Showing posts with label gratitude. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gratitude. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Presenting: Barbara from Serenity Gate...


Hi Y'all (yawwwllllll)....Isn't that a lovely face? Barbara from Serenity Gate - what a light inside she carries- and look at her sparkling eyes.

Before I brag on Barbara, I guest blogged at J. Kaye's Book Blog. Had a fun ole time, too. Still having fun - reading comments and answering questions. Teehee. She's having a contest there, too- for a signed copy of Tender Graces - This is her contest, and the contest rules are outlined there (my apologies to my friends outside of US and Canada who may go there to try to win a copy ...dang....!)

Now, there are so many of you who have taken the time to write up a praise blurb, or post about Tender Graces, or write up a review, or email me your thoughts, et-cetera. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. So, I'm going to spend some time bragging and talking up all of you! My first "brag" was on Deb Leblanc.

Today, I want to talk about Barbara at the Serenity Gate.
From Barbara's sidebar: "WELCOME TO MY SERENITY GATE. I CREATED THIS QUIET SPACE SO THAT MYSELF AND OTHERS MIGHT FIND PEACE, INSPIRATION, AND JOY HERE. I HOPE YOU WILL STAY TO READ MY THOUGHTS AND ENJOY THE MUSIC AND ART."

And I do find peace, inspiration, and joy there. And lovely music. And lyrical poetic musings. Barbara's blog is a lovely breath of air. There is always something upbeat to read, to feel, to ponder over.
When Barbara won books from my book give-aways, I sent her a bonus book. I never expected anything in return. But one day a package came. Inside was a layer of cloud! Barbara sent me the most beautiful pashima - it is the softest wrap I've ever had. Stop by her Fatimas Treasures!

Barbara wrote this about Tender Graces- I am overwhelmed by her words (and Barbara - I saw your review on Amazon reviews - *laughing!* yes - I went by there...but just for a second, only a teeny second!):
I didn't realize just how gifted she really is until I read her new book! How did I love it? Let me count the ways: 1. Poetic 2. Imaginative 3. Clever 4. Unique 5. Exciting 6. Haunting 7. It made me laugh/it made me cry 8. It's one I'll never forget. The story is beautifully written, haunting, profound, and develops the characters in a way that makes the reader feel personally connected. It should be in Oprah's book club (for the complete post, you can click here)
Thank you, Barbara, for your words, and for your Serenity Gate.
Now, I need to Git to Work (yes GIT!....said like mean old Aunt Ruby!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I'm so excited! and I ain't gonna hide it, I was about to lose control but thank gawd I didn't....haw!


I am feeling calmer. Ommmmm. Ommmmmm. Ommmygawdmmmmmm (teeheehee). Well, an excited calmer anyway ...

