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Posts Tagged ‘New Week New Face’

BLOGWORDS – BLOG BLITZ & BOOK LAUNCH – MAY 2018

BLOGWORDS – Saturday 14 May 2018 – SPECIAL EDITION – THE WHISPERING WINDS OF SPRING RELEASE – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – BECCA PUGLISI

 

“My world came to an end the day I jumped off Versailles.”

 “The comforting words of dearest friends are a soothing balm to a jagged soul.”

 

SPECIAL EDITION – THE WHISPERING WINDS OF SPRING RELEASE – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – BECCA PUGLISI

Simone, my main character in The Whispering Winds of Spring, has suffered more than one traumatic event in her life. The results—and her recovery—are her story.

My guest this week, Becca Puglisi, offers explanation of psychological trauma.

 

 

Growing up, do you remember something happening that you didn’t expect, something that surprised you—and not in a good way? Maybe you came home with a third-place Science Fair ribbon, and rather than wrap you up in a breath-stealing hug and fawn over the yellow slip, your mother barely gave it a glance, declaring that you should have tried harder. Now, fast-forward to junior year. You auditioned for the lead in the school musical, but the part went to someone else. How did that feel, especially when you had to deliver the news to dear old mom? What about when you missed the cut for a university program that, as she likes to remind you, your brother got into with no problem, or the time you were passed over for a promotion and had to sit through an agonizing family dinner where your sibling was lauded for his accomplishments?

 

Chances are, this wounded past doesn’t match your own. But if it did, at what point would resentment set in over your mother’s love being withdrawn each time you failed to meet her unrealistic expectations? How long until you stopped talking about your goals or—even worse— refused to try at all because you believed you would only fail?

 

Unfortunately, life is painful, and not all the lessons we learn are positive ones. As with you and me, the characters in our stories have suffered emotional trauma that cannot easily be dispelled or forgotten. We call this type of trauma an emotional wound: a negative experience (or set of experiences) that causes pain on a deep psychological level. It is a lasting hurt that often involves someone close: a family member, lover, mentor, friend, or other trusted individual. Wounds may be tied to a specific event, arise upon learning a difficult truth about the world, or result from a physical limitation, condition, or challenge.

 

Whatever form they take, most wounding experiences happen unexpectedly, meaning, characters have little or no time to raise their emotional defenses. The resulting pain is brutal and immediate, and the fallout of this trauma has lasting repercussions that will change the character in significant (often negative) ways. As with us, characters experience many different painful events over a lifetime, including ones in their formative years. These wounds are not only the most difficult to move past, they often create a domino effect for other hurts that follow.

 

Now, you might ask why we should care about what happens to our characters before page one. After all, isn’t it what they do during the story that matters? Yes, and no. People are products of their pasts, and if we want our characters to come across as authentic and believable to readers, we need to understand their backstories too. How a character was raised, the people in her life, and the events and world conditions she was exposed to months or years ago will have direct bearing on her behavior and motives within the story. Backstory wounds are especially powerful and can alter who our characters are, what they believe, and what they fear most. Understanding the pain they’ve experienced is necessary to creating fully formed and compelling characters.

 

When we think of emotional trauma, we often imagine it as a specific moment that forever alters the character’s reality, but wounds can present in a variety of ways. It’s true that one may develop from a single traumatic event, such as witnessing a murder, getting caught in an avalanche, or experiencing the death of one’s child. But it can also come about from repeated episodes of trauma, like a series of humiliations at the hand of a workplace bully or a string of toxic relationships. Wounds may also result from a detrimental ongoing situation, such as living in poverty, childhood neglect caused by addicted parents, or growing up in a violent cult.

 

However they form, these moments leave a mark, albeit a psychological one, just as a physical injury does. Wounds damage our characters’ self-worth, change how they view the world, cause trust issues, and dictate how they will interact with other people. All of this can make it harder for them to achieve certain goals, which is why we should dig deep into their backstories and unearth the traumas they may have been exposed to.

