Fly the friendly Skies…

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My husband and I are preparing to take a trip to Florida with five of our thirteen grandchildren. We are driving because the kids aged 8, 11, 11, 12 and 14 want to actually see all of the states, not just fly over them.  When we planned this trip last year it was going to be a surprise for my parents who live in Florida.  Originally the plan was to bring all five of our kids, their spouses and all of the grandkids.

The logistics were a nightmare but we pressed on with the plans.

When I was a seven-year-old, first grader at Saint Christopher’s in Northeast Philadelphia, my father worked for Eastern Airlines. He was the VIP Representative which basically meant he had drinks all day with people the airline deemed important enough to smooze.

 

Airport

My father was so proud of me for getting straight A’s on my report card.  The next day he put me in his MG and took me to a children’s clothing store. With the help of a young saleswoman, we picked out a sleeveless pink and white seersucker dress. The woman suggested a white hat with a pink bow, pink ruffled socks, white patent leather shoes and a small white pocketbook to match. When Dad added a bathing suit I was confused.

 

Pink and white seesucker dress

I was even more confused when I left the store wearing my new bathing suit underneath of the new dress.  An hour later I was sitting in a first class window seat being served a Shirley Temple with extra cherries.

Eastern_Airlines_Boeing_727

Seated next to me, sipping on a Chivas Regal, Dad explained he was taking me to Ft. Lauderdale for the day, as a reward for my perfect report card. We spent the afternoon on the beach, had dinner at a fancy outdoor restaurant where I chased geckos and begged Dad to catch two of them and let me take them home.  He laughed and said they could not live in Philadelphia because of our cold winters.

gecko

Shortly after take- off on the return flight, the flight attendant took me into the cockpit. The pilots let me ‘fly’ the plane. The Captain gave me a set of gold plated wings (not the plastic ones) and told me to go back to my seat because he had a surprise for me. The surprise was a spectacular light show provided by the Gemini VI Rocket that was launched from the Kennedy Space Center.

Rocket launch Gemini 4

After seeing the rocket, the flight attendant handed me a little pillow and a soft blanket. I fell asleep.

When I woke up, I was back in Philadelphia in my father’s arms. I was so cold and in a lot of pain. I was as red as a lobster. It was painful to have my dad hold me so I walked.  My brand new patent leather shoes pinched my sunburned feet tighter with each step.

I remember feeling sad that night because whenever our family went on vacation we had to get dressed up and fly everywhere. It always meant there would be a lot of walking and a lot of hurrying up to wait.  I thought about how lucky my friend’s were because all they had to do was get into their cars and  get out at the Jersey Shore. I would sit on my front porch and watch our neighbors load up their station wagon with toys, bags of food, clothes and smiling kids.

My husband and I have been spending family weeks on the beach in New Jersey with our kids and grandkids for the last eight-years.

This year I wanted the kids to experience another view of the Atlantic Ocean and I felt a strong need for them to connect with my father, on his turf.

My father got sick in December. I flew down to be with him and my Mother. He passed away in January. On the flight home there was a man sitting next to me drinking Chivas Regal.

chivas-regal-18

Our family reunion trip fell all to pieces but the seven, possibly eight of us that are headed down I-95 South in a few weeks are excited. I will be feeling like an excited seven-year-old kid as we load the monster SUV with food, clothes and children.

PathfinderMy face will be wearing a big smile but I know every time I look up at the sky and see an airplane, I will miss my Dad.

Dad and Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dragging Fragging Friday Fragments…

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Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems from your week and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post with our host Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin’ Time.

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The Pope is coming to Philly! I should be super excited and yes it is very exciting but for some reason all I can think of is the traffic and the diversions. Will I go if he holds an outdoor Mass. Probably but I already know it will be a logistics mess.

