THE WRITE PLACE…

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


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Time To Renew My Welcome. Please Enter Through The Garden Gate

garden, Alaska

Mom’s Garden. Last summer I took care of mom when she was badly injured. Caring for mom meant caring for her garden…what a pleasure:>)
PHALL PHOTO 2012

Apparently, some (old and new) visitors are missing my tabs at the top of the home page. I’ve combined “BIO” and “Welcome To The Neighborhood” in this post in hopes that everyone knows a little about me and where to find this info in the future.

Also, I thank you all for your votes and am happy with 2nd place and to be gearing up for a new contest that begins Monday…details this weekend. Congrats to my new friend, Sharon Cook Leaf who got 1st place! We had a fun race:>)

Without further ado…

I am a writer, daughter, sister, mom, grani, niece, aunt & friend. I strive to do the best that I can in each of these roles, while staying focused on writing and publishing. I live near the beach in Washington State and enjoy my solitude. I spend my time on the beach, writing, reading, gardening, taking photos, traveling and digging into family history.

My name is Patti Hall, nice to meet you! Please introduce yourself in the “comment” section of any post on this blog.

I was born (3 of 7) in Oklahoma City, while dad was in the Air Force; we left when I was two. I spent the next 14 years living with my family on O’Malley Road, just outside of Anchorage. I spent some wandering years and ended up settling? in Centralia, WA, surrounded by my aunt, uncle and cousins.

I raised 2 incredible children in Lewis County, WA and they paid me back with a bunch of precocious, lively little grands. My Grani role is my favorite role yet. Oh, the freedom and delight!

In 2005 I moved in with an old friend, who became my new best friend and love. It was everything that we both needed and wanted. We just fell into happiness and left heartaches behind. Then he got sick.

Part of who I am today is defined by the recent losses in my life. I lost (still looking for him) my perfect fit by way of leukemia in 2009, my feline pal since 1997, in 2010, my fun and loving sis in 2012, and one of my precious grands (age 3) in April 2013. One of the reasons I’m writing is to find my way through this heavy load of grief.

Today I’m a 54 year veteran of this life. I ran away from  home, in the winter of 2010, to a little fishing/tourist/beach town on the Washington Coast. This is where I am…content for now.

And here you’ve found me at “The Write Place to build a community.” I brought along my friends and family and we welcome you and yours to come along with us on this journey. It’s sometimes sad here, mixed with my own brand of humor, and always a place of truth, stories and beauty (I play at photography).

Of course, I do swish the truth around a little in my poetry and children’s adventure stories.

I take everyone here with me as I get my writing act together and start publishing. On the site, I include worldly news, a bit of my daily grind, and writerly tips as I find them. Sometimes I join one of WordPresses’ daily prompts and post the results on the site.

So, welcome, and I hope you stay awhile.

Patti

Frivolous odds & ends about me…

  1. I love the sound of chimes; I even have some hanging on a curtain that I brush past regularly.
  2. I love smelling like camp fire.
  3. I sleep with a blanket, sheet or pillow over my head.
  4. I sing, talk, shout and memorize poetry while beach combing.
  5. I don’t watch or have a TV.
  6. I love to fish, especially in Katchemak Bay, Alaska.
  7. I love to free-style dance to jazz and blues.
  8. I swerve to miss frogs on rainy days and nights (watch out!).
  9. Our family raised a pet raccoon, Ricky, who retired to the Alaska Children’s Zoo.
  10. I have been in every state in the U.S., including Hawaii.
  11. I have email subscriptions to Hawaiian and Greek newspapers (written in English!)

Author Bio

Patti Hall’s current writing includes poetry, blogging, fiction (essays, stories, children’s books), and non-fiction (memoir and journals). My main writing focus is a 3-part memoir, Souvenirs from My Heart, about love, illness and loss. I am 3/4 of the way through the “illness” book, The Patient Patient Advocate.

Writing Background 1989-2010: Patti wrote online articles and a weekly column for the now defunct “She’s Got” network. Her site, Rising Writers, for aspiring young writers was voted Top 101 Writers Web Sites in Writer’s Digest for 2000. Patti was contributing editor to an online home school newsletter, and her poetry and essays  have won several awards and honors. While attending The Evergreen State College Patti presented her women’s anthology, “Finding Our Voices” at an out of state college symposium. She was editor of the Centralia College newspaper and, as assistant Public Information Officer for the college, wrote articles for the local newspaper.  Patti taught  a writing class for inmates at a women’s prison and another for parents and children at a homeschooling conference. She has composed newsletters for communities and businesses, and has always been the go-to writer for her friends, family & community.


