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Monday, October 31, 2011

So are you going to do it? National Novel Writing Month. Are you? I'm doing it. I hope to write 50,000 words this month. I've never done that. Ever! I'm going to push myself to just create and let that internal editor go on vacation. I don't have a lot of grand ideas that this is going to be easy, writing never is. But I am determined to do the very best I can do while working  a full time day job and taking care of my family and trying to stay healthy while I'm doing it. If you're a praying person I'd love it if you'd keep in your prayers. I've always said that slow and steady wins the race. I'm really a turtle. A NaNo Ninja Turtle that is!
I think I'll get one of those red bands to wrap around my head for inspiration at the keyboard.

So don't be surprised if you don't see long blogs on here this month. I'll show up every week and let you know how it's going. If I get the urge to blog about something really cool you'll see that too. But for now, I feel the need, the need for speed.

Cincinnati and Books by the Banks

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Yesterday I blogged about my weekend experience at The Cincinnati Book Festival here as it relates to Marketing. There's even more though that doesn't necessarily relate to marketing, but relates more to being human. If you want to read up on what was happening and who was there here's a link, BBTB.

The first night we went to the author reception at The Mercantile Library. I've lived in Cincinnati for thirty one years and I had never been in that library. The library sits on the eleventh floor and you can get a pretty good idea from the link what it looks like. I wanted to curl up in one of the big chairs and read a book. Knowing that I was going to be at this huge event the next day I really had to push myself to socialize. I'm more introverted than extroverted so I have to make sure I get alone time to energize or power up.There wasn't a big author turnout, but a lot of library people who worked hard to put this event together showed up.

My hubby and I were thrilled to get a chance to talk to Dennis Lehane who had come to the reception as well. But the weird thing about writers is that most of us seemed more interested in looking at our surroundings than talking to each other. I did pick Dennis' brain for awhile and asked him to sign my copy of Shutter Island. He was a gentleman and willing to talk about what to expect at a big book signing, etc. But then I spent more time talking to the catering folks and a woman I didn't know from my suburb who was providing transportation for a couple of the authors. I just felt very relaxed and enjoyed myself and spending time with hubby, without getting all freaked out about trying to fit in with the crowd or how stressful the next day might be.

The next day at the event was great. I was assigned to a table with Donna MacMeans, Redeeming the Rogue who is another author from Ohio Valley RWA. Then I met Regina Jeffers, The Phantom of Pemberley and then sitting next to me was Carrie Bebris, Deception at Lyme. All delightful women.

The crowd was wonderful and I had a wonderful time talking to everyone who stopped at our table. I hope to get some more pics of the event up on the blog soon. I think my main point here is to say that it's just fun sharing your passion with others who, "get it." :) They all read and love books. Some write, some don't, but in the end we all  have passion for words.

Do you remember the last book event you attended?

Mental Illness Depicted in Books and Movies

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I have always been drawn to the way our minds work.(BEWARE OF THESE MOVIE CLIPS. ESPECIALLY SHUTTER ISLAND. ALTHOUGH I THINK YOU'LL GET A GOOD DOSE OF HUMOR FROM WHAT ABOUT BOB?  I'm fascinated with movies and/or books like A Beautiful Mind, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Inception, Shutter IslandOrdinary People  and even the humorous side of mental illness in What About Bob?? rings true to life for patients when their therapists or psychiatrists leave for vacation. If you've never seen the movie K-PAX it's very interesting, and Jack Nicholson in, As Good As It Gets, can teach us all a little bit about the difficulties of mental illness for the person with the illness and for those around them.

My first historical romance, Secrets of the Heart, Book One in the Ravensmoore Chronicles, released in May 2011 and will take you on a journey where some of the aspects of mental health and mental illness are explored in England during 1817. The more I researched for this book and my next, with the current working title of Chameleon, the more fascinated I became. Of course the treatment of mental illness was in its infancy in those days and the days prior to that. Many thought mental illness was due to demon possession. The archaic methods of treatment were barbaric for centuries.

Originally the priory of St. Mary Bethlehem, Bethlem Royal Hospital, also known as Bedlam began admitting patients who were considered unbalanced or mentally ill in 1357. Many people don't understand that these names are for the same place. Unlike the United States Bethlem was admitting patients when we were keeping patients in jails and alms houses.This hospital originally stood at Bishopsgate and then moved to Moorfields and eventually to St George’s Fields, Southwark.

If you would like to explore more about the fascinating facts of this institution please follow this link. 

What book or movie influenced the way you think about mental illness?

How Much Can You Really Control?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The short answer to this is: Not Much! The broader question I would ask you is: What are you afraid of? I've been a social worker for 31 years. I've been employed as a counselor for nursing students for the last 16 years. I've discovered that people who feel like they need to control others, or cling tightly to that which they believe they have control over, are really fearful.

None of us can really control anyone else. We can guide and give advice. We can encourage and nudge, but we can't make anyone do anything. Rather than trying to control others I'd recommend you look inside yourself to explore what it is that frightens you.  Here's a list of things I've wish I could control:
  1. The safety of my family.
  2. The raise I get every year if I'm fortunate. :)
  3. How many people buy my books.
  4. How many people like my books.
  5. How much I have to pay in taxes.
And that's just the beginning. Can you imagine what kind of shape I'd be in if I tried to control just these 5 issues? I'd probably stroke out! I know I don't want to live my life like that and I sure don't want to live afraid of all the things that can go wrong in this non-sensical world we live in.

So instead of controlling try:
  1. Praying
  2. An attitude change
  3. Talking out problems with others
  4. Setting boundaries
  5. Surrendering
When was a time you realized you didn't have as much control of your life circumstances as you thought you did?
    Read the Serenity Prayer and incorporate it into your life.

    God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
    Courage to change the things I can;
    And Wisdom to know the difference.

    Are You Attending Christian Store Week?

    Saturday, October 1, 2011

    If you're a writer are you signing at a Christian Bookstore this week? If you're a reader are you attending a signing or visiting your local Christian Bookstore? This is going to be a great week, don't miss out on the fun in your area and say thank you to the people who keep our Christian Stores open. I love browsing through a Christian Bookstore. Love looking for new books, new music, and timeless ones as well.

    I have the honor of signing at The Logos Christian Bookstore in Alexandria, Kentucky on October 8th. Click Here for directions. I'm really looking forward to this opportunity and plan on enjoying myself immensely. Do I want to sell some books? Of course. But more than that I want to talk to readers of Christian Fiction and maybe even some readers who've never read a Christian novel. I love finding out what people are reading and why.

    I've always been in awe of the readers who are so very gracious that they choose my book among all the book choices out there to read. They encourage me by purchasing my book and in turn I hope I encourage them with my words. I hope I encourage them by escaping into the past with me to discover faith for the future.

    I've read some interesting blog posts recently. Check out Katie Ganshert's blog at The WordServe Water Cooler, Love the Reader. And then visit  Donald Miller and The Best Writing Advice  at his blog for some more insights about readers and writers.

    So what are you waiting for? Join in the fun this week.  And let me know where you are signing or what store you are planning to visit if you're a reader.  And if you are joining me at Logos in Alexandria, Kentucky, bring your smile because my awesome hubby will be taking pictures and your bound to end up on this blog as you are caught supporting Christian Store Week! Is it too early to start shopping for Christmas? If so it's not too early to start shopping for Sweetest Day, October 15th.