THE WRITE PLACE…

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


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One Year on Word Press. Thanks!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Yes, it has been a year since I began blogging. Even though it was very lonely the first few months, you eventually found me and have kept me going with your support and encouragement ever since. The secret to bringing folks to your blog is so simple: Get out and visit, comment and “like” other blogs. That’s it. Go forth and make friends :>)

PHALL PHOTO 2013

PHALL PHOTO 2013

Here’s how the first 6 months went for me. I didn’t know one blogger and had no idea how to blog. After a couple months of loneliness, I started searching for info about memoir and children’s writing and publishing. During my quest for info I started visiting other blogs, I made some friends. Adding photos to my posts seemed to bring more people to this little community. Popping in on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, really brought some new faces to The Write Place.

I hope to add some highlights of the second half of my first year in the next few days, but for now, here is what I was up to my first six months…

PHALL PHOTO 2013

PHALL PHOTO 2013

Six entries in March 2013, including things like:

I posted a quote that seemed to fit my state of mind as I began this new endeavor of public blogging, writing and (hopefully) publishing. “Do not hurry, do not rest,” by Goethe. As fast as I wanted to get started, I knew that I also wanted to take my time and not make a bunch of (public) mistakes.

I was unsure of what/how to begin, but decided to use my long dormant maiden name for my writing. I posted a poem inspired by my mother, who instilled the love of reading and humor in me. Another poem that I posted that first month reflected the pain of the sudden and unexpected loss of one of my sisters the year before.

Sunrise at Westhaven Beach 3

Sunrise at Westhaven Beach, WA w/Coast Guard Tower. Phall Photo 2013  

The post, Keeper Book Synopsis, http://wp.me/p3i5jo-x tells the genesis story of the handcrafted “Keepers” that my friend (Leslee) and I created years ago. My hopes are to publish the stories that I wrote for each one. I also finished typing a 2500 word story that I wrote for my children in 1996.

The last entry of March 2013 says, in part, “I woke up this morning, well, it was really almost 11. Anyway, I was looking around and my eye caught on some star wands that I need to give my granddaughters, from a mutual friend. Soon I had a story rumbling in my head and I was off. I have been writing and editing all damn day long, and half the night! I made some coffee, finally ate a snack, packed some things for my move [home relocation] tomorrow and wrote like crazy. I completed a children’s story 10 words shy of 4000 words. Crazy. It just came out. Does it happen like that for you? And, hey, I have no illusions that this would not get whittled in half by a real editor, but I’m good with that. It is the process that is so…gripping, so addictive.”

April- 12 entries. This was my third month going to the local writer group that I joined, and I posted,  “Have been checking out and “following” several other writer blogs. Have been “invited” to join a writer site that allows us to give and receive feed-back. I am learning about the current trends in writing and publishing…” Another entry, Good Grief, A Widow Writes A Memoir, http://wp.me/p3i5jo-V explains some of the things I was learning about memoir writing and how painful it can be to write about Paul’s illness and death. Still is.

Breakfast for fawn. Across from my driveway. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Breakfast for fawn. Across from my driveway.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

I posted about a writer retreat and a writer conference in Homer, Alaska, which is also home to one of my sisters and her husband. I began taking a writing class taught by a local writer, and I met several other writers there. I posted a poem that I wrote for Paul’s 60th birthday in 2007. I made an ambitious attempt at a blogging schedule. Hilarious, if you really know me; the “s” word and me are not close.

I signed onto several more social media venues and shared some sites with helpful information for writers. I touched on some newsy information in one post, about the way technology is taking away our privacy. I wrote a poem about the deaths and injuries in the Boston marathon bombing and the explosion in Texas. I posted a short story about a child molester/monster.

Kites down on beach. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Kites down on beach.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

I moved Maggie (my trailer/cave/home) from the bay outside of Westport, into Westport proper and closer to the beach. The worst shock and heartache of my life happened on the 26th, when my grandson died. Still dealing with the other recent losses in my life, I stopped blogging for awhile.

