Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

IWSG, News and Onward into the fog...er New Year

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:    Erika Beebe, Olga Godim, Sandra Cox, Sarah Foster, and Chemist Ken!

This month's question is: What's the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?

The only thing I regret about my "writing career" (if you can call it that) is that I didn't start submitting and looking for an agent when I was younger. Though I've written on and off most of my life, I didn't make the effort to get "mainstream published" until I was much older - I won't say how old because now I'm REALLY old and I don't seem to have the drive to spend hours every day at the computer. 

That said, I'm happy and content with what I've done so far. Maybe some other things will get published, maybe not. Either way, it's okay.

***
On that note I'm pleased to share my article in the travel magazine, Destination: US Virgin Islands. This article is about how my grandparents came to own Trunk Bay, considered to be one of the most beautiful and most photographed beaches in the world, and how my grandmother ran a guest house there for years, without electricity.

So, Happy New Year, to me!!

This is my second article with this travel magazine. You can read my first article from 2020, HERE. The company did not print a magazine for 2021 so it was a pleasant surprise to be invited to write an article for the 2022 issue.








Trunk Bay was my first home. This is 
place where I learned to swim, body serf, and fish off the rocks with a handline.

This is probably explains why you can take the girl out of the islands, but you can't take the islands out of the girl. 





***
Tomorrow is Three Kings Day, a holiday celebrated with much gusto in Puerto Rico. 
My mother was one of those children who put straw and water under her bed for the camels 
only to wake in the morning to find presents.
Happy Three Kings Day to all!

***
Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful to be here and to have made another revolution around the sun.
There is SO much to thankful for, despite what the news says or what people complain about.

Now it's onward into 2022. Who knows what it will bring? More of the same? 
Something worse? Something better? 
Whatever comes, 
may we all be a calm during the hard times and joyful during the easy times. 

I pass on this Tibetan Buddhist prayer to one and all.
May you be at peace.
May your heart remain open.
May you awaken to the light of your own true nature.
May you be healed.
May you be a source of healing for all sentient beings.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

IWSG, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:   PJ Colando, Diane Burton, Louise – Fundy Blue, Natalie Aguirre, and Jacqui Murray!

This month's question is:  In your writing, what stresses you the most? What delights you?

I don't know if I'd say it stresses me out, but editing, revising, rewriting are what I least like to do. What delights me the most is an idea that develops into a story or novel. I love the process of research, taking notes, working on my form of a very rough outline and then writing. That other part though? Not so much.

***
Still haven't done any writing (sigh) but I'm just not going to sweat it. I'm enjoying the clouds.

It's hard to believe it's December. For me, this year seems to have gone by much faster than other years. Was it only six months ago I got vaccinated? Yesterday I got the booster. Because I have Crohn's, an autoimmune disease, I got a full dose (didn't know that was going to happen) instead of a half dose. Today my arm is extremely sore, so sore I can hardly move it. But, it's a small price to pay for a little extra protection. 

I leave you today with a selection of unusual Christmas trees. No matter what your religious or non-religious beliefs are, may this month and the New Year bring you peace and joy. May each of us do one something that helps another human being, or that leaves this planet, our only home, a little bit better than it was yesterday. If you're interested here is a list of all the holidays and celebrations that happen in the month of December. So, saying Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings is perfectly appropriate.






I'm fondest of the button tree... Which one do you like?

***

Being Thankful
I would say, right now, that I'm particularly thankful for the much needed positive news from my gut doctor.

What are you thankful for? What delights or stresses you about writing? Planning anything special for Christmas or the Holidays in general? 

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

IWSG, Being Thankful because it's Thanksgiving After All

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts: Kim Lajevardi,  Victoria Marie Lees, Joylene Nowell Butler, Erika Beebe, and Lee Lowery!

This month's question is: What's harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb?

