A Sanctuary Built of Words in Art Show

The framed version of A Sanctuary Built of Words has been submitted to The ARTS of the Southern Finger Lakes for the Spring member show that starts this Friday in Corning, New York. I’m pleased I got that far. Now to finish the book so it can be there for sale too!

Framedpic

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Cover art for A Sanctuary Built of Words!

Finally! Cover for the forthcoming book . . .

What if sanctuary isn’t always a physical place?

Sometimes it’s located in our heads and sometimes

sanctuary can be found in the stories we share . . .

SanctuaryCoverGeorgia

Inspiration and Innovation

I’ve been having some difficulty keeping my motivation up for this NaNoWriMo this month. Part of it is this cold that has been kicking my butt and part of it is the story I’m trying to write. I like it but I don’t know where it’s going. So, I’ve been looking for some inspiration and started reading through the blog posts of The Green Dragon Artist, Christy Jackson Nicholas, on how she organizes and writes her novels. Though they are full of good information, and inspirational photographs from Ireland, one thing in particular struck me. She talks about doing research before she begins to write, 15 hours of it for one book, and it hit me – I have let the research side of the equation slide!

I used to research, in books and online, until I reached a threshold where the information spontaneously began to recombine into something new, a piece of writing that combined my fictional story and my knowledge. Lately, however, with my intensive schedule of work, commute, home, child, etc., I have let the research side of the equation slide and that is part of why I am having trouble with this particular book I want to write about a pandemic. I need to know more about how many people we might lose and how that would affect life at every level and what would happen when the power grid went down. Without them, I am stymied.

Thanks, Christy!

2017 NaNoWriMo Calendar

2017NaNoWriMoCalendar

Mrs. Bell’s Cat: A Short Tale for Halloween

GrayCat

Mrs. Bell’s Cat

 

One fall day, Mrs. Bell opened the bay windows in her sitting room as she was dusting. She didn’t notice the lithe little shadow that slipped in, slid through the doorway into the dining room and up the stairs to her guest bedroom on the second floor, where it found a nice dark closet to rest . . .

Sorry, folks. Took this one down to publish it.

 

NaNoWriMo 2015 Word Count Inspiration Calendar

Hi Folks – I just put together a word count/ inspiration calendar for 2015 NaNoWriMo for my writer’s group so I’ll post it here in case anyone would like a copy. The first one is a .pdf but I’ll also include it as a .jpeg in case you want to set it as the background on your computer, the way I just did. It’s a simple one this year but I hope you like it.

2015NaNoWriMoCalendar<—– .pdf file

2015NaNoWriMoCalendar

And the refrigerator too – a Father’s Day memorial

DadAndMe

My father died last October. On the last day I saw him, in the hospital, I said good-bye and told him I loved him. I said, “see you later.” It seemed to me like he wanted to say something but couldn’t get it out. Instead he said, “later, later.” But later never really came.

My mother called at 12:45 in the morning to say that she had heard from the hospital that he had passed. We were grateful that Hospice had been able to send a gentleman in to sit with him over night but it seemed that my father had waited for everyone to leave, then left himself.

I went to work the next day, to wrap things up so I could be away for several. As I walked back to the break room at lunch time, I passed a cart of books waiting to be shelved. The last book on the cart had fallen over to lay face up and the cover was a beautiful watercolor of a rainbow trout, the title said “Trout Reflections.” I grabbed it. My father was an avid fly-fisherman and had taught me to fly fish as a teen. It was probably the time when we had connected the best, and was undoubtedly the most harmonious time in our relationship.

That night, I got home from work and was in the next room when my refrigerator started making an odd growling noise. It would growl on an up note and then stop, growl and stop, growl and stop. It continued for several minutes. I walked into the kitchen and listened. It made me think of how my father, dressed in the tiger print bathrobe my mother had made him, would tease me as a child saying, “grumble, grumble, growl.”

Feeling slightly foolish, I said out loud, “Dad, if that’s you, please stop messing with my refrigerator. I need it to keep working for a while longer. It’s okay, I know you loved me, I love you too.” It made the noise two more times and then stopped. It never made that noise again. Unfortunately, the next day it died too. My Dad always did like a good laugh.

Shhh . . . I’m writing.

Yes, I’m still out here. Still writing and submitting, which is why I haven’t been posting. There are times when you realize that if you want to actually accomplish your goals of being published, you have to shut up and write.

I recently heard about a wonderful web site called coursera.org where you can take courses for free from professors at top universities around the world. I signed up for the Science Fiction and Fantasy course, hoping it would help me look at the literature a little more deeply. It required reading a full length book every five days, doing a short assignment and then responding to assignments from four other people. I quickly realized that the timing was really not right. I can either write or do a course, along with work and family. Both is just too much.

Right now I have about a dozen short stories that I’ve started and a couple novels to edit. I’m sending things out and hope to have some good news soon. I’ll post when I think of something useful or interesting to say.

How do you put a soundtrack behind written fiction?

I haven’t written anything here in a while. The good news is that I’ve been writing and submitting fiction as much as my schedule allows, racking up the rejections and all. Anyway, I had a thought the other day that I wanted to share.

George Lucas once said something to the effect that a soundtrack is a large portion of a movie. Now, I remember him saying this, I think it was during an Academy Award ceremony back in about 1993 but that’s over 20 years ago. I tried looking it up and the quotes I come up with say 50% so let’s go with that.

I started thinking, how do we create a sound track with a piece of writing? I don’t mean literally. I suppose I could mention pieces of music, put quotes from lyrics at the beginning of every chapter, etc., but I don’t think that’s the answer.

I find that I enjoy fiction written by people who are either poets or also write poetry a great deal, it’s somehow richer. So, my suggestion is that we create soundtracks for our fiction by our word choice, by the rhythm and flow we create in the sentences we write. Then there’s all the wonderful tools of the poet – alliteration, metaphor, simile, hyperbole and anything else you care to include.

I’ve been thinking of creating a short story that simulates the improvisation of jazz. Soon, maybe in April during Camp NaNoWriMo. There are a couple projects to finish up first.

Just a thought.

2014 NaNoWriMo Calendar (National Novel Writing Month)

Thought I’d offer this here for anyone who would like one for this year. I tried to find quotes for inspiration that I haven’t seen a million times before but I kept a few of my favorites from last year. Just click on the image to get the full size. I created it as an 8 1/2 by 14 Microsoft Publisher file then saved it as a .jpeg.2014NaNoWriMoCalendar

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