Author Unknown

Have you ever wondered who Anonymous is? Now, I’m speaking about Anonymous in the literary sense. You know, those  people who penned the perfect poem, the absolute sublime quote that gets to the heart of our very existence. The internet is filled with these lyrical expressions that all go under the name of Anonymous or Unknown, or Author Unknown. But that is impossible of course. Someone somewhere knows, or knew, who that unknown scribe was, the scribe themselves if no one else. Words do not miraculously appear into the world all on their own. There has to be someone behind them.

A bit of poking around and I quickly discovered mountains of anonymous quotes. Here are a few that I kind of like. Seriously, the list could go on forever.

“Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.” 

 “Everything has been figured out, except how to live.” 

 “Life is not what you live but what you love” 

 “A wise man can see more from the bottom of a well than a fool can from a mountain 

 “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” 

I’m sure there are instances where the writer didn’t start out as “Anonymous” but somewhere along the way someone used their quote without remembering who the author was and, presto, they suddenly became “Anonymous.” But for the most part I think of these anonymous writers as people who perhaps wanted to draw more attention to their words of wisdom then themselves.

I do think there is something to be said about the anonymous writer, who can set their inner most thoughts down without fear or judgment of those around them. Writing is one of those professions that really puts the writer out there under public scrutiny. You only need look at some of the book reviews on Goodreads to know what I’m talking about. I’ve read some pretty despairing comments about some of my best beloved authors and books that I absolutely loved.

Expressing oneself though the written word is a little tricky by times— words of course being as powerful as they are whether spoken, written or thought. It is our way of communicating, of showing others another way of viewing the world. While some try to force their idea onto others, many people use words as a vehicle to put their ideas, believes, values, and thoughts about life into the world, and hopefully, others will appreciate what the author has to say. Some writers do this by creating people, places and events, and if we take time to examine the words within those stories we’ll often find some hidden treasure. Other writers don’t shy away from what it is they wish to express. They can get down to the real nitty-gritty of what’s on their minds. And thank goodness for that since not everyone is interested in treasure-hunting nor do they have the tools to unlock those buried nuggets. Some of us simply read for the love of a good story, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

I have wondered from time to time what words would surface in my writing if I were anonymous. I do think that it would make a difference in the stories, or even blog posts, that I might produce. I’m sure there are times when many writers pull back, even a little, for fear of what others might think or wonder about them. I’ve had people say, “I don’t know what thoughts go through your head” or that my thoughts even scare them. Honestly, I think we all have our share of scary thoughts that go no farther than our own minds. Writers put these thoughts on paper for everyone to see, and that’s where the difference comes in.

Anonymous brings freedom with it, the shedding off of people’s judgment of our words and perhaps we’d be more willing to share the thoughts of “Anonymous”, hand down those precious words though the ages than, say, some writer with the last name “Best.” That’s just an example, I’m not insinuating that my words are profound or at all inspiring, but you know what I mean.

Have you ever given thought to the “Anonymous” writer? If you were “Anonymous” do you think it would change the way you express yourself in the world?

Dear Life—It’s Family Literacy day

Today is Family Literacy Day in Canada.   This year, ABC Life Literacy Canada   is encouraging families to take time each day to have “15 Minutes of Fun”.   “Time spent following a new recipe, playing a game, or reading a story together can focus on learning in a fun way. These teachable moments at home help children learn listening skills and language skills, and develop their imaginations and creativity — and are also opportunities for adults to practice their skills to keep them sharp.”  Now that doesn’t sound too hard.  It actually sounds like a lot of fun!  If you’d like to find out more click on the Family Literacy Day link above.

13530981Today, I started reading Dear Life by Alice Munro. It was a Christmas gift from my mum. I received two books for Christmas this year and have already  read the first one. I sometimes forget that once upon a time I wrote fiction for adults, so receiving these books  was a good reminder for me.

In the beginning, I started out by writing short stories, something that I absolutely loved. Along the way, my writing seemed to fit a younger audience (although there are some adults who would disagree with that statement as they seem to enjoy my stories.) But I’m not ready to turn my back on my adult fiction writing. The truth is, I hate categorizing my writing. I know, that’s a bit impractical. I much prefer thinking of myself as a writer of stories. Sometimes those stories will have kids as  a main character, and sometimes they won’t. *sigh*

But writers aren’t just writers, we’re also readers. ( That’s why things like Family Literacy day make us almost giddy. ) Most of us tend to read in the genre we write and, if we don’t, we should. I can’t stress how important that is. I’ve had people ask me how I have time to read so much, but the truth is writers have to make the time.  You can’t have one without the other. I promise. My time reading is not wasted. :)

I’ve made a commitment, to myself, to read more adult fiction in 2014 as I seem to have been focusing on books for young people. Truthfully, I like both. But at the moment it’s important for me to balance my reading a bit better than I have in the past.

