That Blank Page

I write my work out in long hand then go back and type out the draft.

The worse thing for me is seeing that “blank page.”  The page that has no words and I can’t find the words to write down.  This is

No mattewriting_tabletr how you do your writing, at one point or another you will face “writer’s block.”

If writer’s block shows up while I am writing,  I write down “TBD” and continue writing whatever comes into my head. Eventually I get back on track and continue with the story.

A friend of mine writes “TK” and continues.

At times I get tired of writing “TBD” every few words.

That is a sign for me that I need a break for the day or a few days.

During my break time, I will do lots of brainstorming and asking “what if,” read a book, watch a movie, go for a walk, etc., to help me find additional inspiration to continue with the story.

Eventually, an idea will come to me and I get back to writing.

 

 

“writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all”
Charles Bukowski, The Last Night of the Earth Poems

 

 

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Much Needed Break

During the holidays inherited two pickup truck loads of fabric plus one-half trailer full.  Our pickup has four doors and the whole truck was loaded down—bed, backseat, and front seat–with totes and large bags full of fabric.  Along with the fabric I inherited a long arm quilting machine.

I had to think hard about how to rearrange my small sewing room to accommodate everything.  Needless to say, not everything fit, yet.  Yes, I am still sorting and arranging.

I have the long arm quilting machine in the room and have sorted 85% of the fabric-fabric strips of all widths and lengths, fabric squares of all sizes and for those of you who know quilting terms – fat quarters, charms, layer cakes, jelly rolls, half yards, yards, batting, backing fabric and everything in between.

In the containers, I also found, embroidery floss and ribbon and the stamped fabric to create quilt blocks with cross-stitch and embroidery.  There are also hundreds of pins and needles along with many different sizes of rulers and templates for cutting fabric.

I have been overwhelmed.  I truly need to have everything out of my living room and dining room before Tuesday, February 9.  We have someone coming to the house to help us create a Wildlife Habitat Management Plan for our farm and we must have room to sit and visit and to discuss the plan.

The good thing about this whole thing–I had to clean out everything in my sewing room.  With the room empty I was able to paint it the color I wanted–French Silk–a pale golden yellow.

Another good thing is I have had to go through everything, and I mean everything.  So far I have donated three carloads of things to the Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store.  They have been very happy to see pull into their driveway.  I have also donated some fabric to the quilt group that I belong to and donated one of my large hand quilting frames to the local senior center.  The ladies create quilts and have paid for others to do the hand quilting, now they can save money by doing it themselves.  And who knows, maybe someday, I will be one of those ladies!

Friends are starting to ask to be invited to the house so they can see the fabric in hopes that I will give them some.  Yes, they probably will end up taking some fabric home with them.  I have more fabric than I can possible use in my lifetime.  And as with everything else in this world, when I start a new project I will probably find that I need one color of fabric and have absolutely none of that color in all the fabric stash.

Do I have photographs of this mess?  No way!  You all would think that I was a major hoarder when in fact I keep a very neat and tidy home.  I will try to remember to post photos after everything is in place :)

One last thing…one day my husband found me in the fabric section of a store.  While I was admiring all the beautiful Christmas fabrics on sale, he said, “Really! Really!  How could you possible be looking at that!”

A woman can look…can’t she?

Will be back next week with entries into the blog.  I will be posting about some good books.

Cindy

http://www.cynharris.com

 

 

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Two Tales of the Moon

 

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Two Tales of the Moon

By Jennifer Sun

Genre: Literary fiction

Moon Cover

Two lives converge over a high stake international deal between U.S. and China – Will Donovan, a successful cyber technology business owner and Lu Li, a Wall Street investment banker. From New York City to Washington, DC, to Shanghai, together they have to face ethical dilemmas, make life choices, and come to terms with their past.

East meets West, past clashes with present. Blending romantic suspense with ethical intrigue. TWO TALES OF THE MOON is a compelling story that reveals that human struggle is the same regardless one’s past or cultural upbringing.

Clarion/Forward gave the book a four star rating, calls it “a thoughtful portrait of a modern woman who must choose between the burden of memory and a future of her own making…the writing takes on the sharpened focus of a play… the work effectively captures the effects of communism in searingly personal ways.

BlueInk Review says:

“Jennifer  Sun  draws  on  personal  knowledge  of  China  and  a  former  career  in telecommunications/finance  for  her  well-crafted  debut  novel  about  the  meeting  of  East  and West. Blending romance and  ethical  intrigue,  Two Tales of the Moon  is  a  unique  novel, with characters of psychological depth.

Author Bio

monacoJennifer Sun has a MBA from George Washington University and a B.A. in English Literature from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. She has held several executive financial management positions at Fortune 500 companies in telecommunication and web technology industries. She currently writes full time and lives with her husband in Vienna, Virginia. She is also an avid reader, a runner and a foodie.

