The Woman at 106 – #Etheree, #DoubleEtheree

Congratulations to H. R. R. Gorman! He is the Poet of the Week!

Let Me Tell You the Story of...

vintage-1149558_1280

She
Lives at
One-oh-six,
Rides a ten-speed,
Listens to a mix
Of classic rock and soul.
Once you get past the bricks
Guarding her house and her ego,
You’ll see to whom my heart is transfixed
But God says I must admire from afar.

She
Joined no
Stupid cliques
Back in high school
Where girls had no dicks.
I’d swim the river Styx
And challenge Pluto for her,
But I can’t cross the crucifix
As He stares me down and tattle-tells
To my boss, to my mom, to politics.
Divider

This was written for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday #136, a photoprompt. I don’t really know where this came from, but I just looked at that peaceful little housefront and tried to imagine who lived there. The bicycle drew my attention. With “women’s bikes’ relatively rare out there, I tried to cultivate this image of a person trying really hard to seem…

View original post 27 more words

How to Submit to Conversations with Colleen

UPDATE: I am booked through October 2019 but still have room for November and December. (My Plan for 2020, is to feature two authors a month – first come, first serve).

Conversations With Colleen

Welcome to “Conversations with Colleen,” a weekly blog feature where I share the magic of Author Interviews. Please read the instructions below.

As of March 2019, this feature will change to a monthly feature.

Author interviews give a writer the opportunity to show off their writing skills and help to promote their creative work. In addition, I believe we are part of a writing community who must support each other. When we share and promote others, we are enriching our community.

You never know… you could meet your next favorite author. Wouldn’t that be a fabulous thing?

It takes a village! ❤


How to Submit:

Please pick three to five (or one if you go into great detail) questions from the list below. Your answers must have a minimum of 100 words although you can write more than that if you wish.

Please send only ONE email. It’s hard to deal with multiple emails that I have to sort through to create a post. Include everything I will need for your post. ❤

Remember, this is an opportunity where people can learn more about you as an author and a person. These questions help to place the spotlight on your writing and your books. This is all about bringing your books to the readers so they have the opportunity to buy. The people that will buy your books are my friends and colleagues. Please respond to all comments.

Please send the questions you’re selected and your answers to me in a word document or in an email to colleenchesebro3@gmail.com.

READ THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:

  • YOU must have your own author blog. Please do not ask me to include links where you guest blog or to a GoodReads blog. If you do not have an author blog, please do not request an interview.
  • Feel free to submit photos, but please, no more than three. Please do not embed your photos in the document. If you have numerous books, please supply one image that contains the images of all your books. Send the images as an attachment to the email.
  • Your answers must be at least 100 words long, minimum. You can write more if you wish. If you choose one topic only, please go into detail. I’m flexible with the questions. Email me and tell me what your plans are.
  • Conversations with Colleen is on a first come, first serve basis. I reserve the right to reject your submission to my blog. My goal is to highlight one author per week, until March 2019, when the author interviews will become a monthly feature.
  • Please send me the links to your social media sites where readers can find you, and your Amazon Author Page, or a universal link. It’s hard to sell books without an Amazon Author Page. If you don’t have one, set one up. I will highlight one book, of your choice.
  • Please be aware that I do not share sites with only an HTTP address. Read more HERE.
  • I will promote your interview on MeWe and Twitter. Please help to promote the post with a reblog and by sharing across your own social media.
  • Please respond to each comment individually. Comments always encourage people to visit your blog and to follow you. This is a proven method for selling books.
  • If you don’t respond to the comments from my followers I will delete your interview. Please be respectful!
  • Check back on the comments during the following week to check on any late comments. Follow the comments in the post so that you know what people are saying.