First. My brother in Texas has already received his Tender Grace books! No Faiiirrrrr; I'm telling Moommmmmm. He called me up all excited and happy and jumping around opening up the box and then describing stuff to me. I asked, "How heavy is it? What color pink is it? What does it feel like? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll tootsie pop?" Then he said he was just sitting there petting my book *laughing*....I said, "I want my boooookkkkssss...." He just laughed and said, "Nya nya nya nya nya; I got the first Tender Graces books! hahahahahahaha!" .....ah, brothers and sisters.
Here is something that eased my mind, too, though, not just that my books are actually real and I didn't dream all this, and the proof is in the call I received from Tommy that he has my book! haw! I was stressed thinking about book signings and promo materials and all manner of things I thought I needed to do to be An Author.....silly me; I forgot that being an author has to do with words and language.
BelleBooks put it into perspective for me, and after that, I calmed. They told me that word of mouth and good reviews are what helps to sell your book. They told me to get to work on the second book - that is what is important right now. To not worry about Promo Materials like bookmarks and the like (for those most times get tossed away and forgotten - it is the words the writer writes that are remembered). They said not to knock myself out trying to do book signings all over - to choose some places I think I'd enjoy and do them there.
The main message is this: Word of Mouth. Good Reviews. Get the second book written!
So, for any of you who read Tender Graces and like/love it, then you tell someone else about it, and/or write up a review/thoughts on Amazon, or B&N, or Target, or your blog - or all of them (laughing!). Telling other readers about an author's book is one of the greatest compliments a writer can have. And the greatest help an author can have. You all have already been doing this - before you even see the book and my gratitude is mighty mighty MIGHTY. Thank you.
In my google alerts this morning, I found a review for TG at Scooper Speaks. It made my morning to read it - when someone takes the time to read your work and then write about it, well, as I said: it is a compliment and a joy.
I have two reviews on Amazon....teeheehee. Made me happy.
So, what I'm feeling today is Happy. Tommy told his big sister: "Sister, ENJOY this -- enjoy all these moments..." And I know that is the advice I have given and would give to others. I'm putting aside the anxiety I had all day yesterday and instead, I am going to enjoy all these moments! These FIRSTS will never happen the same way again....they'll never be firsts.
Soon, my good friends, I will be scarce. I am making some decisions. Like, backing away from book reviews for a while...much as I hate to, for I love doing them, the last couple I have done do not seem up to my standards (I'm too distracted and busy!). I'll be looking at some other things, as well, that need a second look. As for this blog, I certainly am not going to abandon it (gawd no!~) but, as I begin serious work on the second novel in the Virginia Kate Saga, I will need to place almost all my energies there. I would love to post my progress, but visiting will be cut way back - you know how it is; you visit and you read and next you know hours have gone by! So please forgive me if in the coming months you rarely see my little icon and "Haws!" and "LAUGHINGS!" and comments in your comments....although I am selfish and hope you will still come by here ...teeheehee!
Today feels like a good good day. It started off good with that review I found; and from the conversation with Tommy and with BelleBooks last night to pave the way for this good day. I am going to take a mountain walk soon to clear my head, and then get some busy work done.
HAPPY DAY, Everyone! And, soon you should be receiving your books! Oh, I can't wait! I'm so excited!
MY BOOKS ARE HERE! I HAVE A COPY OF TENDER GRACES ON MY LAP; ANOTHER ON MY SHELF; THE OTHERS WAITING TO GO WHERE THEY NEED TO GO! IT'S REAL! I HAVE A PUBLISHED NOVEL! OH SHE'S BEAUTIFUL! I THINK I'M GOING TO EITHER CRY, THROW UP, SCREAM YAYYY, OR FAINT--all all of those things! laughing.....

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Exit light, enter night...off to where-ever-land



I don't know why this Mongoose cartoon made me laugh so much, but it did! teeheehee

Friends, your books should soon be on their way. It's about that time, yes. I will get an exact date, but from what I understand, they will begin to ship next week; I think early next week. If you wanted one with a signed bookplate, be sure that you marked that -- if you get one that doesn't have one, I'll be happy to send you one if you email me (unless it's not too late to let BB know you want a signed copy). I tried to make the bookplates as special as I could.

I can't wait to get mine. I can't wait to hold one in my hands. I will smell the pages. I will put it on my bookshelf and step back and see how it looks and then take a photo of it. Oh, I hope I am never jaded and blaise about this!

I had the strangest dreams last night. I suppose they are "stress dreams." Anxiety. Along with all my happiness and excitement, I do have the anxiety -- it's all a big swirley mess in my pea-headed brain. One of my dreams was about this strange place I came upon. It was a community of what I thought were an isolated strange people. But, when I came close to the community, which turned out to be only indoors, never outdoors, I noticed the eyes of the "people" -- they were black and spacy. Seems some "mad scientist" type had made these people - grown them - or something - and there were a good many of them. It was creepy. What did he have planned with them, I don't know because the dream slid into something else (and if I were someone who wrote thrillers or supernatural books, this dream would facilitate a creepy creepy book)...