For me, hands down, writing the blurb is THE hardest thing to write along with the tag line. Titles have always been easy for me. In fact many of my stories, whether they be short or long, have come to me through a title that settled in my head and wouldn't go away. 

***
Well, it's November. Soon enough it will be Thanksgiving. 2021 is almost over. I can't say it's been pleasant, but it hasn't been all that unpleasant either.

Time moves forward and I'm being dragged along in it's wake whether I want to not. One thing I know for sure is I'm homesick for the islands and long to spend time with my sister, cousins, and friends. It's been four years since last I visited all due to hurricanes Irma and Maria and then COVID. 

Maybe sometime next spring. At least, I'm putting the thought out there into the Universe and hoping the wake will carry me in that direction. I'm sorely in need of a sea bath, which is when you wallow in the water, just sort of half sit and half float and soak in the goodness. You can, if you want, take the soft, fine sand and give your skin a gentle scrub. The best exfoliant there is. It's what these people are doing at Linqvist Bay on St. Thomas. (Yes there is a "v" following that "q", it's Danish after all.)




***
Being Thankful

In the mean time, after all, I have SO much to be thankful for, as in:

Washing dishes:
It means
I have food that makes them dirty
I have hands to wash them with
I have running hot and cold water to wash them in
I have money to pay the water and electric bill and buy the soap and food
I have a sink to wash them in
I have a window to look out when I wash the dishes
I have a roof over my head
I have a house with a window
I have a yard with a view


What are you thankful for? Which is harder, coming up with a title or writing the blurb? Have any hopeful "goals" for 2022?



Wednesday, October 6, 2021

IWSG, Being Thankful, Get Together

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:  Jemima Pett, J Lenni Dorner, Cathrina Constantine, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, and Mary Aalgaard!

This month's question is: In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?

This one's easy. For me it's graphic sex, language, violence. Since I mostly write for children and teens I don't see the need to perpetuate the negatives of life. I'm more about passing on a little wonder and magic. Call me old-fashioned, or a hippy, but I'm more about peace and love. Particularly in this day and age, it seems, it's what the world needs more of.  I'll leave the those other topics, and the language that goes with them, to other writers.

On that note I leave you with this song, written in1964 by Dino Valenti who was in the band Quicksilver Messenger Service. It was first recorded by the Kingston Trio that same year. The Youngbloods didn't recorded it until 1966 and released in July of 1967. The summer of '67, was momentous for me, and this is one of the many songs from that time that had an impact on my 17 year-old brain. It not only has a beautiful melody, the words are pure poetry. 

57 years after being written (FIFTY-SEVEN YEARS!!) it is still relevant, still beautiful, and still has meaning.

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another 
Right now

Love is but a song to sing Fear's the way we die You can make the mountains ring Or make the angels cry Though the bird is on the wing And you may not know why Come on people now Smile on your brother Everybody get together Try to love one another Right now Some may come and some may go We shall surely pass When the one that left us here Returns for us at last We are but a moment's sunlight Fading in the grass Come on people now Smile on your brother Everybody get together Try to love one another Right now Come on people now Smile on your brother Everybody get together Try to love one another Right now Come on people now Smile on your brother Everybody get together Try to love one another Right now If you hear the song I sing You will understand (listen!) You hold the key to love and fear All in your trembling hand Just one key unlocks them both It's there at you command Come on people now Smile on your brother Everybody get together Try to love one another Right now Come on people now Smile on your brother Everybody get together Try to love one another Right now Come on people now Smile on your brother Everybody get together Try to love one another Right now

Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful that we've had more rain. Fall is coming. There are morning hints in the coolness of the air and there is the ever so slight fading of green in the leaves.

What are you thankful for? In your writing, is there a line you won't cross? Are there any songs from your childhood/youth that had an impact on you?

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

IWSG, Labor Day, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:  Rebecca Douglass, T. Powell Coltrin @Journaling Woman, Natalie Aguirre, Karen Lynn, and C. Lee McKenzie!

