They’re here!! It’s really happening. Release date is April 23rd. Time to check for typos.
Choose Your Big Rocks First
Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses
People are often told to work on improving areas where they are “weakest’ to better themselves. That never made sense to me. Focus on your strengths, accentuate the positive, grow to your highest potential.
Wishing that you achieve your highest goals.
A friend recently sent me this picture –
I can see sharing a beer with Mr. Shakespeare to help alleviate writer’s block! Or several beers! 😉 At least we’d have a good time. ***I just realized this is Pinot Noir, NOT beer. Oh, well, it has the same effect.
Fortunately, I’ve never suffered from true writer’s block. There have been times when I’m not sure how a scene will unfold or what direction the plot will go, but I find that if I approach it from another direction, the way will become clear. Usually that means working on another part of the novel where I’m sure of the way, or reviewing what I’ve already written to get a sense of what comes next.
My subconscious or higher self is where my ideas germinate. Thinking about the plot doesn’t generally produce great insights. I find that if I mull it over and spend some time brainstorming, researching and writing down ideas and go off to do something else – or go to sleep – and let things percolate, at some point ideas will start popping into my head. I always have a notebook with me so I can jot them down, but once the path of the plot unfolds, it becomes ‘real’ and I don’t forget it.
Many writers will tell you the book ‘writes itself’ or characters will do things that surprise you and change the trajectory of the plot. I find that’s true for me. When I get into the creative writing ‘zone’, it just flows out of me. I know what’s going to happen next and what the characters are going to do and say. Sometimes it’s not what I’d planned or expected, but it’s almost always better.
Right now I am revising Indian Summer, the first novel chronologically of the three companion books, which will be published after The Field as a prequel. I’m getting good feedback from my writers’ group and I can see how much I’ve progressed as a fiction writer since I started writing it about 13 years ago. I’m excited about the new, polished result.
I’m also starting to get ideas for the fourth novel of the quartet, which will provide what I hope is a satisfactory conclusion. More to come on that later!
Keep being creative!
I’m very excited to share that Brown Books Publishing Group is publishing my novels!
The Field is scheduled to release in Spring 2019. Indian Summer will be released next as a prequel followed by Catalyst. I’ve started work on the fourth book which is a sequel to Catalyst and the conclusion of the series. The first three books are not sequels, but companion books.
Brown Books is working on the marketing strategy and requesting endorsements from authors. I’m beyond pleased to share this news!
I can’t believe it’s been over a year since my last post! A LOT happened in the past year. I moved, changed jobs AND totally revised Catalyst, my work in progress. It has now been through numerous rewrites and beta readers and I’m ready to send it out to agents and publishers. Here are the first few pages to give you a taste.
I’ve had glimpses of something beyond my five senses. Usually it’s premonitions and intuition, but four years ago when I was in middle school I communicated with the spirit of a Native American girl. I want to experience that again, but I don’t know how. Sometimes she inhabits my dreams and I wake up wishing I could connect with her while I’m awake and wondering if I imagined it all in the first place. It feels like a door that was once open to me is shut and I don’t have the key. Thinking about it gives me a vague, unsettled feeling. It’s like something is missing from my life.
I give myself a mental shake and pull the door handle to get out of the car, determined not to give in to anxious thoughts. Hopefully the next few weeks will keep my mind occupied with other things.
We arrive at the Angel Mounds archaeological dig site in time for dinner. That’s when all the students in the field study are supposed to arrive for orientation and a ‘meet-and greet’ evening as my mom refers to it. It’s her dig. She’s an archaeologist at the University and I’ve been to several of her sites over the years, but this is my first time actually working on a site. Not bad for a summer job – at least that’s what I’m hoping. It’s unpaid, but still great experience. She was able to get all three of us – me, Eric and his girlfriend, Renee – spots on the dig team.
I’m checking out the people milling around the clearing when I see them. Their presence immediately commands my attention.
Most of the others are probably college students from the University, archaeology or anthropology students, doing a summer field study course, but these two are different.
The man suddenly turns and looks me straight in the eye. It’s as if he senses me looking at him, or thinking about him. Because that’s how it feels. Like he’s reaching out and touching my thoughts. I hear him say, ‘hello, Marcie’, not audibly, but inside my mind. I take a slight step back, startled, but hold his gaze and the connection between us. In my previous experiences I’d never heard words spoken. Just thoughts and feelings. He inclines his head toward me and touches the brim of his hat before returning to talk to his blond companion. I’m a little disturbed by the whole exchange. Something about him makes me uneasy. My skin shivers and I rub my arms to dispel the feeling. Who is this guy and how had he communicated with me?
I shift my gaze to the woman. Her caramel-colored hair is braided into a heavy rope hanging down her back and she’s gesturing in smooth, fluid motions as she talks. She gives the impression of being both still and animated, reminding me of a cat stalking its prey, immobile save for the twitching of its tail. Contained is the word that comes to mind. The way her eyes roam over the other waiting people, stopping only briefly to look at me, enhances the feline resemblance.
