Little Bowl-Big Bowl-Super Bowl

Say Hi to my great grandson, Emery. He loves to pose for pics and this was taken a couple years ago at a Thanksgiving in the North Carolina Mountains. Didn’t even have to ask twice…once and this is what my camera showed. His arms are up into a football touchdown, but I did not get it all together. Hey, I tried.

Here we are ready for Super Bowl 2017 in Houston, TX. Know matter where we are from, our age, or sex, the TV set will have a lot of eyes watching the screen.Some of you may have had the opportunity to see this Super Bowl in person and what a great experience. We all want OUR team to win, but what I want most of all is a fair game, neat umpires, and a safe ending to the fourth quarter.

All of this suggests, Spring is on the way, and what a funny winter pattern we have had. AT lease, here in Atlanta, we’ve encountered spring, a little of summer, wet weather, tornadoes, and pot holes!  With all the cold, icy roads, and then heat, the pavement is an obstacle course.

I am still in the process of retirement. Some days leave me with so much time and other days night gets here before I want it. Still, attending classes for Yoga and Pilates and love both. Instructors are great and members friendly. Meet with my friend Kevin every couple of weeks for our writing sessions. Getting comments, suggestions, thoughts from a male writer has given me more to revise and think about. Did have a female writer/editor give me a few suggestions on revising parts of a novel. She has had a few novels published and has made some great finds.

Know I shouldn’t push forward, but Spring sounds so great. We are having a lot more farmer markets spring up in different parts of town. Look forward to seeing what all they bring to their tables.

I’m walking more and enjoying every minute. Still careful which direction I go, but meet a lot of walkers. I’d love to get a walking group together and see how we can work through everyone’s different ideas. I tend to walk and look at the world through a writer’s eye. Thoughts for a new story or to clarify something that has been bothering me. Others, see a walk as a way to communicate with the people they walk with, talking and stopping, and questioning everything. Something to think on. Any suggestions or ideas?

I want to thank all of you for your comments on previous posts and I have followed a lot of your writings. Please continue to follow me, add comments, and I am always open for suggestions.

Also, you may have some new ideas on books you have read. I made a note of a new author, Ruth Ware, and finally got a copy of her book, “In A Dark Wood.” Quite a thriller, and she also has a book out “The Woman in Cabin 10.” I think it is a great idea to promote new women writers and even the older women writers. Not meaning by age, but how long their work has been on the shelves.

May each of you enjoy the month of February and have a beautiful Valentine’s Day.  See you next month or maybe even the end of February.

Happy reading. Happy writing. Happy you.

 

Patricia

 

 

WELCOME TO THE NEW YEAR

I don’t know about all of you, but this past year was full of surprises that crossed different avenues for me. I RETIRED!!! Never thought I’d give up my Silver Sneakers(R) Exercise Group, but after eight years, needed to let go and give the group some new instructors and new choices. They are still in full force and have added new members. Sometimes, it is the right thing to do and help the members grow and learn new moves/exercises.

Thought, this would give me an opportunity to dig further into my writing, which I have done, just not as much as I wanted to accomplish. The ideas are there and my fingers try to hit the ‘write’ keys. Some days are better than others.

Been hitting our little library a lot and going back over some of the old books again. Got interested in reading the classics and older books. Jeffery Archer had a new book out, “This Was A Man,” and I could not just get this without going back over his other novels. It was the seventh book in a series and I needed the background information. Still working my way through the series.

We had our annual meeting and good attendance. Found out our CMA, Office Manager, is being transferred to a new property and we have a new CMA coming in to keep our place in order. Will not know for a while, as he starts this coming week. New opportunities, I hope.

I find myself at ends, but not for long. It takes a while to wind down after working all your life and at times two jobs. Still, I find new avenues to travel and include my writing. I am thinking of doing some volunteer work with The Atlanta Humane Society. Since we have a “NO PET” rule at our Condo, figured this would give me something new to volunteer and give myself a pet for a while. I’d been there to an open house months ago, but couldn’t work and do this type of volunteering. I’ll let you know how this goes.

I had a quiet New Year Eve celebration and watch all the crowds gather at Underground Atlanta for the annual Peach Drop. It was cold, windy, and a little of the sprinkles falling down. NO, not the white kind that stick, only the wet, uncomfortable drizzle. Then learned this would be the last Peach Drop at Underground. Guess it has been sold, so have no idea where or what will happen–upset a lot of attendees.

