Sunday, January 14, 2018

The good, the bad, the ugly...I'd do it again!

The Jupiter House in Denton TX--my favorite place to write in the whole world

Repetitive intro

After retiring 10+ years ago, I decided to get serious about writing, something I’d dabbled in my entire life. Could I writing anything worth publishing? Did I really want to?

Long Story Short

Well, yes, I did want to, and yes—after a few shaky starts and the expected rejections, I found myself a published author.

The Good

So was the time and effort worth it? Most definitely!
  • holding MY book in MY two hands
  • the acquisition of new skills related to traditional as well as indie publishing
  • new friends (characters) and new horizons (their lives)
  • honing observational skills while traveling or just out in public with an eye to how a scene, a word, a look might translate into a story
  • so many new facts from research to make stories credible
  • unexpected monetary compensation

The Bad

  • Learning that writing is, for the most part, a solitary pursuit
  • making necessary and often painful decisions to trash and start over when a story just wasn’t working
  • Long hours of editing and formatting only to have to do it all over again
  • thinking I’d found a home at this conference or in that group, only to realize I wasn’t willing to play the game (still hoping!)

The Ugly

Well, let’s just say it’s been minimal and leave it at that.

In retrospect…

For me, becoming a published author wasn’t about making a ton of money nor writing the next hot best seller. It was a personal thing—a dream rather than a goal. Wisdom and a realistic way of viewing life comes with age. I strove to be good, and I strive to be better. Every kind word about my writing has been received with gratitude and also every criticism which can help me improve. I haven’t stopped learning about my craft.

What’s next?

We’ll see! Meanwhile, if you’re so inclined, visit my website to see if anything catches your eye! 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Ten little words - ten big ideas!

Today I’m playing with ten words which describe my second “career” as a writer.

  1. Fulfillment
    I always loved spinning my little tales and decided, upon retirement, to see if I could write anything worth publishing. SCORE—in several areas!
  2. Faithful
    Staying true to my beliefs in writing “clean” and including characters with disabilities as well as characters in difficult situations has been important.
  3. Free
    It doesn’t cost anything to sit in front of the computer and say, “Keyboard, take me away!”
  4. Fun
    Doing what one enjoys is always a pleasure!
  5. Frugal
    As a retiree on a fixed income, learning to budget my marketing has been a challenge—but challenges build resourcefulness and lead to satisfaction.
  6. Factual
    A great deal of research goes into writing fiction. Someone’s bound to catch anything you get wrong!
  7. Fantasy
    Who else but a writer can live in a wonderful fantasy world when the real world can be so discouraging?
  8. Frustrating
    Rewriting again and again and again until something has the right “feel” can be frustrating!
  9. Favorite
    Writing tops my list of favorite things to do—except, of course, spending time with my grandchildren!
  10. Full
    Life is good on both sides of the page—the fictional and the real.

Pop into my website to see what's available!

Monday, January 8, 2018

This Writer's "Manifesto"

 Devin Joubert sparked the idea for this particular blog in “150+ Blogs That Will Absolutely Kill Writers’ Block”. Specifically, Write a Manifesto.
  • What is my message?
  • What do I want people to know?
  • Why is my message important?
As a history buff with a graduate degree in same, the word manifesto always brings to mind the bearded Karl Marx, he of questionable political and economic ideas. But Merriam-Webster defines the word as a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.
In an online article, “Ten FamousManifestos”, I find listed such documents as
  • The Bible and The Ten Commandments
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech
So now it’s my turn. What is my message? What do I want people to know? Why is my message important? Or, per the dictionary definition, what are my intentions, motives, and views?
In a nutshell:
  • My intention is to write good clean vintage romance, romantic suspense, and cozy mystery—the intention being to entertain and deliver a subtle message of joy, hope, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
  • What I want people to know is that human love is joyful and encompasses the whole person, not just the sexual side—the motive being to show that it isn’t necessary to interrupt the fast-moving plot for a hot sex scene because otherwise people might stop reading.
  • My message is important because there are many readers out there (and I am one of them) who will close a book before it’s finished when pelted with intimate details and obscene language ad nauseum—the view being that such is not necessary to tell a good story.


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

What am I NOT going to do this year?

 I wish I knew!

Who said, “The best laid plans of mice and men gang oft awry?” Robert Burns, I believe.

