I’ll be posting the mid-month reviews in two places: on Wisegoddess.Com and Theblissquest.com/blog until the transfer and conversion is complete.
February is showing early signs of spring already, so my outdoor to do list is getting long already. It feels like a mad dash to get indoor projects partially completed, and writing goals met so the outdoor work can start on time this year.
Last year was my first in this house, so the garden was just a test to see what would grow in un-augmented conditions. The only plants that did well last year were the raspberries. So, this year the garden needs a total overhaul; trees cleared for light, new raised beds, amended soil. It’ll be a project to be sure.
The first round of beekeeping equipment arrived; the hat, jacket, gloves and a couple of tools. Just the basics. So that part of the plan is underway. I hope to have beehives by end of march at the latest.
Writing is coming slowly. The strong bursts of productivity in word count have slowed to make way for planning, editing, and the sculpting process. Though this is one of the most important stages of the work in progress, it can feel isolating and unproductive because rather than gaining word count, I’m losing it. The whole point is to lose it, I know, but it often feels like backward momentum rather than forward.
Trimming ten percent of word count makes a tighter, better manuscript, but it can seem like you’re cutting away weeks of hard work. It gets depressing. I admit there’s been a little motivation drag lately also, in that, without the funds to send the manuscripts to the editor, it’s hard to keep energy levels high and excited. Also just part of the rollercoaster process, and I just have to suck it up and keep on moving forward as though the funds will be there when the time is right.
February Patron Project
Meanwhile there’s been research, craft work, design work, cooking, product development, marketing strategy and spring prep going on. This is a photo of the project created for patrons this month. More tutorials can be found on my patron site here.
In the midst of it all, I’ve been tired. My sister noticed it a few days before I did, but I’m low on energy and exhausted. I couldn’t figure out why some basic tasks were a struggle until I sat down with the laundry basket and said it out loud, “holy hell, why am I so beat?”
A hard few months of driving to the goal line has left me a little on the depleted end, add to that the winter slog and a change in diet and I couldn’t make it through the day without extra coffee or a nap.
So I told myself I’d slow down…not sure what that looks like yet, but I’ll try to work in more relaxing time, and a few days off.
All in all, February is feeling like the gateway to a lot of changes. The kickstart for the publishing funds for two books should launch next month. My dating profile is up, and checked off the list so I can forget about it. The weather is turning, prepping for spring and big changes to the yard and garden for sustainability and production.
T-minus six months to the deadline I gave myself to be self-sustaining and off-grid by my 40th birthday. While it’s not looking like I’ll meet the goal for electricity generation to be off-grid just yet, many of the other pieces are falling into place, slowly, but they’re happening. We’ll know in six months how close to the mark I actually make it. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted!
To close out this mid-month review, I was coming home late the other night. It was clear and cold, the air freezing, but the sky was perfectly clear. I pulled into the driveway as the constellation of Orion stood as though he were dancing on the roof of my house.
The Skybowl beckoned, so I dropped my bags inside and turned off all the interior and exterior lights to see better. Then I went out on the deck with a glass of Jameson, and a cigar. I sat with Orion and the stars, and just said “thank you”.
Thank you. I know some weeks are hard, and others exhausting. I know that there are worries about how things will work, or if they’ll work. There are days when I miss my tribe, or adventures outside the forest. There are days when I wonder how I’m going to get by. But I’ve been blessed enough to not know the tint of regret, not once.
Yes, I’m tired, but I’m happy. I’m struggling, but I enjoy the challenge. I’m here, now, and doing what I love, and there is no other blessing I would wish for.
Thank you. Have a wonderful rest of your winter, folks.
I scored on some delicious mangoes, and couldn’t decide on one recipes. So I made a few!
This month it’s all about the mangoes on my patreon recipes.
I could’ve made more recipes, too, if I hadn’t eaten half a flat of mangoes in the raw.
Two weeks into the pursuit of the dream I’m noticing some significant changes in my mind and body. Healthier thoughts, happier moods, more consistent physical rewards to becoming generally more balanced. Better energy, more endurance. It’s been a noticeable change. My creative surges are spiking up and have yet to level out, but I suspect that will come in time when I’m more confident of the long-term security. When a creative crash follows, it’s draining, yet the recovery time is shorter each session; I feel like the equalization isn’t far off.
