This is a very nice Saturday and I am grateful to have the leisure of a Saturday afternoon to catch up, keep up, and be with the friends I love always. I mean that very much. I seem to have written in the past about going to England. I fear that this might not happen soon and so I will have to find another time next year to come and visit. I have been on the fence about going there - what with all the newsy things there bad and good, and very much of a brouhaha over the newly wedding plans of Mrs Markle and Mr. Harry Windsor. I don't know her married name, as I think she has been married before. But I should just wish them a great wedding day and hope things will be smooth and unwrinkled in the years beyond.
In England, i think that life has changed a lot since the days of Lord Peter Wimsey of Dorothy Sayers' books. Life then was all cut and dried. There were the nobility and then the faithful and loyal servants and staffs of the royal and noble houses. And then came the stories of Downton Abbey and Lewis and Morse and all that where the people became more real and there were noble people in the commoner's community. I don't somehow subscribe to the royalty sort of thing. I do not mean to say that I think that the Royal House of Windsor needs to pack up and leave and go for retirement, but, not having lived in a country with royal houses, it's kind of hard in a way to think of the Queen and her family as near and dear to me.
I do enjoy reading about them, once in a while. I wish that Diana were still alive. I wish things weren't so sad for her children when she died. i wish that there were more people who could be recognized not for their bloodlines, but for who they were as people. People of England, of British origin. I have to admire those who go through life leading ordinary careers in all sorts of areas. I loved the story of the vet from Yorkshire, in All Things Bright and Beautiful. I loved watching that on TV. I hope that there are still people there that personify that type of British charm, that culture, that rosy cheeked good humor.
I totally love stories about Winston Churchill, the great Leader who led the Allies out of World War II. I actually have his portrait next to my desk as a sort of inspiration. He said something like, If you go through Hell, keep going. Anyway, I think I misphrased that but you know what I mean.
For my trip to England, I hope to do that soon, such as, after I graduate from National University. I won't get to graduate till 2019 because of the lack of graduation dates in the Fall. If I do go, it will have to be THE trip for me. I hope to visit a lot of historical places, go to the Museums, dine at the Ritz, find my way on foot around the places where there are parks and places to eat. The romantic neighborhoods. Those lovely bookshops. Lots and lots of possibilities in these places. I pray that when I go, that there will be peaceable people where ever I find myself in. I don't expect to go by myself, and I am hoping that somebody will be nice enough to come along with me - somebody I trust, I mean.
I've ordered the tourist books and a big coffee table book on London. Just to whet my appetite.
I hope you have a good night!
A group asked me to write about something that would be good for them in terms of the "Father Effect". I told them I'd be happy to. So here is my short essay on what I feel or think of when I say "The Father Effect."
We all have parents - moms and dads, right? But my Father that I call most of the time is God my Father in Heaven. I think that He formed me in my mother's womb, as in Isaiah's words - and knew me by name before - long before - I was ever born. I always had a good relationship with my earthly Dad, and when he spoke to me I heard not only his voice but my Heavenly Father's voice. It was a voice of Authority, and well, nowadays, it's a voice of God speaking to me which I've been hearing in my mind especially when I'm in a quandary. One of those Quandaries is when i decided to ask Him what to do about my life. I found myself asking "Oh my God, what do I do with life?" And one day I decided to get pen and paper together and wrote something - a short letter or essay - something that I wanted to get out of my chest, to get OFF my chest. I had a thought that i was in a job that was lackluster, boring, same thing over and over again. I needed a new direction. So, I thought I'd start a blog, and through that blog, here, I worked out the path to getting to where I am now: an author, writer and soon, a publisher. It was all God who put me through my paces, directed me where to go and find more information about becoming an author. I went to take online classes in writing, got some creative pieces wrapped up and sent to several schools which offered Masters in Creative Writing, and in a few weeks, I got in and started my MFA. I had God with me all my life, really, and He pointed me to like and want things that were good for me. I know that He takes care of me always, and my wins are His. I give Him all of what I have in the way that is meaningful to Him and me. I can't thank Him enough for keeping me close to His bosom, and out of harm's way.
