Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last day of 2008!

We all say, "out with the old and in with the new" and I am really working on feeling like that. A new year...a new beginning...I am up for it. My glass NEEDS to remain half full!
Good-bye, 2008.
"Light, light...more light!" -Goethe

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Blues

It's Winter Solstice today...the shortest amount of daylight in 24 hours in the Northern Hemisphere! It's a time to celebrate those things that we associate with the dark. It's a time of relishing the rest and a time of rebirth. Think of the female black bear as she hibernates during these long winter months, quietly getting ready to give birth to new cubs when spring arrives. She will rest, body and spirit waiting for the long daylight hours after the long winter darkness. In Maine, it is a long winter. The long hours of darkness take their toll on many of us, myself included. I am feeling depressed, sluggish and wishing that I lived in a warmer climate. This is a tough time and it's important to adjust the attitude to "hey, it's always like gets better...buck up!" However, we have had one serious winter storm after another and it just seems to be never-ending! Add the fact that my daughter and granddaughter have been trying to fly to Maine from Virginia since Friday and their flights keep getting canceled! It's Sunday and there is no end in sight. My heart is broken that they aren't here. I do believe that she is going to drive up! That doesn't make me feel happy at all, because it will be such an ordeal...heavy sigh...
After the Christmas and New Year celebrations, I will take advantage of the hours that I cannot be outside and I will write. I have not heard from any of the seven educational publishers that I sent packets to. It has been less than a month, so I am not feeling too discouraged yet. Some other writers that I have been in touch with sent out packets as well and some of them have actually gotten some news. Nobody has yet gotten an assignment, but one or two have gotten the good news that their work is appreciated and even though the company isn't hiring at this time, their work will go on file for future assignments. I mustn't despair, however. The economy is in a shambles, and for perhaps the first time in "forever" both educational and trade publishers are feeling the pinch and cutting back...another heavy sigh...
As I see it, I need to work on this SAD and try and get myself back in working order!
I predict that my poetry will be dark...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"If it could happen to me..." by Kristen Landon

I get The Writer, among other magazines, to assist me with the craft. The very last page of the Jan, 2009 issue has an interview with Kristen Landon, who writes Science-Fiction. I was glued to her every word. Science- Fiction is my favorite genre to write, in terms of fiction. I adore the notion of creating vast, as yet to be realized settings; believable, compelling, seemingly insurmountable obstacles for the very human characters that my imagination gives birth to; checking in with the laws of Quantum Physics to see which ones I can adhere to or need to override; the excitement that boils up in every cell of my body as the writing makes all of this take shape. My heroes are of course, Albert, who is the ultimate in having made sense of what doesn't, as well as Stephen Hawking, who is also brilliant beyond numbers, and Michio Kaku, whose books are at my side as I weave my way though parallel universes, and such. He's so amazing that it hurts!
Anyway, at the end of the interview, Landon gives advice. "Take chances. Work hard... Grab the luck... ...if your heart isn't in it, don't write it. Find the issues that spark your passion and build your stories around them. If this is really what you want - if you're telling your stories - then you've got a chance. If it could happen to me..."
Whoa. I'm there. I'm not published, but I am there. I found my passion many years ago. Now, I need to make it happen! And, I will.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Recent Angel Encounter

Let me get it right out there. I believe in Angels. Period. End of discussion. They are as real as you and I. I am a WRITER, but I am so much more. You are as well. Many of us know that. Many of us do not. Anyway, here is the first of my angel encounter series. Please understand that it is not the first of my encounters. It is, however, the beginning of my writings about those experiences.

I keep a calendar. It's one of those pocket-sized planners that slip easily into ones purse or pocket. It's essentially, my memory. I write everything in it. Otherwise, I would not know which end might be up. It helps keep me centered and on track. Well, I lost it. Had I moved items from it to my large "hanging in the kitchen by the phone" calendar? Surely you jest. That would be a resounding "no." After several days of searching, panic began to set in. There was no proverbial stone that had not gone unturned. My planner was gone. I was about to give up, when a fleeting reminder to ask for help stopped me in my tracks. I closed my eyes, took a few deep, cleansing breaths and asked my angels for help in finding it. From there, my feet took me to a box that I had looked in at least a half dozen times. I pulled it out, and there was my calendar.
Of course, I thanked them (once again!).
Now, a calendar/planner might seem like a silly thing to ask angels for. It might seem like a silly thing to stress over. Maybe. But not to me. The angels are there for the big things, but they are also there for the not so big. In other words, they are there.


If I had nothing else to do, I'd have this blogsite and my Livejournal site all spiffed up and reader ready! If lots of people read my blogs, I'd do it anyway. If I never had to sleep, eat, clean, (etc times 100), I could have my sci fi fiction ms all ready to commit to market. If I could find my way out of a paper bag, I would have traveled to places of inspiration for my poetry. If life didn't interfere with what I would like to accomplish, I'd be "all caught up." Wait a minute....isn't life what I write about? As insignificant as these interruptions seem to be, they seem to be snippets of life. If I didn't have my life, I wouldn't be typing these words on this page, now, would I?
If I can find more time, I will make every effort to stay up-to-date on my blogsites while at the same time finding even more time to write. The rest of the time, life can have at me!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


