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)

Strathcona County Library’s Comic Book!

ComicWant to have yourself immortalized in the first comic book to ever be set in Strathcona County? Then head here and see how!

From the Indiegogo page:

Drea Boyd is a nice girl, living in a nice suburb — and feeling pretty much disconnected from everything.She finds solace in books and escapes into a fantasy world she creates. There, she’s Boy — a tough, smart cowgirl living in 1910 Alberta.

You can follow the stories in the first edition of “A Cowgirl Named Boy”, a creative collaboration between writers Trent Wilkie and Natasha Deen, and illustrator Dan Schneider.

Just to make it more interesting, this is the first time — in recorded history — that a comic book has been set in Strathcona County, a place that’s celebrating its 120th anniversary this year. We’ve even giving the founding father — Lord Strathcona — a cameo.

You’re supporting the work of independent Alberta artists — and we’re prepared to make it worth your while.

Your dollars will go to the costs of illustration and printing for this limited-edition project. There will only be 250 copies of “A Cowgirl Named Boy” printed, and we plan to release the comic on a high-grade parchment-style paper with a full-color cover.

 

Writer in Residence Retrospective – Chris Craddock (2010)

Craddock_headshotChris graduated from the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting Program in 1996. Since then he has written or co-written over 20 plays for Fringe, Main-stage and TYA audiences, as well as 2 feature films. Chris has also written three musicals, two of which received commercial productions in major cities.

Some highlights include: BASH’d a gay rap opera, which played three months off-Broadway and is the recipient of a GLAAD award. BoyGroove, which received a six week commercial run in Toronto and a Dora Award. 3…2…1, which toured to the Magnetic North Festival in Ottawa 2006. The Pharmacist/La Pharmacien, a bilingual feature film written by and co-starring Craddock is currently in audio-post. “Summer of My Amazing Luck” (adapted by the novel of the same name by Miriam Toews) toured extensively in Canada and is being developed into a feature film by Merit Productions in Winnipeg. His hit solo show Moving Along has toured across Canada (presented by such companies as One Yellow Rabbit and Theatre Network) and was filmed for Bravo Television’s Singular Series.

Chris was Artistic Director of Azimuth Theatre from 2001 to 2005, and Artistic Director of Rapid Fire Theatre from 2005 to 2009.

Chris has been nominated for eighteen Sterling Awards and has won five. He is the recipient of the Alberta Book Award, and the Centennial Medal of Alberta for his contribution to the Arts.

From the EPL WiR Page

 

Natasha’s Sessions for September

September 10 ~ SCIF Writing My Story – EPL (Stanley Milner) 2:00 PM

Want to tell your story? Lead by local writer Natasha Deen, EPL’s Safe Communities Writing My Story creative writing workshop series is designed to assist participants with telling their story through writing. This program is funded by the Building Safe Communities Through Inclusive Learning Project. Program will be held on the 6th Floor, Room 5. For more information call 780-496-1827.

September 11 ~ Writing Workshop with Mary Pinkoski – Strathcona County Library, 7-8:30 PM

Join nationally-ranked Canadian Spoken Word Poet Mary Pinkoski for a spoken word workshop. Mary will work with participants to workshop a spoken word poem from its initial stages of writing into performance. (Participants are welcome to bring one poem of their own work, but it is not necessary.) Writers all levels and abilities are welcome and encouraged to attend. For a sample of Mary’s work visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8VVSHvPPQs

September 17 ~ SCIF Writing My Story – EPL (Stanley Milner) 2:00 PM

Want to tell your story? Lead by local writer Natasha Deen, EPL’s Safe Communities Writing My Story creative writing workshop series is designed to assist participants with telling their story through writing. This program is funded by the Building Safe Communities Through Inclusive Learning Project. Program will be held on the 6th Floor, Room 5. For more information call 780-496-1827.

September 19 ~ What’s a Query, Anyway? – Strathcona County Library, 7-8:30 PM

What are the Top Five Things editors and agents hate in a submission? Join Writer in Residence Natasha Deen and learn how to query like a pro!

September 24 ~ SCIF Writing My Story – EPL (Stanley Milner) 2:00 PM

Want to tell your story? Lead by local writer Natasha Deen, EPL’s Safe Communities Writing My Story creative writing workshop series is designed to assist participants with telling their story through writing. This program is funded by the Building Safe Communities Through Inclusive Learning Project. Program will be held on the 6th Floor, Room 5. For more information call 780-496-1827.

September 25 ~ Re-Edit – Strathcona County Library, 7-8:30 PM

You’ve written your book and it’s good…you think…. Join Writer in Residence Natasha and get some simple editing techniques that will take your story from good to great!