For those who are searching for meaning in life, I would say ASK GOD for what He wants YOU to make out of your life. He is our Heavenly Father, Who sees all, knows all, and controls all.
A rather sleepy TGIF morning. Not to worry, am having a good time surveying the latest in the news. Now that we all are assured that things are sunny and pleasant, the day doesn't seem all that bad. I had to make a trip to the clinic today to give some blood and that will be all the blood to let for the time being, LOL.
I wrote a new piece for my workshop at school. It is to be my thesis work. I suppose it will do, but I hoped that there might be something more literary sounding than a rather contemporary type of story. However, one of my reviewers (a peer) wondered what Chelsea was - she must recall that this is a story set in England, London, to be more specific, and Chelsea is a neighborhood in London. Other than her post, I have no idea who else might have commented.
I've not that much to do today yet. I think that all the brouhaha over The Last One and what I had to go through with that has put me off writing for a while. At least, writing something like a novel. I feel sad for the characters of LTT because they are raring to get expressed by me. I will endeavor to rest a bit and then get back on track.
So with all that brouhaha being done, I am sure going to take time to read up on some of the authors I've downloaded on my Kindle. I have developed a liking for Ishiguro's Pale View of the Hills, or rather, his rather spare way of writing.
The other thing that sort of got me a bit peeved was that the reviewer (second one) for the LR book had more unhappy things to say about it although she was able to extract that the characters of my story were good and that alone was worth the review. I happen to like building characters and derive that from years of observing people. I think because she was nice enough to like the main protagonist's girl friend, and saw the other characters as I intended to portray them, I will put her review on my Amazon page and let it all hang. I am sure that this might create some sort of controversy which I LOVE if it will make my book a buzzword among the readership.
I did say to my publisher yesterday that this was a learning experience. Critics and reviewers are a bane of the writer's world. Without them our writing becomes less than exciting and we will, if we are wise, learn from them and their suggestions. Granted that I wrote the last half of LR in one afternoon and I pretty much collapsed after that happened. No excuses here, it is my fault if things didn't get done the way the critical reviewer hoped they would. However, not being a mind reader of these reviewers nor do I know what they really are looking for, but I think I can guess. Sex, sex and more sex? Or am I being too unkind? I think that if reviewers were to try to see things more along the lines of the intent of the book, and not bother so much about lack of cohesiveness, maybe we can all get along.
It is important to note, as I learned from reading Kazuo Ishiguro, that the gaps that are present in the narrative of a story is meant to jog the reader into full mode - paying attention, giving some thought to what the clues are all saying, giving way to letting imagination get in. In the LR book, I didn't go into full description of the lovemaking scenes. I let the reader figure out that the characters were so very much into passionate lovemaking but no heaving breasts nor burgeoning XXX here or descriptions of physical signs of arousal. Not my style. So perhaps that is what I hope to portray in my books.
As for the books I plan to write now, I think that the recently submitted book The Last One is of a different genre - urban fantasy. Maybe the audience there will be more enthused and want to get into this more. There will be a second serial of the book, but I plan to let some months pass and see how the first series fares.
Have a good day and enjoy your weekend!
It's an early morning, or a very late night. My day is long interspersed with work, class assignments, and errands. I am wide awake due to a late homework that was turned in just before 1 a.m. Not to worry the deadline is at 3 a.m. EST. It's not always that I turn in homework this late, but, the good part was that the result was something I felt might be satisfactory.
So now that I'm up, I guess I might as well ramble on. Not real sure why sleep escapes but perhaps it's more due to the high of writing something (a send up of Kazuo Ishiguro's story Pale View of the Hills), or maybe the dregs of the coffee I had to keep me from nodding off at the computer.
Life is not always this desultory. I would call it that because in an office setting, it's usually lots of 'go go go' and 'due by' and 'Gantt charts'. I am glad not to be in that milieu any more. I think if I had to go back to an office setting working for some company, it would be like dying. I have already tasted death and it's not something that I relished. Yes, I have died, and come back to live and talk about how dying is not great at all. I've watched my Mother die and that was all I could take. I pray for the dead, sometimes, and sometimes these are people still walking around. Let's just leave those dead people alone for now, shall we?