This month's question is: How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?

First off, money has never been a deciding factor of success for me. Sure fortune (though I'm not sure about the fame) would be nice, but it's not necessary. For a long time, I thought success meant having a book published. But somewhere a long the way someone said, if you've been published, no matter the media, you are a successful writer. That kind of put a little kick in my step because I realized the first things I ever got published were in my high school year book: a poem on the flyleaf and two short articles - I was after all the yearbook editor. Since then I've had many stories and articles published in newspapers, newsletters, and magazines. So, self-publishing my books was kind of like the chocolate syrup on my chocolate ice cream. 



Speaking of magazine articles. Way back in 2019 I wrote an article for the 2020 edition of the prestigious travel magazine, Destination. (You can read that article HERE.) Due to COVID and travel restrictions, no 2021 edition was printed. But guess what? I've been asked to write an article for the 2022 edition! So I'm excited about that and the subject matter is very dear and close to my heart.


***


On this Labor Day Weekend, I send out my prayers to all those affected by Hurricane Ida. They will be laboring for a long time and this weekend will not be one of rest. Please consider donating money and or goods to a reputable and legitimate charity. Here's and article on how to donate safely. My favorite place is the Salvation Army. You can donate HERE

***

Being Thankful
I'm thankful that we have not had a single 100 degree day this summer. It has been a very nice, though unusual, summer. Rather balmy and more humid. I think our hottest day was around 94. 


What are you thankful for? How do you define success as a writer? Any Labor Day plans?

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

IWSG, Ray Bradbury, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts:   PK Hrezo, Cathrina Constantine, PJ Colando, Kim Lajevardi, and Sandra Cox!

This month's question is: What is your favorite writing craft book? Think of a book that every time you read it you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique. And why?

I love Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury. I have first edition (1990) copies in both hard and paper back. I used to do an occasional blog post called "Titles to Write By," the idea for which came directly from Bradbury's book.

Back in August of 2016 I wrote this post, which I'm sharing part of here, because 1) I'm lazy. 2) It's appropriate.

Titles to Write By

"Titles" is an occasional blog post in which we play with a single word and turn it into, what else, titles! Afterwards the object is to pick one of them and write a little something.

It was Ray Bradbury, in his book ZEN IN THE ART OF WRITING, who taught me about making lists of words and turning them into titles. If you haven't read it I highly recommend it.



For no particular reason today's word is: 

Olympic


Well, there is a reason for using Olympic. One is that I've watched more of the Summer Olympics this year than I ever have in the past. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's because there's been nothing better on TV. Whatever the reason, it's been a delight to see so many records broken, so many gold medals won. The U. S. women's gymnastic team,  the women who won gold in the relay race, watching  Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky swim for gold, all were awesome. And lastly, getting to see Usain Bolt win his 9th gold for Jamaica was icing on the cake.

So, here are some titles to write by using the word Olympic and its various variations. 

Sunrise at Olympus Mons
Say Olympic Enough Times and it Starts to Sound Funny
Olym Pic, Photographer
Olympia: The Winner Who Limped to Victory
Olympic Hurdles Writers Face and How to Hurdle Them
A Visit to Mount Olympus: How I Survived The Gods
The Olympic Garden
The Olympic Heart


Her heart leapt, an Olympian sized pole vault, when he leaned in and whispered, "I love you."

***
Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful for
MORE RAIN!
I am also VERY thankful that hubby is doing much better. I was more than a little frazzled last month, but things are settling down and we are both breathing easier. 
Thank you, everyone, for all your kind words last month. 


What are you thankful for? What's your favorite book on writing? Have you been watching the Olympics? Do any of my titles inspire you? Care to share some titles of your own? 

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Missing in Action

I know it's IWSG day. But I'm missing in action. Health/back issues, not me, the hubby. One doesn't realize how much one does until that person is not able to do it. 

Please send prayers for healing.