THE WRITE PLACE…

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A-Z April Challenge; S is For Strive

STRIVE

STRIVE
Molokai, Hawaii
PHALL PHOTO 2012

Though the harsh conditions of a dry, hard-packed clay soil make it seem impossible, this plant strives to grow. Once again, I was amazed by nature and snapped this photo on Molokai during December of 2012.

“I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.” 
― Vincent van Gogh

“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.” 
― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist

“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud — the obstacles of life and its suffering. … The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. … Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one. ” 
― Goldie Hawn

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these. ” 
― George Washington Carver

“Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.” 
― William MartinThe Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents

“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.” 
― Brené BrownThe Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

“We should strive to welcome change and challenges, because they are what help us grow. Without them we grow weak like the Eloi in comfort and security. We need to constantly be challenging ourselves in order to strengthen our character and increase our intelligence. ” 
― H.G. WellsThe Time Machine

“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.” 
― Edward O. Wilson

The first three months of the year were filled with travel and visiting friends and family members. It was so good to be home in my beach cave, Maggie. Almost too good. Complacency with my solitary life, is a strong pull. Complacency in my social media world, has filled in for face-to-face, and actually working towards my writing and publishing goals.

I recently “woke up” and realized I needed to work on something beyond complacency. I need to strive towards a more “real life” social world. I need to strive towards publication. Grief and complacency are loosening their grip. These quotes from Goodreads remind me that striving for more and better is a worthy goal and that solitude can be a part, but not all of my world.

I hope a quote or two here may click (okay, resonate) with each of you.

Patti

 

What are your thoughts? I wish you lurkers would get brave and join in 🙂 I know that you are there…

Hey, I hope you find time to check out some of the other A-Z April Challenge blogs here:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2014.html


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A-Z April Challenge; R is For Reviews and Ready to Publish?

Is your final product (your book!) a skunk or a rose?

Skunk Cabbage

Skunk Cabbage.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Autumn Rose

Autumn Rose.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Rebecca Lamoreaux wrote a recent A-Z Challenge post about many issues pertaining to writing book reviews. Here is part of my comment, as well as some further discussion and helpful links.

To be honest, these issues make me hesitate to publish. No one is perfect, but I think books need to be as close to perfect as they can be, BEFORE they are seen in public. In a perfect world, I’ve always thought that indie authors should have their books go through an indie author board (or a professional editor) before publishing. It would raise the quality by leaps and bounds. I will write a post and make sure you see it. Thanks for bringing this up.

The comment above, from :

http://rebeccalamoreaux-anauthorinprogress.blogspot.com/2014/04/r-reading-and-reviews.html

Good article about gauging your readiness to publish:

http://blog.janicehardy.com/2014/01/are-you-good-enough-evaluating-whether.html

For self-publishers, an excellent article about the different kinds of editing and some awesome links for help finding an editor:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/pw-select/article/59767-why-all-self-publishers-need-a-good-editor.html

What are your thoughts?

Patti

Hey, I hope you find time to check out some of the other A-Z April Challenge blogs here:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2014.html


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A-Z April Challenge; Q is for Queen Anne’s Lace

I hope you enjoy these interesting facts and a photographic study of Queen Anne’s Lace, Daucus carota. She is said to be named after Anne, Queen of Great Britain and her great grandmother, Anne of Denmark.

In the center of the white flower cluster, is a tiny red flower. Just one. The leaves and flowers are very lace-like, but plant folklore says the flower got her name from a time when Queen Anne nicked her finger while making…lace. What an honor, huh? I’m not so sure I’d want a plant (a weed, no less) named after a silly accident I had.

Like daisies, you can put food color in a vase of water and the stalks will absorb the color, to tint the white flower head whatever color you choose.

The plant is designated a noxious weed in the U.S., but is a perfect companion plant for tomatoes. I was amazed to read that Queen Anne’s Lace creates a micro-climate for lettuce, encouraging it to thrive. Hmm. Cool.  Just don’t mistake it for poison hemlock, please.

For my eye, Queen Anne’s Lace is most photogenic during fall and winter; at first, delicate and standing tall above other wildflowers and weeds, which have been laid flat by wind and rain, later, stark against the bright white of snow, or bent in half by her burden.

Sorry, no summer photos of her. I didn’t find one photo that I took in an snow-covered field in Alaska this winter. Like a roomful of four-foot-tall courtly ladies, they were bent over, side branches appearing as arms, bowing before their dance partners. This one may give you an idea:

P1020016

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Hey, I hope you find time to check out some of the other A-Z April Challenge blogs here:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2014.html


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A-Z April Challenge; P is for Postcards

 

A delicate leaf skeleton from a nature walk with Kevin last month.  PHALL PHOTO 2014

A delicate leaf skeleton in a bed of moss, from a nature walk with Kevin last month.
PHALL PHOTO 2014

First of all, I want to thank everyone who has read, commented, shared and/or “Liked” my posts, A through O, for the A-Z April Challenge. I’ve met a lot of new blog friends these last two weeks, which makes the whole thing well worth tearing my hair out, and trying to lift the alphabet to a new level of weird, interesting, and hopefully, entertaining.