After what seems like an eternity to me, I have gathered, organized, honed, redone, tweaked, and prepared the contents for packets to send out to a small handful of carefully chosen publishing companies whose sole purpose is to sell non-fiction to schools and libraries. These packets look like large paper envelopes. These large paper envelopes contain yet more papers with writing on them. However, that could not be farther from the truth. These packets actually contain glimpses of who I am as a writer of non-fiction. These seemingly innocuous packets could make the difference in my future as a writer of non-fiction. I am putting myself out there, as it were, to toss and turn as the waves of a battered economy take charge of the directions that these packets may take. My writing samples need to find their ways to editorial directors who are looking for just what I have to offer. The slush piles are greedy. They can't wait to claim yet another soul of a writer. The truth of the matter is clear. There are many of us. MANY. The market is flooded as the waves continue to do what they do best, depending on the weather conditions. My packets could easily get lost in the storm. OR, they could get washed ashore, gently, like a message in a bottle, to be found by just the eyes who are looking for them. So, I'll send them off, with a prayer for them to find a home. Do wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November's End

E-Gad! Well, I have recently read that when blogging, one doesn't apologize for not having kept up with ones blog! So, I won't apologize for not having kept up with my blog. OK? Having said that, I do wish to explain my apparent absence. For the past month+ I have been immersed in an online course, as explained in a previous entry. It was rich! At this point, I am 99.9% ready to send out "packets" to a handful of educational publishers. The beginning of December is a good time to get yourself out there as they are beginning to think ahead to their spring catalogs. Here's the thing; it's all about timing. Well, I suppose one needs to be able to handle the craft of writing non-fiction as well...that would help. So, when I go to the post office to deliver my paper children to the unknown and sometimes fickle hands of fate, I shall offer them up as a blessing, not unlike an ancient Mayan priest who is about to offer up his youngest daughter to the hands of the gods as he makes every effort to NOT look into the bowels of the volcano! (Yes, I realize that I came very close to a run-on sentence there!) After that, I will wait for the gods to smile upon me with news at some point in the not too distant future that one or more of the ed pubs would love to offer me a contract!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

October's End

I have to spend more time on this. It's essential that I stay in tune with my objectives for this site. It's about writing. It's about who I am as a writer. It's about who I am becoming. Each day brings with it more opportunities to deal with the craft, even if it's no more than a fleeting thought that I grab from the ethers to think about later for my use. It is an energy that surrounds me, runs through me, and tickles my imagination. I am trying so hard to direct that energy from there to my fingertips so that I can do what I so desperately want to do. Write. It requires a discipline that is akin to an athlete who is training for the Olympics. I had no idea it would be so difficult. My small world is full of distractions and being ADD (diagnosed and I believe it!) it takes all of my will to stay in one place long enough to get those words either on paper or in Word or Clarisworks, depending on which machine I am using at the time. I can do this. It niggles at the back of my brain during all of my waking hours. It even surfaces while I sleep, because I often recall dreams where I have been doing something that is writing related. I know that I am supposed to be doing this, because I am driven. As the saying goes, "it is written."
I will be finished with my online course with Laura Salas re: writing non-fiction for educational publishers in another couple of weeks. It has been intense, but she is good. I am learning so much. I feel good about it and it was no mistake that it happened to grab my attention. My first love is fiction, but this is very satisfying as well. I would love to create some works of truth that kids actually enjoy reading, whether it's for research or just pleasure.
I am currently working on an article to submit to the group for critiquing. It's about the box jelly that is found in Australia. Kids would love it because the critter's venom is strong enough to kill humans and rather quickly at that. The thing would give me nightmares if I lived there!
That's all for now. I am promising myself to be more faithful to this blog after I finish the course.
Over and out...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Educational Publishers

I am going to start on online class re: writing for educational publishers on September 29th. Laura Salas is teaching it and it really sounds and feels like a direction that might very well work for me. I adore writing fiction. I love writing poetry. However, I taught fourth and fifth graders for nearly forty years. It makes sense to me to marry my teaching experiences with writing for educational markets. I am really excited to begin. Hey..."nothing ventured, nothing gained," right?

Friday, August 29, 2008

in the beginning...

My writing career began when I learned to read. I fell in love with books from a very early age. In fact, I am relatively certain that this affair with the written word began many lifetimes ago. At any rate, although I remember little about my childhood, I do remember the excited feeling that I would get when we went to the library or had a chance to write stories. The other bit that I am able to recall from my childhood is around visiting my best friend's house and recording stories that I would tell. I always began with "Once upon a time," and the rest would be made up as I would go along. When I was in high school, I was part of a small group of storytellers that would go to the local library and tell stories to small groups of elementary aged children. From there I went to college and was told by my creative writing teacher that I had talent. After I graduated from college I was fortunate to land my first teaching job. From there, life took over. I got married, had two children, and taught school for the next thirty-nine years, earning my masters, national board certification, and the presidential award in excellence in elementary science for my state (Maine) as I zoomed through my life's story. I am presently sixty-one years old and have yet to fulfill my dream to write to publish. I have much to offer and have worked at honing my skills and continue to work. It's an ongoing and never-ending process. Having said all of that, I am anxious to begin. Do wish me luck.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

positive attitude

It's the end of August. I am actually not sad to see summer's end. It's been hot, humid and wet most of the summer and the mosquitoes have run rampant. Perhaps the fall will bring with it the gift of sunny days without biting insects. One can hope.
This is my first entry on Blogger/Blogspot. I have a blog set up on livejournal ( that I have used to capture my thinking and I will keep it alive. I will use this one for writing in general. My livejournal blog is for writing as well, but this one will have a different flavor. I am making a promise to myself to write every day and the positive attitude will come about as I keep my promise to myself.
I hope to meet other writers and in the process, learn from them and hopefully have them learn from me.