THE WRITE PLACE…

…to build a community. Share Patti Hall's journey …


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Go Ahead And Ask. I Know You Want To.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Purple dinosaur roams the Secret Garden. Essential.

Just where the hell have I been? My last post, aside from the lame January Home page update, was September 2014!!!! Holy tomato, Batman. Sure, I’ve been dipping my toes in the Facebook social pool over the past few months. Just a few lines and a photo or ten, nothing much really.

And, no ma’am/sir, I have not been tucked away in a cozy writer’s retreat tapping out The Great American Novel. I haven’t been off saving the world, one family member or friend at a time either. I haven’t been busy raising a family, promoting a book, working for a living or chairing ten committees.

Nope, that’s you guys. Man, you people have been BUSY!

During my 9-month people-phobia I have had a very limited itinerary; Maggie (the beach cave/home), the Secret Garden, the beach, the post office, the smoke shop and the grocery store. Did you catch that? Yes, I started smoking again, and I’m un-boyfriended too. I suppose I wasn’t ready for either one, despite how great they both (not smoking and boyfriend) were while they lasted. I WILL give quitting another try though.

I spent a month or so in Centralia with my 3-year-old grandson, Cameron, while his mom worked some crazy hours. It was good to be with their little family and it was also good to be back to my beach cave. Cora and Nola came back with me and we spent a fun weekend in the garden and at the beach and marina. The girls made some awesome beach art. Then my Sara, Jon and Cameron came to get them. We had a yummy BBQ in the Secret Garden, they unburdened me of lots of garden goodies, and then they all headed back home.

Aside from beach combing and gardening, I’ve been dabbling in painting and crafting. I spend a lot of time researching and charting my family genealogy. I have so many interests, I don’t think I’ve spent one minute of my life bored. Reading and writing have always been a huge part of my life, but not so much these past nine months.

I watch movies on Netflix sometimes. Last night I watched On Golden Pond. I loved Katharine Hepburn, the lake, the fishing and especially, the loons. The family dynamics were familiar and bittersweet.

I still write weekly postcards to my grandson, Hunter, and every few weeks to my Nola, Cora and Cameron. Other friends and family get snail mail from me occasionally. I sent my adult children, Sara and Jon, “Where’s Waldo” postcards a few weeks ago.

I’m usually up all night and sleep 4-6 hours during the day. I catch the birds singing their dawn chorus at 4:30 A.M. and the often-spectacular sunrise show. At night I get the beach sunset, moon and stars.

I still cry at the drop of a…it was a sock a couple days ago. I was rearranging something and a catch-all basket fell to the floor. As I bent to gather everything I saw a toddler-sized sock. Whether the sock was my grandson Tiven’s, who died in 2013, or his brother Hunter’s, whom I haven’t seen in almost 2 years and who is being moved to the other side of the country this week, it was heart-wrenching. I still avoid the cubby under my bed where I stored their shells, beads, drawings and toys. Hunter’s bright orange toothbrush catches me off guard sometimes.

Since Paul died in 2009, then my cat, my sister, my grandson, 2 aunts, an uncle and several friends, I haven’t moved forward much. I’ve spent a lot of time in Alaska with my parents and siblings, and I’m trying to build strong bonds with Sara’s 3 children.  Most of my adult friendships are on the phone or online.

The Secret Garden and my camera keep me going, as does sharing what I find that amazes me. Publicly, I try to add a kind word or humor when I can. If not, I say nothing.

In the back room of my friend’s garage, are floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall totes. Two households (both mine, both gone) of STUFF. If I could, I would pay for someone to take it all away. That’s not going to happen. My goal is to sell, toss or give away all of it by the end of the summer. Baby steps. I’ll start with 20 minutes a day. Let’s see how that goes. Wish me luck.

So my first blog post in a long time and a goal and plan to unburden myself from my STUFF. Maybe I am moving forward a bit 🙂

Thanks for reading if you made it this far,

Patti

P.S. This was written the last full week in June. Real progress being made on my goal; 6 or 7 empty totes! Grandson moved to undisclosed location, so I’ve decorated an antique box and keep adding his weekly postcards and a few treasures that I find.


