I’m thrilled to announce that my new book is now available on Kindle. There are over 90 poems representing over ten different forms of poetry. Filled with angst and longing, as well as exhilaration and joy. Love: Lost and Found is sure to please lovers.
Only $1.99 and ready to 1-click today. Spread the word, buy the book, write a review. But mostly, enjoy the variety of poems of love.
Pamela Beckford began writing poetry just one year ago. She has delved into various forms and enjoys painting pictures with words. An avid reader, writing has been a great creative release for Pamela.
My writers’ group challenge for the next two weeks is to write a prologue. I am not so fond of long ones myself. Sometimes they bore me and I just want to get on with the story, but sometimes they entice me to read more.
I have two started for my WIP, but not sure if I will actually use one on this crime novel.
I do have a question for you though. (Or three or four.)
Would you rather read a prologue that gives you back story and history on a character that would give that character more depth, or would you like to see an action scene involving that character?
A) Cara Kieu came from Vietnam. I thought about a prologue that tells her story. It was a perilous journey, which brought her into an even more perilous current situation.
B) Cara is also an ancillary character (really one of the main characters of this particular book in the series, but she isn’t the MC or his sidekick). I could open with an action scene that demonstrates how she ended up at the gay club.
What do you think?
Her story, or the action scene?
C) Do you think I should work on a scene that maybe includes elements of both?
What is the purpose of a prologue to you?
Is it different as a reader than as a writer?
Entice the reader to read more, or fill in the blanks?
I know, I know, lots of questions. Always your student.
Independence Day is just around the corner and this is the time when we are supposed to celebrate living in a democratic society and the freedoms we declared coming out from under British rule.
Funny, I never think of that. I always think of my own personal struggle for independence.
I was officially emancipated at the age of fifteen. A ward of the state, I had a wage paying job, a pregnancy, and a marriage that indicated that I was prepared for independent living. HA! Yes, laugh.
The job lasted six months, the pregnancy nine, and the marriage seventeen.
Life got better. I got a college degree in nursing, other jobs, another marriage, had two more children.
Then, the kids grew up. The husband became strange(r). We got divorced. Trust me, it needed to happen.
I could have stayed in the area, but I opted to come to Florida to be near to supportive family. It was a culture shock. From conservative, small town, U.S.A., to a nudist resort in a diverse community where “anything goes” was the rule. Finding yourself at age thirty-six, the prime of your life, single, with a good paying career, in a Florida resort sounds like heaven. I was sipping pina coladas in the sunshine, for about two weeks. It gets old faster than you think.
BTW: Being a nudist does not imply low morals and no self-respect, just in case you are wondering.
I had my independence. I could pay my own bills, manage my own bank account. Not be responsible for somebody else’s crap. I could come and go at liberty. My responsibilities were my own. But I was alone. I had fallen off the edge of the earth.
For the first three years I sat in my house and listened to the clock tick. I had one five month relationship that ended when I learned the guy replaced his dying wife’s cardiotonic with herbal vitamins in an effort to hasten her death. Seriously, shit gets scary.
I had left a world of social structure that included being soccer mom, Girl Scout cookie chairperson, Den Mother, youth group chaperone, softball coach, Varsity Cheerleader mom, Tae Kwon Do mom, PTO & Church secretary, Women’s League co-chairlady farmer’s wife… those All American roles that had made me who I was, and became simply me. All of the things the other women my age were doing were gone.
Being a single woman in your mid-thirties is challenging. Being independent also meant I could pick and choose my company, but that was not as easy as it sounds. I hung out at Cheeks, the bar and grille at Cypress Cove, and found most of the men to be superficial and shallow. They were there for a good time. I wanted more for myself. But I was 500 miles from home and becoming single for the first time in my adult life, had no clue how to proceed.
