Welcome Spring, A Time of Renewal

 

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I love living in the South where spring comes early. While NY where I came from is still having freezing weather and snow storm is still the norm in March, here in Charleston, the days are getting longer and warm air is creeping in. As I walk the dog this morning, I heard birds singing and frolicking in the lake.  There are so much colors around me. The azaleas are in full bloom. Pansies are smiling with their happy face. The tulips are practically done. Daffodils are still in bloom and this year, my hyacinths are just glorious. I had them once in New York but mine usually grew so tall there, then plopped down so I gave up on them. Last fall, I decided to plant some here and I really love it. They are gorgeous and very fragrant. I can smell the wonderful scent as I open my front door.

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Since we had some icy weather last winter, I lost some of my plants to ice. I replaced some of them and tried some new ones. I miss Shima-Nishiki peony that I had in NY with its stunning striped blooms so when I saw it in a catalog on sale, I bought two.

Shima-Nishiki Peony

 

I have always wanted to plant grapes but never did until this year. I bought RazzMatazz, a breakthrough in grape breeding. It tastes like Muscadines yet has a tender-crisp texture of a regular table grape and it is seedless. It also bears continuously and it does not have to be sprayed for diseases and insects. We’ll see how it grows. I wish I have a bigger yard so I can really go to town with my gardening.

 

Some of the roses are showing some buds already and some of the old garden roses have started to bloom. I hope to have plenty of blooms in May because I’m doing a rose display at Johns Island Public Library for the whole month and I need a fresh bouquet of roses twice a week for the whole month. I have done most of my spring cleaning in the garden and now am delighted to see new growth coming up.

 

Inside the house, spring cleaning is a rite of passage. Winter clothes have to go up in the attic for storage and spring and summer clothes come down. You feel tired looking at those dreary dark-colored drapery. There is this urge to change the look to spring with light flowery curtains. I must admit, I did not change my curtains last winter. I like my yellow curtains with roses on them so I kept it year round.

 

I kept staring at my wall. My husband looked at me askance. I said, “I’m thinking.” He said, “So I see. I smell something burning.” Funny, ha? I wanted to paint the wall but could not decide whether to stay with the “developer’s” boring beige or go for light green. Green is my favorite color, the color of nature. That is a no-brainer. I am a gardener.

 

Regarding my writing, I’m determined to publish my nonfiction this spring, most likely early May. I’ve been doing a lot of blogging lately trying to sharpen my writing skills. I still have a lot to learn. After I publish my nonfiction, I want to edit my next fiction about a white-collar crime. I’ve never written a mystery/thriller before but I love to challenge myself. I like historical novel but as an accountant, I love the plot on this book. So things are looking up again in my writing journey. In the meantime, check some of my blogs. I have several blogs going on. I will try to reblog some of my posts from the other blogs into my website – www.rosalindarmorgan.com so check it out.

 

After a slow winter, there is that energy that invigorate us to spring forward. There is the spiritual renewal in spring too. With Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. For a practicing Catholic, it is the most sacred of Holidays and it means a lot to me. On Easter, we renew our baptismal promise. The church always looks splendid with Easter lilies and spring flowers, giving us a sense of rebirth.

Easter Morning 1

 

Happy Spring. Enjoy the warming weather.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda

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Kindle Deal for The Iron Butterfly at 99 cents ends today

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Kindle Countdown Deal for  “The Iron Butterfly” at 99 cents ends at 8:00 AM PST today, Nov. 13, 2016

The Iron Butterfly is a gripping tale about the intense devotion and ordeal of Regina Buendia, a young mother who suddenly finds herself all alone and penniless with nine young children to support after her husband died. Facing a bleak future, she has to find a way to tackle a male chauvinistic society where men still rule the business world. Will she be able to break through the barrier?

As the Great Depression affected the colonies, she is now faced with new concern – how to survive with business suffering and money being so tight. Just as she thinks she is getting ahead, a major natural disaster happens with terrible consequence to follow. Then her problems become insignificant compared to what was about to happen – the attack on Pearl Harbor and how the war in the Pacific affects their very existence.

An inspiring story of faith, hope and daring ambition.

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda Morgan, The Rose Lady

Author and Garden Writer

 

 

The Builders

Whether you like Donald J. Trump or not, he is a builder and always will be. Here is a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that I came across this afternoon. Perfect tribute on Election Day to Donald J. Trump, the man who will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

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The Builders

 

All are architects of Fate,

Working in these walls of Time;

Some with massive deeds and great,

Some with ornaments of rhyme.

 

Nothing useless is, or low;

Each thing in its place is best;

And what seems but idle show

Strengthens and supports the rest.

