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.
I can’t remember getting highway and road temperatures with the news until yesterday. It got downright cold and windy, but warm and toasty inside my condo. Didn’t really see all that much snow around here, but in other counties, they got 3-5 inches. Snow isn’t bad, it’s what it covers —ICE. The cold weather, snow, and hills are for the young. Yes, even the young at heart, but not the actual actions. Went out this afternoon to check on my car, thought about going for a short drive to rev up the motor, but the cold impact on my chest kept my breath from behaving as normal. So, came back inside and stared out the windows. Don’t get me wrong, I love the cold weather, snow, and being bundled up, but need a little more to keep warm.
So, here I am writing to all of you and hoping all of you have had a beautiful New Year Week. I received an email from my friend, Kevin, and he and his wife have gotten a third grandchild from their daughter and son-in-law. Guess the wait was worth it….little girl, and since she was born around Christmas/New Years, her name is EVE. We have not met for our critique on writings as the baby was expected at any time. Now, we can make a date to meet, relax, and I can find out more about the new little girl.
I am so surprised at myself…..thought retirement would be a blast. Now, I find myself waking up without the alarm, yeah at the same old-time, not getting done what I used to have accomplished by ‘going to work’ time, and getting bored. No, I have plenty to do, writing to revise, writing to get done, and even the closets have had two or three changes. Can’t do more than that or I’ll have nothing else to do. NO, just kidding. I have learned something else; when you work, you become more efficient with everything you do. When, there is nothing pushing you, I tend to drag my feet.
I find myself at the Library quite often researching for new material to read, new ideas to incorporate into my own writing, and getting to know the staff. They are a great group of librarians and representatives of the Buckhead Library. Now, I have the time to enjoy their expertise, instead of running in, searching, running out and oh, yeah, checking out the books. Then, I get to have the time to sit and read what I bring home.
What do you find yourself doing in this beginning of the New Year? I would love to hear from all of you with just a short note. You can send a message as a comment to my post or as an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Promise to put some comments and notes in my post and give you some feedback. Your suggestions and comments are important to me.
Be interesting to see what happens tomorrow. Thank goodness, our church starts later and hope the ice will have melted a little more. Although, at last report, the roads will still be at or under the freezing temps.
May each of you experience joy and new avenues during 2017. Be open and receptive to different opportunities. Who knows? You may find new friends, new roads to travel, and be fulfilled with gratitude to all you meet. Indulge in the unknown. You just might be surprised.
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.
This 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.
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.
Patricia says, Happy Writing, Happy Journeys, and Happy Happenings to all of you.
Writers write. Readers read. Do you write for your readers? A few simple steps could keep you in front of your readers all the time.
#1. Do you write in different genres? Separate each and check your stats and sales in the various categories.
#2. Check your followers. See who shows interest in your stories and asks questions or give comments.
#3. Look at both your blog and website. Do you interact with your readers through the comment section?
#4. If you do a book event, are part of a book event, or have a signing at a special place, do you give your readers plenty of notice with all the pertinent information, driving directions or websites?
I’m certain you can add more avenues to check out. Keep your findings . (You are making a track sheet, right?)
Now, look at you the writer.
#1. Do you send out a big “thank you” when a reader purchases a book? Yeah, the old-fashioned kind by postal services. Even in high-tech times, readers want to feel special..
#2. Do you have a special notebook you bring to all your signings? These include book store events or a conference. Ask your attendees to sign with either an address or email address. Then, send a short “thank you” within a few days.
#3. Acknowledge your readers on social media. Make each reader feel special. Do not answer with a carbon-copy on each media..
#4. Give back to your readers. Have fun contests and free book giveaways. Freebies are a great way to get your work out. Do not ask for anything in return, except a review. AND…then remember, each reader has their own concept and if a low review comes in, still thank the reader. Next time, it can hit the #5 star.
Most of all, have a great relationship with your readers. Without readers would you write?
Some of this may sound old-fashioned, but respect, responsibility and a great “THANK YOU” never goes out of style.
Today, we are in a book club together. No particular book by name, but the book you are writing, and we want to discuss characters.
How do you let your characters show their power of empathy? You know the sensitive side of themselves without being overbearing. Can your characters (male and female, protagonist or antagonist) let down their attitudes and become human? There’s one character who can never let down his/her guard. Always on edge, waiting for something bad to happen. Now, this character needs your assistance. How can you provide without taking away the edge? Try to work in a little compassion and let your character have one moment where she/he might be vulnerable. The desire to share her/his concern is there, but not all at one time. This may be a ‘sore spot’ for the character and to empathize would take away the hardness needed to survive, or so the character thinks. Show all of these emotions to your readers, a little bit at a time. Even the most hardened character needs to be transformed.
Your character has allowed small irritations to fester, and heaven help the next person to encounter this explosion. Do you ignore the outbursts? Do you try to show your reader the insights to this character and why? Or, do you build up these small raw spots so the reader can relate to this character and empathize with these trouble areas.
Secrets….always pose a problem. Secrets are not secret as they come out each day in our characters’ lives. SHHH….. well forget this. Someone has spilled the can of beans all over the sidewalk. As a writer, you can have a ball with this scenario. Do you go overboard and show an oversensitive character or a thin-skinned character? Does your character get irritable or touchy and has no respect for herself or himself? Does this character want to get in a pay-back mood? Only you, the writer, will know how to handle this in your story; but be aware, you can have a great turn-around or one less character.
Now comes some fun parts.Think about friendship in a love relationship. One character wants a relationship and the other a friend. What a combustible fragment you can create. You know your characters, so could this be avoided? Not if you want your readers to follow every word, line, and page. One of your characters needs to crawl on the sofa and be held, comforted, a back rub, and nothing more. The other character wants to give more than a hug, a few kind words, and when nothing happens walks out the door or goes to another room.
Okay, put your heads together and I would love to hear some of your responses. There is no one way to solve or handle , but when a group gets together……watch out. Writers know how to handle the most delicate or horrendous situations.
Got a couple more for the next time. So, let me hear from you and we will conquer. What? Whatever needs to be conquered.