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Spring Has Finally Arrived…

…in New England. As I sit writing, the temperature outside has reached the 60 degree mark and the sun is shining. It’s such a nice reprieve from another rainy April that we thought would never end. Now, when I watch the Red Sox play, (Boston’s baseball team for anyone not in the know), I see pitchers back to short sleeves and the outfielders no longer wearing neck warmers.

The next few books in my Greenliners baseball series were timed so that I could enjoy watching the boys of summer with a two-pronged purpose: love of the game and to fuel my imagination with play-by-plays.

My first in the series, Thrown for a Curve, was meant to be a stand alone, but as I was writing about Izabella’s brother, I began to envision a life for him, in Boston, as part of the Greenie’s run for a World Series win. League of Her Own is Enrique’s story and I found the perfect woman for him in Fiona Barrows. He thinks she’s staying at his sister’s to house sit and walk her dog Hoover. As she barges into his life, dripping wet from being hit by a puddle, he nicknames her Fifi. He thinks it suits her. That is until he finds out what she really does for a living.

When Fiona begins to keep Rique company in his self-imposed isolation, she is embarrassed by her ignorance about the game he loves. Wanting to learn all she can, she reaches out to a couple of experts who teach her all she wants to know, from the various types of pitches there are, to the lingo that might help her understand the foreign language. (And she doesn’t mean the Portuguese the Brazilian speaks.)

The following is some of the terminology she picked up and words or phrases you’ll find throughout the series.

Error: when a player misplays the ball and allows runners to advance rather than fielding it correctly and getting the out.

Boys of Summer: Baseball players

Farm team: Minor league affiliates

Grapefruit League- teams that play exhibition games during spring training before the season officially begins.

Spring Training: preseason period when baseball players get ready for the big league. (It’s try-out time for those invited to participate.)

Walk-off: when a hit ends a game.

Beanball: a ball pitched at a batter’s head, usually intentionally. (Fiona is stunned that Reid Jackson, Izabella’s husband and male lead in TFAC, has done it on more than one occasion, just because a batter hugged the plate.)

It’s been a long time…

…since I’ve written and I’m beginning to understand why I’ve become lax with this one particular task.

I’m not good at small talk and if I had to label myself the tag would read introvert.

I never really knew this about myself. Only over the last couple of weeks, since writing about a scientist who is unskilled in many social contexts, have I learned what the term means and how it applies to me.  It doesn’t mean that I’m pre-occupied with myself to the exclusion of everything else, or that I like being alone all day without conversation and stimulation. I love meeting new people, I enjoy being challenged by new things. I need to feel a part of life to be productive.

The problem is when I’m in the midst of a large group of people with no script, I wither, shrivel up and retreat into a shell.

When I first started this blog, I thought I could do a weekly “fireside chat” only to find myself in front of the computer with nothing of value to say.  How many times could I talk about my books, the development of characters, or recommend books that I’ve read that are worth passing on. Blog writing is all about the small talk, chatting with people out there about a variety of subjects. I’m more into ideas, prefer one-on-one with friends.  I’m neither shy nor socially awkward, I just don’t like talking about nothing. for the sake of talking. It actually hurts.

I’m going to make the effort to find subjects that interest me, topics that I’m passionate about and then pretend I’m having a face-to-face conversation with a dear friend. Maybe then I can make this a weekly occurrence.

Please bear with me as I learn to own this new perspective of myself.

When God Was a Woman…

is the name of a book I read years back when I was reading all things goddess. It seems I’ve spiraled back to my interest, becoming engrossed in another round of books and articles on the topic.

It keeps dragging me away from the page I’m supposed to be writing on, as I pull out my character charts jotting down notes for those imaginary women I’m designing, each based on an element of earth, fire, air and water, encapsulated in one of the female archetypes defined by Jung. Who are they? How were they wounded? Are they mother? Maiden? Thinker, doer, feeler? I love this part of the process and I’ve given myself the challenge of developing eight heroines who are involved in goddess warrior training.

I’ve even named them accordingly; Rhea, Gwenhwyfar, Minerva, Cerridwen, Inanna, Brigit, Hecate, and Hina, wanting to cover the spectrum of Irish, Greek, Sumerian, and Hawaiian. There were so many others I could have included but I had to whittle it down…

My heroines will live in today’s world, with jobs that speak to the attributes assigned by the zodiac, astrology broken up into those four elemental states of matter.

In addition to the written novels, I will also be including a short piece on women who have lived their lives wearing the cloak of goddess: women such as Gertrude Bell, Wangari Maathai, Jane Goodall, and even Beyoncé. It will hopefully support the theory that an archetype is a primordial aspect of our being. Whether myth or reality, women have the potential to bring strength and truth to every experience, and push through the boundaries that confine them.

It’s a daunting undertaking but one I am approaching with curiosity and excitement.

I’ve yet to come up with a name for the series, but the one that keeps popping up, due to the small town where they live, is: Women of Eden.

If you have any suggestions, please feel free to email me at faithworksnovels@gmail.com

It’s National Make Up Your Mind Day

Which makes it a great day for me to figure put where I’m going next.

There are two series swirling in my mind and as I’m more than half-way through Finding Joy, I’ve begun developing characters for each of the them. The problem is I don’t know which to dig into first.

I want to add to Thrown for a Curve, and this may be the most opportune time for that. Trades are happening in the league now and where Enrique dos Santos is in talks to be traded to the Greenliners, I can follow the up-to-date baseball news and incorporate it into the storyline. He is currently the short stop for New York, but would love nothing better than to play with his brother-in-law, Crackerjack Jackson, the ace of the team. There’d be three or four books to follow.

The other choice would involve one of my passions. It would revolve around eight women, friendship, and the goddess archetype. Several years ago, when I was reading voraciously about the evolution of the goddess, I began to write about current day women who fit the mold. They were women who’d won the Nobel prize for peace in Northern Ireland, Jane Goodall, and Wangari Maathai who planted trees in Africa, empowering women and sustaining the earth, to name a few. The strength that women bring to any endeavor gets lost today, as it has in the past. There’s a reason for the term history…it’s the story of men…(his story). There’s no time like the present to begin to change things to encompass her story, as well.

As I started filling in the character charts for Fiona “Fifi”, the female lead in the Enrique story, I got caught up in a thread that I thought better suited to one of my goddess women. And since then I waffle back and forth, wishing I could attend to both at the same time.

If you have any thoughts regarding my dilemma, please share them with me. I’d love to know where the interest is. I might not be making my mind up today, after all.

 

In the news…

Dropped into KJ’s Caffe this morning to meet up with my nephew and niece-in-law for a cup of coffee. They’re heading back to England tomorrow, and I was so happy we were able to see them before they left.

While we were there, my son brought over a copy of the Lowell Sun, the local newspaper and proudly displayed the article written about the shop, along with pictures from a photo shoot. It consisted of a two page spread that showcased both family and staff. I was there the day some of the town officials and chamber of commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony. Everyone seemed excited about the new family-owned business that provides excellent coffee (no syrups), muffins, bagels, specialty sandwiches along with some gluten-free options for those disinclined or unable to eat anything with gluten.

The business has been doing well since day one and maybe this additional piece of marketing will create even more of a buzz. (I noticed a man walk in with a paper under his arm and wondered if he was giving the place a try after reading about it.)

I’m proud of how hard they’ve worked and gratified to see how successful the endeavor has been.

Check out the story if you want. I’ve provided the link.

www.lowellsun.com/business

And if you’re in the area, drop in, say hello and enjoy one of their offerings.