In celebration of Family Literacy Day  I hope you’ll find that “15 Minutes of Fun” with your family. Remember, it’s not just for one day.

I’m open to suggestions for great reads in 2014. Let me know what you’re reading. You are reading something, right? I mean, it is Family Literacy Day.

The Two Most Powerful Words in the World

As a writer I contemplate, not only sentences and paragraphs, but individual words. I love words, all kinds of words. Not just your run-of-the-mill words, but words that have some oomph behind them, words that resonate in the thoughts and hearts of many, words that possess the power to shape our lives.

Shape our lives.” How can an itty-bitty word do all that, you might ask? I do think it’s possible, but only if you’re willing to open your mind to the possibility.

I’m not sure what the most important word in the English language is, or even if one words stands above the rest, but here are my thoughts. We could probably debate this if we wanted, but without any concrete way to prove it, it would simply be a waste of time. Undeniably is the fact that certain words have the power to evoke emotions within us. They can inspire us to do good things for ourselves and for others. They can get us up out of that chair and send us off into the world ready to participate and make a difference instead of letting life happen without us lifting a baby finger in the process. Here are some words that are all inspiring for me. You might have  your own words that hold some special meaning, but for me here are some of the biggies. In no particular order.

As you read each one take a moment to contemplate what that word means to you. Is it just a word or is there a feeling that accompanies it?

Dream

Wish

Hope

Peace

Faith

Magic

Love

While I find the above words to be SO inspiring, I started wondering the other day if I had to choose two words that totally draw me in and keeping me reaching forward in life, what would they be? What words stop me short, when I see them written out, and totally inspire me to try harder. I knew what they were without putting too much thought into it because these two words have been following me around most of my life, even when I wasn’t aware of their existence. And hey, it’s not just because I’m a writer that I can say this. They are both just truly wonderful words.

So what do I think are the two most important words in the English language?

…. Imagine

…..Believe

 

 I’d love to know, what words inspire you?

Not Such A Big Mystery, This Writing Thing of Mine

You seem like such a happy, giggly person, why are there sad undertones in your writing? That question came to me in an email earlier this week. I was impressed that this person did see the “sad undertones” in my writing, and thought it was a good question.

There is no real mystery surrounding any of this, no hidden secret I’m keeping from the rest of the world. I am a happy person. I can state that with all honesty, knowing that happiness isn’t something that comes to us from the outside. It comes from a choice we make on the inside.  This doesn’t mean I don’t know what sadness is or even understand it for that matter. I’ve lost people I’m close to, I’ve known disappointment. People have not lived up to my expectations. I don’t always get what I’d like. But I’m happy. Being happy doesn’t mean I don’t have crappy days (or weeks) or have tough, heart-wrenching decisions to make. The thing is, when I do, others rarely see it so they mistakenly believe it doesn’t exist for me, that I’m somehow immune.

None of us are immune.

No one leads a “perfect” life, even those people whose lives look perfect from the outside. If we all had perfect lives we wouldn’t be here, to learn, and share, accept, create, love.

So why does my writing have “sad undertones?”

A writer sees the world through a writer’s eye. And each writer has a different view of the world. I connect to my writing on an emotional level. It’s always been something I’ve understood very easily. It’s not difficult for me to put myself in someone else’s shoes. When I write a book, I understand the emotions my characters feel. A writer has to, even when we might not agree with their actions. A writer needs eyes in the back of their heads. We need to be observant of the world around us. We need to leave our judgments behind and let our characters be who they are, flaws and all. Because we are all flawed in our own way, whether we choose to believe it or not.

After reading an excerpt at the book launch, a friend came up to me and said, “I hate Aunt Millie already.” I agreed with her that Aunt Millie is a hard nut. But I like the character of Aunt Millie. I don’t hate her at all. She’s outspoken, and harsh, colourful in a way that makes her interesting to me. And she cares about Cammie in a way only Aunt Millie can. I promise you. Then again, I’m also privy to information about her that others aren’t. Because no matter what we see on the exterior of the people, characters in our lives, there is so much more to them than what they show the rest of the world. This is the case with Aunt Millie. She has her soft spot, but no one sees it. She can’t let that vulnerability show. She’s a bootlegger for goodness sake. She needs the world to see her as tough.