I LOVE that he met with the FINALLY released Christian woman who was sentenced to death, Miriam Ibreham and her family.

pope-francis-Meriam-Ibrahim

I was so excited to have a post on Midlife Boulevard for the first time! Which by the way is an AMAZING community of the most talented, funny, brilliant and supportive women I have ever met (only a few in real life) but cannot wait to meet more of them in real life.

http://midlifeboulevard.com/boomer-deadly-road-rage/

As if that wasn’t exciting enough this happened on Books is Wonderful:

http://www.booksiswonderful.com/books-by-writers-i-know/

The author of Books is Wonderful, Helene Cohen Bludman is in England right now with another MLB friend, Lois Alter Mark. They are touring the Downton Abbey Castle and doing all sorts of other dreamy things. I cannot wait to read both of their posts about the trip.

My conspiracy theory mind is spinning out of control over all of these ‘air’ disasters. Sad.

I had to have surgery to clear up a jaw infection that resulted from jaw surgery. Just ouch and a frustrating setback. It has me dragging.

Hell on Wheels will be back on AMC on August 2. I cannot Wait!

Hell on Wheels

Have a Blessed Weekend,

Doreen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Writing Wednesday/ Preparing for Publishing

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Writing Wednesday

Typewriter envy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesdays I like to share information I picked up on my path to being published, marketing and preparing to be published again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

 

 

Preparing for publication?

No matter which type of publishing route you choose, Traditional, Independent or Self-Publishing, your manuscript will need to be professionally edited by a professional book editor, it will need to be complete and it will need to be formatted in standard publishing form. That form is:

 

One-inch margin on all sides

Use a title page (not numbered)

Use a header on each page that includes your last name, the title in all caps and page number. Use forward slashes to separate. Start each chapter on its own page-starting 1/3 of the way down the page

The chapter number and the chapter title should be bold and in caps

Indent five spaces for each new paragraph

Double-space the entire text

Use a standard 12 point font such as Times New Roman. Ariel and New Courier are also acceptable

Only use one space between sentences.

While this is the business standard each agent and or publisher may have their own specific instructions for submissions. Follow their instructions carefully. Many of them will not even read your query simply because it is not formatted correctly. It is so much easier to start with the correct format.

I cannot stress enough how important editing is. Most authors I know will write a rough draft. Once that is finished they will let it sit for a week or so and then they will go over each and every word, making changes, cutting etc… A memoir is approximately 90,000 words. A novel is at least 135,000 words but can be much longer.

Once you have finished your first edit you will want to have someone read your manuscript. A beta reader can be another writer that agrees to read your work in exchange for reading theirs. Finding a good one or two is invaluable.

Little girl looking at book through magnifier

While your manuscript is being read you might want to fine tune your proposal. I wrote about proposals here:

http://doreenmcgettigan.com/?p=5141

Another good idea while your MS is being edited is to write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Choose a current topic that you are passionate about. If it is chosen for publication, you are published!

Write a few short stories on your book topic. Enter those stories in contests or use them as guest posts. This will help to establish you as an expert on your

You want to work on is the ‘elevator pitch’ for your book. When someone asks you what the book is about you want to be prepared with a carefully crafted two or three sentence description. Not only should you write your pitch you want to practice saying it out loud until it feels comfortable.

Your beta readers will most likely return your manuscript with suggestions. You will need to weigh their suggestions and do what you feel is right. Once you feel like the MS is as polished as it can be it is ready to be professionally edited.

I cannot stress enough how important this step is and that it is one you need to invest in no matter which way you plan to publish but especially if you plan to self-publish. The editor should be a professional book editor because they know the rules. They also know what sells and what doesn’t. It isn’t all about spelling and grammar, not that that isn’t extremely important too. Before hiring an editor ask for references.

My advice would be to follow whatever instructions and make whatever changes your editor requests for the sake of argument.  If you are not happy with the results you can always change it back. Chances are you will be happy with the outcome.

While your MS is being edited work on your online presence. Most agents and or publishers will Google your name. What will they see? You want to make sure your online presence is appropriate. Be careful when it comes to spelling, grammar and judgment on all social media formats.