...the dream morphed into where I was in a house and there was a man who hated us (me and whomever else was with me)....he wanted to harm us....there was an explosion in one of the rooms of the house (and it is said that houses in dreams are representations of our minds?)- we got out in time, but then I walked back into the room where the explosion occurred and there was a HUGE statue that seemed made of dark dark wood and in the arms of this dark dark wood statue was an infant...and then the statue began cracking open some, the arms that held the infant became more human than wood, and the statue opened its arms out to give the child back to us -- it had protected the infant from harm and it was the most beautiful thing - so beautiful. I can see the statue so clearly this morning: a broad dark face, with a broad nose, strong features, strong arms, a solid body - female.

Strange strange dreams. I've always had vivid dreams, since I was a child - and I even remember some of my childhood dreams (the more terrifying ones). I was plagued with nightmares from childhood until we moved to these mountains....then suddenly, when we moved here, the nightmares pretty much stopped -isn't that something? Every so often I'll have a bad dream, but mostly when I'm really stressed or worried or something that facilitates it. The mountain cove has been magical for me - healing. My dreams are still vivid at times, but more gentle to me. So last night must be worry stress dreams!

Thing is, I'm filled with gratitude and happy feelings for my Dream of this novel coming to life in the pages of a book. I know my anxious thoughts are those where I heap expectation on myself to be "successful" - to not let anyone down - to be "perfect" - and no one can be all these things, not really - not in reality. But, I am like that - fall headlong into things with passion and then soon grow bored with them and the passion fades: EXCEPT!...except when it comes to literature, writing, books, and my writing life. That is the one area I have never grown bored with, the one where my passion flares hot and steady and true - my constant.

What about you? What did you dream last night, if you dreamed and remember it. Do you have "stress dreams?"

(PS - Update on TG orders - BB has said the books should start to be shipped out on Monday...so you all should start receiving them soon! Oh! I'm so nervous.....! but excited too!)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Take me home, or curving roads...to the place I belong! Mountain Mama; I am home....


Home. All the snow melted before I arrived and it has warmed up enough to open the door. The breeze blows the chimes and the creek rushes -- oh home on my mountain cove at Killian Knob!

Last night, our old fat raccoon came calling to the squirrel feeder. She was early --as very old people who go to cafeterias do. Oh, what am I saying? I am like an old country granny sometimes as I eat my dinner at 4'o'clock--while watching Golden Girls (when they are on).

I have so much to do, but last night I slept the sleep of one who is so exhausted they just drop down, drop far down, drop long way down, drop deep into the far reaches of nothingness of sleep. I know I dreamed at some point, but do not remember them. Far far far down I fell. Deep and heavy. I woke only two or three times. This morning when I woke, I was disoriented....where am I? What? Who? When? How? I rose from my bed, the morning sunshine slipping through the windows - and my legs were actually shaky. I blinked. I put on my robe and shuffled to splash my face with cold water. In the kitchen, I poured cup 1 of Deep Creek Blend. We later took a mountain walk to clear my head. It is still a bit swirly, but better.

I hope to get by to visit you today, but if you do not see me today, you will tomorrow. I thank you thank you for still coming by even though I have not been round your places -- please know it is only because of circumstance of the novel and travel and etc.....soon, I will have to work on the second novel draft (oh thank gawd it is partly written already!). What a problem to have though, right? *smiling* -- what a problem to have....ah.

Later my friends. Thank you to all you who have pre-ordered Tender Graces - *muwah* -- and thank you for all your kind words. and for visiting. and for commenting. For everything you do.
(And later I'll tell you some good news I have -- I'm rushing now. )

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Who stopped de raiinnnnn......? Don't matter; the cove sopped it up like biscuits and gravy












Last night it rained again. But, I'm happy for the rain. See This Post at our YOG (year of gratitude). We needed rain. The creek is filled again. Despite a tossing and turning beginning, when I opened my eyes this morning, it was already daylight: good, I needed the sleep as much as our creek and cove needed the recent rains -- and Sun now pours into our little log house at Killian Knob. Oh!

Have you met our Fat Lazy Labrador Jake?

