The Story

I’m daydreaming…looking at man with an oversized cowboy hat riding a bull or a wild horse in a large corral. I’m not sure which it was because I was wondering more about why this vision was invading my thoughts. I dismissed it, but then when I saw the same sight in my mind’s eye the following day, I decided to sit down and meditate upon it.

As I relaxed into this vision, I realized that the man was an Italian singer that I enjoyed listening to. This realization made the whole daydream even more bizarre. I started to make notes as I watched the sketchy images of an unfolding story. I wrote the short story, “That’s Just the Way it Is” in a little over two hours which I published in 2013. A little later I wrote a sequel, “Return to Texas,” published in 2014. The cowboy from the vision became John Colter, who is the protagonist Becky’s, first husband.

Somehow Becky’s story never “felt”  finished…too many loose ends needed to be connected. Life got in the way until 2020 when I began working on a book that would reveal a more complete version of Becky’s life. This book became the novella Where the Heart Goes in which Becky’s shares scenes from her life as a child up until her death, from a place that seems like the afterlife. It’s like a saga packed into a novella-sized book informally narrated by the protagonist. This is a story of love, guided by the heart.

Where do stories like this come from? Is this a past life memory…mine or someone else’s shot out of the collective unconscious? Was I Rebecca? Perhaps it’s just the product of an unbridled somewhat creative mind. We will never know for sure, will we? What I do know is that this story was meant to be written and lives in a special place inside my heart. I hope that it will find a place in yours as well!

Note: That’s Just the Way It Is and Return to Texas are FREE on Amazon, today through Dec. 3rd!

Where the Heart Goes

I’m happy to announce that my novella, Where the Heart Goes, is now available on Amazon for purchase as a Kindle or paperback! The book is a western about a young woman who moves from Philadelphia to Texas in the 1800s on a journey of self-discovery where the events and people in her life bring her to a greater understanding of love. Those of you who liked my short stores from a few years ago will delight in this extended and more detailed story of Becky’s life! (link below)

Coming Soon!

I’m happy to say that my novella will FINALLY be released in November, 2021.

“Where the Heart Goes” is narrated by Rebecca Adams, a strong, unforgettable woman who travels from Pennsylvania to Texas to follow her dreams in the mid-1800s. She shares with the reader clips of the most memorable and poignant moments of her lifetime beginning in young adulthood. It’s an ordinary life in many ways, woven with themes of love, romance, motherhood, abuse, spirituality and death. Yet, Rebecca has a remarkable ability to learn and reflect from the experiences of her heart. She aptly sums it up with, “It’s strange how the heart can take the reins from you but still allows you to think you’re in control.”

When I published two short stories several years ago about Rebecca’s life, I had no idea her saga was not yet complete, on paper that is. The original idea was inspired from an unusual daydream I had of a man riding a bronco, who became the character, John Coulter. From there, the story took on a life of its own and developed into “That’s Just the Way It Is” and “Return to Texas.” This follow-up novella is a deeper and much expanded version of the earlier short stories with more emphasis on the historical times in which it took place. Perhaps its basic theme—deep love that lives in the heart and soul, never truly dies—bears repeating in a world that often appears loveless. It has truly been a joy and a heart-warming experience to write this piece.

The book will be available in paperback and Kindle formats…I’m looking forward to sharing more information with you next month!

Update – What I’m Working On Now

I am happy to say that I have returned to writing daily (at least for now 😊) It feels comfortable, and for the most part, the words are flowing. In 2016, I slowed down considerably due to family issues and then experienced several changes which required my time and attention. Now I’m back with renewed enthusiasm and a more focused perspective on where my writing is going.

Some of you may remember the strong, female protagonist, Rebecca, in the two short stories I published. She has been insistent about my finishing her story before I complete anything else. Rather than making a trilogy of the stories, I have decided (with her help) to write a richer, expanded version of the first two stories and complete it with the final section into a novella. “Where the Heart Goes” will be released early in 2020. For those of you who haven’t read my short stories, this is historical fiction with a romantic theme that takes place primarily in Texas in the late 1800’s.

The novella will be followed by a novel, “Trip to a Lifetime.” I began writing this several years ago after a trip to Italy. About two-thirds of it is written and if all goes well, it will be published in 2021. It is spiritual fiction with a reincarnation theme.

