Traveling the World through Reading

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Reading takes you places. As Dr. Suess said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Where in the world will your next book take you?

When I was young, I dreamt of seeing the world. Coming from the back country of the Philippines, I was curious to know what other places look like. I did not get out of Batangas, my home province till I went to college in Manila. I always had that nagging feeling to go abroad and widen my horizon.

When I went to college, I thought of majoring in Foreign Service or Journalism so I could get out of the country. But Dad got a different idea and I ended up in Accounting. He needed an accountant in the family. But that did not thwart my dream of going abroad. I pursued my dream and in 1966. in spite of my fear of flying, I left the Philippines on my first trip abroad when I went to Hongkong and then Japan. There’s an interesting story about that trip which should be an interesting post for later. A year later, in 1967, I left for New York.

While working in the business world, I had no time to read. So fast forward to 2011 when I retired to South Carolina. I started reading in earnest. Here are a few of the books I read which took me to interesting places:

1.      Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd – United Kingdom

2.     Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett – 12th Century Feudal England

3.     A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford – England

4.    At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen – Scotland

5.     A Monk Swimming by Malachy McCourt – Ireland

6.    Helen of Sparta by Amalia Carosella – Paris and Troy

7.     The Bells by Richard Harvell – Switzerland, Austria, Italy

8.    Raised from the Ground by Jose Saramago – Portugal

9.    Winter of the World by Ken Follett – Germany, England, Russia and Washington DC.

10.  The Amber Keeper by Freda Lightfoot – England Lake District and Russia

11.  One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – Russia Federation, Soviet Union

12. The Archimedes Codex – Constantinople, Greece, England and New York

13. The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly – England, Africa

14.Through a Glass Darkly – Karleen Koen – England, France

15. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carre – England, East Germany

16.Hawaii by James Mitchener – Hawaii, Bora-Bora

17. Day of Infamy by Walter Lord – Pearl Harbor

18.   The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck – China

19.The Fall of Japan by William Craig – Okinawa and Tokyo, Japan

20.   Rescue at Los Baños by Bruce Henderson – WWII Philippines

21. Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder – Peru

22.  The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers – Iraq

23.    The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – Afghanistan

24.    Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande – India and New York

25.   Don’t Fall off the Mountain by Shirley Maclaine – Virginia, New York, California Africa, India and the Himalayas.

26.   Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York’s Legendary Chelsea Hotel by Sherill Tippins – New York

27.   Brooklyn by Colm Toibin – New York and Ireland

28.   A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert – Wisconsin, Kansas and New York

29.   The March by E.L. Doctorow – Georgia to the sea and up the Carolinas (Civil War)

30.  The Only Way to Cross: The Golden Era of the Great Atlantic Liners – From the Mauretania to the France and the Queen Elizabeth 2 by John Maxtone-Graham. – Atlantic Ocean Voyage

 

There you have them – 30 of my most memorable books that I read and travelled worldwide. I hate plane rides and ocean voyages but I have travelled the world through books, experiencing new authors and cultures along the way. I will keep on reading because as Irwin Shaw said, “There are too many books I haven’t read, too many places I haven’t seen, too many memories I haven’t kept long enough.”

 

Until next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda

 

 

NANOWRIMO, HERE I COME

NaNoWriMo Logo
NaNoWriMo Logo

As a follow up to my blog of Oct. 12 when I was on the fence whether to take the NaNoWriMo challenge this year or not, I came up with my decision at the last minute, last night at midnight.

With three newsletters to write, I didn’t think I could manage to finish them before Oct. 31. With my imposed deadline, I worked diligently and focused to make it happen.

I did.

I actually work better on a tight schedule. All the time. 

I finished the Carolina Rosarian, a 16-page quarterly newsletter for the Carolina District of the American Rose Society.

I followed that with The Charleston Rose, an 8-page monthly newsletter of the Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society which includes a revision to the Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society Constitution and ByLaws. 

