THE END OF AUGUST 2015

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images_063August is coming to a quick end. Did I not look at a calendar, or do the days fly by and I do not notice? Knowing me, I’d say I do not notice.  Why? Because life is a merry-go-round, and I want to keep the momentum going. Still, sometimes I have to step off and watch the horses go up and down for a few turns. A breather, you might call it. And I got hit with this at my last SilverSneakers® class. One of the members hollered, “Hey are we going to have class on Labor Day?” Labor Day, that’s next month and the hammer hit hard. No, That’s next week.  They are such a great group, we will probably take the Holiday and be ready to come back refreshed, renewed, rewound.

August came and did its heat on all of us. The humidity hit hard against the body and I can only imagine what the states with such outrageous fires are going through. Now, Hurricane Season sticks its neck out and we have Tropical Storms forming in many different regions.

This made me think of the process of writing. An idea forms, and we wait to see what this idea wants to do. Yeah, even in the middle of the night, these thoughts filter into our sleep. Sometimes, these are the most important filters to trap into our dreams. We are asleep and our subconscious takes control.  There is no censor on these trips, rather our naked nature and we roll with the punches.

I am working on a new book and thought I knew what would happen. Wrong.  My character’s all have different names, the location is out of my control and so are my characters. This all happened one nightmarish night. I woke up in the morning and my bedroom looked like a ‘war’ zone. Guess I was fighting the changes, but then could not remember what changes. No, there were no scribbles on my notebook, because I’d knocked it on the floor before I could scribble. So, I sat at my computer and went to the folder of the WIP (work in progress). What I encountered was nothing compared to my — encounter. I keep plodding in the old file, hoping my dream will return in a more prudent manner.  Life as a writer at times sucks, and then a times shines. We are hooked and never give up or out.

Proof of this is the Trailer of my book, Breaking Point, which is out in printed form. If the ‘gods’ are with me, I will try to have this video added at the end of the post. If it works, the big thanks goes to Carolyn Wren, a Secret Cravings Author, who has given up her time and energy to produce trailers. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

This is what writers do…help other writers. There is no industry in the world that has the help from one writer to another writer, Thank you.

p.s.  video did not work, but challenges are a part of writing. If you would like to check this out, please visit my website at http://www.patricia-patterson.com. I’ll work on this challenge ASAP.

 

 

 

 

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CENTER OF CONFUSION

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Lost ConfidenceI wish this look could swipe over me. A form of utter calm and no worries. Have you ever been so overwhelmed that you want to throw the dishes in the garbage, the radio along with the dishes, the television hit with a baseball bat (if you have one), and the computer hidden and you can’t remember where? I’m sure we have all had these days, even weeks, and why? I don’t know about you, but I want things done and not have to wait until later. After all my years on the Planet Earth, I should be able to shrug and let pieces fall where they want. But, this is wishful thinking and you know what–I’m glad. It means I am still around and kicking. No make that writing.

Do you ever feel like things hit you dead center at the most inopportune time? My computer started hanging up. Nothing would work, except alt control delete or OFF. And this was right when new scenes were flying through my head for another book. Yes, pen and paper were handy, but my writing is not the best in the world. Since the computer, I’ve even forgotten how to make the writing legible. Any way, I tried and could not read my own handwriting. So, I waited a day and tried again. Nada.

Another idea hit…a tape recorder. Somewhere, I had put an old-fashioned one and knew how to operate this. Now where? A search of almost every drawer in my home became the focus point, and search I did. Until, the one drawer became evident. You know the one that catches everything. There it was hidden under scads of odds and ends and it worked when I turned it on.

Not to let the words escape me, I began recording what I could remember for the new book. It was like my fingers running over the keyboard, but instead my voice hitting the airwaves of the recorder. Then, squawk, squeak, screech, and nothing. Guess batteries don’t last forever. So, excuse me, as I need to get to the store and pick up a couple. No, wait a minute, look I am hitting the keys and my computer has returned to normal.

Yes, we all have our good and bad days. We all have interruptions. We all have intrusions in our lives, but this tells us we are alive and kicking. We do have time to get things done and complete our novel.

Head to your favorite writing corner, put on your coat of armor, and let the words fall out whichever way they can: paper, pen, napkins, tissue paper. You’ve got the words to use and this is what we are all about…writing.

