Monthly Archives: December 2016

Reflections

It seems this past year has had more than its share of tragedies. We lost a lot of beloved celebrities in 2016, it’s true. But we lose people every year. I’m not being cold or indifferent, I’m being realistic. It’s the circle of life. We live, and we die. I’m saddened by every passing. I just don’t see the sense in railing at the universe over the injustice of it all.  So many people have ranted on social media how they are ready to see the end of 2016. It’s their opinion, and they are entitled to it.

For myself, 2016 was one of the best years I’ve had in a very long time. I started a new journey in 2015 with endless possibilities, and my personal sojourn is just now gaining altitude. My first book was published. I attended my first book convention as an author, meeting incredible people, and forging new friendships with other authors and readers. I networked with so many wonderful people via social media through author take-overs and day to day interaction on Facebook and Twitter. I attended several local book signings which led to meeting more authors and lately, forming a support group, Southern LA Writers. And I wrote. While not everything is finished prettily with a bow on it, or published yet, I managed to write 2 more books, a novella, 2 short stories, and 2 more in the works. This past year has been a plethora of firsts for me.

2017 is going to start with a bang. I have a 3-day event in New Orleans I’m looking forward to. Though my aim is to meet people and sell books, I’m enough of a geek to enjoy everything that Comic Con has to offer. I’m going to have a blast, no matter what happens. While I have no other events slated for the year, I’ve learned that it’s early times yet and anything can happen. My plan is to focus on my writing. I’m still learning and have a long way to go. Who knows where this journey will lead?

For now, I wish you a very Happy New Year. May the coming year bring all you desire.

Till next year,

~ Madison

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The Ending of 2016

2016 is coming to a close. What a year it has been. I’ve done more traveling this year than I’ve ever done. Three of the 5 trips included me driving. I know what you’re thinking….there’s a scary thought. I thought so too, but aside from getting rear ended (not my fault) before I even made it out of town on my first driving, road trip, it was all smooth sailing.

I met a lot of wonderful readers and made  connections with authors I have admired for a long time. All in all, connecting with the readers, face to face, and meeting some of my writing heroes was in a word…PRICELESS.

I am looking forward to seeing what is in store in 2017. Hopefully, it will include meeting many more readers and authors. Will you be one of them? I hope so.

Until next year…Happy Reading and Happy New Year! business cardsf1d235a9-c918-4b2a-b693-3a3be06b468e

~Jolanthe~

You’ll know it when you FEEL it.

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I think as a reader I can tell when the author is in flow. I think as a reader I can also tell when they are not. For me, this is part of the driving force to writing as I try to smooth the transitions and hide the pages that were written in a manic panic as the deadline loomed. It may not be that the sentences are any less polished, or the editing isn’t right on point…I think it is a feeling that we have as we build our vision of the world we are reading.

I’ve said it before, readers are SMART…but they are more than that too…readers are sensory, and writers need to remember this. The words are often trying taskmasters as they fight for a place on the page, but we have to remember the goal and the end result as we work, or we will just as surely toss the reader off the tale and miss holding their focus if we do not do the whole process in favor of the deadline.

As the red pen here at EBB I’ve said it many times to multiple authors…I would rather put out a book late that is right, than one time completely wrong. What about you? Would you rather have a book right on time or early…if it means that it is less than what you expect?

I didn’t think so.

‘Twas the night before Christmas …

Okay, so technically it’s Christmas eve morning, but you get the drift.It’s still early enough I’m the only creature stirring in this household. This past week has been a busy one between work, writing, and preparing for Santa’s visit.

My daughter, son-in-law, and grand daughter live with me, and I really appreciate that fact around the holidays. The munchkin is 9 years old and is tottering over the edge where she no longer believes in Santa. I think she’s figured it out, but isn’t prepared to say it out loud. That’s fine with me. I’ll keep sending her videos of Santa giving her personal messages, and I’ll continue to leave pictures laying around on Christmas morning of Santa delivering presents in our living room. PNP (Portable North Pole) Santa and Capture the Magic are awesome sites if you still have small ones at home.

Even with all the holiday activity, I managed to finish my short story. I thought about pulling out another one I had already started on, but decided to hold off for now. I’m going to relax and enjoy some family time.

In three more days, Eternal Embrace goes to the editor/cover artist. I’m excited, and a little on the nervous side. I’m excited about the new cover, and nervous about what the editing side is going to reveal. Regardless, I’m anxious to get Embrace ready for publication.