 

www.Facebook.com/JenniferSunAuthor
@JenniferSun8

www.JenniferSunAuthor.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14554078.Jennifer_Sun

Available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Ns0irQ

The author is giving away a digital copy of Two Tales of the Moon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

http://www.cynharris.com

 

 

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The Miracle Ship

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Author: Brian O’Hare

 

Do you believe in miracles?

Do you have a “lucky charm?”

Do you read your horoscope everyday?

Have you ever heard of “the Secret” or “law of attraction?’

Are you religious?

Do you believe in a higher power than yourself?

 

If you can answer yes to any of the above questions, then you should read Brian O’Hare’s book The Miracle Ship.

The book follows the true story of John Gillespie from a young man who learns there is no cure for his pain.  With his strong religious upbringing and belief with God all things are possible, John endures pain that many others would not endure and many could not imagine.

At every turn in John’s life of pain, he gets a glimpse of hope of being completely healed, just to have a set back.  This continues on for years.  While his faith may have trembled from time to time, John never gave up believing that one day he would be healed.

Throughout his life of living with pain and healing, John was hearing his true calling, yet he resisted, until one day he could resist no longer.

John is not unique in the sense that he was able to overcome suffering and pain.  Every day we hear of miracles – it was a miracle the family was not home when their housed burned down; it was a miracle no one was killed in that horrible automobile accident; it was a miracle that s/he learned to walk again; it was a miracle….fill in the blank.

Everyday on Facebook I see someone asking for Prayers.  They are asking for the healing prayers that someone needs to get them through the difficult times in their lives. These folks are not just relying upon doctors and modern medicine.  They are looking for a miracle to happen to them or their loved ones.

Every religious person should read this book and learn about what kind of prayers you should be saying when you are looking for a miracle.

To learn of John Gillespie’s miracle, read The Miracle Ship today.

 

 

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Running a Criminal Enterprise is Hard Work


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Whiskey DevilsWhisky Devils With Tagline - High Resolution

By Brandon Zenner

Genres: Thriller, Crime, Mystery, Suspense, Action

Book Description

Running a criminal enterprise is hard work

Evan Powers has become the new manager in Nick Grady’s well-established marijuana growing operation. Led by his roommate and best friend, little has changed in Nick’s secretive business since the late ‘60s, which is just the way the aging hippie would like it to remain. However, Nick’s complex past comes full circle, thrusting Evan in a scramble to decipher the truth behind the enigmatic lives of the people he holds dear. Deep in the woods, demons will be unleashed.

***Nominate Whiskey Devils on Kindle Scout TODAY, and Amazon will send you the ebook for FREE if it is published! https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2LQVZULLLRYJM

 

unnamedAuthor Bio

Brandon Zenner is an American fiction writer. His short fiction has been published in both print and online publications, the first being submitted when he was just 19 years old. THE EXPERIMENT OF DREAMS, his debut eBook thriller, has reached Amazon’s top-ten charts within its genre many times. His categories of choice are thrillers, dystopian, crime, and science fiction.

Find Brandon:

http://www.BrandonZenner.com

https://www.facebook.com/brandon.zenner
https://twitter.com/SlapstickII

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Review of He Said, She Said

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He Said, She Said: Writing Effective DialogueHeSaidSheSaid-800

By: Laura E. Koons

Genre: Nonfiction

*I was given a copy of this book for an honest review.*

In Beyond the Style Manual: He Said, She Said: Writing Effective Dialogue. Laura Koons does a great job of simplifying the proper set up of dialogue in stories, making dialogue flow smoothly, tips on how to improve dialogue, pitfalls to avoid and exercises to help you hone your writing skills.

This short guide book should be a tool in every beginning writers tool kit.  And it would make a good refresher book for writers of  all stages.

 

LauraAuthor Bio

Laura E. Koons attended Lycoming College and then completed graduate degrees in Creative Writing at both Ohio University and The University of Tennessee. She has worked on several literary magazines including Quarter After Eight, Drunken Boat: an online journal of art and literature, and Grist: The Journal for Writers, where she served as Fiction Editor for the inaugural issue.

She currently edits for Red Adept Publishing. In her free time, Laura can usually be found with a book in hand, but sometimes she puts them down long enough to enjoy swimming, crocheting, and doing volunteer work at both her local library and history museum. She lives in Virginia with her husband and two ancient, snarky cats.

 

On Red Adept: http://bit.ly/RAPHeSaid 

On Amazon: http://amzn.to/1PgVlUI

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25784271-raining-embers

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lycomayflower

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An Interview with a once upon a time Adrenaline Junkie

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Further Than Yesterday: That’s All That Counts

by Medric Cousineau, SC, CD, Captain Retired RCAF

 

Q: Why did you become a Naval Aviator?