Yesterday, I finished Whitney Lake Gazette, a 12-page quarterly newsletter full of useful information for residents of Whitney Lake in Johns Island. I sent it out at midnight last night to all Whitney Lake residents.

I am the editor of all three newsletters, President of the Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society and Board Member of Whitney Lake Homeowners Association.

There were other things I had to do and I managed to squeeze them with my tight schedule. 

So,

I’m back on my computer, typing away towards my 5th NaNoWriMo Challenge which journey I began in 2013.

Today, I did 2090 words so I’m on my way.

Again.

 

 Until Next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda R Morgan

Author & Garden Writer

 

TEN MORE WORDS TO IMPROVE YOUR VOCABULARY

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As I catch up on my 2017 reading challenge, I am still aware of how many new words I come across in all the books that I read. I’m not a speed reader. I read every word and when new word appears that I don’t know, Mr. Webster comes in handy all the time. Since English is not my native language, I want to learn as many new words as I can.

I try to enlarge my vocabulary so I don’t get into the trap of using “You know” like most people do. I am always tempted to tell them I really don’t know. I can’t stand people who keeps on saying “You know” or worst yet, using the F word. It just shows how limited their vocabulary is.

Here are this month’s words, so you can impress your friends and colleagues, and maybe even fatten your wallet!

1.       Pell mell – adverb – in mingled confusion or disorder

2.      Daguerreotype – noun – an early photograph produced on a silver or silver-covered copper plate

3.      Doppelgänger – noun – a ghostly counterpart of a living person

4.      Palaver – verb – to talk profusely or idle; noun – idle talk

5.      Flibbertigibbet – noun – a silly flighty person

6.      Effete – adjective – effeminate

7.      Protuberant – adjective – thrusting out from a surrounding or adjacent surface often as a rounded mass

8.     Extrapolate – verb – to project, extend or expand (known data or experiment) into an area not known or experienced so as to arrive at a conjectural knowledge of the unknown area.

9.      Divertissement – noun – diversion

10.   Cartellino – noun – Italian for small piece of parchment or paper painted illusionistically, often as though attached to a wall or parapet in a painting, commonly with the artist’s name or that of a sitter; price tag or price label.

 

Have you encountered a new word this month  that you don’t know? Share it on the comments section.

 

Until Next time. Keep on reading.

Rosalinda R Morgan

Author & Garden Writer

Final Report on my 12-week Challenge

Here is my 12th and final report for my twelve weeks challenge:

 

1. I made my reading goal for my 12-week challenge. I finished two books this week which means I’m also on track with my Books To Read in 2016 Challenge for Goodreads.

2. However, I did not make my marketing goal of 70 items this week. I only make 34 marketing promotions this week. But I did something important this week. I redesigned my website. I like the new design. Take a look at www.rosalindarmorgan.com and tell me what you think. My Giveaways post on Goodreads have 768 total so far, a gain of 414 entries this week alone. “To Read List” has 308 entries to date, a gain of 172 entries this week alone. The Goodreads Giveaways end tomorrow, Nov. 3 at 11:59 pm. Enter to win one of three signed copies of The Wentworth Legacy.

3. I did not make my word count challenge. I tried but I finished the challenge at 48,506 words. I’m happy I made it this far. But yesterday I decided to do the NaNoWriMo, the National November Writing Month challenge. I have done it the last three years and was able to publish two of my NaNoWriMo novels, The Iron Butterfly published in 2015 and The Wentworth Legacy published in 2016. All are available at www.amazon.com.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

 Rosalinda Morgan, The Rose Lady

 Author of “The Wentworth Legacy”

 www.rosalindarmorgan.com

 

My 11th report for my 12-week challenge

I’m getting near the end of the challenge. One more week to go. Here is what I did during the 11th week of the challenge:

 

  1. I finished one book this week and I’m still one book behind on my book-to-read goal. I started another book today and I have to finish reading these two books next week to end my reading goal for my 12-week challenge.
  2. I did not make my marketing goal of 70 items this week. I only make 56 total this week. The Giveaways post on Goodreads have 354 total so far, a gain of 30 entries this week. “To Read List” has 136 entries to date, a gain of 12 entries this week. I’m been posting too much on social media the last 10 weeks. It might be construed as hard-core spamming so I have to tone it down a bit for one week. Next week, I have to do it again in earnest since my Goodreads Giveaways are ending on Nov. 2.

