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.

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Happy Spring. Enjoy the warming weather.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda

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TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – Day 30

 Today is the final day of the NANOWRIMO Challenge for 2015. I made my goal of 50,000 words on Nov. 23 and reached 57,632 to finish the first draft of my novel, “Courage and Endurance”, the last book on the series “Journey to Freedom”. Tomorrow, the draft will be put away for a while and revisited at a later date.

30. The tip for today is Think and Act Like a Pro. Build Your Writing Career and Continue to Grow as a Writer. Our job does not end with the last day of the NANOWRIMO Challenge. Like every professional, a writer should continue to grow professionally. We have to find ways to improve our craft. It is a continuing education. Just like a medical doctors and lawyers who have to keep up-to-date on their knowledge, we as a writer should do the same. We should attend seminars and workshops. We should read as much as we can in the genre that we are writing. Be confident and be proud of what we do. Keep on writing and blogging. Practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to tell everyone you meet that you are a writer.

To follow what I preached yesterday about marketing, after recommending other books this month, I would like to recommend my own two books – The Iron Butterfly and BAHALA NA (Come What May). These two books are part of the trilogy which ends with “Courage and Endurance“, my 2015 NANOWRIMO Challenge novel.

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Book 1 (The Iron Butterfly) is about the life of a young mother who tried to support her nine children against all odds after her husband died. Book 2 (BAHALA NA (Come What May) is about the life of a young man before and during WWII and how he managed to survive during the war. They are historical fictions based on real life events. Both books are available at http://www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan.

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – Day 29

I have one day left to wrap up this NANOWRIMO writing challenge. I reached 55,739 words today. Tomorrow should be interesting on how I will end the story. I had two choices of endings and we’ll see how it goes tomorrow.

Today’s tip is:

  1. Research potential markets for your work. Now that your book is published, what’s next? The marketing of your book. Nowadays, even traditional authors have to do some marketing for their book which to me is insane. You might as well self-publish your book and get the royalty you deserve. Years ago, traditional authors just wrote. They didn’t do marketing. It’s the job of the literary agents and the publishers. Most authors dread marketing. They enjoy writing and write they must. But with the publishing industry changing, they have to learn to market their product too which is their book. You have to have a website, a facebook and twitter account and some other things to have an internet presence. It is hard work I agree. Writing today is a business and to be in business you have to do marketing.

My book recommendation today is The Gate House by Nelson DeMille.

The Gate House

If you read The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille, you might want to read The Gate House. It is a continuation of John Sutter’s encounter with his former neighbor’s family, the mafia don. The Gate House will bring you back into the fabled North Shore of Long Island where my next novel will also take place. So stay tuned.

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – Day 28

The next three days are tough ones since I have another deadline – to work on the December newsletter for my rose society and send it out on Monday. In spite of that, I was able to squeeze some ideas into my novel and I made it to 54,926 words. Not bad at all.

The tip for today is the most important.

  1. Publish your manuscript. After you have done several edits and believe that your work is polished, now is the time to let the world know about it. It is time to release the beast and let go. Now the problem is whether to go traditional publishing or self-publishing. If you are going for traditional route, be prepared to get plenty of rejection letters. It’s hard work getting through the gatekeepers called literary agents. Unless you are a celebrity, it is a hard road to navigate. If you are young and have plenty of time ahead of you, you can try it. I’ll be 73 next month and I’d rather spend my time, reading and studying to improve my craft than wasting time sending query letters. I did that in 2012 when I wrote my first book. I received 2 rejection letters and 2 no answers. That was the end of my query letter days. I have plenty of ideas in my head and so I’ll just keep on writing and go the self-publishing route. My stories are unique based on my life experiences.

Going the traditional route may take months to see your book in print. I know a lot of writers go with traditional route to make a lot of money. In my case, I want my book out there first and the money will come when they see what I’m offering, a unique story. They will learn something from my books. I write to educate, inspire and stimulate the minds of my readers.

Also, remember that only big celebrities get big advances. There is also a  big difference in royalty between traditional (15%) and self published (70%). If you are in a hurry, you can go with self-publishing. I recommend CreateSpace. You don’t have to pay anything until you order your copies. No upfront fees like vanity presses. Just remember and it is very important. Make sure your book is polished and can stand the competition out there.

My book recommendation for today is Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

Gone with the Wind

Margaret Mitchell’s epic novel of love and war won the Pulitzer Prize and one of the most popular movies of all time. Many novels have been written about the Civil War and its aftermath and to some southerners, this is the story of the civil war in its most vivid details. Margaret Mitchell wrote a brilliant love story between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler amidst the turmoil and hardships during the Civil War.

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – DAY 26

Today being Thanksgiving Day, the tip today is Be Thankful. Here is a lovely prayer for your Thanksgiving meal.

Thanksgiving Prayer

Thanksgiving Blessing

 

Bountiful God,

You have blessed us in many ways,

In the beauty and richness of our land,

And in the freedom we enjoy.

You have given us even greater gifts

In our family who loves and cares for us

And in the grace which allows us to know and believe in you.

May we be grateful for all our blessings

Not just today, but every day.

Help us to turn our gratitude into action

By caring for those in need

And by working for a more just society.

Bless the wonderful meal we will enjoy today and

the merriment of those at table.

Be with all those we love who are not with us at this time.

We thank you Lord now and forever. Amen.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!

From Rosalinda R Morgan, author of

The Iron Butterfly

&

BAHALA NA (Come What May)

TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – DAY 20

There are ten days left to the end of the NANOWRIMO challenge. Last night I made it to 39,193 words. Today, I did very well in spite of taking a break to take my husband to his eye doctor. The story seemed to flow more freely today. I’m on target to make it to 50,000 words before Thanksgiving. With luck I might end up with 60,000 words by the end of the month. We’ll see.

The tip for today is:

  1. Back up your novel as you go along. This is basically the first rule in computer. Back up especially if you are writing an important piece of article or manuscript. I have gotten into the habit of printing a hard copy of my manuscript. Every time I finish a chapter, I print a copy and put it in a folder. I also back up in an external drive. When I finish my novel, I also make a copy on a flash drive. So I am well covered. You don’t want to lose what you have written in case your computer crashes.

My book recommendation for today is “The Iron Butterfly” by Rosalinda Morgan. That’s yours truly. As I said before, I always back up my work and The Iron Butterfly is no exception. I have a hard copy of my manuscript. It is in a flash drive, in my computer with two titles, and in my E drive. An excerpt can be found on my website: www.rosalindasgarden.com. Check it out.

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TIPS ON BECOMING A BETTER WRITER – DAY 19

I’m moving right along. Last night, I made it to 37351 words. I’m getting closer to my goal. Today, the plot was getting more exciting and the words came out more easily. I was typing faster. I took a break this afternoon and went food shopping which took out 3 hours of my time. I went to Costco for one item and checked out with $144 of stuffs. Then I went to Publix next to buy Golden Blossom honey (it’s the only store that carries that brand of honey) and came out of the store with another $90 worth of grocery. Why is that? I can never stay with my list.

Anyway, the tip for today is:

  1. Write your book for your audience. Determine who are your audience before starting to write. Gear your language to them. Communicate in language and style that they understand. After you finish your book, communicate with them. Find the marketing strategy to reach out to them. It is the only way if you want to have your books sold.

My book recommendation for today is Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff. This book is geared to WWII enthusiasts and should be marketed to them.

Lost in Shangrila