Monday, March 28, 2016

The Classics - Opening Lines: The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter


"Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were--Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter. They lived with their Mother in a sand-bank, underneath the root of a very big fir-tree." 
(Published 1902)
 
I love the classics and plan to share some "opening lines" over the coming months. Comment if you like, or read for inspiration. Writing styles were different then, but were they really?

Monday, March 21, 2016

A-Z Theme Reveal: Pioneer Women in Aviation

Honestly, I woke up this morning determined to write my 'I'm backing out' post, but then I read some of the A-Z theme reveals and got excited again. SO I'm accepting the Challenge and announcing my THEME REVEAL:

Pioneer Women in Aviation

Aviation is a big topic for me, one I'm passionate about by default, mainly because I have so many people in my family who are interested in and actively involved in the Field of Aviation. There is my husband who built his own airplane in our garage; my brother who supervises the repairs/installs of radio systems in float planes; a niece (and husband) who fly jets for the air force; a nephew who is an airplane mechanic and wants to be a pilot. The list continues to grow. 

 
There is little wonder I now live in an air park home with a hangar for a garage and have pilots for neighbors. I've never had a personal interest in flying, other then as a safety backup for my husband (a future story?). But my interest in Women in History easily translates to Women in Aviation, and there are many, many wonderful stories that continue to this day. For the sake of numbers, I'm narrowing the focus to female pioneers (mostly pre-1930s), some of whom you'll recognize, but most, probably not. In addition to Americans, I'm including international women. SO, come join me, tag along and learn something new about your sisters in history.

HAPPY SPRING EVERYONE!!!


The Classics - CLOSING LINES: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll


 
 "Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown woman; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood: and how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago: and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days."     (Published 1865) 
  

 I love the classics and plan to alternately share some "CLOSING lines" over the coming months. Comment if you wish, or read for inspiration. Writing styles were different then, or were they really? 


Monday, March 14, 2016

The Classics - CLOSING LINES: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

""Then the prophecies of the old songs have turned out to be true, after a fashion!" said Bilbo.

"Of course!" said Gandalf. "And why should not they prove true? Surely you don't disbelieve the
prophecies, because you had a hand in bringing them about yourself? You don't really suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit? You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all."

"Thank goodness! said Bilbo laughing, and handed him the tobacco-jar." (Published 1937)


I love the classics and plan to alternately share some "CLOSING lines" over the coming months. Comment if you wish, or read for inspiration. Writing styles were different then, or were they really? 

 

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Classics - CLOSING LINES: Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Image result for moby dick original book cover by herman
"Now small fowls flew screaming over the yet yawning gulf; a sullen white surf beat against its steep sides; then all collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago."

(Published 1851)


I love the classics and plan to alternately share some "CLOSING lines" over the coming months. Comment if you wish, or read for inspiration. Writing styles were different then, or were they really?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

IWSG - March: In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb


The Insecure Writers Support Group meets online every first Wednesday of the month. Founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh, IWSG was created to support and encourage writers in every phase of their work, from writing to marketing. Click here to join, and for information, writing tips and more. 

Co-hosts today are Lauren Hennessy, Lisa Buie-Collard, Lidy, Christine Rains, and Mary Aalgaard! 

Hi! Well, if yesterday was any indication of that old adage for the month of March, "In like a lion, out like a lamb," I have proof! In one of our usual hour-long trips out of town, doing errands, taking care of eye appointments and vehicle needs, etc., we decided to take the truck so we could purchase cement blocks for a small garden wall we are building. All went well: Costco for warehouse purchases, a short stop at Winco for those Asian sauces I love, and Lowes to purchase our cement blocks. 

Image result for free clipart of march windWhile at Lowes we also discovered arborvitae on sale and decided to buy ten. So, with the truck fully loaded, we headed home about eight o'clock last night. Whoosh!! Thirty minutes down the road a wild wind came out of nowhere like a lion that nearly took off with our shrubs and groceries. The tarp we had tied down broke lose and was flapping in the wind like a loose sail. With the roads narrow in spots and limited shoulder, all we could do was slow down, and hope the drivers behind us had enough sense to pass. We didn't want things flying out and landing on their windshields. Thankfully, none did.

