"It is possible at any age to discover a lifelong desire you never knew you had." - Robert Brault

Sunday, January 25, 2015

* NOSTALGIC SUNDAY *

It's Time Again for Another Nostalgic Sunday!
 
 
In my attempt to get back into blogging on a somewhat regular basis, I thought the best place to start would be with a "Nostalgic Sunday" post. Those of you who have been around for a few years will remember I used to post these just about every Sunday. Then it got less and less...and I'm sad to say the last two were November 2014, and August 2014. Well, that just won't do! I think I can manage at least once a month.
 
 
I'm nostalgic today for several reasons:
 
  • I'm in the beginning stages of writing a piece for the 2015 St. Louis production of Listen to your Mother.  < Check out the site for complete information on how to submit a story or buy tickets to the show.
  •  I've been seeing and hearing prop (propeller) planes again all over the skies.
  •  I've been going through lots of old B&W photos, along with my mental images for my sequel I'm also working on. *note about that farther below*
  •  I'm feeling the most nostalgic because of an aroma! Isn't it both amazing, and yet so simple, that certain odors trigger powerful memories? Many times it's because of a certain food, or perfume, or even logs burning in the fireplace. I think this particular one might be a bit unusual. (Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of it!) This aroma is that of dryer sheets or fabric softener!
        
Many times when I'm outside with my beloved dog, Vern, we meander all around the sidewalks and grassy areas in our condo complex. (It seems that 90% of the residents here also own a dog or two, so there are plenty of odors for Vern to sniff!)
 
 
It doesn't matter whether it's a weekday or weekend, or daytime or evening. Whiffs of various laundry fragrances permeate the air and I'm immediately taken back...like a hopscotch game, back and forth between my childhood, my teenage years, and especially my very young married life.

The short version of "my very young married life" is this:
  1. Lived in Germany for a year with first husband and baby son, Scotty.
  2. Rented apartment in tiny town.
  3. Became best friends with another army wife, Debbie.
  4. We sometimes did our laundry together.
  5. Once in a while splurged and bought a German brand detergent because it smelled heavenly and the PX only sold Tide.
  6. We'd gather our deutsche marks, walk across the street and down the block, while taking turns pushing Scotty's stroller.

I wonder how many women find joy in such simple things? I believe there are "loads" of us! J


One more thing...The note above about working on my sequel...

A long time ago I didn't like using the word "work" when mentioning my writing. I thought I should refer to it as "writing" my memoir, or contest submission, or essay.

But after writing, rewriting, editing, rewriting again, deleting entire paragraphs, printing pages to read and edit again with a red pencil, wadding up paper after paper of crap I'd written... I became a believer! It is WORK!
 
Oh, but then again what beautiful and wondrous work it is!

~~~

I'd like to welcome two new followers! And as Sandi, William, and Lisa (from my previous post) were different and unique, so are Melody Jacobs and Dimple Khadi. (I had trouble trying to get Dimple Khadi's blog link to post, so I'll attempt doing that again later.) I hope you'll both stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see!




"The final lesson a writer learns is that everything can nourish the writer. The dictionary, a new word, a voyage, an encounter, a talk on the street, a book, a phrase learned." - Anais Nin


Thursday, January 22, 2015

* WELCOME NEW FRIENDS *

I'd like to welcome three new followers! Their tastes seem quite diverse and yet they all found something about my blog they liked. That's one of the things I love about blogging.....meeting new people, making new friends. It's kind of like a game of hopscotch and sometimes I can't even remember how I landed on a particular site!

First, we have Sandi of Dandelion Tea. She just began blogging in 2014 and her "About Me" says she is: a mom, an educator, a writer, and an ice skater.

Second, we have William Snyder #167 Dad. I love what he says about himself: "I'm just a regular guy trying to feed a bunch of kids."

And third, we have Lisa from Scherer Beautiful Living. She describes herself: "I'm a mom, nature and junk enthusiast who loves her family, arts, crafts, decorating, writing, and animals." Oh, and remember when so many of us had a Play List on our blogs? Lisa has a Wikplayer, which I'd not heard of yet. Hmm, I may have to look into that because I do love my music!

I plan to get back to all three blogs tomorrow so I can learn more about them. Uh, actually, that would be later today sometime. I just realized it's after midnight in my part of the world.