Happy You. Happy Writing.

BLOWN IS READY TO LAUNCH – MAY 19, 2015 IS THE DATE

AuthorChuckBarrettThis is the author, Chuck Barrett, of another powerful novel, that will grab you by the hand, take you by the throat, and not let go. By that time you are exhausted. Barrett is an Amazon bestselling author of the Award-winning Jake Pendleton series:  The Savannah Project, The Toymaker, and Breach of Power.  Somewhere in between all of these novels, he  added his personal information and seminars to the art of self-publishing, Publishing Unchained: An Off-Beat Guide to Independent Publishing. He has put together his Book Launch Advocate Team, and it has been a “Blown” away experience. So, for my part, I asked him if he could answer some questions for all of his readers. Not many, but enough to let the reader know  little more about the author. How long have you been writing?  I started writing in 1998 and my first book, The Savannah Project, took 12 years and six rewrites to complete. And, I’ve been writing ever since. What attracted you to writing?  It was that mid-life thing, I think. I felt it like it was something I not only wanted to do, but needed to do. And I love it. There is nothing more exciting than watching a story unfold in front of me and being surprised by each twist and turn. I’m talking about as a writer and not a reader! Where did the idea for your story come?  I guess the catchy answer is from the gremlins in the attic. Reality is most ideas come from newspaper articles or real-life stories. That’s the spark and it gets my imagination going. Then I try to draw (or create) a nexus between the stories and spin a twist tale of intrigue. How did or do you figure out what to name your characters?  As morbid as this may sound…the obituaries are the best source. I mix and match first and last names until I have something catchy. Occasionally, I use a name verbatim, but not very often. One of my characters is named after a cemetery. I’ll keep everyone guessing on that one. What is your favorite thing about writing?  The twists and turns. A surprise around every corner. I typically write as a panster (by the seat of my pants) in the first few chapters knowing only where the story will ultimately end. After about 25,000 words, I use plot notes a few chapters ahead, just to make sure I don’t get off track. Only plot notes. No in-depth outlines. What is your least favorite thing about writing?  Editing. Do you have a favorite quote?  “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin. If your story was turned into a film, what Hollywood stars would play the two main characters?  From the Jake Pendleton series–Jake:  Chris Pine is a hands down ringer. From the Gregg Kaplan series–Gregg Kaplan is a much tougher pick. Probably…I’m thinking a scruffy Clive Owen. What is your favorite book?  Stone Cold by David Baldacci. It was the first Baldacci book I read and was enthralled with the characters that made up the Camel Club. Wonderful character interplay. I have since read all of Baldacci’s books. What is your least favorite book? Why?  I’d rather not say. Do you have an odd quirk that not a lot of people or a lot of people) know about?  I’d normally say I have no quirks, but my wife would insist otherwise. She says I’m slow to respond to her questions…like even days betting around to answering. She says it’s annoying, I say I’m processing all the outcomes before giving her an answer. BLOWN This is the book that will send you into another spin. My first words …two to the chest, one to the head, works every time. Some other comments have been..not just an oath, but a trust not to be broken..Once in, never out. Thanks, Chuck, for taking the time and letting all of your readers  and now, soon-to-be readers, know a little more of you the writer. Now, it is time for you to find your own words after reading this new novel and share your reviews online. All of Chuck Barrett’s books are available in print and e-book. Go to http://www.chuckbarrettbooks.com and find out more about Chuck and his writing. Don’t forget about the Publishing Unchained, if you are interested in doing your own publishing. Check out his line-up of events on his website and enjoy a taste of Florida and the heat of the book.

CREATIVE CHALLENGES

energyDo you have them? Do you ignore them? Do you not believe in them? What do you do with them?

A lot of questions with no set answers. Why? Because every writer has their own version of creative challenges, and it start at the beginning…or does it?

What if you were to start writing the ending and then travel back to the beginning? Would your story have a different ending or a different beginning?

How many of you remember or saw the movie, The Spanish Prisoner? What did you decide after seeing this film. It could be anyone of us out to play with the possibilities of capture or secrets.

Then the movie, Memento, pops into my mind. Was the guy crazy? Did he really kill his wife? Or did he watch his best friend commit the crime?

