Thursday, August 21, 2014

Determination Incarnate

I recently attended my first critique group near my new home and immediately missed the old one in the desert. The first woman listening to my reading warmed me up with serious criticism. I’m telling not showing she said, with determination. Ouch. After reflecting on her comments, it occurred to me that I had read my new prologue and I don’t think it’s supposed to dish everything out on a silver-plated platter. In fact, some people don’t even read prologues. It is a special piece of writing that gives a tiny bit of insight into how a story unfolds or why certain things will happen, later. It is before the showing and thus it is first, so I’m not really peeved about her comments because she was right, (did you hear that Miss Creeteek?) In this case, however, I think I’m right too. Any thoughts?
Now for a poem using the word determination.

Cloud White by Eve Gaal

The empty page,
Shakes its fist
with anger and determination.
It means well,
But I turn away,
Deciding to ride my bike, bake cookies, swim some laps...
and watch some incredible cloud formations.
The novel will have to wait.


I guess the ultimate question facing a novelist is: 
Determined to finish-
Despite the distractions-
Despite everything.
To advertise-
To promote-
To share-
To network-
And to write sequels?

Have you done it?
Will you do it again?
Are you creating a new story right now?
Will you follow through with the research?
Do you have an editor?
How about a cover?
A platform?
A blurb?
Will you finish it?

If you're not a writer--
I'm sure you can still relate.
Are there projects sitting on a shelf, needing your attention?
Someday, you think.
Willpower? Perhaps. 
I call it determination.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Acknowledging God's Love

People see God every day, they just don't recognize him. ~Pearl Bailey
God enters by a private door into each individual. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

My mother used to marvel at how I could create a dinner quickly and with very few ingredients. Flattered at the time, I now realize those early meal endeavors were not my genius and had very little to do with my talent.

Later, she told me how incredible it was that I could go out and earn money simply by using my wits and bubbly personality. Of course, there was more to it than that, but the intangible aspect of advertising did make my family wonder about my product, my nice suits and fast car. My product was ‘space’ and it wasn't the final frontier. During those years, I placed a lot of emphasis on teamwork and never felt that my ideas were the sole reason clients loved our newspaper. I was part of a daily jigsaw puzzle that needed ink, graphic artists, pressmen, reporters, circulation staff and a publisher. Now I look back and realize there was something even more important helping me along. This something is stronger than anything on Earth and back in those days I wouldn't have known how to explain it to anyone—this invisible force opened doors, helped me smile when my pantyhose ripped or my car’s air conditioner went on the blink and made normally cranky, overworked businessmen listen to my sales pitch--on top of all that, I wasn't even aware of this incredible phenomenon and worked like an underground army ant in total oblivion. 

Today, I’m cognizant and extremely grateful. If I make a dinner and it doesn't quite taste or look the way I expected, there’s still gentle reassurance coming from my loving husband who will eat anything I prepare, while telling me he loves it. Again, the unconditional love coming through to me, building me up and reminding me I am important.

(My post today is about small things that move us along-- not the coping mechanisms and magic assisting us during tragedy and painful loss-- which is miraculous and worthy of a deeper discussion.)

In conclusion, every one of us is important. (If someone jumped in front of you in line at the coffee place this morning, maybe tomorrow, you’ll get a quicker line or fresher coffee. Maybe they’ll be offering a two for one coupon for customers coming back the next day with a friend and it's fair to consider that the one who jumped in front of you might have been hurrying to a hospital. Only God knows everyone’s story.)

The intangible love of God surrounds everyone. 
He knows what you need.
Whether you pray or not, He wants to help.
Have you noticed this too?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

An Online Writing Group

Have you seen the 30 second trailer for my novel, Penniless Hearts? It's my first video and a generous gift for being a member of PnP Authors, which is quickly becoming a favorite online writing group. Of course, if I knew anything about putting together a trailer, it would have Hawaiian music and some tropical flowers bursting out around the edges but I'm still impressed with the volcano art. Take a look and tell me what you think.
Click here:
Check it out:

One aspect of any writing group is to be supportive. PnP Authors has various discussion groups, poetry contests and even a page to spotlight your book.
Recently, they published a collection of short stories and poems Click here to get your copy.
Inside you'll find three of my poems and one of my short stories, not to mention lots more creative writing by other incredible authors. If you are interested in joining PnP Authors, then go to this link: PnP Authors. I hope to see you chatting away out there and maybe you can have your book spotlighted too.