Rambling on, I'm really feeling like I'm in my own planet, where time doesn't matter much. Yes, I do go by EST and I do have deadlines for class, and I do have appointments and such. But other than these, I have my schedule where time is ignored. Lunch and dinner, breakfast, even, are hardly at the exact times. I don't even know if I'd had lunch sometimes. And that is ok. I suppose nobody cares about whether I eat or not. I think I care that I am nourished, but I don't mind if I ignore the hunger pangs. There are times when I am hungry right after eating a big meal. I find that extraordinary and it makes me wonder whether there's two of me, one that's being ignored and one that's always nourished.
I remember a Philosophy professor who talked about Duality. We humans tend to be dual in nature. The good and bad side. The head as opposed to the body. The right and left brain. I talked recently to someone about the Meyer-Briggs personality profile. I took it once and the thing said that I was more of an introvert. That makes sense. Talking to strangers at a party is a bit of a strain. Talking to a stranger about the weather out in the park is not a strain. Interesting, isn't it? I'd rather not talk to strangers myself, but, if they are polite, or even cheerful about something that everyone can comment on, that's ok. Then there was that other test I took, the DISC test. I must admit that when I took it I made it look like I was a team player. When I really was a bit more of a whatever that thing is that is like a boss type. I think I am actually all of the DISC personaes. I mean, I like to be a sales type, I can be bossy (not always) and I can be cooperative and let someone tell me what to do. I also like that I can be focused on something that will keep me busy. But, I don't want to be an accountant, if you know what I mean. LOL.
Rambling is fun and I'm just a bit warming into it. Let me ramble a bit more. You can nod off now if you want.
I suppose I ought to explain the duality stuff. I don't know if people think they have a duality in their personaes. I think we all have something in ourselves we keep to ourselves. And that may be ok. But we can't always reveal ourselves to anybody. We shouldn't trust people so easily, and that is where I feel many make as a mistake. The world is not as clear as it might be. Even now, chaos is everywhere. It is a sad life in a country where everyone is up in arms about everything that everyone is saying. There is an industry that thrives on rising up and making a big deal about whatever is on the news. I think people ought not to react so easily. The hair trigger mentality. It is not a good thing at all to be so 'on defense' nor is it a good thing to be always 'on offense'. I wish there were someone who could invent a healing cloud that will cover us all and remove the hurts and ills that we carry around with us. A gentle vacuum to remove the ills of one's mental self. A panacea, maybe. But not really a panacea. It sounds like an anesthetic, doesn't it? I think that life is hard enough, and we need to shut off the things that bother us and go in a peaceful place, travel in one's mind to where things were good in life and who it was we had that gave us the most blessed feeling. Try it now and see who it was we were happy with. Were they the best or what? I urge you to think of that one and ask whatever they are doing now and if they are still alive. Call them and wish them a good day. It will be a gift if they are still on earth.
If one doesn't have a blessed moment in their lives, and I doubt that anyone had zero blessed moments, then it's got to be multiplied.
Create more blessed moments, but not with just anyone. it calls God down to bless a moment. If you can, ask God now to help you find that moment where you were once at peace, when there was that healing, when life was simpler, when you were still innocent and free from the awfulness of life.
I think that life is precious and one must keep that alive in ourselves. We can't continue to kill ourselves with jobs that are worthless, people that are cynical and malicious, and loneliness that begs for only a bottle of scotch. We need someone and that is all that we must ask for. Everything is secondary to finding that someone. I should know because there was that someone. So I travel in my mind to that someone and hope that they are still alive. I do have good memories and there will be more to have.
At this time, my comforts are derived from the company of the clouds of witness and the simplicity of life where I've given all to God. He takes care of me and mine. I know a lot of you are rolling your eyes upwards. What is this giving to God? It's called Divine Providence. Anyway, I will leave it at that. My ramblings are just that. My waking time is probably at its quota.
