Blogs

Just chilling…

I’m sitting at a table in my son and daughter-in-laws coffee shop. I find myself here almost every day. There was something that pulled me in from day one and last night I realized why I travel the fifteen minutes to get here. It isn’t for the coffee, which is delicious, or the gluten-free options that few places offer.

It’s for the people, the movement, the activity.

I’ve spent most of my time for the last few years alone, at my desk. Unless you count the dogs who’ve yet to begin a conversation with me. They bark, wander, lay quietly on their beds, go outside, but it’s not a human connection. I needed one and didn’t even know it.

A writer needs to be immersed in life, something I’ve avoided. It wasn’t a purposeful decision. I just never found anywhere to go where I could comfortably work. Now that I have that, it’s become an important part of my day. It help’s that KJ’s is a welcoming space, warm, with muted background music, the voices of other guests. It’s a place where I can people watch when I come to a mental stopping point in my story.

What are people wearing? What are they doing? What kinds of foods do they eat? Do they order hot or cold drinks? I can use my imagination all day but without bearing witness to tones, facial expressions, body language, characters lack those personal touches that make them human and bring them to life.

Now that I’ve been reminded how much I enjoy being among people, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to go back to my solitary ways.

 

Women’s friendships

The one comment that seems to echo about the Fire and Ice series speaks to the friendship the women at Woodley and Fisher have formed. They laugh together, cry together and support each other in good times and in bad.

The founding mothers fostered a unified whole when they were hiring and the women who came on board after those first couple of grueling years created symbiotic relationships that nothing could break.

Even the men who came into their lives had to pass the sniff test. Thankfully, the men seemed to mesh as well.

I often thought of the Red Tent when writing the series. It’s a wonderful story about a close knit community of females, and the unique gifts each bring to the friendships. They enrich each other’s loves.

Women need other women. Their minds work so much differently than men’s and women seem to understand each other. Men want to fix things, women are willing to listen, empathize and support. That’s usually all we’re looking for.

I wish I could say I have a phalanx of women warriors around me but I don’t. I have a few good friends that I can vent to, discuss things with, ask advice. I don’t know what I’d do without them.

I am considering another series that delves deeply into this kind of relationship.  A small town in Massachusetts, where women from all walks of life meet weekly…maybe a book club, or…my mind is still whirling with possibilities.

It was hard to let the women from Woodley and Fisher go, so this may be the way I find my way back to the essence.

Rhea, Gwen, Minnie, Hera to start…then maybe Brighid, Rhiannon, Selene, Lilith…

Who knows where it will go but it will be fun to develop. Now if I could just finish the last book in my Scalera series, I can get to work.

Been busy…

…with a lot that has nothing to do with writing…

My kids opened up a coffee shop and I’ve taken some time to sit and enjoy the lines of customers that are keeping them busy. If you do a Google search, you’ll find they have five stars! Pretty impressive for their first week.

I’ve done my share of grandma sitting for my two youngest grandsons, taking them to Chuck E Cheese last weekend. This Sunday my husband and I are planning a trip to Chunky’s movie theater for their second viewing of The Grinch.

Today, I’m here to help the caffe owners label their gluten-free options. They’ve been so busy they haven’t gotten around to the more mundane aspects of the business. Taking care of their customers is their number one priority.

At least today I found a table where I can catch up on some things, like Facebook posts, and a blog entry while I wait for my son to get back with label machine.

This is a new journey that they’ve allowed me to take with them and I know there will be a character in an upcoming story who owns a place like this. In fact, I have just the story in mind.

Now if I can just get back to the page…

 

It’s almost here…

Good morning:

I’m sending the fifth book in the Fire and Ice series to the formatter next week which means it will be available by mid-month. My editor has the sixth and final one which I hope to publish by mid-January. For as much as I wanted them all out by Christmas, it looks like that was just a wishful dream.

There’s so much involved with the process. Once I finish writing, it goes to my line editor, then I have to make the changes, which usually consists of adding or taking away commas, the bane of my existence. Once that’s been done, it’s off to the formatter so it can be prepared for both eBook and print mediums. Next step is downloading to Amazon and the other venues that are willing to sell self-published works. It always takes longer than I anticipate, especially the re-writing phase. If I’m already engrossed in another story, I seem to procrastinate my time as revision agent.

Now that the Fire and Ice series is near completion, I’ve returned to my Scalera family stories, with Tony and Dennis the last two family members in need of attention. I never meant to break the flow of that one but I was side-tracked by my love of Woodley and Fisher.

Please be on the lookout for Tendrils of Ice. I’ll be announcing the publication date as soon as I know what it will be.

Tendrils_of_Ice

 

Arianna Woodley was finally off the campaign trail and returning to her law firm, where she swore, she’d spend the remainder of her days. It was where she could live and breathe. It was also where her friends were.

But when Evan Cox her former opponent and former husband began a campaign of a different sort, one for her heart, she was stunned to the core. He’d left her decades ago, in the midst of a crisis. He was now claiming he’d never intended to leave for good, thought they’d needed time away from each other to sort things out. He thought it was way past time to re-write their ending. 

Could she risk her heart again and go for the happily-ever-after he was promising?

 

Tendrils of Ice

Yippee.

I just finished making my editing changes which means I’m one step further along the road toward formatting.

Now I’ve got to come up with a blurb that will hook, copyright page, acknowledgment, and to my reader page, first chapter and blurb for next book.

The hardest piece is the blurb. You don’t want it long, but you want to encapsulate the essence of the story. You want to hook the reader without giving anything away. I’ll spend hours writing and re-writing, until I have what I want and even then I’m second guessing whether it hits the right note.

I also have to work on the marketing aspect. I’ve been remiss with it and if I want my books to sell, I’ve got to find a way to get word out there. Otherwise I’m only writing for myself.

This is what I’ve come up with so far for the blurb.

Arianna Woodley has come off the campaign trail and is more than ready to get back to her law firm, where she promises she’ll spend the rest of her days. When her former opponent and former husband Evan Cox continues to campaign, this time for her, she’s confused. He’d left her decades ago, in the midst of a crisis but now he claims he wants to re-write their ending. Will she risk her heart again to see if they can get the happily ever after he’s promising?