It helps to see both sides of the coin. One thing that sticks out in my childhood is something my father often said, “There are two sides to every story.” Some people argue that there are three, “your side,” “my side” and the “right side.” But life isn’t all that cut and dry. “Your side” and “my side” can both be right— right for us, that is. There really  is no third side. We all interpret life in our own way. We all see things through a different lens. We all react with different emotions. There’s a tendency in life to label things as right or wrong. But there isn’t always a right and wrong to life. Sometimes it just is, simple as that. A writer accepts their characters for who they are even when their actions aren’t the ones we might personally choose, yet we need to give them space to be who they are. Kind of like raising kids some might say.

Why are there sad undertones in my writing when the outside world sees a “happy giggly” person? The answer is quite simple. Life is sometimes sad, but rather than express that sadness to the world, I express it through the page. Writers don’t produce stories because we want to, but because we need to. We need to put the sadness and horror of this world in their rightful place to have them make sense when we all know that life doesn’t always make sense. It just is. But we all express our emotions in different ways; a writer does it with pen and paper. There’s no deep mystery, no big secret.

It just is.

We are all here to create and express life in our own unique way. We can thank God for that. Writing just happens to be mine. While it might sometimes reflect the happy side of life, it won’t always.

If you’re a writer what are your thoughts on this? Do you believe a writer brings their emotions to the page? If you’re not a writer, what form of art do you use to express yourself?

Why Do You Write?

The question as to why I write comes up from time to time in conversation. People want to know why? Why writing?

For me, it’s not an easy question to answer. It’s kind of like asking why someone prefers the colour blue over green or why they play a musical instrument or sing. No one seems to know. It’s just something that is, something that stems from inside us, makes us who we are.

Words fascinated me early on, even before I knew they fascinated me. I’ve always had this feeling that I had something to say. Mind you, I didn’t know anyone would ever read what I had to say.

Last weekend I had the chance to hear Wayne Dyer speak. I was in awe to learn how many millions of copies of his books are circulating around the world. It sure put the few thousand copies that my book sold to shame. But I wasn’t really comparing my writing to Wayne’s, nor was there even a slight twinge of jealousy. I went away wondering what it would be like to have my words touch the lives of so many people around the world. Yet, this man was as humble as you and I.

As a beginning writer, I used to wonder when or if I’d ever be good enough to have my work published. Back then publications felt like a pipe dream. Was I wasting my time and effort. Why was I even writing, subjecting myself to rejection after rejection?

For me, it wasn’t simply enough to write, I wanted my words to be read by others. That meant I had to grit my teeth, swallow my appointment,  keep my head up, my brain focused, and write on, many, many occasions.  Even when I felt like quitting.

Thank goodness the world is filled with many more doers than quitters. Imagine what would have happened if many of our great writers (who also faced their share of rejections BTW) would have given up because they weren’t up to the challenge.

This business of writing and published is filled with hurt feelings. If someone tells you they’ve never, ever felt hurt when their work was turned down, take what they say with a grain of salt. They’re obviously out of touch with their feelings. No one likes rejection. It stings. Mind you, over the years, I developed a somewhat thick skin. I was able to look past the rejections  on many occasions and keep sending my work out again and again. But every now and then a certain rejection would get to me and I’d be pulled down into the pit of despair. Yep, I got down, but more importantly, I didn’t allow myself to stay down. I became my own cheerleader. I had to if I wanted to become published. The truth is, all the good words from others won’t keep us going if we don’t believe it ourselves.

Have a great weekend, and for my Canadian readers Happy Canada Day!

 

I’ll leave you with a photo that I tried posting on Facebook, but my dial-up connection just wasn’t co-operating. It was one of several I took at the Cunard Centre the day Wayne Dyer was there.

Not so easy to get a clear photo of Wayne Dyer when he was in Halifax. Too many heads in the way and he moved around a lot on stage. He spoke for nearly three hours (not bad for a man who turned 73) and the audience hung on every word. This photo is sort of the best of the worst.

