Visualize. It’s what we all want readers to do with our writing, but it’s one of the hardest parts of writing there is, for me, at least. How can I help readers ‘see’ what is in my head as I write? It all comes down to showing vs telling. Don’t just tell the story. I’ve heard non-writers say “I can write a book. I’m good at telling stories.” Oh if they only knew. Yes, almost anyone can tell a story.
My ten year old granddaughter can tell a story, but can she write a story that will pull me in? Not yet. It’s about digging in, knowing your characters and portraying them on paper, or screen, so readers also know them as the story progresses. It’s more than sharing the key points. It’s showing how a character reacts to a point, how they perceive it and get through it. It’s feeling like you are in the story, living it.
Have you ever seen Inkheart with Brendan Fraser? Talk about living the story! But that’s how I feel when I read some authors books and how I strive to write for my readers. Well, maybe not exactly like that. I don’t think I’d like getting stuck in the story I’m reading and having to find someone to write me out again!
Writing a visual story, struggling to do so, can be enough to kill a writer’s dream or make them give up before they finish the story.
It’s damn hard. Anyone who says otherwise hasn’t written a story that I’d want to read. It’s painful, unnerving and, at times, depressing. It’s what, in the end, makes me glad I’m a writer who doesn’t give up before the heart of a story is revealed and put out there for others to live.
Would you rather read a book that makes you sad it’s over, or miss the characters when you close the book? Or would you want an author to tell you a story just so you know what happened? What is it in your favorite books that the author(s) do to help you visualize every nuance and close the book feeling like you’d just lived it?
I hope you’ll join me Monday for the letter ‘W’, as I near the end of my first successful (so far) Blogging A to Z Challenge.
Until then, have a wonderful weekend!
It’s been three years since I sold my first book. It’s been three and a half years that my fil has been living with us. That’s how long it’s been since I was able to go and do what I needed or wanted without restrictions, a time line for returning home. See fil couldn’t be alone very long at any given time, so any time I went out, whether to go shopping, visiting or with hubby, I knew before I left that I had about two to three hours before I’d need to be back. Just in case. In case something happened, he had another stroke, he wanted to cook on the stove, in case of any number of reasons, I had to be home.
It’s strange now to go somewhere with anyone and not have that restriction to hurry back. I didn’t mind the restrictions for the most part, I was glad hubby had that special time with his dad that I didn’t have with my own. But it made it hard to go anywhere over night, like to visit our daughter when they still lived in Colorado, or to my brothers’ in St. Louis. Now I find myself thinking I need to get back soon, when I don’t. It’s a good feeling, yet strange, and a little sad.
Youngest daughter and I went to see fil this morning and we were both relieved he seems to be integrating into his new home, making acquaintances with other residents and the staff. He was in a light mood, laughing and chatting with us. No, we didn’t always understand what he was saying (he lost his speech with the first stroke), but he was trying to interact. He gave us the in depth tour of the game area today. Board games, puzzles, books, pool table, computers, and even stopped to tease one of the directors in her office. That’s a very good sign.
So for today’s letter I have to embrace and learn how to be free and Unrestricted, and plan my days around that again. I plan to make the most of this as soon as the current remodel is done in a week or so.
is for Success~
Success comes in many forms. As a writer I had a goal to get published and I succeeded with my first book, an ebook novella, Home sold to the Wild Rose Press in 2010. My second book sold to Lyrical Press, Inc. and released in 2013, then again in 2014 when LPI sold to Kensington Publishing and they bought my book.
As a jewelry artist I’m still working toward the goal of selling my work on Etsy. I have a store there, but nothing in it yet. I’m hoping this year will change that. But I’m making jewelry, along with other items I call totems, and trinket things. I’m in a year-long project with polymer clay artists Lisa Pavelka and Katie Oskin this year called the Pavelka Project. I’m learning to do things I only wished I knew how just five months ago. Today I decorated the top of a Carmex jar lid–you know those little 1.5 inch diameter jars of lip balm– with a tiny polymer clay spring flower garden! With a butterfly and a dragon fly!! And lady bugs! How cool is that? I’ll be posting it on my clay blog, Fanciful Allure, this week (maybe tomorrow since it’s baking at the time of writing this post, which I totally forgot to post earlier). If you want to take a look, (and believe me, you do! LOL) I’ll be posting a link here later.
I’ve succeeded in raising three wonderful daughters and am feeling very accomplished as a grandmother these days. I’m a wife of almost 32 years, a sister, an aunt and great aunt. I was the second daughter to two wonderful parents, and though I can’t say how great I was at that role, I hope I was a good one before they passed.