[I need to take my own advice.] You want to be professional and non-controversial. A little bit of debate can be a good thing if you stick to the issue. Personal attacks are always unprofessional and a publisher and or an agent may choose not to work with you if you engage in that type of behavior.

There is more..

Do you set writing goals for yourself?  If so what are they?

 

Thank you for reading!

Doreen

 

 

Spotted on Facebook this week:

 

Giving up on a goal because of a setback is like slashing your other three tires

because you got a flat.

 

I would love to connect with you here too:

 

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http://www.twitter.com/doreenb8

 

 

 

 

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Writing Wednesday/ Publishing Choices

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Writing Wednesday

Typewriter envy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesdays I like to share information I picked up on my path to being published, marketing and preparing to be published again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.

 

 

Publishing Choices

The publishing business has changed so dramatically over the past few years and there doesn’t seem to be any slow- down to the changing , in sight.  It is still so unclear who the winner will be in this evolutionary process and that can cause more than a bit of anxiety for new as well as established authors. The good news is if you want to be published, you have choices…

confused woman

This is a brief overview of the different Publishing Choices available and the pros and cons for each:

Traditional Publishing

Traditional Publishing is still number one through six in sales, in publications and in best -selling titles, in the world. Those top six companies are:

1.Hatchette Book Group

2. Harper Collins

3. McMillan

4. Penguin Group

5. Random House

6. Simon and Shuster (name owned by CBS)

Each of these companies also own dozens of smaller companies known as imprints. An imprint may be used when publishing in a narrow field such as sci-fi or fantasy. How it works:

1. Traditional publishers in most cases will only work with literary agents.

2. If you want to be traditionally published you will first need an agent. You must submit your query and then if requested submit your finished, professionally edited manuscript to an agent that specializes in your genre.

3. If they decide to sign you they will have you go through another round of edits

4. They will try to sell your MS to a publisher

5.They will negotiate a contract on your behalf

6. They will receive a percentage of your sales.

7. Once they have sold your MS to a publisher you will go through yet another round of editing

8. A cover will be designed and a title will be decided on and Conceptual editing will be done (styling)

 

The Advantages of Traditional Publishing:

1. They put up the front money for editing, copyrighting, distribution, listing with vendors,  ISBN number, some marketing and advertising. They may even provide an advance.

2.  Chances are much better for international sales

3.  The big Publishers have connections w/ T.V., radio, Magazines etc…

4. Your book will be released in Hardcover and then 8 months to a year later it will be re- released in paperback.

5. Prestige and credibility

 

Disadvantages of Traditional Publishing:

1. Lack of control over everything involving your book including style, title, where it is sold, how it is marketed etc…

2. You do not get paid until your advance is paid back (if you received one), royalties tend to be paid at lower percentages than other publishing choices.

3. The process tends to be impersonal.

4. If the Publisher does not make their initial investment back in two-years they may drop you.

5. The time frame from signing to publication can take up to two-years.

Independent Publishing

Little girl looking at book through magnifier

Independent Publishers tend to be smaller companies and can be imprints of a larger company. Most of them operate ‘under one roof’ meaning they have editing, marketing etc…in house.

There are hundreds of Independent Publishing companies with new ones starting up every day. Just a few examples in no particular order are:

 

  • Publishing Genius Press
  • Akashic Books
  • Coffee House Press
  • Black Balloon
  • A Strange Object (new)
  • Tin House
  • Gray Wolf Press

Advantages of publishing with an Independent Publisher:

1. They may or may not require you to be represented by an agent

2.  Offer better royalties

3.  More individual author attention

4.  Prestige and credibility

5. Time from signing to publication can be as quick as one year

6.  More willing to work with new authors

Disadvantages:

 1. Less opportunity for international sales. Not impossible but unlikely

2.  You will need to do most of the marketing

3. Your book may be released as an e-book prior to paperback release. It may not be released in hardcover.

 

Subsidy, Vanity, Print on Demand and Assisted Self- Publishing Companies

This is where the publishing water gets very murky. These companies charge fees for services. Some of them are very good companies that do exactly what they say they will do and some of them are very bad companies. Some of them are extremely choosy over what they accept for publication and others will print anything. If you choose this route for publishing you must research the company. Have any contract looked at by a literary attorney, request author references and order a few books that the company published to check the quality.

