In Search Of…

I’ve just returned from Scotland, where I spend a good amount of time doing research. I think I may have mentioned this bit once here. But it doesn’t hurt to repeat so that we are all on the same page, if you will, so that my story makes sense.

So while in Edinburgh one night, staring out of the floor-to-ceiling window in my hotel room with views across the town and ‘some’ body of water in the distance (sorry for my show of disoriented being), all of a sudden, I couldn’t breath, freaking out about my life and where it is headed. It happens; I know, to all of us at some point or another in our lives. Mine had to be a week or so ago, in Edinburgh.

In that moment, I felt the need to email a few friends and my mother, telling them that I finally settled on where I wanted to move or retire…sooner than later, and it was Scotland, more specifically, Edinburgh. The response from all of them was mutual, a variation of the smiley emojis and the ‘LOLs’.

Only one person came back with ‘get your head out of the clouds.’

I’ll show you – I said to myself and went to bed.

This week while I prepare for the next semester at Stanford University continuing education program, I noticed the welcome email from the instructor was dropped in my email address. Naturally, I clicked to open it and began reading, loving every word he’d put down on paper. And among the advice, and inspirational quotes the professor included, one stood out the most:

This is advice from Flannery O’Connor. She says, “Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to was never there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it. Where is there a place for you to be? No place… Nothing outside you can give you any place… In yourself right now is all the place you’ve got.”

What say you?

English Countryside Had Me Taking Notes

I scheduled a trip to Europe in March knowing that I would be juggling an online course,  my day job and play.  Which by the way I outlined very strategically  on a spreadsheet/calendar and presented it to my friend who I was going to be traveling with. She laughed at first, and then sort of just went along to see how it would all pan out.

First week, I scheduled a drive to Stratford-Upon-Avon from her town in Suffix, with a day trip from Stratford to Bath and another to The Cotswolds. Notes upon notes were jotted down by yours truly, and photographs taken for novel four, which I have been loosely working on.  Meaning to clarify, the outline is complete (fourth outline), the protagonist(s) developed, and the story chapters 1-3 are in first draft.  All of which happened on a cold stormy night in Stratford.

The second week, we took the Eurostar from London to Paris and there I walked the streets of my favorite city observing human behavior.  Oddly or funny enough, the makings of novel five happened there. How does that happen?

Back to England, and more day trips from my friend’s place to nearby towns, and although everything I’ve seen is amazing, memorable, heartwarming, lovely, charming, and potentially a good spot, non has inspired me enough to consider it the perfect location for my next story. Have you ever felt that way?

In a few days I will be heading up to Scotland, to work through the kinks in book 3 and then back home and by then I hope I would settle on a location. In the meantime I am obsessed with this photograph I took in a Museum in Paris

Portrait de madame Paul Guillaume at grand chapeau by Andre Derain




Advice For the Struggling Writer


Thirty-nine things to remember while struggling to build your writing career  was an article sent to me via Pinterest by someone very special. I appreciate the fact that she was thinking about me. I guess she was listening more than I thought she was each time I expressed my feelings to her about the whole writing thing. Anyway, all good advice and most of them, I learned to follow over the year. I write because I love to express myself. I write because I have stories to tell. This past year has been an enlightening experience, mostly since I took the leap to put out my first two-part novel. I learned from all sorts of mistakes I made, and at times I felt very insecure and ready to give up.

It was my mother who insisted that I push forward, and continue to write because she could tell how alive I became in doing so. Besides, she said she loves my stories and plots I share with her over tea. So here I am still tapping away at my keyboard every chance I get, doing what I love best-writing.

So there, that’s my story, and the advice I want to share with you all.

Creative Genius – That’s What You Are

Have you ever taken any of the quizzes on Facebook? You know the ones about where you should live, what you should eat, where to travel and finally, the one I took, True Calling. I clicked through a dozen questions and the answer I got for my true calling is that I am a creative genius. I smiled of course, already having known that without the quiz, but it is funny to see the results.