CHEERS TO THE HOLDAYS

images_271This is the most fun-time of the year. Family members snooping in closets, under beds, and anywhere they can remember, from last year, where presents were hid. And yes, the trips to stores to drop gifts, unwrapped, off at the places for families who need gifts. This is the important part of the holiday season…sharing. Giving rather than receiving.
I remember years ago, my parents driving me and a backseat full of gifts to parts of town I did not know existed. When we stopped in front of homes, some of them did not have lights, but candles. I thought this was neat, until my mom told me the truth about their candles. Even today, I have problems with lighting candles, except at church.
Still we all know there are discrepancies in the lives of people we know and people we do not know. It becomes our cheer to give to those whose lives are not as fortunate
as ours.

One family we encountered had two little boys….all I could think of was balls, toys, warm clothes, until the oldest kept looking around and shaking his head. When I asked if he was okay, he nodded and turned to go still looking around. “Did you loose something?” I asked. The answer came back in a whisper…”No, guess Santa never heard me.”

“What did you want from Santa?”

“A new coat for my mom, and a puppy for my brother.”

My heart dropped down to my knees. He wanted for his mom and his brother but nothing for him. “Maybe, Santa had his sleigh full and couldn’t get these inside. If he doesn’t come back tonight, we will search for him tomorrow.”

“Really, you’d help me?”

My dad turned his head around and surprised me….”Of course, but you need to keep this a secret.”

The little boy’s eyes widened as he shook his head up and down.

“If we can find Santa tonight, we’ll be back; but if we have to wait until Christmas Day, we may be a little late.”

“Okay.”

No other response. This little boy believed both of us.

“Dad, what are we going to do?”

“Everything except the puppy. They can’t feed their own family, and certainly not a dog. But, you, my daughter, will take him to the Animal Shelter and let him play with all the dogs he and his brother can handle.  AND…This will be once a month for the next year.”

I noticed the change in my Dad’s voice and I knew what he meant. A promise is your word to another person and it cannot be broken.

The next day, we drove by their house. The candles were all lit, singing came through the cracks in the doors and windows. It was a happy sound, and next to me was a huge hairy dog. We opened up car doors and started toward the house. The singing stopped, and the family members met us on the rickety front porch.

“We found Santa,” my dad hollered, but he only had a few things left. “A new coat for mom, a new flannel shirt for dad, clothes for both of you boys, and a new part-time pet. Meet, “Big Boy.” We will bring him by every so often and my daughter will take you with her to help at the animal shelter. Santa smiled as he got his sleigh off toward the North Pole.

“Merry Christmas to all who believe.”

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WILD AND FUN WEEKEND

WheeeeeeLabor Day weekend filled Atlanta with many activities. Dragon Con had its convention in downtown Atlanta. Costumes captured all of the characters and the parade down Peachtree Street gave kids and adults the sights they were waiting to come to life.

Then, we had the 10th Annual Decatur Book Festival. This opened with the keynote speaker, Erica Jong, and another author, Roxane Gay at Emory’s Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts. A new stage opened and is part of the Georgia Grown Culinary Village with cooking demonstrations and authors of cookbooks giving out their secrets and food. There were stages for authors in many genres–The Atlanta History Center, Science Track, Romance, Poetry, Mystery and Thriller, Art, and characters mingling with the people, and the Children’s & Teen Stages.

Venues were set up all around the city of Decatur. The Old Court House opened for different authors to share their work. Decatur is just the town for this event and opportunity to meet neighbors and make new friends. Decatur is home to history–Emory and Agnes Scott Universities. A vibrant city with an appreciation for the arts and books.

The Atlanta History Center offers author programs during the months of September, October, and through November. These are award-winning authors, best-selling authors of fiction and non-fiction, and even authors of cookbooks sharing seasonal recipes. This gives people a chance for discussions and meeting other enthusiastic readers who share the love of books.

What a way to celebrate Labor Day and then back to business, but not in the usual way. I find myself energized with new ideas, meeting other writers from all over Georgia and other areas and states.

The difficulty of my publishers’ bankruptcy announcement is still fresh in my mind. All of the authors of Secret Cravings Publishing are pulling for each other. Our Authors Only site is filled with tears and new beginnings. I keep writing and, in time, will republish Breaking Point and other books. Just not certain in which format. I’ll keep writing new stories and using the words from my head fill the screen.

The day this happened, I glanced at my horoscope, which I never read, but guess the ‘gods’ were trying to guide me.  “This morning you’ll open your eyes with a fresh perspective on life. Then, you’ll figure out what really makes you happy and prioritize your life based on that realization. It is truly a great day.”

Writing and I’ll keep writing until words cease to float through my head and my fingers are too stiff to move over the keys.

HAPPY YOU.  HAPPY DAY. HAPPY WRITING.

