Monthly Archives: May 2017

Day Off!

Book 18 – Just Around the Bend flittered across the digital universe to editors / proofreaders last night.

Ahhhhh …

For the first time in two weeks, I slept more than a few short hours last night – like nine and a half hours. I felt like a normal human being today. It didn’t help that a headline I whipped past in the last few days informed me that sleep deprivation causes the brain to eat itself. Great. People, we need to get more sleep on a regular basis.

I know that I’m about half as creative when I don’t get enough sleep, so I cheat and take a nap before I start writing at night, but that doesn’t give me enough energy to do other things during the day.

My sewing machine was put back to work today – that felt awesome. I have a few projects that I want to finish this weekend before I go back to work at my computer. So many things. So much excitement to come.

I turned my iron on and Grey jumped up to see what I was working on. As the iron heated up, she started doing her blinky-eyed thing. You know, that blink that tells you how much cats hate what you’ve got going on?

I’ll bet you think this is cute. No. This is Earl baring his throat to TB, who is mad at him and more than ready to sink his teeth into it. Silly boys. At least TB doesn’t attempt to break skin. He just wants Earl to stop pestering him.

Grey doesn’t like the lotion I put on after a shower. She doesn’t like the cleaning wipes I use beside the stove. She doesn’t like onions or garlic. And she doesn’t like the heat from my iron. Oh yeah. She also doesn’t much care for the Godiva Chocolate Liqueur that I’m enjoying on my first night off in months. Blinky-eye, blinky-eye.

It’s pretty cute.

I’m relaxed, no longer sleep-deprived, the weather outside is gorgeous, I have a few minutes to do something other than focus on Bellingwood … this weekend is nearly perfect.

Before I have time to miss my friends there, I’ll be back at it.  Notes for Book 19 are already being gathered.

Boxed Set 2~~~  FREE BOOK

The second boxed set is free until May 31. (Click here) If you’ve been waiting to move forward with the community, now’s the time.

If you have friends you’d like to invite to join you, they can get the first boxed set (Click here) for $6.99 and the next for free. That’s a lot of reading.

~~~  BOOK 18 – JUNE 25

Release day for Book 18 is June 25th. Not too much longer.

~~~  WINE PARTY – JUNE 16

Wine & Trivia night is Friday, June 16th. You don’t want to miss it. So much fun and lots of prizes. Be sure you’re part of the fun on the Bellingwood Facebook page.

I Love Language … and Words

Yeah, yeah, yeah …

I’m supposed to be working, but a new book just showed up on my front door step and I can barely contain myself.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love words? Oh my goodness, but they make me happy. (okay, whoops, I was totally gone there for about thirty seconds while my mind wandered off to chase down some of my favorite words. Anyway …)

David Crystal’s book, “Making Sense: The Glamorous Story of English Grammar” is sitting in front of me and I’m typing this before I’ve even finished the preface … because, well … words!

I have to share this with you because it made my heart skip a beat.

grammar
from Old French gramaire,
which was an adaptation of Latin grammatica
which in turn came from Greek grammatiki
meaning ‘pertaining to letters or literature’
which later narrowed to mean just the language of texts
which in the Middle Ages meant chiefly Latin
and so took on the meaning of ‘special learning, knowledge’
and then ‘secret knowledge’ as in magic and astrology
which is how it was first used in Scotland in the 18th century
when the word was pronounced with an l instead of an r
and the meaning developed of ‘enchantment, spell’
and later became the word we know today, meaning
‘charm, attractiveness, physical allure’
spelled
glamour (British English)
glamor (American English)

(Crystal, 2017)

Process on that little passage, then re-read the title and subtitle.

Think about how that single word transformed throughout the centuries and what a gift it is. These are the things that thrill my mind and send me wandering off the normal path of life so I can explore deep and creative thoughts.

My goodness, I love words.

Words Matter

After five distinct pieces of information came at me today regarding the importance of words we use, it suddenly occurred to me that the message was bigger than just taking it in and moving on. My mind began spinning through memories, thoughts, impressions … and well … words.

The first was a post about a young woman and her daughter. She realized that the way her little girl responds to the world comes from her reactions. So when she stands in front of a mirror with a swimsuit on, rather than talking about how fat she is or focusing on her flaws, she spoke of how beautiful the color of the suit was.  Because what that child hears is what she will believe is important.

How many times have you talked about how fat you were in front of your children? Oh, for heaven’s sake! When I think about my childhood, my mother was up and down with her weight and it was always part of the conversation. We walked through stores and she’d point at overweight women and ask us whether they were fatter than she was. Good thing Mom raised smart children … we knew the proper response. But that’s how she saw herself … not the beautiful woman that she was. And that’s what she taught us to see in ourselves. What was truly important was shifted away in the wake of manufactured imagery.