DSC03802

Time Stealers

Earlier this week I emailed writer friend, Syr Ruus, and asked her to send me some time. She didn’t.  Which didn’t really come as any big surprise. Yeah, it was just a joke, but I did think later it would be kind of neat if we could put in an order for time just like that. Time seems to be one of those things that are constantly in short supply. Or is it simply because we try to cram too much into our days?  Is it even logical to try and fill each  moment? Or do we all need a little down time?

We all lead busy lives and hardly does it seem there is time to just sit back and relax. When I get a few moments my nose is either stuck in a book or else I’m tapping away at the keyboard.

I have been limiting my Facebook time lately. While it’s fun, and I like keeping connected with my friends (Sorry, Sheila, I didn’t know about your trip until it was over  :) ) Facebook can be a time stealer. But not to blame Facebook alone, it takes an interested party to partake in Facebook games and constant status updates. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing for everyone, but for this writer it can mean the difference between winning at Luxulous or writing a novel. Sorry, I have to say; I’ll take the later.

Not to be down on Facebook. I like  Facebook. It’s a great way to connect with people we  wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to, and  I do  believe this connection  with others is part of what gives our lives meaning. Without some human interaction I’m not sure there would even be a point to life.

I wonder if part of the reason we all seem to complain when it comes to time is that we’re too hard on ourselves, expecting that we’re super-human and can accomplish more than is reasonably expected. When we fail to meet our expectations, we chastise ourselves for coming up short. Some people make lists to keep themselves on track, which is a great idea, unless we add too many items to that list. I’ve said several times on this blog that I’m not a list-maker, but from time to time I’ll write down the things I want to accomplish in a day when there are many things that need my attention. But once I start I find it difficult to stop listing, and instead of setting down realistic goals I’ve added so stinking many items I’d have to stay up half the night to get it all done. When it comes to list-making I get a failing grade.

There’s really no point in blaming time for our shortcomings.  Time is a constant. It’s been there since, well, the beginning of time. There are 60 minutes in ever hour, 24 hours in every day—no more, no less. You’d think by now we’d get used to that and learn how to utilize our time in more productive way instead of  complaining about the lack of time in our lives.

 What  are the time stealers in your  life? Do you struggle to find the time to accomplish your goals? Do you ever worry about wasting time or are you happy with all that you accomplish in a day? Do you make time to just relax?

Liars, Snails and Writers– We’ve Got a Thing Going on!

I’m a liar. There I’ve said it.

I bet some of you are too.

Let’s talk about it.

I tell myself lies all the time. Things like, I’ll just hop on the Internet for a quick second and check my email. Who knows, my editor might be trying to contact me in the worse way and I have to know right …this…minute. I mean, you know what editors can be like, expecting things to happen at the snap of their finger…And, and, if I don’t respond to her email immediately something catastrophic could take place. Like I don’t know…like maybe the earth will stop spinning on its axis, maybe the sun will forget to set or maybe, just maybe, the fate of the entire world rests on that “non-existing” email from my ever-so-impatient editor waiting for me in my inbox.

Here  lies another lie. It comes after I’ve written a few hundred words or so.

Got to get up and move around…gotta stretch those legs of mine. Things seize up. After fifty years of living, body parts begin to wear out you know. When I come to a tense part of my story, sometimes I just can’t sit still.

So yes, I’m a published author but that doesn’t mean I can’t come up with any number of excuses NOT to write. Writing takes discipline. No two ways around it. It’s just as difficult for me to find that discipline as it is for anyone else. Published or non-published, we writers all battle the same demons. Yes, I know, I’m published, there should be more of an incentive to keep me going then those of you who are struggling to break through, but my livelihood doesn’t depend on the money I make writing ergo I can procrastinate with the best of them.

Crummy attitude— my livelihood doesn’t depend upon the money I make writing ergo I can procrastinate. I mean really. Considering I’d quit my job in a heartbeat to stay home and write full time, I’d say that is a darn poor attitude.  So while I say one thing, I don’t do a single thing to back it up. It’s not an easy thing. It takes a leap of faith. Yes I would like to make a living writing, yet I continue to work because my job, while it may not be my first choice in life, is at least predictable. I know what my income will be.

The truth is, making a living with writing means you’d have to churn out far more novels a year than what I seem capable of doing. I know some people can. One writer on Facebook is spitting out words like fireworks. Her books are all over the internet and if I had half her energy I might stand a chance. She said she quit her business to write full time. So it’s possible.

Another writer told me it takes three or four published books a year in order for a writer to rake in enough money for the year. When I heard that I knew I wouldn’t be retiring anytime soon.

I’m a snail.