Here are the questions for you to choose from:

  1. What is the first book that made you cry?
  2. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
  3. What are some common traps for aspiring writers?
  4. What is your writing Kryptonite?
  5. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
  6.  Are you an empathic writer?
  7. What other authors are you friends with, and how have they helped you to become a better writer?
  8. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
  9. If you could write a letter to your younger writing self, what would you say?
  10. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
  11. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
  12. What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?
  13. Describe an experience where you learned that language had power?
  14. What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?
  15. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
  16. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
  17. Do you base your characters on real people?
  18. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
  19. What does literary success look like to you?
  20. In your experience what’s the best way to market your books?
  21. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
  22. Do you view your writing as a spiritual practice?
  23. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
  24. How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?
  25. How many hours a day do you write?
  26. What period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult)
  27. Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
  28. What are the ethics of writing about historical figures?
  29. How do you select the names of your characters?
  30. If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
  31. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
  32. What was your hardest scene to write?
  33. What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
  34. What are your favorite literary journals?
  35. What is your favorite childhood book?
  36. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
  37. Does your family support your career as a writer?
  38. If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
  39. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
  40. Do you believe in writer’s block?
  41. Do all authors have to be grammar Nazis?
  42. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
  43. What makes this particular genre you are involved in so special?
  44. How important is research to you when writing a book?
  45. What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictation, computer or longhand?
  46. When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
  47. What inspires you to write?
  48. Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who writes only when they feel inspired?
  49. How hard was it to sit down and actually start writing something?
  50. Do you aim to complete a set number of pages or words each day?
  51. Do you begin with a plot written out in detail or do you prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
  52. What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing?
  53. What would you say is the easiest aspect of writing?
  54. Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
  55. Over the years, what would you say has improved significantly in your writing?
  56. Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for you?
  57. Have you ever left any of your books stew for months on end or even a year?
  58. What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion?
  59. If you had the choice to rewrite any of your books, which one would it be and why?
  60. What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title?
  61. Have you ever designed your own book cover?
  62. Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?
  63. Any advice you would like to give to your younger self?
  64. Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
  65. What did you want to become when you were a kid?
  66. Do you recall the first ever book/novel you read?
  67. Which book inspired you to begin writing?
  68. Did you ever think you would be unable to finish your first novel? How did you finally finish it?
  69. Tell us about your writing style, how is it different from other writers?
  70. Do your novels carry a message?
  71. How much of yourself do you put into your books?
  72. Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
  73. How realistic are your books?
  74. What books have influenced your life the most?
  75. Name the books that you are currently reading and describe them to us.
  76. Have any new writers grasped your interest recently?
  77. Is there anything you are currently working on that may capture the interest of your readers?
  78. It is often believed that almost all writers have had their hearts broken at some point in time, does that remain true for you as well? How does it affect your writing?
  79. Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family?
  80. When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?
  81. If given the opportunity to do it all over again, would you change anything in your books?
  82. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
  83. Writers are often believed to have a Muse, your thoughts on that?
  84. Do you have a day job other than being a writer? And do you like it?
  85. Does your day job ever get in the way of your writing?
  86. Do you have a daily habit of writing?
  87. How do you see writing? As a hobby or a passion?
  88. Is it true that anyone can be a writer?
  89. People believe that being a published author is glamorous, is that true?
  90. Do you like traveling or do you prefer staying close to home?
  91. Which of your books took you the most time to write?
  92. Do you believe that an attractive book cover will help in sales?
  93. Whose work do you enjoy reading the most?
  94. Name one book that you like the most among all the others you have written.
  95. Do you believe it is more challenging to write about beliefs that conflict with the ones you hold yourself?
  96. Have you ever received help from other writers?
  97. What is your view on co-authoring books; have you done this?
  98. Do you make your own vocabulary words in your book or resort to the existing ones?
