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Posts Tagged ‘First Friday Feature’

BLOGWORDS – Monday 5 December 2016 – WHO DID NANO

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WHO DID NANO

 

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Well, I did it. I pulled it off. A whole month of writing, every.single.day. There were a couple of days that barely passed that bar—lowest daily word count was on the 19th with 26 measly words. I mean, 26 wonder phenomenal words! Highest number of words in a day was on the 29th—crunch time—with 4471 words!!!

 

Had some tumult early in the month that hijacked my good intentions. But I did it, I finished, and it was such an accomplished feeling! Pretty close to typing “The End” on a novel.

 

Not “The End” though, but the half-way mark. I worked on Long Shadows of Summer, Book 1 in my new series, Seasons and I like the way this story is shaping up!

 

I’ve know my main characters for each of the four books in the series—Mercedes, Scarlett, Pearl, and Simone—and the conflict for each one: Mercedes is keeping a secret from the others; Scarlett, too, is keeping secrets, though not her own; Pearl elopes; and Simone, well, she’s not dead.

 

And now I know Mercedes a whole lot better.

 

 

What about you? Did you NaNo?  Did you win? Tell me your story.

 

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The southern town of Saison lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers.

 

In a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, four young girls share a bond—and experience a tragedy.

 

Seasons is the telling of their stories and Mercedes Renaldi’s story is first in The Long Shadows of Summer.

 

 

 “I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”

 

 

 

BLOGWORDS, First Friday Feature, NaNoWriMo, 50K, Seasons, New Series, Long Shadows of Summer, Mercedes Renaldi, #PantsernotaPlotter, #NaNoWri Mo10216

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BLOGWORDS – Friday 28 October 2016 – NOD to NANO

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NOD to NANO

 

nano-110016-banner

 

I’m throwing my hat in the NaNoWriMo ring.   Or, my story.  Hadn’t planned to but the timing is good.  I’ve got a ton of research already under my belt.

 

research

 

Stacks of library books, my clipboard chock full of notes, and my  kitty girl for good measure (She like to be close to me.)

 

I’ve know my main characters for each of the four books in the series—Mercedes, Scarlett, Pearl, and Simone—and the conflict for each one: Mercedes is keeping a secret from the others; Scarlett, too, is keeping secrets, though not her own; Pearl elopes; and Simone, well, she’s not dead.

 

I know the timeline, 1912 – 1913, and the setting, the town of Saison, somewhere north of Charleston, SC.

 

sc-geological-map

 

The southern town of Saison lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers.

 

In a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, four young girls share a bond—and experience a tragedy.

 

Seasons is the telling of their stories and Mercedes Renaldi’s story is first in The Long Shadows of Summer.

 

 

The series is Seasons, and the books in the series are The Long Shadows of Summer, Tilting Leaves of Autumn, Whistling Winds of Winter, and Whispering Woods of Spring.

 

seasons-series-covers                                                                                         * not the final covers

 

So I figured with this much underway, and nearly 3000 words into Mercedes’ story, I’d  give a whirl to the 50K for NaNo.

 

Following are a few links I’ve seen in the past couple of days with helps and suggestions, and the NaNo website.

 

http://writerswrite.co.za/nanowrimo-calendar-organise-and-conquer

http://writerswrite.co.za/five-things-to-do-before-nanowrimo-starts

http://writerswrite.co.za/dont-get-stuck-use-our-nanowrimo-brainstormer-worksheet-instead

http://writershelpingwriters.net/2016/10/5-nanowrimo-hacks-keep-words-flowing/

http://nanowrimo.org

 

 

If you decide to dive in too, look me up—we can be buddies!

 

 

 

slide 6 “I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”

 

Ms. Mason has been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on her debut novel, Tessa in 2013. Meanwhile, she cranked out a few dozen poems, and made countless notes for story ideas. Ms. Mason lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; she didn’t want to be who she was and struggled with her own identity for many years. Her characters face many of these same demons.

 

Ms. Mason has lived in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1988. She lived in Colorado for sixteen years, during which time she: went to high school, got married, had babies, got divorced and went to college. Her “babies” are now grown, two have babies of their own. She currently lives alone, with her five cats.
Ms. Mason writes Christian-worldview–in other words, there’s no salvation message, but there are plenty of characters who know the Lord and share His perspective with those who are struggling.