My wish for you this new 2017 is to be happy and share your happy thoughts with friends, neighbors, and yes, even strangers. Be Inquisitive. Be Inspired. Be Kind.

I’ll see you in a week or so. Until then, keep yourselves busy and have fun.

PATRICIA

Holiday Imagination Gone Wild

images_074This begins the time of the year for holidays, shopping, family get-together, and the rush of trying to get everything done on schedule. NO… this is the time you need to let your imagination off the leash and go wild with your thoughts. The calendars, advertisements, the push to get everything just so, and the list can go on and on, but what would happen if?????

Start looking at ‘FALL’ as a holiday time. remember when you picked up leaves for a project and then noticed how different they all looked? Go for it again and create your new Fall Holiday. Put leaves in baskets, in vases, or scattered across the dining room table, or any table, while your disc player oozes “Autumn Leaves.”

What about Thanksgiving? Scout odd places and look for turkeys. Forget the lives ones for now, rather pictures of all sizes of these birds.  You can attach them to cardboard and place them in your home. Not just the entry way, but in different rooms. Now, the fun begins. What a sight for visitors when they come over. You can even find the bigger plastic eggs (turkey eggs) and add them to the scenes.

Take a walk outside in a park or wooded area and find your own Holiday Center Piece. You will bring so many goodies home and then the fun starts. Your creative side is excited and you can design each room with a different look. A great way for the whole family to get involved, and you’ll never know what each member can find or do to make part of this their own.

Holiday Cards need to get addressed, with a note or two, and mailed. Your imagination starts working on the wild side and you find cards from different places. How about “Save the Elephants, or Pet Rescue Organizations, and you can find many more while your thoughts are in high gear. Not only will you be helping with donations, but you might spark the incentive to adopt a pet. Instead of writing a note, put a paw print on the card for your signature, or maybe one for each of the family.

A big balloon Santa in your hallway, a tree hung from the ceiling (yes, upside down) and decorated with the gifts piled under, will be a big surprise. Then include a “Thankful” box and have pen and paper ready for each visitor or family member to write their own note of thanks.

Let this Holiday Season become alive and have fun. Share your imagination and you’ll have the best of the best.

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HAPPY WRITING.

HAPPY YOU.

HAPPY HOLIDAY IMAGINATION.

Do You Believe in Luck?

What a question to throw at readers? Does this include superstitions or just how we look at luck. Just how you look at luck. Superstitions have been handed down by our family members for many years. True, it is important to look at them and get a sense of your past history and family, but they are not your own.
Luck on the other side of the coin, so to speak, is YOUR thoughts about your life and what can make it better for you. This has nothing to do with what you know of past history, but it is how you make YOUR history work for you.
One of the first things I expect all of you to look at is….people feel lucky when they expect the best things out of life and themselves.  In other words, if you believe in yourself, you are more motivated to keep pushing forward to reach your goal.  Sure, you may have your own lucky charm and there is nothing wrong with this. It is a symbol that represents your possibilities to ‘jump over the rainbow’. And if this makes you feel better, hey go for it. For some, it is wearing the big “R” color (red), or something outlandish from their normal ho-hum styles. For guys, it might be the ‘power’ suit, or the outlandish tie that makes a statement for them.
It does not matter as long as it makes you feel active about your expectations. You’ve gotta go out there and make your own statement. Hard? Pardon me, but it can be damn hard.
Your luck comes from YOU, and you need to let people know who you are. Some days, and I’m speaking both male and female, you want to come out of your norm and shock people. For females, this might mean a new style you’ve never tried like short skirts, tank tops, and jeans, tight jeans. For males, it might be just a step away from suits, ties, stuffy outfits, and into cutoffs, jeans with small (very small) holes and no shined loafers. These examples are not for the faint of heart, but it gives you an explanation for some of the boundaries we have gotten ourselves hooked on. We are not carbon copies of each other and what works for one, may not work for another, and the list goes on and on and on.
This has to be something for you to try to make yourselves stand out in a crowd. Lucky people are not afraid to start conversations with strangers. This is called ‘networking.” Get outside your comfort zone and experience new avenues. It is not always easy to talk to strangers, but you just may find your special needle in that haystack. What you need is to stretch out of your comfort zone, check out other avenues, and trust your gut.
When the day is done and you relax, think of the new world you have entered. Hey, you’ve still got tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow to check things out. Uncertainty is a situation is what we writers strive to achieve. Because with uncertainty, we can change the whole outlook on life, love, and chapters.