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Request Advise and/or Feelings About Using Your Comments

My dog pals; Gertrude, in back, the late :>(Tanner, and Roo in front. Another photo with no relation to my post :>)

My dog pals; Gertrude, in back, the late :>(Tanner, and Roo in front.
Another photo with no relation to my post :>)

As you all know, I’m publishing  the Souvenirs from My Heart “Postcards” serial, which I posted here in July and August. I feel that it would add a lot to include comments that you made as I ran the serial on this blog.

I’ve done some research and can’t find a definitive answer about adding your comments. Here are some of the questions that I’m pondering:

1-Is it legal? ethical? to add your comments?

2-Do I add them all anonymously, or include the name you used to post the comments?

3-Should I offer to include your blog links to your comments?

4-Do I have to have signed releases by everyone?

After a final professional edit, I’m ready to publish the “Postcards” serial, so what do you think, should I hold off and add comments or not? Frankly, if it is going to add a lot of time to the project, I will probably not add the comments…

Thank you for your input!

Patti


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THE READER PLACE; Our Reading Habits and Places

READING rooster alaska

Bob the reading rooster. This photo has not been touched or retouched. This story is real.
Alaska, USA
PHALL PHOTO 2012

The first Monday reader photo for our first weekly feature, The Reader Place, is Bob the rooster.

Bob came into my life just when I needed a good friend. I was in Alaska for 4 months last summer, because my mother had an accident that left her unable to care for herself. I was there for mom and Bob was there for me.

I had briefly met Bob the February before, when my family gathered to mourn the loss of my sister. Bob and I bonded over our grief out on the cold porch, while I smoked and cried. (He was not allowed to smoke due to his burnable nature) I kept us both warm with blankets, and occasionally, Mom’s 100 lb Rotty mix, Sophie.

When I returned in May, Bob rejoiced. His was a solitary life spent sitting on the deck that overlooks a busy road, waving at all the passersby.  That’s why I taught Bob to read; he needed a diversion from his lackluster days on the deck.

Next thing I knew he was stealing my mocha’s and my books. People came to visit and he would pull every conversation over to the book he was reading. I’d created a monster! The final straw was when I caught him as you see in the picture; he has my reading glasses (Bob has perfect eyes!), the mocha that sis Laura brought by for me, and my latest murder mystery.

We finally agreed on some ground rules.  Bob got his own library card, reading glasses and an empty mocha cup, since with Bob, it was all about image.  He meets with a readers group every week to discuss his books and him and Mr. I.V. Poley text each other often. That’s enough about Bob, let’s move on to the next photo.

Hope for school photo challenge in Bavaria. Photo by Nicola

Hope on a snow mound for her school reading challenge in Bulgaria.
Photo by Nicola

Mom Nicola says, “Here’s the pic, as promised. My nine year old (Hope) did it for her school, as they were having a reading challenge of the most interesting place to be snapped whilst reading.  It is taken in Pamporovo, Bulgaria.
Nicola Young
nikkiyoungwrites.wordpress.com

A very creative young lady. Look at that snow falling! Oh, Bob just wrote in to say he’s seen the snow in Alaska all the way up to his deck! Bob has attention issues, excuse him everyone. Thank you Hope & Nicola, and make sure you all stop by Nicola’s WP blog. Next photo, please.

Cousin Jimmy reading.

Cousin Jimmy reading.

Another reader in our family. I love the picture of a window on the wall.  How can he read that tiny thing? He doesn’t even have glasses on. He MUST need them, he IS five months older than me:>) Is this staged or not?

The next photo is his sis, Elizabeth. My cousins have the wonderful habit of coming through for me when I need them:>)

Cousin Elizabeth reading in bed.

Cousin Elizabeth reading in bed.

Looking cozy, Cuz! I think I’m going to save the comments that people sent in for next Monday, I bet you’d all agree that Hope wins for most unusual, Bob wins the mascot award and my cousins get the loyalty award. 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.

Thanks Peeps,

Patti

 


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Writer’s Journal and New Photo Site and Anticipation

Anticipation! Blackberries Phall Photo 2013

Anticipation!
Blackberries–CLICK TO ENLARGE
Phall Photo 2013

I finally did what I said I would and created a site for my photos. It is still new and challenging, but I hope you like it, you can find it here.  You can borrow or print my photos, just let me know in the comment section and attach my site address to any photo you take. I hope you have fun watching me progress as I get more experience. Still adding a photo with most posts here.

