –  Strathcona County Library, 7:00-8:30 PM

Join Natasha Deen for a fun night of writing games, prizes, and tips and tricks to help you celebrate National Novel Writing Month — writing a book in a month!

November 6 ~ NaNoWriMo  Writing –  Fort Saskatchewan Library, 7:00-8:30 PM

Join Natasha Deen for a fun night of writing games, prizes, and tips and tricks to help you celebrate National Novel Writing Month — writing a book in a month!

November 12 ~ NaNoWriMo  Writing –  St. Albert Public Library, 7:00-8:30 PM

Join Natasha Deen for a fun night of writing games, prizes, and tips and tricks to help you celebrate National Novel Writing Month — writing a book in a month!

November 13 ~ DIY Publishing – Fort Saskatchewan Library, 7:00-8:30 PM

Agencies are now publishing authors as well as representing them, publishing houses are closing their doors.  In the current volatile climate of the writing industry, is it better to publish independently or should you go the traditional route? Join Writer in Residence Natasha Deen for a discussion of traditional and non-traditional publishing options, and find the one that suits you best.

November 14 ~ Leduc Writing Workshop, 7:00-8:30 PM

Join Writer in Residence Natasha Deen for a fun, relaxed night of how to survive and thrive in the writing industry.

November 16 – 17~ Pure Speculation Conference – Ramada Inn

Currently in our eighth year, PURE SPECULATION is a friendly little SF&F festival in Edmonton, AB, Canada held every fall. We give the geeks of Edmonton a chance to celebrate their passion with a weekend packed with authors, panels, merchants, costumes, games, and demonstrations.

November 19 ~ Tell Me a Story – Fort Saskatchewan Library, 7:00-8:30 PM

So, you want to write a novel, and you know…well, you know there’s a beginning, a middle, and an end, but that’s about it. Join Writer in Residence Natasha Deen as she breaks down the story format, genre writing, and what (if any) formula exists for writing the next great book.

November 26 ~ Character Development – Fort Saskatchewan Library 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Readers will forgive many things, from mediocre description to patchwork plots, but they don’t forgive forgettable, boring characters. Join Writer in Residence Natasha Deen and learn not only how to create realistic, interesting characters but find out how knowing character construction can help you find your own happy ending.

November 27 ~ Then the Craziest Thing Happened! – Fort Saskatchewan Library, 7:00-8:30 PM

Plot, it’s the engine that drives your story, it’s the stuff that leaves your reader on the edge of their seat (or forgetting about their train stop!), but how do you create that compelling outline? Join Writer in Residence Natasha Deen and learn simple techniques for plotting your story and painless ways to get from the beginning to end.

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Events Going on in #YEG

Things going on in Edmonton & surrounding area this week: TheYouthWrite spectacular Spooktacular runs on October 19th, at Holy Trinity Church, 7:00 PM, head to youthwrite.com for more information!

Also, don’t forget, Cassie Stocks will be at Strathcona County Library on Wednesday October 16th, 7:00 PM, and will be chatting with me about writing comedy, winning the Stephen Leacock award, and dancing ghosts!

October Book Draw!

Just in time for November & NaNoWriMo, two non-fiction books to help your motivation and your writing!

IMG_1378Obstacles and roadblocks can detour us on the way to success, or even prevent us from getting there at all. GPS Your Best Life helps you determine where you are now, and, through practical strategies and assessments, helps you clarify what you want in your personal and career life, and shows you how to expertly navigate through hidden fears and procrastination so as to get on the road to success now!

 

 

 

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Ever wanted to write or illustrate a children’s book and have no idea where to begin or where go seek publication?

This handbook for new and aspiring children’s authors and illustrators is the ultimate guide to the whole process of writing your book and getting it to the publisher. Written in clear and expert prose by Peter Carver, one of North America’s leading children’s book editors, this book will show you how to begin, how to develop the story, how to speak to your audience, and how to refine the work for publication. Peter does not beat around the bush:  Wring a children’s book is hard but rewarding work that requires the kinds of skill and dedication you can develop from the wisdom and guidance found in these pages.

To enter the draw, email your name to regionalwir (at) gmail.com, or stick it in the designated boxes at the EPL/St. Albert/Fort Saskatchewan/Strathcona Library. Winner will be announced on November 15th and will have a month to collect the items from the library. If they don’t collect the books by December 15th, the prizes will go to the next name drawn.

PLEASE NOTE: You do NOT have to enter the writing prompt to be entered in the draw. However, those who submit a writing prompt will be automatically entered to win.