After three years, I finally decided to venture out alone. I would go to restaurants alone, and feel like everyone was staring at me sitting there with no partner…the poor girl who probably got stood up. I would take in a movie, sit in the rear…and watch the backs of pairs of heads leaning against each other. AND I cried in these places, real tears of loneliness and despair.
I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and go out to meet people of my own age. Where? I had fallen out with the Church. I won’t go into that here, but that was not an option. There were bars and clubs and volunteer organizations, where I could meet people who; perhaps, shared my own interests. I joined a canoe club, a waterways cleanup crew, The Wilderness Trekkers, the Audubon Society, and Artist’s League…and waited on them to post their next meeting dates. Meanwhile, I was going to brave the world and go out, alone.
One night, I left Cypress Cove, way out in the wilderness, and went to downtown Orlando for the very first time, alone. I found a cute little Irish Pub with a Peter, Paul, and Mary band singing folk music. I ordered a drink and sipped it for an hour. There was a man at the bar. An American Indian with nicely chiseled features, long black hair, and suntanned skin standing there in a suit coat looking like he was saying, “Come with me and my wolf to traipse through the forest of my world.” Our eyes met. He sent me a second drink. Within a few minutes he was seated at my table and we were talking about Florida wildlife and sixties music, books we had read and movies. I had finally met somebody interesting.
He asked if I had dinner yet. I had not. He offered to take me to a deli downtown. Not knowing anything about where I was going in Orlando or the parking provided, I left my car blocks away in the public parking garage. He was parked in a lot just outside the pub. I agreed to join him. (Mistake number one: never get in the car with strangers. Didn’t your mother teach you that when you were four?”)
We rode away, up and down unfamiliar city streets to a quaint little deli. As small as it was, it was crowded, and I thought he was really nice to take me somewhere so popular. The waitress came and I ordered food. I thought it was strange he had invited me to dinner, but only ordered coffee for himself. It was getting late and the crowd began to thin as I was finishing up my simple sandwich meal. He looked at me and said,
“Look, you’re thirty-something, I’m thirty something. We’re obviously attracted to each other. We’re adults here. What will it be, my place or yours?”
“Well, this is very nice,” I said softly, “But I’d really like to get to know you better. We’ve just met.”
With that, he stood up and started screaming, “That’s it! I’m done! You women are all alike!” Heads turned in our direction. People stopped eating and stared. “We buy you drinks and dinner, and you always want more. More dinners, more drinks, more stuff. I’m outta here!” He threw down his napkin and proceeded toward the door. “Find somebody else to take advantage of!” he yelled back over his shoulder as he pushed through the door.
I sat for a few seconds smiling at the onlookers. Then, to the clerk who had come out from behind the counter to sweep the floor, “Check, please. And could you call me a cab?”
Here I was pushing forty, and taking a cab back to my car across town. I didn’t think things would ever change. I was destined to remain alone. I laughed all the way home!
After that, I went back to isolating myself at the Cove. I met the Canadian Cowboy a couple of weeks later. This was a nice guy who came to the Cove. Tall, blond and handsome with sparkling blue eyes, and hung like a horse. He was always sporting a white cowboy hat, and nothing else. We had talked off and on. He asked me on a dinner date. We went out of the Cove to Pebbles. A lovely restaurant at the Crossroads by Disney. This was about twelve miles from my home. We went from my house in his car. A real freakin’ date.
After dinner, he groped me the whole way home. I’m thinking, “Okay, you’re pushing forty…there’s a certain expectation.” We had sort of gotten to know each other. He was kinda nice. He was smart, good looking, polite (up to a point). Time to release your inhibitions girl and go with the flow.
We got back to my house. I put on some music. He stripped off his clothes. I started lighting the candles around the house. I was trying to set a mood. He followed me to the bedroom where I was lighting the last candle, and said, “So you have some crazy, fucked up ritual you have to perform before sex. I’m good with that, but it makes me feel like some animal that’s about to be sacrificed to the Gods.”