  99. What is that one thing you think readers generally don’t know about your specific genre?
  100. Are you satisfied with your success?
  101. Is writing a book series more challenging?
  102. When you look back at your past, do you feel accomplished?
  103. Are you where you wanted to be in your life?
  104. What do you do in your free time?
  105. Given the chance to live your life again, what would you change about yourself?
  106. Was it all too easy for you – the writing, the publication, and the sales?
  107. What is the secret to becoming a bestselling author?
  108. What advice would you like to give writers who are struggling with their first novels?
  109. How did it feel when your first book got published?
  110. What is your motivation to continue writing?
  111. Do you keep a diary?
  112. Have you ever considered writing an autobiography?
  113. Do you think you still have a story left to tell?
  114. What does the word ‘retirement’ mean to you? Do writers ever retire?
  115. Was there a time you were unable to write?
  116. How did you celebrate the publishing of your first book?
  117. Do you prefer writing over reviewing the work of others?
  118. How critical are you in your evaluation when you are reviewing someone’s work?
  119. Which book would you want to be adapted for the silver screen?
  120. If you die today, how would want the world to remember you?
  121. What other genres do you enjoy reading?
  122. ­Have you ever destroyed any of your drafts?
  123. Have you ever written a story you wish you hadn’t?
  124. Which of your novels best describes you as a person?
  125. Have you ever written a character based on the real you in some part?
  126. Can you tell us about your current projects?
  127. Fiction or non-fiction? Which is easier to write?
  128. Have you ever learned anything from a negative review and incorporated it in your writing?
  129. It is often said that in order to write something, you must believe in what you are writing. Do you agree with that?
  130. Did you ever hit a rough patch in writing, where nothing in the story seemed to fit or make sense? How did you move through that period?
  131. Did you always know that you were destined for literary greatness, or did you, as they say, “stumble” upon it?
  132. If you were given the opportunity to form a book club with your favorite authors of all time, which legends or contemporary writers would you want to become a part of the club?
  133. How big of a part does music play in creating your “zone”?
  134. Do you need to be in a specific place or room to write, or you can just sit in the middle of a café full of people and write?
  135. Some writers create a bubble around themselves until they’re finished with their project – how true is that in your case?
  136. Have any of your past loves inspired characters in your books?
  137. Writers usually have a particular Muse, but some also have a different Muse which inspired different books – does that apply in your case?
  138. Which book is the one you keep going back to?
  139. Had any of your literary teachers ever tell you growing up that you were going to become a published writer one day?
  140. Do you like to write poetry? If so, how does your poetry help you in fiction writing?
  141. Did you specifically plan your studies around your interest of writing?
  142. If you were to change your genre, which one would you choose?
  143. Which genre of book do you think should be most adapted for kids in school?
  144. Is today’s generation more aware of the literary arts or less?
  145. Have you ever written a character with an actor in mind?
  146. How possessive are you about your work?
  147. How do you think your writing style has changed over the years?
  148. Do you wish your first novel hadn’t been the first to introduce you to the world?
  149. Do you have any specific cultures you like to write about?
  150. As an author, is online privacy an issue for you?
  151. Have you ever changed the ending of a series based on the reaction of your fans?
  152. What’s your favorite movie which was based on a book?
  153. Is there a genre you absolutely despise? or
  154. Do you think that all written pieces are works of art and demand to be respected equally?
  155. Where do you find your inspiration?
  156. What weather inspires you the most, in terms of bringing out your literary best?
  157. How do you think concepts such as Kindle and e-books have changed the present or future of reading?
  158. Do you encourage your children to read?
  159. Do you have a library at home?
  160. Do you think public libraries have lost their charm in the last decade?
  161. What are the non-fiction genres you enjoy reading?
  162. Who’s your childhood literary superhero?
  163. Have you ever written fan-fiction?
  164. How liberal are you in term of expressing ideas in your books? Do you add political elements into your fiction novels?
  165. Is there a particular kind of attire you like to write in?
  166. Do you enjoy discussing upcoming ideas with your partner? If yes, how much do you value their inputs?
  167. Do you mentor?
  168. Which literary character do you most resonate with on a personal level?
  169. If you could live anywhere in the world, which country would you choose and why?
  170. Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece?
  171. Often, we are stuck in situations that we are not able to find a way out of. Have you ever incorporated a real-life situation from your own experience into a book and made the character find a way out of it the way you could not?
  172. Do you project your own habits onto your characters?
  173. Which character(s), created by you, do you consider as your masterpiece(s)?
  174. How long do you take to write a book?
  175. How do you incorporate the noise around you into the story you are writing at the moment?
  176. What is that dream goal you want to achieve before you die?
  177. Do you think translating books into languages other than their origin forces the intended essence away?
  178. Do you blog? How does blogging help you sell books?
  179. How active are you on social media? And how do you think it affects the way you write?
  180. Have you ever written a memoir? How does that differ from other forms of writing?
Regards

 DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN!

Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge OOPS!

After everything we’ve gone through with WordPress and the contact form for the challenge… I did it! I made a typo in the new email address for the weekly challenge. I corrected the post Tuesday morning, but apparently it doesn’t show up.

Here is the email address to use to submit your poetry to me:

tankatuesdaypoetry@gmail.com

I know it works. I’ve been receiving your poetry and responding when I receive to your emails.

Thanks for your understanding. I prepare these posts in advance and when I edited the post to add the email my fingers didn’t type what I wanted. ❤

Poetry Challenge Update to Issues

The contact form that WP “allows” us to use on our blogs seems to not be working for most poetry challenge participants. Over half of you are having difficulties.

WordPress posted a message on my blog stating:

Customers can’t reach you at contact@colleenchesebro.com – click here to add a mailbox:

Let customers reach you at contact@colleenchesebro.com. We’ve partnered with Google to offer you email, storage, docs, calendars, and more integrated with your site.

GSuite

Professional email and so much more.

We’ve partnered with Google to offer you email, storage, docs, calendars, and more integrated with your site.

$6 per user / month

$72 billed yearly

Wow… if I sold $6.00 worth of books a month to afford this I would be happy. However, this is way too rich for my blood. WordPress, this is not the way to keep your customers happy! Why can’t they simply insure that the contact form works?

Yesterday, I lost my saved blocks in the editor and they disappeared from my site. When I contacted WP they said they were still there. Possibly, they reset something, because when I went back into my blog after our chat session ended, the blocks were there.

It has been my experience that many poetry challenges ask the participants to simply email in their entries. So, to make things easier… Let’s do that. I would like to continue to add the poems and links to the recap so that is the only solution I can come up with.

Please Email me at colleenchesebro.com. I will need: Name of the poem, #Type of poem, Your Https:// address of your blog post where you wrote the poem, and your poem.

Thanks for understanding. Next week, I will delete the contact form from the challenge. If you any of you have any ideas to make this process smoother, please let me know.

Happy Summer Solstice!

Happy Summer everyone. May the sun shine brightly on all of you. ❤

The Sisters of the Fey

The Summer Solstice is one of my favorite times of the year. We leave Spring behind and leap into the sunny (and sometimes stormy) days of Summer. Also called Litha, this summer solstice Sabbat honors the longest day of the year. Take advantage of the extra hours of daylight. Try and spend as much time as you can outdoors honoring the natural world around us.

With my move to Arizona, I waited to rededicate my altar on Litha. This year, I’m paying special attention to the land spirits and those that have found their way into my home. I also honor Kwan Yin, the goddess of compassion, and the Christian, Mary, who for me represents the mother goddess. I also honor the good neighbors (the fey) and welcome my connections to them.

Last weekend, I spent some time in my backyard, which is bare Arizona dirt! I thanked the land…

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How to Write a Haiku Poem

It’s always good to go back to the basics and refresh our memories about the various syllabic poetry forms we use in our weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge. Today, let’s review how to write a Haiku. Here are a few links for you to read. Enjoy! ~Colleen~

***

Haiku is an ancient form of poetry invented in Japan. People focus on the syllable counts, but that’s just the basics. Here’s how to write a haiku poem.

Source: How to Write a Haiku Poem

Source: How to Write a Haiku in 4 Easy Steps

Source: How to Write a Haiku Poem: Haiku Examples and Tips

The United Haiku & Tanka Society (UHTS) Poetry Contest Information

UHTS offers an opportunity for poets to submit their poetry to various contests throughout the year. I’ve copied the information from the UHTS site, HERE.

HERE is the link for the Contests on their website.

