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Seeking Inspiration From The Dark Corners Of My Closet

February 20, 2020 by in category Writing

I have a beautiful room in my home where I write and sew everyday. The walls are a lovely warm and fuzzy peach color and I revel in the joys of having my very own private domain to work in. My talented husband installed cherry cabinets, a murphy bed and a very large table that folds down. I have bookshelves filled to the max with everything one might need to write or sew and a super computer. A large barn door covers a sometimes organized- although often not – cupboard, shamefully filled with more fabric than I could ever hope to use in a lifetime. Large windows let in tons of sunlight and ocean breezes  and I often find inspiration just staring off into rolling hills of green. It seems like the perfect place to write and it usually is.

But yesterday, I ran into a glitch when I decided that the story I was working on needed a dark twist. I wanted to paint my character in shades of loneliness, sadness, perhaps even despair. My heroine was having mystical dilemmas that caused her heartache and pain and my happy,  sunny domain just didn’t support the creation of those kinds of feelings. I tried to refashion my environment to support my writing needs. I outlined in my head where I wanted my storyline to go, I put on soft, melancholy music, closed the shades and dug down deep into my soul and  waited for dramatic feelings to flow. But none came, I was totally stymied.

That night, I switched my writing spot to my moonlit back yard hoping for inspiration to hit. It was dark and cold and maybe even a little lonely. But the only thing that happened was that I got the sniffles from the fog that rolled in, enveloping me in damp blankets of white. This morning,  determined to create the blues, I returned to my office, chastising  myself for not just jumping in earlier. After all, I know what it feels like to be sad, to feel lost, wanting to tuck myself away and I was confused as to why I was having so much trouble tapping into those emotions. It was then that I realized that I had the perfect place to nurture those feelings – my closet. It’s the one place where I fled to when my mom died and I needed to remember, to feel and ultimately to cry. And cry I did in my silent hiding place.

Located on our second floor, is a very large walk-in closet and although it has a couple of small windows, closing the door and  dropping  the shades, effectively shuts out the world at large. This dark hole  offered the perfect hiding place in which to create my whirlwind of dark emotion.

Grabbing my laptop, I headed upstairs, determined to write. Closing the door, I sat down on the carpeted floor,  flipped open my laptop and began. I envisioned my main character, the turmoil she was feeling, the confusion and angst that plagued her and the sorrow that consumed her  and I wrote. I never heard the phone ringing or the shouts from my husband. I just wrote. And within a couple of hours, I had created the world I had been searching for.

As I headed back downstairs, I met my husband who asked, “Where were you? I couldn’t find you. Didn’t you hear me calling you? Your sister phoned. I told her that you must have gone for a walk.”

I smiled. I’m glad that he hadn’t found me sitting on the floor in my dark closet, he might not have understood. I’m afraid he would have freaked him out. But for that one moment, my closet offered me the ideal place to feel, to imagine and to write. I hope that you find your own perfect writing place.

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Titanic Trivia Quiz: How many can you get right? by Jina Bacarr and Special BookBub Promo

February 11, 2020 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , ,

Meet Ava O’Reilly, the Irish heroine in ‘The Runaway Girl’ who boards the Titanic at Queenstown

I’m excited to announce that my Titanic love story, THE RUNAWAY GIRL, will be published on March 17th. So this month I thought it would be fun to test our Titanic knowledge with:

A Titanic Trivia Quiz

We’ve seen the films, read the books, but what do you know about the Titanic, really?

Take the quiz and find out!

(answers at the bottom of the page)

================

 Titanic Trivia Questions:

