brittni in ink

Author of The Patch Project and A Place That Used to Be

Tag: holiday

some moments of rest and joy

How’s 2022 so far? I keep writing “2021” when I’m dating things – that’s normal right? Time is even more wonky this year. In any case, hope you all had a gentle and lovely holiday.

We were very lucky to spend a couple days with family, and to visit my favourite place in the world – the ocean! I’ve now been to the Northumberland Strait in every season, and will be writing a short addition to my Notes at Low Tide blog about that experience. For now, I’ll just say it was very cold, and very wonderful.

Happy to be visiting my favourite ocean (don’t tell the Pacific)

After relaxing so much, I was excited to get back to writing! I tweaked an older manuscript to submit to an open call with a big publisher, did a beta read of Ben’s thrilling new novella, and got a rejection from a horror magazine. But I’m not letting it get to me. Book Three of the Patch Project series is filling out to be a mid-sized novel featuring some simply devastating encounters, but also some moments of rest and joy. Writing about the future, there’s gotta be some hope!

Speaking of, I started reading a fantastic collection of essays: An Ecotopian Lexicon mindfully borrows words from other languages, fields, and genres to help us imagine a better future and a better relationship with our planet. A few essays in, and already my mind is being blown. As someone finishing up a post-apocalyptic series, it’s causing me to reassess how I use the genre: do I challenge or support the tropes we’ve come to expect from such books? Are there ways I can highlight community more through my writing, portraying mutual aid and environmental themes with hopeful solidarity?

My first read of 2022: An Ecotopian Lexicon!

I’m hoping to be better at sharing what I’m reading this year and keeping my Goodreads list updated! What’s your first read of 2022?

Wishing you all the best for a new year!

holiday offer

Announcing a special holiday offer! It’s my first winter on the east coast, and so I wanted to do a little something to thank the folks who buy my books from near and far away! The offer is this: order a copy of A Place That Used to Be from me, and receive a photo for free!

Pictured above: Order a copy of A Place That Used to Be and receive one of these photo prints free!

What’s so special about a photo, you may ask. Well, the photos are part of a series directly inspired by the novel, and were taken by the incredible Sarah Kivell. She takes these amazing, dreamy film photos of everyday things and people, capturing stories with her camera. If you want to see the kind of work she does, check out her Instagram – I believe she even has a sale on some of her photos at the moment!

Here are all the details about this offer:

What: Order a copy of A Place That Used to Be directly from me (message me through my Facebook or website) and receive a free photo inspired by the book!

When: November 26, 2021 to January 5, 2022 (or as long as the limited supply lasts!)

Where: Anywhere! Shipping cost dependent on where you’d like the book sent.

How much: The book is $15, the photo is free, and shipping is $4 in Canada.

And there you have it! If you have any questions, let me know. To stay up to date with upcoming offers and events, follow me on Facebook or YouTube. Thanks, and take care!

The book, the photos, and some holiday cheer!

chapter 1

After the word-writing frenzy of National Novel Writing Month in November, I took a week off to recharge and do all the things I put off while working on my NaNoWriMo project. But now, I’m back, and am super excited to share the first chapter of my novel, The Patch Project, with you!

[Image description: A hand holds a book in front of a festive wreath. The book cover features a forest half-obscured by fog and reads “The Patch Project, Brittni Brinn.”]

The Patch Project is a character-driven post-apocalyptic novel about five survivors who develop strange powers in the wake of a mysterious global event. It was originally published in 2018, and a revised edition was just released from Adventure Worlds Press.

The story begins on a quiet Christmas Day…

Chapter 1: Candles

” May was leaning against the kitchen sink, staring through the broken glass window. Her hands, still wrapped in strips of cloth, held a chipped porcelain mug to her chin as a faint whisper of mint wound its way around her face. As far as she could figure, they had enough tea to last a month, maybe two if they re-steeped the used tea bags. After that, they could mix the herbs into rice, use the filters for fuel. They had to keep everything now.

Isak stole in behind her, his arms warm around her midsection, his chin digging pleasantly into her shoulder. He saw what she did: a dull copper plain under a slate sky with nothing else for miles.

“Hey,” he said, rubbing her pale cheek with his dusky one. “Know what today is?”

“The end,” she replied, leaning away to sip at the weak tea. It loosened her throat, and she cleared it with a tense cough. Isak remained silent. She returned her attention to the dreary panorama that had once featured a fenced-off soccer field ringed with houses. 

“Happy Christmas.” He slipped something into the pocket of her cardigan as his arms vaporized into air. A couple seconds later she heard him appear in the living room with a gasp as his body settled into the back of the couch.

