Wednesday, April 3, 2019

IWSG- PLEASE FORGIVE ME... HAVE HEALTH ISSUES THIS MONTH

Hi ALL,

Just a quick note to let all the IWSG members know that this month I have a few health issues so I won't be posting this month... Nothing serious yet, but I need further testing to see if there may be a serious problem. Good vibes and prayers would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you, ALL for your kindness and support.




Wednesday, February 20, 2019

WHAT COULD HAPPEN IN TWENTY EIGHT DAYS? FIND OUT!

Hi All,

Today I am posting a new work from a close friend who had the time to create a short essay for the WEP challenge. I know It's posted a day late, but I'm sure my friend Denise won't mind, since the link is still up.

I had hoped to write something wonderful, but since I am in the throws of a MAJOR revision for Mommy Kay, I really didn't have the spare time.

Thanks to Denise and the wonderful ladies at the WEP for hosting this challenge, as well as a special thanks to IWSG...

Since he doesn't have a blogger or Google account, I will be commenting for him on the other entries...



I hope you enjoy Ulises's essay... 

                                         



                     A Wish for Twenty-eight days of Magic 




It is not easy to see the difference between one day or the next at any given time. That is unless an event has strongly impacted our lives…that it has actually changed our way of thinking or living.

I, like many others, try to keep abreast of all that goes on in this world. Even though I do not have the power, the means, nor any idea of how to stop or change world events, I certainly wish I could. 

In my mind, I fantasize a genie has granted me the power to go back twenty-eight days from now and change the most recent events affecting our way of living.

I would stop Venezuela and other countries from collapsing over despair of poverty and hunger because of the greed of politicians…

I would change the minds of those who think construction is more important than protecting the planet…

I would stop the dissolution of treaties that have been put in place to protect our world…

I would stop and reverse global warming…

I would stop all types of discrimination…

I would wish for equality and freedom to lessen the burden on ours and other’s society…

These and many other events that have developed: to correct as many as I can accomplish in twenty-eight days.


It is believed that God created the world in six days, but it has taken centuries for humans to destroy it. 

So, my wish for twenty-eight days of magic may not be enough to reconstruct the damage that has occurred, but wouldn’t it be nice to have the opportunity to try?



Have a wonderful Weekend everyone!








   

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

AKKK.... I JUST REMEMBERED! IWSG TODAY>>> JUST AFTER MIDNIGHT!!

Hi All,

Sooooo sorry I forgot this was the first Wednesday of the month!!! I know you'll all forgive me for spacing it ... I have an EXCELLENT reason...

But before I do, I just want to thank Alex and the wonderful IWSG team for all their hard work and support. If you are not yet a member, PLEASE drop by Alex's site to sign up.

Now for the news! As many of you know, I have been writing a new WIP called MOMMY KAY. It took me exactly NINE months to write the first draft which I had completed on Jan. 17. Talk about giving birth. LOL.

You may also remember I had to finish quickly to send off the ms to a very well renowned editor in NY. I did manage to get it to her just before the first of February...

Needless-to-say, I have been on pins and needles waiting for her review. After much anticipation, I received an email from her. When I had sent it, I expressed my hope for her enjoying the read.
Her first line in the email to me was "I did enjoy the read; how could I not?"

Then I opened the review, all twelve pages of it. I was taken aback by the size. But after the first paragraph, I could breathe again.

"Many thanks for sending me Mommy Kay. It was delightful to read; Mommy Kay is most certainly—and literally—larger than life. It’s certainly cinematic; I found myself watching scenes spring to life and even wondering whom you’d cast—so much fun to contemplate! I’ll focus this editorial letter on ways to bring out the fuller potential of this story."

I can't begin to tell you how pleased I was/am. For the most part, I still have a lot of work to make this piece really pop, but the overall review was very enlightening and she praised my dialogue and description to the point of her asking for more, more, more. 

Alrighty then...

Most of the work consists of ADDING much more. Thankfully I don't need to subtract anything. She suggested delving deeper in the emotion more than just the fanfare.

