Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One day back, One day forward

This past Sunday I played golf! Not an earth-shaking declaration unless you factor in that I've probably played golf three or four times in the last five years. Prior to that I golfed five days out of every week. I loved golf and really enjoyed being out on the links with friends and hubby. (Yes, we found playing golf together to be great). The only reason I quit was because when playing a long course you are usually out there four or five hours and one day I thought, "Why am I out here playing a game when I really would rather be inside at my computer writing?" The answer was simple so I packed my clubs away, not completely out of sight and I must admit once in a while as I saw them abandoned in the shed, I wished I could play again. But, it was not feasible to pay a yearly fee for a few games. This golf on Sunday was the result of a friend who asked me to play in a small scramble tournament next month and since I thought I was too rusty to even try, she talked me into going out for a practice round. A few holes, is what she said. I thought that sounded fine but once on the course, we were having such a good time, we played all eighteen. Funny how that stuff comes back.

Then on Monday I began to prepare for the current week. Since my newest book has come out I've become more involved in the local writing world. Tomorrow will be my first creative writing class in a six-week series at the South Florida Community College. First of all, I love doing this. It's the fourth time they have asked me back to teach and so I'm preparing lesson plans and handouts for the 10 students who have signed up for the course. I relish small classes because then you can give individual help. Also this week, on Saturday, I'll be the keynote speaker at a fund-raiser for a local organization (ARC). For the past few years they have invited authors to speak and I was very honored to be chosen for this year's event. But I have to polish off my speech, prepare brochures and get final plans made for this auspicious event.

Busy? Yes. Loving it? Yes. I guess I love the activity and also the diversity so it's back to the computer. Isn't my life grand?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

This Past Week

Sometimes I wonder where the time goes and then I look at my calendar and find out. I've been busy and that's not a complaint, it's a celebration.

I've done some interesting new things, some enjoyable comfortable things and experienced joys I hadn't expected.

On Sunday evening I attended the first of a series of Heartland Cultural Alliance events featuring authors. It was a 'reading' at Brewsters Coffee House,in Sebring. HCA is a great organization dedicated to bringing local cultural aspects to the forefront and attention of the residents of Highlands County. At one time I served on the Board but my expanding responsibilities forced me to retire the position, however, I have maintained my membership and am so proud of the wonderful progress they are making under its wonderful new direction. This event was a first in many ways; the first time it was held and a first for me. Originally billed as a poet's reading event, HCA asked me if I would be the initial reader. Since I'm not really a poet I questioned as to whether I would fit the formula but was assured that I could read anything I had written. I've written a few poems but in no way do I consider myself a poet. Still I decided to read a couple of poems and a short story which had been chosen for a Florida Writers Association anthology. I must say the reading went well and there was a small and interested crowd to fill the Coffee House. The event is going to be held at 6:30 on the second and fourth Sunday evenings of the month. As a writer I am looking forward to hearing others who will take part in this event.

On Thursday I was scheduled to speak at a women's group of St. John Methodist Church in Sebring. I give inspirational and motivational speeches whenever I can. It was very cold that morning and I hustled off at 8:00 to enjoy breakfast with 20 women who are part of a service group associated with the church. I was invited to also display my books. (A lovely plus to any speaking engagement). The topic of my presentation was based on Phil. 4:13, "I can do all things…" My speech was well received, they were interested in my books and I made some new friends.

Later that same day I attended the regular meeting of my community's book club. We have about twelve to fourteen women who meet monthly to discuss a book which has been previously chosen for review. This month they featured my latest book Forgiven. What an honor. I was pleased and looked forward to the critique but wondered if being a friend, rather than an author they had never had interaction with, they would be wary of hurting my feelings. As in the past, I have always maintained that there is no such thing as a thin-skinned writer. I always welcome any comments because I feel this is part of a writer's growth. I was pleasantly surprised at the open and interesting discussion that ensued. It really was fun!

I've also been able to get some work done on the newest manuscript.

This morning my husband and I attended the annual pancake breakfast at the clubhouse and had a nice time socializing with our friends here at Crystal Lake. Tonight it's pinochle and of course scattered throughout the week were the ever-present doctor's appointments and trips to the grocery store that become part of our weekly routine.

Each morning I begin my day with a daily devotional time. A dear internet friend, whom I've never met, sent me a devotional book last year and I love it. This quiet time is precious and often I read the message to my husband which sets off a pleasant and interesting discussion. A great way to begin the day.

I am blessed in so many ways.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Where had Sunny gone? No blog. No news. No nothing (I think that double negative is okay in this instance). Even I didn't know where she was.

It was a weird sensation, a great feeling actually, when yesterday, for the first time in three months, I sat down at the computer and began to write again. In the past, both distant and near, I wrote every day, or almost every day. It is a passion I can't ignore but somehow in October, November and December of 2010 I just couldn't write. I had difficulty concentrating on anything. Were health problems related to both my husband and me to blame? Perhaps, but this hiatus was a first and frankly it scared me. I just couldn't concentrate on anything and I could probably create a long list of excuses, none of which matter now.

As I said, she's baaaack. I was so excited about getting my latest novel, Forgiven, published that I could think of little more in October and November when the book was released by Double Edge Press. There were signings to set up, speeches to schedule and there seemed to be no time to write but that's not true. It was me and I didn't like the me that showed up for that period of time. Perhaps it was because Forgiven was the first book to be published by a 'real' publisher. Up to that time I'd self-published and was not ashamed of that fact, but having a true, real publisher is wonderful. The delicious words "my publisher' sure do enhance a writer's station in the mix.

Prior to yesterday (January 6th) I had attempted from time to time to get back to the most current manuscript. Somehow I had messed this one up. I had difficulty with the continuity so back in December I tried to fix it by cutting and pasting and deleting and adding and it only made it worse. So this past week I began to read what had already been written. I liked it but the sequences were out of order and the more I tried to fix it the worse it became and the more confused I became. I did not, however, ever considering giving up. I came close to trashing the whole thing and starting over, but that's not going to happen. I worked almost all day yesterday on the manuscript and by Jove I think it's coming together.

Today my calendar is filled to capacity but I'll bet you anything, I write a bit more on the book which hovers just on the horizon of completion. I love writing and am so happy to be back.

I missed me!