Words matter.

Then I watched an adorable video (link here) of a girl who came out into the garage with makeup on. Her father asks “What do you have on your face?” and without hesitation, the little girl said, “Beauty.”

Amen, child.

Words matter.

In Michigan, a Muslim couple invites groups of people they’ve never met before into their home for a meal and open themselves up for questions – nothing is off limits. Before the evening has ended, their hospitality and the ensuing discussions taught a very diverse group of people that they have more in common than anyone realized. The conversation changed them all (link to article here).

Words matter.

One of Max’s favorite actors is Charlie Chaplin. The final speech from The Great Dictator (1940) is powerful, but I don’t know if I ever really paid attention to the words. This video of it being spoken by people around the world … different accents, different races, different genders, different languages … it ripped my heart to pieces. It’s a four-minute video, but I finally heard what he said. If you’d like to read the speech (and you really should), here’s the link.

Words matter.

Finally, one of my contemporary heroes when it comes to words is Seth Godin. He writes daily updates and they are often very powerful. Today’s post from him finally caught me and I realized how many different ways I’d been inundated with the importance of words in just a few minutes. Here’s the link to the post, but I’m going to quote the entire short message here … it’s just that important to me.

“Just words

How about, just bullets, just diseases, just starvation?

The whole “sticks and stones” canard is really dangerous. When a stone gives you a bruise, it’s entirely possible you will completely heal. But when a torrent of words undermine your view of what’s possible, you might never recover.

Words matter. They can open doors, light a way and make a difference.”
– Seth Godin

Do you remember that song you learned in Sunday School – O Be Careful, Little Eyes? (tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands)

One verse came flying into my mind as I typed today:
Oh, be careful little mouth, what you say, 
Oh, be careful little mouth, what you say, 
For the Father up above, Is looking down in love,
So be careful little mouth what you say.

Words Matter.

~~~

TB & Earl … keeping me company in the midst of my writing frenzies.

Book 18 is nearly finished. I wrote nearly seven thousand words last night in order to catch up to my self-imposed deadline – first draft will be finished tonight. This next week will be long hours of ripping it apart to deal with all of the holes and errors I created along the way. But it will be put back together and come out a much better story.

As much as I love the writing part, this is when it starts getting fun for me. Because I love creating order from chaos (my entire life is chaos), there’s nothing more wonderful than seeing all of the broken pieces line up to create the story that I’d intended.

This afternoon I MUST start working on the title and book cover. There’s a newsletter coming out on Thursday and I can’t wait to share what’s been going on. Be sure you’ve signed up so you miss nothing!

Crazy Days

I like to think that Earl loves me best, but the truth is – he’ll do anything for TB’s attention. How cute are they?

I love my life. I love it so much. I’m a lucky girl.

But wow, this crazy schedule that I’ve set for myself wears me completely out a few weeks every quarter. I’m in the middle of a big push to finish Book 18, get the title and cover worked out and the book off to initial proofreaders and editors. All of that, plus a vignette and the newsletter by May 25th. Yep … Hauling some serious tushie around here.

Because there have been several other projects that dropped into the mix since January 1st, the only way for me to achieve all of my goals (and seriously, I keep adding to the list), I’ve really had to step up my word count for each day. Last year, I liked to kick into gear within a week after publishing a book, giving me plenty of leeway for the next book. If I only wrote fifteen hundred to two thousand words in a day, that was still fine, though I usually pushed to about three thousand words at the end of the writing cycle.

Lately I’ve been regularly writing around four thousand words per day to get this book out on time. The Abiding Grace story took time to write and a *secret* project (yeah, I hate that too, but you’ll know within a couple of months, I promise) took up writing time.

Then it hit me. Book 18 needed to move through my fingers right now! This is the best part about Bellingwood. I truly live there in my head. Yeah, yeah, yeah … it’s not that weird.

Okay, maybe it is. All I had to do was tell the characters that we were on location again and they stepped up. Strangers drop in, everyone starts telling me their secrets, their dreams and hopes, children dig out their best behavior. It’s pretty cool.

Tomorrow night (Thursday), I’ll hit the three-quarter mark of my targeted word count goal. The stories are starting to come together and find their end. It’s fun to see things slow down. This is going to be a strange summer in Polly’s life. Lots of changes are ahead for her family. But first we need to get her through some endings. Nothing tragic – it’s all very exciting. But you know how moms can be.

I plan to finish the very rough first draft Sunday night then spend an intense number of hours re-writing, fixing, adjust, destroying, reconstructing and putting the manuscript into good order. When Memorial Day weekend gets here, there might have to be a few glasses of wine that find their way to my lips.

I’m so glad that you are part of this life with me. Thanks for hanging out.