THE WRITE PLACE…

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


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Writing Journal; Does Gardening Count?

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Sunset fire with pelicans heading home on Half-Moon Bay, Westport, WA

PHALL PHOTO 2013

Secret garden

We have water! The little waterfall is flowing and Greg (neighbor friend) also put in a head that sprays a bell-shape of water in the pond. He has been placing beautiful chunks of petrified wood to camouflage the edge of the pond. I hope to do the plantings tomorrow. The sound of flowing water is so wonderful! Greg will work on lighting soon, although I have some pretty little metal tea light holders that I’m going to add tomorrow. We have a long way to go, but getting the water flowing was a great motivator :>)

Writing…or not

I’ve done some book reviews on Goodreads here and Amazon here. I posted a lengthy response on Georgia’s blog about JK Rowling using a male name for her latest book here. I’ve also been active on Facebook here. I did a word cloud challenge from Zoe’s site  here.  The result, below, was written with ONLY the words from a specific “cloud” of words:

Stolen Breath

I swear, at present, I know fifteen ladies,
been living on the run, on the road, for years.
Not trying for truth or gods,
but breath.

Maybe you believe there was a stolen car,
a robbed bank,
but you would be at fault; wrong!

Truth is, maybe fifteen ladies
had a chap that robbed that breath…

Patti

What haven’t I done? You would ask! I haven’t worked on the memoir, or the postcards book. I haven’t posted my new features for writers and caregivers. I’ve written the first couple of them and they sit and wait for me in the drafts folder. I just seem a little emotionally hungover from August and, well, stalled.

So there you have it. Hope you stop in and say hi, maybe tell me what you’ve been up to. Tamed any lions lately?

Patti


32 Comments

Writer’s Journal; Missing Alaska, My Home Away From Home

Calm evening, Peterson Bay, Homer, Alaska PHALL PHOTO 2011

Calm, cloudy evening, Peterson Bay, Homer, Alaska
PHALL PHOTO 2011

A soothing place for a morning cup of coffee. The Peterson Bay home of sis Sharon & Captain Honey.
A soothing place for a morning cup of coffee.
The Peterson Bay blueberry haven of sis Sharon & Captain Honey. PHALL PHOTO 2011

Homesick for Alaska and my peeps there.

I am writing! Get off me:>) If FB was never invented I would be writing more, but I am writing.

* Shared children’s stories w/new blog friend and we cross-edited. Done

* Read blog friend’s published book and will write up review this week.

*Promoting my blog site and “gutsy story” all over social media. Ongoing.

*Wrote essay for Chicken Soup submission. Being edited by two friends. Re-Write in progress.

*Socially involved with an incredible group of writers on WP blogs and commenting on many others.

*In the itchy-finger stage of writing for pay, on a site I was invited to join.

*Oh, yay, and 11 days left of Camp NNWM and am confident I will finish, although need to work harder at the shaping.

* Posting serial of Postcards on this site.

* My head is overflowing with stories, poetry and ideas for memoir series.

*Mr. I.V. Poley immortalized by inclusion in a story here: http://neverendingstorydepository.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/ionia-the-super-hero/

There must be more, but I need a nap now.

Stay tuned,

Patti


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Writer’s Journal; Thanks, Writer’s Group, Gutsy, Memoir

Kite Festival on a marine layer morn. Grayland Beach, WA Phall Photo 2013

Kite Festival on a marine layer morn. Grayland Beach, WA
Phall Photo 2013

Photo has nothing whatsoever to do with this post :>) I just wanted some color.

Things are moving along so quickly. You know the sayings, “feast or famine,” and “when it rains, it pours”? That’s the situation I am in right now—a soaking wet feast of activity. There are umbrellas in that antique coat rack by the door; better grab one :<) Sure it’s raining in here, but coffee, tea, cookies and fruit are on the buffet by the window, help yourself.

Kudos to You!

You, my old and new friends, are the best and have been incredibly responsive in this little community at The Write Place. So many connections are being made, and friendships being forged here. You are not just supporting me, but you are spreading that support to each other, all over the web. Thank you.

South Beach Writer’s Group (WA not CA, silly)

I just got back from the monthly writer’s meeting at the local library. Our group is called South Beach Writer’s Group and I’m going to do my part by building a website for us. Yes, I know, I’m new at this. I do have the time though (sort of), and that’s a prized commodity in any group. Okay, so you think they’re just desperate? No, no, no, no, I volunteered to do it in order to build our group. Win/win (they hope).

Today I presented my poster-board mind map. I’m using it to stay focused on what goes where as I put together my memoir. Then I passed around my original mind map from my writer’s journal. Gwen would have been proud; see my previous mind map post here. I was amazed that only one of them had heard of mind maps, but that made for a lot of questions and a productive conversation.

I also talked about our community here at The Write Place, and building a writer’s platform. The rest of the meeting was spent listening to each other’s latest work, critiquing and commenting. We have folks from all different age groups (from seniors in high school to seniors in life). We are writing across many genres, with a variety of writing goals. It was a well-spent two hours. Here is a link to one site that helps you find or form local groups of all kinds. These are in-person groups and the topics include any reason under the sun that people want to meet in a group.

Finally, the Exciting News

My “Gutsy Story” about running away to the beach is being posted on a very popular and busy site Monday!

Every Monday, Sonia Marsh chooses and posts one story on her site Gutsy Living. At the end of each month people come to the site and vote for the best of the four stories. Sonia has some great writing- related sponsors who award a prize to the winner. She also spreads the news of each author, resulting in more visitors to the author’s web site and social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc).