“I didn’t think it mattered anymore,” she said loudly enough, but he didn’t reply. Placing the mug on the counter, she reached up a bandaged hand to trace the hole in the glass. Through it, the sky was solid cloud, as if bolt after bolt of gauze had been draped over them; there had been no other sky, not for months. Not since that day. “

(Excerpt from The Patch Project by Brittni Brinn, 2020)

You can hear the rest of the first chapter over on my YouTube channel. If you’d like to read more, I have signed copies available or you can pick up a copy through Amazon.

Wishing you all a safe and peaceful holiday season!

most wonderful time

It seems like the holidays are happening earlier this year as we all look for ways to make this current global season a little bit brighter! Christmas lights are going up, carols are playing in the grocery store, and masks are starting to sport festive patterns. Calls to shop local and support small businesses are ringing loud and clear all over social media.

If you know a person who makes things and sells them, consider supporting them this season! If you have a favourite local shop, consider picking up something – many places have curbside pick-up or delivery options available. There are also many free ways to support local artists and businesses alike! Share their work on social media (make sure you tag them!), leave a review online, or send them an encouraging message!

What are some of your favourite local businesses? Do you have a local artist or creator to recommend? Let’s share our resources and support in the ways that we can so this can be a wonderful time in a year that really needs some holiday cheer.

grand adventure

Oh where to start! I feel like this month has flown by – at the same time, how is it December already?

The Fall Book Crawl (November 23, 2019) was a grand adventure. Fellow author Ben Van Dongen gave my husband and I a ride to the Tecumseh library – quite a trek, if you know the area! Fellow author Christian Laforet lent me a table to set up my books and such – everyone liked the open suitcase look: if an apocalypse hit, I could sweep everything into it and be on my way. The library was enthusiastic about having eleven authors set up in their community room. Fellow author Tim Gabrielle, the mover behind the operation, had his hands full with last minute questions like are there plates for the cookies, and where should the snack table go. It’s no small feat to organize space for ten other people, most of who you’ve only just met!

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The Fall Book Crawl Authors! (Photo from Tecumseh Library)

Spending the afternoon with authors and readers was life-giving. Some friends dropped by, and my husband brought me cookies and coffee and took care of my stuff when I wandered around. The only down side of the day was that I did not sell any books. This wasn’t an optimal outcome, but hey, that’s show biz. I’m not a great self-marketer, and when I meet people at events I don’t immediately hand them my business card. I have a lot to learn in terms of how to sell books, and some great local examples to learn from (like the authors at the Book Crawl, for example!). So my goal for 2020 is to be a better author, in all of the facets of what that means.

Ultimately, that means writing books, right? NaNoWriMo went well for a week and then I had a week from hell (in terms of word count), and after that, I just didn’t have the energy to catch up. I did manage to reach around 17 000 words, which is a great start for when I go back to the manuscript. It’s a space opera, and I love the characters. For all of the writer’s angst, it was an enjoyable month playing around in a genre I don’t write in very much.

And now that life is getting back into a rhythm and holiday times are coming up, I finally feel ready to return to my novel manuscript. I finished a first draft this summer, had a fantastic discussion with my editor/friend about it, fellow author Hanan Hazime, and am now preparing for draft two edits. It’s a little overwhelming? I have notes from my writing group to go through, Hanan’s edits to implement, and whole scenes to add. But I really think this book is something special. That’s what’s so exciting (and terrifying) about it.

Been reading some Madeline L’Engle this month too, her memoir/ book about writing called A Circle of Quiet. A Wrinkle in Time and one of its sequels A Wind in the Door are two books that speak to deep places in my life. They remind me of this quote from her:

“A book, too, can be a star, explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.” – Madeleine L’Engle

 

festive times

It’s the last Patch Project appearance of 2018! I’ll be running a vendor table at The Green Bean Festive Market, happening this Saturday, December 8th from 11:00 – 5:00 pm. Drop by, say hi, and enter the free draw for a chance to win a signed copy of The Patch Project!

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There will be buttons and copies of “Showing Her Teeth” as well as copies of The Patch Project available for purchase. Plus, a ton of amazing local creators and crafters are going to be there!

After Saturday wraps up, I’ll be taking a break from events for the holidays. I’ve set a deadline for editing the sequel to The Patch Project – final draft by the end of February! – which is exciting! It’s been a different kind of writing process from the first book, which I may consider posting about in the new year. I’ve also been more intentional about reading lately, and am working on getting the last book of Ursula K. LeGuin’s incredible Earthsea cycle. It amazes me that I’d gone so long without reading them!

I’ll be back next week to announce the winner of The Patch Project holiday draw!

 

Are you taking a break for the holidays? Or is it a more productive time of year for you creatively?