It’s been a long time since I’ve tried to equalize the creative surges, years actually. It feels like it’s on track, though.
It’s hard to tell sometimes if all these changes could have occurred while still in the circumstances that felt so limiting and toxic, but it’s a moot point. This change obviously needed to happen.
The first two weeks have primarily been prioritizing. With a sudden surge of energy and time, there’s a backlog of projects, research, and ideas to get to, plus what’s already been in the queue. The first order of business has been to try to schedule out the projects and ideas with the most potential in order to use time, and funds to best advantage.
Also in this timeframe has been the need to establish some rhythm. A schedule in and out of town, times that are best for creative work, maintenance, and socializing.
I finished an article on maximizing creativity, and posted my classes and workshop offerings.
Beyond the new schedule and list of priorities to make this dream a reality, I’m finding lots of wonderful curiosities and wonders out here in the woods to fill in the down spaces.
A bald eagle has been making regular stops in my little clearing, sitting in the tree on the island. A racoon has made a habit of trekking daily to the offering bowl out by the water, and making a point to look back at me while I’m on the deck, drinking my coffee, as if to say, “Don’t mind me, I’m just here to burgal your shit.” I’m fairly certain it’s the same racoon I chased into the woods in my skivvies in the middle of the night as he was making off with my vent cap.
I also had the great privilege of witnessing thousands of small birds at dusk one evening. I thought they were swifts, but they may have been swallows. Thousands of tiny birds darting through the clearing, spiraling up above the tree line, dancing through the sky. It reminded me of the Chapman swifts, but they didn’t assemble to nest, rather, they spent a half hour in the sky and moved west. They disappeared and I sat on the deck with my mouth open. I don’t know if it was a migration, or a mating swarm, but it was beautiful and spontaneous. My dreams that night were rich with bird imagery and flight.
And this photo is of one of the many hummingbirds that’s been driving the cat wild from behind the window. The little guy posts up on the feeder, then drinks for a while, then posts up again. The cat sits in the windowsill for hours, chirping at the bird.
For this mid-month update, I can also let you know I’ll be uploading the pre-order digital template for Sinnet of Dragons on Wednesday. Wooohooo!! Patrons should watch their inboxes for the digital file. If you don’t have it by Friday, check your spam folder, or shoot me an email.
The print version of the book is still being tweaked, but it’s coming along for ARC copies and test prints. Whew! It’s almost here!!
Last but not least, here’s the creative boosting exercise for this mid-month letter.
- Choose your favorite summer fruit or vegetable
- Make a list of three recipes that use that particular food.
- Pick one recipe to create for the fun of it BUT choose one of the following ingredients to experiment with in your recipe:
- Jalapeno pepper
- Brown sugar
- Liquid smoke
- Thai basil
- Peanut sauce
- Rose water
Please feel free to comment in with your successes and failures on the experiment! What made you choose the recipe and experiment that you did? Would you make it again?
The next creative boosting exercise will be a writing prompt. Stay tuned!
Have a wonderful May! I’ll be checking in soon with more updates and news!
It was a busy, productive year! Here’s a little video to show the month-by-month progress.
Thank you for being along on this never-ending adventure!
The waterfall photo is from my commute. I pass the waterfall twice a day and I never cease to be awed by the beauty.
It’s been a weighty month for many reasons. Gaining steady rhythm has been tougher than expected, though it’s coming along. With many unexpected financial issued and home/repair changes, it’s been tough to stay on schedule. On the bright side, the beauty of working out project timing kinks in the middle of winter is the ability to re-prioritize the year ahead.
I suspect this winter hasn’t been easy for quite a few folks, so I won’t ramble on. Instead I’m including some extras in this email, for Patrons to post or use as needed to boost spirits if it helps. They are all photos from my collected works. The mid-winter slog is almost over, then we’re coasting toward spring. Here’s to spring!
This month’s Wisegoddess and publishing news:
· I’m still working with the editor on the first half of Sinnet of Dragons. She pointed out some much-needed tweaks (That’s what editors do, and I’m super grateful!)
· I’m slotting forward time for a proofer/polish.
· Shopping around for a layout designer.