~~~
 
 
I'll be highlighting another author on my blog soon. If not by the end of this week, definitely next week. Until then, please remember to read my previous post about Camille Faye. http://www.camillefaye.com/ 
 
 
 
 
Message seen on business sign:
 
"Do not read the next line of this sentence.
 
 You rebel, you!"

 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

* A BLOG TOUR STOP FOR MY FRIEND, CAMILLE FAYE *

Hello Everyone! Please welcome a writer friend of mine whom I've known for quite a few years: Camille Faye! (Although at this point, she may have lost interest in being my friend anymore since I've been very forgetful at posting this for her. Please forgive me, again, Camille!)

Without further ado, I present Camille and her views on writing and blogging.
 
 
How Blogging can Boost your Writing Career

One of my greatest accomplishments was earning a Journalism degree from the University of Missouri, but my professors made it very clear that journalists have a high burnout rate in their careers and an even higher divorce rate. So when I began dating the man who is now my husband a few months before graduation, I shifted my plans toward a more family-friendly career.

In our first year of marriage, I pursued freelance writing for print. I'd spend hours and hours researching different periodicals, then scanning several installments of each magazine or newspaper I wanted to submit to because that's what they tell you to do. Then I spent more hours churning out query letters, gearing them toward the specific readership, and submitting them to those magazines and newspapers, each with their own unique submission guidelines. And then after I'd put in tons and tons of work...

Rejection. And lots of it.

After a few months of trying, I don't think I got one paid gig. It made me feel like my degree was worthless, I'd wasted my time pursuing freelance writing, and I pushed my writing goals to the back burner.

A few years later, when I was teaching, a colleague told me about blogging. She'd been writing about her life with Type I diabetes and it led to paid work with some well-known publications on health and diabetes. I'd tried freelance writing sporadically without many publication credits under my belt, and I really wanted to give writing another shot.

Since beginning my blogging journey, I can tell you with certainty that blogging has benefits for writers.

1) Blogging helps you establish a writing routine.

"A Day in the Life," my first blog, centered around my life as a mom, teacher, and writer. Now that I've released a novel, I've shut down that blog in order to focus on my fiction writing, but the impetus behind my blog was to get me into a daily writing habit. Over the years, I've studied what successful writers say about writing in books like On Writing by Stephen King or Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. All successful writers do the same thing: commit to a daily writing practice. So I decided to dedicate myself to writing fifteen minutes per day. It doesn't sound like much, but many days it would extend to an hour or so. Once I had established that practice, I decided to undertake a huge bucket list item: writing a novel. By committing to those fifteen hallowed minutes, I was able to produce a version of Voodoo Butterfly that New York agents and editors actually requested to read, and I attribute my success to my initial dedication to writing through blogging.

2) Blogging provides you with immediate gratification.

Writers want to know how their work affects their readers, otherwise we would stick to private journals. All those hours that I'd committed to churning out query letters, which ended up in piles of rejection letters, made me hate writing. I couldn't even get an idea off the ground, before it got shot down. With blogging, you get to enter a community of people who are interested in what you're saying. In my personal blog, I mainly received comments from other bloggers whom I had met through local writing groups. With my new group blog, The LitLadies, and with my blog tour for Voodoo Butterfly, I've received comments from people all over the world and get to work with best-selling authors, like Claire Cook and Susan McBride. My readership is responding to what I "say" through my writing and that is truly gratifying.

3) Blogging can grow your readership.

 
"Platform" is THE buzzword for writers these days. New authors have to market themselves because publishers either don't have a marketing budget or only focus their marketing budget on the big guys like Charlaine Harris and John Grisham. I use The Lit Ladies blog to show people who I am and what I write about (which is love, purpose, and the paranormal in New Orleans). My group blog and these stops on my blog tour, allow people across the world, in countries like Malaysia, the Philippines, Australia, to get to know me and my work. Unless I had the time and the budget to personally visit all those places, I wouldn't have been able to reach all those people. The entire world of readers is at my feet through the magic of blogging.
 
About Voodoo Butterfly:

When twenty-five-year old Sophie Nouveau inherits her grandmother's voodoo shop she knows nothing about voodoo. Or her family's history of Mind Changers who have the power to change evil people good. To complicate matters, someone doesn't want Sophie in New Orleans and sends a series of death threats to scare her away from her new enchanted life. 

