What are you doing for the next hour?

“The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.”

William Wordsworth

That poem “The World is Too Much With Us” has been a favorite of mine since high school. I’ve muttered those first two lines to myself many times throughout my life. Always wondering if I’m following my heart…doing what feeds my soul.

This month is National Novel Writing Month (otherwise known as NaNoWriMo). Taking the advice of a writing colleague, Valerie Willis, I decided to signup this year. Now, the goal is to write 50,000 words in one month which sounds gargantuan until you do the math. It comes out to somewhere around 1600 words a day. For me that equates to about four hours a day which is an amount of time that I don’t usually have at my disposal. So….I’d decided that this wasn’t for me.

But then I received the NaNoWriMo kickoff email from Anne Lamott. She wrote a wonderful book about writing several years ago: Bird by Bird. Her email challenged everyone to put aside one hour a day to write. It can be any kind of writing, a journal, a blog, a novel, play, poetry…So, that’s my goal this month. At least an hour a day. Some days that might mean 200 words; other days it might just be 50.

But that hour is not a waste of my power. It gives me the perspective I need to care for the people in my life; to do the things that I am responsible for.

So, my question to you Dear Readers: What is it you want to do with an hour a day? What feeds your soul? What gives you power? Do it. Take an hour. And, let me know how it goes.

In the meanwhile, keep the love going,

Martha

The Cottages Left Behind

Yesterday my Facebook author’s page featured a cottage in Ireland. Today, Bill and I went to see the Downton Abbey movie. In the very last scene of the movie, Charles makes the observation that 100 years from now Downton Abbey will still be there. The picturesque cottage on my Facebook page and Charles’s declaration caused me to recall a conversation with my mother, many years ago, in which she noted, with sadness, the empty cottages, some still intact and some just a crumbing pile of stones in Ireland. Homes from which many left to find work and life in another country. Homes where the family line has extinguished.

I guess this may be one of the reasons why some of us, me included, feel a deep connection to where our family comes from. Our roots. It’s one of the themes in my Star O’Brien mystery series. Star longs to find her mother or at the very least what happened to her. She’ll never believe her mother abandoned her. In her search for her mother, Star hopes to find herself and ultimately feel firmly rooted in who she is.

Isn’t this what we are all looking for? Isn’t it what we all hope for?

In the meanwhile, keep the love going,

Martha

The Mystery Genre ain’t Easy

“Ideas are easy. It’s the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats.”

Sue Grafton – Author of the Alphabet Series

I had the privilege of attending two writing workshops this weekend. On Saturday, Valerie Harris, (www.willisauthor.com) presented a two-hour workshop about how reader expectations of a genre drive things like writing style, story themes, cover design, and the overall look and feel of a book. Valerie’s presentation was amazing.

Then on Sunday, I was at the Citrus Crime Writers (a Florida Chapter of Sisters in Crime) meeting. I’m a member. Yea!! Today’s guest speaker was Luci Zahray, also known as “The Poison Lady”. What’s your poison? Strychnine? Arsenic? Let’s just put it this way….I wouldn’t want to eat anything Luci baked. (JUST kidding). But Bill was with me and he didn’t want the pumpkin zucchini bread I baked tonight. Oh my! Is it the zucchini or something else?

Here I am enjoying “The Poison Lady’s” Presentation

It was a fun weekend. All in pursuit of becoming the best mystery author for Star O’Brien’s fans. I’m thankful to everyone involved: Valerie, Luci, and the Citrus Crime Writers for sharing their love for writing and reading. I hope you all had a great weekend too.

Keep the love going,

Martha

My Newsletter has Popped!

Just thrilled that my first newsletter for Star O’Brien fans is out the door. I hope you love it. Let me know what you think!

And, if you haven’t already subscribed, you can visit my web site, www.martha-geaney.com, and sign up for the next one which will probably pop just before my next book in the series, Death at Ashford Castle, is published.

In the meanwhile, keep the love going,

Martha

What do you want to know?

It’s Saturday. The day I usually spend some time writing a blog post. So…here I am wondering what you, my readers, would like to hear (or know) about today. Most of my writing time this week has been spent on editing the second book in my Star O’Brien series. It’s probably the third time, I’ve been through the book. There are still some chapters/scenes to add to the book’s mystery timeline. I know some of you are waiting to read what’s happening in Star’s life but I want to make sure everything about the book is top-notch.

I’ve also been doing some thinking and research about what to include in my newsletter. So far I’ve identified the following categories to include in the newsletter: a snippet of background information about Star from the Star O’Brien bible, pictures of real places that will be in the second book (exclusive to the newsletter), maybe snippets from my blog pages (in case someone who signed up for the newsletter doesn’t read the blog). What do you think? What would you like to read about in the newsletter?

I’m getting started on this post a little late today. Our Schipperke, named Turlough, started coughing yesterday afternoon. We took him to the vet early this morning. He’s on a short course of cough med and antibiotic to clear it up. He was sick during most of August with a cough also. He’s still a puppy, just eighteen months old. Right now, he’s resting on the dining room floor. We are trying to keep him from barking or running along so that he can rest.

I call this picture of his tail “question mark”. Isn’t it beautiful?
This is me and Turlough in May when we were visiting Blairstown, NJ.

That’s all for me this week. I hope you all have a great week.

Keep the love going,

Martha