 

For the structure that we raise,

Time is with materials filled;

Our todays and yesterdays

Are the blocks with which we build.

 

Truly shape and fashion these;

Leave no yawning gaps between.

Think not, because no man sees,

Such things will remain unseen.

 

In the elder days of Art,

Builders wrought with greatest care

Each minute and unseen part;

For the gods see everywhere.

 

Let us do our work as well,

Both the unseen and the seen;

Make the house, where gods may dwell,

Beautiful, entire, and clean.

 

Else our lives are incomplete,

Standing in these walls of time,

Broken stairways, where the feet

Stumble as they seek to climb.

 

Build today, then, strong and sure,

With a firm and ample base;

And ascending and secure

Shall tomorrow find its place.

 

Thus alone can we attain

To those turrets, where the eye

Sees the world as one vast plain

And one boundless reach of sky.

 

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda Morgan

Author and Garden Writer

Sixth Report on My 12-week Challenge

Here is my sixth report for my twelve weeks challenge:

1. My book to read goal is still on target. I’m half way on the book I’m reading – Leadership by Rudolf Giuliani. I still have to read 5 more books in 6 weeks to make my reading goal for my 12-week challenge.

2. I’m short of 4 items on my marketing goal this week – 66 marketing posts/pitches but most of my posts can reach a big audience so I’m happy with those. I did book signing to a small group of gardeners.  I placed an ad geared to libraries and bookstores which should reach a big audience. Giveaways post on Goodreads have 13 requests this week, 6 on “to read” list this week. My emails go to acquaintances nationwide so that will give me some tractions too. The marketing goal can get harder as we go along because I’m running out of ideas. I better stay focused.

·       1 book signing  

·       1 Ad

·       4 personal pitches

·       2 personal giveaways

·       3 posts on Social Media.

·       1 Giveaways post on Goodreads   

·       54 emails.

3. I finally caught up with my word count challenge. I’m at 30,349 words.  

 

See you next week.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda, The Rose Lady

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Author of The Wentworth Legacy

www.rosalindarmorgan.com

Third Report for my 12-week Challenge

Here is my third report for my twelve weeks challenge:

1. I made it to 13,625 words to date. I did not make my goal to 15,000 words but I was doing two newsletters that have to go out early next week so I was still writing. I’ll catch up as soon as these newsletters are out of my way.

2. My book to read goal is on target. I finished the book from last week. I started another one and finished it so I finished two books this week. I still have to finish 7 books in 9 weeks. That is very doable. My Goodreads goal is on track for the year. I aim to read 30 books this year.

3. I did not made my goal this week for marketing my book. Or did I? I made 22 marketing posts/pitches.  12 posts on Social Media and 10 press releases to friends. From four social media where I posted, I got 470 views. So I’m happy with that.

See you next week.

 The next report is on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda, The Rose Lady

www.rosalindarmorgan.com

2016 New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of year again when we have to think of our goals for 2016. Below are my resolutions for 2016. It can apply to all writers who want to improve their craft and make 2016 a successful year.

