Archive for April, 2013

A WRITER’S REASONS TO BE GRATEFUL

April 19, 2013

I have many reasons to be grateful, even in the middle of current chaos in my life  (most of it related to a planned move from country to city), not to mention in the world — seems like problems are looming all around.  So, it’s time for me to think of the good in my life. Darkness can not and should not prevail!

Major on my list is gratitude stemming from strong belief in and practice of my Christian religion.

However, as a writer, I am thinking today of thankfulness related to that profession.

1. I’m grateful for a mother who read to me from books and made up original little stories for me before I could read on my own.  Later she took me on the bus (our family’s one car was used by my father only) to a library in Tulsa where I could check out stacks of books every week.

2. I’m grateful for teachers in all my schools who encouraged me as a writer.

3. Grateful for early writing contacts in Tulsa, Oklahoma through Tulsa Nightwriters, and for their meetings with speakers on so many writing-related topics based on inspiration or craft.

4. Grateful to Peggy Fielding, TNW member who taught adult writing classes at what was then Tulsa Junior College.  I think I took every single one of her scheduled classes on topics from writing for confession magazine to submitting a literary novel to publishers.  All classes had invaluable ideas and advice on the business of writing.  Other benefits were making connections with  other aspiring authors in the classes, plus enjoying Peggy’s encouragement and humor–a terrific boost.  (A favorite example of Peggy’s humor was seeing her act out the role of “Ms Poo-Poo.” the editor at an unnamed publishing company who would be looking at our submissions.  We also learned about the mail room attendant who collected stamps, therefore saw to it that our submissions with carefully selected unique stamps, got to Ms. Poo-Poo’s desk on top of the stack!)

5. I’m grateful for the editors and publishers who eventually bought each of my books, and for the sources that helped me connect to them.

6. Grateful to the bookstores and many other venues who host programs and signings for me.

7. Grateful for advice, criticism, and, yes, praise from countless people.

8. Grateful for conferences and conventions designed for writers and all who plan and host them.  Wonderful experiences.  I wish I could attend them all.  They are great help in a writing career and I can’t even begin to be grateful enough for friendships made there.

9. Grateful for my critique group, Spavinaw Authors Guild, which has been a huge help in giving me a potential reader’s viewpoint about my novels, and in correcting speed bumps and grammar problems in my work.

10. Grateful for you, and you, and you, and all friends met online.  This is a huge interest field with so many participants, both readers and writers, isn’t it.

I could continue, but you get the idea.  I have so much to be grateful for today!

Join me in gratitude for something in your life today!

Radine at http://www.RadinesBooks.com

 

 

 

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Priorities for an Author. What do we really love?

April 12, 2013

This is a hard one, at least for me.  Problems with time and with all sorts of “other” demanding my concentration right now led to this blog.

Of course writing is the biggest priority, and my much-loved occupation.  Without doing the writing, I have nothing to sell. And, truth be told, I believe most all authors do enjoy the writing part.  (Most of the time.)  I sure do.

But, of course, any published author needs to spend a LOT of time as a salesperson as well as a writer.  I am familiar with this type of work because  I worked in retail sales for thirty years, and enjoyed meeting the public face-to-face.  But that was before the Internet.

Different times now.  Much of our work presenting and promoting our published writing is on the Internet.  Of course we promote in many other ways, arranging appearances and signings, connecting with media, attending conferences and conventions, and much more, but, for me at least, the need to promote on the Internet is the most difficult.That’s partly because I’ve never taken the time or given the concentration to figuring out how it all works.  I know the basics, but am still not at ease holding a little screen and communicating with the world!    ( I promise  I’ll work on it this summer. )

Okay. Writing, promoting, and a bit of housework and personal stuff make a full-time job for many, and a real trial for those with full-time day jobs as well.  Proves all active authors must love writing.  Right?

We adjust schedules, make routines, and we manage.

But, what if something more intrudes?  A needy parent, a sick child, or, in my case right now, a planned move from a three-story homestead  on twenty-three acres in the Ozarks to a five-room condominium in a city an hour’s drive away.  Not as needy an event as helping a parent, child, or other relative, but still a source for some degree of stress, and a turning away from writing for a time.

One reason for the planned move actually is my writing career.  I have let our gardens and surrounding area languish untended while I wrote and promoted.  My husband, my wonderful helper, is in the same boat, since taking care of the business end of my writing activity and getting me out of occasional mess-ups on my computer demand a lot of his time, too.  We simply don’t have time for the work Spring Hollow in the Ozarks demands to function well. Therefore, a move to simpler accommodations was indicated.

And, that means priorities right now have little to do with writing.  I am working with carpenters, painters, and electricians  preparing the condo for John and me, and also planning for a bit of painting and fix-up here at Spring Hollow.  Questions must be answered, plans looked at, measurements taken, shopping done, plus new utilities and other connections arranged for.

My once daily writing schedule is dead in the water though I had begun another novel in my “To Die For” series.  I promise myself — and readers who are asking — as soon as we are moved and this house sells, I’ll go back to A GARDEN TO DIE FOR.

In the meantime, that story gurgles only in the background of my thoughts while home and move demand my attention. I have discovered I am not good at some types of mental multi-tasking.

Do any of you understand this?  How do priorities work for you?  I don’t love writing less, but, still . . . .