lunar love

I’m participating in my first blog hop, the Lunar Love Giveaway Hop hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Bookworm Lisa. The blog hosting my book is Laurie Here and we are giving away 2 signed paperbacks and 2 e-books to the four lucky winners who enter the drawing on her blog! I did this interview for the hop, Laurie is one of the many kind and generous readers I’ve met on this book writing adventure!

Each chapter in this book is in the voice of a different character, all of them family members of the main character, Bobby, who is in a coma. Was it difficult to write from the different age and sex perspectives of so many characters and then also change your writing style in the novel Bobby was finishing?

It wasn’t really difficult, but I did find it best to work in one voice at a time. In other words, I rarely jumped from say, Chloe’s 4 year old perspective to her mom to her grandpa’s voice, it would have been confusing to have so many people wandering around in my head all in the same day! As the narrative of the 24 hour period of Bobby’s life unfolded, having multiple points of view was inevitable and became central to the theme of connection. Writing from Bobby’s viewpoint was unique since he was bedridden, in a coma, and was deteriorating both physically and mentally as the book progressed. The murder mystery he was finishing was a little tricky since that was a different genre and I was narrating it in another author’s completely different style of writing…come to think of it, this was actually a very complicated book to write!

Are any of the characters based on people you know? How do you think you would get along with the main character, Bobby, if you met him? Do you think he would want to hang out with you?

More than being based on people I know, each of the characters in this book seem to be the embodiment of a small part of me. Of course, there are some moments and traits plagiarized from the lives of people in my life, but when the book was done I realized many of the characters were fleshed out pieces of my own personality, which was totally unintentional but not surprising I suppose since I created them! Bobby however, is the least like me I think, and no, he probably wouldn’t be interested in hanging out with me. He’s a young man in his 30s, a successful (somewhat arrogant) writer, a poker-playing-beer-drinking-cigar-smoking guys-guy, while I am a rather reserved middle-aged woman, a first time author who doesn’t smoke cigars, drink beer, and who hates playing cards (although I do like solitaire). The truth is, while I like Bobby and think he made for a compelling protagonist, we are very different and I was actually relieved to get his ADHD, testosterone driven persona out of my head by the time the book was finished! Continue reading

wintry wednesday

Went to an ice carving show in town recently with my husband to take a few pics and get out of the house. It was cold cold cold, but the bright sunshine and blue sky made up for the chilly air. Thankfully, they aren’t holding the competition this week, it was 53 and sunny yesterday! We Instagrammed a few iPhone photos from the ice show and I took my Canon along too, this was my favorite capture from the Mark II.

For more wordless wednesday click here!

play time

I had a lovely visit with a friend and her granddaughter recently and I couldn’t help but bring my camera along when I met baby Claire so I could chase her around and take a few pics. She’s a cutie and it didn’t take her long to simply ignore the strange lady with the big black camera lens stuck to her face and go about her baby busyness. I’ve noticed on Twitter and various blogs recently that some people are choosing a single word as their New Year’s resolution. I like that idea, coming up with a one word theme that we want to honor, or infuse into our lives as we begin another year. Watching Claire explore her grandma’s house that afternoon was very relaxing and even mood boosting and it reminded me how as grown-ups we often forget the importance of play. Of doing something “just because”, with no agenda, no expectation of what we will get out of an activity, what we will accomplish.

My daughter got a small white kitten before she moved out a few years ago. I was going through some difficult things at the time but “Mr. Boo” didn’t know, or care about my troubles, he just wanted me to drag a piece of string across the floor so he could chase it. As it turns out, the hours I spent sitting on the floor playing with him was good medicine because play is the opposite of depression. Dr. Stuart Brown, a pioneering researcher in the field of play, said in a TED video, “Nothing lights up the brain like play. Three-dimensional play fires up the cerebellum, puts a lot of impulses into the frontal lobe–the executive portion–and helps contextual memory to be developed.” When I start singing the blues in 2012, I’m going to remind myself of my word, “play”, and then I’ll whisper my thanks to a six month old baby girl and a little white kitten for reminding me how it’s done!

