Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Writer's Progress...

is changing a word in a work-in-progress because it occurs to you that you wouldn't feel comfortable saying the word out loud... like at a reading, perhaps... then changing it back again because you figure you have plenty of time to learn how to pronounce it correctly.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Long Overdue Tribute to Writing Friend, Dorothy Masters

Dorothy Masters: January 9, 1936-February 21, 2014
Photo Courtesy of Carol Yoho

Dorothy wrote me a note after I published my first book, Tiger Hunting. I could always count on Dorothy for kind notes. Often by email, sometimes by snail mail, she always took the time to say hello, to acknowledge my efforts, and to thank me for my time.

When I think of the kind of person I want to be, Dorothy is a role model. She once told me that she wrote her stories for her family, to leave something of herself behind. I collected Dorothy's books, though we were not relation, and I enjoyed reading them, too. Dorothy's stories were about making connections and nurturing relationships. They were fun stories and always full of the sunny view of things. One of her books was titled, in fact, Keep on the Sunny Side of Life. In her professional life, Dorothy was a nurse. She lost her husband in a farm accident at a young age and spent many of her younger years as a single mother. Dorothy wrote a column that was published in several rural Kansas newspapers for many years. She published several volumes of her memoirs and some short stories, as well.

The second year I was editor of the Kansas Authors Club yearbook (2008), Dorothy submitted The Rose Bush Theory as her entry. I am sharing it here, with permission from her family.

The Rose Bush Theory
by Dorothy Masters

I relate life and death to a big, beautiful rose bush. Picture a large blooming rose bush and you can see your family or circle of friends. Some of the roses are in full bloom with gorgeous color and perfect shapes. Some roses are starting to form buds. Some of the buds never complete the full growing process, and remain undeveloped on the bush. some of the roses are dead and remain on the bush, while others are starting to wither.

Now, relate each and every one of those blooms to different members of your family or your circle of friends and you can see the living and dying process. Life is a process with death being the final phase. Please do not wait -- live life to the fullest each and every day.

Keep in mind, to maintain that rose bush (loved ones) big and pretty, it must be fed, watered, nurtured, pruned and protected from the elements and given gentle caresses, plus some tender talk. The care is even more essential when caring for people.

Friday, January 2, 2015

What's on the To-Do List for 2015?

Once upon a time I considered myself the queen of New Year's resolutions. I was one of those freaks who made and actually kept them. I was building habits, most of them good, and at some point I reached a point where I couldn't bring myself to make another resolution. More of the same, became my mantra. One day at a time, one moment at a time... I rarely stick to one project at a time, though I still wonder if that might be good for me. Mostly, I try to remember that I can't allow myself to become devastated or distraught over all that I have not done because, let's face it, there will always be things not done.

Starting out the New Year, my big project is completing the yearbook for the Kansas Authors Club. I am feeling a bit behind on this project, but remain optimistic that I will get it done on time. It also helps that I am really itching to get to my next completed novel. I've been reviewing my stack of first drafts and have selected the target. It's going to take some work, but I will get there. There is no option other than optimism.

I am also working on plans for the next book in the works for Meadowlark Books. Watch for an announcement. There will be a call for entries by the end of this month.

Momma always said I could speak my reality into existence. I've written it. And now I've read it aloud. It will be.

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