WHERE’S SPRING?

Seasonal_Festivals

I looked all over for a special calendar and could not find SPRING, so this will have to do for now. As I sit at my desk, I can look out my windows and see nothing but grey clouds, trees waving their branches, and the only sign of spring is the green leaves and green grass. I want to see sunshine, hear birds singing, see and smell flowers in bloom, and know that May Day is just around the corner. Spring seems to get lost between the long winter months and the hot summer months.

Do you remember your ‘Spring Times’? As a child, I remember the opportunity to stay and play outside a little later, watch the flowers peek through the dirt, see squirrels scamper up and down tree trunks, chasing each other and having a good time. And now that we are so close to May, do you remember the May Days? We’d walk up to a friend’s house and hide our May Basket for that special person and run away before anyone saw us.

Guess, Spring Time brings back wonderful memories and yet gives us space to make new memories. Each season gives new hope and ideas to think about and try.

A couple of weeks ago, the Library in my neighborhood, held its first Poetry Reading Night. Great attendance and wonderful poems. I was impressed by all the presenters and their ability to share without any props, like a book, and their words gave music to our ears.

Yeah, I got up, but had to have my poetry book in my hands, my glasses on, and no dancing around. But, it was fun and they plan to do this every so often. Maybe I can get my act together and do this without my book. Doubt it, but hey who knows. So to end this post, I would like to share  MOODS OF MUSIC,

Music opens the windows of the soul creating many moods. Strings of violins being gently caressed sing of intimacy, soft flickering candle light. Rumble of the drums gives a dominating beat to life – slow measured steps or a fast-moving pace. A slide trombone can bring a feeling of melancholy, a sway to the music, a backward trip in memories. Reeds of the clarinet performing jazzy blues mixing the past and present together. Cymbals clashing awakens opportunities yet to be explored.  Moods of music, complacent, invigorating, dreamy. . . Open your soul and listen.

Happy Spring.  Happy Writing.

Patricia

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HELP! I LOST MY WORDS

Yes, it has been a while since my fingers crept across the keyboard. I still can’t run them over the keys because I lost my words. Instead of writing, I’ve been on a wild journey. Picture yourself trying to remember where you ‘stored’ something of great importance to you. Why is it we always try the refrigerator last? This time I went straight to the fridge and search every storage drawer, every shelf, and yes, I did not forget the freezer. Nothing but food and containers; no papers.

This led me to the closets and corners of each room. Nothing, but I did get things pulled out and taken to Goodwill, dust bunnies no longer laugh when I open a closet door. Instead they try to hide or race out to unknown places. The extra hiding areas I’ve developed are now empty and again, no papers or words. The only peace I find is reading others words. I became so desperate, I go to bed with a book, and wake up with the same book. Thank goodness, I’ve finished two. The words are familiar, but I still have problems putting them on my own paper.

The book I am writing came to a complete STOP. I”d read everything from beginning to the point of no words and begin again reading the same material. At least I have made some revisions and feel better about those, but it’s not the same as writing new ideas and moving the story forward to publication.

The harder I try to get words out of my head and onto the keys of my computer, the harder it is to remember what word I should use. So, to help me out, I began to take pictures with my camera. I am not a picture taker, but managed to get some decent shots of familiar people, objects, and places that might bring back the words I need on the tips of my fingers and not hidden in my head.

A friend told me to forget everything and not work so hard at nothing. “Go out for walks, hit the coffee shops, and listen to others. No, not snooping, just listen to the words.” And then, she suggested we take in a matinée of a silly movie. I got caught up in the show and never realized I was laughing until the end. Something clicked and I wanted to get home and write. Maybe. But the silence almost destroyed the progress in front of me.

Now, I can once again find words with my CD’s. Music gives me energy, energy makes my fingers move, and soon words appear on the page. That they all do not make sense, so what? The delete key works, the backspace key backs up, and the music keeps playing.

When we stop because of worry or the need to do things ‘more’ better, it freezes our ability to be free. So, I’ve made a promise to myself, when things get out of whack, go for a walk. I’d love to run, but those days are over. My knees told me this, and I follow these requests.