ALL serious poets should consider submitting their work to these contests. ❤ What are you waiting for?

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Contest Submission Guidelines

General Submission Guidelines for all Contests

RESULTS: The names of winners (only) will be notified by email, shortly after the deadline, and the winning poems will be published with the Judge’s commentary in an upcoming issue of Seedpods, our email newsletter. To receive a copy of Seedpods, please join UHTS by contacting our Secretary, Iliyana Stoyanova at uhts_secretary@fastmail.co.uk, with the subject heading “UHTS MEMBERSHIP”.

SPONSOR: United Haiku and Tanka Society.

COORDINATOR: Marianna Monaco, USA.

ADJUDICATION: Names of the judges will be announced concurrently with the winners.

ELIGIBILITY: Open to the public and all UHTS members, but not to UHTS Officers, Team Members, the contest coordinator, or judges.
aha

THERE IS NO ENTRY FEE.

Specific Guidelines for: The “AHA” Haiku/Senryu Contest (the Annual Hortensia Anderson Memorial Awards)

GENERAL: Please email your submissions in English in the body of an email (only) directly to Marianna.Monaco@gmail.com, with the words “UHTS “aha” contest” in the subject header, and include your name, country, and email address.

Do “not” use the cattails Submissions guidelines for contests.

Submission Period and Deadline: January 1-April 15 of each year.

SUBMISSIONS: There is a 10 poem limit on the number of submissions. If more than 10 poems are submitted, only the first 10 poems will be entered. Entries must be the original work of the author, be previously unpublished and not under consideration elsewhere for the entire time period it takes to complete the judging. If a submitter discovers after the fact that a poem has already been published, let us know and we will pull the poem from the contest. No revisions or replacements will be accepted. This contest is not themed and is open to all age groups worldwide.

FORMATTING: If a poem is submitted in more than one language, we will be delighted. Please put the poem in English first, and then below that, put the poem in the other language. (Do not put the poems side by side). This will greatly facilitate the recording of your poems by the contest coordinator.If you have any problems sending your submissions by email, please let our contest coordinator know.
NOTIFICATION: The winners (only) will be notified. If you do not hear anything back from us by June 1, your entries are automatically free for you to submit elsewhere.

Specific Guidelines for : The “Fleeting Words” Tanka Competition

GENERAL: Please email your submissions in English in the body of an email (only) directly to Marianna.Monaco@gmail.com, with the words “UHTS “Fleeting Words” contest” in the subject header, and include your name, country, and email address.

Do “not” use the cattails Submissions guidelines for contests.

Submission Period and Deadline: May 1-August 15 of each year.

SUBMISSIONS: There is a 10 poem limit on the number of submissions. If more than 10 poems are submitted, only the first 10 poems will be entered. Entries must be the original work of the author, be previously unpublished and not under consideration elsewhere for the entire time period it takes to complete the judging. If a submitter discovers after the fact that a poem has already been published, let us know and we will pull the poem from the contest. No revisions or replacements will be accepted. This contest is not themed and is open to all age groups worldwide.

FORMATTING: If a poem is submitted in more than one language, we will be delighted. Please put the poem in English first, and then below that, put the poem in the other language. (Do not put the poems side by side). This will greatly facilitate the recording of your poems by the contest coordinator. If you have any problems sending your submissions by email, please let our contest coordinator know.

NOTIFICATION: The winners (only) will be notified. If you do not hear anything back from us by October 1, your entries are automatically free for you to submit elsewhere.

Specific Guidelines for The “Samurai” Haibun Competition

GENERAL: Please email your submissions in English in the body of an email (only) directly to Marianna.Monaco@gmail.com, with the words “UHTS “Samurai” contest” in the subject header, and include your name, country, and email address.

Do “not” use the cattails Submissions guidelines for contests.

Submission Period and Deadline: September 1-December 15 of each year.

SUBMISSIONS: Submit up to three entries, entries must be the original work of the author, be previously unpublished and not under consideration elsewhere for the entire time period it takes to complete the judging. This contest is not themed and is open to all age groups worldwide.