I’m switching it up for P, by giving my writer progress update. It’s an exciting one for me. My priority project, which has sat on the back burner these long months of romance and caregiving and travel, is now in the hands of a reliable editor. More on that later.

Here’s the scoop and a reminder of the project:

Postcards of Action and Hope; Preparation for a Medical Crisis

A Preview Booklet excerpted from Book 2 of “Souvenirs from My Heart; The Patient Patient Advocate

This booklet version is from a portion of my three-part memoir-in-progress. An edited version of this work was first published in serial form, here on my blog site, The Write Place. I have included selected comments from my blog community, using initials only. This booklet is not intended to slam the medical profession, nor will I be singing any inspirational happy songs. My intention is to inform and motivate readers to prepare an emergency medical file for each member of their household; to learn from the lessons my late husband, Paul, and I, learned the hardest way.

I intend to work the kinks out of it over the next few months. It will still have to be formatted for ebook and hard copy distribution. Still many decisions to make and actions to take, but we’re closer! I will probably be asking some of you veteran’s for some advice along the way. Of course, I’ll be sharing the journey, in hopes of helping the next writer in line.

Thank you for your patience,

Patti

 

Hey, I hope you find time to check out some of the other A-Z April Challenge blogs here:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2014.html


16 Comments

A-Z April Challenge; O is for Own It

A creek near my home in Westport, WA. No relation to this post, just soothing to my eye.

A creek near my home in Westport, WA. No relation to this post, just soothing to my eye.

“On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.” 
― Michel de MontaigneThe Complete Essays

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” 
― Dr. SeussOh, The Places You’ll Go!

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” 
― Steve Jobs

“Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.” 
― Albert Einstein

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” 
― Viktor E. FranklMan’s Search for Meaning

“Why change? Everyone has his own style. When you have found it, you should stick to it.” 
― Audrey Hepburn

“Be thine own palace, or the world’s thy jail.” 
― John DonneThe Poems of John Donne

“In each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice. We’re each of us our own chiaroscuro, our own bit of illusion fighting to emerge into something solid, something real….” 
― Libba Bray

And last, to my writer friends:

“A good writer possesses not only his own spirit, but also the spirit of his friends.” 
― Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Hey, I hope you find time to check out some of the other A-Z April Challenge blogs here:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2014.html


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A-Z April Challenge; N is for NOW Is My Time

Time to get publishing. Patti!

Time to get publishing. Patti! (2008 photo)

Reading and writing have been important to me for as far back as I can remember. Reading took me to other worlds, to other lives, and into other hearts. Those peeks into “other” inspired me to attempt to do the same with my own writing. I wanted my writing to give readers the feeling of freedom, humor, escape and humanness that reading gave me.

For many years I  wrote strictly poetry, but I knew it wasn’t enough. There was more I wanted to say, and in a different form. I didn’t want to just write about my reality. I wanted to write about what could be. I constructed stories in my mind, but never had the courage to put them on paper. It was years before I finally went beyond poetry.

I’ve always been a late bloomer and I didn’t start college until I was almost 30. Somewhere within those two colleges and five academic years, I found my writing voice. It still sends chills down my spine to think of it; I was finally writing like…ME!

Finding my own writing voice inspired me to put together a women’s anthology titled, Finding Our Voices, as my college project. And although I’ve had much encouragement along the way, I always stopped short of publishing and making writing my career.

Now is my time. The excitement I feel is no longer focused on the positive feedback I get from my writing, although that is still astounding to me. The excitement I feel now is in telling my story and getting it out to the world.

My story is written in many forms; humorous tales and poetry I’ve written for my children and their children, along with poetry, essays, and memoirs about my life and the meaningful people in it. That body of work is my story. It grows, shifts and melds with other stories almost every day.

There’s not only the excitement of getting my story to the world, but there is also that little issue with mortality. Death has brushed my shoulder and crushed my heart many times in the last five years. I’m in my mid-50’s and I suddenly feel a sense of hurry. Besides, no one can tell my story like I can, so it’s my time now. And if I live to be 106, I will always glory in the thrill of others reading my writing and getting a peek at my world, my life and my heart.

Patti Hall 2014

Update: Wrote this yesterday, was up all night working on the Postcards e-book! Back to it today. That picture scared me back into action! 🙂

Hey, I hope you find time to check out some of the other A-Z April Challenge blogs here:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2014.html


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A-Z April Challenge; M is for Midway Meanderings

We are midway through the A-Z April Challenge and I thought we could meander through some Packwood, WA photos that I never got posted here. My muse is a little jealous, so She requested that I offer a tidbit of the mermaid story, right in line with the M today. If you don’t believe in magic wands and mermaids and such, just enjoy the photos.