May- 13 entries. I lost my mind a bit, but returned to blogging late in the month, with 2 poems on grief and loss. Lady In The Cave http://wp.me/p3i5jo-1N and Treasured Souls http://wp.me/p3i5jo-1P  were followed by a post complaining about the new parameters for the medical definition of grief. I wrote a few other poems/essays and shared some of the writing/publishing information that I was learning. Still very few visitors or followers on my blog, but I kept on. This was my first poetry/photo combo post: Beach Bird Bliss http://wp.me/p3i5jo-2c and it made me realize how much readers enjoy photos along with the words.

Fresh seed pod on tree. PHALL PHOTO 2013 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS19

Fresh seed pod on tree.
PHALL PHOTO 2013
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS19

June- 22 entries. This was a very busy writing month and I had some fun with the essay, Things That Go Rrrrr, Crash, and Drip In The Night http://wp.me/p3i5jo-4w. I also got better at working with photos and started posting photos for Word Press Daily Prompts and Weekly Photo Challenges. I posted quite a bit under Writing Journal as I learned about and organized for successful memoir writing. The post, New! Dedicated Memoir Page and Sneak Peek of Prologue http://wp.me/p3i5jo-3m tells the story of how I got from the house that Paul and I shared, to living at the beach. What I Would Tell You Now http://wp.me/p3i5jo-3v is a letter to my late husband, written long after he was gone. I also started writing and submitting book reviews this month.

Butterfly on Flower in my friend's garden. Phall Photo 2013

Butterfly on Flower in my friend’s garden.
Phall Photo 2013

These are busy days, but I will try to post the summary of July-December 2013, in the next few days… Still not smoking and happy about it, over 2 months later!!!!!!!! Was thrilled to know that one of my sisters quit smoking 4 days ago too. So cool.

Happy Almost Spring!

Patti

Thistles PHALL PHOTO 2013

Thistles
PHALL PHOTO 2013

 


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Writer’s Journal with Updates on Memoir Page and Pic

Souvenirs from My Heart temp pic for cover

Souvenirs from My Heart temp pic for cover

I collected some of my hearts and souvenirs to make a display to photograph. I’m using it for a temp cover of the memoir series on a book site that I am building. I know, it is a little busy, but it is just temporary and, hopefully, gets the point across. What do you think, does this pic say, “Souvenirs from My Heart” ?  Just don’t ask me to take off the blue bracelet (my late sister’s) or the…well, you get the idea that this was a very tearful task. And I do have a larger corner shelf I’m going to move the things onto.

Thanks to a comment from malikoma, I’ve mastered one of the many skills on my to-do list. If you would like to see all the memoir info in one place, go to this page (linking to other posts is my new skill) and it is all there.

I am working on a page for the children’s books, but until then, you can look that up in search or topics on my main page.

Up to 16,080 words at Camp N. Have made a template of book, from copyright page to contact end page, and plugging pieces in as I complete them. Not complete, like finish, but complete like ready for 1st edit. By the end of the month I hope to have it all together and ready for 1st edit. Just so you know, that will be a (put in your own expletive) miracle, but goals are good, right?

Here’s where I grovel for comments and ask everyone to click the “LIKE” button at the bottom of this post. I’m trying to get “them” to make a “LOVE” button and a “Nothing to Write Home About” button.

Take care, peeps,

Patti

 


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Writer’s Journal; Memoir Series, Children’s Book, Blog Tour

After all the flurry from the WP Daily Prompt, I’m racing around getting ready for the July-long write-a-thon. I love making up words. I can’t begin to tell you how enjoyable it was to tour 89 blogger sites in one day. I met some very cool people and saw so many snippets of their lives. I only did it because I liked the prompt and wanted to see what others were posting…got a little carried away, then said, what the hell, I’m taking the day off and touring!

As promised, here are titles of the memoir series for you:

Memoir Series Title: Souvenirs From My Heart

Book 1 Title:The Patient Patient Advocate

Book 2 Title: Love Eclipses Sorrow

Book 3 Title: Good Grief I’m Sad!

My goal is to have a rough draft of The Patient Patient Advocate done by the end of July. I’ll take a break from the series long enough to self-publish my children’s book; How a Plain Queen Becomes a Beautiful Princess. When that book is on its way, I’ll write rough drafts of the next 2 books in the memoir series.

I may publish a quick, short (ha!) ebook memoir about my life up to the point of the memoir series in between the children’s book and the memoir series. I promise you it will be funny, sad and entertaining.

