Thursday, February 02, 2023

JeRoWriMo--The New Jersey Romance Writers' 30,000 Word Challenge


 I signed up for JeRoWriMo again. This time I'm doing revisions on a book I started in the 2021 JeRoWriMo Challenge. Last year was difficult for me, so not much writing was accomplished, but I am going to finish the book this time. It's a historical romance set in 1903, which is considerably more contemporary than some of my other historicals, but still an interesting time in the history of the world. 

I haven't decided on a name yet though I have a few ideas for the title. But right now, I want to get everything nice and tidy. 

The JeRoWriMo cheerleaders are in high spirits and encouraging everyone to keep typing! Good times!

Thursday, January 26, 2023

No Snow—Yet

The Promenade in Keyport, New Jersey


      So far this winter there has been no significant snow in this part of New Jersey. We had a few flurries, but we’ve had a lot of rain. It hasn’t been very cold either, which is nice for those of us who like to get some fresh air and go for a walk. I realize at some point snow will fall and everyone will complain about it, but there has always been something magical—at least to me—when the first snow covers the ground and everything is clean and white—and quiet, since there are fewer cars driving in the icy conditions. 

     On the other hand, the drenching rains we’ve endured lately make for dreary days. I wear an all-weather coat with a hood. I hate rain running down on my head. Taking care of errands in the rain seems more exhausting than taking care of errands on a sunny day. 

     However, we are fortunate to have Bell Works nearby. Sometimes on rainy days we go there to get our exercise. There’s a lovely grand piano near the main entrance. Sometimes, hubby plays a few songs on it. Sometimes, someone else is there tickling the keys. A few days ago, we stopped in and listened to a young man who was playing old classics that we are especially fond of—like “Sway.” We were singing along. 

     The young man said he comes there frequently, but he’s not seventeen yet so he can’t drive and must rely on someone else to give him a ride. He uses his phone to look up the chords for the songs and he figures out the melody. I asked him if he could play “There Is Love” but he didn’t know that one at all. Oh well.

     Still, it is always a treat to see young people involved in making music. So, maybe rainy days can be magical, too. It was a joy to sing along to old songs on a rainy day. 

 Entrance to Bell Works


     


Thursday, January 19, 2023

Start Pinning!




This is a partial screen shot of my Pinterest board. I am attempting to organize it. I receive more attention from other Pinterest devotees everyday than I do on any other social media site. Not all of my pins are about my books, of course. My lighthouse and teapot board seem to get the most attention. For those interested in crochet projects, Pinterest is the place to be! 

The biggest problem with Pinterest is that it will take more of your precious writing time and it's easy to get lost in forever. I've found I have to time myself and often only work on my boards once a week.

Sign up. Follow me at http://www.pinterest.com/penelopemarzec/. Check out my teapots. 😊

Thursday, January 12, 2023

ANGEL OF THE L TRAIN in LARGE PRINT!


ANGEL OF THE L TRAIN
will be released in a large print edition with a library binding by Thorndike Press on January 25, 2023. It can be pre-ordered now at https://www.amazon.com/Angel-Train-Novel-Penelope-Marzec/dp/B0BFXL7L2D/ .  Ask your library to order the book! 

It's received many wonderful reviews. One reviewer said, "It’s a beautiful story of forgiveness. Two wounded people must learn to forgive others…and themselves." 

Another reviewer said, "The twists and turns in this book along with the romance and inspiration kept me turning pages, and I enjoyed the characters who came to life."

On Goodreads, one reviewer wrote, "...Marzec doesn’t neglect the most important healing of all. The spiritual message is strong, with Thea’s faith being tested but surviving and John inching his way back to belief."

You won't want to miss this one!  



Thursday, January 05, 2023

Stand Out in the Crowd


The water lay calm as the sun dropped lower in the sky. Even in winter, there are footprints on the beach. It draws many who seek a moment of peace, calm, and reflection. For me, it is the perfect spot to consider the end of one year and the beginning of another. The vast empty future waits for memories to be left behind, like those footprints in the sand.

I don't make resolutions anymore, but I do have plans for 2023.  First, I intend to do all I can to stay well. Then, I hope to finish another book and get it published. I also have to decide what to do with the books whose rights have recently been returned to me. I will continue to advertise, send out newsletters, beg for reviews, give talks, and work toward selling more books, which is the most difficult of all my plans for the future. 

Sometimes when people discover I am an author, they proceed to give me all kinds of advice on how I should ramp up my writing career. The most interesting piece of advice they offer is for me to get on the New York Times bestseller list. Sigh. 

That would indeed be very helpful.

Daughter #2 and I have chatted about the "herd" instinct of most people. Everyone wants to do exactly what everyone else is doing. Everyone wants to read the books on the bestseller list, but few are willing to sample a relatively unknown author. Everyone wants to see the hottest Broadway show, but there are many local shows offered for much smaller fees with unknown actors. 

Many people spend their vacations at the hottest resorts, too. 

It seems few are willing to be daring. Few are willing trust their own tastes when it comes to entertainment. 

For those of you who haven't made any plans for 2023, I say be bold. Read books your friends haven't read. See shows your friends haven't seen. Visit places your friends haven't visited. 

Then tell your friends about your new experience. Stand out in the crowd. Life is an adventure. Make it your own.