July 1st, 2010
As a member of Holy Ground book club, I am exposed to a wide variety of books. Some, I would probably not have found on my own but I find them really interesting and adding to my life and knowledge.
The first, Rainwater, by Sandra Brown was a truly moving novel that kept me reading till I finished it in one day. I especially liked the ending. Perfect. I then read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, a novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. This took place in England and was a light-hearted, with some dark moments, novel that was also a quick read. From this one I became aware of the channel islands between England and France and I intend to learn more about them. The theme of our summer book club meeting is World War II so the books are during that era. The last I have read is The Postmistress by Sarah Blake and that one had the most beautiful word pictures: Read the rest of this entry »
June 7th, 2010
When Wes and I attended the Storyteller’s Summit at the University of Florida, one of the most beneficial authors was Roy Peter Clark. His was the last and the best session of the weekend. Wes and I were so impressed that we both bought his book, Writing Tools. I thought it particularly of importance that he said it was a book of tools, not rules. Rules are something you must do; tools are aids to doing something well. This is subtitled: 50 Essential Strategies For Every Writer. The chapters are composed of the 50 tools and each chapter has a workshop at the end. These will help me put into practice what I have read. I began reading his book immediately and since returning home have continued. I think of it as a map to guide me to being a better writer.
While Writing Tools is feeding my mind, another book is feeding my spirit. Writing Begins With the Breath: Embodying Your Authentic Voice by Laraine Herring begins each chapter with a quote and ends with what the author calls Touchstones. These are ways I can concentrate, focus, hone my skills. She also has what she calls Body Breaks which are simple exercises to use the body to increase mental clarity, stimulate the imagination, and develop in other ways.
I love to write but am the Queen of Procrastination. Hopefully, these books will add structure to my life and encourage me to spend more time doing what I love — writing.
June 7th, 2010
What a beautiful, wonderful rainy day! I love rain. It is often so peaceful! Today is one of those days — gentle showers off and on. No thunder. No lightening. Not enough to flood anywhere but enough rain to fill the bird bath and bless all of Nature.
Rain makes all the greenery even greener. I love the diamonds of raindrops on the leaves. The world seems brighter and cleaner after showers.
I love to walk in the rain, with or without an umbrella. Although rain in Ohio often lasts through the night or most of a day, when I was in Gainesville, FL, on several days rain would threaten and finally around five in the afternoon there would be a downpour. The rain usually only lasted a couple of hours and chased the heat away. One evening, just as we were leaving to meet friends for dinner, there was a downpour. Although we had umbrellas, by the time we entered the home of friends we were pretty wet. However, by the time we left an hour or so later, we were dry, the rain had stopped and we proceeded to dinner.
Today was one of those days when rain brought peace to me and I enjoyed hearing its music; seeing its beauty. I thought of how much we enjoyed playing in the rain when I was a child. Although we might sing, “Rain, rain go away, come again some other day” we really enjoyed it. We loved the sunshine but we also loved the rain. My dad had large vegetable gardens and the rain was welcome. I believe it also helped make the blackberries so plump and tasty. On summer days it washed away the dust and brought cooler air.
The rain has stopped; night is approaching. The air is cool and the whole world seems refreshed by the blessed rain. As am I.
Why do words from the Merchant of Venice come to mind? “The quality of mercy is not strained, it droppeth as the gentle rain …” .
May 31st, 2010
My Senior Column, for seven years in the Bainbridge Banter and four years in the Spirit of Bainbridge, has enable me to express my joy of living, to share what inspires me, and to thoroughly enjoy my love affair with words.
My children have introduced me to computers and expanded my world through e mail, web site, bogs and Facebook. They continually teach me how to use these tools, and they encourage and cheer me on.
Some of the speakers at the Storytellers’ Summit spoke of “a platform” and no one asked what that is. Afterward, Wes, Murial and I asked each other what it could be. Since my good friend, Mary C. Ryan has had several young adult books published (among them “Me Two” which was made into a movie by Disney), I emailed her. She sent me a link that is invaluable to me! The link was from Rachel Gardner’s blog. Now that I know what a literary platform is, I can begin building mine. Wes had, in fact, correctly guessed some of what a platform is made of. I was pleased to find that I do have a start on creating one to present to a publisher.
May 29th, 2010
Is there a pot of gold at the end of my rainbow? If so, that’s good. If not, the writing journey will be gold enough for me. The joy of expression, of sharing will form a multi-colored arc in my sky. I’ve been cruising down the River of Writing for years. Ten of those years has been as a published journalist. The rapids in the river are the deadlines for my column in the Spirit of Bainbridge.
The current became swifter when I attended the Storytellers’ Summit, May 14-16, 2010 – at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Saturday and Sunday, from 10 – 5:30 were filled almost non-stop with presentations by famous authors, editors, and an agent. I was absolutely thrilled when I asked Jane Dystel if I should look for an agent locally (I felt it would be easier to meet with one that way). Her reply was that the publishers are in NY so look for an agent in NY — “Send something to me.”! I have nothing ready yet, but I do have an agent!