 

Tessa and Clara Bess, books 1 and 2 in her unsavory heritage series, are both available on Amazon, both for Kindle and in print. The third book in the series, Cissy, will be available in September, 2016.  Ms. Mason also has several poems included in an anthology, Where Dreams and Visions Live (Anthologies of the Heart Book 1) by Mary Blowers, http://maryblowers.com, as well as a short story, Sarafina’s Light, also in an anthology, Blood Moon, compiled by Mary Blowers. She will also be working on a personal anthology of poetry to be released in 2016 as well.

 

unsavory-google-banner

 

BLOGWORDS, First Friday Feature, NaNoWriMo, 50K, Research, Seasons, New Series, Long Shadows of Summer, Mercedes Renaldi, Secrets, Tragedy

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BLOGWORDS – Friday 5 August 2016 – DIGITAL DRIVE THROUGH

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DIGITAL DRIVE THROUGH

 

 

RAT-A-TAT TAT TAT!!! Sounds of gunfire. The words “drive by” bring to mind a shooting. And well it should. Of late, news reports are filled with stories of shootings. BAM! Somebody’s hit, somebody’s down. And then it’s over and we forget. Til the next one. BAM! Somebody else is hit, somebody else is down.

 

And so it goes.

 

And so it goes digitally too. RAT-A-TAT TAT TAT!!! Dash off a text or an IM. (See what I did there, I didn’t even spell it out for you.) We use a language that isn’t even slang. It’s not even just abbreviation, it’s a whole new jargon, a whole new way of talking. A whole new way of thinking and living.

 

 

And I don’t think I like it.

 

 

For it represents an abbreviated way of connecting. An abbreviated way of relating…..

 

Oooohhh, I hit a nerve, didn’t I?

 

I’m the first to admit, I cling to Facebook. Hi, I’m Robin, and I’m a Facebook junkie. But it has its time and place, and in my case, far too much time. For me, it serves to enhance existing relationships, and has introduced me to new friends.

 

Of course, the longer I’m on Facebook, the more there is in my news feed. And since I created my professional page, and joined other professional pages, the posts have increased exponentially. Not too long ago, I was OCD enough to troll through EVERY single post, and skip over only a very few. I just can’t do this anymore, too many posts coming through, too many pages, too much “good stuff.”

 

Slide4

I have said for years that for all the lifestyle conveniences, fast food and ATM’s, microwaves and instant coffee and grits and potatoes, we have less time available. Why is that? We take the time we “save” and cram more stuff – junk – into those precious moments.

 

 

WAIT!!! What were those precious moments meant for? What were all of our “time saving” devices and mechanisms meant to do? Give us more to do?

 

No. Time saving devices were meant to give us more time to do what’s important to us.

 

So what’s important?

 

More soccer games and cheerleading events? More meetings and extra-curricular activities? More homework? More hours at the office? Don’t misunderstand my meaning, however. I’ve nothing against extra-curriculars and soccer and cheer-leading. Or pageants or music recitals and dance recitals and gymnastics meets. Indeed, these are the things that bond families together. (Work is a different issue!)

 

 

AH! HA! The things that bond families together. Well, what do you know about that? Isn’t that what it’s all about? Spending all that “extra time” with our families? To build our families? To bond with our families?

 

Isn’t that how God designed the family? Are we simply disjointed units who share genes and DNA? And live in the same house and have the same name?

 

Didn’t Father God say that He knit us together in our mother’s womb? And don’t you think He’d do that only with the intention of creating a bond? It might be with adoptive parents, but Father intended a bond, a connection, and not just bodies in a house performing duties and functions. And don’t you think that’s for more than diaper changing and feeding til it’s time to shove us out of the nest?

 

 

Doesn’t God Himself call Himself “Father?”  That tells me something. He is all about family. He loves family. He created man and woman to create a family. “Be fruitful and multiply,” He said. He did not say, make babies and then be busy. He even gave us a day of rest. Rest, did you notice that? A whole day. How many of us actually do that anymore?

 

It’s like those “saved” moments that the mighty microwave and instant grits give us, they get filled with junk. I mean, with activities. Stuff to do. How ‘bout just hanging at the house once in a while. Caveat: without the TV!!!! Yes, you read that right. Turn off the TV AND your phones AND video games. Shut ‘em down. For a day. Go to the park, toss a ball or a Frisbee. Have a cook-out, with all members of the family involved. Don’t get it ready and call the kiddoes to eat, then ship them back off to their rooms. Prep the meal together, set the table together, sit and laugh together while the burgers are on the grill.

