Why I continue to polish “Not Too Late Forever”

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Some spare thoughts from a writer, Something that touched my life | Posted on 21-08-2015

When I started writing my first book in 2006, I had no idea the work that would go into it. As with many first time writers, I though it would be easy. After all I am a reader and the words just flow from the page. Since then I have discovered, at least for myself, that it takes a lot of work. I’m not willing to settle, therefore I continue to polish. My current intention is to publish traditionally. To me that means, first getting an agent, then working with that agent to publish and sell my books.

Over the years I have continued to attend writers conferences. Even before the Hawaii Writers Conference closed in advance of the event in 2009, I started attending other writers’ conferences. In the past I have participated with the San Francisco Writers Conference. The most current conferences I have attended are Wordcrafters in Eugene and this October I will again attend the Surrey International Writers Conference.

First I want to talk about Wordcrafters. Located in the hometown of the Oregon Ducks’ University of Oregon, it draws on the diverse culture that surrounds it. The first year the key notes were Terry Brooks and Elizabeth George. This last year, among others, Kevin O’Brien, Gail Tsukiyama and Nancy Holder shared the art of writing with attendees. For me this conference is like coming home.

At the Surrey International Conference once more I have the opportunity to pitch my book. Each time my dream blossoms that this will be the right agent and the right presentation to finally find the road to getting published. It is always the opportunity to live the writer’s life.

Decisons to make

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Something that touched my life, Working on my Craft | Posted on 10-08-2015

The last couple of weeks have been tumultuous. To explain a little, I work a forty hour a week job, volunteer in the community and currently work on three story lines. This is my life and one I enjoy. What made the last couple of weeks different from the norm, is that a position once more became available at my day job. It is a management position. This, over the years, is something that I have always aspired to. I believe that is the main reason I have turned to my writing, at least writing books. Let me make this clear, I have always been a writer. There has not been a time when I have not written fiction, but this evolved in 2006.

In this year I was working for a family company. As with other jobs in the past there was something missing. It could simply have been that I was not growing and build something that would continue then and in the future. In that year I was reading a book by Jack Canfield, “How to Get from Here to Where You Want To Be”. I had just completed the chapter that asked, “If you can do anything, anything at all what would it be?”According to Mr. Canfield, I was not to worry about bills, rent/mortgage or any financial commitments. Without even a consciousness effort, I realized I would write.

That evening I attended a “Dream Circle”. That is a gather of dreamers who sit in a circle and share one of their aspirations. More than that, it is important to commit to that aspiration, dream. After my friend Joy went around the circle and asked each one present what they had done the previous week to follow through, she turned to me.

When she asked, “Would you be willing to share one of your dreams with us?”

I knew what it would be. I would write. What followed next started me on the road to write my first book. When I said I would write, my friend asked me to make three commitments to that dream. I did. One of the commitments was to go to the Maui Writers Conference. At first I wasn’t truly committed to follow through,but events carried me along.

I have attended many writers’ conferences since then, and polished my book as I have gone along. Thanks to another friend I also started a writers’/critique group. At many of these conferences I have pitched my book. To date I have not received an offer of representation, but I continue on. This October, I will attend the Surrey International Writers Conference, in Surrey British Columbia. The agent I pitch to this year is one I have pitched to before. More than that I will enjoy workshops with agents and published authors. I truly hope this is my year, but one thing above all others I have learned from my experiences is that I am a writer. It is more than a dream, it is a fact of my life.

Misty’s Magical Shed 14

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Short Story Snippets | Posted on 31-07-2015

It’s magnificent. Stretching from one side of the cavern to the other, strong stone turrets guarded on three sides. The fourth now lay, a mass of crumbled red stone, along the left side of the fortress. “Why’s it like that?” asked Finny. He clapped his hand over his mouth.

It’s alright Sweetie, but we need to be even more careful now, said Mama Jack. There’s a great war going on again. We had it won once, but Swirl is revived and draws on the darkness to fight her battles. That’s just one sign of her anger and power.

But I can’t do anything about that. Finny was glad the mind talk didn’t shake like his spoken words would. Or?

Yes Sweetie, that’s why we had to find out if you could see unicorns. That’s just one sign of your magic.

A bigger question grew in his mind. Who’s Swirl?