Whooosh! Out went the candle. I went around the house blowing out all of the candles, one by one. I handed him his clothes and pushed him out the front door. Okay, I’ll admit, I had issues. I laughed myself to sleep!
Dating got a lot better after those first couple of experiences. I vowed to date any man who asked. I dated over a hundred. Most of them I would not date twice. Some got one to three. There were a few short term relationships, a couple of long term relationships. I was non-committal and not looking for a marriage partner. For seven or eight years into my forties I learned a lot. Most significantly: How to take what was beautiful from one relationship into the next leaving the baggage behind. That culminated into knowing exactly what I wanted in a relationship. I was not willing to settle for anything less.
Learn to laugh.
Never say never.
The best dates aren’t the expensive ones, but he should buy you dinner and you should order anything off the menu without a thought. After all, you’ve colored your hair, manicured your nails, responsibly managed your feminine needs, applied your make-up and perfume, dressed in your nicest attire, including those stockings and uncomfortable heels, bought all that sexy lingerie. I could go on. Bottom line: respect yourself. Buy him dinner, too!
There should be several dates, real dates. You deserve to be courted and wooed, even if it takes a while. If he is THAT impatient, he’s not worth the time.
You don’t have to have a man on your arm to know that you are desirable.
If he can’t listen as well as he talks, he’s not going to hear you. (That works two ways.)
There are probably more but those are the ones that easily come to mind. I could tell you stories about other dating adventures, but I’ll save them for another holiday. Now I’m eighteen with thirty six years of experience.
Just so you know, before age fifty, I met the man of my dreams, but he told me I would not have liked him if I had met him sooner. He’s perfect, funny, charming, a real renaissance man having traveled the world, a real genius in many ways, a handyman, supportive and kind. We are more interdependent than independent or dependent. We both have our own interests, but those we share in, as well. We were married six years ago this October. No regrets.
We met online through Great Expectations dating service. It cost money. I figured the men would be really desperate or really serious and it was up to me to decide which. I was ready for serious. Our first date was Austin’s Coffee Shoppe, where we talked for three hours. He was the first guy I met, and he was on the payment plan, so it took me three years to pay off that contract. Well worth it and he helped with that. Just saying there is hope if you are waiting for the right one to come along.
I stopped trying to interpret dreams many years ago. When I studied religions, I also studied dreaming. (Psychology, sociology, political science and a host of other inter and intra personal relations.)
The spiritual symbolism of the white wolf goes back eons. For a wolf or wolves to appear in a person’s dream we can learn about our subconscious. “From singular or family groups, we can learn about the nature of the dreamer or people that the dreamer is connected to in their life. It can also reveal information pertaining to their spiritual growth and internal changes such as emotional growth, decisions surrounding personal relationships or even career goals.”
Last night, around 2 am, I was dreaming. I don’t often dream. My meds knock me out and my mind goes blank. I may be dreaming, but I am not aware.
My dream involved my characters in a book I am editing and I can’t recall much about it. In an instant, an aggressive white wolf image was up close, his face in my face. It startled me and I jerked to jump two feet off the bed. My heart was racing and the fight or flight response kicked in. I was scared! More like a flash of nightmare than dream.
Of course, as soon as I opened my eyes, it was gone. That didn’t take but a second. The ordeal was short lived, but quite impressive.
This morning, with the internet at my fingertips, I found this really neat article on wolf dreams by Debbie Edwards, a psychologist.
Environment: day or night, clear skies or storms, stars and moon
Here is how my dream interprets:
Regarding the dreamer: A white wolf can represent someone or something that is directly influenced by spiritual communication or teachings. Someone that would be very knowledgeable or connected spiritually could be represented by a white wolf. It can also represent the purity of a message that is delivered by a spiritual presence. It can also represent someone who is pursuing a stronger connection to their faith, spiritual practices or ceremonial activities.
[One thing in my book I have been trying to do in my writing is offer insights in the narrative. I’m also trying to develop more of a spiritual connection to my characters. My alpha reader is giving me guidance.]