October Writing Prompt

A special writing prompt this month–from your neighbours in Strathcona County!  On September 15th, as part of Neighbour Day, there was a community story. Everyone added a sentence or two.

Can you figure out how the story should end? (story copied and pasted as it was written)

On the morning that everything changed, I stepped out my front door to get the papers. There on my lawn was my neighbour and he was doing the CRAZIEST thing…

He was mowing my lawn.  It was as though he didn’t even know there was a bird sitting on his head. And the bird made a nest on his big, bald head. Then it laid an egg.  Soon after a squirrel came along….The squirrel took the egg.  He took the egg to his home and cooked it making bird soup. Oh that’s a silly squirrel, squirrels don’t eat birds, they eat bacon!

The bird was very upset for that was her egg, her baby. The squirrel was out of line. The bird then went to the local neighborhood community league to make her grievance. The neighborhood told her to take her problems to court; so off she went. She was one angry bird, the judge ruled in her favor and the squirrel was very scared!  The raccoons and the magpies were all on the squirrel’s side and they talked to the squirrel and said that she should try for an appeal. The squirrel was going nuts!

The raccoons and magpies tried to think of something nice that they could do to help the squirrel feel better.  They were sad that she was sad.  They decided to gather some acorns for the squirrel and her family.  So, they all got together in the park and tried to find as many acorns as they could… So the magpie started looking and looking for some nuts for the squirrel, then…..all of a sudden…..another neighbor popped his head out the front door and he was doing the craziest thing…. talking to his daughter Hannah whose best friend is Megan. Then the neighbor’s dog started barking and barking which woke up the newborn baby.  He was running around bumping into trees.  When he was bumping into trees he knocked out his cat.  The cat was not happy so he ran up his back. Hannah and Megan went to meet their two best friends, Cara and Jasmin, at the mall. They all went shopping and had lots of fun! but then the squid and the cat ate each other, then killed joe.  Thunder roared, and lightning split the sky.  It poured magic rain that brought everyone back to life: the cat, the squid, and the baby bird! The animals all got together and threw a party! The party got too crazy and the cops came. They saw that the party was so fun that they joined in.  The firemen were enjoying their naps and potluck dinner when the bell rang. Off they went to see what the commotion was about. They came up the street and saw why they were called… one of the cops heads were on fire!!!  The firemen jumped into action and got out their extinguisher and sprayed the cops head.  The cop said thank you and went back to partying.  The firemen were about to leave when they heard polka music coming from the house.  They suddenly found themselves dancing to it for the rest of the night.  The next day everyone was passed out on the floor from too much partying. The firemen got up and went into the kitchen to make some breakfast.  They had fun.  The next day a little bird came out of his home in a hollow tree. There was a woodpecker sitting on a branch and a squirrel searching for nuts. After the squirrel was done he came down through a hole on one side of the tree. He saw a hawk flying in circles then it shot down it was heading towards him. The squirrel leaped to another tree and threw nuts at it. The hawk swooped down at it again. Then before it came the woodpecker came down and picked the squirrel up with its claws. The squirrel was riding on the back of the bird. They could see all over Sherwood Forest. The houses, the people, the shops and the schools. The squirrel jumped off when they found a good place to play. The squirrel then started to climb a nearby tree to collect some nuts for the winter, it was already autumn and the squirrel hadn’t collected any nuts. About an hour had passed and the squirrel had collected only 20 nuts, “Geez collecting nuts is nutty”.

Soon, the squirrel stumbled upon a farm where there was a whole bunch of nuts.

“This is nut paradise!”

He jumped into the barrel of nuts and almost drowned in all of the nuts.

Soon, the owner of the farm house looked into the barrel and found the fat squirrel and all of his nuts were gone! Now the very fat squirrel panicked and scampered around the barrel as the farmer tried to swoop him into a net! The farmer ran back to his tractor and started driving it toward it.

The squirrel scrambled across the field. He had to dodge all the cows roaming around. He climbed into a gopher hole to hide. The farmer went back to his farm and went back to work. In the hole the squirrel found a gopher. They became friends and had a PARTY!!!!  Then a rabbit came over to join them.  It really was a hoppin’ good time!

I have a beautiful brown rabbit living next to my car under a spruce tree.  My Japanese friend told me years ago, that to see a rabbit is good luck.  So each morning I make sure  he/she is fed. One day, I went outside, I couldn’t see the rabbit, but when I got to the grocery store, it was in my car!