Well, Good Man Roger is painting a series of paintings that just make me laugh or smile, or go "awww!" He calls them: Le Chein Rouge. Have you ever seen "the blue dog" paintings? This is GMR's version *teehee* ... Fat Lazy Lab Jake is unfazed by the attention. As my brother Tommy says, "Jake has about one expression..." and he proceeded to show me those "one expressions" ..."Here's happy; here's sad; here's contemplative; here's 'I'm hungry'..." (and those expressions are as you see above) while I laughed...it's true! Unless FLLJ sees someone he thinks is an intruder - oh! Then the sharp white fangs are exposed, the lips drawn back in warning, the low growl: it's quite terrifying to UPS people and other strangers come round the cove. He is a good watcher of the cove and all his domain.

The Le Chein Rouge are at top of this post- and I am not giving them much justice as I took the photos in a hurry (I am the most impatient person...geez). GMR gave these LSU collars, since these are for someone(s) who loves LSU.

I spoke with the most beautiful person yesterday! She has a soft southern accent. Her voice is filled with energy. She is a sincere and thoughtful person. Someone I would feel comfortable around. Hmm, maybe I should use this as a contest to win a book! Every day I'll give a hint and see if y'all can guess who I am talking about *laughing* --unless this person has said something on her blog about how she talked to this weird Kat Mountain Woman who cackles when she laughs and says things like "huhn...." and "Lawd!" and "Well, la tee dah!" teeheehee. We talked about books and writing and publishing, etcetera. I have a hard time talking on the phone - it's weird, but it's hard for me to follow conversations and I sometimes accidentally interrupt - my brain needs to either write conversations, or I need to look at someone in person to follow the convo properly. Huhn. I hope I made any sense at all....haw!

Now, on to Sunday Breakfast; then, I want to come visit you all. It's too late to do anything else with Tender Graces manuscript....in spite of the fact that I woke up at 2:00 AM, was it Friday?, night in a panic and emailed Bellebooks and said "Oh no oh no!" and they said, "oh too late too late!" *laughing* So, that's that. La Tee Dah. Huhn.

UPDATE!: OMG! Just received an email from BB: BelleBooks is the BEST! They did go in and fix that thing I woke up at 2AM worried about - no one would have known what it was, no reader would have known, but it was something I'd wanted to have at the beginning...and they did it! They put that in! Even though they said they couldn't, and I said, "I understand" because it would be extra work and time and etc - but they DID IT! This is the beauty of the small independent press - they love you and work with you. *BIG GRINNING*

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I gots a joy joy joy joy up on Kilian Knob, up on Killian knob to-dayyyy


I'm peeping in quickly! Tommorrow I'll have a guest blogger: I have one more peek at Tender Graces before it's out of my hands ....eek! I can't change any of the text and all that, this is just to make sure the things we caught and listed were fixed. If there is anything else in there, well, consider it Human Error .... thing is, you'll know me now and you'll read it and say, "Hey! Here's one of Kat's unfound errors! I found one I found one!" then you can email me and we'll laugh about it....haw! Um, I think we'll laugh...hmmmm....teehee.
Then, I also have to finish The Rose & Thorn newsletter; get my next book review done, and etcetera.
This morning, I was walking Fat Lazy Labrador Jake in the cove at Killian Knob and as I turned the curve in the road where the creek stays on my right, I passed where the water rushes down from the mountain into the creek and I felt a sudden Joy....as sudden as the wind that came tearing down the ridge and across FLLJ and me - the wind pounded my face and I laughed because it didn't hurt at all-the wind laughed too - The sounds of the singing creek, the rush of the water runoff from our recent rains, the wind washing over us and blasting through the still-bare trees with a roar, the spring birds that had earlier woke me (oh, I recognize the ones who have been gone and now returned!) -- all of this brought up my sudden joy.