I have friends I try to support in their ventures with my blog, critiques and, when possible, Beta reading. I may not always be able to get to everything I offer to do, but unless something happens (like the flu last week, ugh) I usually do what I set out to do.
Though my writing is suffering some now, I can’t let that drag me down. I keep at it, keep trying. I don’t expect more of myself than I am capable of doing, but I do tend to try to do more than I might know I can. LOL Still, I have to believe I am still successful in my life these days.
Now it’s your turn. How do you measure your success?
I’m back for the regular letter post. If you’re joining me for the first time, welcome! If you are returning, welcome and thanks for coming back for more of my rambles. :D I’ll be spending a bit of time today visiting other A to Z challengers and I hope you’ll click the logo above and do the same! Let’s get on with R!
R is for Remodel~
My father in-law has lived with us since 2011, shortly after his stroke. Recently he had another, small but undetectable, stroke that has caused him to lose almost all cognizance and common sense. Before that he was still able to do most things for himself; dress, take meds, do laundry, cook (in a microwave only), care for himself and his dog. Until he lost his license in a separate incident two years ago he could still drive, and did, to dr. appointments, fishing, to the dog park, grocery shopping, etc.
After four days in the hospital this month he came home, and it was immediately apparent we could not care for him here any longer. Physically, I’m unable to care for his needs while hubby works, and he has to work for obvious reasons. For whatever reasons he didn’t qualify for in-home care, nor would he allow it. It was a sad day for all of us, but we found a nice ‘home’ for father in-law to move to and he is adjusting so far.
Now we are remodeling the two rooms that were his suite in our house. We will now move into that downstairs bedroom and I’m excited not to have to travel, a million times a day, up and down those darn stairs that caused a broken rib, and sprained ankle for me in the first eight months we lived here. Within two months after moving in I slipped on the stairs. The carpet was pretty old and slick, no match for my bare feet. I had my socks in one hand and a full cup of coffee in the other and down I headed. Our stairs have a landing half way and I was three steps down from the top when my left foot slipped out from under me. Socks went one way and coffee another, while I went down two more steps I don’t recall touching. I never dropped my cup, though it was emptied! LOL I sprained my right ankle when I landed. I went on about my day, we were building the horse pens so I could bring my Sonny Boy home. That night I ended up in emergency with a painful, swollen and badly sprained ankle.
It was a few months later that, while coming down stairs I was almost to the floor when I slipped on the carpeted stairs again. I landed on the ground floor just as fil came from his room. I almost took out his little dogs. I told him I was fine and got up, got Andee off to school and settled in to write. I couldn’t hardly breathe all day. I called Mitch and told him to bring hand rails home to mount to the stairs. I don’t know why the original or previous owners never installed that one crucial thing! But nobody did. Maybe I’m the only person the house had it in for. :lol: He brought the rails home and installed them immediately after getting home. A couple of hours later I finally caved and had him take me to the emergency to learn I’d broken a rib. Soon after, we pulled all the carpet in the house, save for in the one room downstairs. My second broken rib was my fault and happened on the back porch steps a year later after a ice/snow storm. Do not run down icy steps!
So we’ve torn the bedroom down stairs apart, moved the closet door, added a light in the hall of the bathroom and stripped the last of the original carpet out to be replaced with hardwood flooring, like the rest of the house now has. It’s a gutted mess right now, but we hope to have it finished by May. We’ll replace that burnt orange with a lovely beige color on the walls, which will also run throughout the house (now a horrid rotten-hard-boiled-egg-yolk yellow!) The downstairs bath will have an ocean theme with an aqua lower wall and golden sand on the upper half of the wall.
We painted Andee’s room two summers back in a nice blue she loves and our current room is a weird pink. The living room will get the beige with a teal or burgundy accent wall.
Then I can carry out plans for our current room upstairs. It will get a face lift in beige and green once we move out. More on that later. All I’ll say for now is that I’m very excited about those plans and my work future! :)
These are plans we’ve had since buying this house, but fil’s illnesses prevented us from using chemicals and paints so we put it off for his comfort.
Once again, I find myself playing catch up. Maybe I should let fate win and just give up. :lol: Nope. Not my style. So here we go with O through Q and then I’ll do today’s post later today.