 

 

Workshops with Natasha

Title: Blogging Workshop with Natasha Deen
Date: Thursday October 10 2013, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Training Room
Description: What’s blogging and how can it help your business, writing, and family? Join Writer in Residence Natasha Deen for a hands-on demonstration of setting up and using a blog. Space is limited, so please register by calling 780-459-1682 or at the Information Desk on the 2nd floor of the library.

Title: Comedy Workshop – You Think That’s Funny?
Date: Wednesday Oct 9, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Location: Meeting Room 5
Description: Writer in Residence Natasha Deen will break down the elements of comedy writing and show you how to put the ha-ha-ha in your happy endings.
Register online, in person or call 780-410-8600

Martyn Godfrey Young Writers Award

From the YABS website:

We know a lot of awesome young writers and comedic kids. We think they deserve a little extra recognition, and the Servus Credit Union Martyn Godfrey Award is just the thing! This is an annual, juried contest open to all Albertan students in grades 4 through 9. Students are invited to submit their best funny, silly, or playful short story (500-1500 words) or short tale told in a graphic novel format.

Is there a prize?

You bet! There will be two Grand Prizes, one for Grades 4-6 and one for Grades 7-9. The Grand Prize winners will each receive an author visit for their schools, a collection of books by YABS authors and a new e-reader! Runners up will win books by YABS authors.

The contest opens August 1, 2013 and closes January 6, 2014, but send your entries early and you’ll be entered in a monthly draw for a book prize! At the end of each month, we’ll draw from the entries received so far. The earlier you enter, the more chances you have to win a book!

For more information, head here

Upcoming Workshops

September 29 ~ Culture Days Event, Writing Workshop with Janice Macdonald, St. Albert Library 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Local mystery author, Janice MacDonald, joins our regional writer-in-residence, Natasha Deen, for a full-morning writing workshop. Janice is best know for her Edmonton-set novels featuring amateur sleuth, Miranda “Randy” Craig. Explore all aspects of writing–plot, story, characters—as well as hints about publishing and making a living as a writer with Janice and Natasha. Please register for this free event by calling 780-459-1682 or at the Information Desk on the 2nd floor of the library.

September 29 ~Culture Days Event, Writing Workshop with Marty Chan, Strathcona Public Library 1:00 – 3:30 PM

Through personal anecdotes and interactive exercises, Marty Chan will reveal the secrets of writing well. He’ll explain the general differences between writing fiction, theatre and film; and, using simple techniques, he’ll break down the mystical art of writing into practical, easy-to-apply concepts. No need to bring existing writing, but be prepared to create some stories on the spot! Sun Sep 29, 1:00pm – 3:30pm, Rooms 3-4. Register online, in person or call 780-410-8600

October 16 ~ Talk, Cassie, Talk! ~ Strathcona Country Library, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Join Stephen Leacock Award winner Cassie Stocks and Writer in Residence Natasha Deen for a hilarious and informative foray into the world of comedy writing, check-out aisles, and dancing ghosts. Register online, in person or call 780-410-8600.

Book Draw!

From now until October 15th, enter to win two fabulous books!

In a small Catskill Mountain town, someone is murdering her patients. Physician’s Assistant Annie Wolfe prays for someone, anyone, to stop the violence. After New York state police Captain Ronen Marvelic is assigned to the investigation, Annie soon learns that wishes, while coming true, can backfire. In more ways than one.

 

 

I was smarter. I was always smarter. A little cut-cut, drip-drip, blood saved and sprinkled.

Stuck in Yellowknife with her crazy grandmother, AJ is one angry girl. She’s lonely, too, and her blog has become her main source of contact with the world. It is there she reveals her innermost hurts—the absence of her mother, who has gone back to school; and of her father, who abandoned AJ when she was just a little girl; and the moving around she and her mother have had to do every few years for reasons she has never understood. And recently, she’s begun to cut herself—a powerful habit and shame she is trying to overcome.

Then a festival is held in Yellowknife, and AJ is befriended by a travelling musician, a man to whom she finds herself instantly drawn. Soon, she realizes that he may be her father.

Or is he?

Anita Daher’s chilling new novel will grip you completely from beginning to shocking end.

To enter the draw, email your name to regionalwir (at) gmail.com, or stick it in the designated boxes at the EPL/St. Albert/Fort Saskatchewan/Strathcona Library. Winner will be announced on October 15th and will have a month to collect the items from St. Albert Library. If they don’t collect the books by November 15th, the prizes will go to the next name drawn.

PLEASE NOTE: You do NOT have to enter the writing prompt to be entered in the draw. However, those who submit a writing prompt will be automatically entered to win.