She is your aunt and has powers of her own. Mama Jack’s sigh told Finny, that this aunt he didn’t’ know he had, was not very nice.

Now there’s someone you need to meet. Something you must learn before we draw any more attention to us. See, there he is now.

Where? Finny blinked.

There. Mama Jack pointed to the middle of the castle walls.

Whe…

A man now stood by the rubble of the castle. Dwarfed by the mound, his pale skin and white beard stood out, stark against the backdrop of the crumbled turret. He wore a dark sweatshirt, but the hood rested on his back rather than covering his head.

It’s the man from school and… Where did he come from?

Mama Jack laughed. Yes Sweetie, your Grandfather has been watching over you. Harold Joidean is seen when Harold Joidean wants to be seen.

Harold? But that’s my middle name, said Finny.

You were named after both your grandfathers. Franklin and Harold. Mama Jack returned the man’s wave. It’s time the two of you meet.

Zeuflin took flight once more.

Mama Jack started to hum quietly. At least it was quiet in his head.  At first it was a soft musical sound, but soon words grew with the tune. It was like a nursery rhyme Mama had sung to Finny at night when he was little, but Mama Jack’s words were different.

My love, my love where have gone?

I’ve missed you for too long.

My love, my love,

I see you again. We need never more part.

My love, my love,

Take my hand. Lead me away

My love, my love,

We’ll join together and live in the  promise of happiness everlasting. 

My love, my love.

Careful to circle beyond the molten drips of the fountain, Zeuflin flew toward the man and the ruins of a fourth tower. The others followed.

Why aren’t we going to the front? asked Finny.

That is what Swirl would expect us to do. We need to keep her guessing for a little longer. This time it was Misty who answered.

As they got closer, Finny could tell the man was very old. There was an air about him that he’d lived longer than anyone else. He was stooped, as if he carried a weight so heavy it bent his body. Despite this, his face relaxed and the wrinkles Finny had seen smoothed as they drew closer.

Zeuflin brought them down in front of Finny’s Grandfather.

Hal. Mama Jack slid from Zeuflin to his waiting embrace.

It’s been too long, my love. Grandfather paid no attention to anyone else.

Finny felt embarrassed, like he used to when Mom and Dad would greet each other the same way. It was as if no one else mattered.

Zeuflin stomped and snorted. Don’t you think we should take this inside? Cold circled down to wrap around them.

Meowww. Raskee scratched his way out of Mama Jack’s pack and jumped down. She’s here.

More than halfway though the year of 2015

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Something that touched my life | Posted on 14-07-2015

It seems so strange to think that we are already more than halfway through 2015. I’ve been working on three separate projects this year. The projects are: SciFi/Romance “Not Too Late Forever”, Historical Fiction “A Life to Live, A Contribution to Make” and Mid-grade fantasy “Misty’s Magical Shed”.

The SciFi/Romance and Mid-grade Fantasy are my passion, but I spending most of my writing time on the Historical Fiction. This is a story based loosely on the life of Josephine Rollins Ort, the woman the county where I live is named after. I hope this will work into a book that will help people better understand the life and difficulties a time gone by.

In working on Josephine’s story, I am surprised how few people know anything about Josephine. Even more amazing is that she was here for only a couple of months.

I have signed up for another writers’ conference, the Surrey International Writers Conference in Surrey British Columbia. I look forward to participating with fellow writers in following a shared dream.

Thoughts for week ending June 27, 2015

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Posted by Jodi | Posted in Short Story Snippets, Some spare thoughts from a writer | Posted on 27-06-2015

I have much going on in my life right now. With the commitment to write a 2000 word chapter of an historical fiction every two weeks added to writing and editing on my other two stories, I am staying quite busy. It is interesting to fit this in around my day job and my community volunteer activities.

With this comes a wondrous thought that when I am published, I will be the poster child for never giving up. I have applied for a fellowship from the Oregon Literary Council. If I receive acknowledgement with this, it will be the first award, outside of honorable mention, for my writing. Besides that, the genre is not my first choice.

Because a posting by KC Dyer caught my attention yesterday, tonight I will make the commitment of attending the Surrey International Writers Conference. This year, I will have two books to pitch.

I am happy that my life does not lack excitement. Now to get back to work and get more writing done.

What a great life. Hope you are enjoying yours as well.

Jodi