Showing posts with label author. Show all posts
Showing posts with label author. Show all posts

Saturday, June 6, 2009

LIfe gets in the way...

I was on a roll! I think I need a clone. Just when things start speeding along, falling into place, the wall comes up. This time it's life instead of brain fog, but it's halting just the same.

I suppose if you visit my other blogs you will understand why I'm not finding enough time to write. Some day I will be a famous author and I will sit in the shade, tapping the keys, sipping iced tea... while the pool boy cleans, the gardener weeds, and the landscaper studies my layouts. But then again, I would surely miss that part of my life just as much.

Sometimes I feel like I'm living two separate lives; There's a life with Liz, inside her twisted mind, and there's the life with my real family. Is it strange to say I think I'm as close to one as I am the other? I know I've created the one, just a figment of my imagination. I'm not as crazy as I let on... But still, I have history with her.

I grieved with Liz when it surfaced about... (oh, wait a minute... I can't tell you about that yet) I paced with her sister in the surgery waiting room. I was thrilled for her when she made the escape! How can I set her aside and go plant perennials? Well, she is a wonderful person. I'm sure she understands.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Feelings stirring inside...

Ah, sweet love! Romance novels... Most ladies have read at least one or two. Some women are addicted to them. Personally, I like something a little deeper. But, even without a murderous plot or intriguing secret, romances do hit a chord. We read the words, "in his embrace, he stroked his fingers along her neck, brushing back her locks..." and suddenly we're remembering a touch, a moment, a feeling. A pretty nice feeling actually!

My book is not a love story. Well, it is in a strange kind of way. No, it's not. If that's love... Anyway, something happened when Liz was going through Chapter Eleven. She fell in love. She didn't see it coming. Heck, I didn't see it coming! It just happened.

[Liz touched her fingers to her lips as she closed her eyes. In her dreams, she allowed herself to be swept up into Michael’s arms.]

Maybe I shouldn't be telling you this. Now you know too much! Ok, no more details. This post isn't about the story. It's about my story. My journey writing this book. I'm posting this to share what I've learned in this part of my journey... Shhh... Let's keep this between you and me: Writing romance can be fun!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Another writefully day...

Lots of folks around here still get nervous when the storm clouds roll in.
In my adult life, Xenia has been hit twice by devastating tornadoes.
It is best known for the one that flattened the town in 1974.
Fortunately, there were also many miracles that day.
I was not living here during the 1974 storm.
I did live close enough to know very well.
I was around for the other.
I experienced my first tornado when I was around seven or eight, maybe.
We were camping along the Ohio River.
Boating, skiing.
Mom said a storm was coming.
Go to the shower house and change.
My brothers went their way.
I went mine.
I walked from the bath house toward our campsite.
No fear...
What was happening?
I remember standing with my arms hanging limp,
eyes skyward,
watching the big oaks float up.
The wind was loud.
I was mesmerized.
I woke up from my dream.
I was wet and my head hurt.
My mother was screaming that someone was dead!
Gotta get up.
It's raining.
The tree resting beside me was huge!
I was nestled up under it's curvature.
Safe in it's arms.
My head was warm now.
The storm disappeared as quickly as it had arrived.
Half the camp was untouched.
I still wear the scar.
0 0
A couple of days ago, we had a touch down a few miles south.
As much as I don't wish a tornado to appear,
I'm still drawn to the mixing storm clouds.
I could have stood there and shot all morning,
had the rain not come...
But it did.
So I shall write.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Emerging from Chapter Eleven update

Finally! And I think I escaped the process much better than GM's upcoming adventure. It was a torturous but delightful chapter!

My main character Liz experienced a huge amount of personal growth. She is at a critical turning point in her life that takes her to a whole new dimension. This chapter was tough. I didn't want it to drag on forever, but neither did I want to chop up the transitions that take place.

All modesty aside, I think I ACED it! (applause, applause... patting self on back) I've not gone through any editing yet, but I've just got this gut feeling that it will be a page-turning chapter. So be forewarned: When you buy my book and you've reached Chapter Eleven, check the clock. Don't start it if you don't have time to finish it. And oh yeah, the wrap-up... WHOOO!

I Heart Ohio! (excerpt)

I ventured out into the pollinated world today. Hubby drove me into town to run a couple of quick errands. The last stop was the vet clinic out past the north edge of town to settle yesterday's farm call bill. Since I didn't need to go back into town, we took the back roads home. I love the gently rolling pastures surrounded by horse fence. We pass along a very scenic stream, surrounded by one of those subdivision-in-the-middle-of-nowhere spots. The sloping backyards angle toward the main road. Their landscapes naturally blended with God's design.

