Season of Change

The things I used to like, I don’t like any more,
I want a lot of other things I’ve never had before,
It’s just like my mamma says, I sit around and mourn
Pretending that I am so wonderful and knowing I’m adored

I’m as restless as a willow in a windstorm,
I’m as jumpy as a puppet on a string,
I’d say that I had spring fever,
But I know it isn’t spring.

Nina Simone, It Might as Well Be Spring, 1945

Spring has always been touted as the season of change. It is, after all, the transition from winter to summer, a rebirth, so to speak. I am predisposed to thinking that way as my birthday falls therein. As such, it is my favourite season. Now that’s not say I don’t like the other seasons, I do. They all have their own merits. There is no bad season, in my books. Let’s face it, I like the change from one to the other.
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The Great Gatsby

The Great GatsbyAs you may, or may not, know, I am a Gatsby fan. Or rather, I am a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald, but never, ever should I use him as a comparison in a pitch letter. Or so I’ve been told by someone who supposedly knows these things.

But I digress.

A long time ago, read three years, The Great Gatsby was assigned as required reading for a writer’s conference I was attending. Not high school, a writer’s conference. At first I kind of struggled through the story. It was a bit slow, but seeing 1920′s New York through the eyes of an author that lived it, kept me going. When I finished the book, my initial reaction was…meh. It was alright. For a decorated classic, I found it lacking.
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Finding Traction

God Rest You Merry, GentlemenI am sitting here, keys clacking, words stacking as the strains of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen fill the room. Why, you ask, am I listening to Christmas music when the season is done? Because, for someone that writes Christmas stories with a classic bent, Christmas never ends.

I am hard at work on my second Christmas book. A little lighter tale with not so much history. Okay, there is history in it, but the story is a bit more fun and not so melancholy as The Good King.
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Bittersweet 2013

The year 2013 has not been without its moments, all memorable, but not all joyous. Success wise, I placed in the top ten in an “Opening Line” writing contest for Writer’s Digest, I printed/published my Christmas book, The Good King and was one of three winners in a writing contest for The Word Weaver newsletter for the Writer’s Community of Durham Region. All that and I will find out in a few days the results of another Writer’s Digest contest.

Things for me, as a writer, are definitely looking up.

BUT.

In the process, I lost my mother to a lengthy battle with Cardiopulmonary Disease. She was only 66 and she never got to see the book. She died on the 13th of November and the book was released on the 30th. I had it in my computer and didn’t want to show it to her. I wanted it to be a surprise.

Writer’s draw from life, from the scenery, from the sights, the sounds, but it is the familiar emotions that add flesh to the characters. The most important emotions, the ones hardest to write, are that of grief and empathy.

Why is it hardest to write? Two reasons. One, if handled with a ham hand or draped in the cloak of ultimate coolness, sexiness or cocky confidence, it will take the life right out of the words. They will fall flat and wooden on the reader’s ear and nothing turns away readers faster than flat, wooden, one-sided writing. The other reason? Quite frankly, it hurts. It tears at us. Like picking a scab from a cut, it opens the wounds of loss. It is personal and intimate.

Right now, even though, in the world of writing, the door of opportunity has opened a crack for me, I am a walking wound. My emotions are at the surface just waiting for an errant breeze to peel the scab off. I am thankful for my friends and family for being the balm that helps ease the pain, and to you, my readers, for giving me the distraction I so sorely need.

So please excuse me if my writing in the near future carries a heavy tone of melancholy. Well, more so than usual.

There are good things on the horizon. Several projects in the works that I am very excited about, among them a sequel to The Good King entitled Three Ships for Three Kings. And several that I am ashamed to say, still wallow in edits and indecision. All that and my hunt for a Literary Agent/Publisher has gained new life.

Stay tuned.

From my pen to your page,
I wish you and yours, a Happy and prosperous New Year!

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Book Launch: The Good King

The Good KingLet me start this off with a disclaimer. This will not be your typical book launch post. One, because I haven’t the foggiest idea what that looks like, and two, because that’s just the way I roll.
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Falling Notes

While I’m waiting to drop a big writing news-bomb, I give you this blog inspired by fellow writer, Kevin Craig (links at the end of the bit). Stay tuned.

MusicI am a high school band geek.

Or, rather, I was a high school band geek. Now that’s not to say I did nothing else. I was also on the track team and the swim team. The difference being, the music stayed with me over the years. I learned something more than just how to read those little black spots on the page and coax semi-pleasing sounds out of the clarinet and saxophone, I learned an appreciation.
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Oz, The Great and What Now?

Oz Now and ThenAnyone who knows me knows that I see books and movies as small peepholes into vast worlds beyond the scope of the book or movie. To quote my youngest daughter, an aspiring author herself, “You can write about them (characters and the worlds they inhabit), you can even finish the novel or series, but they never leave you”.
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