Question Mark

These companies may offer different publishing packages ranging in price from $10,000 for complete preparation to release services, $5,000 for less services and $600 or less for assistance with self-publishing such as ISBN number (your books social security number) copyrighting and formatting for Amazon and Barnes & Noble listings.

Advantages to this types of Publishing

1. More control artistically

2. The highest royalties paid

3. A good option for special interest, regional, self-help, speakers, cookbooks and celebrities

4.  Quick turnaround time, a year sometimes less.

Disadvantages: 

Some of these disadvantages are disappearing rapidly. The stigma surrounding self -publishing is eroding. To break through these barriers, write a good book and make sure it is professionally edited.

1. Some libraries and book stores, still will not stock these books.

2. Perceived Lack of credibility.

3. Some professional reviewers still will not review these books.

4. Some authors self-publish poorly edited or not edited at all books and it hurts all self-published authors.

Again, this is changing rapidly!

Companies to avoid at all cost (This list is not complete. Always research, check references and have a literary attorney read any contract.)

* Author House

* Vantage Press

* Trinity

* Publish America now known as America Star

* Trident

* i universe (also known as Writers Club and Writers Showcase)

* Xlibris

Whatever route you choose for publishing, if you write a great story and have it edited professionally, the readers will come! Just like anything worth having in life, you will need to make an investment to get a return.

****The number 7 Publishing Company is Amazon.

**** The largest book buyers in the world are libraries.

Are you a published author? What Publishing choice did you make and why? Do you have any pro’s or cons to add?

Are you a writer hoping to be published? Which publishing choice do you thing would be right for you?

Sit down and write Stephen King

 

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

 

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Wave on Wave

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During the cold, dreary winter months, I keep depression away by planning every detail of my family’s summer adventures. From our annual family reunion/ beach week, romantic weekend getaways, writer’s retreats, daytrips to amusement parks and motorcycle runs for good causes, I can be found inside, researching the next best fun thing to do, while the snow is falling outside.

serious icycles

 

I convince myself every winter to hang on for just a few more weeks and my sanity will return and those empty idea files in my mind will soon be overflowing with creative ideas as I lounge along the shoreline soaking up the warm, soft breeze.

Beach Chairs

Then I snap out of it and realize that nearly every summer plan I have made for the last eight years imploded.  There was the summer I was recovering from a brain injury and couldn’t remember how to tie my shoes. Then there was the late spring where my daughter had to have an emergency c-section and was in the hospital for weeks. We did not want to leave her. Another summer my stepson was in a horrific motorcycle accident and in a coma for twenty-one days. That same summer our grandson had a pole from tennis net go clear through his leg in a freak camp accident. So embarrassing was the time I tried to shut the garage door at our beach rental and the door sucked up and crushed eight of my fingers causing my grandsons to call me Mom-Mom scissor –hands for the rest of the summer. Two years ago right before our vacation my father was diagnosed with lung cancer and one of my dearest friends was diagnosed with a cancer so ugly there isn’t even a ribbon for it. The outlook for both was grim.

After months of treatment, my father’s cancer went into remission. My friend went through months of chemo and radiation and then a life altering radical surgery and she was declared cancer free.

John and I swore we witnessed a miracle. We wanted to celebrate life. That January we leased a beautiful, private beachfront home that was large enough for our kids and grandkids. Beach week could not arrive fast enough. At every family occasion that winter we talked about the fun, we were going to have that summer.  My daughter’s and I planned the menus. We shopped for extra special beach toys for the kids and matching towels.