1 posts on Social Media

54 Press Releases

1 Giveaways post on Goodreads

3. I’m still trying to catch up on my word count challenge. I’m only at 44,355 words. I only have a week to catch up. This will be a tough order but I just keep on plugging along. My mind has been preparing for the NANOWRIMO in November so I’m not concentrating on this one. We’ll see what happens next week.

 

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda Morgan, The Rose Lady

Author of “The Wentworth Legacy”

www.rosalindarmorgan.com

My tenth report for my 12-week challenge

Here is my 10th report on my 12-week challenge:

  • I’m one book behind on my book-to-read goal although I started another book to read. Right now, I am reading two books simultaneously. I have to finish reading 3 books in 2 weeks to make my reading goal for my 12-week challenge. This is a big challenge since I don’t do speed reading.
  • I exceeded my marketing goal of 70 items this week. The Giveaways post on Goodreads have 324 total so far. “To Read List” has 124 entries to date.

6  posts on Social Media

71 Press Releases

1 Giveaways post on Goodreads

  • I’m still trying to catch up on my word count challenge. I’m only at 43,639 words. I only have two weeks to catch up. This will be a tough order but I just keep on typing along.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda Morgan, The Rose Lady

Author of “The Wentworth Legacy”

www.rosalindarmorgan.com

The Wentworth Legacy Launched Today

My third novel “The Wentworth Legacy” is now available at http://www.amazon.com both in paperback and Kindle. After years in the making, the book is now published. “The Wentworth Legacy” is set on the North Shore of Long Island and New York City in the late 1920s.

The Wentworth Legacy Kindle Cover Revised

The book is about a young scion of a wealthy old banking family from the North Shore of Long Island named Spencer A Wentworth who was summoned to come home from a three-year European Grand Tour only to find himself not ready to handle a huge responsibility given to him the day he arrived home and would affect his personal life.

With the stock market about to collapse, his family faces a difficult time financially. Will Spencer be able to save the family fortune and Wentworth Hall, his ancestral home?

As if his financial worries are not enough, his personal life is in a terrible mess as well. His sister, Emma, is in no better shape being involved in a love triangle with a married man which ends in a tragedy. Will brother and sister ever find happiness in love?

The Wentworth Legacy is a tale of responsibility, love, betrayal, suspense and redemption during the Gilded Age.

Get your copy today at http://www.amazon.com. Thanks so much and I’d appreciate it very much if you can write a review after you’re done reading.

Until next time, stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda, The Rose Lady
Rosalinda R Morgan
Johns Island, SC 29455
http://www.rosalindarmorgan.com

30 Tips on Becoming a Better Writer

Without knowing it, I started my writing career when I used to write little stories for myself and put them away in a folder. Then the big break came when I was asked to be an editor of a gardening newsletter in 2000. I started to write for publication. People enjoyed reading my articles and I started getting awards. That gave me confidence and I started to think I could write a novel which I really wanted to do for a long time. When I moved south in 2011, I had more free time so I started writing in earnest and reading voraciously. I had plenty of ideas for my stories having lived in a third world country and then in New York and now in South Carolina and have seen the lives of people on both sides of the track. I haven’t won the Pulitzer yet but who cares. Not many new writers have but I’m happy to share my stories to readers who enjoy interesting books and learn something from reading them. So I began my journey.