So of course, I spent most of the day reading all twelve pages over and over to absorb the work that needs to be done.

If I implement her suggestions in the right way, this could be a best seller... EEK! After so many years of trying. Yes, I am excited for sure, but I am also freaking a bit because now the pressure is really on to fulfill the potential of this memoir.

I appreciated so much all your kind words and comments when I had posted snippets of MOMMY KAY here. But adding all her positive comments sent me to the moon. LOL. Now that I am earthbound again, I need to get cracking. Kim is also delighted, but since we have to delve deeper, it puts more pressure on her to reveal more of her emotions. But thankfully, she's all for it so we can move onto the next step.

For the next month or more, I'll be extremely busy, but I will try to pop over to your blogs to say hi!

Sending all of you a great big HUG!

Enjoy the rest of your week!






Wednesday, January 23, 2019

AN UPDATE ON MOMMY KAY!

Hi All!

Thank you all for your kind wishes and support. Although I wasn't able to accomplish my goal of 50 pages in a week, I DID FINISH THE MEMOIR... YAY~


It took me two weeks and I wrote 70 more pages. Now it's complete at 64k words and 258 pages. To think I was sweating to make 225... Lol, but the last chapters filled up the word/page count beautifully. I'll be sending it off to my editor TOMORROW. EEK! She won't be able to get to it until Feb 1... then the waiting begins. I'll be a wreck for sure.

I'd also like to take this time to thank my good friend and amazing author, Carol Riggs, for her help cleaning up the grammatical errors, missed words and quotes. LOL. She has the patience of a saint. You would think after writing for SO MANY years, my grammar and punctuation would be spot on by now. It is better, but I still have a long way to go. And more thanks to Denise, Renee, and Donna for their input as well.

I can't begin to tell you how fantastic I feel that I wrote another book! It has been many years since my second novel and then I just fell out of the loop. But I'm back, and I hope the momentum keeps up!

Kim and I are actually collaborating on another book. This time a fitness and health book for women over fifty. Kim, being a phys ed teacher and in amazing shape herself, I convinced her to share her secrets with other women. Since I was heavily involved in fitness for decades, this is also my chance to start over and become the healthy man I was three years ago. Men and woman over fifty need to keep fit, we have LONG LIVES to LIVE and we shouldn't have to live them in pain or with illness. Eating right and exercising can ward off so many afflictions. So stay tuned for our next book...

While I'm waiting for the editor, I have already worked out a rough for my query... I actually had fun writing this one. It is over 500 words though, so I need to trim it down, but I really don't want to... I think it's great, but the standard is around 300 words. Ugh. That's a LOT of cutting. I'll also be spending time researching for the right agent for this memoir. Thankfully, I've already narrowed it down to five top New York agents. Since this memoir heavily features the NYC, I feel a NY agent would be best for it...

I hope all my northern friends are staying warm. This winter is "biting" for sure. Even here in Orlando, our temps are CHILLY. But I love it like this. It's like early spring here and the flowers are budding and the ornamental trees are showing off their colors proudly.

Take care, everyone! I'll be dropping by to say hello to you very soon... today's my blogging day!





Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A NEW YEAR.... FULL STEAM AHEAD- NO TIME FOR INSECURITIES!

Happy New Year!

Can you believe it's already 2019? Where did 2018 go? It seems like a big blur to me now. One day melted into another and before I knew it, it was a new year.

I'm sure many of us feel that way. Then the regrets start pouring in. We didn't meet our goals...STOP right there! I never understood why so many people "beat themselves up" at the end of a year...THEN... they pile on another ridiculous amount of goals for the new year, only to find out they haven't me them either.

DON'T do this to yourself. Focus on the positive. We ALL had accomplishments this year. Maybe not that HUGE publishing contract, but maybe you finished your new manuscript. That is a HUGE achievement and you should be so proud of yourself for doing that! What about how much you learned last year? Every new piece of information only gets us further to our goals. That is what's important, not what you didn't accomplish.

