I’m thrilled to see all the post likes and shares about my first book in the Star O’Brien series and the redesigned cover. Thank you all so much. As a new author, your comments and feedback mean so much to me.
I want to give a shout out to the talented designer, Robin Vuchnich, who has also created the cover for the second book in the series. You will love it as much as I do! The second book is still in the editing stage. I will be providing updates as we go along.
So, what are you all doing with your time at home? I’m working on the third book in the series with a goal of writing 500 words a day. Although I have more free time than usual on my hands, I’m using most of the time, talking or texting with friends and relatives. I’m using lists to keep a normal schedule. I talk to my Mom at least three times a day. She lives alone and doesn’t drive. We’ve been figuring out how to get food to her, especially all those staples like milk, bread, and eggs. I’m trying to go for a walk every morning for about an hour with my puppy before I make breakfast for Bill and myself.
Last week I blogged about emotional intelligence and the importance of listening, compassion, and empathy. In this time of the virus, we have to keep our socializing to a minimum but we can ramp up our social awareness. Listening, deep, deep listening is so critical right now to picking up on understanding and responding to our loved ones as we face this virus. Positive actions, words, and ideas are contagious…and we need that kind of contagion as we join together as one to fight this virus.
In the words Star O’Brien, let’s get this done. Stay safe everyone. And, in the meanwhile, keep the love going.
We all yearn to be more human, more connected, and more in tune with each other than we already are. So…now in our time of social distancing or cocooning or self-imposed quarantining, being human to each other may be tougher than usual.
If you are like me, you’ve been taking care of the family, the pets, looking for a book to read, or a movie to watch or a game to play. Maybe you’ve been able to go for a walk or like me cleaned out a closet or two. A good part of the day is spent on the phone talking with friends and family members.
And still, I wonder about what else I can and should be doing. Sure, I’m writing 500 new words each day for the first draft of the third book in the Star O’Brien series. Of course, the television, although muted, is on in the background. With all of this, I really thought about what to write on my blog today. I thought about what can I do to get myself and family through this difficult time. I keep hearing about the whole America response to getting through this reality. All of this brought me to think about a leadership book that I published in 2008. Why? Because each of us must be a leader now. So I dug the book out of my closet and read through the pages, looking for inspiration. The chapter on Emotional Intelligence (EI) is what I settled on.
I’ll post some of the EI ideas in the form of questions: How well am I listening?Am I demonstrating compassion and empathy when I communicate with others? (This has been difficult today when the puppy ate part of the carpet in the living room.) When I’m ready to lose it because we’ve all been cooped up in the house, do I have a way to regain my center?
I don’t know if any of this helpful. I know I just want to help. And keep everyone around me feeling well and thinking positive. So…I’ll be listening more while communicating compassion and empathy…even with the puppy.
In the meanwhile, keep the love going. Stay safe and good. Martha
Today, I’m using my web site page to write about something else other than my writing life. St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and I typically take out all my Royal Tara and Belleek china to put around the house. I also wear various pieces of my claddagh jewelry for a few days. Many years ago during a trip to Ireland, I made a visit to the mother of our New Jersey parish priest. She gave me the claddagh brooch pictured below (on the left) as a symbol of her gratitude for the visit.
This year I’m going to begin wearing the claddagh (which symbolizes love, loyalty, and friendship) until the pandemic we all face subsides. I want to remind myself everyday that it will take love, friendship, and loyalty to get through whatever is coming. My heart goes out to everyone in the world who is worried about their parents and children. And, especially those who are separated from each other because of the virus.
I send my love to all of you who follow me on my web site and Facebook. We may not be able to shake hands but we can put our hands on our heart and use our words to send love to all.
I have two writing events coming up in the next week. One of the events will be held on Tuesday, Saint Patrick’s Day at the Fruitland Park Library in Fruitland Park. How surprised I was to see my name on the town’s billboard as I drove by on Sunday afternoon. I went back tonight to snap a picture.
I’m putting the finishing touches on the next book (Death at Ashford Castle) in the Star O’Brien mystery series (set in County Mayo, of course). But I don’t have a specific date yet. I’m excited and can’t wait to tell you more about the release date!
In the meanwhile, I’ll be at two events in March. On Sunday, March 15 I’m presenting a writing workshop about the key elements of crafting a mystery novel. The W.T. Bland library in Mount Dora will be hosting that event.