Periodically! – #4 – Time For Fall

cropped-periodically3.jpgSeptember. Now that was a fast month! One day it’s 90 degrees, the next day you awaken to 50 degree weather and automatically reach for the nearest sweatshirt. Because of the brief thirty days and the nearly overnight change in climate, September whizzes by faster than, let’s say February, when you can’t wait for March’s lion’s roar.

Good God. February.

While I shake off that shivery promise of a future, I’ll update you as to what’s been going on in my world.

Write News:

This month saw my Editor for Life return an edit for Virtually Yours Forever, meaning I really should get off my butt and start editing. With the day job and personal family issues to deal with over the summer, I stood back from making any serious changes. I’m now glad I waited until I saw what he said at the end. This is going to take some major thought. I wish I could say the novel will be ready for prime time by the end of the year, but it could take longer. (Damn it.)

However, I’m in the process of coming out with a print version of Virtually Yours. I plan on using the copies in giveaways for the new book.

Can I share with you my feelings about the whole self-publishing scenario? If you’re an artist like I consider myself to be, the entire technical aspect can be daunting. I’m one of those learners who can’t do it by reading. I have to learn by doing. And yes, I realize that it’s the operator. I don’t understand templates and megapixels and the Internet. Remember, it took me at least eight months to learn WordPress! And I couldn’t figure out Twitter for the longest time. If you don’t make the application stupidly easy, I’m lost.

Oh! I have been invited back to the Leon and Lulu Books and Authors Event, to be held on Sunday, October 25, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If you’re in Southeastern Michigan, plan to stop by. Meet local authors, and visit the store, which is an experience in itself.

The Guerrilla Urban Garden:

It’s been all-out war between me and the rodents. The squirrels won the battle of the pear tree. Despite my constant tending, my squirrel prevention measures – including bagging the pears, mothballs, shiny, noisy things in the tree, and a Boston terrier on premise, I ended up with NO pears this year. (I really want to hurt someone over this.) I managed to salvage enough cherries from the tree (first time ever!) to make two tarts. DEE-licious.

The potatoes, however, have been a banner crop this year, probably because we had so much rain early in the season. I also mulched with coconut mulch, and that seemed to repel just about everything. Sweet potatoes – just digging these up now. (I planted them in my flower containers, where they trail nicely.) YUM! You can grow sweet potatoes in Michigan, but they need direct, hot sunlight.

Of course, the Swiss chard and hot peppers have been going crazy! No pomegranates this year, but the fig tree is bearing.

Not bad for a person who doesn’t weed much after June. 🙂

Interesting Articles:

Here’s one in defense of light reads. Personally speaking, I don’t know how people can read the same genre all the time. If I want something deep, I’ll reach for it three out of four times, but sometimes I want something light and fluffy and fun. Likewise, I don’t write in one genre either. Not all writing has to be “literary” – whatever that means. Good writing is good writing and makes for good reading. In that same vein, you can really learn a lot from other genres.

And here’s a good article from RachelintheOC about censoring your writing. If you don’t follow her, you should; she posts a wealth of great info online about writing, relationships, and social media.

I’m not against the use of adverbs (obviously!), but when in doubt, a strong verb works just as well.

Music:

As I mentioned a couple of months ago, my husband and I have been watching reruns of The Wonder Years. This has prompted my husband to drag out his old sheet music from the time. I’ve been listening to him pound out classics like Burt Bacharach, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, and of course, the Beatles. I’m probably prejudiced, but I think the best music came out of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, that sacred space between Top 40 bubblegum and disco.

Read this Month:

When Bad Things Happen to Good People, by Harold S. Kushner. A friend suggested this book as a possible way for a family member to get through rough times. In reading it, though, I realized this is a gold mine of information for me to use in a novel I’ve been toying with since last summer. As a writer, you have to realize that there are other experiences out there beyond your own. It’s difficult to put yourself into another person’s shoes and write about an alternate experience convincingly. (My problem is all my characters act like me and sound like me.)

Quote of the Month:

Being a good writer is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the internet. ~Anonymous

Have a great month!


Here’s the real action: check it out.

Find me on Facebook! I’ll friend anyone. Ask anyone. I even approve the weird guys from another country who IM me to ask about my life but clearly have never read my profile.

I’m a Goodreads author! Honest to God. Ask me a question, I’ll be happy to answer. Even if it’s a *stupid* question. (Or a questionable question. Those are the best kind.)

Follow me on Twitter! I’m not sure I have anything wonderful to say. I will say that I follow some interesting people. I can’t believe I can say this, but a few interesting people follow me, too. Twitter: the cyber cocktail party – alcohol not necessary.

I’m also on Pinterest! Rarely, but I do hit up the boards every now and again.


Periodically!, PO Box 207, Royal Oak, Michigan 48068

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The Upside to Writing

I will divert myself from lamenting of the woes and trauma associated with writing and trying to get published. Writing is a lot like golf: too many things to think about. Swing, conditions, clubs, stance, reach, etc. Just when you get one thing right, something else falls to the wayside and you’re back to square one. Yada, yada, yada.

Let’s not forget one thing, however; there is an upside to writing.

I’m basking in mine at the moment. 🙂

My friend, Edie, wanted to read VIRTUALLY YOURS, but she’s not very Internet savvy and doesn’t have her own eReader, instead occasionally borrowing one from her friend. On a completely random note having ABSOLUTELY nothing whatsoever to do with this post, HERE is her son. (He’s a hottie.) Edie didn’t want to burden her friend by asking her to buy the book on Amazon ($3.59! Now on sale!). It’s only in ebook format, but I just so happened to have a few review copies in the back of my car, leftovers from when I had sent them to a few book bloggers, so I gave Edie one.

It’s taken her a few days to read, but 20 pages in, she texted me and said how much she loved it. Then halfway through, she called me and wanted to be friends with all of the Virtual Moms. (I’d explained to her that I based this book on a real online group I belong to.) Then came another text wanting to know what was up with Ashe. (It’s a spoiler, so I’m not going to say.)

I saw her at my jewelry class yesterday, and she finally made it through the Big Reveal. “I thought **** was ****! And she remarked how similar the Virtual Mom relationships were like her longtime girlfriends she has known for 30 years. Last night, I received a text saying she finished, she loved it, and when was the sequel coming out.

This morning, I received a short voice mail from her, thanking me for allowing her to read my review copy, and that she can’t stop thinking about the characters, they are so real and interesting. Where the story will take them, where will they be, what will happen in the future.

I’m afraid I’m going to have to bring her a blurb the next time I see her. VIRTUALLY YOURS FOREVER, covers all of that and more. Now I am wondering if I should consider writing yet another novel based on these characters. Perhaps, from the kids’ points of view? The possibilities are boundless.

Listen, I know I may never grace the New York Times Best Seller’s List. I might never win awards for my writing. But the glow a writer gets from just ONE satisfied reader provides enough motivation for me to slog on through the mundane or the bad times. The next time I feel writer’s block coming on (rarely these days, but it can happen), I’m going to refer back to this week, remembering Edie singing my praises.