Hamburg Writer’s Group

Taking Comfort in Small Things

If you haven’t checked it out, please take a look at Harryhausen, Issue # 31 of Literary Orphans. It’s the first one with me being a Fiction Editor there, and it includes the first – and so far only – piece I’ve accepted in that capacity. Many thanks and congratulations to Tara Isabel Zambrano for her awesome story, “Measurable Hours.”

This is an incredible issue with pieces by Meg Tuite, Paul Beckman, and a story called “Bendy Bone” by Jenna Lyles. Hannah Lanier’s poem, “The World is a Wolf Who Wears Sheep’s Clothing” is an interesting piece worth the read. If you can’t tell, I love my job and am honored to read and champion work like this.

And thank God for art. I’m grateful for the daily choices Nina Fosati posts on Twitter. Last month was Women in Blue, this month is all about Autumn Women. It’s a daily dose of beauty and I appreciate it since the world feels like it’s gone particularly mad lately. Tuesday, I took a long walk in the woods. It helped some. The message I found while walking the labyrinth was to take comfort in the small things so I admired the sparkly rocks and the wildflowers. And then I went into the garden shed . . . There’s a window at the end which looks out at the frog pond. Lately, there have been 6-8 of them.

10.5.2017B

I go in and peer out at them because they are skittish and will dive if I walk too close to the pond. Tuesday, I was passing through to go up the hill and I noticed something on the ledge. It was a frog. I walked over and he jumped off. I thought it odd. I left and when I returned to close the doors, the frog was back and I got a blurry picture.

10.3.2017

It was strange to become the watched. When Husband came home, we joked about how I’d missed my chance to kiss it and have a prince. Maybe. Maybe it’s good enough to have the small hope of inexplicable things in life. It beats thinking about the Las Vegas massacre and how disgusted I am because it wasn’t new. It wasn’t even news; it’s just life in the USA anymore.

Not that I’ve become jaded.

My piece, “The Basket Case” will be included in the Ellipsis One anthology. Magazines my work has appeared in are on display in the Concord Public Library (Thank you Kara Kane!) along with other local writers. Local Authors Live! – the occasional series I host – is coming up soon on the 21st.  The last few meetings of Hamburg Writers’ Group have been a delight and even though the novel critique group didn’t meet on Tuesday, we were in contact.

Perhaps the small things are the greatest comfort anyone can ask for . . .

10.5.2017Ab

Thanks for stopping by!

*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.

Advertisements

Nope, no NaNoWriMo this year.

This is the first time in years I haven’t committed to National Novel Writing month and it’s jarring. I’m far too involved with this book about Pete and Tara to drop it for something new. At roughly 43,000 words, I think it’s going to end up being 80,000. The midway was reached at 40,000, though I didn’t realize it at the time.

Otherwise, I’m typing this at the office. I’m off work, so don’t think I’m blogging on company time, or that I’m working for a company for that matter. Actually, you can think whatever thoughts you want. I’m just waiting for Husband to come pick me up. Then it’s fun times ahead with a trip to the post office then home to make dinner and catch up on laundry before posting this to wordpress.

office

That’s a picture of what it looks like from my work desk. Past the bench, there’s a table (Made by Husband) where the Bemer mat rests. The orange Post-it is where the metal brace is going to go so yours truly won’t have to stoop to press the controls. Yes, that’s my job, hooking up people and pressing buttons. Also, I serve water. If you try Bemer – and you should – drink water, it helps so much with the treatment.

I have two pieces that will be up shortly. I am so excited! One was a piece written during the Kathy Fish workshop and the other is a Pete and Tara story. Many, many thanks to the amazing Cristopher James at Jellyfish Review and Les Weil at The Flash Fiction Press. I don’t know which one of these acceptances makes me happier and I’m overwhelmingly grateful to have that as an issue in my life.

Speaking of gratitude, I sent the first pages of the Pete and Tara stories to Mary Akers (Congrats on the gorgeous edition of Bones of an Inland Sea) and Gina Detwiler for critique this month and they didn’t kill me for not finishing up with Dreaming Lettie. Again, it was a matter of being caught up with Pete and Tara and since I’m not writing it the way I usually write a novel, I feel I need to keep an eye on all the moving parts in here to make sure it turns out right before I go on to something else. I’m also polishing as I go, so hopefully, when I reach the end, I’ll be done. And that’s another thing that’s bothering me. I’ve always known the end before I begin a book and now, I’m working without that. It’s slightly terrifying. Such a lovely problem, too.

bo2016

The Best of 2016 came out! If you want a copy, email me and let me know. It was a great experience working with Nina Fosati and Nelson Locher on this edition of Hamburg Writers’ Group writing. It is a great group of people and I’m glad Mary Jo Hodge suggested I join and that Jim Miner allowed me entry.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

*These are my office reflections. Your experiences may vary.