I thought, as I rounded that curve, how lucky I am. Farther down, I glimpsed the distant Smokies - awe awe awe awe awe-some Grandfather and Grandmother mountains. There are ancient souls here - I feel them sometimes; I see them in orbs and once the Shadowman came to visit me; I am not afraid of them, in fact, they comfort me. (Which reminds me - while I was sitting by Frank in the hospital, I saw something pass over him - it was misty and had no shape, but it was SOMEthing -i t passed right over him....and then a few days later while Tommy was lying in the emergency room, I saw an orb race across the room and arc over him and then away---imagination? lights playing tricks? my exhaustion? our brother? our granny? someone else? I don't know, but I know I saw something).

So, I am feeling lucky and awed and wonderful and it struck me that No Matter what happens with Tender Graces, I am still loved and wanted and so very lucky to live where I live. If you took away my writing life (oh, I can't imagine that - but let's entertain it)...if Tender Graces weren't being published, if I'd never published anything, if I was "just" this Mountain Woman living in my little cove at Killian Knob, walking Fat Lazy Lab Jake, being loved and spoilt rotten by Good Man Roger, hearing and seeing all the things I do, well then, my good friends, that is a pretty dagum wonderful life, isn't it? That is the Dream Life I once dreamed about when my life was in disorder and pain. I am blessed? lucky? whatever you want to call it, this is a wonderful life I live.

I smile. I enjoy. I appreciate. What a lovely place. I give you my peace and serenity this morning. Yes, I must get to work, but I start my work with a feeling of joy - for how lucky am I? Not only do I have my little log house and my little life here at Killian Knob, but my novel IS being published, and I do have some little things out there published, and people ARE enjoying my work and my fur is being rubbed off so that I feel loved.
Namaste. *muwah!*

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday Sunday, you can trust that day....by gratitud-ing it.


Oh. Quiet Sunday! Ritual Sunday! It's 9AM and I'm in my robe waiting for Good Man Roger to come back up the mountain with the paper--so I can read the comics and the circulars (haw!). Then we'll have a speck of biscuit or maybe we'll get fancy schmancy and make french toast out of the bread he made (yup, he cooks! wheehaw! I'm spoilt.)
Look at that cartoon! Sometimes that's how I feel I am. Sometimes we become steeped in negative thinking. Well, when you think, actively THINK about what you are grateful for, no matter how small those things are, something magical happens.
Angie reminded me how I wanted to mention our YOG (no, I'm not either copy-catting!) Click HERE if you've ever a mind to go check out our 2008 daily Got YOG (year of gratitude) posts (along with a few guests)-sometimes it was hard to write them-sometimes we were angry, mad, sad, etc. But, those posts brought gratitude to us in unexpected ways. We wrote about losing our dog friend, losing someone we loved - or fearing that impending loss, about storms in life and in love and in nature, about the ironies of life and family, about friendships, about menopause, about wrinkles, about food and ritual, about time past and time to come.
The link, below, was my very first YOG that started out the year. Now y'all go have a great Sun'dy. What're you doing here? Go DO the day!

...I think of days when I was hungry, when I didn’t have enough money to pay the bills, when I had to decide between having enough gas to get to work or going to the doctor, when I cried in the closet so no one would see me weakened by worry. Gratitude is harder when there seems little to be thankful for—except for the act of living and breathing and surviving. And now? I pay my bills, there is food in the pantry, I go to the doctor if I am sick and have the gas to get there and back. My closet holds clothes and shoes, not a sobbing woman...
And - while you're still here~! -- go check out HANDS & HEARTS - Mónica Zúñiga is having a give-a-way contest of her breathtaking painting in celebration of her blog anniversary!
(google image from cartoonstock.com)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Seventy-Six Trombones in my head today...

Right now, "Seventy-six trombones" is raging over and over in my brain. I just looked outside at the fog wetting the cove at Killian Knob and that's how I alternatively feel - bouncing off the walls with seventy-six trombones blaring, and in a fog of otherworldly-ness (and I use "ness" so ironically, of course *grin* After the classes of Mad Madden, my wonderful David Madden, I still hear him tell us: "Do not attach 'ness' to the end of the word - it only means you can't think of something better." He meant it is cheatingness).