Enjoy the rest of you day
It was so rainy today. It was a little daunting since I had a groomer scheduled for my dog. I did take him there, and then went for something to eat (breakfast) at the usual place I like to go to, and then off to the bookstore as I felt the wish to shop there. I got two (or was it three) desk calendars for the desks in my office and then a book on blogging and another item that might be fun to make. It's a little paper construct thing of The Tower of London. I figure we could have that somewhere you decide where to display it? I found a lovely tote and got that too.
Once I have it constructed I will take a snapshot of it and load it here.
I've been having some ideas on a sequel to my first fiction novel, The Loveable Resident. I won't tell anything more than the acronym for the title: LTT. It is going to feature one of the minor characters in The Loveable Resident. My friend who used to be a publisher suggested a sequel. Of note, some of the reviews from the publisher thought that the book had a bit of 50 Shades in it. In NO WAY did I even think of it as a 'me too' 50 shades book. My ideas never came from THAT source. I have NOT read 50 shades at all. I think that we all need to have a way to relieve our stresses and I suppose erotica is one way. My books - and The Loveable Resident - are not of that type. I like a nice yarn, good characters, with depth and a lot of truths spiced in.
Everyone is welcome to go to my Goodreads page and get in with the giveaway that I have organized for The Loveable Resident. I will paste the link here below.
Enjoy the Monday afternoon and I hope everyone's week is off to a great start.
Today is Friday, the 9th of February. Fridays, for such people as me who have no full time jobs but have their own schedules, are still resonating in me the happiness of a week almost finished. I sense an energy in the air when I happen to be out and about. There are things that give me cause to feel good - an accomplishment in the hearts of those who work full time. It is a hard slog, isn't it? To go to a brick and mortar building that commands you to go there and clock in, chime in, or just tip your hat to the receptionist and hope they will throw a smile at your direction. But that is how it is everywhere this feeling of relief. We made it. TGIF. What is going on with the weekend is a topic in many offices. Trips or kids going off to do their soccer meets or basketball games or even trips for two to the bigger city and make it a big date.
For my mind I enjoy the week as it is - there is a schedule of sorts, but it isn't set in stone (unless the other party expects me to show up or call at a certain time). I think this week has been good, compared to last week. I think that last week was full of deadlines - mostly for my class. I did get a good grade and I'm happy with it. I know that I toiled till past 1 a.m. to get the paper written and submitted. My eyelids were drooping and the warmth of a cozy sleep was beckoning.
Now there is a new beginning and I'm hoping to start something new in the realm of fiction. Not yet going to reveal. But it will be fiction, a novel, and have some relevance to the current societal problems. I won't go into that, but you can try to guess.
My hope is that the Last One book will be done and sent in to the publisher soon. I am suffering from a syndrome that is best described as having been told it's accepted for publishing, the last few chapters are still waiting to be finished and the author is celebrating too soon that this is going to be done as planned. I suppose there may be procrastination in this. I am good at that. I am told this is going to be a major fault or flaw in my life as a writer.
Well, I now drain the contents of my good cup of coffee and decide it's a good day since the sun seems to be brightening the horizon. I think and hope beyond hope that the sun WILL come out. It is going to be a day full of good will, I think. I expect i'll see the familiar faces that i've come to know in the places and watering holes that I frequent. And there will be kindly smiles in those who have been blessed by God and I will be grateful for them whoever they may be.
I pray that the world will have more blessings of good outlooks, good will and happy plans. It is a woeful thing to have NO plans for the weekend - unless those plans include rest and relaxation. Those are also plans. So there is always a Plan somehow, isn't there?
Have a blessed day and weekend - M.