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 Patricia says, Happy Writing, Happy Journeys, and Happy Happenings to all of you.

A SILENT WORKOUT FOR YOUR WRITING

images_028Yes, you read WRITE. Have some fun with your work and sharpen your skills at the same time. Sound intriguing? Let’s get started.

First you need to use your current WIP or one you just put up because nothing seemed right – or both, but separately. It might help to print out the first five chapters.Why? You are going to critique your own work and you need to be comfortable and have a red, yes red, pen ready for action.

When we write, we use our words to paint pictures. Sometimes, the pictures are cloudy, or we use the wrong color, or stick our fingers in where we shouldn’t. Maybe your reader cannot feel the painted words, or the color does not set well with the them. Whatever, the reason, we have not given our reader a true picture with our words. We can see them, but we need THE READER TO FEEL THEM.

Now, go to your video and pull out a movie. Your choice, but try to get one in the same genre as your work. All set, ready to go? Not quite, until you turn off the sound. I hear groans and why’s all over the place. Because, this is one way to see what you need to write to get the picture over to your reader.

In movies, we always see what is happening. In writing, we need to let the reader see what is happening with words. Watch certain movie scenes and, if any can match some of your scenes, hit the “STOP” button at any time and shuffle through your printed pages. Do you find yourself telling the reader what is happening? If so, grab your red pen  and mark NEED TO SHOW. Then go back to your movie and see if you can put into words what is happening on the video.

This may take several rounds, but once you get a handle on the movie scenes and your work scenes, you can have lots of fun, put new phrases together, and learn the art of showing by painting word pictures.

Now, when you get stuck in a scene or on a scene, grab a video. When you go to the movies, enjoy each scene with the recognition of ‘oh, that’s how they do that.’ And come home and see what you can do to your writing. Even movies have to have a written script, but it is the director and the actors who make the film come alive.

You are now the director, and all the actors of your novel. Make your words jump off the page right in front of the reader, or pull the reader into your novel with your picture words. You can do it.

Happy Directing. Happy Acting. Happy Writing.

REVISE REVISE REVISE

Lost ConfidenceWHAT AGAIN? I just finished revising and reading and revising. How many times does this happen? Think about this process as a new way to check your revised manuscript.

You now have folders of information on the settings of your story and have made some changes. Take another look–do you still see some difficult areas? Your heart and mind are still wrapped around your story and you might miss some needed changes. These changes will be easy and can be fun. Tighten your seat belt and keep the fingers warm on the keyboard.

This is where you give your MUSE some much-needed time to rest and bring the SENSOR out of his box. He will be riding gunshot for you and you’ll know the areas to revisit. In this section, you need to be the reader and not the writer. Can you feel the story? Do the emotions of the characters swim off the page and into your heart? Can you hear a certain song run through your head as you walk the pages with your characters? Can you visualize the scenes through the music? If not, would a different tune increase the emotions of your characters. Music, writing, characters, and themes all tie themselves together. So listen to your characters and what they want.

Another way to read through your draft is with pictures. Yes, you got some of these through online information. Take some of these out of the research folder and pin them to a big board by your computer. With little trouble, you can move these pictures around, add new ones, and take some down, until you create the feeling of your story. Look and see if any of these creative visuals translate to your work. Can your characters move around with confidence? As a reader, can you see them working, living, playing, fighting, and loving in these scenes?

Do the characters have a clear objective? Is there enough conflict or too much, are their emotional struggles real and you want to yell at them or push them forward. Your SENSOR loves to stir up trouble. Did he find enough obstacles for the characters to overcome? If not, you might want to put some stumbling blocks in front of the hero or heroine. What about the antagonist? Are then enough negative points as strong as the positive points?

You notice both your Sensor and Muse are quiet. This has been a hard journey for the three of you: writer, sensor and muse. Take a breather. Get away from your story and revision(s). Take a walk, go for a run, and let the mind wander. Sometimes when we let go, we gain more insight.

Tomorrow is another day for writing. A new song might fill your head and you’ll find your characters sassy and happier than ever. Revising is hard work. Look at all you have accomplished.

Congratulations. Happy Writing.