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A Blog Schedule? Me?

mail box

Ground mail. Rusty abandoned mail box.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Yep, I’m going to break down and try the blog schedule thing. I also added a mission statement and a link to my Facebook to the sidebar, and I updated my HOME page.

So here’s the plan:

MEMOIR MONDAY- Every other Monday (beginning May 12th) will be all about memoir—yours, mine and theirs. An excerpt, poem or story from my memoir-in-progress, and/or links, news and reviews relating to memoir reading or writing.

NEWS DAY TUESDAY- Every other Tuesday (beginning May 6th) will be my writer-reader news roundup. Whatever I come across that is newsworthy and of interest to writers and readers.

PROMPTLY WEDNESDAY- If I join in a photo or writing prompt, I’ll post my entry on Wednesdays.

PHOTO FRIDAY- Beginning May 9th, I’ll add photos from the current week and/or photos from my archives to my PHALL PHOTO blog. I’ll pick my favorite photo and post it here, with a link to the photos I added on my photo blog. If inspired, I’ll include a poem, short story, or a quote relating to the photo.

Later, I may add THOSE WHO CARE THURSDAY for care-giver news, fiction and non-fiction stories and information.

So, each week I will have a Monday OR Tuesday post and Friday photos. The rest are occasional.

As usual, I’ll probably include one of my photos to each post, whether it’s relevant to the post, or not 🙂 If you have a post (yours or someone else’s) that relates to anything I post, feel free to add a link to it in your comments.

I doubt that I will be able to completely curb my wide streak of spontaneity, but this schedule will hopefully make my busy life easier, AND allow you to follow posts that interest you.

I’m sure you will, but please let me know what you think about this blog schedule plan. Do you have a schedule or have you tried to implement one? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

Patti


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Hiatus

Hiya friends and family. I’m taking the last few days of April off. Not actually off, just off the internet. I have X,Y & Z posts lined up to automatically publish over the next three days. I will be back to catch up on any comments that I miss on social media on CORRECTION!!!!! MAY 1st. I’ll leave you with this slide show. Photos taken with my phone yesterday. Peace Out, Patti

Phall Photos 2014

SAMSUNG MORNING IN THE GARDEN

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My Writing Process Blog Tour!

Welcome to our blog tour! Garden gate to my mom's garden. Eagle River, Alaska 2012

Welcome to our blog tour! Garden gate to my mom’s garden. Eagle River, Alaska 2012

Frankly, when Sheree Nielsen at http://shereenielsen.wordpress.com/ invited me to join this blog tour, I thought my plate was too full. That’s because it is! Oh, well, whatever spills over the plate and onto the floor, the chickens can eat. Wait, no chickens here. My neighbor’s dog, Gertrude, can have whatever falls off my plate.

So, um, thank you for adding me to the tour, Sheree! Our little community here LOVES pretty photos, and I know they will hop over to see the ones you and your husband take. You also have that fantastic “healing” coffee table book, Folly Beach Dances, coming out this month. I’m sure it will sell very well!

Sheree was brought to the tour by Mary Horner at http://writrteachr.blogspot.com/ , and she was brought on board by Donna Volkenannt. This is beginning to sound like that old 70’s shampoo commercial, “…and she told 2 friends, and she told 2 friends…” etc.

Okay, down to business, which is to answer four questions about my writing process. (Oh, this should be enlightening!)

1. What am I working on? A better question for me at this time, would probably be: What are you NOT working on? I am not working on my memoir series, the short “Postcards” book, nor any of the children’s poems and stories on my hard drive, that patiently await my attention. Instead, I’m dabbling in this cool blog tour, teasing my muse with the A-Z April Challenge, and reading (and commenting!) on some damn fine blogs. I’m also THINKING about writing A LOT while the dirt collects under my broken nails and sweat forms on my brow from some serious garden work.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? It may be a bit…looser than other memoirs, I have a hard time sticking to rules when it comes to writing. I write from the heart. When I write for children, I put on my silly hat (one of many—me and the late, great Dr. Seuss have that in common) and tell wild tales that also have some heart thrown in.