I’m a snail and a liar, and a little unsure of what my true objectives are when it comes to writing. We all assume every writer wants to make a living writing, but maybe that’s just not so. I’m sure some writers are happy just to see their stories in book form, something for them to look back on in their old age and feel they left their mark in the world. Their children and grandchildren will remember them with pride.

Now I wonder what spurs the writer onward– money or leaving behind a small legacy? I suppose that depends upon the writer. We are all individuals. Different goals, different points of view.

But what do I know? Could be I’m far off base. Snails are not known for their intellectual abilities.  ;)

If you’re a writer what keeps you writing? Do you expect to one-day make a living writing? If so, do you have any specific plan in place?

Surviving a Bad Review

So you’ve written a book, and you’re published. You’re on cloud nine dancing barefoot with the pixies. I mean, you should be, it’s a big accomplishment. Your book receives glowing reviews. Friends stop you on the street to tell you how amazing they think your book is. Some thank you for being the awesome writer you are. Everyone is happy, they’re up on that cloud with you bouncing around to “Oh happy day,” and it’s a glorious feeling. They love you… I mean your book. Those months of sweat and toil were worth it. You’re going to be all right.

 

But then the unthinkable happens. You’re googling your book one evening, stroking that ego a bit more, trying to uncover even more people who love you…I mean your book. You see your book mentioned and you click the link.  Bam! You’re hit with a hard blow to the ego. Someone you don’t know has written a review. They hate you…I mean your book. This can’t be. Surely they didn’t understand the deeper meanings, or appreciate all the intricate plot threads. They couldn’t have. Just look at that! While summarizing the book, they wrote the facts wrong. Were they even paying attention? What the heck, your main character was a boy, not a girl, they lived in the city, not the freaking country. I mean, how credible can this reviewer be? Did they skim over the most amazing parts? If only you had them here. Let them tell you to your face they don’t like you…I mean your book.

 

I don’t care who you, if you’ve written a book and sold any amount of copies, someone  out there is going to be less than enthusiastic about it. While having everyone rave about your book is absolutely divine,if you think everyone who reads it is going to love it you need to get in the real world. I know, I know, you already know that. And if you’re lucky those who don’t like it won’t rate it on Goodreads or write a review. While all that may sound good in theory it’s not all that practical unless you don’t venture out onto the Internet.  Eventually, a book you write is going to get a one or two star rating, or an unfavourable review. That’s when you’re faced with the reality of it all, it’s right before your eyes. No denying it. Someone doesn’t like you…I mean your book. Worst of all they told the whole world.

 

So how’s an author to get past a bad rating or review, you might ask? Here are a few suggestions I have.

 

 

  1. Accept the fact that this is bound to happen. I’m not talking about accepting it on an intellectual level, but accept it in your heart. Hoping and wishing everyone will love your book won’t change the facts. People have different tastes. You do. Why wouldn’t someone else?
  2. Learn not to take these things personally. The person rating your book probably doesn’t know you from Adam. They’ve got nothing vested in you. You’re a name. That’s it. Remember, they aren’t saying they don’t like you. They’re saying they don’t like what you’ve written. There is a difference.
  3. Spend time on Goodreads. Check out your favourite authors. Read the reviews of books you absolutely love. What you’ll find is your favourite authors all wrote books that someone didn’t like. You might think these reviewers are nuts, but it doesn’t change the facts…or the rating.
  4. Be the first to write a bad review for your book. Don’t let someone else beat you to it. Print it out and post it where you can see it during the early days of publication. This will help absorb the shock when the real thing comes along. Remember not to be too nasty or obnoxious.
  5. Weigh the good reviews with the bad. Which one outweighs the other? If you receive 100 poor reviews or ratings and only three good ones (all from close friends) maybe this is telling you something. Otherwise, blow it off. One bad review, or two or three isn’t the end of the world.

 

Hopefully, these suggestions will help cushion the blow of that first bad review. I say, take comfort in knowing that you’re in good company.

 

Has a bad review ever set you in a tailspin? How did you deal with it? If you’re on Goodreads have you ever given a bad rating or review? If so, did you give any thought as to whether the author would read your review or see the rating?