 

 

Unplug from Facebook for a while, or from time to time. Think of it as “going green” in relationships. Back to nature, organic. Real live, face to face. Real time, real.

 

In the “I love when Father God does stuff like that” category, turns out this post is trés timely, and not just random. I wrote the original bit for a friend above a couple of years ago, then we never did anything with it. I “just happened” to come across it (read: uncover it) a few weeks ago and figured it would make a good “First Friday” post. Then as I was going through it today, selecting images, I realized it’s a perfect segue for my first Sunday Feature post. The name of the feature? Front Porch Fellowship. Which is pretty much what this post is about, unplug, recharge. Breath. I don’t believe much in coincidence or “just happened” or serendipity. As my friend, Mark David Gerson says,

 

Slide9

 

 

Be sure to pop by on Sunday and sit on the Front Porch with me for a while.

 

 

 

rem“I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!

 

I have been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on my debut novel, Tessa in 2013.  Meanwhile, I cranked out a few dozen poems, and made countless notes for story ideas.  I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years.  My characters face many of these same demons.

 

I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I, really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.

 

Tessa and Clara Bess are available on Amazon, both for Kindle and in print, with the third book in the series, Cissy, coming out in September of this year.   I also have several poems included in an anthology, Where Dreams and Visions Live (Anthologies of the Heart Book 1) by Mary Blowers, http://maryblowers.com, as well as a short story, Sarafina’s Light, also in an anthology, Blood Moon, compiled by Mary Blowers. I will also be working on a personal anthology of poetry to be released in 2016 as well.

 

http://robinemason.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robin-E-Mason-Author-Artist/224223274404877

http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S

https://twitter.com/amythyst212

http://www.pinterest.com/amythyst212/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7808042.Robin_E_Mason

https://writingpromptsthoughtsideas.wordpress.com/

 

 

BLOGWORDS, First Friday Feature, Rat-a-Tat-Tat-Tat, Digital Drive By, Unplug, Synchronicity, Serendipity, Front Porch Fellowship

 

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first friday feature post - debut banner

 

ROAD TRIP  VACATION PART TWO – THE BLUR

 

 

The trip has come and gone and it was AMAZING! It’s a vacation, what is there to say, except AHHHHHH!!!!!

 

If you recall, I had a high school reunion, and I really really really wanted to be able to go.

Well, I go’ed! It happened! And it was a whirlwind! Between the hither and yon, and GPS antics, I truly didn’t know where I was half the time! It’s okay, though, I wasn’t driving!

 

Pre-trip started with a text that my plane and therefore my departing flight was delayed. So much so that I would not make my connecting flight… uhhh…

 

Yeah, so, re-route, and I flew out early Wednesday morning instead. Which actually worked better in the long run. (despite the ridiculous departure time!!)

Almost forgot to mention the wheel chair assistance through the big airports—Chicago, Denver both coming in and leaving, and Houston! I felt a tad self-conscious but Knewbie Knee isn’t stable enough yet to hustle from gate to gate! zoom zoom

 

Slide2

 

It was quite the busy day! Crazy Jeep Girl, aka Melinda, met me at the airport and took me to her house for lunch. The mini hike that was planned got ditched due to mosquito invasion. I met my friends at Starbucks instead. Then I was transferred—I felt like a piece of luggage by this point!—to my host, Stephen, in the very pretty town of Lafayette.

 

Slide3

 

Hostess Denise, took me to meet up with long-time friend, Dana, and we visited the Denver Botanic Gardens. This is where the blur comes in—GPS and wild goose chases! Didn’t matter to me, though, I was with friends and I was having a ball!

 

Slide4

 

Met another long-time friend, Stephanie, for lunch at Chili’s. Then came the first event of the reunion. I failed to get pics, and I’m not really sure why! But seeing so many faces of so many friends from (ahem) so long ago was a blast!

 

Slide5

 

Saturday was the event I was waiting for—the tour of the school! It has changed but not so much it destroyed my memories. Except for my stage! Yes, I said my stage! It’s gone! There’s a mural there now. They built a new theatre though so that’s okay. The tour was followed by a catered BBQ picnic.

 

Slide6

 

Sunday was the final reunion event, a delicious brunch. I remembered to get pics this time! We drove through the old ‘hood after, and up Peoria and Colfax! All’s I can say is wow!

 

Slide7

 

 

Monday was laid back, packing, and a visit from long-time friend, Janet. I love how so many friends came to where I was so we could spend some time together!