 

* excerpted from The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Psycholoical Trauma, https://writershelpingwriters.net/2015/05/announcing-the-emotional-wounds-thesaurus/

 

I hope this clarifies what a wound is and what kind of aftershocks it can have. It’s SO important for us to know this important event from each character’s past, and The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Psychological Trauma is now available (in print and digital). To see a sample entry, visit the link above or browse the online version hosted at One Stop for Writers.

 

Becca Puglisi is a YA fantasy and historical fiction writer who enjoys slurping copious amounts of Mountain Dew and snarfing snacks that have no nutritional value. She has always enjoyed contemplating the What if? scenario, which served her well in south Florida during hurricane season and will come in handy now that she’s moved to New York and must somehow survive winter.

Becca Puglisi is a speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers website and via her newest endeavor: One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library like no other, filled with description and brain-storming tools to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

““Mercedes?” I could barely breathe. I didn’t remember this woman. The name only tumbled in my mind, tugging at memories I couldn’t see. I don’t know how but I knew I could trust her. Still…”

 

 

““NO!” My throat raw already, my scream was jagged and panicked and desperate. “No!” I didn’t want to see it, I didn’t want to remember… Not this. I didn’t want to remember this.”

 

#Blogwords, New Week New Face, #NWNF, Becca Puglisi, Emotional Wound, Special Edition, The Whispering Winds of Spring, Seasons Book 4

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BLOGWORDS – BLOG BLITZ & BOOK LAUNCH – MAY 2018

BLOGWORDS – Saturday 7 May 2018 – SPECIAL EDITION – THE WHISPERING WINDS OF SPRING RELEASE – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – LINDA RODANTE and COVER REVEAL DAY ONE

 

“My world came to an end the day I jumped off Versailles.”

https://www.singinglibrarianbooks.com/

“The comforting words of dearest friends are a soothing balm to a jagged soul.”

 

SPECIAL EDITION – THE WHISPERING WINDS OF SPRING RELEASE – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – LINDA RODANTE and COVER REVEAL DAY ONE

 

 

My friend, Catherine (name changed), had decided to end her life.

 

After many physical problems that included diabetes, a brain bleed, broken bones, and amputation of her legs below her knees, she decided to stop her dialysis knowing it would lead to death.

 

What do you say in that circumstance? What do you feel? My heart dropped to my feet and my body stilled. My thinking stopped. “You’re going to do what? But…” And silence followed on both ends of the telephone. I knew her situation. I knew why she would choose this, but my heart still fought it. “But Catherine—”

 

“Nothing will change my mind, and I didn’t call you for an argument. I called because…”

 

Silence again. We both knew why she’d called. We were friends, deep friends. We’d shared our hurts and sorrows for so long, all the things we couldn’t share with others. And we’d shared the joys, too.

 

It was not in my plans for Catherine to end her life, but God is bigger than our plans and our hardships; and He was big enough that day to get both Catherine and I through the hard process of saying goodbye. With her decision, she could live possibly a week or two, and she didn’t want to call again, didn’t want the heartache of saying goodbye again. It would be my last time to talk to her.

 

Catherine and I did not see eye-to-eye on lots of things and through the years we’d fought about some of those, but then we always took tentative steps back towards each other, forgiving each other and learning to be at peace with the things we did agree on.

 

Why are friendships so important?

 

Proverbs 18:24 NIV says that “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. And Proverbs 27:17 NIV says “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV states that “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”

And Proverbs 22:24-25 NIV warns “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.”

 

The Bible also tells us that if you want friends, you must show yourself friendly—even if you have to come out of your comfort zone. You need to be willing to sacrifice for the other person, as that person hopefully will do for you; and you’ll need to overlook and forgive hard words and hard times, so that you can have someone special in your life, someone who will be there when you need them as you will be for them. Someone you can laugh with and cry with, someone who can point you to God in the worst times of your life. And then again, someone whom you will point to God, too, when they need it. Friendships are reciprocal relationships.