September 29 ~ Culture Days Event, Writing Workshop with Janice Mcdonald, St. Albert Library 9-12:00 PM

September 29 ~Culture Days Event, Writing Workshop with Marty Chan, Strathcona Public Library 12-2:00 PM

The Harvest Moon Poetry Walk

Thursday, September 19, 2013 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Louise McKinney Riverfront Park 9999 Grierson Hill NW Edmonton, AB T5J 2E7
Listen. Find ourselves beneath One Moon, Many Faces. “In a spirit of reverence, i brought you a teacup, large enough to hold the moon but “look” you said, and there it was,already cradled in your spoon. – Anna Marie Sewell

Please join us for the launch of our seasonal workshop series as we host a Harvest Moon Poetry Walk and Workshop in the heart of Edmonton at Louise…

Local comic book creativity a novel idea

By Trent Wilkie, Sherwood Park News
Monday, June 17, 2013

One of the perks of being a community journalist is that you get to meet people who, like yourself, are doing things because they love to.

It isn’t like people doing things they love is a rarity, but every once in a while an opportunity to work with like-minded people rears its head.

Such an occasion has happened recently with the Strathcona County Library, its writer in residence and a local comic book illustrator whose business attire is “cowboy casual.”

Sally Neal, the communications assistant at the library, and writer in residence Natasha Dean have constructed an idea where a local writer, namely me, and a local artist, namely Daniel Schneider of Smashed Head, combine our wiles in creating a comic book that is relevant to the community.

Read the full article here.

Guest Post – Alicia Dean

Horror…Gothic Mystery…Paranormal…Suspense…Thrillers –
How to distinguish between all the ‘creepy’ genres

I love the dark, spooky, edge of your seat creepy stuff. Love writing it, love reading it. But there are so many different categories and sub genres out there, it’s hard to keep track of what’s what. I am not an expert, and I do not have an official definition of each, but in my experience of reading/writing, I have come to some conclusions.

Horror – Normally involves monsters of all types, as far as the imagination can stretch. These stories are often gory, extremely frightening, and they definitely do not guarantee a Happily Ever After. They do not guarantee that the Protagonist will survive, but most of the time the monsters are defeated. Even if the MC (Main Character) has to sacrifice himself or herself in order to ‘win.’

Paranormal – Usually associated with a basic group of Supernatural creatures, i.e, Vampires, Werewolves, Shape Shifters, Demons, Zombies, Grim Reapers, etc. Most of the time, these stories have a romance element and usually, Good trumps Evil in the end. Although Good can often be the creatures themselves. (More often than not, a Supernatural creature is the MC).

Gothic Mystery – Are almost always set in a remote town, usually but not always a coastal town. They normally feature a young woman as the MC, one who is away from her family, or has no family (which is actually more common), and this MC travels to this spooky, faraway place. She always has a compelling reason to visit this strange land and always becomes involved in a mystery which puts her at risk. Oftentimes, she ends up having a connection to the town or a resident of the town. Sometimes, that is why she journeys there in the first place. Usually, she finds love, but that’s not a ‘must.’

Suspense – These stories are fast-paced and danger of some kind is normally the theme. Usually, the danger is personal, and it is to the MC and/or someone they love, rather than on the broader scope of a thriller. Oftentimes, the villain is known, it’s just a matter of catching them and/or surviving. Suspense stories can have romance, which would put them in the Romantic Suspense category, but it is not required.

Mystery – These are your basic ‘Whodunits.’ They are necessarily fast-paced but should be intriguing, compelling. Readers typically like to solve the mystery along with—or preferably before–the MC. A well-written mystery will not allow the reader to unravel the mystery/identify the bad guy with certainty, but the person who is ultimately the villain should probably have been one of the reader’s guesses. Not necessarily, but sometimes if the bad guy wasn’t on the reader’s radar, then the author is ‘cheating’ the reader by making the villain someone too unlikely. Enough clues should have been dropped along the way that, even if a reader doesn’t solve the mystery, once they learn the truth, they can say, “Ah, yeah. I should have figured that one out.” Again, romance can be a part of the story, but it’s not a must.

Thriller – These are basically like a suspense but are usually more fast-paced with higher stakes. They involve a broader scope of danger, such as to an entire community, or even an entire country. Thrillers are often International, and can take the MC, along with the reader, to all sorts of foreign, exotic places. Sometimes a relationship is a part of the story, but romance isn’t usually a focus. (Under the Thriller heading, there are various sub headings, such as, Crime thrillers, political, legal, psychological, etc.)

That is my interpretation of all these exciting and dangerous genres. I might not be 100 percent accurate, but it’s not all that important what you call them, as long as they keep you turning pages and make your heart beat just a little faster.

What is your favorite of the above genres? What is it that keeps you coming back to these kinds of stories?

Alicia Dean Tin Man ColorAlicia Dean lives in Edmond, Oklahoma and is the mother of three grown children. Alicia loves creating spine-chilling stories that keep readers on the edge of their seats. She writes paranormal and romantic suspense for several different publishers and is excited to be a launch author for Amazon’s Kindle Worlds with two Vampire Diaries stories and one Gossip Girl story.

 

Let the Fun Begin!!

Friday was the first official meeting to launch the comic book project with Strathcona Library! I’m so excited to be working with Sally (librarian), Trent Wilkie (Journalist Extraordinaire), & Dan Schneider (Amazing Illustrator) as we develop our comic book, A Cowgirl Named Boy.

Stay tuned for updates & keep Halloween open for our grand launch!

SCL Comic Book

L to R: Trent, Dan, Sally, and Natasha