On June 10th that year, I was told my father’s scan showed a ‘mass’ in his throat. My mother’s scan showed a suspicious density in her remaining breast. It looked liked that summer would include a few trips to Florida to be with them.

The next day I got the news that my sweet friend’s scan showed multiple lesions. I would be spending some time in North Carolina that summer as well.

On June 14, John called me at work to tell me our realtor called and told him the perfect house we leased back in January was suddenly unavailable to us because the owner had a family emergency. The proverbial shoestring broke and I could not grab the pieces.

My personal rule to never, ever commit woman -on -woman crime no.matter.what. was about to be broken big time on that realtor because we found out it was her negligence that lost us our rental.  The owners of the property never had a family emergency.

Not to worry she said, we found you another house, it is only three towns away, does not have direct beach access and it is not private. Private being one of the key words here. With eight kids in the house the last thing we wanted to do was to be telling them to be quiet all week because of the neighbors.

It was also not on the sand that my husband spent every summer on from the time he was one-year-old. The sand where he and I stood on our first date and watched fireworks, appear out of nowhere. It was not the beach where we shared our first kiss and then thirteen-months later got married during a family beach week. It was not the same sand that held the precious ashes that John lovingly scattered so his first-born son would forever be a part of his family’s beach week.

SAMSUNG DIGIMAX A503

That realtor just did not get that.

This past winter within three- weeks of one another I lost my father and my friend. There were no plans made for the beach this summer. I was too sad.

I am not going to plan the day but the first one that comes along and finds the two of us with the day off, no rain in the forecast and a clear calendar, I will look at John and say lets go. I will hop onto the back of his Harley and in no time at all we will be sitting on ‘our’ beach.

Daytona Biker Girl

Life can be chaotic, down right terrifying at times. It can feel like the world is crashing around us and sometimes even on top of us. I can always count on ‘our’ waves, to remind me that whether life comes at us as a raging storm or in soft poetic rhythm, it will be constant.

I will take the time to breathe softly and cleanse my soul of the everyday life stressors like traffic, lost sippy cups, endless deadlines and whining. My eyes will follow a seagull as he soars along that invisible line where the fluffy white clouds meet the sea. I will hold my husbands hand, close my eyes and be grateful for him, our family and our many blessings.

Beach kiss

I will open my eyes just in time to see a crab scurry by and I will shriek. John will laugh so hard that tears will roll down his cheek and I will give in and laugh with him. Our eyes will meet and for that moment we will have stolen back, our joy and we will smile. We will have a little fun in the sun and then ride into the sunset and back to our reality where we will excitedly be making plans for our next adventure.

Wave on Wave by Pat Green (our wedding song)

http://youtu.be/fJWnIFlYKjs

 

 

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Wiggle Wiggle, the Emmy’s and summer fun…

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Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post and leave a link back to Half-Past Kissin’ Time in your post.

I would love to read your Fragment’s. Sign up here:

http://www.halfpastkissintime.com

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Did you watch the live announcement for the Emmy Nominations? If not here it is…

http://new.livestream.com/accounts/5675986/events/3170691/videos/56173697

I didn’t think there were too many surprises with the announcement. Sadly I have only watched a few of the shows. I think I may be the only one in the world that hasn’t seen Orange is the New Black yet. I have a lot of catching up to do.

ELM020114_218

I hope this award show is better than that last award show…

Are you looking for something good to read? I wrote this summer reading suggestions post for my local Patch.

http://media.patch.com/groups/-edge-of-philadelphia/p/summer-reading-suggestions-by-local-favorites#.U75p_YejoeE.facebo.ok

We had so much fun over the 4th of July weekend. We had three of our granddaughters. We had a block party and the girls were able to not only ride ponies but they learned a lot about them too. Morgan and Avery were so excited. Little Peyton decided not to ride the pony. She asked them if they had one small like a dog. She found a zebra just her size.