FORMATTING: If a poem is submitted in more than one language, we will be delighted. Please put the poem in English first, and then below that, put the poem in the other language. (Do not put the poems side by side). This will greatly facilitate the recording of your poems by the contest coordinator. If you have any problems sending your submissions by email, please let our contest coordinator know.

NOTIFICATION: The winners (only) will be notified. If you do not hear anything back from us by February 1, your entries are automatically free for you to submit elsewhere.

Who’s Ready to Write Some Poetry?

Tanka Tuesday Returns June 11th!

This has been the longest two months of my life. I can only say that I’m thrilled to be in our new house in Arizona. So, naturally… the next step is to return to my writing community of poets, artists, and writers! I’ve missed each and every one of you!

Here is an overview of the Tanka Tuesday Rules to refresh your memories:

For Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge, you can write your poem in one of the forms defined below. Click on the link to learn about each type:

HAIKU IN ENGLISH 

TANKA IN ENGLISH 

HAIBUN IN ENGLISH 

CINQUAIN & the variations on Cinquain-Wikipedia 

SENRYU IN ENGLISH

ETHEREE

NONET

SHADORMA


This challenge is for SYLLABIC Poetry ONLY

Here are some great sites that will help you write your poetry and count syllables.

thesaurus.com

Use for finding Synonyms and Antonyms. When your word has too many syllables, find one that works.

howmanysyllables.com

Find out how many syllables each word has. I use this site for all my Haiku and tanka poems. Click on the “Workshop” tab to create your poetry.

The Rules

I will publish the Tuesday prompt post at 12:03 A.M. Phoenix, AZ (Mountain Time Zone – Arizona does not utilize Daylight Saving Time). That should give everyone time to see the prompt from around the world.

WRITE YOUR POEM ON YOUR BLOG as a post. Then, copy and paste your poem into the submission form on the weekly challenge post.

How long Do You Have and Your Deadline: You have a week to complete the Challenge with a deadline of Sunday at 12:00 P.M. (Noon) Phoenix, AZ time, USA.

Please, try not to be late submitting your poetry to me on Sunday. You must submit your poem using the form on the challenge post. If it’s not in my email, I will not publish your poem on the recap. The recaps take a couple of hours for me to compile. Thank You. ❤

As a courtesy to the participants for their participation, each Monday, I will compile and publish a Weekly Recap of the poems. Monday’s date gives me a chance to add everyone’s poetry from the previous week before the next challenge post on Tuesday.

Each week, I will highlight a poet who I call the “Poet of the Week,” who has shared an exceptional message, or shown impassioned creativity through words or form. Poetry is all about perception, so don’t be shocked if you don’t feel the same way about a poem that I do. 

Starting in 2019, I will compile a PDF of the 2019 Poets of the Week. The PDF will include their poem and a link to their blog. This PDF will be available as a free download in January 2020. I’ll share more information at the end of the year.

Poetry Challenge Participants – Please visit, comment, and share the poems of the other participants. Peer comments are most helpful in a poet’s journey. ❤

The rules are simple.

I will give you two words. Please choose your own synonyms for the prompt words for your poetry. You, the poet, now have more control over the direction of your writing. Please follow the rules to whatever poetry form you select. 

Don’t use the prompt words. Synonyms are required.

Instead of link-backs, and to make compiling the recap easier for me, please submit your poem in the form on the prompt post each week.

As time allows, I will visit your blog, comment, and TWEET your POETRY

If you add these hashtags to your post TITLE (depending on which poetry form you use) your poetry may be viewed more often:

#Haiku, #Tanka,#micropoetry, #poetry, #5lines, #Haibun, #Prose #Senryu, #CinquainPoetry, #Etheree, #Nonet, #Shadorma

Sign up for my weekly blog recap newsletter. As a special thanks after subscribing, you can grab your FREE copy of my Poetry Forms Cheatsheet, which is perfect for use on the weekly poetry challenge. Just fly over to my SIGN UP PAGE and enter your email. ❤

Are you Ready to write some syllabic poetry? See you on Tuesday! I can’t wait! ❤

Synchronicity at it’s Finest!