I tossed and turned last night, and how my strange brain works is, if it gets too full of "Stuff" - it picks some obscure song or music out of some memory bank or the airwaves and blares it over and over and over (seventy six trombones...) and over (on parade today) and over (seventy six trombones) and over (and that's all the words I know so those words will circle round and round...).

And what had me tossing and turning? Okay, don't laugh. I shouldn't even be worried about this right now. Maybe shouldn't be worried at all. As one person put it, "Come on -it's not like it's the Academy Awards or something..." But, still - it's important. What had me tossing and turning is the Acknowledgements page to the novel. I'm terrified I'll not include someone and hurt their feelings, but I also know I can never include every single person who's ever encouraged me or made a difference or helped in some way.

For example, my blog friends - how could I name them all? Or the postman when I first began writing it and I blurted out "I'm writing a novel!" and he said, "Don't forget to mention me in the acknowledgements," and I said, "Oh, wouldn't that be something..." and I kept the receipt with his name for a while- in fact, I bet it's still around somewhere. And the postpersons at the Maggie Valley post office who watched my tired stressed face as I sent manuscripts or query letters and they always encouraged me. My friends. My family. The waitress. The butcher. The baker. The candlestick maker.

I'll want to thank those who went the extra mile. I'll want to apologize to my family for using some of our stuff as fodder for my fiction. I'll want to thank and hug my husband for being so patient with my awayfromhimbecausei'mwritingness. I'll want to write to my biomom, "This isn't about you - it's fiction - really. You know you are not Momma! (because she isn't)."

But, in all that swirly madness of people who have touched me in one way or another, there is one person. You know who you are! You know I'm going to say your name and put a link here to your blog, and say what a fine writer you are and one day maybe I'll be in your acknowledgements (ha! no pressure huh...seventy six trombones!).

Angie Ledbetter (Gumbo Writer) picked my butt up off the floor and looked me square in the eyes and said, "Write this dang novel, girl. You're crazy if you do not. This is IT. Virginia Kate is Your Baby. Your Girl. Your Novel. Do it!" Before she said that, I thought I couldn't write more than a few thousand words. I thought I didn't want to write novels. Huhn. Who Knew.

And I did. Because she believed in me yes, but also because she SAW something... she knew something I did not.

Now, all this may sound silly and as the woman told me "It's not the Academy Awards for god's sake...!" - no, but still...still...when people touch you, when people take the time to encourage you in a business that can be so, well...rejecting, when someone takes time from their busy schedule to read fledgling manuscripts, when someone goes that extra mile or two, then they deserve my thanks.

Gosh, all my friends, some readers, some encouragers; I mean, Patresa (who always makes me feel as if I am better than I am), and Cynthia (your wise eyes), and Susan, and Charles and Mark and Francis, and Barb, and Kim (who read AND did my website and is doing it again!), and Diane, and Daniel, and WDCers, and Margaret, and Ruvena (I miss you and hope you are well and you may not even know it's going to be published), and, and Adnan (you gifted man!), Lorelle, Nanette, and Bellebooks (of course), Marilyn, and Mary Ann, and Deb, and Alaine (get out that Birds, girl!), and John & Tere, and my "blurb writers"...so many. And even now I think - Oh! I've left someone out and they'll get their feelings hurt (seventy-six trombones...), but this post is getting way too long.

Of course, my publishers may look at the acknowledgements and say "Good Gawd, Woman--this is longer than the first chapter..." and I'll have to say to some, "You know who you are...." There's no way to say thank you to everyone who has ever said, "We believe in you..." how golden are those words?

And maybe they don't really care. Maybe I'm making too huge a deal out of this. I always look at writer's acknowledgement pages....I noticed that as the number of books are published, the acknowledgements grow smaller until there is usually just one small thing, such as, "To John Doe, Always..."

I think the acknowledgments are going to be harder to write than the novel itself! *laughing*

Okay. I've regurgitated my fear. Silly or not. Presumptuous or not. Eye-rolling worthy or not - that is what is on my mind right now - besides the dang trombones.