Wednesday, March 30, 2016

First thoughts of spring

First thoughts of spring:
A mountain bluebird
perches on a wintry limb
and sings 
bulbs into flowers: 
Hearts ease!

Mountain Bluebird
Elaine R. Wilson on Wikipedia

Monday, March 21, 2016

March 21: Theme Reveal A-to-Z Challenge

Despite all that possibly could go awry, and despite an unusual amount of dithering, much like a dog circling to find the best place to nap, I have decided on a theme for this year's A-to-Z Blogging Challenge.

Since 2012, I've written poetry for the month of April, finding that happy balance between the A-to-Z Challenge and a way to celebrate April as National Poetry Month. But this year . . . 

After three years of research (including a summer trip to Canada), writing and revising, I'm close to finishing the first real draft for Rivers of Stone, a historical novel set in mid-19th Century Canada, and the third book about the McDonnell clan. 

Book 1, Standing Stones, introduces the McDonnell family and their home in the Orkney Islands, northern Scotland, during the time of the Clearances. 

Book 2, Years of Stone, Australia, tells the story of Mac McDonnell and Deidre Scott as Mac struggles to survive in Van Diemen's Land, a prison colony, now present day Tasmania.

THE BLURB for Rivers of Stone: When her parents are evicted from the family farm in the Orkney Islands and sent to the colonies as indentured servants, Catriona Brody McDonnell decides to follow her heart and her new husband to Canada, with one twist: She'll join the Hudson's Bay Company disguised as a boy. 

York Factory, 1853 (Wikipedia)

Once they land at York Factory, and Dougal joins the fur brigade traveling west, can Catriona survive in this new land, essentially alone? How will she find her way to Fort Vancouver?

For the month of April, my blog will explore issues tied to my story, its characters, history, and the writing process. I hope you will join me -- and the other bloggers taking on the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge -- starting April 1. 

Sunday, March 06, 2016

A little about birds and creativity . . .

Sometimes we are inspired by others to persevere. 

So today, I'd like to highlight the creative works of Sandy Brown Jensen, who continues a marvelous journey as a video storyteller, mixing photography and poetry. She calls it digital dreaming. Sandy also participates in an awesomely challenging challenge: Create Daily!

Yesterday, Sandy and her sister, Cheryl Renee Long, taught their first online journaling class called The Mysterious Night Vision Field Journal. In this class, participants play with colorful pencils and black paper to spur creativity. I could not join the class . . . this time . . . but the idea is entrancing! See some of Sandy's work HERE on her blog for her own Night Vision Journal.

Inspired by Sandy, here's my own poem today, translated to video format. Consider visiting what others have written for Poets on the Page as well.

Friday, March 04, 2016

IWSG March check-in

The first Wednesday of each month, writers participating in the Insecure Writers Support Group check in. We may share our current writing worries or write something that may motivate other writers. It's Friday night, not Wednesday, but I'm still checking in, for I have a question.

What happens when family emergencies take precedence over all else? I'm not talking about the everyday challenges we all face. I'm talking about that phone call in the middle of the night, that trip to the hospital, the juggling of doctor visits and tests, the waiting for results, and watching those you love in pain when you can't really do anything to change what is.

Does that mean we stop writing? That we miss deadlines? 

The process of writing may stall, but if writing is an essential part of our nature, then we will return to write again -- stories or poems, longer works, or even blog entries. 

We can find encouragement from other writers. For example, Chris Kincaid titles one of her blogs Writing What I Can When I Can, a working philosophy that suggests a calm acceptance of the reality that every day we may not meet our goals. That events, often outside our control, do happen and affect what we may achieve. That maybe all of life is a balancing act, where our faith in ourselves, our intentions and efforts do make a difference. 

Additional encouragement comes from A Round of Words in 80 Days with its motto: "The writing challenge that knows you have a life."

So where does that leave me just now? Checking in for IWSG a few days late and gathering my courage to persevere. May your writing go well. Why not drop by the Insecure Writers Study Group to see what other writers are doing?

Resting place at Aransas National Park, Texas (February 2016)