Thank you for following me on this journey. Your support is important to me and hopefully it will keep me from slacking off. 😊

In the Silence

I’ve been quiet for a while as far as blogging or any type of writing goes. While I have been dedicating some of my time to genealogy and home improvement projects, as well as life in general, there have been serious moments of reflection about my writing.

Rebecca, the protagonist from my first two short stories, “That’s Just the Way It Is” and “Return to Texas” has become very vocal (to me, at least) about the fact that her story is not complete and asked me to please allow her to finish it. All too ready to put aside the novel I’ve been working on for a few years, probably because I know it needs the dreaded major revision, I have agreed.

The new short story will be called, “Last Breath.” Parts of it are written, and I am in the process of doing the cover. Although I dislike boxing myself in, I will say that it should be available by May. While writing this story, I am doing more historical research about the time period of this piece (1884-1891 in Texas) and the impact it has on the storyline.

In addition, I have decided to do a novelette where I will be expanding these three stories, and including some historical influences especially the Civil War. Much more will be revealed about Rebecca’s early life in Philadelphia before she and her parents moved to Texas right before the War. At this point, I haven’t decided whether this additional project will be completed before or after my novel.

While it’s nice to see your words in print, it must be even nicer to hold them in your hands, which aside from the noise from Becky, is motivating me to put these stories into a “real” book.  Perhaps I could even stretch it out to a novella. I’ll probably let her decide.

I welcome any comments or ideas, especially from those of you who have read my first two stories. For my fellow writers, how’s your writing life going? What’s new? What’s flowing, or not? It’s time to make a little noise on this blog!

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Time for an Update

This seems to be the time of the year when I reevaluate my writing journey, so here I go.

I am enjoying my life, and writing is a part of that. It may not be as important as I intended when I began this journey a few years ago, but I still have many goals. I still wonder if a part-time writer can become a very good writer. I guess I’ll find out.

I enjoy my blog and plan to write more often as long as it doesn’t interfere with writing for publication. I love the interaction with other bloggers and followers.

As far as publication, I did release my grandmother’s poetry earlier in the year. The work was 95% hers, but doing the editing, layout and formatting for Kindle enhanced my skills in those areas.

I think it’s important to publish at least once a year so I will be expanding two of the articles I’ve written on this blog into e-books during the next year. More about the first one will come soon.

The novel that I’ve referred to several times on this blog is 75% complete. I’m talking about the first draft so it will still be a while before it sits on a bookshelf anywhere. I am planning to self-publish with Balboa Press because I am so aligned with Hay House in my thinking and the types of spiritual things I write about. Besides, it doesn’t hurt that Hay House takes a look at the books coming through Balboa to find selections they may want to publish.

When I get to the point where I am ready to send it to Balboa I will talk more about the topic. At this point, I will say that it was inspired by a true story and has a very spiritual theme – that of reincarnation and the love that travels through many lifetimes and never dies.

Last, but not least, it’s important I that I continue to learn about writing so I take a course or attend a conference every year. This year I am taking an online course – James Patterson’s MasterClass. It’s reasonably priced, and I am getting a lot of great tips from a best-selling author. Applying some of them to my own work is slowing me down, but I am trying to avoid my tendency to overthink and stay focused on what’s most important to the novel.

How are things going with those of you who publish your work or aspire to? I can’t be inspirational and say to do something I don’t do myself, like write everyday. What I can say is… if you have a goal in mind, don’t give up until you reach it. The journey may not be what you expect, but it will be worthwhile and in some ways may become more important than the goal.

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Your Story Does Matter

I discovered the above metal plaque browsing through a shop in Punta Gorda, Florida back in April. It spoke to me so deeply that I knew I had to buy it and place it where I could see it often. It’s a reminder to me that what I have to say with my writing is worthwhile. It matters to someone and most importantly it matters that I share bits and pieces of me in my writing.

I believe it’s important for all of us to be aware that who we are and how we arrived at this point in life are crucial. Our stories and perspectives are unique because we are all as different as our fingerprints. This is the richness of our lives that deserves to be shared as we learn from and teach each other.

What is your story? Much of it is about the things that matter most in your life and why. They largely define who you are. Perhaps it’s an undeniable talent or a calling that directs you to a specific career or hobby. Whatever it is that characterizes you as your unique piece of the whole of humanity truly needs to be expressed and shared.

Why are you here?  Write it, sing it, create it, talk about it and most of all, love it. Your true essence matters to us all!