They’re standing off to one side of the shelter with their heads together and holding clipboards, deep in conversation. Both are dressed like everyone else in shorts and t-shirts with beat-up boots and hats. The guy has his back to me, talking to the girl, or woman, as they are obviously older, probably graduate students. His hair is black and smooth, held back by a leather tie. It isn’t that they look any different from anyone else. They feel different. They have a palpable energy about them.
Wish me luck on my submissions!
I’ve finally found title for the novel I’m working on – Catalyst!
Titles are hard to come up with, but this one is perfect. The novel itself is intended to be a catalyst for readers to open them up to spirituality and environmentalism and how our spiritual growth impacts the health of the planet as a living entity.
The young people in the novel are also catalysts. They are the wayshowers for other awakening souls who wonder “Is this all there is?” Are you one of those people? I know I was. I remember being in the parking lot of the grocery store 19 years ago with my then three year old twins crying because I knew that somehow there was more to the world, the Universe than just the day-to -day going to work, doing the laundry, etc. My search for higher meaning is an ongoing process, but one with great rewards.
I hope that through the vehicle of story, the great teacher of fiction, that I can weave a tale that will both enthrall and inspire you to look for and find the answers to the question – Is this all there is? Because I know for certain that there is much, much more in the Universe than we ever imagined. We simply need to open ourselves up to spiritual growth. It only takes small steps to get started.
Be more aware
Listen to your intuition
Ask the Divine for guidance
Sit silently in prayer or meditation
Be in nature
What are ways that you’re connecting with your higher self?
I’m getting ready to write the scene in my WIP where the characters visit Mammoth cave in Kentucky. Being deep underground, caves aren’t bombarded with all of the energy waves from cell phones, TV’s, radios, etc., and some consider them to be portals to other dimensions. To find out more about that, you’ll have to read my novel when I’m finished. 🙂
Last spring I went on a research trip to Mammoth and Diamond caves to learn more about them. The most interesting thing I learned, which might seem obvious, but didn’t occur to me until I was in the cave is that it is PITCH BLACK when they turn out the lights. You could see absolutely NOTHING. Not the hand in front of your face or even the movement of your hand. It took a brave soul to venture down there before they were electrically lighted.
Mammoth cave is mostly a dry cave, so while it was beautiful and cool, it didn’t have the stalagmites and stalactites that form from dripping water.
Tunnel in Mammoth Cave
Rock passage in Mammoth Cave
Emerald Cave, which is much smaller, but actually part of the same cave system, is a wet cave and has beautiful features formed from the constantly dripping water.
It’s hard to do justice to the beauty with my little instamatic camera. All of the caves were originally thought to be formed by water and at the lower levels not open to the public, underground rivers flow. One of the rivers, appropriately called the River Styx, emerges from the ground through a rock wall onto the surface.
This looks like a pool of water, but it is actually a river flowing out of the rock wall.
One of the themes of my books is the dangers of Fracking. We found it interesting that the buses at Mammoth Cave National Park are run on the so-called ‘clean energy’ of natural gas. Ironic to say the least.
Research trips are one of the perks of being an author!
I’m about a quarter of the way through with the very rough draft of my next untitled novel. Titles are really hard and I’m hoping for some inspiration to strike somewhere in the writing process!
As in my other books there is an environmental theme. I’m very concerned about what humans are doing to our planet with pollution, nuclear radiation, fracking, and burning fossil fuels. There is a lot of evidence that what we do harms the planet and I believe that there is a limit to what the Earth can absorb of our throw-away culture. There are better, healthier alternatives to plastic waste, pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and fossil fuels. Don’t even get me started on antibacterial soap! Antibiotics are turning up in mountain stream water! We just have to show a commitment on a personal level. What you do does matter. Corporations and governments won’t change of their own volition. They change in response to economic pressures – buying habits of consumers – and public pressure – how we vote. My way of showing my commitment is to include these issues in my books interwoven with stories of normal teens.
In THE FIELD the characters learn about and interact with The Universal Energy Field and the Collective Consciousness. This book will have aliens. Or star-beings, or extra-terrestrials – whatever you want to call them. If you think about the vastness of the Universe – billions of galaxies, billions of stars with billions of planets – I think it is naive, and really arrogant, as well, to assume that we are the only form of intelligent life out there. Or that we are the most advanced form of life. These other life forms could be so advanced that they could already be here without our knowledge. At least the knowledge of the general population. There are certainly enough UFO sightings by credible sources such as airline pilots and military personnel to make one wonder about it.
A lot of books and movies about aliens have them attacking Earth. Then there are movies such as Interstellar, ET, Contact, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. What if that is the truth? What if star-beings don’t mean to harm us, but want to help us? Are we ready to accept their help?
Here are some sites with more information.
Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute – SETI – Carl Sagan Center
Institute of Noetic Sciences – IONS Founded by Apollo Astronaut Edgar Mitchell – Science and Consciousness