Halloween isn’t as scary as this election campaign has been…

 

welcomeThis election cycle has been the worst one ever and I CANNOT wait for it to be over. Why was there NO trigger warnings issued? That’s what I want to know. So, that being said, let us move on to the beauty of the still blooming morning glories

mg

sg

and the Sweet Gum changing colors.

I went to another Girl’s Night Out, this time at Kim Chinquee’s beautiful home. It is such a treat to be around such smart and interesting women. I also met Tamara Grisanti and hope to work with her in the future. So MANY thanks to Kim for being an awesome host. I’m pushing my comfort zone to drive into Buffalo, but am so glad I am doing it.

The Hamburg Writers’ Group is putting out their second anthology and I’m privileged to not only have some of my work included, but to have been part of the editorial process. HUGE thank you to Nina Fosati for being the true mastermind behind the project. One of the pictures that wasn’t chosen as the cover photo was so inspiring to me that I plan to incorporate it into one of the stories and should I ever get to the end, maybe use that as the cover for the Pete and Tara Stories or whatever title I eventually come up with should I go with the self-publishing option.

That seems so far off in the future though. I‘ve never written a book this way before and I can‘t say I hate it because it seems to be falling into place, but I find myself nit picking and tweaking every time I turn around so, to me, the progress seems slow. I’m at roughly 35,000 words now. When I do NaNoWriMo, I put that many words out in about 21 days and technically, I’ve been working on this since August.

And I’m nervous about the whole thing. Yes, I’ve had some success with individual flashes that have since become fuller chapters, but I could not switch out of this book and return to “Dreaming Lettie” so I sent the first 24 pages to Mary Akers and Gina Miani for this month’s critique. I am so anxious to hear their opinions on these characters. Ugh! The angst of waiting.

Plus I’m not sure I’ll be able to participate in NaNoWriMo this year and I’ve been doing it so long it feels weird to not do it. Another ugh.

I know…it could be worse. There could be another year of the presidential campaign instead of mere weeks.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.

Vote for Joan Kelly on 17 May 2016 for SGI : A blog post

April21HyaWh

Happy Cinco de Mayo and welcome to this post which is being written at a Chevy dealership while waiting for an oil change. One of the dealers is calling to wish people happy birthday and I’m wondering how I’d feel if they called me. If it was to say “Happy Birthday, you’ve won a free car/one month’s car payment/a free oil change, I’d probably like that a lot.

I’m here because one thing led to a minor renovation and since my novel writing group is coming on Tuesday, I really need things finished so Husband is at home painting instead of sitting here. Originally, the thought was that I wanted the space under the kitchen sink painted brilliant white so it would be easy to see things underneath. The next thought was that he wanted to buy a good paint sprayer to tackle that job.  That led to other things I’d like painted, which made him consider getting a fairly decent sprayer and after that, well I forgot the logic, but there was some and now all sorts of cleaners are hanging out on my kitchen counter instead of on the shelves above the washing machine closet because those are torn out and will be replaced once the painting is done.

5.5.2016

If you live in the Springville Griffith Institute area, I urge you to vote out the nonsense and vote for Joan Kelly. Joan is decent, hardworking, and listens to people. Of course you’ll need to vote in the atrium of the high school instead of the library because of “safety concerns.” Allison Duwe’s safety of being reelected is under threat due to her complete incompetence so she’s punishing the elderly in the area who thought her idea of a new gym was ridiculous and voted against it 1553 to 348 or something close to that. No one can accuse her of being a good sport, or a gracious loser, or even a decent person for that matter, and that is my opinion so settle down if you don’t agree. It’s my blog and I get to have my say—at least until next January it’s supposedly a free country with freedom of expression and freedom of the press guaranteed by the first amendment.

Otherwise, the miniature rose bush that Husband got me for my birthday is about to bloom again, the world out my Creekside window is going green and the peas are planted. I got another 20 pages written for a book, I’m working on two essays that may combine into one long one and I just got an ARC of “Hoopity Time Machines” by Christopher DeWan which I’ll be reviewing for The Tavern Lantern portion of Literary Orphans. I also have two pieces by Nina Fosati from the Hamburg Writers Group, a paper by Nancy’s niece, and the novel pages for my novel critique group to either read or reread and leave comments on and…yeah, I could go on about other reading and writing, but I brought “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr with me so I’m off to read that and will post this when I get home.

