Wednesday, May 03, 2023

May Brings Rain and IWSG


Hello Everyone. I hope you are enjoying spring weather! We are off and on. The last week has been mostly rain, which my garden is grateful for. 

From my garden, anemones

I have three new adventures in writing that I'd like to share, for the first time in a long time. And I apologize in advance for this post being so long.

The first is I'm judging again for a well known writer's contest. Not only am I happy for this, because it's helping me appreciate writing again, but I'm also happy because it's testing my boundaries. They've asked me to judge genres I don't usually judge, because they thought I was a good enough writer to do well with the task. I was floored. Totally unexpected compliment, which made me almost cry. The person who asked me to do it I hold in very high esteem, so for them to think I could handle this was a bit overwhelming. I feel very honored by them thinking of me. 

The second is I'm meeting on Friday with three people who voice for audio books! I don't as yet know if I can afford them or not, but I'm excited to even think of the prospect of having my books turned into audio books! It will be a steep learning curve for me, I'm sure, but I'm willing to learn. 

The third is a realization of what possibly might be the biggest obstacle (apart from writing for money only, as I've mentioned before) to my continuing to write. My father. In the beginning he was my biggest reason for writing, my biggest fan, my inspiration for wanting to become an author. It was his dream to be an author. He wrote five novels and tons of poetry, only to find no home but his for all his work. To this day it sits in my sister's attic in boxes. I have written five novels but not tons of poetry. When did my journey turn from his being my inspiration to me following in his footsteps? I don't know, but I do know I don't want to write "because" of his dream anymore. I want to allow my own dream to be what motivates me, spurs me on to be the best writer I can be. This is new for me and I'm grieving over realizing this revelation. Yet I am also happy to realize I need to follow my own path for my own reasons, not his.

To me, this is the beginning of falling in love with my stories again. To me, I'm nervous, yet it's a nervous excitement at the prospect of finishing my current work in progress. For once, I'm happy to feel this way and not down in the dumps for not writing. Thank you for reading this far. 

Please go and visit our wonderful IWSG co-hosts this month, 

Joylene Nowell Butler, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Meka James, Victoria Marie Lees, 

and M Louise Barbour!

May 3 question: When you are working on a story, what inspires you?

Music. Quite simply finding a tune or song that gives shape to a scene I'm working on is amazing and feels like it cements the vision of the scene in my brain. Then I have to work to get that scene on paper, but the visual is always there helping. If I need to refresh, I listen to the tune again! Though I have had inspiration from other sources, music is a first one for me.

Happy May!

Tuesday, April 04, 2023

April Is Host To The A-to-Z Blogging Challenge!


Although I'm not participating in the A to Z Challenge this year, I still want to give a shout out to those who are and wish them good luck and interesting blog posts to read!

A to Z Challenge

I've done the challenge quite a few times. It is a real challenge, but so fun and there are so many blogs that participate in all kinds of areas, not just writing blogs. This year, so far, there are 232 blogs signed up. 

The sign-up will close on April 9th, so if you want to participate, get on over there and sign up at

A lot of us here on IWSG also post there. This is how I found it years ago. I love the idea behind it and the man who started it, Arlee Bird, has put heart and soul into it much as our Fearless Ninja has at IWSG.

As long as you're running around blogs, please make sure to visit our wonderful co-hosts and thank them for their dedication to IWSG, Jemima Pett, Nancy Gideon, and Natalie Aguirre!

April 5 question - Do you remember writing your first book? What were your thoughts about a career path on writing? Where are you now and how is it working out for you? If you're at the start of the journey, what are your goals?

Yes, I remember writing my first novel! I wanted to make a living at it. That has not happened for me and it killed my love of writing for quite awhile. I'm hoping that will change this year. I want to love to write again. I want to create and meet new characters. I want to LOVE the words again.
So, that's what I'm working on this year...

Pretty images from our daughter's wedding...!

Wednesday, March 01, 2023

March-ing Into Spring IWSG



Onward into March. Today I sit thinking about writing. About what it used to mean to me. Does it still feed my soul the way it used to? Is it still "worth" doing? Was it really all about money and not about who I want to be/what I want to do? Doubt is rising like the sun this morning and there are no clouds masking it from my sight. Do I want to write anymore? 

So far, life outside of writing has been so incredibly interesting and mostly fulfilling lately that I really don't know the answer to these questions. There is a hole in my soul. I'm not sure writing fills it anymore. And yet the thought of not writing; I'm always thinking, "when I get back to writing I will...", is daunting. Writing has been so much a part of my life for so very long that I don't know how to think about not doing it. Procrastination has taken the place of my love for writing. I feel like I'm whining, "It's sooooo hard," and that is true at times. Then I go into the downward spiral of "I don't want to market my work. I want someone else to do that part. It's so expensive." Poor me. I'm having a pity party. 

All these thoughts spin me around like I'm on a merry-go-round, but it's not nearly as fun. So, after my daughter's wedding in 17 days (which I am hugely excited about!), I will sit down with myself and make a decision about what I want to do with my life and my writing. 

Anyone else feeling like this? Any advice for this "mid-life writing crisis?"

I'm skipping the IWSG question this month and going straight to...

Please visit our co-hosts for this month and remember to thank them! 

Diedre Knight, Tonya DreckerBish Denham,Olga Godim, and... JQ Rose!

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

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…