· Patreon funds are still being set aside for the second half of the editor installment
This part of project planning and scheduling is always a little frustrating. I see the light at the end of the tunnel and want to rush forward and get things done! But slow and steady wins the race, increases quality and prevents mistakes. So I’m trying to remember to breathe and maintain energy levels at a constant. Sinnet of Dragons will be in hand in no time- then hopefully the wait will be worth it.
I wish you all a wonderful February! I hope you’re all staying safe, dry, and warm.
Much love and appreciation,
The new year starts with winter’s fingers wrapped around the promise of a new beginning. Without getting into the struggles I’ll just say, I’m relieved 2016 is closing out, and I pray 2017 has more light and blessings for many of us.
To be sure, I made it through the year the most unscathed of my people, and I hope to pay forward that luck and light.
I’ve reached out to writers, artists, and change agents. The invitations to join the Wisegoddess.com community have gone out, and several replies have begun rolling in. It’s no small commitment, and I’m beyond thrilled that people are interested in sitting at a creative round-table on the Wisegoddess.com site.
The first third of ‘Scold of Jays’ will be ready for beta at the end of January. Wooohooo!!
Please stay tuned. Adventure is pending.
This month with Patreon funds I was able to:
1) Set aside a month’s worth of donations to pool for the final editorial payment. I expect to have the final installment to her by the end of January beginning of February.
2) Reach out to two dozen artists, writers, storytellers, and change agents to formally invite them to the creative round-table.
3) Begin prepping the site to accept new feeds, and build in contributor wings.
4) Renew Creative Suite so I can continue to create photos, bookmarks, and website graphics
5) Begin searching for layout and interior book designers to pass off Sinnet of Dragons once editorial is complete.
6) Line block the first act of Scold of Jays
7) Map the story board for Scold of Jays
Progress may appear to be slow, but it’s coming along. I’ll know by February if we’ll be able to make a late May launch. Crossing fingers that’s still in the cards!
May all your New Year plans be filled with joy, and may 2017 bring you the kind of abundance and wonder you’ve only dared dream.
May you walk in beauty,
As December kicks off I’m happy to say, Sinnet of Dragons was received by the editor, and she’s digging in as we speak. She should be finished with her round by mid-January. After the revisions, it will go to a proofer, then a layout designer, then… it will go live. I’m currently targeting May 2017 for release! Wooohoo!!
I made a running crack at Nanowrimo this year and succeeded in making it 44,000 words. That’s six thousand words short. While I know I could have made it if I’d pushed, I’m also currently exhausted from making the editor deadline, which was far more important than the final six thousand words. Total volume comes to about 155 pages of content, so, not shabby and it will provide a lot to work on through the winter.
Speaking of winter, now that I’m not under a word count deadline, and the manuscript is off my desk – I’ll be able to get more posts and articles in. YAY!
This month I was able to use Patreon funds for:
1) The down payment and handoff to the editor, Madeline Hopkins.
2) Purchase the article “Be a Bad Writer” by GD Penman, to be published on December 7th.
3) Renew the website subscription so we can continue publishing online.
4) Complete my Interview with Kelli Richards on All Access Radio. I will send the link to the podcast as soon as they post it.
5) Send out the thank you gifts to beta readers.
Our next steps are:
1) Purchase a new article for January.
2) Open the website for contributor content and author platforms.
3) Begin prep work for Scold of Jays layout chapters.
4) Source a proofer for Sinnet of Dragons polish run by end of January.
I sincerely wish you all the best holidays, and most fabulous of winter adventures. I’ll be posting more regularly now that we’re out of the thick of it, so stay tuned!
Thank you so much for all your continued support!
P.S. This month’s archive photo is of the bridge over Mineral Creek in Valdez, Alaska.
The autumn has been generous with its beauty. Attached are some photos of the Siuslaw National Forest where my new home is located. Fall and spring are my most creative seasons, and this autumn is no exception. I’ve been out with my camera, exploring the area near my road and it’s as inspiring as I hoped it would be.
Writing, editing, photography and building home. It’s all coming together.