5.5.2016B

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading!

(*These are my Creekside Reflections. Your experiences might vary.)

April flowers including my first hyacinths!

With the recent temperature fluctuations, I was happy to see a few of the daffodils managed to bloom.

April21Apricot

April21Cream

The hyacinths are getting there.

April21Hya

As well as these roadside tulips.

April21Tul

This afternoon, thundershowers are predicted, and since it’s April it finally sounds like the weather is on the right track. If the electric goes out, I’ll be catching up on my reading for r.kv.r.y. and Literary Orphans. Oh, the Audrey issue of LO dropped yesterday if you’re looking for amazing writing to peruse, plus there’s an excellent interview by Sanjeev Sethi with Scott Waldyn at The Review Review.

Most of my writing is out. On the Submittable queue, I have 21 listings and 14 of them are marked as “in-progress.” Waiting is such a drag, so I’ll be doing Pilates after I post this. I also need to write more pages in “Dreaming Lettie” to send to the novel critique group. We had been on hiatus and I’m glad that’s over. The support is amazing and I always come away from our meetings energized.

After my “physical” yesterday, I’m convinced our “nurse practioner” is doing drugs. Either that or she’s completely inept. I need to start looking for a new doctor before she kills Husband and me, but I hate searching for doctors. We had the best one ~ Dr. Chow ~ but he left to do research. We finally found another adequate provider, but he moved. Since then, we signed up for another doctor, yet neither one of us has actually seen her – just this “nurse practioner” person. I suppose it’s my own fault for having an appointment after 4:20 on 4/20.

Anyway! I’m looking forward to the weekend. Friday is another meeting of the Hamburg Writer’s Group at the Comfort Zone. Saturday, I’ll be doing my shift at the West Falls-Colden Community Library and then Husband and I are going to travel to see awesome Niece from Boston for at least a few hours. Sunday, it’s an early mad dash home to attend the Taste of the Southtowns, so if you see me at any of those places, say hi – and thanks for stopping by!

 

 

(*These are merely my own Creekside Reflections. If you were here, I’d expect you to see things differently.)

Brief, rushed, short. You know, a normal cold and rainy Thursday afternoon sort of post

First, if you have a story with the  theme of “Blink,” and it is under 3000 words, please send it to r.kv.r.y.  I want to read it.

I start this post knowing I have to leave in a few minutes. I have a meeting with a potential candidate for the school board. Yes, I had been kicking around the idea of running myself, but the more I talked to people and read about the work that it entails, I didn’t see me fitting in the slot – at least not this year. So, the next best thing is supporting people who would be good at such things.

~~~

I’m back. The cherry stuffed French toast at Three Girl’s Café was wonderful, as well as our waitress Michelle, and the conversation.

tulips

I had a lovely birthday. Husband bought me these tulips that looked much better on Sunday. We went out for lunch and had a great time. If you were one of the many darling people who wished me a happy birthday, know that I appreciated that very much and I was delighted to have heard from you. I mean that.

I’ve been at a lot of meetings recently. On Monday, I was at Donna Hoke’s house where it was a thrill to see Gary Earl Ross again. I also saw Joy, a member of Playback, a troupe my mother-in-law founded. That meeting was informative and Donna’s commitment to playwrights is deep, caring and impressive. She’s hosting these meetings for six months as an experiment to see how it goes. Hopefully, I’ll work up my courage to send a play to the group by then.

Tuesday was SGI’s Board of Education meeting. I have far too many things to say about that, but I’ll not bore you with details – unless you call and ask.

From Mary Jo Hodge’s invitation, I have hooked up with Hamburg Writer’s Group. They meet in the Comfort Zone, which is a building my husband knows intimately since he’s worked there multiple times. We meet in the back room and they’re a lovely bunch.

Even though I had great intentions, I’m behind in my word count for Camp NaNo, so that’s where I’ll be, in my library, working on that thing, even though I just got out of data usage jail and would prefer to scroll and search for niggling little details, “new book” needs attention. All right, after I finish The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows. The recommendation was from Gina Detwiler. She has a new book out with Priscilla Shirer called The Prince Warriors. Yeah Gina!

Thanks for the read. Thanks for stopping by this page! Thank you for being you!

 

 

 

(*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences should vary.)