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Archive for October, 2010

I have to admit to being very excited by the official launch of my book. I didn’t think I would be.  The process of writing and publishing is long…it took me twenty years to get to this point.  Although the effort was not sustained from the beginning, some very cool questions came up during the party and I thought they are well worth reviewing.
Size matters to me in writing. I had a goal of one hundred thousand words which, I felt, constituted a fairly intensive and action filled story. That was my standard.   A novel of 50-60 thousand words is acceptable but not for my first novel.
My manuscript did not languish forgotten for those twenty years. In fact I had prepared a very basic and unappealing presentation of the book, on 8×11 sheets in a three ring binder with a title page.  Anyone who wanted to read it, could.  But, it was incomplete and very poorly done. After all, the story was written originally on a pad, in pencil and transcribed on to a commodore 64, or one of those early pc’s.
Three years ago, a friend read it and encouraged me to publish it.  When I got around to thinking it over,  my original plan was to do that online because, by this time,  my fanfiction stories were growing in number and readers.
All I needed was someone to type it for me. Easier said than done. I did it myself in the end because the format of fanfiction makes it easy.  It was a good thing to do it myself anyway.  I  realized that the story did not sound or feel complete.
Deep in some old boxes, still preserved in a plastic bag, was the manuscript for part two, hand written in pencil, as I did in those days, and waiting  to be completed. I had to write ten more chapters, 30,000 words this time but as I did the work, I fell in love with my characters, the story and the message all over again.  What I can do now, I could not have done twenty years ago.  I have learned that patience and persistance are truly virtues if life is to be fulfilled.
After a year, I completed the novel, had close to the 100,000 words, felt secure that the story could hold up under scrutiny and posted it online. To my surprise, it out performed my other stories. Confident that it could hold up undermore intense and professional scrutiny , I sent it to the publisher for printing.
No book is ever completed in isolation. My thanks, first and foremost, goes to my sister who read it and edited much of it. What is not corrected is only what I couldn’t afford to redo. She did a beautiful job.
The Gershwin family, through their lawyers gave me permission to use the words from a Gershwin song. That process was interesting. I love the cover and thank the photographer who took it. The clock, the bird, the leaves all fit with this time of year and the revelatory events in the life of the heroine. My award winning brother in law deserves credit for taking a great shot of me (Bryan Davies photos) and thanks to all those who read the manuscript before the final priniting and encouraged me to just do it!  The publishers, iUniverse were also extremely helpful and supportive.
I am not one to push my own work, so I appreciate our colleague, Shelley who offered to be my publicist for the launch.
Nothing is ever done in isolation. The women whose life stories contributed to this work deserve my thanks for sharing their intimate selves with me and contributing greatly to the wealth of information about the emotions attached to just getting by, day to day, when life seems to hold you down. Disappointments, doubts, stress and violence are not confined to the poor and disadvantaged, nor the wealthy. It is a circumstance of this life in which we all participate. We must therefore strive to understand those around us whose lives may not be what they seem on the surface. Be a friend. That is the moral of my story.

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I don’t know if I am like other people. I would hope so, but sometimes I wonder. I like driving. For me, it is a stress reducing exercise. It’s like being in a bubble, a world of my own where I can think, sing, listen to music, or plan. A whole idea, which germinated in the morning can transform into something different once it has passed the filters of a long drive.
I already knew that most of my stories and blogs are formulated while driving on those long winding lanes of Southern Ontario, but now that I have suspended active writing while learning to play the guitar, I am acutely aware that my life needs transforming. It came to me through this series of posts about leaves and aging, and signs and omens. This is a big time of year for me as an individual. Using the word transformation is significant.
I know that astrologers and astronomers have delisted the Planet Pluto.  However, there are still some of us who love its energy because we believe in its transformative nature.  It is for me, as David Hawkins writes, the struggle between power vs force and which one will determine my future behaviour.  In the past few weeks, Pluto has gone from its retrograde state to moving forward.  For those of us spellbound by its energy, the release has opened up several doors in which thought and process become active.  This past week I have seen and heard the word Transformation many times.  In keeping with the idea of paying attention to signs and omens, I picked up my Tarot of Transformation, surely the work of a Pluto afficiando.  I will layout a few cards of this beautiful deck and see what they tell me.
It is time for change. I see it in the leaves, as well as the events and cycles shifting before my eyes.   The filter of driving confirms this shift.  I have seen something new on the horizon and need to move towards it.

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Leavin’

I am still quite caught up in the autumn images. I guess that’s what happens when you do a lot of country driving. There are no oppresive concrete structures along the country lanes to mar the beauty of nature.  In southern Ontario, the view is spectacular. The rolling hills lend themselves to vista upon vista of colourful delight.
As the days pass, what becomes noticeable is not the colours so much as the sad fact that the trees are becoming barren. Soon their contracted limbs will face the blowing winter winds and the weight of new fallen snow.  The scene will be a monotone white.   On a sunny day, that pristine look will have its own beauty,  but for now, I try to live in the beauty of the present.

Looking up  as I drive along I am showered with the falling leaves.  The gentle sprinkle made me wonder about what we would call this interesting phenomenon, unique to this time of year.  Moving along the natural sequence of the elements, I came to the following conclusion.  Water, when falling,  is rain therefore, it’s rainin’. Cold water is snow and it’s snowing. Dead leaves are falling.  Is it ‘leavin’?  Yes indeed it is!  I am sad but resigned.

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