Overwhelming. This last two weeks have been this way. But I think things will slow down soon. For now, this is all I can say for today’s letter. LOL
Positivity. My sister has five acres that she shares with her daughter and sil and her only grandchild. She loves having her baby boy so close and babysitting him while both parents work. I have two of my five grandgirls close (Andee lives with us) and wish the other three were closer. One is about an hour away, Andee’s baby sister, and the other two are way out in California with their parents. I miss my oldest daughter terribly, and her two girls. Kaia was four the last time we saw her, she’s now seven. Little sister was just two when I saw her, Safira is four now. I speak to them regularly on the phone, but it’s not the same. Sp I have to look for the positives in this situation. They are old enough to talk to me. We have phones that don’t require long distance bills. I once called a friend in Canada and it cost me $11 for less than a half hour! I can’t hug them, but they know who I am. Two of my girls never even got to meet my grandmother and my mom passed before my first daughter was born. I feel so blessed to be able to know all of my grandkids even from a distance. :)
If your grandbabies are near you, give them a hug every chance you get. Have a blessed day! :D
Andee has had a quest since she broke her arm on the 7th of April.
When she broke her arm the first time three years ago she had one cast striped. They didn’t have the colors she wanted then so she ‘settled’ for pink and purple. She is a tomboy so pink is not her favorite color. lol She wanted blue camo, but they didn’t have that color either. Go figure! LOL Once again, she was determined to
get a striped cast. They still don’t have blue camo, but she didn’t want it this time, so that’s ok. I took her for a check up yesterday and they renewed her cast with another full arm length one. She was a little bummed about that because it means continued restrictions on physical activity. Nope, no cartwheels this next ten days either! :lol: She got red with blue stripes and I have to say I kind of like it, though I did try to get her to go with green again, like the last one. I was also the first to sign this one. :D
To top it off, I’d gotten her new boots while she was at her momma’s this weekend. She hasn’t stopped wearing them. Guess she likes them. And you can’t beat $35 boots for $10 after clearance and BoGo deals! I want some now. LOL
Oddly, on 4-7-15 she broke her arm exactly two weeks short of three years to the day she broke it the first time. Today, 4-21, marks that anniversary of the first break in 2012.
Well, that’s the latest. See you later for Tuesday’s regular letter post!
Well, it seems the universe, or powers that be, or something is trying to make me drop from the challenge again this year. I was struck with the flu about the time of my last post and have been laid up since. That’s not what I expected when my sister and I discussed Spring Fever. :lol: Today I recapture my freedom. LOL Hey! I refuse to be bullied, so off with you, flu! :D
I am finally almost feeling human today. But despite all good intentions, I find myself four days (letters) behind again. Ugh. So, I’m going to cover K thru N here today. Hold on tight. :)
Kindness. I love when neighbors step up. When father in-law (fil) had to go to the hospital three weeks ago it was the kind, and new, neighbor next door who took Andee into her home and fed her pudding, with her own children, while waiting for the ambulance and Andee’s aunt to arrive and take her home for the night. It’s the little things that can make a bad or scary situation better, even if just a little. Pudding can ease many things. :) Thanks Kimberly!
Love. As I mentioned, I’ve been sick. Since taking in my father in-law and our oldest granddaughter, it’s a rare day when I get to just sleep in, sick or not. On the occasional Sunday when Mitch is home, or intermittently throughout the summer is about all I get. While my girls were growing up I don’t think I ever got a real ‘sick day’ because, well, moms and dad’s in a mom roll just don’t get that privilege. I get that and accepted that years ago.
Tuesday and Wednesday of this week were two of a handful of days I can count on one hand with two fingers missing. Monday I was up to take Andee to get her cast on. But the other two days Mitch left me sleeping while he got Andee up and off to school before he left for work. I was so unprepared for that chance to just be sick and just worry about getting better. It’s not, by any means, that he never cared before. But when our girls were growing up he was often at work long before daylight and it was my role to take care of the rest. Now, for the first time in a very long time, he’s in a more relaxed job and position and able to care for me if I need it. We’re both in a position that we can do things we weren’t able to in those earlier years. I’m taking this time to thank my husband and let him know how much I appreciate him. Thank you, Mitchell. I love you!
