Yes, You Can Publish from Your Journal

For me, my journal is the running memoir of my life, my confidant, Wailing Wall, canvas for creative thoughts, and so much more.  Most of the essays, remembrances and poems that I’ve published sprang almost full blown from the pages of my daily journal.cover 7 -2journal

I belong to a few writers’ groups; have many writer friends and acquaintances; and whenever I say, “Oh that piece.  It’s from my journal.”  I’ve been answering the questions for years and recently a friend encouraged to put it in a e-book.  Publishing has changed and anyone (for good or ill) can publish to Amazon’s Kindle platform for free.

Writing How to Journal and How to Publish from your Journal was the easy part.  I’ve been journaling more and more with an eye toward publishing.

Formatting the book to upload to Amazon was the stumbling block for me.  Fortunately, I found an easy and inexpensive software with great tutorials and I was off, and I found a great tutorial by a published author on how to create great book covers using PowerPoint.

Here it is:
Amazon is running a 7-day promo on it starting at 99¢ for the next 15 hours and rising in $1 increments back to the original sale price of $9.99.  I’m hoping at 99¢, some more folks will check it out and give me some feedback.

The Tarot Revisited.

My old Tarot deck perished in the fire a few years back along with so many of my things.

Some things were easily replaced, some not. A Tarot deck is so personal, so integrated with a person’s very chi, it is not as easily replaced as a couch, coffee pot or chair.

I’ve been looking, but nothing clicked. Today at Golden Temple, I decided to take the leap, and if a mistake, I’ll try another time til they feel right.

Tonight I’ll just shuffle and leave them on the altar amidst candles and my ladies. Tomorrow I’ll try a spread or two.


Gratitude 11/26/13 What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all we have in our lives for which we are grateful.  I have so much, and I often reflect on my largess in my Blog.  

Thanks John Archibald for asking us what we’re grateful for yesterday on a FaceBook post.  His question gave me the idea for posting a gratitude theme on FaceBook and Twitter for the rest of the week.

leaves yellow dark path

Early Morning Walk

So although this Blogpost is fresh (I promised 1 new blogpost a day throughout November), I’ll be reposting some past Blogs of mine and others along with some and famous quotes, as my personal Homage to Thanksgiving.  I hope you do the same.

Today, I am grateful that I’m walking 5 miles again on a daily basis – yay.  It was a cold wet walk this morning, but I did it.  Hindsight is 20/20.  I wonder if I should have put up with the occasional swollen and achy knee, but no I had meniscus repair surgery and it’s been a long slow health; however,

I am Grateful that I had:

  • A health insurance policy that covered the entire surgery.
  • An excellent surgeon referred to me by a friend.
  • An employer that offered sick leave.
  • A friend to take me to Brookwood Hospital and drive me home.
  • A sturdy constitution that required no drug more potent than aspirin for pain.

I missed my morning ‘constitutional’.  There is nothing like walking at the break of day, before the cars’ traffic noise and pollution steal the freshness from the air.  I’m back and I am beyond grateful.

Mañana y’all.

Day 21 Another 3500+ words & 1 Blog Today NaNo / NaBlo

Day 21 of NaNoWriMo Wordcount 41,777/ NaBloPoMo (21 for 21) 

Made my wordcount for the day on NaNo anything I write this afternoon, I’ll tack on to tomorrow’s count. Friday’s need all the help they can get.  Might not be much as I’m going to the McMinn Clinic’s open house “Botox, Bubbles and Bling” – for the Bubbles and Bling, not the Botox as I’m pretty content with my 64 yr old face.  Shifting gears now to Throwback Thor’s Day and Queries.

It’s Throw back Thor’s Day and I haven’t posted any retro pictures yet on Facebook.  I’ve joined some of my friends who post old pics from the way we were way back then – such fun.

Throw Back Thor's Day 10/24/13

Throw Back Thor’s Day 10/24/13

I started posting because since the fire in 2011, I’ve been scanning all the photos that we rescued soaking wet from the firemen’s thorough dousing before they’re faded beyond recall.

