Woe is Me!

What happens next? That question is beginning to haunt me and I need an answer fast. Readers are asking – Does the romance between Becca and J.T. continue? Is there more?

Of course there is. It has a title and the draft of three chapters. But…

When I finished ROGUE TRUST, I knew the rest of the romance story. I have the draft of the first three chapters and last chapter is hiding somewhere in my files. But, there is a lot of story between chapter three and the last chapter. Why didn’t I write LUCY’S MANSION while Becca and J.T. were talking?

There was another tale in my mind screaming to have a print presence. It’s Joe Chandler’s story and a companion to ROGUE TRUST that could  take place almost in the same time frame. I had originally planned to weave these two story lines together in one book… but I didn’t find managing a thousand-page manuscript appealing and I didn’t think readers would either. So, the first two books  are “out there” but the synopsis for the third is mostly in my head. Unfortunately, Becca and J.T. have slipped into the shadows. They aren’t talking to me and I’m facing the blank page.

Woe is me!

I can’t panic – have to get rational. What’s new about facing the blank page? During the creation of the first draft of every book, every day begins with a blank page. You could say: a writer’s ordinary day always begins with a blank page; words make it special.

So, if I want this day to be special, I need to cajole Becca and J.T. into opening up. Maybe I’ll ask some questions.

Becca – You’re anxious for J.T.’s kiss but… are you fooling yourself into thinking you’re a widow instead of a wife in mourning? Are you sure you’re ready for another man in your life? Is Amy K?

J.T. – What about that fancy office in Chickasha? Will your prospective clients be willing to step through the door into all that luxury? Can you compete with the ghost of Walter McGee? Do you have to?

Can the two of you find time for romance when City Hall has declared war and you’re the enemy?

Me – Little mention of Amy K in the first three chapters. Where is she?

Okay. As soon as I have some answers to these questions, I’ll put some words on that blank page… I hope they’re special enough to stay.

Someone is whispering to me… I’m not sure who. Oh, yeah! I know what the problem is – in the last five months I’ve been formatting manuscripts for Kindle Direct Publishing and Create Space. I’ve tackled book cover design with PhotoShop Elements, and I’ve taken a crash course in Twitter. All left- brain stuff… I’ve just been reminded that Becca and J.T. reside in my right brain. Soon as I find the button to make the switch from left to right, I’m good to go. The search is on!

Are You a Dreamer?

“Follow your dream.” That’s the best advice I have to offer. It can change your ordinary future into something special.

While I was writing nonfiction for kids, I wrote several biographies of successful people including Norman Rockwell and Jim Henson.  These men had a dream and a passion for their work. They wanted their next project to be better than the last and kept working toward the perfection they knew was out of reach.  Jim Henson wanted to be a master puppeteer and bring puppets into adult entertainment. Rockwell wanted to keep improving his art. Even after he became America’s favorite magazine illustrator, he dedicated himself to giving 110% to his next project. These men were never satisfied, always following a dream and setting new goals.

I wanted to blog about following dreams, thinking everyone should have a dream. I asked my husband about his dream and he looked at me as if I’d just asked him where the diamonds were stashed. Dan let me know that some people are not “dreamers.” Some are analytical and their goal is to achieve in their chosen career field, analyzing the situation and choosing which opportunities to follow. Dan is an analytical achiever. He’s the left brain and I’m the right brain… I think we’re a matched set.

What about the other biographies I wrote for kids: Dominique Moceanu, the youngest member of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team – her parents started her gymnastics training before she was old enough to have a dream yet she won gold at the Olympics. Was she following her dream or that of her parents? I think their dream become hers. Jonas Salk is credited with creating the polio vaccine. He was in competition with others but he was first to succeed. Was he following his dream… or analyticaly choosing which opportunities to follow as he mapped out the direction of his research.  The list goes on and it seems that… maybe… it’s artists and writers that need dreams for setting goals and when one goal is reached a new dream is a must.

Me? I was raised in a time and place where girls became wives and mothers. My mother was my example. Her job description as a wife included pregnancy, childbirth, and keeping Daddy happy. As a homemaker her tasks included -cooking, cleaning, laundry, childcare, animal care, gardening, yard maintenance, first aide, Bible teaching, and she was in charge of community and family relations. Did she have a dream? Maybe. But, with all this, there was little time for dreaming, I’m not sure she slept. And, this is what I thought my life would be until… At the age of thirty, I saw my words in print. It was love at first sight; my first dream was born and my passion activated.

Which are you? Analetical acheiver or passionate dreamer?

If you’re an analytical achiever, what’s your motivation and where’s your passion?

If you’re a dreamer, what’s your dream? Your heart’s desire? Your passion to strive? Every writer, young and old, needs a dream to follow toward a goal. When one goal is reached, a new dream is needed – a new book, a new beginning with hope for perfection. Don’t be afraid to follow your dream…

Gold Nuggets

Encouraging words are as precious as pure gold. Without the inspiration of encouragement, our emotional bank account is quickly depleted and  motivation disappears.

We thrive on encouragement and suffer without it. We are dependent on each other for these precious nuggets of gold.

Everyone —  friends, aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents, and strangers like to encourage babies. It comes natural to offer soothing words to a crying baby (encouragement to be happy). And, who can resist baby’s first attempts to roll over, crawl… and oh, those first steps. We cheer from the sidelines, offer helping hands, and gentle nudges. It’s so much fun to feel a part of first accomplishments!