This is a challenge to all writers:

Start your story at the end and create as you travel backwards to the beginning. This makes for a different type of writing. You have the ending, but how did this story begin?

The ending hits your heart and soul, but why? Dig deeper and see where you came from and then stop. Let all of these scenes into your head and fingertips. Your writing will take you back to the beginning at a slow pace. You will see and feel everything in a deeper way and a more vibrant color, than starting at the beginning and going to the end.

Confused? Yeah, a little. Okay, start a different way. You write down the first scene that comes to your mind. This is the story you want to write. You know the characters, who will be in your story, their lifestyles, their loves, and their secrets. It is a beginning, but as a writer you feel empty. You plot your scenes and know there is something more, but what? The ending must come first. So you begin at the end, and this is a summary of my thoughts, at this time:

“Stop. You cannot close the casket. She is not dead. I just talked with her and she needs to tell me more about the argument.”

“Ma’am, she is dead. There is no chance for error.”

“Then, why do I hear her pounding on the casket lid?”

People quiet. There is no talking, no noise, no cranks of the equipment to lower the casket further, but there is no sound.

“Shh, I hear her talking.” The casket lid opens with a slight push, and her gloved hand slips into the open space.

‘He is here. Find him.” Her voice comes out sure and strong. The lid closes again, and her voice is quiet.

Okay writers, start your story backwards from this point and work your way to the beginning. A love story backwards. A mystery with the death before the why.

Have a great time with this scenario and let your thoughts push your writing into another depth.

HAVE FUN. WRITE BACKWARDS. EXPLORE NEW DEPTHS. HAPPY WRITING.

A Different Blog

See what happens when you are having fun.  Our SilverSneakers group is all for the 3 F’s – Fitness, Friends, Fun. This is our Fall Festival at the 57th Fighters Group. Yeah, I know we were to sit out on the patio, enjoy the cool weather, and watch the planes touch down and take off. But, none of us had control over the weather; so we did the next best thing…We took over the bar area and had a blast. The windows look out onto the runways and we could see the planes come in and take off. Of course, we were much too busy laughing, stuffing our faces with great food, and getting to know each other in a social atmosphere. No, I did not require any exercise at this time. I was going to upload this pic into a huge form, and decided to let everyone try to pic themselves out of the photo.  SS 57th FIGHTER 10-15-2014 001

SS 57th FIGHTER 10-15-2014 003

 

 

 

Now for a glimpse of my wild side. I attended our Georgia Romance Writers Conference, Moonlight & Magnolias for a whole weekend. So many great authors and writers there and the programs were the best ever. We had so many options and classes to take, you just closed your eyes and pointed. I lucked out and shared a room with my birthday friend. Yep, we met several years ago and found out we have the same birthday, but not the same year.  As we went through all of our material, we chose classes a little different and took great notes. Then we shared everything and came up with new ideas and new strategies for our writing.

Then on Saturday night, we had the Maggie’s Award Banquet. All the published authors had entered their stories and now down to the finalists. But, we still had the HUNKS, this year just the HUNK. They are guys that pose for the covers of Romance Writers Books, usually quite down to the buff. And this HUNK, was dressed to the nines and still took time to pose with the writers around him. Just like this:20141011_190852 20141011_190756-1me and Diane. It was great fun and a lot to share with others and have good laughs. Yes our wine glasses are full. He also escorted the Maggie contestants to the stage and then off the stage . This was before the DJ and the dancing started.

Now, to make plans for next year.

I’ll get back on the blog portion by tomorrow night. Just wanted to share this with you since my website took a dive.

 

Happy Writing. Live Life. Enjoy LIfe. Write More.

 

Comments are welcome.

 

 

Trick or Treat – It’s Halloween

images_025The Halloween’s from my childhood have disappeared. No more neighborhood travels to homes with empty brown-paper bags. No more tricks for the people, who opened their doors without fear and laughed as we sang, tap-danced, twirled or acted out our homemade costumes. An old shirt from dad made the transition to an old man, or the threadbare pillow case over our heads with holes cut out for eyes and the mouth made us ghosts. Then what about the old rag rolled up and stuck under the door to keep the cold from coming inside. This pinned to a backside for a cat look, and don’t forget the cowboy outfits with a big belt, sometimes wrapped around the waist twice, and the plastic toy water gun, minus the water.