I’ve also spent a lot of time working on swag for my event in January. I’ve got enough bookmarks and keyrings made for the next three events, so I’m pretty sure I’m set. I’ve got more than enough copies of Phoenix Rising and all the other paraphernalia that goes into a book event. The rest lies with the crowd. I’m hoping for the best; we’re talking Comic Con and cos play. Paranormal fits right in there. 😉

With that said, I’m going to head to the kitchen and start on prep work. Christmas dinner will be at my house, and there’s still a lot to do.

Have a very Merry Christmas, and if Christmas isn’t your thing, I hope you enjoy the holiday season regardless.

Till next week,

~Madison

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Happy Whatever You Choose to Celebrate

It’s that time of the year. You know…the time of year where people try to claim the reason for the season, when in reality, there are many reasons for the season. Mine may not be the same as yours. Yours may not be the same as the person next to you. Whatever your reason for the season, I’m pretty sure it shouldn’t include bashing another person’s beliefs. Not everyone believes the same or has the same faith…and that is more than ok.

Yule and the Winter Solstice has started. Can we get a YAY for the days getting longer and the nights shorter? This year, Christmas and Chanukah start on December 24th and Kwanza starts on December 26th. Ooooooh…and there’s apparently a thing called Second Christmas that’s also on the 26th. Who knew?! And please do not tell my kid about this second Christmas…my wallet will not appreciate it and I’m soooo over the whole shopping thing.

My point is…Whatever your reason for the season may be…I hope it is filled with love and laughter, spent with those you hold dear in your heart. Don’t forget to take a book along with you for when you need a break from the cray cray…lol

Until next week….Happy Holidays and Happy Reading! 380985_10150407835810819_547290818_8803086_605559779_n

http://taiya001.deviantart.com/

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~Jolanthe~

Back on track …

I am happy to report that I am back writing again. While I didn’t finish my short story just yet, I’m closing in on the final chapter. And I’ve got another story started for my next project, with ideas for two more. Writing has never felt so good.

I’ve been in touch with my editor/cover artist for Eternal Embrace and everything is lined up. I’m gathering all my stock photos and filling out forms for the cover to have it ready to send Dec. 27.

I finally got all my orders in, and I’ll be making more swag to take with me to Comic Con in January. My table mate and I keep in touch on a daily basis and we’re on top of things as they happen. Hopefully, we won’t run into any major glitches.

I’ve even been approached by another local author to talk shop. I love meeting new people, especially readers and other writers. Sharing ideas and learning from others, whether they’ve been at it for years, or just starting out, like me, is exciting and I look forward to each opportunity.

I’m also attending a local writer’s conference in March, and I’m eagerly anticipating the experience. I’m always ready to learn something new, especially when the subject matter is dear to me, which writing truly is.

Even with all the holiday frenzy, I’m managing to find time here and there to read. My TBR pile is never ending and I don’t help matters by constantly adding new books to my Kindle. I figure it’s going to explode one day. I have no idea how many books it can contain. LOL

I hope you’re taking time out to curl up with a good book too. There’s nothing more relaxing than a mug of hot chocolate… or a glass of wine, 😉 and a great read.

Enjoy the holidays, and take time out for yourself. You deserve it.

Till next week,

~ Madison

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It’s Holiday Movie Time

This time of year is holiday movie time. On social media, I see a lot of people asking their friends what their favorite holiday movie is. You can imagine that you will get a large variety of tastes and favorites being listed. Personally, I like the Bing Crosby Christmas movies, with the Bells of St. Mary’s being a favorite.

Growing up, I can remember movies like The Sound of Music and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang being on tv at this time of year. I began associating those movies with this time of year and was pleased as punch when I saw The Sound of Music was going to be on tv this weekend!

However, if you were to ask me what my favorite non-holiday specific movie is my answer would be a little something like this….Not long ago, there was a certain trilogy who would have their release days during the holiday season. That’s right! The LOTR trilogy.

I have a couple questions for you. What is your favorite holiday movie? Do you have a favorite holiday read? If so, what is it?

Until next week…Happy Reading!
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~Jolanthe~

Driveway tetris and other winter games

It’s beautiful here…and freaking cold. If I could have the snow without the frigid, I’d be the happiest girl in the world…but alas, they go hand in hand so let the winter games begin.

Games? what games?

Winter is a festival of playtime for us. The first wet snowfall is a requisite snow fight and fort building event…even if it’s a work/school night. Then comes the aftermath…ours is the yard along the street that looks like a crime scene while everyone else’s wears a pristine blanket of white across the now dormant grass. I love this about us. I hope this will be true forever, but the resulting soreness says that it will not. The friends of ours who show up unannounced on the first snow night says it’s not just our tradition anymore.

