Strawberry Cake

  
I was born on this day twenty-four years ago, in the heat of summer, new like a strawberry. Washed by the sun, my soul wanders in the journey clean as the white whipped cream that one licks off sticky fingers that ended up too tantalized to refuse a covert bite. Sweetness sinks into my bones as I note how pleasant, how effortless love can be when it is selfless and without harshness. It grows in the sun, nourished by the vine, plump and juicy by the ripening time. I wish I were as perfect as the strawberry that I roll over my tongue. If only words of compassion would continually spring forth from my lips as easily as the tart flooding of my senses. The season is winding down and the days will become shorter. August will be only a memory by then. I want to be as refreshing to my fellow travelers as the strawberry cake was that carefree day. 

Post Wrimo

I need to formulate a plan for all of the editing I need to do now that the summer Wrimo sessions are ending. There’s so much advice among authors regarding the editing process… what’s a writer to follow? Those of you who have your strategies in place have my admiration and applause, but perhaps you’re new to the multi novel editing process like me. Some writers like to edit a project without even touching anything else. Others alternate between projects or even mix it up between finishing writing one while editing a second. I’m not sure what will work for me, but since I tentatively plan to start a new novel on November, it would be great to tie up as many of my loose ends as I can before that time. The best approach seems to be one of abandon, to dive into whatever method you think may work for you and giving yourself freedom to change later on. 

Are you someone who likes to focus on a singular thing? Maybe the one edit at a time will work for you. I have never had much success in this category because once I’m done with a Wrimo I have exhausted my capability to look at one thing at a time. But maybe you’re the opposite way. 

Do you find yourself multitasking more often than not, as I do every day? I think I’ll start with finishing one project while editing another. And if I don’t get it all done by November, that’s cool. I need to remind myself that some progress is better than no progress, and if I have made any part of my writing better, that’s the purpose of my mission, even if I don’t finish it by a certain date. A dear friend of mine, author Rebecca Odum, tells me that she likes editing because it makes the book better. I’ve adopted this philosophy and dread edit times less than I did before. I want to go back and see what I can do better in my second look at what I’ve created in a delightful frenzy of thirty days. 

I’ll embark on this process in the next few days, and I hope your experience will be a good one no matter what part of the writing journey is ahead for you. 

Encouragement

I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s hard to be good to ourselves. It’s easy to be kind to others because we see the need and want to encourage. But today I ask you this: are you encouraging yourself? There can be all too many negative forces in our lives… other people, our own perfectionism, just a day where things didn’t go as we had hoped or planned. That’s the time that we need to be our own friend as much as we befriend others. So please read the graphic below to yourself because you deserve it! 

  

Waiting For SadieĀ 

I’m eagerly awaiting news from the local animal shelter when a gray tabby female is available. I had a jellicle cat named June for fourteen years and she developed kidney disease about a year ago. Her disease progressed rapidly and she passed away on December 26. I’m to the point where I’m ready for another cat and feel like a child counting down the days to Christmas until a Sadie cat is available. I’m naming her after my favorite band, called Sadie And The Hotheads, fronted by Elizabeth McGovern of Downton Abbey. All my cats have been named after musicians: Mick Fleetwood and June Christy have inspired the other names. I’m keeping a careful eye on the  shelter site! I really love the fact that this particular shelter is a no kill shelter. It’s funded and maintained by a local couple who have done so much good for the town. 

Here is a picture of what I imagine Sadie to look like: 

  
I hope she comes soon! 

My Quiet Space

  
I’ve always loved reading. Even before my conscious memories begin, I loved books so much that my mom taught me to read at age two because I was so fascinated with stories. I’d follow along and recognize the words, so my world has always consisted of letters forming words. When I learned Spanish in college, it was the closest I’ve come to understanding how it must feel to not be able to read until one purposefully learns what letters form words and what they mean. 

Above is a picture of one of my favorite devices, my kindle. I purchased it three years ago and began utilizing the internet resources, but since having an iPad that does all the same things, I’ve made the kindle my offline sanctuary just for reading. No email. No text. No google. Just books.

My kindle started out being offline because I didn’t want to have to constantly charge it because of the toll wireless takes on the battery, but now I leave wifi off so I can have the closest experience to reading paper books. I’ve always been an avid collector of books and had to concern myself with shelf space, so the kindle is wonderful with keeping so many volumes in one book size package. I miss it when I have to plug it in because I’m so used to having it on my bedside table at night and close at hand in the day. I also adore my cover, a black and white damask that I don’t ever want to trade. I’d even forsake a bigger screen because I want all my future devices to fit inside this lovely cover. Having such convenience in a wireless free zone has certainly boosted my motivation to read and has boosted my goodreads goal! What motivates you to read? A quiet space? A good story? The smell of ink on pages? The august smell of wisdom in the library stacks?  I think it’s probably different for everyone. 

Happy Sunday! Visual Inspiration…

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy finding creative inspiration more or less anywhere. One thing I enjoy in particular is browsing through online ads that appear in Sunday newspapers. I’ve stopped getting a paper because of my commitment to reducing my paper usage, but I love to read online. Target is a particular favorite. The interior designer in me goes crazy when I see all of the back to college items because I imagine what I would do with all of them. It also helps me visualize my characters’ homes and how they might choose to decorate their surroundings. 

This factor became especially important in my second novel length WIP called Keeping Light, which is set on different planets deep in space but features teenage to early 20s characters who have a dustinct style of their own. My protagonist, Abby, was easy to design because I based some of her taste on my own at that age, but with others I needed to turn to visual inspiration. Her best friend has a more extroverted personality to whom animal prints and bold colors were suited. 

Sometime I’d like to make a storyboard like designers use to showcase the materials for a certain room for a similar purpose, only show the rooms my characters will inhabit.