Treats were not just thrown into our open bags, but handed to us wrapped in foil from the kitchen. The small of fresh, baked cookies slipped out some of the foil and our mouths could taste the chocolate chips or spices from oatmeal cookies. Sometimes, we lucked out and got an apple or a pear. We always said ‘thank you’ before scurrying of to the next neighbor. There was no fear in walking with our friends around or neighborhood or the thought of something in our treats to hurt us. The excitement of staying up past bedtime to count our goodies, with parents watching when we got home.

Simple pleasures. Simple treasures.

Fast forward to the present and a different Halloween. Costumes are bought from a store, weeks in advance, and can range from aliens from out space to creatures from the dark side. Brown paper bags no longer exist. Instead, orange pumpkin-like buckets are held up for what is handed out and still wait for more. Sometimes, the ‘thank you’ is forgotten.

No longer is it safe to walk, even in groups, from one place to another. Parents drive a group of kids to places they believe to be safe and fun for their children. Schools hold Halloween parties, churches invite Halloween participants into the recreation areas to have safe fun and no tainted treats. Tricks have turned into more than fun and sometimes dangerous. Treats are from the grocery store, not the oven.

Yer, we all get a little excited about Halloween. It is a fun time, rather is should be a fun time to be remembered later in life. Sharing this special Haunted Day with your children and your friends will add memories to your lives. Make a Special Halloween this year for your family, and do not forget to say, ‘Thank you.’

I would love to hear back from you about your Halloween Haunts from your childhood or your children’s  view of their Halloween. If you agree, I’ll post the different answers. I promise, no name, but you will recognize your own stories. However, you may include a state, as some areas are so different.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN.   HAPPY HAUNTING.

HAPPY WRITING A NEW HAUNTED STORY.

 

SUMMER FOR EVERYONE

WheeeeeeHello friends, readers, followers. I hope you are enjoying meeting a lot of my author friends and their new works. I have quite a few more to share with you, BUT wanted to let you know I miss chatting with you.

How do I know it’s Summer?  Besides, heat, humidity, thunder, lightning, and downpours of rain, my hairdresser told me last Friday, “Happy Holiday.” I stared at her–what holiday? “The 4th of July,” she replied. Since I only come in when every hair sticks out straight, up, or out of control, she was right.

On my way home, I became aware of the banners attached to poles announcing the “PEACHTREE ROAD RACE.” Runners practice early morning, mid-morning, afternoon, evening, whenever they can. Sure, I’d noticed more runners than usual, but never gave it a thought about JULY?? I can walk up a block and catch the racers as they run by. Yeah, I clap, yell, scream holler and wished I’d tried it earlier in my years. But, the best part are the wheelchair runners. This moves your heart and inspiration and respectability to full alert. Promise, I’ll try to get pictures if my camera behaves. I point at the object or people and my camera turns the other way. I even took a Camera 101 class and I cannot get the thing to cooperate. But, will do the best I can.

Summer presents a lot of opportunities for writers. Yes, we can sit at the pool and write, or not. Someone asked me, “do you ever get a vacation?” My reply shocked both of us. “Every day is a vacation. I find new clouds in the sky to move and inspire me. Thunderstorms are powerful and I can watch them inside as they blow treetops around me in frenzied patterns on the outside. I’ve noticed the squirrels around my condo, digging in for what the needs might be and ignoring my footsteps near them.  Good sign? Bad Sign? Hunger Sign? Kinda like, ‘please step around me, I’m busy.’

Every day brings new opportunities to all of us, especially writers. As a writer, I tend to notice different things. Summer brings people out of their hidey-holes and into the mainstream of events. People, in general, seem to be more talkative and given the chance can talk you into hearing loss. Music takes people to outdoor concerts, blankets on the park grass, kids dancing to different drum beats, and oops….mom and dad dancing on the grass make the kids run into hiding.

Never, never let go of your summer traditions: picnics, grilling, volleyball, watching your kids play baseball, soccer, or falling asleep under a big oak tree. Enjoy your Summer and look at all it has to offer from a family point of view, a single point of view, but from every point of view of a writer.

Put summer in your writing this year. Remember, come winter, we all want to feel warm, relaxed as only Summer can give us.

HAPPY SUMMER WRITING.