First blog post

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Welcome to my new blog! I’m leaving The Puritan Chronicles’ site to use just for that trilogy, and adding this new blog as my general blog. My blog posts lately are just random musings, so I thought I’d give them a fresh new home!

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On the corner of apathy and inertia

caution dead end post safety

Apathy, unfortunately, has been my response to the inertia I’ve been experiencing lately. The weepiness that plagued me after my surgery in April has left, but I can’t seem to get creatively motivated. I barely feel like blogging.

It didn’t help that yesterday I was in the presence of someone, at best, I tolerate with stony civility. Let’s call her J. The irritation lingers even today, because to keep the peace, I remain silent and keep everything inside.  So darn it, even if the Muses did want to whisper in my ear, I’d probably just swat them away like a swarm of annoying gnats.

There is no developing a healthy relationship with the aforementioned person from yesterday; a 30-year-old precedence  has been set.  Fortunately we don’t have to be around each other often because, the fact is,  J is almost as interested in me as I am in her.

So, this is my writing for today while I wait for this agitation to subside.

Maybe THEN I can do some actual writing.

 

When Fate Smiles Upon You

keysPhoto courtesy of Donald Oestreicher  

 

Luck. Fate. Kismet. It’s when a vehicle pulls out of the perfect parking spot just as you approach. It’s when, out of nowhere, you run into the exact person you were just thinking of. It’s when, during a walk, you are within millimeters of receiving a gift from above courtesy of a feathered friend go splat right on your head.

You don’t have to literally win the state lottery to know luck when you see it. Some of us appear to be born under a lucky star. Everything “clicks” for them. Others have Charlie Brown’s luck. Why is that?

Much as I can be inclined to whine and complain about things, I realize I am far more blessed than probably most people in this world. In an attempt to keep myself informed, I try to stay abreast of world events and current news, most of which is so miserably depressing I reconsider the bliss of ignorance.

Millions of people are homeless, sick, lonely. Why? Why are their lives filled with misery and lack while others bathe in privilege and surplus?

I consider this daily as I count my own blessings. I feel we are all on our own personal journeys for a reason, and everything happens as it’s meant to. I do feel that whatever you send back comes out to you, so yes I do have a strong respect for karma, which leads me to conclude 2 options for my own happy existence;

  1. I am not spiritually strong enough to handle a tough life, so I have been given a smooth and easy road to walk.
  2. This current state of contentment is my karmic reward for having survived past difficulties.

Either way, I’m glad the Fates have been kind to me and mine.  And may they also smile at you in the future!

 

 

 

 

Cringe-worthy speech

grammarpolice

I excelled in grammar and spelling when I was in school and it took me YEARS to beat the compulsion to correct others’ poor spelling and grammar (I later discovered there is a term for someone who has the urge to correct others in this way but I can’t find it now, other than  grammar Nazi ).

I still inwardly cringe when I hear  “it don’t ” or “me and him”  for example (and don’t get me started on the misuse of your/you’re, there/their/they’re and the like!)  But it seems to me that as languages evolve (or maybe devolve), what was once incorrect becomes acceptable simply due to excessive use.

The English language is spoken in so many ways–different dialects and accents, flavored with ethnicities and cultures from everywhere. It’s like a living entity; constantly growing and changing, and hard as I tried to retain every rule of grammar I learned, I find myself slipping into flawed speech that apparently is becoming acceptable.

Being a lover of both words and history, I have often wondered, “who decides the spelling of words anyway? Who set up these grammatical rules in the first place?” Yes, I am a big nerd.

Sadly, I hear we aren’t teaching children to write in cursive anymore. That’s a sign of the times, I suppose (another nerdy fact I learned was that cursive was used in the days of ink-dripping quill pens, to prevent the ink from making ugly blots on the paper). But are we even trying to teach proper grammar anymore?

It’s just in keeping with the transformation of language through time, I tell myself.

I have to tell myself that and accept it or I’ll drive myself nuts!

 

Constructive criticism

ballpoint pen classic coffee composition
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When I was a youngster and writing my stories, I never edited, revised or rewrote. Never even occurred to me. Then in college I met my first critic; my English professor. I handed her a manuscript I was extremely proud of, which she promptly stabbed with red pen so much the poor manuscript looked like it was bleeding to death.

She LAUGHED at the most crucial, serious parts! She tore my poor little manuscript apart, and I felt like a proud new mother being told her baby was ugly. I was terribly hurt.

But I have toughened up since then (it’s been 35 years, for pete’s sake!). I understand the value of constructive criticism and appreciate the job my beta readers and editor have done for me.  I don’t think my old professor was being mean; she was just being an honest critic.

Which is something I hesitate to be among my writer friends. I know several fellow writers who have, like me, self-published, and I have cringed when I read some of their works. They are in desperate need of a good edit, but it’s not my place to edit their works. Instead, when they mention their new book just came out, I cheer them on while at the same time keeping my inner critic mute.

Does that make me dishonest? I know how it can hurt to have your writing critiqued. But I keep in mind not every self-published author is looking to win awards. Some authors just want to tell their own personal story, and the writing process is cathartic to them.  Poor grammar, misspellings, and bad sentence structure are not their focal points.

So while I welcome constructive criticism, not everyone does, And to keep the peace, I say nothing unless I am flat-out asked for my opinion.

My Greater Good Project

Read more at https://greatergood.com/thanks/#2YYyQhUpflgiWd7u.99

Just wanted to remind readers of The Puritan Chronicles that if they host a book discussion group featuring my trilogy, the host(ess) gets a thank-you gift from one of these sites! You can choose which site you want your gift to benefit, too.  Remember the rules are as follows:
  1. email a photo of your group holding up their copies of either book in the trilogy to puritanwitch@gmail.com
  2. Provide your name and mailing address (I’ll even extend this to those outside the US!). Tell me a little something about yourself ( Favorite color? Cat or dog lover? Coffee drinker? etc). If you have a preference of which site gets the benefit of your gift, please also mention that.
  3.  You’ll get a free gift for each book you host a discussion about. Just email me a separate photo of your group holding up their copies!

The Return of JOY!

bejoyfulWhat a difference a month makes! Last month at this time I was, in the words of Anne of Green Gables, in “the depths of despair.” Would it have helped if I had been warned I could suffer a bout of weepiness and depression after a major surgery? Or would the power of suggestion been enough to bring it on? Not to mention the whole hormonal situation.

But I am back and the Muses are at least whispering great little bits of description and dialog! Life is good and all is well. I’m preparing to be a guest featured author next week at Goodread’s American Historical Fiction Book Club and looking forward to that.  And tonight I have a supper date with dear friend and fellow author/blogger Kelly Z. Conrad!

Not surprisingly, the hypothesis for this 4th book is changing again. At this point I can’t even consider it an idea–not even an embryonic one! At the moment, I have this pool of great characters scrabbling for attention and a home in the world of print, and I just don’t know how best to situate them.

But they are wonderful characters (especially the 3 cats, the gray parrot and the German Shepherd) and I hope one day I can do them justice!

So yes, I am actively writing again, if you consider scribbling down fragments of ideas and journaling as active writing–and I do!

So for all intents and purposes, I declare myself back from my hiatus of recovery and depression.

I’m back, baby!