My handoff date for the Sinnet of Dragons V.3 manuscript to the editor, Madeline Sara Hopkins has been moved back to the 28th of November. Life got in the way for both of us this month, and this gives me extra time to rewrite the dedications, and add in bonus content. I’ll check in on the Patreon site then to let you all know how it’s going after Thanksgiving.
On November 1st, I kicked off another year of NaNoWriMo. This makes my thirteenth year (maybe fourteenth…) Anywhoo, looking back on my completion rate, I’ve finished 50% of the years I’ve participated. That’s 600,000 words of novel completed, and another 300,000 abandoned halfway through. Apparently, I do go on a bit, by like half a million words or so….
The point is, I’ll be engrossed in the manuscripts for Scold of Jays and Congress of Eagles through November. Then the editorial work on Scold of Jays will begin in earnest at the new year when we have enough funds saved to pass the SoD manuscript off for formatting and design.
This month we have saved up $600 to go to the editor, so most of my efforts to work on the website and other publishing ventures have been kept in the shallow, low cost arena.
Log jam in the Siuslaw National Forest
With Patreon funds this month I was able to:
· Continue to build the net funds for manuscript editor, Madeline Hopkins.
· Schedule a podcast chat with Kelli Richards ‘All Access Radio’ to host a conversation and breakdown of the fair trade publishing model for her creative listening audience. Date 11/28/2016 @ 5pm. PST. (http://allaccessradio.libsyn.com/)
Thank you so much for all your support and continued interest and patronage! I’m attaching a few bonus photos of adventures in book signing, and forest exploring. These woods are my new wonderland, full of inspiration and story. I can’t wait to share the fruits of those creations with you.
Thank you for being along with me on this beautiful ride.
PS. Whilst signing books at the Fall Home and Garden Show, I may or may not have been drinking wine with the cutie pies from Naked Winery across the hall from our book booth… which leads me to the several bottles of wine I purchased to test out.
Do my Patrons like the recipes I post? If so, I’ve been testing out the Naked Winery reds on stews and autumn dishes. Would you like me to include more recipes with your Patreon letters?
Hello Dear Patrons!
There’s a distinct autumn scent in the morning, and cool fronts moving off the water in late afternoon. Summer is giving her three week notice to start wrapping the party for fall. Although this summer has not yielded any of the fruits I’d hoped for; no house, and two months unfulfilled short story entries, it has been a wonderful window for getting creative development and research in.
A much needed trip home to Valdez, Alaska offered a chance to re-connect with my roots and say hello to the people and land I love. A trip to the Nehalem Bay Winery inspired a change in one of my favorite summer recipes, so I’ve included it here: Peach sautéed Sea Scallops.
But most importantly, August was a month for compiling the beta feedback and making edits for Sinnet of Dragons, draft V.2. (So far consumer feedback is positive, as the man next to me on the airplane asked me to turn the pages slower while I was editing so he could read over my shoulder.)
All in all, while there was little happening on the Wisegoddess.com website, and with the publishing house – we are steadily saving funds from your donations to pay for the editor when V.3 is ready.
Speaking of the publishing house, I would also like to mention that I completed and submitted the application for the Oregon/SW Washington Angel investors, and one incubator for startups this month. The fair trade publishing model is under review and I should hear back in the next three weeks if the publishing house is a candidate for a funding option or if I can qualify for mentorship to help this full-scale project get off the ground. Fingers crossed.
While there’s not a lot to report with use of funds from Patreon this month, that’s a good thing since we’re saving up for the editor. Meanwhile, I am still gathering creative data, doing revisions, and keeping the fire stoked for the next big milestone.
With August Patreon funds I was able to:
- Compile all the beta reader feedback and corrections into V.2 of the working manuscript for ‘Sinnet of Dragons’
- Sadly, no entries won for the short story category “Wonder”.
- Set aside full month worth of funds collection for the editor, (so far we have $300 held for the goal of $1200).
- Research and query freelance editors for fantasy fiction and YA openings.
- Queue slot for layout designer in November.
Here’s to a wonderful summer roll out, and a gentle autumn welcome. I can almost taste the pumpkin spice, and hearty stews of the most creative season of the year.
Thank you for your support!
P.S This month’s photo is Peach Sautéed Scallops and Nehalem Bay Winery Peach Wine.