You know the old saying that when the universe speaks you listen? That is exactly what happened to us during this turmultous move. When the house deal in Albuquerque fell through, we headed to Seal Beach, CA to my husband’s brother’s house to decide what to do next.

Interstate 40 is a long stretch of road that cuts deep into the New Mexico/Arizona desert. Along the way, I had a spiritual encounter. I felt the universe hold me close as if time was suspended and unmoving. Suddenly, I knew that we were meant to live as close to my brother and sister in law as possible. The message was loud and clear… move to the Phoenix area!

So, our journey from Colorado morphed and changed once again. We arrived in Seal Beach and shared our news. My hubsband’s brother and sister in law are getting on in years and we both felt like we needed to be near. They were thrilled to hear that we would be only a few hours away.

An internet search led me to a new housing area in Buckeye, AZ on the western fringes of Phoenix. The location was perfect and accessible to Luke AFB where I still receive my healthcare.

We instantly fell in love with the house and the area. This will be my third time living in Arizona. I’ve always loved the desert but not the heat. Yet, it didn’t bother me this time as it had before. Even better, the builder said they would do everything they could to help us close on the house by May 31st! Everything is on target to get us in our new house.

The road to our new house

Isn’t it amazing when things suddenly fall into place?

I reflected back on that drive down Interstate 40 and how the synchronicity of our decision to move closer to family came about. I still find myself awed at how our unconscious mind can lead us to the right path. And, when you know you’re going in the right direction everything falls into place.

I hope to be back to blogging and writing in the next couple of weeks. Thanks to all of you for checking on me. Your friendship is greatly appreciated. I’ll see you all soon!

Hugs and Love!

Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Deborah Jay, @DeborahJay2

Hello everyone! This month I’m thrilled to bring you an amazing speculative fiction author, Deborah Jay. I asked her to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE. We all aspire to be successful authors and the best way to learn some of the tricks of the trade is to ask questions.

Today is my birthday! Interviewing Deborah was great fun. I hope you’ll all join us for cake – it’s gluten free! Grab a slice and some coffee or tea (flowers optional). ❤

Please meet my guest, Deborah Jay:

Author, Deborah Jay

Deborah Jay writes fast-paced fantasy adventures featuring quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.

Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she can find time. 

Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many dressage horses, and her complete inability to cook.

THE PRINCE’S MAN (#1 The Five Kingdoms), winner of a UK Arts Council award, and an Amazon Top 100 Hot New Release, is her debut novel.

Book #2 THE PRINCE’S SON and book #3 THE PRINCE’S PROTEGEE are also now available.

Urban fantasy, DESPRITE MEASURES, is the first in a projected 5 book CALEDONIAN SPRITE SERIES, and a stand alone short story SPRITE NIGHT is now available.

Deborah has also published a multi-author SFF anthology THE WORLD AND THE STARS, which includes her SF story, PERFECT FIT. 

She also has non-fiction equestrian titles published under the name Debby Lush.

Amazon.com

Hi, Colleen. Thanks so much for this interview. I’m really looking forward to our discussion.

Thanks, Deborah. I’m glad to learn more about you and your writing. So, tell us more about the genre you write in. What makes it so special?

I write various types of speculative fiction, which covers a wide range of sub genres, including all varieties of fantasy and science fiction. It’s both the most challenging, and the most liberating of genres to work in, and I’m not one to back down from a challenge!

If you are a spec fic reader, I’m sure you’ve come across books that enthral you, that suck you in, and that, despite all their weirdness, feel real. You’ve probably also tried some that left you scratching your head, and wondering what on earth (or elsewhere!) was going on.

If you aren’t a reader who analyses books, you might not realise the most likely difference is in how successful the writer has been at world building.