Don’t tell anyone, because its not official yet, but I finished at Camp National Novel Writing Month! Don’t get too excited; I am still a long way from publishing. There is a lot more material to sort through, edit and edit again. Let’s not hold our breath on this one. Mom, it will happen, but great things take time:>)  (Said with much more confidence than I actually feel.)

I’m going to add a feature to my little home here and would like your help. I visit many blog sites each day to keep up with my new writing and photography friends, and I thought of something that would help new visitors.  I’m going to add a side bar feature for those who want to check out my site real quick, just to see if they want to follow it. I’ll call it something like,

“If You’re In A Hurry, Here’s the Best of Patti’s Site”

That’s why I need your help. Can  Will you take a few minutes and copy & paste, or just type a post title that you think best shows what I’m doing here? Or even your favorite post or page. Next to the title at the top of the main page, are “BIO” & such, and those are pages. So far, it looks like my bio and “Welcome to the Neighborhood” pages are the most popular. But you guys have been here awhile and know what would bring you back if you were new.

On a personal note (is anything personal these days? I mean, I saw my son in the hospital on Facebook!), yesterday my son swerved to avoid a head-on collision and ended up crashed into a river. He was alone and the car was totaled. Some passersby helped him get out and the ambulance was called. My daughter was near and rushed to his side and kept me informed. He is okay, as far as all the tests show. Banged up, a seat belt rash on his neck, a sore neck and back, but okay. It was a tense day, to say the least, which I will.

Stayed tuned for the next post…a fairy tale for bloggers/writers, but hopefully, amusing to the rest of you. I also owe you a new installment of the serialized memoir…also on its way.

Thanks for hanging in here with me—you are great! I think I have almost 600 followers and nearly 3000 hits. Not bad for the new girl on the block (who is clueless to how this all works).

Patti


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I Made A Mistake; 2 Mistakes, Really

Header of THE WRITE PLACE

Header of THE WRITE PLACE

Below Header, front page of THE WRITE PLACE

Below Header, front page of THE WRITE PLACE

These are not Hollywood or politician mistakes. After all, no one caught me red-handed and forced a confession (or pointless denial). I haven’t ruined my reputation, let down my fans or lost constituency votes.

One mistake has to do with being a newbie at website building, the other is about actual content. Both mistakes are based on what I ASSUMED–making an ASS out of U and ME :>)

Business (Writing) vs Personal

In my last post I included information about why I would be absent for a day or two (an assumption that I have some huge readership that would even notice).  Explaining the why details of my absence was another mistake.

I initiated this website to build a community of  like-minded readers and writers who would exchange support and information on the  path to publishing books. What they call a writer’s platform,  is a #1 must-have for anyone publishing in this new computer based world; whether traditional or self-published, you must have an established following online.

I knew that I could do my part in supporting fellow writers and welcoming readers; although I am a cave girl/hermit/beach gypsy I am a great anonymous hostess. That is because I feel deeply. This is no marketing ploy, it is who I am.

Off-Line Family and Friends (F/F)

That said, I also maintain an e-mail bloggish kind of thing that is sent semi-regularly to my little circle of family and friends. My intention was to keep personal stuff on the F/F e-mails only. It’s tough to maintain that when a lot of my writing includes my personal life. All that to say: I intend to get back to my initial intention and keep details of  my “real” F/F off this site. It’s not that they mind at all. And it’s not just the mention, but there are aspects of my family’s life that I do want to keep off this public venue. Nothing mysterious, just not for public consumption.

Viewpoints

Now, onto my other assumption mistake. I was blown away to see what my blog site looks like on my aunt’s pc and my daughter’s smart phone. My aunt can only see 2 columns and the smart phone only shows one. You can see in the pics above, what I thought everyone was seeing (3 columns with header). Big difference, huh? So, now I get to do some homework and see if there is a wordpress  “theme” (template) that will work better for everyone who views this site. I also know that browsers make a difference, so I will explore that too. I use the  Google Chrome browser, so I will check out IE, foxfire, and others. I am growling over this, since I have spent the past 3+ months building my little cyber home.