Our conversation drifted to a relocated friend's comments last night. She lived about an hour from here and her old area was quite different. Now she is farther away, but in an area similar to the topography we enjoy. She said she never thought Ohio was pretty until she moved there.

No offense to you Floridians out there... Most of my family is in Florida. I will not move. I always cite the sweltering ever-lasting summers and the huge bugs, but truthfully... The thing I dislike most about Florida? It's flat! It's not only flat, the trees are ugly. OK, I know there's not very many trees that rival the huge elderly oaks spread wide and dripping in moss. But those poles with the hula skirts on top? They get old. Cabbage palms coiled in snakes? Look like shrubs, not trees.

So what on earth does this have to do with my book? Keep reading...

The chapter I'm in now has my main character leaving her adopted Florida for a trip north. While driving down that country road, I stated to Hubby, "I've got to mention the flat land and skinny trees!" When I returned home and opened my document, I scrolled to a previous paragraph that would nicely fit the new injection.

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, for your reading pleasure: An Excerpt from 'Unfinished Business'...

When she had first settled in Davie, she adored the tall, bare palm trunks and the see-forever horizon. Now that those things were old hat, she realized the beauty in rolling hills and foliage. The huge oaks dripping with Spanish moss were her favorite. They reminded her of the canopy of leaves along the creek banks where teens could slip away from supervision and explore their new found desires.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Writer's Perfect Storm

Ah, the thunder is off in the distance. Black, gray and white clouds are mixing slowly together above the rocking treetops. The pre-storm shower has brought out the vibrant colors of the landscape. The satellite music channel has lulled me into a conscious slumber, where the rest of the world does not exist. Bach's Prelude and Fugue in G major performed by Hamish Milne has elevated me to a level of creativity I wish I could maintain forever! My book is moving along, but I need a stretch and a moment to blog. My circuits want to bathe in overload! Oh, this must be heaven...

A Good Day for Writing

Ah, what a day! The storm passed quickly. Well, it wasn't really a storm. It poured rain and there was some thunder rolling in the distance. But that was enough to flip my brain over to the writing side. I settled back in my wing-back recliner and wore my fingers out!

I'm still in Chapter Eleven, (no, not bankruptcy :)) and I think it's going to be a long one. It's tying everything together; the past, present and future. Even the dialog is flowing so smoothly. The upcoming location is one that I want to visit someday soon. Liz, my main character, is leaving for a weekend trip. It's the perfect time of year! I can picture myself there, away from the humidity and the cottonwood drifters. It's fall in the Adirondacks.

There is a lot of emotional growth for her to experience in this transitional chapter. Liz will take a giant leap to end it - not end it! - just the chapter...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

moving ahead

I'm no longer stuck. What a simple sounding sentence, yet to me it's BIG! I reached a point where I couldn't find the right way to move the sequence forward. I would write a few sentences, stop, go back later and delete them. I've been a little foggy-headed lately too with some asthma meds that my body (mostly my brain) is not used to absorbing. Now that I've adapted somewhat to the effects and finally found the answer to my gap in the storyline, I'm ready to go full steam ahead!

I'm ready to open my document now and finish the chapter. I've got sirius on the TV, channel 972 Intermezzo. The channel is described as light classical. Piano pieces bring out my creative side. The storm clouds have rolled in and I'm watching a downpour through the window. I've stretched back in my recliner and my keyboard is sufficiently warmed up! Here I go...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

getting my toes wet...

Except for a few letters to the editor of a newspaper, and of course my blogs, I've never been published. Sad, but true. I would love to only blog and work on my manuscript, but truth is I could use some extra cash. And having articles published in a national magazine would look really good on a resume.

Aside from the essays I've posted to various blogging sites (I blogged for quite a while on MySpace) I have some that have never been posted that I've saved for that 'someday'. I once let my former supervisors read an article I wrote about my first horse. They both asked me what I was doing there! (I was dispatching skilled tradesmen in a factory at the time.)

The essay is titled, "Maggie and Me". If you follow my 'blahwg' blog, she is the thoroughbred I posted pictures of yesterday. I wish I still had her, but retirement forced me to cut back on the number of mouths we feed. I gave her to a horse-loving co-worker that promised her a great life. I miss her dearly.