3. Why do I write what I do? The memoir was something my late husband and I planned while we spent a year fighting for his life. We wanted to offer some help and humor for others who would follow our path of living in hospitals and short-term housing during a health crisis. Writing for children comes from raising a couple of great ones along the way, sharing laughs with my little grands and never loosing site of my own childish side.

4. How does your writing process work? Ha ha ha ha! A writing process?  I’ve been meaning to get one of those. I bet there’s an app for that! Seriously? For the memoir, and other non-fiction writing, I start with a small mind map in a notebook (very low-tech), then I make a poster-sized one that I can follow as I progress (IF I progress). Basically, I start brain-storming and circling points that I want to make in the book or article. It’s a wildly fun and fast-paced process, where one thing leads to another. Here’s a post I did on it: Mind Map.

No one likes to hear how I write most of my fiction stories, but here goes. I dream them up. Literally. I wake up with an idea, or sometimes with a whole story, and CAN NOT go back to sleep until I get it written down. I usually start in a notebook, but I’m learning to go straight to my lap top instead; transcription is so tedious!

I also use photos to prompt stories, as I did in the B & C installments of the A-Z April Challenge.

Next up on the My Writing Process Blog Tour! are three lovely writing friends, who I think you will all enjoy meeting.

S.K. Nichols at http://redclayandroses1.wordpress.com/ has been a blogging friend since I began my blog. Susan is the author of Red Clay and Roses, a fictionalized true story that blends mystery, rape, murder, drama, and forbidden love into a historical context. She has several other books in the works. Susan is also great about sharing her writing progress, writing book reviews and gathering our community together to discuss writerly issues. She is open, honest and humorous about her journey of writing and publishing.

My second choice for the blog tour is actually a mother/daughter writing team, Inion N. Mathair, at http://inionnmathair.wordpress.com/ . They  have been a writing duo for the past six years and have published YA novels, The Perfect 7, Nightwalkers; The Secret of Jessup and a collection of short stories, From the Dark & Twisted Mind of Inion N. Mathair. Not only prolific writers, but Ginger and Natalie spend almost as much time promoting other writers across their social media network. They write book reviews, present writer interviews and they heavily promote and share all the beautiful, fun, sassy and witty blogs that they discover along the way.

Aside from their obvious writing talent, all three ladies are tops with supporting other writers and bloggers. Please take a few minutes and visit their sites.

Hope you enjoyed!

Patti


9 Comments

Under Construction

PHALL PHOTOS 2013

PHALL PHOTOS 2013

For the next several days I will be reconstructing this blog. If you pop in and things are mucked up, please return later and, hopefully, it will be repaired. I’ve only been blogging for 7 months, but some of the topics that are my focus are getting clogged up behind some of my “this and thats” of frequent blogging. Everything will still be here, but I hope to make it easier to find.


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New Features and Reflections of Memoir and August

Tan steerette

From my country drive a few weeks ago here. Tan Furry Steerette (not official species name). Maybe it’s the teats, maybe that soulful look, but I love her. Cannot have steerette where I live. I’m so glad that she has that awesome rack (horns not teats) to keep those bad boys away…when necessary:>) I was very sad when we had to leave these new friends behind. I wish they had internet.

New Features & Reflections of Memoir

I have not received enough reader photos here and here to keep that feature going, so I am working on 2 new features that I hope will be more popular and useful. One is for caregivers and the other is for writers. Both of my new features are written as “Postcards” since that seems to be in keeping with my “Souvenirs from My Heart” memoir series. I intend on carrying that theme through all my writing, as it is such a big part of my former and current life.

