Life lessons learned from journaling

For four months I worked incredibly long hours helping a group of engineers write a proposal to the United States Air Force. My job was to advise and to make sure they correctly followed the request for proposal (RFP) instructions in the given number of pages. Plus I edited and rewrote their work to make the proposal read like it was written in one voice. I would arrive at work around 7:30 am and leave between six and eight in the evening. That left me just enough time to have a quick dinner at our hotel where the selections were less than enticing and go up to my hotel room and get ready for bed. Regular writing even under these conditions reminded me how important journaling is to my continued well-being. It always gives me space to gripe, to rant, and even to describe some of the good things about my day. Since journaling has become a way of life for me, I couldn’t let it go no matter what. Unfortunately, my other writing went by the wayside during this heavy period of work and I’ … [Read more...]

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Draft five of my novel is with five beta readers

  Last June I sent Draft Four of my novel-in-progress to five beta readers. This past Sunday I did it again. I sent Draft Five to five different beta readers. I also sent the manuscript to one of the first five beta readers and asked her to let me know if she thinks I created any damage as a result of all the cuts, changes, and rewrites I made to this latest draft - to comply with current guidelines for lengths of novels, I cut almost 9000 words. Hopefully, I left enough in tact that I didn't ruin anything. However, I have a safety net. I have saved every single draft of my novel. I can always add something back in if necessary. You can probably tell from the above, I consider getting my novel out in public both scary and exciting. However, it gives me a much-needed break from it. I've asked my readers to send me their comments by June 30 or sooner, so now I have time to blog, write some new poetry (I plan to participate in Robert Lee Brewer's April Poem A Day Challenge t … [Read more...]

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Ageism doesn’t apply

I’m Going Back to Work I wasn’t looking for consulting work when I retired in April 2010 at the age of seventy. I was intent on working as a creative writer rather than a technical writer and proposal manager. For me it was either now or never. And I succeeded. In the last four and a half years I had my memoir published, I’ve written for several websites, I’ve written poems for two books of photography, and co-edited three poetry anthologies. Now I’m knee deep in revising my first novel. So really I have no time to work a day job, as they like to say. Actually, in the last couple of years I worked a couple of short-term consulting jobs – helping a group of engineers write proposals to the U.S. government. And it was easy-going back. I found that once I walked in the door I got into the swing of the work immediately. It was like I’d never been gone. Of course after doing the kind of work I did for almost thirty years, I shouldn’t have had any doubt that I could still perform … [Read more...]

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What’s next after the words are on the page?

My guest today is Jason Matthews, an author of the novels, The Little Universe and Jim's Life. He's also the author of How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks All for Free, How to Make Your Own Free Website and Get On Google Front Page. I met Jason on Google+ where he generously promoted my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On. I'm glad to have the opportunity to finally return the favor. Jason has worked with thousands of indies to build author platforms, expand social media, learn to blog, make websites and sell ebooks. Here are his thoughts about writing, why he writes, and what comes after the writing is finished. What's Next? by Jason Matthews Your words are on the pages. The cover brings a smile. It’s published as an ebook at all the major retailers and available as paperback. It’s selling some. Congratulations. How does it feel? I don’t know much about postpartum depression, but it feels like publishing a book that’s taken a year or several to produce might be the closest … [Read more...]

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New challenge: a blog post a day

I'm always willing to take the challenge. Joe Bunting over at The Write Practice says it's easy and a good way to get our names and books out there. So here I go. It's the first of the month. Let's see if I can come up with a post everyday - at least everyday this month. Anyone want to join me? I decided to leave my home computer and go over to our local bakery for lunch. I always find my muse here, even with the music blaring. It's fun to people watch, and besides the food is great. Unfortunately I can't eat the bakery anymore since I'm lactose intolerant and gluten free. No matter, the salads are great and very fresh. And speaking of muse, here's the poem I just wrote here: At the Bakery They come here in a steady stream and wait in long lines to order. There’s sandwiches listed on the board salads pre made in the cooler below the counter with baskets of fresh baked cookies and sweet rolls over to the left. I’ve been coming to this place for years. It’s where I … [Read more...]

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7 awards in one – paying it forward

I am thrilled and  honored to be nominated by author and blogger Kathy Pooler for the 7-in-1 Award—a collection of seven shiny awards all rolled in one. About Kathy: Kathy retired as a  family nurse practitioner  in 2011 after forty-four years as a registered nurse. She and her  husband, Wayne have a blended family of six children, ten grandsons, ages 5-24, and a Golden Retriever, Max. They live on the 135-acre land that used to be Wayne’s grandfather’s dairy farm  where he grows organic vegetables. Life is good. Kathy's goal for 2014 is to publish her first memoir, Ever Faithful to His Lead: A Memoir About Choices and to complete my second memoir, Hope Matters: A Memoir of Faith. Thank you so much Kathy for nominating me for the 7-in-1 blog award (and thank you for allowing me to use some of your words here). Now it's my turn to nominate some of my favorite blogs for the award as well. First things first: Here are the rules for the 7-in-1 awards: Display the logo on your b … [Read more...]

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Ten ways to reinvent yourself after sixty

I am Naturally Savvy’s Over Sixty Expert, contributing about an article a month at the website. This piece was originally published on March 31, 2013. Please go there to read more of my articles on topics relevant to women over sixty. I love exploring ways for us to keep moving, keep working, keep creating, keep experiencing life to the fullest no matter how old we are. I first heard of the term reinvention when I entered “More” magazine’s February 2010 Reinvention story contest. My story about how I returned to work outside my home and began to write regularly after the suicide death of my son came in eleventh in the number of votes received out of over 500 entries. With that, the term reinvention became part of my vocabulary. I write about it frequently. Nora Ephron said it’s good for women to reinvent themselves every ten years. She also said reinvention seems easier for women than for men. And I agree. In fact, seven years after I went back to work full time, I retired and rei … [Read more...]

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