½ lb. Sea Scallops
4 Tbsp. salted butter
¼ cup diced red onion.
½ cup peach wine (or sweet white wine)
1 small peach, slivered
- Heat your pan to searing temperature, and sear scallops on both sides. Do Not Cook – only sear.
- Remove scallops from the pan.
- Lower temperature, add butter and onions to caramelize.
- When onions are caramelized add the wine, and diced peaches until the peaches are tender.
- Add seared scallops, cook only until the scallops are done, do not overcook.
- Plate while warm and garnish with mint if desired.
Hello Dear Patrons!
I have one word for you – sunscreen. Yes, am a late bloomer to the necessity of sunscreen this year. I’ll work on that for the next couple of months…Happy summer!
The big success this month is getting the beta feedback in. Feedback validated a lot of the issues in the manuscript I suspected, and brought up more threads and concepts to dig deeper into and flesh out. I’d also sent out queries to 21 agents, requesting representation for ‘Sinnet of Dragons’, so I could say we did at least attempt to take the traditional route.
After 11 rejections I think we’re at the end of the possible replies (Usually a 50% reply and a 50% ignore). This frees me up to add in the content needed to thicken the story and give it the meat most traditional publishers don’t want to see in YA.
Why did I even bother, you wonder? To cross that box off the list of options, really. No other reason than that. I tried traditional avenues – now I can do what I think is really best for the story. Voila!
I’m expending less in the Patreon funds the next few months, building up our pool to get to the next goal of an editor. An editor will be a big ticket item, so I’ll be lowering the amount we put into Wisegoddess.com until we can make the next milestone. Still, I did manage to do a few cool things.
With July Patreon funds I was able to:
- Publish the short story: “Be Sure to Stop When You Get to Where You Are Going” by Patrick Dwyer. http://wisegoddess.com/blog/be-sure-to-stop-when-you-get-to-where-you-are-going
- Sadly, no entries won for the category “Generosity / Grace / Loss”.
- Re-design the back end of the blog, setting up a new pipeline for vetted artists to post articles through their account into Wisegoddess.com
- Produce and publish the article: “How to Go Pro, Like Van Gogh” by Nick Horton. http://wisegoddess.com/blog/how-to-go-pro-like-van-gogh-hint-its-not-about-the-money/
- Write and publish the article: “Lack of Diversity in Story is Hurting America” http://wisegoddess.com/blog/lack-of-diversity-in-story-is-hurting-america/
- Researching Dragon Flight – thanks to a generous gift I was able to explore the sensory concepts and ideas of dragon flight for the manuscript with www.nostalgicwarbirdrides.com I posted a video of the flight here: https://youtu.be/EJ07HiuodcE and the blog link here: http://wisegoddess.com/blog/dragon-flight-research
Here’s to a fast second draft re-write and a summer without sunburns!
Thank you for all of your support!
P.S This month’s photo was taken at the Portland Chinese Garden in the spring of 2006. I didn’t add a quote to the photo as it speaks for itself. I’ve always been fascinated with doors, portals, and thresholds… you just never know what kind of adventure waits on the other side.
I hope you’re all drunk on summer light, fresh fruit, ocean breezes, and storytelling by the campfire. We’re already halfway through the year, can you believe it?
The big success this month was shipping out the beta packages. They were more expensive than I was expecting, but worth it. Getting actual reader feedback is priceless. Packages included a Starbucks gift certificate, highlighter, red pen, sticky notes, chocolate, and return shipping. Gifts will be sent to those who complete the survey and return their edits. It ended up being a much larger operation than last time.
Whew, then I celebrated with a hard-earned drink.
With June Patreon funds I was able to:
- Pay the full and final installment to our wonderful illustrator, AM Sartor! www.amsartor.com
- Hire the BlurbDoctor to re-work the ‘Murder of Crows’ and ‘Sinnet of Dragons’ cover blurbs for the new launches.
- Hire a short manuscript doctor visit for the first draft of ‘Sinnet of Dragons’. Results and notes are due back from him early July.
- Print, bind, and ship out six beta manuscripts. Feedback is due end of July.