I wanted to get the memoir postcard series here published this month, but this has been a rough month for me. As you might imagine, my emotions are pretty raw, and time spent on the memoir has been ripping off old scabs. I hope that the caregiver and writer postcard series will give me a short break and allow me step back and breathe for a short time. Both of those series are meant to help others, and that helps me get out of my own emotional way.

Reflections of August

Tomorrow, the 27th, is the anniversary date that Paul and I celebrated our new life together. He would always tease me about my bold, “Why don’t you call me sometime” gesture at the pig roast in 2005 where we were re-acquainted. The 28th was the day of his memorial. What a day. I raged in my journal about how that day was supposed to offer some “closure,” but all it did for me was make my grief worse, because it made Paul’s death so real and so final.

I will certainly be glad when August is over! With Paul’s deathday, birthday, our anniversary and his memorial in the same month, it is always hard. Leaving our home  and gardens for the last time, this past week, added more to my heaping pile of emotions.

The bright side could be, that it is all over in one month of the year. I (with lots of help) am building a new “secret garden” that Paul would love, from what I salvaged from our old garden. This year I also have my wordpress family to add to my supporting and loving circle of family and friends in “real” life. Thank you all.

Heaps of Goodness

Please continue to send all sorts of goodness to my WP friends, Ionia, Belinda and Marilyn, and my real world f/f’s who face serious health issues. For those in my circle facing emotional issues, maybe try what helps me most; give true and loving support to others:>)

I just got word that I did not win the last contest. A BIG thank you for those who took the time to read and vote on my story, “Love, Laughter and Loss” I did not win, but had the most, by 20!, facebook likes:>) Here is how the stories were judged. (I think I only had one person write to the judges.) http://midlifecollage.com/winner-circle/
Again, thank you!

See you soon,

Patti


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THE READER PLACE; Our Reading Habits and Places 2

reading

My son reading to his son:>) Jon & Hunter
PHALL PHOTO 2013

reading

What a cozy reading spot! Luanne already knows I’m going to tease her about the hat :>)

Here’s what some of our other friends have to say about reading, from comments on original post here.

helenmidgley
As the only female in a house full of men, I read to escape, lol. Although my husband would say I read to escape the washing up, the ironing, the cooking and the polishing, but I don’t believe him

tpolen

As a child, I loved reading in the swing on the front porch right before a storm. Now, my very favorite place to read is on the beach, but if I can’t have that, I’ve enjoyed our covered outdoor patio during this mild summer – the weather has been great! I’m the lone female in my male dominated house and, for the most part, the only reading they do is Sports Illustrated.

Susan Call Hutchison
Initially, I wondered if an eReader could ever match the magic of turning pages to devour a story. I found out the ease of having a Kindle app on my iTouch made it my favorite way to read. I can have a LIBRARY in my pocket, and take it out and enjoy, anytime, anywhere. I read the scriptures every morning for 1/2 hour in bed, before I do anything else. My husband and I read aloud to each other every evening when we were first married (34 years ago), and after our first daughter came. We alternated chapters, and introduced each other to the writers we loved. My husband enjoyed reading aloud to our whole family as the girls were growing up. Now that they are out of the “nest,” Marc and I still read to each other, sharing “the good parts.” And both of us read avidly, silently to ourselves. Wherever we want to.

Judy

Susan, my husband and I also read ‘the good parts’ to each other. And, at holiday time, he reads A Child’s Christmas in Wales (D. Thomas) at the annual family gathering. Wonderful way to bond and share. Think we’ve created a tradition with our kids and grand kids.

coastalcrone

What a wonderful image – a boy reading in a tree house! Better than video games. I read in bed every night or read while I am waiting for someone or something.

Ginny

My son hides in the bathroom to read…lol my hubby reads on the couch and I like to read outside or in bed..I cant wait to hold your book in my hands with a cup of coffee and sit outside and read it.  along with a big box of Kleenex.

Thank you all for participating and please keep sending them in!  1writeplacewordpress at gmail dot com I need them by Sunday. Add a link if you have a business or book you want us to visit. I’m still looking for some that Paul took of me reading…

Thanks Peeps,

Patti