She has compiled a wonderful anthology of “gutsy” stories that I have been reading to write a review on. She also wrote a book about her incredible family’s “gutsy” story.  My hope is that you will go to the site here on Monday, read my story and vote at the end of the month. (For me, please)

Odds and Ends

I am doing more book reviews and WIP (work-in-progress) readings for writers I have met through The Write Place. One of them just finished a critique for one of my children’s story. As soon as I finish them, I will add the reviews to the review page here.

New serial posts from part of my memoir draft starting Monday morning.  I will post short pieces, in order, until the whole section is complete.

Again, thank you, peeps,

Patti


24 Comments

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, Camp NaNoWriMo, and Writing Space

Preparation for writing the first book in my memoir series at the online Camp NaNoWriMo is moving along. So am I. A few months ago I downsized my writing space to make a room for company, and to ultimately, remodel the room when the damn rain stopped. With this month-long 1600-words-a-day challenge coming up in a week, I decided to return the room to it’s former use as my writing space. There’s just no comparison between the dark 3′ X 5′ area I was using and this heaven with 3 windows and about 8′ X 8′ of open space. I know, still a laughably small space, but I also know how to count my blessings where they hatch!

With the move out of the way, I now have the memoir series title, the titles of all three books, a draft of the synopsis of the first book, and working titles for all the chapters in that book. This is huge. Every step forward is worth a celebration in my mind, though. Being the wild loner that I am, I celebrate by writing you an update. I really need to calm the hell down.

I will post the synopsis and titles in the next few days, maybe even tonight if I have time. Meanwhile, I need to finish reading a friend’s preview copy of her book, and writing up my notes about it. I may get really nutty and do some laundry and house cleaning. Nah, I’ll give it another day. I have awesome priorities. I should write a book about them.

Here’s my pitiful plea for you to stop long enough to add a comment, and please…”like” me. Isn’t that pathetic?

Peace,

Patti


6 Comments

Writer’s Journal; Online Community Building

Lately, I’ve been thinking about all the community building taking place online. There are no hugs, long lunches, cozy dinners, or fun shopping expeditions. This is a new kind of community. When a person puts their life-long dream project on Kickstarter and gets funding for that dream by a group of strangers, that’s community building. Sure, the strangers(backers) get a book or a private viewing of the project, or maybe just a magnet, but the main reason is to back a dream. That’s one example of online community building in the 2000’s.

This essay is not about Kickstarter. It’s about what I’m seeing and doing to build my own online community in order to fulfill my dreams. I’ve only been actively participating online since mid-March, and I’m still in the midst of a major learning curve. It’s like one grand experiment. Furthermore, I’ve been thinking about my online motives, goals, advantages, and my accomplishments over these few months.

 Motives and Goals

*I’m here to learn about the current world of writing and publishing; it’s very important to me that I not be a burden to this new community, but an asset within it. I want to add what I know, not detract by asking others to find answers for me. Research is the key.

*I’m here to brush up on my writing skills. Some careers involve active editing, for the rest of us, it takes work to present polished writing that doesn’t confuse, or make the reader stumble over bad grammar and sloppy editing. At the same time, I love to experiment; to play with new words and forms of writing.

*I’m here to express my thoughts and feelings, beyond my friends and family. I’m getting my toes wet in the pool of public writing. My real life circle is following along; they have history with me and my writing. My circle knows who I am and who I am not. They know the ride I’ve been on these past 53+ years. Publishing is a goal that is now in sight, so I need to see how strangers react to my writing.

*I’m here to compile, polish and publish my books, stories, essays and poetry. I want to share the laughter, tears, knowledge, and my own unique take on this life.

Online Advantages

*No commitments, except self-imposed writing ones. This fits with my current state of mind, as do the next two items. Somehow, I can build a website and learn the intricacies of social networking. However, schedules, appointments and commitments still elude me. Half the time my name eludes me :>) I’m still taking baby steps in this fog of grieving. Everyone does this their own way and mine involves a lot of solitude. I can reach out with my writing, but that seems to be my limit right now. (I still need to learn how to link to past blogs in order to let new readers in on my back story. That said, I’ve recently lost a grandson, and a sibling and my husband in the last 3+ years.)

*No face-to-face. The illusion of anonymity is a plus.

*I can wear my jammies, clip my hair in a pile on my head and apply no make-up.

*Whatever I want to know is here.

Accomplishments

*This blog website: almost 1100 views and almost 300 followers. Those are just numbers, but everything I read says I have to have high numbers to sell books–whether I self-publish or use a traditional publisher. The minimum number of 10,ooo views is what “they” say.

*To raise those numbers, and build a community of readers who want to jump on this wagon with us, I joined Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Pinterest.

*I’m an active member of several writing and critique groups, to practice and improve my writing skills.

*I’m meeting and circulating myself in groups where my writing focuses: memoir writers, widows, patient advocates, and people who are involved in all aspects of writing for children. I’m following and interacting with the best of the best of experts in social media, publishing, and the other areas of  the business of writing in 2013.  June of 2013, to be specific, because things are changing at a pace that boggles the mind.

*And last, but is actually first, I’m writing like crazy, editing, re-writing, and getting ready for the next leap.

I opened this essay talking about online community building. I hope I have shown you how and why I am building my own online community and the importance of having one. If I were in the writing and publishing world in New York City, I would be doing much of this in person, although they are all online too. The business and social hub of the world can now kick off their high heels and suits, fire up their computers and be part of another kind of community.

It’s going to be a fun and exciting adventure, so I hope you will all join me in my growing online community.

Peace,

Patti


8 Comments

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