 

Ultimately, of course, God is our greatest friend. John 15:13 NIV states “Greater Love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends.” And Jesus did just that for us.

Linda K. Rodante is an author of Christian Romantic suspense novels and a lover of sweet tea. After growing up and raising a family in Florida, she now lives in the foothills of Tennessee. Her books wrap sweet romance in real-life issues women face today then adds an edge of mystery, suspense, and faith.

 

In my latest book, Pursued, I take a friendship that started when the girl was eleven and the boy seventeen and develop into a love story fifteen years later. However, a lot happens during those fifteen years—as it does in all relationships. Forgiveness plays a large part. Here’s a short blurb: Dr. Chase Richards has fled his Christian roots, but he’s returning to his home town in Tennessee to make amends. Only the girl he once loved is now a woman—and she wants nothing to do with him. In addition, the opioid study he started and left in Virginia has followed him across state lines. Because of it, his life’s in danger—and now, so is Cristina’s. Can he win her back and discover who’s trying to kill them before she becomes collateral damage?

 

**Extra Bonus** Pursued is FREE today on Amazon.  Find it here: http://amzn.to/2CjiXsH

Linda’s other books can be found on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-K.-Rodante/e/B012OITZ2Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1525224809&sr=1-2-ent

She also has an author page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindakrodante/ and is on twitter at https://twitter.com/lrodante

 

Cover reveal Saturday 12 May.

““Mercedes?” I could barely breathe. I didn’t remember this woman. The name only tumbled in my mind, tugging at memories I couldn’t see. I don’t know how but I knew I could trust her. Still…”

 

 

 

““NO!” My throat raw already, my scream was jagged and panicked and desperate. “No!” I didn’t want to see it, I didn’t want to remember… Not this. I didn’t want to remember this.”

#Blogwords, New Week New Face, #NWNF, Linda Rodante, Friendship, Special Edition, The Whispering Winds of Spring, Seasons Book 4, Cover Reveal Day Two

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BLOGWORDS – Monday 7 August 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – ON BREAK

NEW WEEK NEW FACE – ON BREAK

 

Call it summer vacation, call it too much on my plate, call it outpatient procedure interference – #NWNF is on a break this week! But keep your eyes peeled next month – exciting things are happening! New Series, New Story, Cover Reveal! Parties and prizes and free copies!

 

#Blogwords, New Week New Face, #NWNF, On Break, Coming in August

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NEW WEEK NEW FACE – 1 May 2017- WHY WRITERS MAKE THE BEST FRIENDS by EMILY HENDRYX (repost)

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 WHY WRITERS MAKE THE BEST FRIENDS by EMILY HENDRYX (repost)

 

I fell in love with writing at a young age. Being an only child I was able to use my imagination in creative ways all the time. I made up stories to amuse myself. Plus, in our home, books were devoured (in the best way) and that grew an appreciation for story in me. It was only natural that I’d want to take that love of story and create my own. I became a writer.

 

What do you think of when you think of a writer? Maybe a favorite book comes to mind (and the author along with that). Or maybe you think of someone looking pensively out a window with a notepad in hand (or typewriter, or laptop…). Or maybe you think of someone who’s a little eccentric and is always taking notes or muttering about some character or plot.

 

Whatever your perspective of a writers is, I’d like to give you a little insight into some of the things that make writers great—yes, I’m a lot little bias. We’re a rare breed and should you be lucky enough to have a writer friend, this may help you understand them a little better.

 

Why Writers Make the Best Friends

 

Writers are:

Creative

We see the world in a different way. We don’t just live life, we experience it. All emotion we feel is an experience. All places, possible locations. All new people we meet, potential characters. In the end, every day is research for us. It’s all material for a book. I think that makes us experience things in a different way than others. If you’re lucky enough to be friends with a writer, you’ll see some of that experience. Let it rub off on you!

