THE WRITE PLACE…

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Patti’s News Day Tuesday 3

M. Angelou quote

Maya Angelou’s recent death is not necessarily news now, but one thing she said in a 2009 CNN interview, has stuck with me. I think it is the most news worthy thing I have read in the last two weeks, so I have dedicated this News Day Tuesday to her.

Our country needs us all right now to stand up and be counted. We need to try to be great citizens. We are necessary in this country, and we need to give something — that is to say, go to a local hospital, go to the children’s ward and offer to the nurse in charge an hour twice a month that you can give them reading children’s stories or poetry,” she said. “And go to an old folks’ home and read the newspaper to somebody. Go to your church or your synagogue or your mosque, and say, ‘I’d like to be of service. I have one hour twice a month.’

“You’ll be surprised at how much better you will feel,” she said. “And good done anywhere is good done everywhere.

From http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/28/us/maya-angelou-obit/index.html

Two more short, but powerful quotes I love by Maya Angelou:

 “Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” 

“We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” 

This is the last line in a tribute that Maya wrote for Nelson Mandela, His Day Is Done: A Nelson Mandela Tribute. I believe that it also rings true about her.

“We will not forget you, we will not dishonor you, we will remember and be glad that you lived among us, that you taught us, and that you loved us all.” 

Gratefully Yours,

Patti


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Patti’s News Day Tuesday 2

 

New construction reflected in windows of abandoned building.

New construction reflected in windows of abandoned building.

Here’s a brief sampling of news items that I found interesting enough to pass onto our community. I hope you find some nuggets in this week’s writer-reader news roundup. Patti’s News Day Tuesday posts every other week.

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/retailing/article/62367-smashwords-overdrive-ink-global-e-book-distribution-deal.html?utm_source=Publishers+Weekly&utm_campaign=727cd991d8-UA-15906914-1&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0bb2959cbb-727cd991d8-304817009

“Smashwords, an e-book self-publishing platform, and digital library vendor OverDrive have reached an agreement to distribute its titles via the OverDrive network of public libraries. The deal will make more than 200,000 Smashword titles available for borrowing and for-purchase through OverDrive.”

This is huge. How do you feel about your Smashwords book being distributed for free? It will be interesting to see how this goes. On one hand, many more readers will have access to your work. On the other hand, most will probably not be buying it. If you have a good book, and it shows high readership, will that be enough to raise sales and/or to fulfill your needs as an author? Hmmm

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/62368-pw-launches-booklife-integrates-self-published-reviews.html?utm_source=Publishers+Weekly&utm_campaign=727cd991d8-UA-15906914-1&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0bb2959cbb-727cd991d8-304817009

PW will introduce BookLife, a new website for self-publishers, at this year’s BookExpo America. Simultaneously, we are integrating reviews of self-published books into our regular review coverage.” More good news for indies?

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2014/04/30/how-retailers-publishers-and-indies-can-fix-the-e-book-industry/

A quick article about the two main ways that retailers, publishers and indie authors can “fix” the e-book industry. No one can deny the first fix, but what do you think about the second one?

 

http://www.lifehacker.co.in/life/Five-Best-Book-Recommendation-Services/articleshow/35312577.cms

Looking for a good book to read? Here is the scoop on the top 5 sites to go to for book recommendations. Many of us do book reviews on Goodreads, but what about these other sites? Where do you go for book searches?

Where do you get your writer-reader news? Please share a link or two in the comments section.

Happy Newsy Things,

Patti


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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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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


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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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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


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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