It was a 3 alarm fire and I’m still amazed that we were able to rescue as much as we did.  The fire was on a Saturday morning, and although I did a brief walk through with one of the firemen, my friend across the hall died in the fire and I just wanted the comfort of my mother’s home that day.  My cat and I spent the next 6 months there.  Moms are wonderful.

The Monday after the fire, my brother and I went back the following Monday to see what we could salvage.  It was apparent that thieves who prey on others misfortunes had already been rifling through things, but the trunks with all the old pics were in a corner of the bedroom which had half the roof and beams caved in upon it.

Tommy came over with his crowbar to pry open the warped closet doors; a sweet older street person volunteered to help and could he have one of my beers.  He probably saved my brother’s bad back some trauma by doing most of the heavy lifting.  He wanted nothing but the initial beer I handed him while we were taking a break, but I got a 12pack and $20 cash back at Wilson’s market next door to hand him when we were ready to leave.  He still waves hi whenever I see him in the neighborhood on my walks.

Excerpt from Murder is a Primary Color:
Virtual Search

The servo-cab eased away leaving Janet and Hurley on the curb leading to the Mayax University Library.  Janet loved this place.  Spire upon spire of glass and granite, like strong delicate fingers, reached through the very clouds to the heavens.  Janet and Hurley immediately hit the tram walk and then the lift, side by side, looking down as the ground fell away below them, and the servo-cab became one more dark green speck merging with the silver ribbon of roads that lead everywhere.  The Library entrance was a line of demarcation:  Through the prism of doors lay a soft expectant silence.  The din of the city hushed behind them by their noiseless closing.

Janet knew the way, down hushed halls of mauve and blue and silver hues and reflections of themselves on mirrored walls.  The private room she had called ahead and reserved was keyed to her prints alone – no lines to mess with – a privilege of faculty.  She touched her hand to the silver panel by the silver door, it glowed and the door parted.  She and Hurley walked in and sat at the control panel.  Hurley started punching contact keys, and Janet spoke “Computer, program being fed with parameters for a search.  Priority is A-A1-A, clearance is WWIII, all access, planet wide.  Request holographic mode with guide.  Please check voice print and proceed.”

“Working”, came the disembodied voice a second before materializing into a very attractive fair-haired male of about 25 who said, “Voice-print identified, verified, access approved.  Good morning, Janet, I am Stephos, we can proceed.”

And proceed they did, wending their way through circuits and corridors, seeing images of people and places, the Kanes and others.  At each point asking for data to be added to file for later hard copy.  It seemed like days, but it was only two hours before they were through.  Real time suspended when virtual time took over.  They had what they needed and the hard copy was just printing as they leaned back and bid adieu to Stephos., “Thank you Stephos, please save the entire program to my voice print and access code,” Janet finished.

“Program is saved.  Hard copy is generated. Guide terminating.”  He winked out and room became just another room again.

Mañana y’all.


Day 5 NaNoWriMo & NaBloPoMo

Day 5 of NaNoWriMo/ NaBloPoMo and I was behind by 1000 words yesterday but made it up today plus a few (wordcount 8664), on track for Blog Posts (5 for 5).

Although I’m on track as of yesterday through day today (day 5), I need to keep banking extra words for those days during the coming holiday parties when I won’t be able to manage many words at all.Yanks At Wadenhoe House

It was a long time ago and perhaps the life of a Brat took me so many places that while some memories burn bright, others are so dim as to be non-existent, less than the mists that shrouded the woods at the edge of the Wadenhoe estate many days and made of it a titillating place for me to explore.  Perusing the pictures stirs the memory but my NaNo Novel is based part in truth as seen by my 6-year-old self, stories of recollection from my mom and dad and my own imaginings – hence Novel not Memoir.

I still don’t have a good feel for my POV, but I’m letting the story take me where it will for now.  Write in haste, edit at leisure, and even the title doesn’t quite feel right.