  1. You’ve just spent your honeymoon in Paris with your handsome husband and it’s time to return to America. He surprises you with first class tickets on the Titanic. From what French port do you sail?
  1. Marseilles
  2. Cherbourg
  3. Calais
  1. The Titanic has just arrived in Queenstown  and you see several bumboats with vendors hawking their wares. They come aboard ship with their Irish souvenirs. When John Jacob Astor buys his new bride a souvenir, your husband buys you one, too. What did Colonel Astor buy his bride?
  1. a set of china
  2. a Celtic brooch
  3. a lace shawl
  1. You’re thrilled to find fresh flowers in your cabin when you and your new hubby come on board the ship of dreams. You’re also excited to find out you’re one of several honeymoon couples sailing to New York. According to reliable sources, how many honeymoon couples were there on the Titanic?
  1. 8
  2. 11
  3. 13
  1. You hear heated whispers in the first class dining saloon when American millionaire Benjamin Guggenheim arrives with his latest mistress. Everyone’s curious, who is she? And where is she from?
  1. Mlle. Aubart, a Parisian entertainer
  2. Madame de Villiers, a Belgian cabaret singer
  3. Miss Annabelle Pearl, a British fashion designer
  1. You’re late for dinner in the first class dining saloon and lost in the maze of dead end corridors when you run into that handsome gentleman you met last night. He shows you the way to the dining room, then sneaks a kiss in the elevator. How many first class elevators are there on Titanic?
  1. one
  2. two
  3. three
  1. While you were waiting to board the ship at Queenstown, Ireland, you couldn’t resist flirting with the handsome lad who helped you carry your traveling bag. He whispered in your ear he’ll sneak into the single women’s 3rd class quarters to see you later. Where are the women’s steerage cabins on the ship?
  1. fore
  2. aft
  3. amidships
  1. You want to look alluring when you meet that handsome gentleman for dinner later in the first class dining saloon on D deck, so you pamper yourself in the Turkish baths. The bath stewardess insists you try out the latest beauty treatment:
  1. an electric bath which tans your skin with ultraviolet lights
  2. a face peel
  3. an exercise machine where you walk in one place
  1. Tonight you’re dining in the exclusive À La Carte Restaurant some first class passengers call the Ritz when you hear the ship’s musicians playing a lovely waltz. Later you hear them playing that same musical piece when you’re getting into a lifeboat. Some say it may have been the last song the musicians played as the Titanic foundered. What was the name of that waltz?
  1. Autumn
  2. Emperor
  3. Vienna
  1. It’s 10 p.m. on Sunday night, April 14th, and you can’t resist a stroll up on deck with your husband. It’s misty and getting colder. Even with his strong arms wrapped around you, you can’t stop shivering. How cold is it?
  1. 45 degrees F
  2. 29 degrees F
  3. 32 degrees F
  1. It’s 11:40 p.m. and you’re in bed with your husband enjoying a night of wedded bliss when the ship hits an iceberg. You want to cuddle up next to him in your warm bed, but he insists you get dressed and get into a lifeboat. How long do you have before the ship sinks?
  1. 1 hour and 45 minutes
  2. 2 hours and 40 minutes
  3. 2 hours and 10 minutes

Answers:

  1. (Answer: B Cherbourg)
  1. (Answer: C a lace shawl)
  1. (Answer: C 13)
  1. (Answer: A Mlle Aubart)
  1. (Answer: C three)
  1. (Answer: B aft)
  1. (Answer: A an electric bath)
  1. (Answer: A Autumn)
  1. (Answer: C 32 degrees F)
  1. (Answer: B 2 hours and 40 minutes)           

SPECIAL BookBub PROMO this week only!

I love BookBub and all the fab books featured there every day – you never know what great authors and books you’ll find!

I’ve been fortunate enough to be a BookBub Featured Deal with Christmas Once Again and I’m excited to tell you about this new BookBub Promotion from Feb 10-14 2020.

Check out this AMAZING giveaway for a $230 AMAZON GIFT CARD

To enter follow ALL of the authors in the giveaway

What are you waiting for?

Go to: http://bit.ly/BBMixedRomance

Happy BookBub-ing!

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You’re Invited

February 10, 2020 by in category Writing tagged as , , , ,

I love romance novels, Hallmark movies, candlelight dinners and flowers from my husband, and this is of course the week to pull out all of the stops, so that’s exactly what I’m doing.

              My 2nd book #SilverBracelets, a romantic comedy that starts the day after Valentine’s and ends on St. Patrick’s Day, releases on Valentine’s Day. I’m so excited for the release that I’ll be having a two day party in my facebook reader group, Tari Lynn & Friends.