Murky Words. I’ve been struggling all month. I have two WIPS I want, need, to complete and get to my editors soon. One is an absolute deadline of June 1. The other, well, let’s just say I’m running out of time and can’t get it back. So what’s the problem? I’m calling it murky words. That is those words you know what they need to be, you know where the story is supposed to go, the A+B=C formula is in place (that is not to say there IS a formula to writing, just that you know the beginning, middle and end of the story). But it’s the in-between that refuses to cooperate. See, I know where I want both stories to go and how to give these two couples their HEA. I just can’t get those murky words to clear and become what I envision. Good thing I’m not a quitter and am determined to see these couples see that happy ending one way or another. :) Do you have those stories that just don’t seem to want to be written? How do you handle them (remember, deadlines on both, so I can’t set them aside any more than I already have)?
Necklaces and other goodies. I’ve mentioned my artsy side, that I make jewelry, among other totem-like items. I’ve sold some necklaces inspired by the Highlander Beloved series by one of my all time favorite ladies and authors, Vonnie Davis, and some tiny bookshelves with miniature books for AJ Nuest’s Golden Key trilogies. Then there are key rings for Sarah Grimm’s Midnight series. I swoon for Dom! I’ve made a clock out of a CD, created a pretty Carmex lid (both as taught by polymer clay experts Lisa Pavelka and Katie Oskin) and Christmas ornaments for the grandgirls, and had a lot of fun with those. It took me almost a year to decide to start a website and blog for my creations. I should share the fun. So, a couple of months ago I did just that, then posted a couple of blogs to initiate the site. Then I sort of just forgot about it. Silly. Well, I thought I’d share that site here. My crafts are titled Fanciful Allure and I look forward to having you visit me at my other home in cyberland. I’m still getting it all prettied up, but there are a few creations around the site you might enjoy. If you see anything you might like for yourself or to give as a gift, though it’s more a hobby right now, I might be able to make something for you. Just email me from there and we’ll talk. :) Shares here and there would be so appreciated to help get the word out about my craft blog. Thank you for reading and, in advance, for visiting my ‘Lisa’ site!
To continue my catch-up, here’s Friday and Saturday’s post. I hope you enjoy and join me Monday for a new post.
Inspiration. I hear a lot of writers say they are often asked where they get their ideas from. I hear it. The most common answers I hear, and give are from everywhere, everyone I see, meet or know. Inspiration comes from within our minds, something we hear on the radio, tv or other place, something we read, the list goes on. One place and maybe another type of inspiration comes from reading. Not just reading articles, but critiquing, beta reading, reading work of a favorite author or friend.
It’s not what they write that inspires me, but how many books they seem to write in a year, two years, five years. It makes me look at my own production and sometimes it makes me feel like a slacker, not worthy, like I’m a fraud. How can I claim to be a writer when I haven’t released a book in over a year?
It’s at those times I have to remind myself that every writer writes at their own speed, what works for them. I also have to remind myself that I was forced to take most of last year off when I was on the verge of burn-out. I was under too much stress at home and writing and I simply over did it, everything. I took up jewelry crafting again, something I hadn’t done in several years. Now I do both, write and craft and one feeds off the other. I’m beta reading for a friend now and I admire her ability to pop out so many books a year (two or four possibly?), and it doesn’t hurt that I LOVE her writing!
Joyous. As I said, Andee will get her cast Monday. My daughter offered to drive us to the hospital because my car has been breaking down for months and hubby finally got the parts and time to fix it last weekend. Only, all his work did not fix it. Then he got another part, an yet one more part, and finally a week later he was able to FIX MY CAR! To say I’m ecstatic is short of the elation I felt today as we drove my car to town and it didn’t bang or shake once. LOL Seriously, I could barely go three miles before it started it’s racket and at times I was fairly sure my poor baby would crumble into a heap of nuts and bolts on the road. I finally stopped driving it farther than the bus stop (1/10 of a mile to the end of our street) a couple weeks ago. But as of yesterday my car is healed! YAY!!!
And that gets me all up to the letter. See ya’ll Monday. :D
Dodadagohvi/Until we meet again~
In case you’re curious, I greet and close almost every post in Cherokee, of which I’m one-fourth and very proud.
So, as you know, this past week has been quite the challenge, and I’m not talking about just this Blogging A to Z Challenge.
Monday was spent running, all day, with hubby. Very important stuff that had to be done. I’m happy to say by the end of that day there was success. I also had to get UnCover Monday posted. That’s my monthly cover love feature you can find out more about here. I should point out that is strictly for happy ever after romance books. :)
Tuesday I spent all day in the hospital(s) with Andee and her broken arm. Good news there, we get her cast Monday. Color me happy since it’s hard to keep her off scooters and other dangerous things being the tomboy she is! lol Anyway, I was a letter behind come Wednesday and had planned to get it caught up Sunday.