Avery on pony

Peyton's pony

The block party was really nice, good food, music, neighbors and fun.

This weekend is boy’s weekend. I thought they might like to go to the blueberry festival with me. NOT.

While little Peyton was here she walked around singing something about wiggling and butts. I thought it was kind of cute. The boys performed the whole song for us and while I was stunned I could not help cracking up. Have you heard Jason Derulo’s song Wiggle? Am I nuts or is this hysterical?

http://youtu.be/hiP14ED28CA

We have had the craziest storms this week. I always seem to be driving when they happen. I saw trash cans and tree limbs flying through the air, transformers on fire and trees fall. It was so frightening I cannot even imagine what it is like to live in fear of tornadoes.

Honestly the past few weeks I have felt almost guilty enjoying the kids and the pets so much.  The story of the baby whose father left him in the car is just sucking the joy out of me. I have two facebook friends that lost or have friends that lost small children in accidental drowning. Then there are all of those poor children from South America to worry about. I don’t even know who to be angry at for that one other than everyone, except the children.

Have a blessed weekend,

Doreen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Writing on Wednesday, Proposals…

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Writing Wednesday-

Typewriter envy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesdays I like to share what I learned, what worked and what didn’t work for me when it comes to writing, publishing and marketing along my journey to publication for the first time and as I prepare to be published for the second time.

I was always more a sit down and write kind of writer until I started writing books and taking on freelance work. I found myself procrastinating and easily distracted by new and shinier things that came across my laptop screen.

If I wanted to do this book writing thing full time I needed to get organized and get writing.

I now start with an outline for whatever I may be writing. A blog post, article, a book or a ghostwriting project all start with an outline.

Once I have a simple outline, I start working on the proposal. I do NOT like writing proposals. That is, until they are done. Once they are done I feel like my book could write itself. Trust me you will thank me later.

NOVA Trauma Tree quote

If you are writing or planning to write nonfiction you will need a very, very good proposal to send to agents and or publishers. If you are writing fiction you should at least have an okay proposal, for yourself. It will help you stay focused.

The first rule of proposal writing is to take your time and get it right. The second rule is it should be written before you write the book. I know, bad news but again you will thank once it’s done.

* You will first need a one page cover letter. Think business, resume etc…

 

* Next you will need an overview. It should answer these questions: What is your book about (think about what will be on the back cover of the book), who will care about this book, who are you and what credentials do you have that make you the best person to tell this story? No more than two pages.

 

* Table of contents. You may have to finish this once the proposal is finished but this is the place for it.

 

* Target Market: Who will buy this book and why. Do not say everyone. Pick one demographic and then one or two sub-demographics. Do not use statistics that are not specific.

 

*Chapter Outline: The title of each chapter and a paragraph on what each chapter is about. Take your time and try to come up with paragraphs that tell a condensed version of your book. A beginning, middle and an end. If you are worried someone will steal your idea, don’t.

 

* Competition: Pick three or four books that will be direct competition. Competition in the book business is a good thing. It means people are reading what you are writing. (think vampires) Do careful research here and explain why your book is different and will stand out from the competition.

 

*Author bio and platform: Your bio should only pertain to what you are writing and your experience. Leave personal information out. It should be short and sweet. More on platform’s next week. It basically means who you know, organizations you belong to and your online reach.

 

*Marketing Plan: You must convince an agent and or a publisher that you can bring the audience for this book not the other way around. Do not write what you hope to do but specifically what you can and will do. Be confident, realistic and firm. Use real numbers. Cleary define your market. List your accurate online stats for all of your sites. Do not just list followers, list your Google analytics. List your offline following, organizations or groups you belong to and any media contacts you have. Don’t get depressed you can do this. Get out and meet people in real life. Read and leave comments on many other blogs to increase your own comments and stats.

 

*Last but not least, in fact extremely important, add two of your meatiest chapters.

 

Now sit down and write that memoir, novel, instructional, health or whatever story you were born to tell!

