Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Celebrating spring . . .

Happy Spring! At least, I hope the snow has melted where you are. We keep finding little nooks here and there on our daily walks where the snow hasn’t quite vanished. But the robins are back. As are the red-winged blackbirds, Canadian geese, sparrows, and coots. Still, we had such an early winter last year, the fall leaves froze on the trees and are just now coming down to decorate the porch in messy brown. We did have a respite – nearly two months in Las Cruces, New Mexico. This year, we were snowbirds treated with warm weather, vistas with mountains and palm trees. I took my writing and quilting with me and had a lovely office to spread everything out and simply enjoy. 

Now, we’re home. Time to get serious, and, after the unpacking and resettling back in, I’d like to set some goals, mostly how to begin revising this current messy draft for The Lost Sarcophagus, and to decide which of four quilting projects come first. A dear relative is in love with purple, so here’s the center for this scrappy quilt I just finished this morning. It’s fun to play with fabric as if I were painting!

And, just for now, you’ll find the e-book for The Seventh Tapestry on sale HERE. Writers like to experiment with different ways to find new readers, so I hope if you haven’t read this art crime mystery yet, you’ll check this out OR send the link to a reading friend.

Meanwhile, despite all those fall leaves showing up, I'm looking forward to tulips, snowdrops, and daffodils. Isn't this the last week of March, with April arriving next week? Have a wonderful spring with new projects and a few adventures! 

Thursday, March 09, 2023

Almost goodbye . . .

Next week, we'll be on the road home, Las Cruces in the rear view mirror, with memories to cherish of friends, mountain vistas, hiking trails, new kinds of birds, morning sunrises and evening sunsets,  and that perfect sense of quiet space that comes with this beautiful home we're staying in. We're fans of vrbo, partly because being short-term renters means staying in a 'real' home, with books and artwork, and, here in Las Cruces, that sense of Southwestern art everywhere.

Organ Mountains sunset (March 2023)

Especially downtown, we can walk along Main Street to visit art galleries and the most amazing bookstore, Coas Bookstore. I think they should consider renaming it Chaos Bookstore, for although they are very well organized, they have sooo many books! 

On Saturdays, if the wind doesn't come up, Main Street is peppered with artisan vendors, 7 blocks worth of every type of craft and fresh-from-the-farm veggies. My feet nearly fell off! We'll miss our favorite restaurants as well, Chala (for its pancakes con crema, only available on the weekends), and Mother's Place, small, but with a trove of native arts and home cooking.

If I'm writing, it doesn't matter where we are. The laptop makes nearly everything possible, though I do miss that printer. I am making slow progress on that current story, happy with the first third and staring at chaos for the rest. I keep asking: Is there enough conflict? Are my characters authentic? Are the scenes in proper order? All needs work! 

And the ending. In the last book, The Seventh Tapestry, Sandra was the one who got into serious trouble. Neil came to the rescue. But in this story, I don't want Sandra to fall into the fainting heroine trope. I need Neil to be the one in trouble!

Just one unexpected update: My story for the Write..Edit..Publish.. (WEP) February Challenge inspired by the classic movie, Gone With the Wind, was a 'runner up'. Wow! That was a treat. You can read my story here on the blog. Maybe you will consider jumping in on the April challenge? I'm already looking forward to revisiting another classic movie, Life is Beautiful.

I have so enjoyed this respite from snow. OK, I know that's rubbing it in, but yesterday was 78F and today, 74F.  I hope wherever you are, the sun is shining. We all can hope for a spring with flowers soon blooming, yes? 

May the coming month be a good one for you!

Wednesday, March 01, 2023

IWSG: Author Envy????

Each month, I'm delighted to take part in the writing challenge hosted by the Insecure Writer's Support Group. First of all, I do love challenges. Trust me, just the process writing brings a host of challenges in so many interesting and unexpected ways! Second, this is a pretty neat way to connect with other writers, especially when I'm far from home (currently we're snowbirding down in Las Cruces, New Mexico). Here's a pic taken yesterday at White Sands National Park, 450 acres of dunes to explore and appreciate. 

White Sands NP (February 27, 2023)
Note: That white sand is NOT snow!

March 1 question:  Have you ever read a line in novel or a clever plot twist that caused you to have author envy? As usual, IWSG's question this month should lead to some interesting reading!

Yes, sometimes I'll read a line in a story and simply stop -- to appreciate what this author has done to create real emotion so simply that the writing appears effortless. I know that's not true! I remember reading Hemingway in a library once when I was a teen and being moved to tears. I've always admired his spare style and willingness to write about really tough issues that we don't easily confront. Was I envious of Hemingway? Absolutely not! After all, I was a teenaged girl, caught up in my own world. And that was part of Hemingway's gift to me -- that his stories took me to another world, a respite from my own challenges.

I've come to accept that every writer has his or her own reality and, yes, doubts.  Whatever gift it is that makes us readers stop to laugh or cry or just remember we are all somehow connected in this complex and unpredictable world, that is what I hope to celebrate. Even the act of putting words on paper is not so simple. For we do not know the impacts our words will have for our readers and for ourselves.  

The purpose of the Insecure Writer's Support Group is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. I hope you will participate! Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about what's going on in your writing life. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writers - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link your name to this page and display the IWSG badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

With special thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for starting IWSG and to the awesome co-hosts for the March 1 posting of the IWSG are Diedre Knight, Tonya Drecker, Bish Denham, Olga Godim, and JQ Rose!

Why not visit our hosts to see what they're up to this month!
And may March bring you many new words!