 

Contemplative

Writers don’t just take things at face value. They stew on them. Mull them over in their minds. Make connections to things that others wouldn’t. It makes for some tough, emotion-filled days when the things we’re contemplating are difficult, but in the end, we have a deeper well of thought to pull from. Because of this contemplative nature, we are compassionate and empathetic. We won’t give you empty answers, we’ll truly think through what we say.

 

Observant

It doesn’t matter where we are, we’re always thinking about story. Either the one we’re working on, the one (or many) we’re reading, or the one we want to write. Because of that, we take in everything around us. People, places, smells, actions…we are ultimate people watchers. This can be fun, but it can also be difficult if your writer friend is distracted by a conversation they are listening in on. Don’t worry though, they aren’t eavesdropping so much as gaining insight into better ways to write dialogue or to capture the inflection of the person speaking. They’ll come back to the conversation, and they’ll probably have some great stories to tell too!

 

Focused

Being a writer means we have to be able to focus on the task at hand: our writing. It takes time, energy, and immense effort to write a novel. While some may see this as taking away from “friend-time” I’d challenge you to see past that to the reality of what’s going on. Your writer friend is delving deeply into the wells of emotion inside of them to pour out their hearts on the page. They are focused for a time, but that also means they’ll need a break. Time away from the characters in their heads and the plotlines that are twisting before their eyes. That’s where YOU come in. They’ll turn to you and, with that same focus it takes to write a novel, they’ll be there for you. Because a writer that cares about a little will care about a lot. They’ll want you to share your thoughts, fears, joys, and struggles with them.

 

Imaginative

Let’s face it. Writers just make things fun! You’ll be standing around in a group of friends talking about something and suddenly they’ll start talking about what will happen when the world ends or zombies invade or how their character got out of a tight spot in their current novel. Story-life and real-life are one in the same to writers and that makes conversation so much more interesting.

 

Loyal

Writers understand their friendships in a different way than most people. They see them as investments of time and emotion, not just as people to “hang out” with. Because a writer’s life can be filled with lots of alone time, their real-life friendships are extremely important to them. They may not like being in crowds of people or the center of attention, but they will be there for their friends no matter what. Just like struggles make their characters better, they know that difficult times will strengthen their friendships too. They won’t shy away from the hard things but will push through, staying loyal to their friends.

 

See? Writers really are the best type of friends to have!

 

Do you have a friend who’s a writer? Let them know you’re thankful for them today!

 

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Emilie is a freelance writer and photographer living in the heart of Washington, D.C. She’s a member of ACFW and currently working on a romantic suspense series while dreaming up YA Sci-Fi dystopian worlds on the side. She’s got a soft spot in her heart for animals and a love for the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. In her spare time you can find her playing guitar or reading a book all while drinking too much coffee.

 

Connect with Emilie:

My blog

Author page on Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

Goodreads

Join my Goodreads group: Readers Unite

 

New Week New Face, #nwnf, Guest Post, Emilie Hendryx, Why Writers are the Best Friends, #Creative, #Contemplative, #Observant, #Focused, #Imaginative, #Loyal

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NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – LYNN DEAN

reposted from 22 February 2016

 

Why Writers Write

…or why this writer writes, anyway. 😉

 

I applied for a job after my last child graduated from high school. Since we homeschooled I hadn’t worked outside the home in quite a while, so putting together a resumé was something of an ordeal. How could I explain the twists and turns of my life?

 

As I wrote I began to see a sure direction in the seemingly random path of my life. In college I studied architecture but married after graduation instead of completing my masters and certification. I could design homes without the certification, and that’s where my heart was. Through many relocations and child-raising years, I drew custom house plans from a home office—a situation that gave my life balance. When our homeschool co-op needed a drafting teacher, I volunteered. They approached me about a high school writing course, and I accepted that position as well. I’d always loved writing and had written a state history course, Discover Texas, for my own children.