Today feels like the end of a week. It is only Tuesday. I feel as though I lived through the my past over again. I told a person about my book, The Loveable Resident, and how it came to be. I think that this book came to be because of a love I felt for a man who got away. My MFA professor asked me before what these characters were telling me, who were they, what was their purpose in the story. It sounded strange coming from her. Do characters tell their authors who they should be? Do they take a life of their own? Is the story needing to be told and why? I suppose I could say that the story was germinating in my psyche for years and only now decided to be published for audiences who appreciate love affairs. I remember that favorite move "An Affair to Remember" with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. So sad and yet so lovely. I don't know how many people go through a great passion and I suppose you might even meet a couple who had that passion but they are not obviously in the throes of deep love when you meet them. All things recede after a while.
My passion for this man who was the model for Mike Oates receded after a while, but it never went away. It just came back when my professor assigned us to write a homework for class. And Mike Oates was born. But it was really someone else who came back and haunted me and haunts me now.
I suppose this is like a midnight thought, even though it is hours before midnight. I guess that life goes on but maybe one day it will flicker alive and make a heart whole again.
For me, I hope it happens and then I can be as happy as I've never been. No, I have been happy once before, but that was because he was there in the flesh and I felt a heart that was full of love. I once read that a love that was not requited was what they would call an infatuation. But love that is returned - well, that was true love.
I suppose my fictional stories will have to substitute for love that never quite came back.
Time is near when things will be better for me. I have a feeling deep in my heart that God will send me good news. Today, my father bought a new car. It seemed like a magic event and I was happy for him. I also, today, leased an office space and it is pretty nice and close to the hub of the city. I think that with these two things, I am confident that God has our family in His Perfect Care. I am grateful beyond words and I am always eager to show HOW MUCH I LOVE HIM. I am also happy to say that the writing of The Last One: JFK Returns is getting some progress.
The Last One: JFK Returns is a much loved book to me because it is all a fantasy, a genre that I have yet to conquer. I think that people are interested in 'what if' stories. I think that alone might carry me through to finishing and getting it published. If those who care to help with the help defray publishing costs, check here in a few days to find the link to my Kickstarter page. I have also created a Youtube video that will be on that page. It was a great deal of fun creating the video, since I have not done this before. I sort of went with the seat of pants technique, LOL.
My ultimate fantasy would be to be reunited with the one and only love of my life, Tom Trautman. If he ever still walks the earth, and decided to look me up, I would faint (hopefully in his arms) and go into a proper swoon. I know that many of my romance stories are based a lot on how it might be if Tom came into my life again. The dialogue, the looks we gave each other, the chance colliding of limbs as we used to work in a lab together - how romantic! Yet all these things live only in my stories these days. If any of these characters in my novel, The Loveable Resident, appeal to you ladies, and I hope they do, please note that these are my fantasies of romantic life with the one and onliest of all - my Tom.
There you have some idea of where I get my stories from. I don't wish to get into the details. It is all a mixture of 'what if's' and 'how might it be like' - and that is where the creative spark comes from.
I hope you all have a good weekend. I plan to toil and toil over a research paper and then perhaps I will take a leisurely afternoon fantasizing once again in hopes of getting another love story in the works!
One day, I might ask you to give ideas on story titles. How cool it might be. I think that I will try that one time. And, see where it lands people.
Today is a nice chilly day, guys. And gals. I'm having a decent afternoon. I went and enjoyed a nice Mexican meal. Had ignored the book by Isaiah Berlin (Roots of Romanticism) that was and still is sitting at the bottom of my book bag. I need to read the last chapter. I have three more chapters of Melville to read. All before Thursday and then I am due to send in a first page of my formal paper to the prof so he can approve. What was I thinking, talking to him about extending my previous paper about Anne Radcliffe and now trying to make her friends with Nathaniel Hawthorne? Both of them are Romantic writers, one from the 18th and one from the 19th century.
I think today is a better day. Possibly due to the din that is in the place I am in. A jazz song in the background, baristas talking, the rattle of coffee beans, the cars passing by in front of my window seat. I think if all of this could just be a constant memory I might just forget that I am depressed. Not anymore, really. Perhaps just a tad bit. I am working on getting back on track with the whole writer's life thing. I think writing does NOT suck anymore. I think that what I felt was suck-y was the whole business side of writing books. I suppose in the old days, good and famous writers were very wealthy people, or, they were supported by wealthy people (those lords and ladies of the Realm), and so they could write at will, and be happy being fed good food three times a day etc etc. So here we are, in the 21st Century. I think if there were a business I might want to try, is to be someone's publicist, or someone's business manager. Hey, I know all about selling, I can make your books sell. If that can be done, how cool that might be. But, that is a shot in the dark anymore. How many people who write independently can afford a business manager these days?