May your weekend be filled with friends, fun, flowers. I am now back on track so see you soon.

Happy Writing,

P E PATTERSON

 

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.

HAS YOUR ‘JOY LIST’ GROWN?

I hope you have been busy adding to your ‘Joy List.’ The more you add, the more you become accustomed to freeing your mind and opening the realm of possibilities you have not begin to try.images_080

I added to mine and feel rewarded with bloodshot eyes, time tables to meet, and yes, the revision pages of my book came in by the editor–more work–then it hit me. Of course, but the end result will be publication and isn’t that one of the goals of all writers? To get ahead and where we want to be, is not just wishing. It is hard work.

I received an email with a request to be a judge in a Romance Writers Contest in Tennessee. I had enough to do, but this is something I’ve never done and was honored they emailed me. I have guidelines to follow, which makes the judging even and straight-forward. But, what writing I have encountered. This is a Paranormal Contest, and there are many, many vivid imaginations to encounter. These contestants have turned loose their Muse or maybe hidden her in the closet, while their fingers and thoughts hit the keys. I am impressed and intrigued by their stories.

Have you ever thought about writing in another genre? One you never thought you could or are you comfortable in your present genre. If so, then what about writing in a different POV. Try something different and your ‘Joy List’ might increase in size. Be inquisitive and shake up your mindset. Remember the Christmas Snow Ball, where you twist, turn, and watch snowflakes fall inside the small ball? Try twisting and turning your thoughts the same way and see what falls out on your computer screen or in your handwritten notebook. You  never know until you try.

This is another thing with a ‘Joy List,’ the more you add to it, the more joy you create for you as a writer and you as a person. You will have more to give to others and share a different side of you..

Take advantage and surprise yourself and others. Soon, this list will become a part of your daily lives and you will experience much joy, happiness, and a new freedom of your mind. Things start to become new, fresh, and a joy to try, taste, or tempt your muse.

Have fun with yourself. Have fun with your writing. Have fun looking forward to something new.

HAPPY YOU. HAPPY WRITING.

A Long Journey

Check your work.Please forgive my absence. There is no excuse, except to say, “I took a long journey. No, not to some fabulous island, or a trip abroad, but rather to my novels, the ones waiting to get published. I wanted to go back over each one with a new fine-tooth comb.”

These have gone through critique groups, gentle reading from other writers, but when a writer friend said she would do a “beta” read, this intrigued me. She did some of a novel, and we met to discuss her findings. Yikes. I got more information about my writing than I did from an editor, and she’s not finished yet.

So, I offered to “beta” read her novel. I gave her some of my findings and surprised myself with what bits and pieces I caught. My red pen got heated, as did my mind and creative side. Okay, I got picky, if not for her, for me, and my instincts sharpened.

Then, I decided to take my own novel and do MY “beta” read. I did not hold back. I searched for words, phrases, out of place scenes, duplicate words, and I was not easy on myself.

No, I did not do this on the computer (another long journey), rather I printed out 335 pages, got a new red pen, and in the evenings, I went to work. I read, marked, marked, marked, and then read again. I was on a ROLL. The red ink ran out, but I do keep a small stash of these red pens at hand.

I felt in control of me and my writing. When I came to something questionable, a big red “X” went across the page. I wasn’t critiquing me, I was critiquing my writing. And, I noticed the sensor stayed out of the way.

I need to thank my “beta” read person and all the pain she caused me. Why? Because, I now know how to critique myself in a new and inventive way. Does this hurt? YES. Does this help? YES. I can take a look at my words and see beyond the letters into the depths of the story.

Now, I’m back and ready to put some of the red marks into a revision of one novel.  Might end up with eight or nine (8-9) revisions; but if it takes ten, I’m on my way.

Let me hear from you and any of your experiences with a “beta” read or your ways to re-read your work and come out exhausted, but knowing you are on a new plateau.

I’ll be back sooner, and thanks for the new journey.

Happy Revisions.