For me last year opened up a new opportunity. After years of querying my stories, nothing happened. I came close so many times with multiple requests for fulls by top agents, yet not one picked my book up. Then I started my third novel. A memoir. Nothing like I had ever written before. SO much activity in this person's life. It has taken me almost all of 2018 to put it together, and yet, I still haven't finished it yet. I had hoped to finish by the end of last year, but I would rather have take the time to cultivate an amazing story then RUSH IT...

Like so many of us, I had times where I had left it for weeks at a time. I didn't know why. My other two novels first drafts were written in less than three months. What was my problem with this one?
I couldn't figure out why. Then, like a light bulb turning on, the answer came to me yesterday. The first day of the new year. How appropriate. It was because this story is NOT MY STORY. It is someone else's memory. So simple. I have no control over the plot what so ever. Now that is enlightening for a CONROL FREAK like me. LOL. So I want to say this to all of you, if you take on a memoir project that is not your own, remember this. You will be breaking out into a whole new dimension.

For example: I NEVER outline. After not writing for a few weeks and my deadline coming gravely close, I decided to outline the last four-five chapters...Yes.. that is all I have left. Only fifty or so pages.UGH. You would think I could just spit them out. No chance. This part of Kim's life is highly complex with SO MUCH going on in a five year period. So by outlining, it greatly help me put the timeline and story into balance. Now I just need to write the pages. I am not overwhelmed anymore. IF you are at a place such as this in your present MS, try outlining. I worked for me. Imagine the shock and surprise to a pantser like me!

So now I have about a week to finish my story in about a week. I honestly believe I can do it. All I need to do is write a chapter a day. If all those NaNo writers can write 50k in a month, I should be able to write 50 pages in a week...right?

I feel good this new year. I am blessed. Insecurities can rack our being, so we must keep them under control. Always remember we have our AMAZING community for support and LOVE.... Thanks to the IWSG and its creator, Alex J. Cavanaugh and all the WONDERFUL writers who give their time to keep this movement going, I feel I can accomplish anything.

Please pop over to Alex's blog and sign up if you haven't already. And READ all other IWSG posts for inspiration and advice...

I wish all of you a HAPPY, HEALTHY, and PROSPEROUS 2019! May we all find our way along life's pothole-ridden path!

An update follows this post!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

THE HOLIDAYS ARE ALMOST HERE! TOO BUSY TO BE ANXIOUS...LOL AN IWSG POST

Hi All and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

As Christmas approaches, there is just SO MUCH TO DO. Luckily I am really not stressing about it. I made the smart decision to leave insanely cold and damp Chicago a month earlier. SO I am in Orlando loving the spring type weather. People here have already decorated their places to the hilt. So festive! How could anyone not enjoy that, right?

I arrived just before Thanksgiving and the first week was certainly hectic, but now that things have settled and I am back to writing again... YAY, I must say I am in great spirits. Wonderful Christmas music and movies splashed all over the television makes me so happy. YAY, again! And I even managed to see a few fun Christmas flicks. IF you get a chance don't miss DISNEY'S NUTCRACKER, it was a spectacular film. I enjoyed every minute. Of course I saw the new Grinch movie. Not as wonderful as I had hoped, but I still enjoyed it. Also caught the next segment of the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Great special effects, but I didn't love it as much as the first.

As the holidays move forward like a runaway train, many of you are probably starting to stress about getting it all done. Just remember to BREATHE and take on one project at a time. That really works for me. One day designated to a different task. Before you know it, everything is done. The holidays are to be enjoyed and spending quality time with our loved ones. If you are stressed you won't enjoy the fruits of all you labor.

Once again, I'd like to thank Alex for creating this group and all the effort he and the staff have put into making it as great as it is. SO much talent and so much help is available to all who seek it... I'm beginning to sound like Albus Dumbledore. LOL. Don't forget to drop by his blog and the other members for encouragement and support and perhaps your comment may help some other writer. Here is the link:

Since this will most likely be my last post before Christmas, I'd like to WISH EVERYONE A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON and a VERY HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR!