 
Tipped off by her grandmother's ghost, Sophie realizes her mind changing spell's been missing one magic ingredient: true love. If Sophie cannot experience transformative love, she cannot make her spell work, and she will be powerless to fight back when confronted by the one who wants her dead.

About the Author:

Camille Faye lives in Missouri, loves on her family, and writes during the baby’s nap time. She grew up in a haunted house, which sparked her fascination with the paranormal. Before becoming a writer, she reported for an NBC affiliate and taught writing at universities in Missouri and Illinois. She found the muse for her debut novel, Voodoo Butterfly, during a family trip to New Orleans where she dreamt of a woman who had the power to change evil people good. The Northwest Houston RWA named her novel, Voodoo Butterfly, a 2013 Lone Star Contest finalist. Camille's stories are inspired by her travels to 27 countries and counting! Follow her journey at Camillefaye.com


Voodoo Butterfly is available on Amazon.com for $2.99. It's free for some people, so check your Amazon membership perks (Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime).

-------------------------------------

Camille Faye | Author


Experience love, purpose, and the paranormal in New Orleans.




Photo courtesy: Kristina B.

Thank you Camille, for allowing me to be part of your Voodoo Butterfly blog tour. I've really enjoyed reading your viewpoints and I have learned a few things, too!

Friday, January 9, 2015

* THIS MONTH WILL BE HALF OVER BEFORE WE KNOW IT *

My previous post was on December 30, 2014. And here it is January 9, 2015.
Gosh, this month is almost half over already!

My apologies for yet another very brief post. I just wanted to say Hello, and share the news that my "seasonal" part-time job (at Thistle & Clover) is continuing....indefinitely!
The owner asked me to stay on, and I said "Sure! Thank you so much!"

I hope everyone is having a blissful beginning to the new year.

More news will follow soon. I promise!


I hope this fireplace will make everyone feel warm and toasty!

Baby, it's cold outside!
 
"In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold." - Ben Aaronovitch

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

* NEW YEARS IS ALMOST HERE *

 
I THOUGHT I'D STICK WITH HI & LOIS FOR THIS POST, TOO   J
 
 
It's almost New Year's Eve 2014
 
 
 
I'm not one to make resolutions, because I know I won't follow through with them, but I do have some specific ideas for next year. And I hope to begin making things happen on January 1, 2015. Please wish me luck!
 
 
For all my family and friends, near and far,
I wish you all the very best of everything in 2015.
 
 

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart)
....from the poem by e.e. Cummings


Friday, December 19, 2014

*HAPPY FRIDAY & PHOTOS ADDED TO PREVIOUS POST *

I just added a picture to my previous post of my friend (and current boss!) in front of Thistle & Clover in beautiful old St. Charles.

And also added a photo of our Christmas tree.


It's less than one week until Christmas!
 
 

One of my all time favorite Christmas albums!!
 
 



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

* WORKING & LEARNING & DECORATING THE TREE *

WORKING & LEARNING

When I first started looking for a job a few months ago, one thing I said I would NOT do was work in retail. Well, have I mentioned that I'm working in retail?! But it's not in a large department store or discount store. THAT, I swear, I would NOT do!

I'm working seasonal, part-time at Thistle & Clover, the specialty shop I mentioned in a blog post on June 8th. (They carry Scottish, Irish, and Welsh items.) My new friend, Karen and her husband own it, and they are great to work for. The other employees are helpful and fun to work with, too. I'm enjoying learning about some of my Welsh and Scottish heritage which is on my dad's side of the family: the coat of arms, the tartans, the history, etc.

Karen, in front of Thistle & Clover

I love talking with people and helping them find what they're looking for, so it hasn't really seemed much like work.....until I get home and realize how tired I am!



DECORATING THE TREE
 
Over the past week, when I've been home from work, I've been adding a few ornaments to our Christmas tree. It occurred to me that at the rate I was going, it would never be finished before Christmas! So, during the past couple of days I finished trimming the tree! I'm so happy with it!

Our Christmas tree in 2014


Last year we only had a tiny, two foot tall tree, and it didn't seem like Christmas to me. This year we have a six foot tall tree, complete with lights, that we got at Walgreens last year after Christmas for...Ten Dollars! I'll post a couple of photos soon.
 
 


 
 
"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other." - Burton Hillis

 
 

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