Update: Writing or Rhubarb? Both

rhubarbcobbler

When the rhubarb rolls around, take the time to make cobbler.

Sometimes I get to the end of the month and wonder – what did I accomplish? This past month has been filled with working eight hours a day, driving an hour each way to get there, spending quality time with my daughter (including playing Harry Potter Clue,) cooking, getting groceries, laundry, Easter preparations, reading three really good novels on the theme of visual arts for my book club (The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro was outstanding,) and a ridiculous amount of time getting my car repaired so it would pass inspection.

I still managed to write a number of new poems (April is National Poetry Month,) edit a short horror story, submit some stories for publication and very nearly finish editing my paranormal romance novel, Earthbound, to submit. (Just two more scenes to go!)

I tried to rush the editing but Life has a way of slowing me down, of reminding me that it’s quality over speed that counts. Life is also about balance, and the rhubarb only arrives once a year.

Seriously, Google “Smitten Kitchen rhubarb cobbler recipe.” Totally worth it.

Advertisements

Progress Report: Earthbound and Unprepared

02061912260206191227

I recently had occasion to visit the Chemung County Historical Society and took a few pictures of the displays from the Mark Twain exhibit. I’ve always loved old desks and his is a beauty.

I don’t find myself working at a desk much. I favor spiral bound notebooks, bright blue pens and my little Netbook for typing but, sometimes, the desktop computer is easier for editing, like this weekend.

Saturday I finished an edit on my paranormal romance, Earthbound, and sent it on to three new beta readers, (who will let me know what new errors I may have added in my last round of editing.) Soon I’ll do a final edit before submitting to a publisher. Then it’s simply submit, submit, submit along with any editing that occurs to me, until it finds a home.

Sunday I began reading through my pandemic based science fiction novel, Unprepared. It already has 75,000 words but needs a fuller ending before I’m satisfied.

I also started a new poem about the line between intellect/reason and emotion in art that I hope to have ready to post on Friday.

The evolving descriptions –

Earthbound – Ally is a veterinarian and a raptor rehabilitator with healing hands. She loves what she does and she’s good at it, but otherwise she keeps to herself high on her Upstate New York hill. Ally has secrets that she hasn’t even shared with her best friend. Then she is called to take on the rehabilitation of a raptor by the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center at Cornell University. There she meets Matthew Blake. He has quite a few secrets of his own, and some of them are about Ally.

Unprepared –  When a particularly virulent flu pandemic hits Upstate New York, an agricultural engineering professor is quarantined not far from home with his wife, a medical doctor, and daughter. As the pandemic rages on, the professor feels helpless but he may be one of the few people who can help put his town back together again when it’s all over.

Earthbound: first beta review is in!

Earthbound

Already had feedback from my first beta reader on my paranormal romance, Earthbound, and . . . she loved it! Yay! Things to improve but I’m on the right track. I might build cover art around something like the picture here. It’s from a trip to the Catskills last year.

Weekly Update: Edward Dougherty’s 10048

dougherty-edward-a-web-revised-600x600

There’s not much to report this week, though I feel like I’ve accomplished a good bit – submitted all the short stories I have ready to possible places of publication and I’m within 30 pages of finishing the edit on my paranormal romance, Earthbound.
 
So, I thought I’d offer another writer’s words. Fellow author Edward Dougherty is releasing his book, 10048, a collection of poems about 9/11. I’ve only been privileged to read a few but they’ve been an elegaic remembrance and exploration of a defining event in our history.
 
You can read more about it and some of his poems here – https://edwarddougherty.wordpress.com/new-book-10048/

Poem: Winter Solstice Fires

The Friday poem, I hope you enjoy.

WinterSolticeFires

Enjoying the Writing & Publishing Journey

CarolsBookDisplay

I’m actually on vacation for the week but I’ve had a great past week working on promoting A Sanctuary Built of Words: Poems of Peace, Grief, and Passion.

Last week I took copies to The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes then to Card Carrying Books & Gifts in Corning. The manager of Card Carrying Books set up a reading and signing with me for Sunday, September 9th at 3 pm. I can’t wait!

Yesterday, I took a little display of books to Carol’s Coffee & Art Bar in Owego, N.Y., shown in the picture. It’s one of my favorite places to hang out and write. I stopped in at Riverow Bookshop down the line and the owner also agreed to carry some books!

If you’re in the area, I recommend checking any of these places out for fantastic artistic and literary finds.

This week I am focusing on editing my new novel, Earthbound. Allyson is a vet and raptor rehabilitator with healing in her hands who is being stalked by monsters, not fully of this world. But then, neither is she.