So we just have to imagine that life as a writer is full of surprises, lessons and whatnot. I think maybe the whingeing (I'm trying to sound English, lol, because I want to be in England so bad) and crying about selfish things is going to come and go. Thank God I have chocolate truffle and lots of carbs in the cupboard. Ramen noodles, pasta, cheese, coffee, coffee and more coffee.
Ok, so here it is, this is my temperature check. For those who care, LOL. I hope your day is better today than it was yesterday. I don't wish to complain any more. No more tears are required please. To get into the Mary Whingeing Club. I love this word Whinge. I like it a lot more than bitching. I can be more decent saying whinge than saying bitch. I guess.
Till the next temperature check. Nurse is off duty having herself a vodka and tonic. The surgeon in charge of keeping my arteries clean is having a nice schmooze with his assistant nurse. And the orderly is out in the hall having a great big laugh with his cronies. Am I the only one in the room? No. There are several characters - Mike Oates, Lauren Moore, Rebecca Bartholomew, Leo Bartholomew, and the gang from The Loveable Resident.
Happy hour is up next!
It's not quite midnight but I had to make another post. I am taking a course on Romanticism and one of our authors to study is Nathaniel Hawthorne. I had read his novel, The Scarlet Letter, in the past as a high school student and it came in and out the other ear of my mind then. For now, i am becoming more of a fan of his because he seems to have the mind of God in how he writes. He explains a lot about God and what i believe God is all about and how God sees His children. I can't say that Hawthorne has all of what God is all about but I recognize many truths in his narrative, and I sense that Hawthorne had spent many days and nights in contemplation and in union with God. I think he loves God and he sees God as the Creator beyond all creators. I think his Novel The Scarlet Letter is so beautiful and yet tragic and full of well drawn characters and you can just imagine how they come so very vivid to your senses. Hawthorne is awesome and yet he is disturbing in that his short stories are filled with strange characters and interesting plots that might or might not make any sense.
I think that the other author or poet we studied - Emily Dickinson - is awesome too. She is perhaps not as obvious to me as a great artist and poet but after we dissected her poems this week, I became more interested in her symbolism and how she makes everything so clear and yet cryptically written. Is it really clear to me what she poetically writes? I don't know for sure. But I appreciate what she elicits in my mind about her ideas and picturesque words about Death, Life and eternity.
I hope that there are more writers who will study the great authors and poets. I think that taking this MFA course is a God send. I am always happy with my reading assignments and I also like the interaction with the class. Being an online class I can be comfortable in my own home answering or reacting to posts on the boards. I recommend anyone wanting to write and seriously write to take an MFA class. I think it's a valuable asset to your resume and will add richly to your stories, novels, poems and other works of written art.
Now that it is almost midnight, I will ruminate on the Great Truths that Hawthorne, Dickinson and Emerson have written. I will toast to their ideas with a cup of decaf coffee. I will make it certain to tell God how much I love Him for giving me such a very good class to take and I will also pray that the world will maybe return to reading the classics because they are such good things to think about.
My depression is lifting even now because of having read and interacted about Hawthorne and Dickinson. I think that for me, or anyone who tends to be melancholy, that a little dose of literary reading will be helpful. But I will caution you not to read bad classics if you can find any. There are a lot of bad authors who prose on about death and make one want to join them into oblivion. But I encourage you to read, read, read - and write about everything. I don't always have the chance to read and this class has really given me a lesson that I must learn over and over - that is, reading is good for one's psyche, and art is also good for one's psyche.
I will put on a vigil light tonight just because I feel romantic. I want to give this feeling to those who are so inclined. If anyone can talk to me at length about Hawthorne, it would be just yar.