 

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That experience was more or less like writing ten separate-but-related research papers, turning out one per month for each chronological era. I’d learned a lot of shortcuts between the first chapter and the last, so I knew I could teach high school students to write a research paper efficiently and make it interesting. While researching Discover Texas I’d also discovered many inspiring human interest stories. After my first child graduated, I tried my hand at historical fiction. The result was More Precious Than Gold, the first novel in an inspirational series. I was hooked…but life was busy. Discover Texas had become a cottage industry in its own right. Children graduated high school, then college…then marriage proposals and wedding plans and more moves. I got to put my architectural talents to work remodeling the house we left and the one we moved into, juggling time to help aging parents with moves of their own. Frustrated, I made time during one quiet month to enjoy combining my love of architecture and writing in a project just for fun—Home Sweet Hole: A Folio of Feasible Fantasy Floor Plans. I told myself I was just “keeping one foot in the water,” but the little book came out about the same time as the Lord of the Rings movies and surprised me by becoming a very good seller. Encouraged, I waded cautiously back into writing—this time returning to non-fiction to produce a series based on my most popular homeschool convention presentations. How to Teach the Way Your Child Learns and How to Make Learning Meaningful, Memorable, and Fun are published, and the final two books in the Homeschool How-To series will release by summer.

 

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In the end I didn’t get the job I applied for, but I commented to a family member that I was glad I wrote the resumé. It helped me see how everything I did fit together—even if it sometimes didn’t seem to while I was doing it.

 

She responded, “Oh. Well, I’m glad. You never really decided what you wanted to do when you grew up.”

 

Gotta admit—that stung. I wanted to snap back a protest. “Oh yes, I did! I wanted to do it all…and I did!”

 

Instead I bit my tongue, but as usual I’m putting down in writing all the things I wanted to say but couldn’t.

 

You’re welcome. 😉

 

Writers write down the things they can’t say out loud. Most of us are introverts. It isn’t easy to speak publicly until we’ve had time to organize our thoughts. Writing gives us that time. Besides, the largest group I’ve ever spoken to at a convention was about 200 people. My books have been read by thousands of people—not enough to be called best sellers, but still a larger audience than I could have reached any other way.

 

Writers have something to say. Because I spend a lot of time quietly observing and “living inside my head,” I have many perspectives to share. Writing is a comfortable way to do that. It’s not “pushy” or confrontational. No one is obligated to buy or read what I write, so it’s almost as if readers are inviting me to share with them personally.

 

Writers write to help others. I like doing that! I wrote Discover Texas because I didn’t want my children to be bored with history, and there was no hands-on history course available at the time. Other homeschool parents liked it and asked if I’d publish it for their children. I’m writing the Homeschool How-To series to explain how and why hands-on learning works. I wrote More Precious Than Gold to show how God take difficult circumstances and turn them into a blessing, and I wrote Home Sweet Hole because…well, sometimes we just need a “happy place” to dream a little, even if it’s imaginary.

 

Often, writers want to help without hurting your feelings. We can say things through our characters that we wouldn’t and couldn’t tell you to your face. Instead we tell you a story like the one Nathan the prophet told King David. For example in the beginning of More Precious Than Gold the heroine, Eliza, is having a pity party—and she has every reason. Both her mother and her fiancé died in a war that she had no part in. She heads west to New Mexico Territory to escape her grief and runs headlong into the man who caused it. At this point she has to decide whether her faith in God is just lip service or if she really trusts Him in both good times and bad.

 

Writers get a rush out of creating. Lest you think that writers are motivated solely by noble causes, I must admit that telling stories is just plain fun! There’s something about creating characters who will come to life in readers’ imaginations that gives me the same satisfaction as creating plans for a home that will envelope a family. Besides, I rather enjoy telling people what to do…but only in the kindest possible way. 😉

 

So that’s my story. All of our lives are a story, really, just as history is a story—the story of God working out His plans and reconciling the world to Himself, one life at a time.

 

Whatever direction your life and work take you, if God called you to it, He can use it even if the path is not always direct.