All modesty aside, I do think it is a well-written and entertaining story. I have decided to submit the article for publication in a magazine, and think I know which magazine will be first on the list to try. Wish me luck. I will keep you posted on what happens with the article. If it ever does make it onto the magazine rack, you will be the first to know.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I'm stuck!

I have made a little progress in the past week, though not enough to please myself. I've had too many other things going on to devote the needed chunk of time to my manuscript. However, progress is progress. I'm now into chapter eleven, but I'm stopped dead in my tracks. It's just temporary, but still frustrating.

I've learned from this process that the transitional parts are the most difficult for me to write. I get into a scene and the thoughts just flow. But my book jumps back and forth in time, disclosing bits and pieces of my character's past and present. This is what I'm referring to as transitions... they take her from one place to another, one part of her life to the next. This is the tough part for me. I want a smooth blending. The pieces should fit together in sequence so that the reader is not left confused. I know that I do not like reading books that seem to leave out a chunk that connects one piece to another. So far I've managed to conquer each transistion, but it's not as fun to write. But I guess if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it!

Well, it's back to work. I need to keep Liz on track before she makes a wrong turn into downtown Manhattan...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

nature or nurture?

My opinion has swung back and forth over the years, depending on the subject, as to whether genetics or environment plays a bigger role in the talents that develop in an individual. My paternal grandparents were musically inclined, as was my father. My three brothers and I all play more than one instrument. But we grew up around different instruments. So was it Grampa's genes or Dad's guitar?

Grampa also painted. He was quite a good artist. My daughter is a wonderful artist. But from the time she was small, I provided her with the tools needed to be creative. So again, was it Grampa's genes or Mom's fingerpaints?

Now, here I am pursuing the dream of being a published author. I wrote stories and songs all my life. My daughter also wrote stories, and now my oldest granddaughter is waist-deep in writing! Is it because of my genes, or the fact that my daughter and granddaughter were surrounded by books and told my made-up bedtime stories?

We could argue forever about the nature vs nurture thing, but the real point of this blog is bragging rights! My oldest granddaughter, a freshman in high school, has finally moved to Blogville! Yeah Dani! Her writing style is quite different from mine, but I think she is very creative. She is into anime & manga, wants to learn to speak Japanese and loves the decor or the orient. Please check out her new blog at and let me know what you think...

Friday, April 17, 2009

progress finally!

I finished another chapter... yesterday. Then I didn't write at all today! I did make some progress on my outside projects with the help of my two granddaughters that are spending the week with me. Mommy is coming after work tomorrow to pick them up. (I just noticed it's after midnight, so I guess that's really today.) Papaw is taking them fishing in the morning. I can maybe get a little writing time in then.

The rain will return in a couple of days and I will sit glued to this thing, trying to make up lost time. It wasn't really lost though... It was spent on two people that are very precious to me. As I'm writing this, I'm looking across the living room at my oldest granddaughter. She is sitting cross-legged in the recliner with her laptop perched on a folding table in front of her. It is where she has spent the majority of time this week. Like her Nana, she's a night-owl. She has been working on a story, although she gets distracted with Gaia, MySpace, IMing her friends... Yes, she is mine.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Am I twisted?

Hubby thinks some of my manuscript is strange. He would rather I write a western! (He says that a western would appeal to a broader audience.) The main character in my book has had a pretty rough life that includes some mental disorders, and we're not talking a touch of depression either...

Recently, I watched a movie that I loved! Now I want to read the book. The main character was really twisted. The way the human brain can malfunction, to me, is intriguing.

I was just editing my bookshelf on shelfari when a book popped into my memory. I added it to my shelf. 'I Never Promised You a Rose Garden' is a book I read when I was young... like junior high young! And even though my memory isn't very clear on the book as a whole, there are still parts that are forever etched into my brain. At that tender age, the book had quite an impact on me. It delves into mental illness in a way far different from the traditional.

As I write the dialogue for my own book, the sections that hit on the mental illness are the fastest to flow. It comes easy to me. Should I be worried?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

fun in research...

I wouldn't want to write this book without the internet. When I mention places in my novel, I research the area. I study maps to choose the routes; I locate restaurants in which my characters will dine. Now I have to drive to Covington, KY to eat at Chez Nora! It sounds delicious and the sisters in my book loved it! But they warned me to get there early...

Monday, March 30, 2009

author's hideaway

I mentioned a couple of blogs ago about wanting a cabin in the woods to shut myself off in when I'm writing. Today I got some inspiration for the cabin from a newspaper insert. I can just picture myself sitting inside one of these, listening to the birds chirping and the leaves rustling in the wind. I see myself sitting in front of my laptop, holding a hot cup of coffee while breathing in the fresh air.