Here are some tips I have learned along the way to become a better writer:

  1. First thing, you should do to be a better writer is to get a good dictionary.
  2. Second to a good dictionary, you should get a thesaurus.
  3. Read the work of good writers especially those on the genre you are working in or plan to work in.
  4. Find and establish a place to write comfortably and productively.
  5. Develop a good working habit and write every day.
  6. Write what you enjoy reading.
  7. Get inspiration from around you.
  8. Do your research.
  9. Use your imagination and let yourself fantasize.
  10. Stop procrastinating and write that first sentence already.
  11. Use Standard American English.
  12. Write your book for your audience.
  13. Begin a Writer’s Notebook.
  14. Set realistic writing goals.
  15. Familiarize yourself with general writing terms.
  16. Be Consistent.
  17. Where to begin – write one page at a time.
  18. Have a memorable title.
  19. Have an attention-grabbing book cover.
  20. Watch the chronology.
  21. Use flashbacks.
  22. Back up your novel as you go along.
  23. Finish the first draft and put it away for a while.
  24. After putting some distance away for a while, you’re now ready to reread it but read it slowly and absorb everything you read.
  25. Revise or rewrite your manuscript.
  26. Edit and proofread; Get critical feedback from someone you trust.
  27. Publish your manuscript.
  28. Be thankful.
  29. Research potential markets for your work.
  30. Think and act like a pro. Build your writing career and continue to grow as a writer.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

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Rosalinda, The Rose Lady

Author and Garden Writer

The Wentworth Legacy

The Iron Butterfly

BAHALA NA (Come What May)

 

Where did you get ideas for your novel “The Wentworth Legacy”?

I have been asked a few times where will I get my ideas for my writings. For my next book, The Wentworth Legacy, I have been toying about the idea of writing about the upper crust of Long Island for a long time. They are mostly WASP. For those who do not know what that is, WASP stands for White Anglo Saxon Protestant. My husband’s family is a WASP although my husband goes to a Catholic Church with me since we got married. I  also married a Morgan. I have been asked often enough, “Any relation to J.P. Morgan?” The answer is “My husband’s family was here first. 1650s I believe.” Or “I won’t be working if he was”. Why people asked about that, I have no idea.

What makes a marriage to a Morgan different from any other marriage?

First, I was exposed to the lifestyle of the old money which I had no idea when I got married. They are different. They dress, talk, and act differently and they are comfortable in their own skin. They can be at ease with a garbage man or the Queen of England. They know how to act and behave in public. They don’t put airs. They know they do not have to prove anything to anybody. They are very confident about themselves. It’s a different world out there for those born to it. I had a lot of adjustments to do when I married one.

As I started my journey as a writer, I began to think why not write something about them and who is better qualified to edit my manuscript than my husband who was born among them though a poor relation. His family only had seven servants when he was growing up.

And so “The Wentworth Legacy” was born.

The Wentworth Legacy Kindle Cover Revised

Would You Still Write A Story – Even If You Knew It Would Never Be Read by A Single Person?

I saw this question at LinkedIn.

First of all, that is the most negative thing I have heard a writer say. If you are a good writer and you have an interesting thing to say, someone out there will read your writings. If you are a writer which you claim to be, you write. That is your job. You keep on writing. That’s why you are called a writer. You write.

To be able to attract readers, you have to be a good writer. You have to learn your craft and educate yourself continuously. You have to write every day. The more you write, the better your writing will be. Practice makes perfect. It is a good axiom for anything you do in life.

You have to write and read too. They go hand in hand. Reading will make you a better writer. You learn from other writers as you read. You can never be a good writer if you are not a reader. I don’t believe a writer who said he/she does not read. How can you improve your writing if you don’t read? Reading stimulates your mind and improves your writing ability.

I will write every day and expect someone will read my articles and my books. My author’s credo is to inspire, motivate, educate and stimulate your mind. For that reason, someone will take note of what I write and read them.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

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Rosalinda

www.rosalindasgarden.com

www.rosalindarmorgan.wordpress.com