The lone wolf: If a wolf appears to the dreamer without the company of his or her pack, it is important to pay attention to a specific person or situation that is relevant to the dreamer which would describe more of an isolated or detailed situation or person.
[I am still processing the alpha reader’s impression of my book and its characters. He has been giving me examples over the last few days.]
Aggressive- An aggressive wolf can represent defensive postures or fear based movements in life. Is the dreamer feeling under attack by someone or others? Is there an aggressive person in their life who is trying to intimidate them?
[I’ll say. I’m defending my baby.]
Night or day- A wolf appearing at night will reveal things either hidden in the subconscious or things that may not be “visible” in the dreamers perception. Something is happening that the dreamer is given an inside view on that otherwise has been elusive from view.
[My alpha reader is most likely right and I am wrong. Like it or not!]
This was my dream interpretation, whether accurate, or not.
Do you dream?
Have you ever felt a need to have a dream interpreted?
I have been working on giving my main character more character. It is a crime novel, but he’s not a bad ass. His biker friends all have ink art. This is a sneak peek into the workings of my warped mind.
While we were out at Playa Linda, the nude beach, this past weekend, I got this shot of a tattoo. (With permission, of course.) It gave me an idea. My inspiration of the day:
There is a scene in my book that needs a bit a comic relief. Something to mellow the character out after a harrowing experience. I was thinking of giving him this ink art in a place where it might be a bit amusing. Here’s some pics for comparison.
What do you think? Endearing joke, or too sweet for a crime fighter?
No, it’s not officially launch day. We’re not bumping the party up. The celebration still starts on Thursday and continues on to Monday with blog interviews, the Facebook party, and other fun stuff. If you still want to participate, there’s time! E-mail me. We’ll do lunch. Or blog stuff.
But just in case anyone feels like getting started a little early…
We have links. I’m only telling you guys because I like you.
I’ll update here with the iBooks link ASAP. Amazon isn’t showing the paperback for me yet, but my aunt managed to buy it through Amazon.com… so let me know what you see, will you? I don’t know if she has a magic computer, amazing Amazon Fu, or what.
Current e-book price is $2.99. This is an introductory price that will hold until the end of August– regular will be $4.99…
At some point, I passed 1000 followers! I don’t check stats, so I am not entirely sure when that happened. I am thrilled that so many of you have chosen to be here, and I am eternally grateful that so many have opted to stay around.
I try to be honest and post some things that may help others find their way in this writer’s world. I never claim to be an expert, so much of what you read is based on trial and error. My trials and triumphs. I also enjoy promoting other authors. It shows what can be accomplished. I am so proud of you 🙂
Not everything I post is about my writing efforts, though, this being an “everything” blog.
You will find stories about my adventures in GA and FL, some happy, some sad, some old, and some new.
This blog is where I write out my thoughts, as weird and way out as they can be, sharing both my confidence and insecurities. I am complicated that way.
Whether you are across the continent or around the world…maybe even right next door, I enjoy be engaged with you in comments. Being retired for the past couple of years, I feel you are my comrades, colleagues, and coworkers. I enjoy your posts and love it when you stop in to chat. You cry with me and cheer me on!
I know some simply ring the doorbell and run, but the comments and returned images tell me many of you do find reasons to hang around and I appreciate you, sincerely, I do. Your smiling faces warm my heart.
Sometimes I just want to share a silky, soft, fuzzy blanket on a cold day. Other times a treasured family recipe for red velvet cake. Maybe a book I have had the pleasure of reading. At times, just a flower from the garden, like this one:
Then there are those times when I ramble on for paragraphs and pages. Your patience with me is applaudable.
Every morning I sit on my back porch and have breakfast and coffee. I think of the things I am grateful for, and you are always on my mind. You keep filling my cup throughout the day.
Thank you for sticking with me, and for being kind enough to brighten my day with your presence and your words.
Your support and encouragement mean the world to me.