Thursday, February 02, 2023

Heart Month and IWSG

 

In the shortest month of the year, time seems to have stood still just long enough for me to miss yesterday’s posting, yet again. And so I must start at the end of the IWSG list for the first time in seven years. I am very sad about this, but I have a great reason for being late, which I will share shortly. We are still in France. We leave later this month, and our last weeks here are already full. Luckily, we’ve had a few days to relax and recover from our latest adventure… being of help during the birth week of our new baby grandson! His name is Anael Gabriel Marcel, and is of course the most beautiful baby on earth. Holding him, being there when he and his lovely mother came home from the hospital was the greatest gift I’ve been given in a long time. Well, among all the other wonderful gifts I’ve received lately, Anael and his big brother Adel (3), are at the top of the list! We couldn’t be here in France when Adel was born, so being here for Anael’s birth made me cry, happy tears of course. I would post a photo of them, but their parents would prefer not me not to. So I, of course honor their wishes and indulge myself privately!

Link to trailer for Keep Breathing

https://youtu.be/pfhCEXLnQh8

As an author, I also wanted to write about a mini series, or limited series as Netflix calls them, “Keep Breathing”. Talk about insecurity. Talk about amazing writing. I wish I could write like this. It came out in July of last year but I’d never heard of it until two days ago. We binged it, with good reason. It is intense, beautiful, harsh, deep, profound, haunting, and as honest a portrayal of someone finding themselves as I’ve seen on TV. I highly recommend it. We finished it this afternoon and it lingers with you, I think because it touches on parts of all of us, experiences we may have had differently, but to which we can relate deeply. At least I did. I’d like to hear if you’ve seen it and what you thought…?

Please visit our IWSG co-hosts this month and thank them for co-hosting, even if you come at it late like me! Jacqui Murray, Ronel Janse Van Vuuren, Pat Garcia and, Gwen Gardner!

The question this month is: If you are an Indie author, do you make your own covers or purchase them? If you publish Trad, how much input do you have about what goes on your cover?

As an Indie author, I work with a graphic artist to create my covers. I tried making my own on my first published novel and later changed it because the second was soooo much better. Yes, I pay for it, but it is worth it. I want my novels to have the best covers I can provide (afford!), and I am not a graphic artist!

Happy Valentine’s Everyone! 




Monday, January 09, 2023

Still In France and Very Late for IWSG


 Happy New Year to All. I know it hasn’t been a great beginning for everyone. As always there seems to be a balance of wonderful and awful. I hope you had more of the former than the later over the holidays and the beginning of this new year. I’ve had both, but much more positive than not. We tend to rethink the year behind whenever we get a new one, and I haven’t so much as thought of the past year, but of what the future might hold. I have also spent some time just being where I am. Not dwelling on anything but the now. I am comfortable yet not quite “happy”? I think the recent past has made it “acceptable” to stay in my own little world, and I find I am missing contact with friends, the ones far away that I used to write to a lot. Because I’ve been traveling since November and missed sending out our usual Christmas/New Year letter, I feel even more out of touch than usual. And I missed posting for IWSG for December and January! So writing has definitely taken a back seat. After March I hope to be able to calm my head for awhile and spend some time writing letters and stories. I realize I’m also treating this blog more and more as a type of journal instead of a “marketing” tool. Perhaps that too, will change this year? I don’t know. I seem to be a bit lost in my head.
So, I will end this here. I will continue our travels and visits here in France and think about what comes next later. Here are a few photos of French beauty and age…


An ancient church in Toulouse, Notre-Dame de la Dalbade…

Known for its painted front…

Toulouse Tram tracks, Place de Justice…

A doorway completely covered in stickers and this was in the middle…

Another photo of previous church

A restaurant with a beautiful motif 

Me and JaiJai in St. Bertrand de Comminges in the Pyrénées…



Wednesday, November 02, 2022

November, Sorry I Missed October!

 

Fall this year has taken its time in coming, but has finally arrived. The colors, the coolness, and the soon to come time change all contribute to Autumn moving-into-winter. I've been traveling A LOT due to all sorts of reasons, but mostly taking care of family and seeing friends not seen since before the pandemic. I've shed tears seeing these dear folks, of happiness, and the fact we're all getting older. How many of us will be here in the near or far future? It's a sad thought, but also galvanizing.

I wrote while on the road and it was another long lost friend regained. The novel is progressing. We travel again soon, and won't be home for months. Luckily our son will be staying in our house. I will have time to write again and I look forward to the time I'll spend with the characters. I hope to do them justice with new inspiration.

Our IWSG co-hosts this month are the wonderful and daring: 

Diedre Knight, Douglas Thomas Greening, Nick Wilford, and Diane Burton!!!! 

Please drop by their blogs and thank them for their service this month!

The IWSG question this month is: November is National Novel Writing Month. 

Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

Yes I have a few times and written either first drafts or completed novels already started. It was an amazing experience every time I did it. I'll be participating in my own way this year, just not in November. I'm planning on Do-It-In-December this year! What are you working on this month?

Halloween decorations on our street

Old Man's Cave Park in Hocking Hills, Ohio

My husband enjoying our first back yard fire of the season


Wednesday, September 07, 2022

September Healing And IWSG

 

Hello and welcome to September’s post, including for IWSG. https://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

I have so many things I want to write about today, and none of them have to do with my current wip. That being said, I will only write about one thing at a time and space things out over a couple of posts. 


Boney and (my husband) Geoffrey in France.

I wrote in April about losing our little furry love Boney, short for Bonaparte. Four months later, after looking all over (on the internet) for a new little love, I found one and he is a literal dream come true. Meaning, I found him, applied (he is a rescue!) and set the appointment up to meet him. This was beginning of August. Then my “other” father was hospitalized and diagnosed for bypass surgery (Eyes bugged out at this news). I wrote to inform the shelter (Kind Hands 4 Paws in Zanesville, Ohio) that we’d have to either postpone or cancel the appointment because we needed to leave almost immediately to go help my mother during my father’s recovery in North Carolina. She wrote back completely understanding the situation. While in NC, about two weeks later, I dreamed about the little one I’d found, then named “Jack Jack”. Out of ALL the dogs/puppies I’d looked at and applied for, this one came to me in a dream. When I woke up I immediately emailed the lady, Becki, to ask if he was still available. I cried when she responded “yes.” That morning when I went down stairs to tell my mother I tried to look him up again to read to my mother what his description was, only to find he was “no longer available.” I was shocked and couldn’t understand since it had only been half an hour or so since I’d received her response. I called. I emailed again. That afternoon I called again. I never heard back and was beginning to despair. The next morning she called to explain why she hadn’t been able to respond to me the day before. Whew! She was sooo nice and apologetic and she’d had to take a day off for personal reasons, but she asked first about how my father was (he’s doing REALLY well after a quadruple bypass!!!) and said that she’d loved my application so much that she had taken Jack Jack off the site… after I’d had to cancel! Two weeks ago! I cried again. We set up a new appointment, and on September 1st, she brought “JaiJai” to our house in Columbus. We’d already named him! He started as he meant to continue, friendly, curious, loving and affectionate. We stayed home three days then left again for NC for another week to be sure my parents were up to us not being with them anymore. JaiJai is adapting to us as we are adapting to him. He is a joy and delight and we feel so very lucky. I am glad I listened to my dream self and didn’t let him go. He is perfect for us, helping heal the hole in our hearts left by Boney, and filling it with love and wonder again.

There is a lot more to JaiJai’s story, but this is enough to read on a blog post! Finding true companionship is such a blessing. I wanted to share this with you hoping you too, have experienced listening to your heart and finding a beautiful story that heals you.


Our IWSG co-hosts today are: http://kimlajevardi.com/http://cathrinaconstantine.blogspot.com/http://www.literaryrambles.com/http://www.writer-in-transit.co.za/https://selkiegrey4.blogspot.com/

Please visit their sites and thank them for helping us all out!

And here is little JaiJai (JJ)…








Wednesday, August 03, 2022

The Heat Did Not Wait For August

 

 IWSG

So, today's post is a bit different, and yet pertains to all artists of any medium and their struggles. I recently read the actress Viola Davis' memoir "Finding Me." She dives right in and gives raw, passionate, desperate descriptions of the life she has led. I felt uncomfortable in the first few chapters, but each time I thought to put the book down, I picked it back up and did what she wanted me to do. I dived in and swam right along with her. Her story is of course courageous, loving, and again, raw. Her life is not sugar coated and her story all the more touching for her honesty. What amazed and inspired me was this painful honesty and her true, deep modesty. She inspires the true meaning of freedom and the responsibility for that freedom, hard-earned and well deserved. She was born into the same country I was, but her story is vastly different from mine. She took responsibility at an early age to be the best that she could be in a world that stood against her. She also presents a lesson to me as a writer that goes very well with the question of the month in August. "...do you try to be original, or do you write what readers want to read?" Viola Davis' story is this question: Do you be original or give what you think your audience wants? "Finding Me," her answer to that question, is a compassionate, sharp, no nonsense read.



  

August 3 question: When you set out to write a story, do you try to be original or do you try to give readers what (you think) they want?

I start out writing what I want to write. Once I get the first draft down and am revising, I often change things that little voices in my head (and not the ones I should be listening to, as in, my characters) tell me will make readers like it better. Then I have to go back and weed some of those nasties out and go for what my characters tell me they want/need to do as best I can. This little balancing game drives me mad. Reading Viola's story has made me re-think what I'm going to do next...

Please visit our IWSG co-hosts this month and thank them for helping out!

Loni Townsend, https://www.lonitownsend.com/

Lee Lowery, http://leelowery.com

Tara Tyler, http://taratylertalks.blogspot.com/

And Me!