              The story is set in my version of Hermosa Beach, and is about a school teacher who finds herself in a social media nightmare when a picture of her crashing a bicycle into a trash can goes viral. Benny Lopez, a cute police officer, seems to be behind the posts that are making her life miserable, and she wants nothing to do with him.

              All Benny wants is a date with the cute school teacher, but she won’t talk to him. Until, he gets some great advice from his grandmother, and snaps on the handcuffs.

              Between the bicycle accident and the handcuffs are a series of mishaps, false starts and incidents that bring friends… and maybe a guy and a girl together.

              I’m having so much fun writing this series, I hope you’ll check it out. And stop by the party in Tari Lynn & Friends , Thursday, February 13th and Friday February 14th. I’ll have games, prizes and books. Did I mention chocolate?

              The Amazon preorder price for #SilverBracelets is 99 cents. Get it at this special price for a limited time. Hope to see you at the party!

              Then for the after party, Hunky Hubby and I are planning an evening just for two. We may even end up in Hermosa Beach. I’ll tell you all about it later…well, maybe not ALL about it…

              Happy Valentine’s Day!

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From Blog to Book by Kitty Bucholtz

February 9, 2020 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing tagged as , ,

Over the years, I’ve helped several authors take short nonfiction they’d already written and see if it could be shaped into a book. It’s been fun for me because I love seeing people get excited about new ways to share information with the world.

Since I’ve just finished helping another nonfiction writer created a book out of his existing material, I thought it would be useful to create a podcast episode out of my thoughts on the matter. It’s a bit long – I can’t seem to turn off my teaching brain! 😀 – but it’s good material for anyone who’s been thinking about turning their blog into a book. I hope it helps! Good luck!

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One of my characters unexpectedly showed up in my dreams last night.

January 20, 2020 by in category Writing

This always seems to happen when I’m about half way through writing a new book. It’s not something that I plan for. And yet, it always takes me by surprise. Although clearly it shouldn’t, because, as I said, it seems to happen every time I’m about half way through writing a new book.

I start dreaming about the various players I’ve created. Sometimes they look just like I’ve envisioned and sometimes they surprise me with a different appearance, style or mannerism. They just feel different than I thought they should.  And that new twist usually freaks me out, sending me spiraling in self-doubt. Do I need to revamp a character or rethink my storyline?

In the past, most of my books came to life rather quickly. I didn’t  necessarily plan things out the way some authors do. I just sat down and wrote. I spent hours with my butt in my chair dreaming and writing and dreaming some more as my story evolved. And it was usually just one or two of my minor characters who popped up in my dreams demanding  consideration.

But this time was different. This storyline has been percolating in my brain for about a year.  I knew what I wanted to write about, I had my main character’s name and I had a sense of where I wanted to take the story. But I also knew that this story would require some research as my character was an artist with some “special” abilities.

As I am not an artist and don’t have a hint of artistic skill hiding inside of me, I had my work cut out for me. I didn’t know the lingo or the tools involved in painting a portrait, something I quickly realized I needed if this story was ever going to work. Oh, and those “special” abilities my main character, Pandora Twissleman has – well, I had to learn more about those too. Yes, I had an exciting idea that I was looking forward to pursuing. I wanted to creatively paint my story, but I also needed to be accurate, realistic and believable.

Unfortunately, I think this time, I might have gone a bit too far down the rabbit hole and gotten lost in all of  the research details. I apparently didn’t give enough attention to the soul, the inner workings of my main character. So when Pandora showed up in my dreams last night, I was immediately concerned.  Oh, she looked like I thought she should. She had the right hair and eye color and facial features. But this Pandora had attitude, something I had never even considered giving her.

It really gave me reason to pause. Why did I dream that? Do I want her to have attitude? And what happens if I don’t give her any? Will she haunt my dreams until I give her at least a smidgen?

I think I need to take a step back today, put my butt in my chair and think, dream and consider more options before I continue down this writing trail. Hopefully Pandora and I can get our heads together soon and I can finish this new book before it turns into a real nightmare.

Happy New Year and pleasant dreams to you all!

Meriam

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