Who said, “Never say never?” I think there was a song by that name.

Ah, well, here goes anyway. I’m NOT going to
  • stop writing
  • change what I write
  • write because I think I’ll be a best-selling author someday
  • forget that there are lots of writers out there—some better than I am
  • stress over marketing and promotion
  • forget to live each day—remembering there may not be a tomorrow

Even though I’ve written all my life, I got a late start writing for publication. But maybe, being older and wiser, I’ve been able to appreciate my successes and survive my failures a little more philosophically.

One last thing on the NOT list. I hope NOT to end this year without completing/publishing:

 But if for some reason one or more of these manuscripts remains on my computer at the end of 2018, well, there's always 2019. God willing, I'll still be plugging along! 

—well, there’s always 2019—and, God willing, I’ll still be plugging along.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Old wishes for a new year...

I found this piece among some old papers. There is no author, but I remember hearing it recited once on a 78 RPM record belonging to my parents. So, with apologies to the unknown composer whom I am unable to credit, I would like to share this with all of you.

The sun will soon be rising on the morning of another day---
The first day of the New Year.
What can I wish that this day, this year will bring?
Nothing that shall make the world or others poorer,
Nothing at the expense of other men.
But just those few things which, in their coming, do not stop with me,
But touch me rather as they pass and gather strength;
A few friends who understand me and yet remain my friends;
A work to do which has real value, and without which the world would feel the poorer;
A return for such work small enough not to tax unduly anyone who pays.

I wish this New Year to bring me a mind unafraid to travel,
Even though the trail be not blazed;
A heart that understands, and in understanding
Better able to help you carry your load in life.
May I understand the meaning of the tears that sometimes dim your eyes.
May I never be the cause of the deep hurt that I've seen in your eyes.
May the New Year bring sight of the eternal hills and the unresting sea
And of something beautiful the hand of man has made.

Bring me also, and this is important,
A sense of humor and the power to laugh;
A little leisure with nothing to do but spin my dreams
When the day is done, and evening descends
And cloaks us in her robes of deep velvet.

I wish those who are away a speedy and safe return,
And for those who return not,
The reward they sought in the house of Our Father.
I ask also for a few moments of quiet meditation
And the knowledge of the presence of God.
May I never be the cause of one tear to fall,
One heart o ache, one friend to lose.

I ask for the patience to wait for the coming of these things
With the wisdom to know them when they come.
And that is my New Year's wish for you.

I have been away from The Word Place for various reasons, but you will find me here on  Wednesdays--and perhaps at other times--during 2018. 

Please also visit me at In Quietness Your Strength on Fridays. 

I post on my Facebook author page (Vintage Romance, Romantic Suspense, and Cozy Mysteries) regularly, as well as at The Grace Place to which I retreated after failing to rid my person page of unnecessary and unkind comments. I hope you'll find information as well as encouragement for your day. Please feel free to share your own words of inspiration at The Grace Place--I need them, too!  And let me know if you're unable to post there for any reason. 

May 2018 be a kinder, gentler year for us all. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Mighty Mississippi

The Mississippi River is 2,320 miles long, the second longest river in the United States. Beginning in Minnesota, it winds its way through 10 states on the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Its name comes from a Native American word meaning “Father of Waters”.
A major commercial artery in the history of the United States, its importance to the South during the Civil War made the port at Vicksburg a prime military target for the North.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Standing in line for tomorrow and next year

Is it already that time already?


So what’s in the (writing) queue? 

·        At least one novel to be sent for editing--and
hopefully complete publication before the end of the year
·        Yearly revamp of website
·        Two book trailers
·        Participate in at least ONE StoryaDay event to acquire another nice folder of short stories
·        Consider NaNoWriMo for November after a long hiatus
·        Map out a couple of promotional campaigns

What’s in the (living) queue?

·        A trip to Washington (state) to see three adorable grandchildren
·        Another trip to my hometown for some picture-taking and research (Okay, so the reunion trip this year wasn’t the last after all!)
·        A combo trip to Branson and Eureka Springs, my two favorite places in the whole world!
·        One last trip to Denton, Texas, where I went to college…it’s a live place these days!
·        A few day trips and overnights around Arkansas

Will I end up at the head of the line?

Well, it won’t be from lack of trying!