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Writer Journal; Memoir, Children’s Book and Pinterest

Memoir: Focus on the first book in the series. I drew the mind map a few days ago under the spell of fevered inspiration. Let it simmer, then worked on the title (the center circle) and chapter headings (the next branch of circles) last night. Realized how much humor Paul & I threw at our desperate situation. The book is not a serious non-fiction how-to. Not gallows humor either, well, not much.

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary, so I wrote an essay around the way we found each other. I kept catching myself smiling and just went with it. I had fun with the essay and submitted it just after midnight. Felt so good, I joined a writer’s critique group; I can keep track of my submissions there and get/give serious critiques. Well, not that serious, but from working writers.

Children’s Story: Created a book launch mind map for the various things that need to be in place BEFORE I get to the publishing stage. At the beginning of August I will start working on making it a Kickstarter project, so stay tuned for that. Have not heard back from illustrator since I sent her the story…no stress, I know she is busy.

All The Rest: Most of the writing I’m submitting is in the form of essays and poetry, but virtually all of it is memoir based;  about grief, loss and hope.

I have joined a few more social networking sites. I now have a lot of photos up at and am using “Phall” as my photography name. I hope to run into some experts willing to share some photog tips, because I know what I want with certain shots, but  adjusting colors is the tricky part. You’ll find Washington Coast beach photos and some Hawaii photos.

That’s it for me for now.

Please leave a comment: thoughts, questions, suggestions, what color your shoes are…anything.


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WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves

Maui Wind Turbines copyright 2012 Patti Hall

Maui Wind Turbines
copyright 2012 Patti Hall

The curves are what caught my eye when my mother and I were flying over Maui this winter. In the midst of this rugged country and churning ocean, are these seemingly smooth, clear service roads that draw curves across the landscape when seen from the air.

WordPress contest page can be seen here:


A Million Ways to Mind Map; Channeling Gwen

Like many of us of writers, I have issues with focus. That is, I have writing ideas ticking in my brain constantly. In this current writeaholic mode, I even dream new blogs, articles, poems and stories. Most of the time I stumble right out of bed, pee, pour coffee and while it’s heating, I start up the computer.  I hit the writing at the pace of a runner at full speed.

As I wrote about before, I’m starting Camp NaNoWriMo in July, yet my memoir is still a file of almost 200k words, piles of writing not yet typed, and reams of papers from Paul’s hospital stays. Which direction do I head for? I know this memoir project will be a series, but where to start? When I think back to the beginnings of the memoir idea, I get two strong thoughts: The encouragement to write my story from many friends, family, writing instructors, and strangers. And Paul telling me that he wanted me to write about our year of fighting his leukemia, to help the many others who would (unfortunately) follow our path. He even promised to help from wherever he was; yes, this was a death-bed request. (Of course, I never fixed the chip in my windshield, and that too, was a death-bed request.)

Those thoughts (not the windshield ones) gave me a focus, but now what? Then it hit me square on and I began to channel one of my best friends. Gwen is a writing dynamo;  she is a dynamo in all sorts of ways, but her mind map talent was needed here.  This is the result:

Hand Written Memoir Mind Map

Hand Written Memoir Mind Map

Finally! Thank you, Gwen! I felt ready to actually write. The center was the memoir focus, the next circle is each chapter’s focus, and the outer circles will be the content of the chapters. It is amazing how fast things happen during and after the mind mapping process. I also want to give you techies a way to do the same thing online. Instead of rolling out a  list of links, I’m going to advise you to Google “mind maps” like I did, which will give you millions of mind map resources. Aren’t they pretty?

Screen Shot of Google Mind Maps

Screen Shot of Google Mind Maps

I resisted clicking on even one of those pretty things, because now I had a focus. Away I go. Stay tuned for the next step in this crazy process…

P.S. I do realize that someone could copy and steal my mind map and write their own book, but I promise that the universe will get them if they do. Besides, the hard part is ahead and if they are the type of person to steal my mind map, they aren’t likely to do the hard part.



How do you get your focus on a project? I’d love to know how others handle it, so please let me know in a comment.


I Won Another Book! Memoir, Life in the Land of ‘IS’ from

Just last week I told my mom that this was going to be my lucky year! In three months of blogging, I’ve won two books, just by reading and commenting on blogs that interest me. So, in other words, no talent used here, but still….
Here’s the scoop:
 I just wanted to let you know that you are the winner of the Life in the Land of ‘IS’ giveaway. Please let me know where you would like me to send the book. Thank you for taking the time to enter and for adding my badge to your site.
Stacie Theis, (see badge on home page)
A quote from the review by Stacie, Life in the Land of ‘IS’ is an amazing story about the unyielding human spirit that catapults a woman from a life shattering accident to an inspiring role model for others.”
I’ll add my other winning info below and take it off the main page.

“The winner of the Leanne Shirtliffe book, Don’t Lick the Minivan, is Patti Hall. Congratulations, Patti! I’ll be in touch to send your book.”

I received the book in the mail, read it, and sent it on it’s journey to my daughter (who has a minivan, and 3 who may possibly try to lick it), then to my aunt and on to Alaska for my mom to read. They both had station wagons, and 12 kids between them, that I’m sure did much worse than lick the station wagon.The book is hilarious. Thank you Leanne and Marion!


Thanks for stopping in,




6 Places I Go To Write Online and A Writer’s Poem

Writing All Alone?

Yes, writing is a solitary endeavor,

we lock the doors to write forever.

Close the curtains so they think we’re gone,

fingers ache when the muse is on.

Cell phone switched to silent mode,

so, what do we do in our lonely abode?

Facebook, Twitter, Likedin and blog,

we talk about writing and the hours we log!

copyright 2013 Patti Hall

That’s just the way it is with the writers I know in these techy days we live in. However, I am also logging hours by submitting my writing to fellow writers to comment on or critique. Below are the main places I go to write. Try them yourself, you’ll see what I mean. Most of these require you to submit author bio and writing sample to join.
The Memoir Writing Society  Still finding my place here.
She Writes, I am also a member of several groups here. An incredibly friendly, large group of writers. I’ve submitted poetry for a contest here, but lots of resources and opportunities to submit.
The Writer’s Journey Roadmap  Not a critique group, just a bunch of us writing personal essays & poetry from weekly writing prompts. This is a warm cozy place.
writers camp starts in July, goal: 50,000 words and a  finished work. Am I nervous? You betcha’!
A writer’s group where I submit writing and comment on other’s writing. Huge inspiration for me. Many well-published authors here, along with newbies like me.

Where do you go to write online? Questions, answers and comments welcome. Please take a moment to say hello.

See you soon,