Alas, again with the pics! How I wanted some stunning shots of the mountains, but we were always on the go. Got some pretty sunset shots, though, on my final night in town.

 

Slide8

 

Then came the flight home! Caught the sun as it was coming up. I took 90 pics total from the plane—window seats on both flights.

 

I made some new friends, and connected with a few dear friends from years gone by. Happy memories were made, and connections reestablished.

 

Funniest thing of the whole trip—all the seafood! I fly 1400 miles from a coastal state to land-locked Colorado, and have seafood for five of my six meals, four of them shrimp!! Go figure! I had shrimp: alfredo, quesadilla, scampi, and stir fry! And calamari Friday night as my appetizer! Oh, and fried catfish!

 

 

This trip was a dream-come-true, a gift from Father God. Literally everything was given to me, from the ticket to spending money. I am in awe.

 

 

 

What are your heart dreams? What has Father put in your heart? What’s your vision?

 

Slide10

 

 

 

 

 

 

rem

“I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”

 

Ms. Mason has been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on her debut novel, Tessa in 2013.  Meanwhile, she cranked out a few dozen poems, and made countless notes for story ideas.  Ms. Mason lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; she didn’t want to be who she was and struggled with her own identity for many years.  Her characters face many of these same demons.

 

 

Ms. Mason has lived in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1988. She lived in Colorado for sixteen years, during which time she: went to high school, got married, had babies, got divorced and went to college. Her “babies” are now grown, two have babies of their own.  She currently lives alone, with her five cats.
Ms. Mason writes Christian-worldview–in other words, there’s no salvation message, but there are plenty of characters who know the Lord and share His perspective with those who are struggling.

 

Tessa and Clara Bess, books 1 and 2 in her unsavory heritage series, are both available on Amazon, both for Kindle and in print. The third book in the series, Cissy, will be available in September, 2016.   Ms. Mason also has several poems included in an anthology, Where Dreams and Visions Live (Anthologies of the Heart Book 1) by Mary Blowers, http://maryblowers.com, as well as a short story, Sarafina’s Light, also in an anthology, Blood Moon, compiled by Mary Blowers. She will also be working on a personal anthology of poetry to be released in 2016 as well.

 

Slide1

 

BLOGWORDS, First Friday Feature, Road Trip, Fly the Friendly Skies, Aurora, Colorado, High School Reunion, Gateway High School, Good Friends, VACAY, Denver Botanic Gardens, Shrimp and More Shrimp, Dreams and Passions, Father’s Vision

 

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first friday feature post - debut banner

 

ROAD TRIP  FLY THE FRIENDLY SKIES and GOD MOMENTS!

or

WHEN FATHER GOD ANSWERS PRAYER

 

I love to fly. Maybe it’s a bird thing—fly, robin, fly.

 

 

Maybe it’s because my dad was in the Air Force.

 

 

 

I’ve got a high school reunion in three weeks. And not just the tenth or even the twentieth reunion, neither! (Next year, for inquiring minds, will be my fortieth. Yes, you read that right, 2017 will be my FORTIETH high school reunion!)

 

Slide3

 

But this isn’t just any ol’ reunion. You see, my freshman year was the first year my high school was open. In fact, it wasn’t open for the first semester, even! We shared another school’s facility. So my class, the class of 1977, has a distinct honor—we were the first ever graduating class to attend all four years at our school. And a nod to the class of ’74, of course, the very first graduating class ever.

 

Slide4

 

But it’s not just about attending a reunion. It’s about I wanted so badly to go. To be able to go. You see, I’ve lived a lot (and by a lot, I mean a LOT) of years waiting. Waiting for one thing and another, to change, to get better. For prayers to be answered and miracles to manifest.

 

 

Why the waiting you ask. Good question. In fact, that’s a great question.

 

Slide6

 

And the answer’s not a simple one. Or  maybe it is. It’s not that I didn’t believe the Word of God. I did; I do.

 

Slide7

 

But that teensy little part about “love yourself?” Yeah, that’s the part that got me. That’s the part I had a hard time believing. I mean REALLY believing.

 

Slide8

 

Love God? Sure, no problem. Easy peasy. Love my neighbor? Absolutely, I can do that. Love me? What? But… but…

I’m no good. I’m a failure. I’m not worth…..

 

BLARING BUZZER SOUND!

WRONG ANSWER!!!

A MILLION TIMES WRONG ANSWER!!!