Now I’m three letters behind, not counting today’s post, and have decided to play a little quickie catch-up by doing two letters today and two tomorrow. According to A-Z’s challenge calendar below I should be on ‘J’ so read on and I’ll finish quickly for you. :)
is for Greatful
We were supposed to see horrendous weather Wednesday. The weatherman said to be ready for enormous hail, parts of Oklahoma got up to baseball size. He also said to expect tornadoes. Yep, that’s spring weather predictions in the mid-west. But I’m so thankful, as I’m sure many are, there were just two small (EF1) tornadoes reported in the state all day. Unfortunately, the further east that storm traveled, there were other larger, more devastating tornadoes in the news in Kansas and Illinois. It is proving to be a bad spring so I’m thankful this storm had mercy. May is when we typically get it bad here. All the huge or devastating tornadoes in the past have mostly happened in May. One hit near where two of my daughters lived at that time. One within a mile of my oldest daughter’s home, who has since moved back to California, and one within a mile of my youngest daughter’s gas station three miles from me. I lived about 25 miles from here at that time in 2010 and 2011 and was very scared and worried, let me just say. Now we’ve moved to this same area and in the three and a half years since we’ve been here there has been no tornadoes in our area. Our house had been here for twenty five years when we bought it. I’m praying it stands for another 25 and more. :)
is for Healing
Andee came in and grabbed a fly swatter Thursday night and tried to shove it into her splint. She claimed she’d sweated and it itched, but I remember well how hard it was for her not to shove all manner of objects up her last cast when her skin got cruddy under the plaster, and worse when the bones began healing. I’m thinking she might have got water and/or dirt in it already. In one day? Have I mentioned she’s a tomboy? lol I’m trying to think of something I can fashion for her to scratch with this time.
Join me tomorrow when I tackle the next two letters in my A to Z challenge. Thank you for stopping by today and I’m sorry this is a short two-fer post. I’ll try to do better tomorrow. :)
**Warning- Semi-graphic pictures below. If you have any sort of weak stomach, you might want to prepare yourself, or not read on–though it’s a great story. This is also a longer post, so if you don’t read all of it, I understand.**Osiyo~
I’m channeling my spiritual side today. If I don’t…well, you might guess what F would stand for in today’s A to Z Challenge post (and yes, I’m aware I missed my letter post for yesterday, so I’ll catch up Sunday).
Here’s my day yesterday. (This is, in part, an email to a friend)
About 11 a.m. I got a call from the school that Andee–yes, the birthday girl from just days ago, challenge letter ‘C’–broke her arm. So, I asked the school secretary ‘how bad’ and she said, “It’s, uh…well, ah, mmn–You might want to look for yourself.” I knew right then it was bad. I asked which arm, although I already knew deep down. The left. Again. Three years ago (almost to the day!), 4-21-12, she broke her left arm in the middle of both forearm bones when she fell off a gate at her dad’s house.
Mr. Rhose had to stay home with his dad, so I took the girl to the nearest hospital and spent three hours in the treatment room. Finally, the Dr. set it and released her. Luckily, she only broke the radial this time, instead of both as last time. But I looked at the x-rays, beforeand after he set and splinted it, and it didn’t look any better when he was finished. See, Andee BREAKS her arm, not fractures, not cracks, not clean breaks. lol Just short of compound, total displacement, so it has to be reset into place, under sedation. She did that to both bones last time. Her arm was (capital) ‘S-shaped’ three years ago. This time it was a lowercase ‘s’. lol
As soon as that dr. released her I immediately headed to OKC and the Children’s hospital. I should have gone there first, but it’s almost an hour away and not knowing how much internal damage was done, I thought it best to go to the closest one. Wrong. I won’t make that mistake again. That dr. only gave her a pain shot before he set it. She was screaming.
The ortho on call last night wasn’t the same resident as three years ago (Austin Taylor was young, but oh-so hot! lol and has since graduated), but the gal last night was great and very nice. She was finally able to get to work at 6 p.m. and Andee was waking up by 7. Yes, OU Children’s always knocks her out completely. Thankfully, Andee broke her arm before lunch so there was no full stomach issues to worry about when they sedated her. We looked at the after x-ray again and you can barely tell where it’s broken! Such a clean job.
We finally got released at a little before 8 p.m. and home just after 9, after a pain med fill (thank God for all night pharmacies!) and food for the girl. Poor thing was starved! lol So…Monday we go for the cast. She’ll return to school tomorrow.
For now, this is my Andee.