Winter storms also mean the game of who will win the battle to keep the walks and drive way clear so that there is an easy path to walk. Most years Old Man Winter wins this in the deep overnight hours, blowing drifts across the clear, but we fight back each time and eventually spring takes a vote and the paths stay clear for another season…alas, as we’re just beginning, it is up to us to keep bidding against the ice and slippery places of packed snow that my knees have come to hate in this most recent of my 5 decade fight to stay vertical in the winter. *sigh*

The other winter game around here is driveway tetris. We have a 3 car drive and 4 vehicles. I thank my pop for giving me mad packing skills as we turn autos to angle over the yard without the tires reaching it to wedge the cars in so the plows can clear the street.  There is little room left for the plow piles to block us in, though they still manage. I think they are on to this game of ours though…they have their own version…how much plowed snow can they get into the few scant inches at the end of our drive while staying on their side of the magic line that delineates street from drive? They are getting quite good.

I’m not complaining, far from it. This season, like the others, is necessary. Just like the darkness helps us to remember to appreciate the light, winter reminds us of what it means to be in the sweltering heat and humidity of Midwest summers when the temps and humidity numbers are close the mirroring each other, but not quite tipped enough to give us that refreshing summer rain that relieves the day. As much as I want to move to a warmer climate, there is something about fresh snow that has stayed my move for ages. There is something about a hot toddy and a steamy bath after being amid the flakes that has no equal in the other seasons. Winter days are when I pause to count my blessings simply because they are.

As we are amid the push and pull of the holiday season, the snow is my reminder of small miracles, tiny wonders, and the great joy that can come from things that cost nothing. I wish you all a moment of such simple clarity.

So snuggle in with a good book…it’s a great time of year to remember to do something good for yourself as you are busy doing or buying for others…the whirling white flakes say so and so I do. I’m off to another round of clear the drive and the tetris game of autos to put the day away before the plows come though again and leave a car trapped on the street. No one left behind…even as the temps go south of zero.

Sav

 

Ramblings of an unfocused mind …

Finally got our first taste of cold weather. OK, to most of you 35 degrees isn’t cold, but when you’re born and raised in southern Louisiana, it’s bundle up time. And I, for one, am enjoying it. Winter is my favorite time of year, unlike one of my fellow Bard authors. 😉 Of course, she lives where it snows, so I guess she has the right to complain. Whereas, I can count on one hand the times I’ve seen the stuff.

Everything this past week has progressed as smoothly as possible. Gifts are ordered and I’m waiting on deliveries. Yule cards have been mailed out. Phoenix Rising ornaments are made, and the contest is underway. Week 2 of the 3 week contests starts today. Check out my Facebook page for details. https://www.facebook.com/MadisonGrangerAuthor and https://www.facebook.com/MadisonGrangerKindredSeries/   And my table mate and I have almost all the details ironed out for Wizard World Comic Con in New Orleans this coming January.

All that’s left is the writing. I finally decided to work on a short story that’s part of a bigger project. Last week I told you I felt like my muse had left me, only to slam me with more story lines I could deal with at the time. I realize now my muse isn’t the problem, it’s me. Self-discipline has never been my strong suit. I’m orderly to a fault, making myself do things… not so much. Throw in the holidays, and I’m a squirrel with a bad case of ADD. I can’t focus on anything.

This blog is a perfect example. Ever since I started writing for the Bard, I write my piece on Tuesday, and update it to post on Saturday. The past couple of weeks I’ve been writing it on Friday evenings, starting out with absolutely nothing on my mind. Luckily, I have used this blog as a diary of sorts for my journey as a writer, so if I ramble a bit it’s not a total disaster.

This weekend, I am giving myself no excuses. I have no plans and my granddaughter is gone for the weekend, so there are no distractions to keep me from writing. I may not finish the story, but I’m going to make some headway. It’s my goal, anyway.

Enjoy your weekend. Keep warm and stay safe. Cozy up with a good book and relax. We all need some time to unwind.

Till next week,

~ Madison

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside

This week I have been battling the Fall/Winter crud. Fun times…NOT. That stuff wears you out, physically and, surprisingly enough, mentally. Coupled with the arctic blast that has descended on us…Brrr.

Winter has decided to make it’s appearance. Some would say it’s not Winter yet…but to my mind, if it’s snowing and freezing outside..it’s Winter. To be fair, we only received flurries here yesterday. It was still snow, and I am not a fan.

While you’re out shopping for the holiday season, bundle up and stay warm. When you get home, treat yourself to your favorite hot beverage, grab a warm fuzzy blanket, slip into your comfies, and curl up with a book or two. Might I suggest, Beyond the Veil of Whispered Dreams for your reading pleasure? 😉

Until next week…Stay Warm and Happy Reading!

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https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692539891

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~Jolanthe~