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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Putting Our Hearts Into Our Books


That’s Carol Lee Mahler on the left. This was her first booksigning at the NJ Romance Writers’ Conference. She’s been a member of NJRW for many years, so this was an especially sweet conference for her because she was selling copies of her first published book. I bought one. 😀

I’m on the right, looking like a general with several pins from past conferences decorating my badge. I attended excellent workshops and listened to inspiring speeches by Virginia Kantra and Jane Porter. But I also had the opportunity to chat with several writing friends.

Writing is a very solitary task, but a writer doesn't have to suffer a lonely existence. Being part of a group of writers helps--a lot. As authors, we put our hearts into every book we write. We care about the characters we put in our books. We want them to have their happy ever after and we just can't be satisfied until they do.

And then we send our book children out into the world! 😘

At lunch, I won one of the raffle baskets. This one was put together by Judy Kentrus. In addition to her book, Tea in Time, the basket contained a lovely little teapot, a few varieties of tea, biscuits, shortbread, and Ghirardelli chocolate. Delicious!

I can't wait until the next conference!





Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Another good place to sketch...

I found the Social Security office to be a great place to sketch. Once, many years ago, I sat there with one of my daughters for three hours. I had brought a book along, but I doubted I would get a chance to read it--and I didn't. There were too many other distractions in the waiting room. It was fortunate I brought along my sketch book. The Social Security waiting room was just as good as the beach for sketching--nobody moved much at all.

My daughter and I chatted with a veteran who was trying to get disability payments so he could go to school. He needed a pen to fill out a form and he could not find a pen in the waiting room--so I gave him one I had gotten from one of my writer friends and I told him to keep it, but he didn't. So I really did not get the chance to advertise another romance writer. Still, it was interesting to hear someone else's life story. I can always use another character in one of my books.

Perhaps the Social Security office isn't as slow as it once was. Nowadays, people have the opportunity to complete many transactions online. Still, that day I had good company, interesting conversation, and some practice in quick sketches. It was a good day. 😊

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Ocean Waves



I've always lived near the ocean. I love the smell of briny air--whether it's winter, spring, summer, or fall. I believe a walk on the beach is the antidote for many ills. "The vast majority of water on the Earth's surface, over 96 percent, is saline water in the oceans." (https://water.usgs.gov/edu/earthhowmuch.html) Of course, humans cannot drink ocean water, but the ocean provides fish, lobsters, clams, shrimp, mussels, and other delicacies humans enjoy.

I feel like I'm standing at the edge of the world when I'm at the beach. However, I would never want to live on the beach. I know the power of an angry ocean and the damage it can do. It is far, far better to live on high ground.

Since I'm a Jersey girl, water figures prominently in many of my books. I got the idea for Sea of Hope while walking on the beach one day. Heaven's Blue came about when my sister's job inspired me to write about a mosquito researcher. Irons in the Fire resulted from frequent rides in hubby's motorboat.  In Daddy Wanted, the heroine's hobby is surfing. I never tried surfing, but I've spend hours watching surfers catch waves--and when there's a storm coming I always go to the beach to watch the daredevil surfers brave the awesome power of the ocean.

Humans are supposed to care for the earth and the environment. It's a job given to us by God. We haven't done very well in obeying that command. The beaches in New Jersey are being swallowed up by the ocean. The storms are becoming more violent. The earth is warming, the ice caps are melting, and I worry that I might soon be living on oceanfront property. As much as I love a walk on the beach, I don't want the ocean at my door.

But I still find the beach a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. I can watch the gulls and the fishermen. I can pick up shells and marvel at their beauty. I can make up more stories to write. It's a great place to relax and simply be.