Dont let someone dim your light

 

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Cowgirling up for the 4th of July…

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Happy 4th of July!!

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post and leave a link back to Half-Past Kissin’ Time in your post.

I would love to read your Fragment’s. Sign up here (all weekend)

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July 4th was always a huge celebration in my family and it always started out with my brother, David’s birthday which is on the 3rd. when David was murdered 15-years-ago we tried to continue the tradition and still have a birthday party for him, a sort of memorial celebration of his life. It may have been a good idea but it felt awful. So around here the holiday has pretty much been a sad one. That hasn’t been fair to my grandkids. This year I am spending the holiday with 3 granddaughters.

We planned to attend our neighborhood block-party, with pony rides, ( Peyton is running through the house yelling wake up it’s time to cowgirl up, trying to wake her sister’s) bouncy houses and lots of hot-dogs and cotton candy followed by a concert and fireworks show at our local high school and lots of swimming and relaxing for the rest of the weekend. Then Arthur formed. I’m not sure how much outdoor fun will actually happen. It is not looking promising. At least here it will only be rain and wind. I hope everyone in direct hit areas stays safe. I hope Arthur just fizzles.

My week was sort of uneventful which is extremely rare. I’m still battling an infection that resulted from one of my dental surgeries and it is making me feel so tired. I haven’t had a 3-day-weekend in a very long time. It is going to feel so good to sleep in.

I took this picture on the way home from picking the girls up. They say they see an angel in the sky. I see it too. Do you?

Sky angel photo

I wrote this article on caregiving and stress for our local Patch. It sure could use some likes and or comments.

http://media.patch.com/blogs/-edge-of-philadelphia?content_subdomain=media

One thing I was disappointed in this past week is the lack of understanding by so many people on just what the actual job of our Supreme Court Justices involves. There was legally, no way there could have made any other decision in regards to the Hobby Lobby case. President Clinton signed the Freedom of Religion act in 1993. The Supreme Court must hold up existing law. They have no authority to create or change laws. Whether we like the decision or not the law is the law. Am I the only one frustrated by the lack of civics knowledge?

Happy Birthday to my little brother in Heaven:

http://youtu.be/PAc7b-pnfLw

Have a safe and blessed Holiday Weekend,

Doreen

 

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Feeling Insecure and Writing Wednesday…

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June is another one of those months that seems to pull the rug out from under our feet.  It seems to be over before I give it a chance to start. I’ve been buried in my editing cave, trying to manage some DIY projects in the house, putting together fall schedules, marketing plans and juggling family stuff, while still grieving and the whole month my mind and body have been screaming for me to slow down and allow things to happen the way they are supposed to happen in June, slower.

My plan for July is to slow down and be conscious of each and every minute.

The first Wednesday of every month I participate in The Insecure Writer’s Support Group. #IWSG.  This is one AMAZING group of talented, wanting to start writers, beginners, and professional authors. One of the many things we all have in common is our moments of extreme insecurity about our craft. Another is our gratitude and pay it forward attitudes when our confidence is soaring.

To find out more about the IWSG or to join us, visit:

http://www.theinsecurewriterssupportgroup.com

InsecureWritersSupportGroup3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have also started ‘Writing Wednesday’s’ here. Every Wednesday I am going to share some of the things I have found that worked and some that didn’t work so well along my journey to publication, marketing and publishing again. Being insecure at times is one thing I had to and still deal with in my writing. Learning to listen to other writers, taking their advice and learning to write through those insecurities is a must.

Writing Wednesdays

Typewriter envy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have run into a dilemma with The Stranger in My Recliner. It is the true story of Sophie, a homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She ended up staying with us for nearly three years.

I believe wholeheartedly that when you are telling a true story you should be 100% honest, unless that honesty could egregiously and irreparably hurt someone. Someone, that may or may not be completely innocent.

