Moving forward….

It amazes me to think I’ve been blogging for the better part of four years. I started this blog in 2014 but didn’t really start posting regularly until August of 2015. And when I look back I think: man this blog is a mess. Rather than have a fixed format, I have managed to post about everything under the sun (except religion and politics – which will stay that way). But this was supposed to be a WRITING BLOG!!! Ehhh… I am too interested in too many things to focus. Luckily, you beautiful people haven’t seemed to mind. I finish 2018 with over 3300 followers and a nice group of regular commenters and friends. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

So what is the plan for the easily distracted author/artist in 2019? Is there a plan? Can I even stick to a plan with all the big changes next year will bring? Probably not. However, what I’d like to do is….

  • Concentrate on my series Inhuman. I would like to turn this rough draft into a novel. For those of you reading along, please offer constructive criticism, including flagging me on inconsistencies and mistakes. Be truthful. I can take it and your feedback is very valuable.
  • As a result, I will probably write fewer essays on The Great War. I am still reading and researching for the very delayed (I should be ashamed of myself) Here Lies a Soldier so I will share some of the gems I uncover.
  • Poetry: it seems to have returned to me so that might appear more often.
  • Art: I will ‘Draw Adventurously’ again but maybe not so frequently. Also, I’ve been painting a lot more and just ordered new brushes and a supply of canvases so I may subject you to that in the new year. 

Ah, but the best laid plans (if you can call that a plan) of mice and Meg often go awry. 2019 brings big changes personally and a big move geographically. I’m not making any promises. However, if you hang in there with me during this tumultuous time, I’ll be eternally grateful!

All the best to you and yours at the conclusion of the year! Love Meg!

Also that’s my latest painting in the header image.

The Writers Tag

I’ve been tagged by fellow author, GJ Stevens, to participate in a tag for writers to get to know one another. GJ is releasing his first novel this month so be sure to visit his blog and read all about it. The tag was created by Lorraine Ambers and Ari Meghlen for writers to connect with one another and help expand this lovely writing community. We are asked 12 questions and encouraged to tag other writers. As always, no obligation on any of my nominees. Here are my answers and my nominees:

Name one novel that inspired you to write. 

I can’t say there is one novel which inspired me to write, but there are quite a few novels that I would aspire to write. My current work in progress is historical fiction set partly in the time of World War I and partly in modern day. An author who manages to slip seamlessly between time periods in her books in Kate Morton, so I will choose her novel The Forgotten Garden as a book that inspires me.

What’s your favorite genre to read and to write?

I read avidly and across many genres. I’m writing historical fiction AND science fiction at the moment, but I suppose the genre I find myself reading most frequently are mysteries/detective stories. And as a result, four of my five published novels are mysteries.

Do you prefer to write stand alone or series?

Thus far, my published novels are a series. The Bucks County Novels are romantic suspense stories set in the region of Pennsylvania where I live. These five books have repeating characters but each plot focuses on a different one. It was a great deal of fun to include local restaurants, bars and other businesses in the books as well as being able to send the characters to the city of Philadelphia which is only about an hour away. I am not entirely sure whether I will continue the series because of the other projects I have going, but I won’t rule it out.

Use three words to describe yourself:

Curious. Adventurous. Distracted.

Reveal your WIP aesthetics or an image that represents your main character or setting.

This a a collection of art and photography (some of it my own) that represents the historical novel I’m working on.

How long did your first manuscript take you to draft?

I worked relentlessly on my first novel. I think I finished it in about six months. However, the first draft was only one of many versions of that novel. I revised it again last year and republished it as a second edition. AND it totally paid off – Three Empty Frames won the Writers Digest first place award for mainstream fiction in 2017.

Who is your author idol?

It’s a tie between Jonathan Kellerman and John Grisham. Both these writers have been writing for decades and their books are consistently good. That’s not to say that having just one good novel in you is a bad thing, but I’d love to have a lengthy novel writing career like these two guys.

Share a writing memory that made you determined to carry on.

Getting positive feedback from an independent source is definitely a strong motivator. Your parents or your spouse are pretty likely to be biased in their support for you, but when a total stranger loves your work, that is really validating.

Tell us something surprising or unique about yourself.

Tough question. Despite being friendly and rather outgoing on my blog, I really am a pretty private person. I keep a lot of things locked tightly inside my head.

Share the hardest part about being a writer and how you overcame it.

I think this is something many writers can relate to: having people ‘read into’ what you are writing. In other words, people thinking maybe you based a character on them, or a scenario you’ve written hits a little close to the truth and they assume you (the writer) feel the same way the character does. Borrowing from real life to write fiction is not a direct progression but sometimes it isn’t easy to convince the people who read it. How to overcome it? Add a disclaimer and remind everyone that an author can write about serial killers without having a basement full of bodies!

What’s your favorite social media and why? Share your link.

Not a huge fan. Social media is, however, a necessary evil for authors hoping to get noticed. I have a Facebook Author Page, a LinkedIn account and a Google+ account —all of which I have linked to my blog but mostly ignore. I have a private Instagram and I mostly ignore that too, at least for sharing my own stuff. Do you really want to see what I had for dinner? But it is a nice way to keep in touch with friends who are far away.

Share some uplifting wisdom in six words or less.

Carry a notebook, inspiration is sneaky.

I nominate the following writers:

I understand that we’re all busy with writing and probably with a day job too, so if this is extra task is too much, I completely understand! But if you can, I’d love to hear your answers to the questions.

Sandra – What Sandra Thinks

Darnell Cureton

Rebecca Moon Ruark  – Rustbeltgirl

Tom Austin – abitsa

Andrick Schall

Instructions:

 Post the Tag and Image (see above) on your blog.

 Thank whoever nominated you and give a link back to their blog.

 Mention the creators of the tag and link back to their blogs.

 Answer the 12 questions.

 Nominate 6+ bloggers and notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs. (Optional!)

Taking a break

I’m taking a short break from work and from writing. It’s crazy hot, the pool is open and I’m finished with my copyediting workshop. I need to rest and recharge. My regular posting schedule will resume on Sunday with my drawing for the week and I’ll have some things to share from the workshop sessions on the next few Wednesdays. Plus, I’ll begin the final round of four scenes for Small Cuts on Friday, July 13.

Wishing everyone a good week!