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The names and some details are real, some of the story is from my real imagination. This is just a sample of the story, so some elements are missing…

The Mermaid and The Magic Wands

Grani-at-the-beach called Nola and Cora yesterday and asked them to come to the beach to help her solve a mystery. It seems that their adult friend, Mermaid Carol (who owns a really cool deli close to the beach) had given Grani some beautiful magic wands to give to Cora and Nola, but then Grani lost them. Well, that’s the mystery part, because she didn’t actually lose them, they just disappeared! Grani was taking her beach walk looking for ocean treasures, right after she had been to see Mermaid Carol. Oh, and her deli happens to have a big beautiful mermaid and dolphins painted on the pretty blue outside walls! Just so you are clear about it, Mermaid Carol is not really a mermaid, it’s just what we call her because of her deli.

Grani had been totally focused on her agates for almost an hour and had a pocketful of them, when she decided to head home for lunch. She went to grab the wands and her backpack, but the wands were gone! She looked all around the boulder, and even checked the boulders around it. There had been no other beach combers on her part of the beach that afternoon. Grani was stumped!  

A few days later, Grani was still sad and trying to think of a way to find the magic wands. She’d been back to the beach every day, once at high tide, and once at low tide. Grani didn’t even look for ocean treasures! That’s huge; Grani never steps onto a beach without bringing home some little thing. She frantically searched for hours at a time, all the way up and down the beach. She was glad no one was around to hear her grumbling to herself about what a rotten Grani she was, and how could she have lost Nola and Cora’s magic wands!? 

The next morning Mermaid Carol called Grani to ask her to come to the deli for a few minutes,

“There’s something Surfer Dustin wants to show you.”

Grani was still sad, but she got dressed and went to The Mermaid; maybe Mermaid Carol and her other friends there would cheer her up. Surfer Dustin probably had a great agate to show her and that would make her smile again.

Grani opened the bag and pulled out a beautiful light blue bottle. It looked like it had been beaten by the sand and waves for many years. It wasn’t an antique though, since it had a screw-top cap. She held it up to the sun and could see something inside,

“What is it, Dustin?”

“Just open it, it’s not gonna bite you!”

Now Grani was so curious that she couldn’t wait; she unscrewed the cap, tipped the bottle and gave it a gentle shake. Surfer Dustin reached over and took the bottle and the cap, while Grani uncurled the paper. It was a rolled up piece of newspaper with black writing on it. The writing looks like a young child wrote it with charcoal. Weird. What it said was even stranger, but it made Grani’s heart sing!

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////

 

Nora, the mermaid, couldn’t wait to tell her mama about the fun she had today. On second thought, mama doesn’t like me taking any chances by being on the beach near humans; they have not always been nice to our kind. Mama and daddy say it’s because they don’t understand us and that makes them afraid of us. They say that humans are sometimes mean when they are afraid. 

Plus there was the little problem with the treasure she had found that day; a little problem that could get her into big trouble. Nora decides to talk it over with her Granz before she tells her parents. Maybe Granz will understand what she did about the treasure. Her Granz always finds a way to help her deal with hard stuff, plus she is a very silly Granz and makes Nora laugh. It was a long swim home and when Nora saw Granz sitting on the rock outcrop beside her ocean cave, she immediately swam toward her and fell into her arms.

After telling her Granz the whole story about her day, she felt better and worse. She knew that she would have to tell her parents and promise not to go near the beach again. But she needed to find a way to make sure the lady found the stars. Granz solved the problem,

“If you make a solemn promise to stay close to home, I will go see if the stars are gone tomorrow.”

“Oh, Granz, thank you thank you thank you, and I DO promise!”

“Now scoot off and go tell your parents what you did wrong, and keep it simple girlie. Make your super promise to them and see what they say. And NO POUTING, no matter what they say!”

Every day Nora waited to hear that the stars on sticks were gone, but by the third day Granz came back with bad news again. To make matters worse, Granz overheard the lady talking angrily to herself while she searched for the stars on sticks. Granz was a GOOD detective and she found out things about the lady that Nora didn’t even know. Like that she was called Grani. That she had two young granddaughters with names that sounded like Nora’s own name!

“Yes, the human Grani was talking to herself and said, “what a rotten Grani she was, and how could she have lost Cora and Nola’s real magic wands.’”

Nora just had to think of a way for that poor human Grani to find the stars, especially since they were really truly magic! Her and Granz talked and talked and finally came up with a plan. It wasn’t a perfect plan, and there were risks, but they both felt so bad now that they agreed on it.

The next morning Granz & Nora swam out to the end of the jetty to look through Nora’s stash of ocean treasures. They crawled into a small cave of black jetty boulders and soon found what they needed. Granz knew how important this was to Nora, so she sat back and let her do the work, only helping a little with the spelling. It took some time, but soon Nora held up the piece of old newspaper. The note was written with a piece of charcoal from a beach fire made long ago. The note was simple,

“Dear Human Grani,

I’m so sorry for taking the magic wands! So sorry! Please bring Nola and Cora to the beach where you left the stars. Bring them to the boulder when the sun is straight over your head, in two days.

Sorry again,

Nora, the mermaid (with help from her Granz)”

 

Granz thought the note was just right so she helped Nora role it tight and put it inside a pretty blue bottle.

To be continued…when published! 🙂

Patti Hall 2014

Hey, I hope you find time to check out some of the other A-Z April Challenge blogs here:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2014.html