 

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Growing up in Texas, I dictated my first stories to my mom before I was old enough to write them down myself. She humored me, for which I am grateful, and I’ve been telling stories in one form or another ever since.

I write about the things I know. The things I love. God, family, history, and how those things fit together.

 

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You can find Lynn at:

http://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Dean/e/B008520VOA/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1454871821&sr=1-2-ent

www.discovertexasonline.com

 

http://www.handsonhomeschoolresources.com

 

 

New Week New Face, #NWNF, Guest Post, Lynn Dean, Discover Texas, More Precious than Gold, Home Sweet HoleSave

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NEW WEEK NEW FACE – 14  NOVEMBER 2016 – GUEST POST – LAURA FRANTZ

 

 

 

Early in my writing career one of my beloved readers sent me a copy of Streams in the Desert, a favorite devotional book. I’d heard about this spiritual classic but didn’t have my own copy. Now that I look back, I see that her timing was inspired. One particular devotional serves as a continual challenge and encouragement to me and, I hope, others on all stages of their writing journey.

‘By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. ~Hebrews 11:8

Abraham “did not know where he was going” – it simply was enough for him to know he went with God. He did not lean as much on the promises as he did on the Promiser. And he did not look at the difficulties of his circumstances but looked to His King – the eternal, limitless, invisible, wise, and only God – who had reached down from His throne to direct his path and who would certainly prove Himself.

O glorious faith! Your works and possibilities are these: contentment to set sail with the orders still sealed, due to unwavering confidence in the wisdom of the Lord High Admiral; and a willingness to get up, leave everything, and follow Christ.

In no way is it enough to set our cheerfully with God on any venture of faith. You must also be willing to take your ideas of what the journey will be like and tear them into tiny pieces, for nothing on the itinerary will happen as you expect.

Your Guide will not keep to any beaten path. He will lead you through ways you would never have dreamed your eyes would see. He knows no fear, and He expects you to fear nothing while He is with you.’ ~Streams in the Desert by L. B. Cowman

My own writing journey reflects this mightily. Before publication, I was a blank slate. Green. Full of naïve hopes and dreams. In my head and heart I had my path all mapped out. My first book would be published. If really blessed I would win many readers and perhaps awards. I would earn a solid income.  I would be on bestseller lists. I would never have to worry about getting another publishing contract. All my hard work would pay off.

I had always been a person who played it safe, who courted sameness, who thrived when things were planned and controlled (or so I thought). I liked to map everything out and have it go accordingly. I still don’t like speed bumps or roller coaster rides. My middle name is CALM.

But our Lord is like Aslan in C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:

“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr. Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

Since my debut novel, The Frontiersman’s Daughter, was published in 2009, I have had to be willing to take my ideas of what the journey would be like and tear them into tiny pieces, for nothing on the itinerary has happened like I expected.

While there have been many highs, there have also been many lows, days when I think that I can’t do this publishing thing any longer. Days when I want to revoke the call of writing the Lord has placed on my life. Days when I dream about doing something else or nothing at all. Days I just want to be normal and not word-obsessed like I’ve been since childhood.

But I am learning that God is like a lion. He is not safe. But He is good. And with His leading I’m on the right path with my writing even if it’s not the one I imagined it would be.

Jeremiah 29:11New International Version

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Isaiah 26:7 New American Standard Bible

The way of the righteous is smooth; O Upright One, make the path of the righteous level.


 

 

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BIO

Award-winning author Laura Frantz is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century, and writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage. She is a direct descendant of George Hume, Wedderburn Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, settled in Virginia, and is credited with teaching George Washington surveying in the years 1748-1750. Frantz lives and writes in a log cabin in the heart of Kentucky.

 

https://www.facebook.com/laurafrantzauthor/

www.pinterest.com/laurafrantz/

www.instagram.com/laurafrantzauthor/

 

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Laura Frantz, New Week New Face, NWNF, Love’s Reckoning, Love’s Awakening, Love’s Fortune, The Mistress of Tall Acre

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NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST by SHEILA HOLLINGWOOD

 

Immersion

 

Authors come in two varieties.