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

The OtherlifeYou will notice, that the original posting of Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow has been deleted from my blog. The publisher, Secret Cravings Publishing, is in the process of declaring bankruptcy. Therefore, my book, Breaking Point, has to be removed.

Yesterday, my book was published and offered to all of you. Today, the book will be down until I know which direction I want to take. Tomorrow, is another day for me to decide in which way I want to go with Breaking Point and all the other novels still in revision, and in my head.

My thanks to all of you who have been a part of this journey with me. The critiques, the opportunities, the wonder of writing. It is too soon to make definite decisions, but with my eyes open, my heart open to new adventures, I will find what makes me happy and write, write, write with a new prospective. Life gives us many choices and we learn to accept what we can and do what is most important to us.

My blog will be up and running, probably in circles for a few times, but this will improve my way of thinking, writing, and keeping you in the loop of publishing.

Thanks for your important part in my life. Words need to be written, novels published, and readers need to read. Hang tight with me and we will once again make waves on the calm waters.

P.E.PATTERSON (Patricia)

THE END OF AUGUST 2015

Video

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.

 

 

 

 

CENTER OF CONFUSION

Video

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.

WHAT DAY IS THIS?

The OtherlifeThis is the look of my days, not quite night, definitely not morning, and my eyes are red from writing and reading. Sometimes, I feel like there is no in between and it is hard to decide upon AM or PM. One thing for certain, the challenges for each day push me forward into uncharted territory.

This past Saturday, I attended my Georgia Romance Writers meeting and came away with new thoughts, new visions, and new ideas. Why? I was surrounded by writers. Some struggling to keep everything together and some celebrating new books and trying to balance their time and others hitting the blank spot of the brain. I realized none of us have it all together and this made me feel good. Do I like it? Nah. But, we keep surrounding ourselves with other writers and gather support. This is so important when you are struggling with a page, a chapter, a thought, and know you have others you can bounce these thoughts out there and get feedback.

I have found out that writers jump on the wagon and either pull or push you forward. It is the momentum from their hard work that propels new writers forward. Then, it is our turn to do the same to other new writers. Writer friends are friends we turn to in times of questions and they understand our problems. Why? Because, most of them have been in the same situations and managed to break through to publication and above.

Make certain you have life-lines to throw out to all of your writer friends, and they have the same coming your way. Beta Readers, Critique Partners, and Writing Groups are the best life-lines writers have. They may not be perfect, but it is a starting point. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be yourself. But . . . never compare yourself to another writer. We are all different and our needs are different. Keep your avenues open for everyone. Make sure your bridges to others are always open.

My big happening this week, I received my book in print and can hold my ‘baby’ in between my hands. And, it was not an easy birth, but I am busy on two other books. Maybe these will be a little easier to produce. No matter what happens, I will continue to write, write, and write. And you, as a writer will continue to write and write and write. Once a writer, the need to write, share, and publish never goes way. Good Luck to all of you writers.

A saying, I believe in and maybe you will too, is from Eleanor Roosevelt.
“The future belongs to those who dream.”

Happy Dreams. Happy Writing.

CONNECTION

Two friends“Hey, Ethel, did you see the title of her new blog? Bet she got this from our friendship.”

“Edna, we gave her a great picture of connection. Let’s see what she has to say.”

Look at the blank page before you begin writing. Do you know what your mind has for your fingers to create? This is like a blank canvas and your mind can develop anything you want. But, have you thought out your picture? What about your story? Pictures and stories seem to coincide. Your picture can stir up thoughts of a story and your story can create pictures in your mind. Yep, they go hand-in-hand. Sometimes as writers, we have looked at pictures as prompts and encouraged to write twenty-five words about the picture. As an artist, we read a story and see everything in pictures or paintings. Some are lucky and can do both–me, let’s just say do not put a paint brush in my hand. I cannot do good on walls, let alone a small piece of paper.

What if you have started your story and had to stop. Do you go back and take the time to read what you have written. No, not just a sentence or two, but maybe a chapter. You need to keep the characteristics of your characters the same and plod forward. You do not want that meek character to turn into an arrogant creature in the next sentence. This is where you connect from reading a few pages back.

Once you are into your story and spend time with your characters, it is easier to pick up where you stopped. You now their behaviors, their dispositions, and their voices. Voice is important for all of your characters. Even without naming the speaker, the reader knows the voice. The character uses their specific words to express themselves and the way they articulate their words. The reader ‘knows’ this person you have created.

If you are writing a singe title book, the characters are there just for this book. But, what happens if this is a series? You will need to carry your characters over to the next book with some their same traits. Of course, they may change as you give them opportunities to grow. Guess what? Now you have more choices to make and more time with your characters.

This is where the pictures in your mind help you connect. Be free with your pictures and your characters will show you their other side(s). Most of all, have fun with your writing and let your characters lead you down different paths.

Happy Pictures. Happy Characters. Happy Writing.