- Produce and publish the article, “Writing with Handtools” by Nicholas Horton, of: www.theironsamurai.com. Nick kindly volunteered his article for the cause! Thank you, Nick! Check out his article here: http://wisegoddess.com/blog/writing-with-hand-tools/
- Purchase, produce and publish the short story: “Be Sure to Stop When You Get to Where You Are Going” by Patrick Dwyer.
- Celebrate the halfway mark!
I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer, full of friends, family, and adventures.
Thank you for all of your support!
This month’s photo was taken under the Hawthorne Bridge in Portland, Oregon 2008. I’ve always admired fire dancers. Long exposure shots for low lighting and fast movement makes for light and fire designs that can’t be repeated. The dancers seemed to be blooming or emerging from flaming lotuses, or bursting forth from small suns.
As the July Patron newsletter has gone out, I can now publish the June 2016 letter and photo. These last four months on Patreon has been a tremendous blessing. For every dollar that’s been donated to the cause, I am contributing an equal amount. This is the only way we’d be able to purchase short stories, and articles as well as make headway toward the next ‘Pillars of Dawn’ books being completed.
I am always full of gratitude and amazement for the help. If you’d like to contribute to the Patron account, please see my page – Athena’s Patreon – every dollar counts toward this project. At the five-dollar level, you get a monthly note from me detailing what your money helped create, and a photo from my archive. (What the list doesn’t include is what I spent my matching funds on: equipment purchases, web hosting, theme packages, art rights, advertising, and office supplies).
With donations we can create more art, faster, clearer, and reach a wider audience.
Please show your support by spreading the word, subscribing to the feed, or engaging in comments so the authors know you’re enjoying their work.
Thank you so much, always
June 2016 Letter
Summer is in on the Oregon Coast, complete with fickle weather and Pacific Northwest fruits. It’s been wonderful to see the ‘Sinnet of Dragons’ chapters weaving together. It’s been far too long between publications. In fact, I almost forgot what it feels like to be wrapping up the end of the working draft.
In May I was able to:
- Complete a difficult chapter re-write
- Tie the complete manuscript of ‘Sinnet of Dragons’ together for a first draft print. The full manuscript clocks in at 85K words, just the right length for a YA novel.
- Publish the re-worked BlissQuest Publishing business model, and update the BQP website:
- Produce and publish the short story: “In the Isle of the Beholder” By Adam Copeland:
- Purchase a new short story, and queue up a new author for the category of ‘Burnout’. Stay tuned for the July release of “Be Sure to Stop When You Get Where You Are Going” by Patrick Dwyer.
- Post the nearly-finished draft of the cover illustration for ‘Sinnet of Dragons’, illustration by A.M. Sartor
- Re-submit Wisegoddess article requests and call out for new authors and artists
May turned out to be a surprisingly difficult month. Between unexpected equipment needs and purchases, failed house-hunting attempts, work complications and so on, the emotional tension was unusually high, which invariably impacts creative productivity. With that said, June should be better, and at the very least – summer is here, and much love of nature on the Oregon Coast will be in the cards for the next few months of rejuvenating creative endeavors.
It’s slow going, but we’re getting there!
Thank you for all of your support!
P.S. The photo this month was taken at Pike’s Place Market in Seattle. I was writing my first book, ‘Ghosts of Seattle’ and wandering around on foot. I came across this interesting drainpipe on the building with a sign that was clearly contradictory to the arrangement above, and my internal conflict about the wisdom of leaving behind all my security to chase a writing dream… and some ghosts.
I’m so happy to announce that with this month’s donations I was able to pay AM Sartor for her amazing ‘Sinnet of Dragons’ cover illustration and work!! Woohooo!!! That’s such a fabulous milestone!
While technically the Patreon milestone is set to $500 in monthly donations, I’ve been setting all monthly donations aside to reach the first mark. I’ll continue to do the same with the next milestones, which include beta packages and editing. Since we’re doing it a little out of order in how to send out the milestone rewards, this should buy a little time for the postcards and prepping the thank you notes until the cover art is finalized with lettering and finishing touches.
And here we are prepping for the final edit and beta packages.
Stay tuned! More to come.
Here on the Oregon Coast, the weather is turning toward hikes and writing sessions on the water. March was a busy month of edits, re-writes and submissions from new artists. The first printouts of ‘Sinnet of Dragons’ were thicker than I expected and require more retooling to get them within spec of the YA reading audience, but that’s a good problem to have. I hope spring is treating you well, and thoughts of summer adventures are just around the corner.