HUGS TO YOU ALL!




Wednesday, November 7, 2018

GETTING TO THE FINISH LINE... AN IWSG POST

Hi All,

Welcome to another session of the IWSG! As we all know it's NOVEMBER and the holidays are just around the corner.

I, for one, have been a bit anxious over the revelation of this year coming to and end in less that two months. EEK!

THANKFULLY I can vent all my anxieties here today. This group is such a blessing and thanks to the founder, Alex J. Cavanaugh, we have our chance every month. If you are new to the group, WELCOME. For those who are sitting on the sidelines, DON'T BE SHY... join us. Let us help you and perhaps you have some words of wisdom to share with us. Drop by and sign up at Alex's website.

As most of us know, writing can be taxing at times. WE start full speed ahead and then crash...it always seems to be somewhere in the middle of the MS. I know you are all nodding over this. I was there just recently. For a few months I wrote nothing on my present work in progress, MOMMY KAY, a memoir. I am chronicling the life of Kay Hickman Ferrara.... through her daughter, Kim. I have a few snippets posted. The first even won first place at the WEP in April. 

But as I began writing again, after this long hiatus, it was tough. I had planned to post another snippet for the WEP with the prompt, VOODOO or Deja Vu at the end of last month. I managed to write an unnerving piece about Mommy Kay and Kim's altercation with a black voodoo priest. The story was terrifying to write. I actually stopped at the cliffhanging point of the snippet. It took me nearly two weeks to finish the conclusion. Thankfully, that particular story is completed and it was well received. If you'd like to read it, it's the post before this one.

This is the reason for my anxiety this month. I am now on the final last third of the book. I have most of my facts and just need to write the last 20,000 or so words. The subject matter is incredibly interesting, but I find it hard to concentrate and just keep on plugging along. Has this ever happened to you? This is a first for me. My first two novels' first drafts were written in approx. six -seven weeks. I started this project in April, it is now November, SEVEN months! I still haven't completed the first draft. 

Granted this isn't a fictional story and there are TONS of facts and research, but still. I am actually a bit freaked about it. I needed to have this complete by now. I had scheduled and AMAZING editor who Kim is willing to pay BIG BUCKS to do a read through. Since her current projects are not completed, we rescheduled for the second week in January. Phew! This helps my anxiety a lot. But it's still looming overhead.

I have worked with other editors before, but they were kind and believed in my work and helped me along my journey. This is the first time I am sending my work out to an editor who has many NYT bestsellers under her belt. Can that be why I am so nervous and putting off my writing? I have never been nervous before. I guess it's because another person is putting up such a great deal of money to have her story edited properly. It's scary for me. Not to mention where this could lead. I actually have a huge shot at a bestseller here and I am worried. What if the editor doesn't like the story? Kim and I have such hopes for this. I guess these feelings are normal, right? 

As you can see, I am not my usual self this month. I know I will get through it. I am leaving to head back to Florida in a few weeks. Seeing Kim on a daily basis will kick me back into gear again. Plus the warmth and sunshine will be good for me. It's been gray, damp, cold, and nasty here in Chicago for over a week! NOT my favorite weather. Winter is setting in very quickly. No beautiful fall weather. We went for 85 to 40 in 36 hours and it's been nasty ever since. 

So, that is where I am at. On the plus side, my health is better. I started doing physical therapy for my arthritic shoulders and it's helping a great deal. It's an holistic approach, which I will share with you all in another post. But I won't be taking any more steroids because it didn't come back this year. Thank God!

I hope all is well with all of you. ENJOY your THANKSGIVING! We have so much to be thankful for in our lives. Our families, our friends, and our fur babies!

Here's a pic of my buddy Hamlet in his Halloween costume. He is next to one of his gal pals, an adorable Maltese named, Liza... I know it will put a smile on your faces....

Introducing Pope Hamlet I with Hippie, Rabbi, Liza. LOL