“Martha’s Words” is Now Available!

marthas words small

 

I’m happy to announce that the e-book of my grandmother’s poetry, “Martha’s Words,” is now available for sale at Amazon.com.  I am sharing with you another one of her poems as I did last year. I have learned from this selection, as well as from some of  her other work, that my grandmother was a good judge of character and had a keen sense of whether someone was being “true or false.” 🙂 I have not given up the idea of a hardback book and am continuing to explore options.

 

True or False

“Vanity, vanity, all is vanity,”

Should have been said in this our day.

Look well north or south,

East or west;

The over-dressed, fashionable

Hold full sway.

Is it true or false?

Leave I you to decide

That a wolf very nicely

In sheep’s clothing may hide.

 

Martha Walton Press

February 17, 1911

 

Those Rainy Days

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On a dark, dreary day I am finding myself more focused than usual. Obviously for me, it’s a good time to concentrate on writing something, anything, and to tell my inner critic to step aside.

How do you feel about cold, rainy days? Perhaps if you are a writer, you love them for their creative potential. To me, there is something soothing and nurturing about them as if Mother Nature is bathing the world with a comforting blessing. I find myself being introspective and more in touch with my feelings than usual.

If you go to work or school, you may hate going out in them like I used to. It’s particularly uncomfortable getting wet when it’s cold. Maybe you like school or your job so much, that it doesn’t matter? That’s truly a gift when you do, not to mention a plus for your physical and mental health.

Maybe you like to stay in bed and pull the covers over your head? Listening to Karen Carpenter sing “Rainy Days and Mondays”  goes well with that. What a loss to the world that great voice was.

This is the first of a number of  brief, light topics I will be throwing out for discussion. I haven’t felt as connected to my blog in the last year as I did earlier on; I’m changing that by taking time to listen to the ideas that float through my mind and not being so quick to dismiss them. I hope you’ll join in.

So, I’d truly like to know how you feel about dark, cold rainy days. What’s you favorite thing to do when you have a choice?

 

 

 

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To Flow or Not to Flow

Butterfly

It’s happening again. I have an hour now to either write a blog post or do promotional activities. I struggle with this repeatedly, sometimes doing neither. For the most part, I don’t enjoy promotional activities. I can’t believe that someone who really loves to write truly does. Meaningful interaction with fellow writers, bloggers or fans is great, but it seems pointless to repeatedly promote my work on Facebook or Twitter and do all the other tasks that so-called professionals tell me I should do to achieve success.

I grew up driven, thinking it was important to have goals with carefully outlined steps to achieve them…maybe even a timetable. In some cases, this worked very well; other times the path was fraught with difficulty. I’ve noticed along the way that resistance, obstacles and delays seem to occur when the goal I’ve chosen, or the pathway designed to achieve it, may not be the right one for me. Or, it could be that it’s simply not the right time for it to happen.

I’m older now and have realized that often things work better if I relax and go with the flow. The original goals may adjust or even change, but the end results I am guided to are even better. I believe that in following the path of least resistance and doing the things that make us happiest, we are listening to the wisdom of our inner being, or the soul. Our inner self knows our deepest desires and what is best for us, even though we may not be consciously aware of this.

Sometimes ideas and thoughts need to be nurtured by the ebb and flow of life until they are ready to burst forth at the right time. As the amazing caterpillar transforms itself into a butterfly, it goes through a period of inactivity. In actuality, much is happening within the security of the cocoon. As with us, a powerful transformation may go on inside us during a period of quiet time or relaxation.

I am feeling happy that I’ve chosen to write this post and not spent the time on Facebook or Twitter. This tells me I’m heading in the right direction because even though it’s sometimes difficult, I find that writing brings me satisfaction unlike any other. It teaches me more about myself that often others find interesting or helpful.

I hope that some of you will reflect a bit and not feel that your time has to be filled with meaningless activities that someone else tells you to do to achieve your goals. If the “someone else” is your boss, you might want to consider another line of work. If the goals you have in mind are right for you, you will enjoy the path that guides you there.

Keep in mind that what is right for another, may not be beneficial for you. If your life is not moving in the direction you would like, it could be time to re-evaluate your goals. Spend some quiet time at home or in nature thinking about what holds meaning for you in life, especially meaning that celebrates your uniqueness. There’s a place inside of you that has all the answers…you have only to tune into it.

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