 

 

Blossoms and Quotes

My week was filled with flowers and words. Here are a few of both for your enjoyment.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~~Anais Nin

 

 A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and man cannot live without love. ~~Max Muller

 

Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so.~~Doris Lessing

 

For a writer, published works are like fallen flowers, but the expected new work is like a calyx waiting to blossom. ~~Cao Yu

I couldn’t resist adding the buttercups.  As children we played this game: if someone held a buttercup under your chin and yellow reflected on your skin it meant you liked butter..That little game used to be a good source of entertainment during those simpler times. Why is it we seem to miss those simpler times?

Enjoy your weekend!

This Week

It’s been an interesting week. I like weeks that are interesting, when surprises nab you by the scruff of the neck and you end up doing and seeing a lot of different things instead of the same old, same old.

I’ve been managing to get up at 5:30 each morning to get in a bit of writing before work. For me, that’s the big news. Yay me! This is big because it means if I have a hundred and one things to do in the evening I still have some writing time in, and I actually feel like a writer for yet another day. I’m excited about the story I’m working on– although shouldn’t writers be excited and enthusiastic about all their work? Hmmm, that’s debatable and seems to depend upon how smoothly the words are flowing and how forthcoming the story is. Sometimes a story is down right stingy and will only come out a trickle at a time. It ranks right up there with pulling teeth—slow and painful. If you’re lucky the story is generous and provides you with the perfect flow of words at just the right time. You’re never stumped as the story unfolds and it’s totally delicious and fun.

I attended an afternoon tea at a friend’s house on my day off. There were twelve of us, and some of the most interesting and talented people I’ve met in a long time. The muffins were none too shabby either. Mmmm, thanks Gail!

I went in search of  a place this week  as part of some research for the story I’m working at.

Earlier in the week I was in the Chester area. I strolled around the grounds of a property that is valued at a cool 5 Mil. Rather impressive and wishing now I’d snapped a few photos of the view as I ate lunch overlooking the ocean, watching the sailboats glide across the water. This photo was snapped as we drove past later in the day and is just an example of what we saw..Trust me it was amazing, and yes I did feel special. The home had obviously been built many years ago from rocks washed smooth and round from ocean waves. It had three stone fireplaces and four stone pillars. The gardens were to be admired. Hard to imagine all the work that would have gone into making such a property the showcase that it is. And that’s just the outside. I would have jumped through hoops to see the inside but, alas it wasn’t meant to be.

Anyone from Nova Scotia knows that Chester is pretty pleasing on the eyes, not to mention there’s some fine real estate in the area. The view of the Atlantic Ocean is awesome, with many tiny island offshore. To top it off there have been plenty of movies shot in Chester.

  • Echoes of a Summer (1976)

  • The Secret (1992)

  • Dolores Claiborne (1995, exterior of Vera Donovan’s)

  • Two if by Sea (1996)

  • Black Harbour (1996)

  • Love and Death on Long Island (1997)

  • Catch a Falling Star (2000)

  • The Weight of Water (2000)

  • Deeply Lynn Redgrave and Kirsten Dunst; East Ironbound Is., etc. (2000)

  • Blackfly (2001)

  • A Town Without Christmas (2001)

  • Beach Girls (2005)

  • Candles on Bay Street (2006)

  • Noah’s Ark (2008)

At the moment the TV series, Haven, is being shot there. I sat right across from the spot where they were shooting a scene. I’d like to say it all looked pretty darn impressive. The truth is, if you had no idea what was going on, well, you wouldn’t have had any idea what was going on. You might just wonder why so many people were gathered in one place. You might even think, so what?

Here are a few small discoveries I made this week:

I discovered this week that “Catching Fire,” has 485, 121 ratings on Goodreads. Makes the 15 ratings that my book has on that site look a bit measly. I didn’t even bother looking at how many ratings “The Hunger Games” have. One thing is for certain no one with anything at all to do would check out every single one of those ratings or the 47,000+ reviews… But that’s the way. I just feel happy and fortunate for the few my book has.

I ate the most scrumptious scallops in the world—seriously–in a little place in Western Shore called Mo’s. Who knew?

I also discovered that I’ve been quite slack at visiting all your blogs…Believe me when I say, there just hasn’t been enough hours in the day..But if you haven’t seen me for awhile I ‘m going to try and fix that this weekend..

I discovered a few moments ago the spam monsters are trying to infiltrate my blog–400 spam comments in my queue. That’s crazy.

Lastly I’ll leave you with this photo of a beautiful spot I discovered  this week and simply couldn’t resist taking a photo. It’s lovely and secretive, and brimming with inspiration. I could write a short story about this place I’m sure. It sets my mind afire.

What new discoveries have you found this week?