Slide9

 

In essence, that’s what the Gospel is about. You know the one about God so loved the world, right? This is why. He became what we are so we could become what He is! From Genesis chapter 1 verse 1 all the way to Revelation chapter 22 verse 21, He is telling us to be like Him, how to be like him, so we can walk with Him and talk with Him, like it was in the beginning… But that’s another post for another time.

 

Slide10

 

So what does all this have to do with vacations and high school reunions? Because there’s this verse, somewhere along in the middle, has been one of my anchor verses for years. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) Not just needs, not only food and shelter, but desires. You see, He created us, with our innate personalities and preferences, i.e. desires. That’s why our passions fit with our life purpose. (another for another time)

And this trip? It’s not even a need. Unless you count the fact I haven’t been on a vacation in years and really do need some R&R.

 

 

So I asked Father, I prayed for a way to go. Now remember, His answers don’t always look the way we imagine them. But to my mind, a 1400 mile trip meant flying. I know I certainly wasn’t planning to drive out there. Remember the make a way part? I don’t have the $$ for a ticket—or for a three day road trip.

Ah! But my friend who also lives on the east coast does. And she was planning to go. We were going to drive, Thelma and Louise style, minus the bit where they crash and burn in the end. We were going to have a blast.

 

 

But alas. She cannot go. Texted me today. So instead, she has paid for my ticket for me to fly to Colorado. Because she can. And because she’s a friend.

 

See how Father worked that for my good? That’s Romans 8:28 by the way. I’ve rambled, been all over the place with this post. But for a girl who grew up as in Invisiblet—Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was invisible.  Or she thought she was invisible, felt that way at least.  And when she felt people were staring at her, she wished she was invisible.  That little girl was me.  Hello, my name is Robin, and I’m a recovering invisiblet.  I wasn’t shy, I was terrified.  And that made it quite difficult to make friends.  Or to be a friend.” [blog post 02 May 2014] —this gift is more than a gift. It is gold. I see Father’s hand, orchestrating the whole thing. All so I could have my desired trip. I asked, and He made a way.

 

That’s how relationships work. The relationship between me and Father God, between me and my friend.

 

Best part? The boost to my faith! Any time, every time Father makes the way for us, it confirms our faith, it builds our faith. Sometimes the battle is hard won, sometimes it comes as a total surprise. This? My trip? I had absolute assurance I would go. Had no clue how, just knew Father was working it out for me. Because He loves me and wants to bless me.

There are other dreams, other passions burning in me, waiting for the green light. Waiting to shine, to soar. And this trip? It has bolstered my faith, my confidence, my assurance that what Father has birthed in me will, indeed, take off and soar.

 

Slide13

 

So I’m taking my dreams and passions and vision, and I’m soaring. I’m flying the friendly skies to Colorado, and I’m flying with Father’s vision in my heart.

 

Oh, and I titled this post before my friend sent me flight details. My flight? It’s on United. The friendly sky airline.

 

 

What are your heart dreams? What has Father put in your heart? What’s your vision?

 

 

 

rem

 

“I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”

 

Ms. Mason has been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on her debut novel, Tessa in 2013.  Meanwhile, she cranked out a few dozen poems, and made countless notes for story ideas.  Ms. Mason lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; she didn’t want to be who she was and struggled with her own identity for many years.  Her characters face many of these same demons.

 

Ms. Mason has lived in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1988. She lived in Colorado for sixteen years, during which time she: went to high school, got married, had babies, got divorced and went to college. Her “babies” are now grown, two have babies of their own.  She currently lives alone, with her five cats.
Ms. Mason writes Christian-worldview–in other words, there’s no salvation message, but there are plenty of characters who know the Lord and share His perspective with those who are struggling.

 

Tessa and Clara Bess, books 1 and 2 in her unsavory heritage series, are both available on Amazon, both for Kindle and in print. The third book in the series, Cissy, will be available in September, 2016.   Ms. Mason also has several poems included in an anthology, Where Dreams and Visions Live (Anthologies of the Heart Book 1) by Mary Blowers, http://maryblowers.com, as well as a short story, Sarafina’s Light, also in an anthology, Blood Moon, compiled by Mary Blowers. She will also be working on a personal anthology of poetry to be released in 2016 as well.

 

 

BLOGWORDS, First Friday Feature, Road Trip, Thelma and Louise, Fly the Friendly Skies, Aurora, Colorado, High School Reunion, Gateway High School, Good Friends, VACAY, Dreams and Passions, Father’s Vision

 

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