Now it's going to be harder to concentrate on the book and not burn time sketching my dream treehouse. I like the swinging bridge. It absolutely has to have a porch! A tin roof sounds so nice in the rain. If it had a pot-belly stove, I could use it in the winter. Yes, someday...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

catching insanity

I'm mentally planning the next few paragraphs... My character is meeting with a shrink. She has lots of ghosts buried deep in her subconscious. Not that I've suffered the emotional trauma of the character, but I can identify with her. I have compassion for her. When I'm writing I get deep into her identity. Will I spiral down the drain into her hell? Will her twisted reality affect the way I see my world? Can you catch insanity?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

forward march!

Finally, I'm making great progress on my book. It took a while to reread because of my incessant need to edit! I try to tell myself, the time will come for that... I don't listen. Anyway, I finished going through my previous chapters and actually wrote several pages tonight.

I love it when I can shut myself off and totally immerse myself in the characters. That is when the keyboard clicks along trying to keep pace with my thoughts. If only I could stay in that place for longer periods of time. But I glance at the clock and the real world yanks me back.

Hubby and I have worked out spending time together while I write. We sit in our recliners in the bedroom. He watches TV (he's an addict) and I sit with my laptop, wearing industrial earmuffs. It's not perfect... On those occasions when he just can't stop interrupting, he finally gives in and goes to the living room.

Someday, when I've made enough with my writing to pay for it, I will have a small cabin out past the goat shed or deep in the woods. It will have all the comforts I need for writing, plus the solitude I long for. I'll be able to seal myself off from the world and return with a finished manuscript. Until then, I'll have to settle for the recliner and earmuffs.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

two steps forward, one step back

I'm motivated to get back to writing, but first comes the reading. I've taken so much time off from my book that I need to refresh my mind on everything that has transpired. At this rate, I'll be writing again in a couple of weeks! I have yet to make it through the third chapter. I can't get past the editing.

Reading the first chapter was slow. I was doing the 'finish' editing. I had to force myself to leave it alone and just get back on track... Easier said than done. I wasn't satisfied with the sentence order within some paragraphs. Too picky! Again I kicked myself and said, "Get on with it!"

I made it to the middle of the third chapter... Kyle? Who's Kyle? I thought she didn't know who the father was? As many times as I've read this and outlined my characters, how could I have missed this screw up? I went back to chapter one... Correct, she doesn't know who the father is. It's a great paragraph - no changing this part! Back to chapter three and Kyle... another good story. OK, I'll keep Kyle and just tweak the timing.

My current manuscript is eight and one-half chapters. I know for certain I need more detail in my outline. Will I have the sanity to hold it together and finish this book?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In the beginning...

Ever since my junior high school years, maybe even earlier, I've wanted to write. Down deep in my core, it is the only thing I have felt I was meant to do. It defines me as nothing else can, aside from my faith in God.

The years of my youth were not happy ones. I do not have the typical memories that others have. I don't know what it's like to have sleep-overs or go to the prom. I was never allowed to do such things. I grew up in a small railroad town before the age of car-pool moms. Were it not for ink pens and a guitar, I would have surely lost my mind. I found release in writing and in strumming my own music. My dreams and agonies were all recorded on paper. I still have a folder filled with many of the songs and poems I wrote during my school years.

Even in college, my teachers always encouraged my writing. I was urged many times to enter my compositions in local writer's contests. I toyed with the idea of being an author many times. Lack of self-confidence, however, kept me from seriously pursuing any type of career in the industry. I once started a novel, only to give it up after about five chapters. I once purchased a used book on the subject of making money with writing. It sat for a long time on the bookshelf.

It all resurfaced a year and a half ago when I found my long-lost, best friend Kim. We were reunited after over twenty-five years of being apart! While catching up on all the things we had missed in each other's lives, we discovered we shared a common dream...

Kim had led a very full and exciting life, even living abroad. She said the only dream she had left to fulfill was to be a published author. It had been several years since I had voiced my desire to write. Immediately we came up with a plan. Before the year was over we had both purchased new laptops and began gathering our notes and drafting our outlines.

I plowed full-steam-ahead for a short spurt, then I hit a wall. I guess it was partly that old self-confidence thing. And life sometimes has a way of setting up road blocks. Now, I'm determined to get back on track.

I am deep into chapter eight of my book. When the self-doubt creeps up on me, I reread my manuscript, trying to put myself into the position of the audience. I think it's good...