Excerpt – Chapter One

We arrived after dark. I felt like we were in a scary movie. This huge castle loomed in the night and the fog rolled along the ground all around us as we got out of the cab. Daddy, ever the practical joker, pointed at the head carved above the entrance and said, “That is the ghost of Wadenhoe.” Mother told him to cut it out – I had to pee too bad to be scared.

A maid opened the door and showed us up the stairs to our flat (English for apartment); told us what time breakfast was served in the kitchen and left. 

There were some white bread sandwiches on the coffee table. They were butter with cucumber and butter with ham; cut into fours with the crusts neatly trimmed away; and neatly stacked on a beautiful old plate. 

We devoured them all, and Mom put us too bed. I could hardly sleep, and when she left the room, I crept to the window to look out. As I look back on that night, I know now why I liked that shot in the first Harry Potter film so much – the one where he sits looking out the frosted window of his new home high in the castle.

The next morning I was ready to go before anyone and waiting impatiently at the door. We went down the rickety stairs to the better stairs and found our way to the kitchen, where the maids were scurrying around the long table delivering breakfast to our house mates.

At that time Wadenhoe House was managed by Mrs. Boothroyd (Mrs. B) and with two exceptions, all the rooms and suites were let out to Air Force families. The exceptions were a two men, one from Scotland, one from Poland. They were always referred to as the Scot and the Pole – I never knew their names. The Scot, when in his cups, would change into kilts and march down the main staircase serenading the whole house with his bagpipes whether they liked it or not. The Pole was quiet, but with a ready smile, and always had a book in his hand.

Mrs. B introduced us around the breakfast table, and asked how we liked our eggs. I watched as the cook cracked these huge eggs into a bowl, added milk and beat them with a fork. She put them into the large iron pan on the old wood burning stove that occupied half the wall at the end of the kitchen. 

Later when Mom found out they were goose eggs, she never ate them again.

How do you stay motivated?

I’ve been obsessed with finally finishing my first ever e-book.  I’ve been ‘going to do this’ for some time and seriously started working on it late last year.

Alas, while Procrastion walks beside me, Persistent beckons in the distance.  I needed motivation to step up my pace, leave Procrastination in the dust and grab hold of Persistence or I was never going to finish this project.  Here are three things I did to help me out.

  1. I dusted off an old motivational quote that always served me in the past and posted it on my vision board above my desk where I do most of my work.  I read it everyday and it worked.
  2. I started blogging about it, so I’d have to follow through.
  3. I called a writer friend of mine (thank you Joyce Norman), who was glad to call or message me for progress reports 2 sometimes 3 times a week.

I finished my book and uploaded it to Amazon’s Kindle platform earlier this month.   Yay. Moving on to next project.

Question: How do you avoid procrastination, and keep motivated to finish your projects?


Forks in the Road

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose” – Dr. Suess

ah yes, but which way

even the yellow brick road

has forks and oh my

I have trouble with

opinions’ many voices

forks many choices


I still have a day job, so I’ve no choices to make today. I’ll go to work. But 2013 is just around the corner and I’m going to retire from that ‘day job’ and oh the choices then.

I just have to remember I can’t go in all directions at one time. I need a plan and at the moment I don’t have one other than the list. More on that later.

Recalling ‘dolce far niente’

monday and I have

no special place to be

such a free feeling

I want more like days

where the only one I must

consider is me


Selfish?  Yes, but I’ve worked all my life since I was 17.  I raised an exceptional child til I could not, a husband with cancer, a failed business with a friend – no longer friend, and the list goes on.

Laid off in 2007 when Saks corporate went back to NYC, gave me a 2 year taste of ‘dolce far niente’ (how sweet to do nothing).

I didn’t do 100% nothing.  I did what I wanted, when I wanted:  Walked the neighborhood every day; wrote and published stories, essays, book reviews; painted and hung 3 art exhibits; etc., etc., etc…

I will be revisiting those days by retiring one way or another  in 2013 by or before March 20, 2013. Spring equinox, the first day of Spring – Rebirth of earth and rebirth of me.