I am and always was an adrenaline junkie. Upon graduation from the Royal Military College, I was slated to enter training to become an Air Navigator. Two thirds of the way through our basic “Wings” training we had to enter our preferences, and being a Tactical Coordinator on a Sea King Helicopter, flying off of the back of destroyer at sea fueled the need for adventure as there were many hands on evolutions including Helicopter Inflight Refueling and Search and Rescue Work that would help feed the need for adrenaline rushes.

Q: What happened that changed your life?

For me the world changed the night of the 6th of October, 1986. That night we were tasked to rescue two American Long Line Fisherman after they had a very serious accident onboard their vessel. It was a raging nighttime North Atlantic Gale and for those who say “That Hell no Fury like a woman scorned” clearly have not experienced the savagery of the North Atlantic. When the rescue was over, I was awarded Canada’s second highest award for bravery, and started to develop the symptoms of what would develop into PTSD.

Q: When did you first realize that you had Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

The symptoms and issues started to rear their ugly heads within days of the Rescue, and I started tumbling down a very slippery slope.

Q: Did your doctors and/or family members know what was going on inside you?  If not, why didn’t you tell them?  If so, how did they try to help you and did they succeed?

The challenge was the fact that in 1986 the medical community and the military were very poorly equipped to deal with someone like myself.  I had gone to the Squadron Commander, who arranged help for me with some medical professionals. But it became very apparent that my career was over if I did not “get myself back together” immediately.  So to hide it, I became a chronic, daily, blackout drinker. Eventually I had to leave the military because I knew I was going to get an innocent bystander to my self-destruction killed if I kept on.

Q: Describe your worse day & your best day during this time.

I think the worst day is easy. The day I received copies of my medical documents in around late 1996 after having been discharged from the Emergency Assessment Unit of a Psychiatric Hospital and seeing that my diagnosis was confirmed in 1991 yet untreated. That Betrayal nearly ended my life, as I became so depressed and at the same time violently angry. Institutional Betrayal is a very devastating injury that is just beginning to be explored.

 The Best Day? The 6th of August, 2012, as that is the day that I met my new PTSD service dog from the CARES program in Concordia, Kansas.

Q: What is “Paws Fur Thought?”

Paws Fur Thought is an initiative that was co-founded by my wife and myself to help other veterans, and now first responders get help for PTSD. This was done to help quiet the voices in my head, “The what about the others?” voices as I knew that I was neither terminally unique nor the only one who had been unaware of the amazing service dogs that can help with PSTD.

Q: Describe your worse day & best day with your service dog, Thai.

The best day with Thai is pretty much every day. Each and every day she employs her amazing skills from Night Terror Intervention, Hypervigilance Intervention to recalls from Panic, anxiety and Dissociative Episodes. So it is hard to label a best day.

 The worst day? Absolutely the 26th of November, 2014. Sadly, that is the day that Cancer claimed the life of our oldest daughter, Lindsey whose 4th cancer diagnose was a death sentence. Bar none, it is a parent’s worst nightmare and I can tell you I was absolutely crushed. Thai was doing her very best to console me but I was a train wreck of emotions. So even during my absolutely worst day, Thai stood  and tried her very best to be the “Dedicated Lifesaving” Partner she has become.

I am sorry for the loss of your daughter.

Q:  How has society and the Veterans Assistance program betrayed the military veterans?

The betrayal by all societies is probably best summed up in a very simple sentence that we have used in our fundraising efforts. “If we Send’em, we must Mend’em”. A country has a solemn and sacred obligation to care for those that they put into harm’s way on our behalf. Quite simply, those who are going to write an unlimited cheque to their country for their mind, body and soul need to be sure, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that they will be cared for if injured, or their families, if they are killed, and that some bureaucracy will not try to close the account of the Government’s obligation for insufficient funds. I do not regret my service to my country and fellow man. I loathe and despise bureaucrats who try and escape their obligations after we have done our duty. (Going to move on from this as it is a clear trigger and Thai is doing her best to settle me)

I am so sorry that my question caused you agitation.  I hope in the months to come that this topic will be less stressful for you because it is an important topic for everyone.age would you like readers to take away from your book?

PTSD is a horrible beast that never sleeps and it will get you if you are not vigilant. But there is HOPE and there are those who can help you recover part of your life as you adapt to your “New Normal”, the life after your injuries.

Captain Cousineau, thank you for sharing your story with me and thousands of other veterans and civilians out there.  I know that once your story is out there for others, it will be an inspiration to those who sorely need it.  I wish you and your wife all the best with “Paws Fur Thought.”

 

If you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD, please seek immediate medical attention.  Like Captain Cousineau stated, “there is HOPE.”  No one is saying the journey is easy, just that you do not need to travel it alone.

Thank You to Cares Inc., Concordia, Kansas, who trains dogs to help those in need.

 

 

 

 

 

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