World building is a huge task: unless you’re writing in a contemporary setting, you have to create the nuts and bolts of the world and its civilisations from scratch. Geography, weather, flora and fauna, societies, including details like farming, law, economy, and magic systems to name but a few things. And they need to be convincing, logical and consistent, which requires the creation of a ‘bible’ for each world, so you don’t make bloopers by forgetting any of the rules of your individual world. Even in contemporary settings, you need to set the rules of magic/paranormal activity, and stick to them.

On the other hand, once you’ve done it, you can use the same stuff over and over, especially if, like me, you write in series. My fascination has always been for writing about people – people with problems, people with psychological hang ups, people trying to come to terms with themselves. And in a world where I get to make up everything, from the politics to the food they eat, I can explore human nature to the extreme, pitting them against events and environments beyond anything available in the real world.

I find the scope of the genre intoxicating. Yes, it’s a challenge and requires meticulous record-keeping, but I love it for the breadth of possibility and the satisfaction of being totally in charge of my own creation.

Did I mention yet? I’m a bit of an obsessive control freak…   

No, not you! I do want to know your thoughts on writing a book series. Isn’t it more challenging?

Yes, and no.

Writing in a world you’ve already created, and working with characters whose backgrounds, personalities and quirks make them so real for you, you can hold a conversation with them about any topic, means half your work is done before you even start the next book in a series.

On the other hand, some challenges are greater. With each book, not only do you have to maintain total accuracy with what went before, not only in terms of names, physical characteristics, geography, social mores, and the like, you need to take into account the journey each character completed by the end of the previous book. For example, if your heroine grew from being a young, cocky, know-it-all, into a considerate and responsible adult in book 1, she might maintain traces of her original self, but she won’t have magically reverted by the start of book 2, so she begins the second volume in a different place.

Then you have plot threads to keep in order. While (hopefully) you ended book 1 on a climax (I can’t abide cliff hangers; I feel they cheat the reader), you will also have dangling threads of plot left over, just as in real life, where things don’t ever neatly wrap up all at the same time. These threads need continuing, and expanding over the course of not only book 2, but however many books you intend to write in the series. I have an overall arc for trilogies 1, 2 and 3 already worked out. Okay, trilogy 1 has now expanded to 4 books instead of 3, but the arc remains.

And the final, huge challenge of a series, is to raise the stakes with every instalment. Each book should top the last.

That’s some challenge!

I’ll say! Great information, too. Deborah, how long on average does it take you to write a book? And, do you have a day job other then being a writer? Do you like that job?

I do, and it’s a job I absolutely love, and would never consider giving up: I train dressage horses and riders for a living – how lucky am I?

When I was younger, I also rode professionally, competing horses for owners, Now, I just compete my own boys for fun – riding all manner of horses is a young person’s job, as even pro riders sometimes hit the deck, and I no longer bounce so well! I’m truly, incredibly lucky to be able to earn a living from my passion, and I’ve even reached the heady heights of competing Internationally, at Grand Prix, and have also been an official at two European Championships and the London Olympics.

Author, Deborah Jay

I work for myself, which means I set my own schedules, and I also write non-fiction books and articles on horse training, all of which keeps me very busy! As I get older, I’m less inclined to be enthusiastic about being outdoors in all weathers, so I’m looking on my fiction writing as a long-term investment. Because of my schedule, it takes me upward of a year to write a novel (they are epic fantasy, which means epic length), so I’m never going to be in the league of those writers who put out multiple books per year, but I will keep adding to my catalogue steadily. I love my writing, but it won’t ever be my only job.

Deborah Jay’s Books

It does provide me with one way of ‘writing what you know’, despite my books being fantasy: horses are a big part of my character’s lives, and you’ll find memorable horses with big personalities in my novels – much like the ones I work with on a daily basis!

I read and reviewed this book. Check out my review HERE.

How to contact Deborah Jay

Website:  https://deborahjayauthor.com/

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/DeborahJay

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172608.Deborah_Jay

Amazon author page: https://viewAuthor.at/DeborahJay

Newsletter Signup and FREE short stories: https://eepurl.com/bPZcmT

k luv u bye

Thanks for stopping by to meet Deborah Jay. You’re going to love her books. ❤