  • Edit my manuscript. After finishing the NANOWRIMO challenge for 2015, I put the manuscript aside for the month of December and will start editing in January. After I have gone through a couple of times to check typos and add and delete, my editor will go through the whole process of line editing and copy editing. Then back to rewriting, finding what is wrong with the book and trying to improve it. Then edit, rewrite, again more edits and rewrites until I feel comfortable with it. You’ll be amazed at how many errors you’ll see as you edit the manuscript again and again. To put my name in my work, I want to have it free of typos and errors. I’m getting much better as I progress through my writing journey. You can have the best story in the world, but if your manuscript is full of typos, it can turn your readers off for good. I hope to finish the final rewrite of my third novel, my 2014 NANOWRIMO winner, and get it published this summer. It takes a year and a half to edit a first draft.
  • Read more. In 2015, I accomplished my reading goal at Goodreads. I read 28 books. To make it as an author, you have to read and read what your audience wants to read. I read mostly historical novels and write historical novels. Once in a while I will read other genres just to keep myself knowledgeable of what’s out there. I also read magazines. All the books that I read inspired me to do more writings. This year, my goal is to add 2 more books from my 2015 reading challenge. Since I intend to read some lengthy book in 2016, I feel 30 books is attainable. I’m starting the year with Edge of Eternity, a 1098-page book by Ken Follett.
  • Write more. Even with the NANOWRIMO finished and done with, I never slack on my writing. The only difference is I wake up an hour later. During the NANOWRIMO in November, I woke up at 5 a.m. I write better when everything is quiet around me. Now, I still write for 1-1/2 hour before breakfast, then an hour just before lunch, a couple of hours in the afternoon and possibly an hour at night. I either write, blog, do a research, read but there is always something I do towards my writing goal. I’m polishing my third and fourth novel and will start a nonfiction project this year.
  • Publish my manuscript. Once I’m comfortable with the manuscript, it’s time to let it go. How do I know if it is ready? After editing it a dozen times, you know in your heart, whether it is ready to publish or not. Then I go into promotion mode before its release. Right now, I have not made up my mind if I want to go through the traditional route due to my time constraint. I have so much idea in my head that there is no time to waste querying and waiting for months for an answer. If I was younger, I might consider it. I love what I do and I feel that the time I will spend on querying is better spent studying to improve my craft. Between taking care of my sick husband, writing, reading, doing voluntary work for my community, maintaining my house and garden and studying my market do not give me ample time to query and wait which takes too much time. I know. I tried it before. I got two rejections. However, I might change my mind later. You never know.
  • Marketing my work. Traditional publishers nowadays do not have time to market your book unless you are a celebrity. So I might as well go through independent publishing. I do my own publicity for my book. I have a web presence since 2000 when I was in real estate and have continued to do so, more now that I am a writer. I am on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, ActiveRain, Google and more. I have websites and blogs. I know marketing is important. I used to work in the corporate world and know the importance of marketing your product. I will keep on marketing my books through my web presence and word of mouth.
  • Enter a writing contest. I entered a writing contest for short stories in 2015 at Writer’s Digest and won an Honorable Mention. I write to educate, stimulate and inspire. My stories are original based on life events. I have won writing contests on my gardening articles before and will continue to enter my articles.
  • Update my website. I will keep the content of your website fresh. I have a website and two blogs. My Facebook pages are linked to my blogs and my website. I have an author’s profile at Amazon and Goodreads. I’m constantly updating both my websites and my blogs. I will keep on posting regularly to keep my readers coming.
  • Be more active on social media. It’s important to maintain your social media presence. I’m on Facebook but there is one thing I don’t post on Facebook. I still feel strongly that things personal is not a matter of public knowledge. I post mostly about my writings and my reading. Since my website is linked to my Facebook page, my postings on motivation and inspirational tips and gardening tips go right to my Facebook page. I will like other pages and make comments every so often.
  • Be active in your community. Get involved in your community and let them know you’re an author. That is one ready market for you. I’m on my HOA board and an active member of a garden club, my church choir and a president of my local rose society. These are other potential markets. Join a local writing group. I joined the local NANOWRIMO writing group two years ago but I must admit I never went to their writing sessions because I like to write in solitude. I joined in their conversation on Facebook. I’m also in several groups at Goodreads, LinkedIn and CreateSpace. Regarding a writer’s conference, I have read conflicting views on whether they help a writer or not. I have not been to one so I have no opinion at this point. When you finish your book, you’ll be glad you have been active in the community that will be excited to read your work!
  • Start something new. I always wanted to write a nonfiction book on gardening. After all, I have been writing gardening articles for years before I started writing fiction. I have gotten awards on some of them so I might try to compile them in a book form. It will be my next project this year. I have a great idea in mind and it will be interesting to pursue it.

So what is your New Year’s resolution for 2016?

 

Until next time, stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda

 

Rosalinda Morgan

Author and Garden Writer

The Iron Butterfly

BAHALA NA (Come What May)

Get your copy today at www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan.

 

 

 

The story of The Iron Butterfly begins

butterfly_frontEighty-seven years ago today, on Dec. 22, 1928, the story of The Iron Butterfly begins. Regina Buendia’s husband suffers a stomachache and the next day, two days before Christmas, he dies.

The Iron Butterfly is a gripping tale about the intense devotion and ordeal of Regina Buendia, a young mother who suddenly finds herself all alone and penniless with nine young children to support after her husband dies. Facing a bleak future, she has to find a way to tackle a male chauvinistic society where men still rule the business world. Will she be able to break through the barrier?

As the Great Depression affects the colonies, Regina Buendia is now faced with new concern – how to survive with business suffering and money being so tight. As her children grow up, she is faced with new dilemma about her children’s changing attitudes towards marriage.

Just as Regina Buendia thinks she is getting ahead, a major natural disaster happens with terrible consequence to follow. Then her problems become insignificant compared to what is about to happen – the attack on Pearl Harbor and how the war in the Pacific affects their very existence.

The Iron Butterfly is an inspiring story of faith, hope and daring ambition. Get your copy today. Available at www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!

Until next time, stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda

 

Rosalinda Morgan 

Author and Garden Writer

The Iron Butterfly

BAHALA NA (Come What May)

Get your copy today at www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan.