31 May 2012

A novel is never finished.

It's true. We could go over it time and again and still find things to improve. Yet, once the book is published, the reader will be exposed to any shortfalls. Before my novel Still Rock Water is published at the end of this month, I asked my contact at Solstice Publishing if I had time to go over it one more time. He hadn't yet handed it over to an editor, so he told me to go ahead. He said, "A book is never finished, only abandoned."

pocketwatch0838.jpg (535186 bytes) 
I interpret this as the author deserts/gives up on each book for sale. And yet, there must be a time to let go and release the story to the public. A writer could continue editing until they are old and grey and still not be satisfied.

I'm glad I have the opportunity to correct any glitches I find as I read out loud. The time-constraint is daunting. What if I don't reach the end before the publisher requests the work? What if I miss some major boo-boo? Will the editor find what I've missed? Depends on the quality of the person assigned.

27 May 2012

Creating balance.

2216-jumping dolphinAfter nearly a week of revising Knights in Dark Leather, co-written with Edith Parzefall, I've emerged into reality.
My husband and I are hardly speaking. Firstly, because I would absent myself and listen to the little man who reads out loud to me on the converted pdf file, and who can't pronounce pointed and says island for is and number for no. Try to make sense of this sentence. "Number. I don't know what that island." Secondly, my husband doesn't like the way our publisher treats us. No use telling him the book might languish away until I die and no one would have even read the story if it hadn't been taken up. He wants the best deal for me, and doesn't believe we have achieved that.                                                                                                                                                freeimages.com

3915-questionNow, I need to catch up with the people whose blogs I'm following and work on my critiques for fellow members of The Internet Writing Workshop. Then there are the tasks of keeping up with the critiques for the novel I'm submitting to the critique group and continuing to write my current novel. But something even more demanding beckons. I should now go through my novel Still Rock Water, taken up by another publisher, in exactly the same way.
And face the same problems: the little man, the despairing husband and the tussles.
Why is life so demanding and challenging? How do you create balance in your life?

23 May 2012

Kreative Blogger award

Thanks to the one of my favorite bloggers: Holly Michael, I got an award and get to post the lovely Kreative Blogger Award on my blog! Thank you Holly!

Now part of receiving this wonderful award is that I continue on with this kindness and nominate 7 other blogs that I feel deserving of this award.  After that I get to answer 10 questions about myself and then 10 random facts about me that you did not know! So here goes!

My 7 nominees:
EvalinaMaria  , who plays with stitches, weather and writing in clever ways.

Guilie Castillo, who zones in on sensitive areas with the singularity of a writer.

Beth Camp, who writes and stitches tales of the old days in Tasmania, Australia.

Gary Presley, for overcoming every difficulty of his body with the creativity of his mind.

lizy-expat-writer  who manages to write without much support while she lives abroad.

Carolyn Twede Frank  who maintains a cheerful attitude while letting the rest of us know what's happening in Australia.

Angela Tageu, who posts marvelous recipes to those of us who want to gain nutrition from our food.

Now to answer my 10 questions:

1. What is your favorite song? Nights In White Satin.
 2. What is your favorite dessert? A nectarine.
3. What ticks you off? Some repeating what they've already told me.
 4. What do you do when you’re upset?  Retire.
5. Which is/was your favorite pet? A Siamese cat called Simba. He used to stand on my foot and send love through his eyes.
 6. Which do you prefer, black or white? White reminds me of heaven.
 7.What is your biggest fear?  To be unable to walk.
8. What is your attitude mostly?  Positive.
9. What is perfection? The best we can be.
 10. What is your guilty pleasure?  This is the hardest. Can't think of one. Maybe accepting the good that comes my way as a right instead of a blessing.

Ten random facts about me:
1-      I chew gum after eating.
2-      I like Indian tea with milk but only allow myself three cups a day.
3-      My body is shrinking with age. Instead of 5'10" I'm now 3 inches shorter.
4-      I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't write.
5-      I miss having a family around me.
6-      I've never found a close friend.
7-      I like herb and fruit teas.
8-      The garden gives me a peace beyond understanding.
9-      My feet didn't shrink with the rest of my body.
10-  I smell roses, even out of season.
So thanks for dropping in and relishing in this award with me. Do check out those nomoniees PLEASE!

21 May 2012

Sand or ... a soul.

I've heard it said there are as many souls as grains of sand on a beach.

stones2131.jpg (633176 bytes)The constant movement of waves crashing on the beach grinds rock from large chunks, to pebbles and eventually grains of sand. Each grain nestles amongst other pieces and moves with the flow—sometimes shifting to another part of the coast, sometimes carted away by humans or blown on the wind as part of a desert. As far as we know, the grains don't think or feel.
On the other hand, the desire to survive and multiply governs humanity. With their different characteristics, some want to dominate others or kill them while others seek peace and harmony. Humans want to entertain, teach, heal, or occupy their mind, or work for their family. We're not satisfied to allow outside forces to toss us about amongst our fellows. Most of us strive to conquer some part of our personality. Some aim for perfection and to reach a higher goal than simple existence.
One thing is certain, humankind dies. Maybe their bones become grains of sand. Does our inner soul live on?

17 May 2012

How to achieve peace.

                                                            photo by delamagente.wordpress.com
The universal problem of how to achieve peace plagues us all. Not only the larger picture of peace in the world, but also, peace within our own life.
People have always fought. I read a book once, Clan of the Cave Bear, which told of the struggle for supremacy between the two species of early man.
I guess, once one genetic strain died out, the tribe needed a leader. Then, he would have been challenged and so on, as each of the strongest males fought for supremacy in the way of animals.

photo by Coverimage.com.

Now, nations fight each other. One nation wants to take over smaller countries and they defend themselves. When a peaceful nation can't stand by and let other countries' rulers harm their residents, they send in armies to keep the peace. The locals then fight those who want to protect them. There are so many reasons for fighting—each justified, depending on the point of view.

         photo by fotoplatforma.pl
I don't want to fight.

But wait. What would I do if someone took my novel and said it was their own? No. That's all right. I'd just write another and use the experience. But what would I do if an intruder broke into my back garden, killed one of the wild peafowl and tried to kill another? I'd shout, but would I actually fight? Probably not. I'd call the police and let them fight for me. Wouldn't do much good. The birds would all be dead by the time help reached me.
I couldn't fight, even if I wanted to. I can hardly walk straight and I'm too slow in my movements.
But there are other forms of peace—internal. In an ideal life, each person could accept themselves as they are and live in the present moment.

Yet we think, If only ...

I had more money ...
I was free from debt ...
I hadn't spent my youth so rashly ...
I'd saved for the future ...
The bullies wouldn't pick on me ...
I lived in another country ...
I could live alone without all this hassle ...
My loved-ones lived closer ...
Things were different ...
I had enough food for my children ...
I hadn't believed that stranger ...

I'd be happy.

Those of us living in a land where we are free to live the way we please can hardly comprehend the problems of other people living in repressed countries. I can't speak for them. But for me, I still don't achieve peace in my own life. And it's not for the lack of trying.

It seems we need to establish balance with those around us. If only we could love our neighbor, as the bible advises—give them the same consideration we give ourselves. That goes for our spouse. Yet we constantly struggle for supremacy and tiffs ruin our peace.
Until we reach a time of life where we live alone, we must achieve peace in our own home, which might spiral out like a ripple from a pebble tossed into Still Rock Water (chuckle—title of my soon-to-be-published book) to affect those around us.

last two photos by freeimages.co.uk

11 May 2012

Reflections of a crazy month in April.

In my theme for the A - Z alphabet challenge, I concentrated on linking emotions to something in nature.
Weeks beforehand, I prepared my seeds by composing short submissions with pen and paper. After typing them onto the computer, I added appropriate pictures, each with their heading for the day. I set up my email calendar for a daily reminder of each letter, but found the prompt unnecessary because I was primed to post first thing each morning with my already assembled material. 

While I readied the growing medium for my seeds, I learned a lot about blogging during the challenge. I didn't realize, until near the end, the need to post in html so others could read the writing on the blogger messages they followed. 

From now on, I'll make regular blogs. The benefits are enormous. I've made many new friends, whose written thoughts I will follow. 

Having planted my seeds of wisdom for others to follow on my blog, it took me a long time to settle into a novel-writing schedule afterward, I've found the whole experience of reading and commenting on other people's blogs stimulating.

You could say I'm as grateful as a plant growing toward the light.