Last month, thanks to Patreon support I was able to:
- Send two articles to the editor for future publication on Wisegoddess.com
- Set aside funds for the cover art contract.
- Purchase printing supplies for draft and galley edits.
- Book scheduling and planning to teach world building classes and creativity sessions, coming in May.
Attached is your monthly Patreon photo. The quote is from a set of journals I did when I blogged my many social experiments and adventures. Whenever I felt disconnected or too far from my tribe, I would buy bundles of flowers and write notes to strangers, attaching them to the flowers. Then I would walk through town, or a crowded market and pass out flowers to men and women with notes that said things like, “You are beautiful” “Take a new adventurous route home today. You never know what you’ll see!” “Tell someone you like their shoes, because you have great taste in shoes!” “Send a prayer out for a stranger, because someone who loves you has you in their thoughts.” and “Whoever you are, you’re a part of my tribe, and I wish great things for you”
I haven’t done the exercise in several years, but I always made notes of the types of responses I got. Sometimes people would cry. Often they would refuse the gesture. Sometimes they invited me to a coffee or drink. Usually, they just wanted to understand what I was up to. Nine times out of ten, people were hesitant, even a little unsure what to do with a flower from a stranger. I offered hugs, or they offered me a hug in return. Often they would ask why… and the first few times I went out, I’d just shrug and say why not?
But in later years, I started to reply with, “Because you’re worth it.”
No one had a reply after than kind of statement, and I realized perhaps many of the people I walked beside in the store, or on the street or in the farmer’s market – had never had a stranger tell them they were worthy. It broke my heart and firmed my resolve to make efforts to notice more strangers, and nod, smile or acknowledge them in some way.
The image is from the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in 2012.
Thank you always, for your continued support!
P.S. I’ll be signing copies of ‘Murder of Crows’ at Get Lit at the Beach, a literary event in Cannon Beach, Oregon, April 10th from 12:30 to 3pm at Jupiter’s Books.
April was a full month of reading submissions to the Wisegoddess.com site, and re-writing a chapter from ‘Sinnet of Dragons’. The magnificent illustrator and designer, AM Sartor, is polishing the final sketch of the cover work, after which she’ll begin the inking and coloring, and hand-lettered title. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to see the front cover of the next book. Meanwhile, the search is on for a line editor and proofer.
Last month, thanks to Patreon support I was able to:
- Publish a new article on Wisegoddess.com (Should I Write Under a Pen Name?)
- Set aside funds for the cover art contract
- Sign books at the Get Lit Indie Book Festival Tables in Cannon Beach
- Re-work a difficult chapter
- Begin building the class curriculum for a master world building workshop to be held in Tillamook for local writers
Attached is your monthly Patreon photo. It was taken in on the Manzanita shoreline last week. There was a break in the storm, light poured through the clouds in just that spot, and I could see for miles to the cape.
The spring storms on the coast are fierce and beautiful, inspiring much writing and mad plotting.
Thank you always, for your continued support!
The Patreon (Patron) rewards have been delivered for April, so I can reveal what I sent out for March. If you’d like to contribute funds to my publishing efforts, both on this site, and for my books and get messages delivered to your inbox along with exclusive publishing updates, please visit my Patreon page and sign up! Thank you for your support!
In Portland the cherry blossoms are in full bloom by the middle of March. Spring comes as a fresh reminder that second chances are abundant and always within reach of the asking, the trying, the willingness to catch a bit of new light and push up from the earth. I’m wishing you and yours a glorious spring, and all the sunlight you can handle.
Last month thanks to Patreon support I was able to:
- Settle on one of the five draft sketches for the ‘Sinnet of Dragons’ cover art. I’ll be posting the sketch on the Patreon site soon! The artist is working on the second rendition as we speak.
- I purchased the first article for Wisegoddess.com, which should be up next week.
- I vetted two new editors for article and website work, and added them to our pool of resources.
- I registered for Get Lit at the Beach, a literary event in Cannon Beach, Oregon, where I’ll be signing books in April.
Thank you always, for your continued support!