As the years roll by, the need for encouragement continues but it’s not as much fun to cheer an adult on… except sports figures and concert stars. But, what do you get from your efforts at a ballgame or concert? A couple hours of entertainment and participation in some after-the-game chatter including texts, tweets, and Facebook status-updates. After the excitement fades and life returns to normal. If you were down, you’re down; if you were up, you’re up.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you had an encouragement bank account somewhere? A place where you could deposit a dozen encouraging words and some happy spirit along with a smile or two… and withdraw as needed.

You can. When you encourage others and build them up, it’s like making deposits in your own encouragement account. You feel good when you make others feel good. It’s pure pleasure to cheer someone you love, friend or relative, and watch them strive for success.

Be generous with encouragement, scatter it among friends and family, and dish it out to strangers. And, when you’re feeling down maybe some encouraging words will come your way. But… the sure way to feel better is to remember how good it feels to make someone else feel good. Go do it! Sometimes the best encouragement comes from words of appreciation – nuggets of gold

Rogue Trust Free for Kindle Jan. 18-20

FREE KINDLE DOWNLOAD FROM AMAZON.COM  1/18-20/2013

The unexpected beneficiary to a trust fund created to honor a Vietnam War hero, Becca McGee struggles with the changes sudden wealth will bring to her ordinary life and its influence on her twelve-year-old daughter. Facing a challenge to her faith, she’s bombarded by questions she can’t answer. And, her common sense seems to have vanished. The lawyer retained to settle the trust proves himself a jerk, acts like a stalker, and appears to be an impostor. When someone prematurely leaks the details of the trust to the press, steals her cat, and threatens her daughter… he’s her prime suspect. Still, she finds him incredibly attractive.

J.T. Harrison’s plans to practice family law are derailed when a large firm offers him a position in its probate department. Fresh out of law school and studying for the bar, he can’t refuse the income. Now he’s a political hire moonlighting for his rich uncle, well paid for doing menial tasks—delivering manila envelopes and overseeing floral deliveries. But why is his elderly uncle secretly sending yellow roses to a woman half his age who could easily steal J.T.’s heart?

As the story unfolds, an old man’s obsession mixes romance with a touch of suspense and mystery as it threatens every aspect of Becca McGee’s life. J.T. must settle the Rogue Trust while his ailing uncle still lives. Becca has stolen J.T.’s heart, but she’s quick to condemn. And, with his knack for falling victim to circumstantial evidence, it seems unlikely that J.T. can settle the trust or win Becca’s hand.

 [amazon_enhanced asin=”B008VTNT2S” /]

Wisdom

Wise owls high in a palm

Wisdom accumulates as the years roll by; much of it arrives long after it’s most needed. Why can’t scientist find a way to fast-forward the wisdom accumulator so that on the twelfth birthday, one would be suddenly wise?

Wise enough to overcome peer pressure. Wise enough to study hard, do homework, and make good grades without being told. Wise enough to choose the right friends. Wise enough to say no, or yes, at the right time. Wise enough to follow the rules while setting one’s own standards. Wise enough to choose the right career. Wise enough to choose the right spouse, the first time around. The list goes on and on.

But, would wisdom endowed on the inexperienced be a good thing?

Without the opportunity to fail, there would be no appreciation or recognition for making good choices.  There would be no sense of accomplishment to boost the self-esteem.

Wisdom would lose its value if it weren’t gained the hard way, through experience, trial, and error. If wisdom came early, and made life easy, where would we find challenge? Life would be boring. Who would buy tickets to see a game where every player, on both teams, makes the right move every play and every game end in a tie?

Maybe wisdom is best earned through life experience and meant to be shared with those who ask.

Happy New Year!

Farewell 2012… Welcome 2013!

My wish for you in 2013 is that you enjoy your ordinary days and that those days made special will leave good memories.

As for me, I’m always glad when the Rose Bowl marks the end of the season. January 2 is a happy day for me, as I slip into the new year. I’m ready to go back to my normal routine and back to uninterrupted writing. (That’s a dream I probably don’t want to come true. I welcome interruption- need real people in my life to help me deal with the imaginary ones.)

January offers an opportunity to let some things slip into the past as we move on with a promise for a  new beginning and hope for the future.

For a writer, and many others, those are just words that sound good but have little meaning. I open a new planner but it’s just another day. Unfinished work doesn’t slip into the past. That novel that went on hold as Thanksgiving approached is waiting to be finished. The next blog calls and the business side of writing won’t wait.

But, there is an upside. In early January, we have about two months of winter ahead… but we’re rolling toward spring. The days are getting longer, more daylight hours give the sun a greater opportunity to peek through the clouds.

Best of all, when it’s cold and dreary outside, what could be better than curling up under a warm throw with a good book where you can escape to the place of your choice? How about a little romance in Myrtle Hill, Oklahoma where a reluctant heiress finds all sorts of circumstantial evidence indicating the charming attorney retained to settle the Rogue Trust is anything but… So, why does she find him so attractive? [amazon_link id=”B008VTNT2S” target=”_blank” ]The Rogue Trust (Ordinary Days in Myrtle Hill)[/amazon_link]