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” ~Angela Schwindt

instafun

Lucky me and Mr. bookbabie got iPhones just before the holidays, kind of a pre-Christmas gift to ourselves. We’ve been enjoying the ease of texting with them and all the apps, I actually rarely use mine for phone calls! I recently joined Instagram, a free photo sharing application that is basically Twitter for pictures. I’m having a lot of fun with it, taking iPhone photos, editing them with various apps, and then sharing them on the public feed. It gives you something to do with your cell phone photos, aside from forcing your friends to look at them of course, and it’s kind of like making miniature art (or so I tell myself to rationalize the time I spend playing with it!). Hope you all survived the hubbub of the holidays, we still have a naked tree in our family room, otherwise I’ve got most of Christmas put away and when I’m not on Instagram I’m on the computer looking for someplace warm and sunny to escape to:)

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.  ~Henry David Thoreau

christmas wonder

Those are my husband’s slippered feet, relaxing as he sits back and admires the Christmas tree. We put it up last weekend. Mrs. Scrooge (that would be moi) questioned whether we should bother, we usually have it up at the beginning of December so we can enjoy it all month long. But sick mom’s, bad backs, and other stresses slowed down the holiday fa la la-ing around here, and while I was ready to make do with the fireplace and mantle adornments alone, Doug wanted (actually seemed to need) the tree up. So up it went. While the movie, “Elf”, played in the background, we hung the ornaments one by one, remembering the significance of each as we filled the empty branches of the tree with keepsakes of our 32 years together.

There was our son’s “Baby’s 1st Christmas” satin ball, the tiny red sleigh our daughter made in 2nd grade with her school photo glued in the center, the dancing Kokopelli from a family trip to Sedona, the yellow cab from our New York City adventure, the hand crocheted bird’s nest Doug’s grandmother made us, the little wooden nutcrackers we bought when we were first married and couldn’t afford the beautiful Christopher Radco glass ornaments we have since collected. I must admit, I’m glad we put the tree up. There’s something very relaxing about the evenings now, sitting in the family room with Doug, wrapped in the sparkling glow of the Christmas tree lights.

At the end of my book, one of the characters is reflecting on his life, on the fear and the grief that has literally driven him deep into the woods. He comes to the realization that what he’s feeling is okay, that he hasn’t been indelibly damaged by loss, that “the monster he had been running from wasn’t really a monster after all. It was simply that place in the heart that holds the measure of your history, the joy and the grief, the laughter and the tears, the magic and the wonder; all the ingredients that add up to the story of a life well lived.” The holidays can be difficult. Too much running, too much spending, too much forced holiday cheer when really all we want from Santa sometimes is a little peace and quiet, or better yet, a little peace of mind. To me, a Christmas tree is kind of like that place in the heart, the ornaments we choose and those given to us are delicate echoes of the joys and the losses that make up our stories. So yes, it was worth the trouble, putting up the tree and filling it with our memories. Whether it’s for one week or four weeks or one hundred weeks, taking the time to honor the wonder and magic of Christmas, of our lives, is a worthy and lovely way to spend an afternoon. Merry Christmas Mr. Day, and to all my friends and family near and far whether or not you celebrate Christmas, my wish for you is a happy, healthy, and wonder filled 2012.

family roads

My husband took this photo when were visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Louisville this past October. They live in the quintessential Kentucky home, a lovely updated farmhouse on several rolling acres at the end of a long, winding driveway. When we got to their house that afternoon, their son Evan greeted us at the door. Evan has autism. He has worked really hard, undergoing intense therapy and schooling for fifteen years now and I know the journey hasn’t been easy for the entire family. But I also know that despite the ups and downs of his challenges, the young man that opened the door that afternoon has one of the purest, gentlest souls in our family.

See other (nearly) Wordless Wednesday entrants here!

angel stripes

This week’s Illustration Friday topic is “stripes”. I pulled this simple angel sketch from my journal because I thought her hair and wings fit the topic. I haven’t been feeling so great this week, it always scares me a little when I don’t feel well. I worry that I’ll begin sliding down that slippery slope back into full blown Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I hate that name, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, most people in the CFS community do since fatigue is only a small part of the illness. The CFIDS Association of America has been around since 1987, advocating and educating doctors, patients, and the public about the disability and suffering caused by CFS. In a way, they’ve been an angel to people with the illness, especially years ago when I first got sick and no one knew anything about it. I feel a bit better today, so hopefully this past week was just a little bump in the road. It is nice to know though, that we have angels like the dedicated people at the The CFIDS Association looking out for us, and maybe, just maybe we have angels like the one in my drawing standing beside us, whispering hope and touching us with grace when we need it most.

“If you can’t hear the angels, try quieting the static of worry.”  ~Terri Guillemets

happy halloweenie

My husband bought me a notebook to keep on my bedside table. I use it to write down my next day “to do” list, you know, those annoying things that keep popping into your head when you’re laying there trying to go to sleep. Lately though, I’ve been drawing, while I attempt to unwind with a little mindless television. It’s actually more like doodling, and I think I’m using it as a form of journaling. Watching all the Halloween shows this week inspired this guy, my Illustration Friday entrant for “scary”. Tim tries to act all tough and scary, but he really just wants to feel like he’s part of something, that he’s worthy of belonging and being loved. Have a great Halloween everyone!

“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” ~F. Scott Fitzgerald