So much fun!

Cover Appeal

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover? I’m counting on mine to sell the book!

This past weekend I was attending a craft workshop at my library and talking about my book, as usual. (Come on, it’s a new and shiny experience for me!)

As it happened, the woman sitting near me runs a Christmas tree gift shop during the season and asked to see the cover. I showed her on my phone and she offered to carry some copies in their gift shop during the season. Score!

Thank you, GreenDragonArtist!

Now, of course I want people to read the book but I have to get it in their hands first.

Food critics talk about eating “with your eyes” first. The plate appeal is real.

Real Estate agents talk about curb appeal. Here’s my curb appeal and my real estate, from my head.

SanctuaryCover

Shonda Rhimes and Grey’s Anatomy

MeredithGrey1

One of my modern writing influences is Grey’s Anatomy. Yes, I’m as influenced by movies and televisions as books. It’s all about stories to me, wherever we find them. Some people like to say that there is nothing good on television anymore but I think that if you look for it, and if you don’t just zone out when you watch, there are some great and inspiring works. Grey’s Anatomy was one of those for me.

I started watching Grey’s Anatomy, created by Shonda Rhimes, back when it first went on the air and was immediately in love with the writing. I adored the characters of Meredith Grey and Christina Yang. I loved George. I watched it every Thursday for years, until life intervened. Six months ago, I started going back and watching it from the beginning, as time permits. (Which means I’m only through episode five or so.) But the writing still inspires me.

I read her memoir, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, this past year and it was just like her writing on Grey’s Anatomy. Now, Rhimes starts out by saying that she loves to lie, but I find more truth in her fiction than a lot of other places in life.

Her tone is completely conversational, as if you were right there with her. She talks about her writing –

“There’s a hum that happens inside my head when I hit a certain writing rhythm, a certain speed. When laying track goes from feeling like climbing a mountain on my hands and knees to feeling like flying effortlessly through the air. Like breaking the sound barrier. Everything inside me just shifts. I break the writing barrier. And the feeling of laying track changes, transforms, shifts from exertion into exultation.”

I call it the writer’s high. It’s incredible and I totally agree.

Shonda is an introvert, an extreme introvert, highly gifted with words and, it seems to me, highly intelligent. Saying yes to things is terrifying, but she begins doing it anyway, even if it finds her “licking the dust at the bottom of the Xanax bottle because oh yeah, I don’t take Xanax anymore, it’s been twelve years since Xanax was my friend.”

 “I was just an unusual kid. Lucky for me, my parents held unusual in high regard. And so when I wanted to play with the cans in the pantry for hours on end, my mother didn’t tell me to stop messing around with the food and go somewhere else to play. Instead, she declared it a sign of creativity, closed the pantry door and let me be.”

Lucky for all of us.

“As Watergate played out on the tiny black and white set my mother had dragged into the kitchen and balanced on a chair just outside the pantry doors, my three-year-old imagination made a world of its own. The big cans of yams ruled over the peas and green beans while the tiny citizens of Tomato Paste Land planned a revolution designed to overthrow the government. There were hearings and failed assassination attempts and resignations . . . Man, that pantry was fun.

This memoir is a window on her world –  vivid, honest, engaging, funny and wonderful. I’m so glad she decided to share it.

Writing Inspiration

The_Prince_and_the_pauper_dedication

 

I decided that on Tuesdays, I would share something about what has influenced me as a writer. (Of course, I’ve already missed that mark and slid into Tueswedthursday, but that’s what happens when you have a day off from work.)

Where to start? Everything influences me. Someone once asked me, “Where do you get your ideas for writing?”

The truth is . . . EVERYWHERE!

Every book I read, every news article I see, every interaction I have in the library where I work may spark an idea for me and start my brain off down some rabbit hole – scaffolding onto old knowledge, combining thoughts and ideas into something new.

It’s how I process the world.

I saw a book dedication on Pinterest recently that said it was to everyone who thought the author was writing about them. It’s much more tangential for me, I’m not usually writing memoir, and my perception of any one event or person probably would probably not be recognizable to someone else but . . . “Life is strange, and so we write.”

Tornado Dream

I tend to find that when I am struggling with something emotionally, if I don’t talk about it out loud, or try to deny my fear, it invariably ends up in my dreams. Well, back in 2011, at the end of May, a tornado struck our house when I was home alone with our one-year-old daughter. It took me quite a while to write about it. This is one of the things that came out of it, a dream that I had afterwards.

TornadoDream

« Older entries