Comments and “likes”

I got to see firsthand why some can’t comment on or like my blog posts.  You do have to sign up with wordpress, but you only have to give your e-mail addy and make a password. That is good, because it gives one level of security to my site. Sorry for the hassle though. I can’t remember what you click on, but you’ll know it when you see it…scroll down to the place that says “log in” “RSS” etc and it is there. When you get to the WordPress  page it looks like you have to make a blog, but you don’t. On the right is part of a sentence that is colored (hyperlinked) and says something like, “I want to sign on without building a blog page”, click that, put in your e-addy and a password and you’re in! I went through this process with my aunt, but forgot to take notes.

I will add the word you click on as soon as I get it from someone who is not on wordpress :>)

If you have wordpress website or browser advice I would love to hear/read it.

Please add comments, questions or “like” if you are able to.

Patti


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Speaking of Community; What About The Children?

I won’t spout off the statistics, of which my family is included in, but is there a child at risk in your neighborhood?

We can all do something to help better our community by watching over the children within our community.

This website: Child Welfare Information Gateway at https://childwelfare.gov  has some low risk, high impact suggestions for making the world we live in better, especially for the children.

  • Get to know your neighbors. Problems seem less overwhelming when support is nearby.
  • Help a family under stress. Offer to babysit, help with chores and errands, or suggest resources in the community that can help.
  • Reach out to children in your community. A smile or a word of encouragement can mean a lot, whether it comes from a parent or a passing stranger.
  • Be an active community member. Lend a hand at local schools, community or faith-based organizations, children’s hospitals, social service agencies, or other places where families and children are supported.
  • Keep your neighborhood safe. Start a Neighborhood Watch or plan a local “National Night Out” community event. You will get to know your neighbors while helping to keep your neighborhood and children safe.

Everyone is cautious in these days of high crime, drug and alcohol abuse and economic crisis. Use common sense, but please don’t ignore your neighbors. Please don’t go home and shut the door on  your community.

Do you wave and smile at your neighbors?

Rant over, I will now return you to your life…

Thanks for reading,

Patti

 


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New! Book Review Page and Reflections For The Memoir

“Widow Stories” by Michelle Latiolais is my first book review; under the new heading at the top of my blog site. On the techy phones, my daughter says that the new pages that I’ve added at the top are in a drop-down called “Menus.” Below is an essay I wrote for the memoir after reading this book and writing the review.

In “Widow Stories” by Michelle Latiolais, I found these words comforting: “She doesn’t want them anywhere near how shattered she is.”  The comfort I feel is from reading words that reflect my own feelings. After my husband’s death I was unable to articulate this feeling in spoken or written words. After the recent death (MUST I SAY THAT WORD; CONNECT IT TO THIS SWEET CHILD?) of my grandson I wrote these similar words in a poem: “Not fit for the nurture of others; their sympathy shatters the broken pieces of my heart…”  On most days, one sympathetic word or gesture sends me into meltdown, which then makes me want to protect my loved ones from how “shattered” I am.

In another story Michelle talks about “…the mythology which the human animal makes sense of pain.”  This speaks volumes about my choosing to believe our lost ones are “up there,” in my recently posted letter to Paul, as well as the ghostly visitors in my poem, “Visions On The Beach.”  It is obvious that, like other writers, Michelle and I are using our writing to help make sense of the pain. No matter how many times I experience it, it always amazes me how my heart swells with the comfort of knowing that someone else feels as I do.

Michelle contends that, “You will be alone now, but never alone again from the company of loss.”  I have to agree, because, even as you begin to heal and join the world, that loss will always be with you. However, when you set the table for guilt, change the sheets and place fresh flowers out for guilt, you also build your house on a foundation in the company of loss. With each death I have carried away a suitcase filled with guilt. I do know that pretty much everyone associated with the death of someone close feels some degree of guilt. I know that. I just don’t know how they “manage” it; how they get up and shower and carry on with their normal life. I haven’t given up trying to send my guilt packing, but it may take some time.

People try to comfort me, and offer variables of  “At least you had that great love.”  I now have Michelle Latiolais’ perfect answer: “One wants what one has loved, not the idea of love.” I know that it is Paul I want, not some idea of the love we shared. “Yes, but I want my Paul,” has become my mantra since his death.  However unreasonable it may be (and I do realize it IS unreasonable), I want the actual person, not the idea. Maybe the most comforting words would be, “I wish I could bring him back to you.” My mom simply says, “I know, honey,” and that usually calms me down.

Michelle Latiolais’ little book of stories has helped me acknowledge and explore some of my own pain from the loss of loved ones.

I would love to hear your thoughts, please leave me a note in “Leave a comment” which is located to the left of the title.