Sophie made me promise to tell her story. That story revolves around people in an anonymous group. I am not part of that group, so I didn’t give much thought to using their real names if they were part of Sophie’s world. Perhaps I even had an attitude or a bit of a grudge against a few of them.

My editor pointed out that grudges and revenge are not the best reasons for memoir. She suggested that I reach out and try to speak with a few of these people and try to get their side of the story, to balance things out a bit. I took that suggestion and decided to hit the research trail.

Writers Clock

I was feeling depressed and wondering if this book would ever reach, the end.  I was having trouble figuring out where to start to find these people.  I brought it up in my writers group. This group, Lower Bucks Creative Explorers (amazing group) meets an hour and fifteen minutes from my home. It is on the other side of Philadelphia in another county.

What are the chances that when I mention I have no idea where to start locating friends of Sophie’s in yet another area, the town of Glenolden, Pennsylvania that one of our members would say I have a new boyfriend and that is the town where he lives. Jokingly, I said call him and ask him if he knew Sophie. She did and yes, he knew Sophie and her family. We arranged an interview and he gave me information that facilitated more interviews and suddenly Sophie’s story began to breathe in a way I didn’t see coming.

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Drawing on my journalism skills of being able to present both sides of a story in a fair and impartial way I have decided to only use the first names of the members of this particular anonymous group. That way they will recognize themselves in the story and others in ‘that’ group may even recognize them but outside of that, it doesn’t change the direction; the truth or the impact of Sophie’s story in any way.

I think I feel relieved by that decision and yet still a bit insecure.

Do you get frustrated when reading a true story knowing the author has changed the names and even sometimes the locations of the actual story?

Do you want to write a memoir but you are worried about angering or hurting someone?

Does knowing those changes were made distract you at all while you are reading, do you wonder what else is not actually true in the story?

Have a wonderful Holiday,

Doreen

Writers rules poster

 

I would love to hang out with you here too:

 

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Flip Flop fashion or not…

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I still think of Fraggle Rock every time I write my Friday Fragments. The song remains in my head for at least three days after each post.

http://youtu.be/l_zsz_MlVvI

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems (hint: a notebook is helpful) and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post with Linky Tools and link back to our host Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin’ Time.

http://www.halfpastkissintime.com

Friday Fragments Summer logo

 

 

 

 

 

Last Sunday John and I decided to take a motorcycle ride to the shore. It was a perfect day for the long ride. The beach weather was as close to perfect as it could be. As far as we could see along the shore line there were nieces, nephews and in-laws that we haven’t seen in a year. I didn’t take one picture.

From there we stopped into the Deauville Inn to meet up with my six-sister-in-laws for a drink and a little music and then to the Ocean City boardwalk for some Mack & Manco’s pizza. We crave that stuff.

The ride home was long. We may not have been able to get away for the whole week this year but the day was so needed.

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Not Fun- I have been going through a series of surgeries on my jaw and yesterday at a routine appointment they found an infection and a random bone fragment. Ouch! Three more surgeries in the coming months and hopefully done, finally.

On Good Day Philadelphia this morning Jenn Fredd did a segment on some of the fashion items men dislike immensely. Hmmm. Platform flip- flops a big turn-off along with crop tops on women over the age of sixteen. Disliked by men the most is the one piece shorts romper. My flip-flops are flat. Do we agree? Do we care?

FLIP FLOPS

Apparently there is a bit of not so nice in me. On this week’s episode of 24 Jack finally caught up with a very dark and evil terrorist woman and instead of handcuffing her and turning her over to the CIA, he picked her up and tossed her out the window. I cheered so loud the neighborhood dogs barked. I might have had a bit of empathy for her if the evil biotch hadn’t cut her own daughters finger off and shot her son-in-law last week.

I started a new feature here, Writing Wednesday’s. If you ever felt like you had a story to tell check out the first post here:

http://doreenmcgettigan.com/?p=5117

Have a blessed weekend and dance your life away and save your worries for another day:)

Doreen

 

 

 

 

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