Stay tuned for that illusive synopsis of book 1 and chapter titles. Hopefully, they’ll be worth the wait.

My Book Got Here

The book I won earlier this month from Beachboundbooks came in the mail the other day. It is Life In The land Of “Is” and I look forward to reading it soon.

Happy Birthday…

to my blogging friend Marie Ann Bailey! We have a lot in common; birthdays 3 days apart, blog sites 1 word apart (1writeplace and 1writeway), and we are cabin mates for the Camp NaNoWriMo.

What are your plans for the summer?

Please leave me a like and a comment if you have the time.

Patti


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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; Critiquecircle.com 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 http://pinterest.com/phallwrite 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.

Patti


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Writer’s Journal; Children’s Book Illustrator? Maybe!

Just stumbled onto an illustrator who writes YA stories. Maybe we can help each other get through the  tangle of choices and decisions to get published? She’s been on the peripheral of my circle of family/friends for years, but we’ve never hung out. As soon as I know more about this serendipitous discovery, I will post it.

Meanwhile, back at the all-night research/writeathon, I’ve gotten a few things accomplished. I finally perused the children’s books similar to my WIP (work-in-progress), which I checked out of the library. This inspired me to make page breaks in my story manuscript to see what it looks like. I tried to just go with the flow and make the page breaks as natural as possible. This gave me 33 pages of text with room for illustrations on each. Yikes, that’s 33 illustrations. Maybe some pages will just have colored backgrounds? So, that’s 33 pages, plus copyright, title, dedication, and contact pages. 37 pages in all. Hmmm, this is all more than I knew yesterday.

I’m also popping in and out of websites that show layout and design information so I can learn terms and standard practices in publishing illustrated children’s books. Wikipedia gives lists of links for all the things I’m exploring. I’m still not even sure if self-publishing an illustrated children’s book is the way to go.

I know I want hard back books and ebooks. But, let’s face it, the money tree hasn’t bloomed in years. Maybe crowd sourcing is the way to go? Kickstart.com is very interesting, and people have had book projects succeed there. Hmmm.

There are several underlying challenges I’m dealing with. The birds started chirping at 4:30 this morn and that made me keep looking out the window, thinking I could go walk the beach soon. See, that’s a challenge.

The biggest (real) challenge is with computers. GGGRRRR. One laptop has issues with serious lack of speed; something is wrong, but I’ll have to pay to find out what. The other laptop has a problem with a flying curser; not great while typing. I’m juggling between the two, and can I describe how fun that is? Not fun at all. The beach idea is looking better by the second.

My minor challenge is that I cut my thumb gardening yesterday and the damn thing keeps trying to help, but I scream when it touches anything (like the space bar). Wimp.

Have any questions? Any answers? Please leave me a note by clicking on “leave a comment” at the top of the post, left of the title. If you’re too busy for that, please click the like button at the bottom of this post.

And thanks for reading!

Patti


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My Own Domain, You Gotta Love That!

Even better; you, my faithful followers, don’t have to do a thing. I’m looking forward to making this place a little cozier for us all and getting some new throw pillows. I’m going to make this short so I can get going on my new home decorating. I’ll be working on my children’s books and memoir in between.

Peace,

Patti


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Copyrights, Tags, and Book Reviews

I started a post earlier today and it turned into an essay of over 1000 words, so I set it aside for another project. It almost feels like I am in a race; against what, against who, I do not know. I’m learning so much that I’ve started using the sticky note program on my desktop. That’s what I’ll base this post on.

I’ve learned that copyright notices are seen as kind of silly in the writing world. As soon as you put your thoughts in writing they are considered yours alone. Now, if you want to sue someone for stealing your work, it needs a copyright. From what I learned, that is pretty rare. The belief that mailing your work to yourself, and then leaving it sealed, will prove ownership has never been cited in any court case. Sorry Gwen. Creative Commons, as I have on the website here, are now the used to let people know what is acceptable use of their writing. The other thing I see a lot is: MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT PERMISSION.

I’ve learned more about the importance of tagging these blogs, so that they get caught in the right search engines. Submitting to online journals will also get my name out into the circle that I want them. Book reviews of books within my writing topic–children’s stories, poetry, and memoirs–also get me in the loop.

Here I go, back to my writing world…

Patti