We finally found a save spot to pull over to access the damage. The shrubs had rolled to the back of the truck bed, but they were now protecting our purchases. The tarp, however, was shredded where the rope ties had been. Sitting on the roadside, deciding what to do (we contemplated waiting out the storm), we put our sailing knowledge to work. We untied all the short ropes and used sailing knots to tie them together. We also found extra rope in the cab. Crisscrossing these over the bed, Vince managed to tie everything down, enough to get us safely home. It's amazing we lost nothing. Utility lines were whipping around and one we passed was hanging precariously low over the highway. Vince had a well-deserved beer when we got home. Home sweet home felt pretty darn good. 

As to the contest between Vince and me--painting his airplane vs. publishing my novel, we have good news. Vince is hours away from finishing the paint project. I remind you that this is the plane he built in our garage over a period of 12 years. It's so beautiful and I share the almost finished plane below. Bear in mind it was gray aluminum before. I've joked before that it felt like we were flying in a tuna fish can. Now this little plane can hold its propeller high when it flies in. We're thinking of names: Blue Bird, Bird on the Wing, Blue Jay.... Any suggestions?

Vince's RV8. The canopy on top is still being painted (vinyl wrapped).

I'm thrilled to give the final win to my husband, even if it means surpassing my goal. I'm still waiting. I haven't submitted to any publishers yet. Seeking an agent first has always been my goal, but I'm in a quandary, as none have expressed an interest. This has been my goal from the start and I spent hours perfecting the 'perfect' query letter. I finally quit submitting, after a group of agents never replied at all. I reworked my novel some and added a prologue. Actually, it's a scene from the middle of my novel, and one that readers had liked in particular, because my main character experiences a new culture for the first time. I knew I could never start with that scene, because the prior buildup was essential to the story, but as a prologue it works. Nevertheless, the 'redoing process' kind of 'undid' any energy I had had to get this book published. I found myself in a slump and eventually put the ms down....AND the new project. It was that old love/hate feeling returning again, and a huge part of me was struggling to take my writing seriously. 


"Why am I doing this?
It's not as if I'm incapable of succeeding in other areas."

SO, I diverted my creative energy to areas I felt successful in and that made me feel good about myself. I know how to make things grow. I know how to landscape a new property and design the interior of a home. I make blankets for the needy. I'm on an interview board for teens running for Distinguished Young Woman. I do our taxes every year. I've been a food engineering editor in the past. But as an author/writer of fiction, I still crave 'professional' affirmation. I need a reason to take my fiction seriously.  

Then, yesterday, an agent replied after nearly four months. Again, it was a nicely written form reject that encouraged me to keep trying, but her words of respect for me as a writer and my hard work spoke to me the most. Her kinds words were enough to rekindle the flame. REALLY. It made me realize how fragile my feelings about writing really are. I wish I didn't need such affirmation to continue, but I do. A thoughtful reject helped me take my writing seriously again. A small voice inside started singing again. "You CAN do this. You ARE going to do this. You WILL do this." So I'm 'sort of' on track again. But considering it's gardening season and the A-Z is almost here, I have some competition ahead. 

One word I have consistently heard in agent rejects is that the selection process is  "subjective," and I'm trying to bear that in mind. I need to find my audience, the one that was clearly in my head when I wrote this novel. My audience is out there somewhere. So it's back to the submission process. I have a small publisher in mind too. Perhaps there are more. I'm whittling down all the options before I consider self-publishing, a whole different learning curve. I need to be patient and not rush things. Maybe the book will get published by a small quiet publisher, like a lamb, and then roar with success like a lion, OR the other way around. 

Oh, why not? Let's face it. Anything's possible!!