There are those who say “I can’t NOT write.” They have an inner drive (perhaps inner demons?) pushing, compelling them to write.

The second group, including me, say, “I can write or I can choose not to write.” It’s similar to this— I can sing; everyone can sing who has a voice. It’s the listening that’s the problem. Many do not want to listen to those who sing off key.

And so, I ask myself, is that true of my writing voice? Am I off key? I am not compelled to write, so I have a choice. Perhaps the effort is not worth it. Writing is difficult, one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.

The world is full of things that command my attention—my 93-year-old mother who is in the nursing home; my three precious grandchildren who are growing up in a twinkling of an eye; the mountain of laundry that grows even faster than the grandkids; friends or family who are sick or need my assistance—and the list can go on and on.

When I do choose to write, I immerse myself in the process, living and crying and laughing with my characters. Interruptions are like yanking me up from a scuba diving expedition, leaving me weak and confused.

And so the question is: Should I immerse myself into the writing process?

 

 

“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before,” Neil Gaiman has said.

And I agree and so I have written. And yet, more often, I haven’t written.

People need me and I don’t write. I need a quiet mind and I don’t write. I need to see one more TV show and I don’t write. I need to fold the clothes and I don’t write.

The words swirl in my head, but never do I put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard…at least for the last year.

And the keyboard, the putting down of words, becomes a frightening thing, something to escape, not something to embrace.

Writing leads me farther away from family and friends, those who need me and depend on me. For even when I’m with them, if I’m writing, I’m immersed in my world. Immersed as if I was a scuba diver. And family and friends view me, as we view the animals at SeaWorld, with an invisible wall between us.

 

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And my laundry gets mildewed. And my mind gets stressed.

Life is short; life is fleeting. Everyone knows except the very young. And do I want my life to be spent in solitude, scribbling or pounding keys? Is my gift of writing of more importance than the ties to family, friends, and Solitaire? We each have 24 hours in a day. And some are disciplined enough to devote three or four hours to the writing of words, while those of us who are undisciplined know not when to stop. And our imaginary world pulls us deeper and deeper, until the faces pressed against the glass are dim, ghostly, shadowy figures. And do these shadows think the gift is worth the distance? And does even the scuba diver begin to feel the isolation and notice he has drifted far out to sea, farther than he meant to go?

 

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And yet if he stays too close to the glass, he cannot explore the riches of the sea. Too close and the bright faces pressed against the glass will keep him tethered there, instead of searching after that elusive idea.

Life is short; life is hard; life is meant to be lived. Lived immersed beneath the sea? Or lived among those who walk upon the land?

Is the treasure flung deep beneath the waves worth pursuing? Or is it as Solomon said, “I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.”

Ah…but later Solomon said, “the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs with great care. The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.”

And so the question now—Are the words to be written words of truth? The fictional stories? They are. Someone once said fiction is truer than fact.

And the truth shall make us free, will it not? Shouldn’t truth be pursued?

Perhaps it is time to don the scuba gear, to rid my life of all distractions and all nuisances. No, that doesn’t include family and friends. I will surface occasionally to connect or reconnect. However, I can’t promise my laundry won’t become mildewed.

 

 

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Sheila Hollinghead is the author of a four-book series, the Cedar’s Shadow Saga, based very loosely on her mother’s life. She has also written a thriller suspense, Moonbow, and the first book in her new cozy mystery series, Southern Pines. She lives in south Alabama, near the place her ancestors struggled to scratch a living from the ground.

 

http://www.sheilahollinghead.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Sheila-Hollinghead/e/B006TWV908/

https://www.facebook.com/inthecedarshade/

https://twitter.com/SHollinghead

 

 

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Sheila Hollinghead, New Week New Face, #NWNF, Guest Post, Clothed in Thunder, Thunder’s Shadow, Fading Thunder, Thunder Snow, Frail Branch, #NaNoWriMo2016

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