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Writer’s Retreat


Our writer’s chapter holds a retreat every year where we lease a lakeside resort house and hide away from our families for two days and immerse ourselves in our stories. This year we spent a weekend on Lake Hamilton in late September. It was glorious and massively productive.

It really looks painful to be here doesn’t it?

 

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The house has 3 porches. I’m an outside writer. So that means I populate any porch space I can find. This is a very comfortable and delightful space to work.

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At a break we all congregate on the middle porch and spread out on the swing and the chairs to relax and unwind… put our brains into some down time.

DSC_0133This is Brinda Berry

DSC_0135and this is Parker.

This our Carol.    DSC_0136

 

CSC_0140 We have Cindy and

Mandy   DSC_0137

DSC_0139  and Jen.DSC_0141and Dara!

I spend some more time looking at this fabulous view. The inspiration to write hits me later, but it does come. Trust me.

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Then we have the inside writers at work.

DSC_0144Our excellent and devoted president Margaret (Mags)

Harper and Mandy love this spot – and they are totally into it. DSC_0143 DSC_0142Megan rocks this spot with Brinda and Jen.

And  I couldn’t resist the bird’s eye view. IMG_0364

This is an awesome place. Comfortable and productive and worth every penny.

We all need a chance to regroup and recharge. Happy writing everyone.

 

Nena

 

Welcome Back to the Weekly Remedy


Let’s see… How long has it been? Umm… Months. What sort of blogger leaves her blog unattended that long? In this case a “too busy to really get into her writing responsibilities” girl. The world is huge and so much going on in it.

I took a vacation with my family to see my mother in Michigan. A great trip for my daughter who has never seen the Great Lakes state. Then I went from a night shift position to a day shift position. That took me several weeks to get accustomed to.

Now I’m ready!

This is the first installment of the weekly remedy.

Last week my husband took a short trip to a nearby big town. On his way he made a little side stop to an herbalist in a very small town. We nickname the sweet man “the witch doctor”. He isn’t a witch and he isn’t odd in any bad way. The man is uncannily correct in so many peculiar ways.

My husband went inside his shop. It is an open room with a few chairs lined up along a wall. The “patient” talks to him at the counter. He told the man I had migraines and has trouble sleeping. That was all he said. Without blinking, the man looked my husband in the eye  and stated:

“She has five kidney stones in her left ureter. She has a crick in her neck and her right arm goes numb when she sleeps. Kidney stones shed during September, October and November.”

My hubby was stunned! So was I when he relayed the story to me. I DO have a crick in my neck and my right arm always gets numb when I sleep. How could he know such implicit details? The man knows thousands of secrets of the human body. I did a brief survey of my coworkers. Everyone had visited the man at some point in their lives. He is the last resort when conventional medicine fails. And he usually fixes the problem!

The prescription for my ailment is 3 oz apricot juice, 3 oz tonic water, a pinch of nutmeg and 3 tablets of Thaumaturge NU-Impose every night for 3 weeks, none for one week and then take them for one last week. I’ve been taking this little concoction for four days and I know my neck isn’t as creeky and my arm didn’t go numb last night!! Hurrah!! Hurrah! I hope this is really going to stick.

NU IMPOSE Vegetarian approved - 180

Secretly I am a naturalist and read and study natural healing remedies. The heroine in a future book is an herb guru. I’m going to seed her book with lots of these little gems. This may be an outlet for the writer in me, but it will also satisfy the  healer that I secretly nurture.

Happy and healthy living!

Nena.

 

Revisit a Hobby


As a writer, I find my regular life inspires and fuels my writing life. If things aren’t flowing in real life, how can I expect a story to flow and the words to take on meaning? One of the many ways I use to keep brain cells alive is horseback riding. I didn’t ride last year (a crying shame), just because a schedule change had me scrambling to find time to just write.

This year my son asked me to teach him how to ride. (I almost fell over.) None of the kids have wanted to ride. Granted, the first riding horse I had was a 16 hand giant and cantankerous as ever. I was the only one experienced enough to brave his antics.

This little girl, though, is a gem. Naomi is a 14 hand Quarter horse of indeterminate age (around 18 now we think). I found her by accident. The only way I seem to find things of great value.

Naomi

A girl at the feed store was looking for someone to buy a horse she had rescued. Naomi was on the way to the sale barn that weekend. For and easy $350 my husband took ownership. She was very ribby, but not dying or sickly in the least. The girl promised she had looked worse weeks ago. No matter. When I got on her she performed beautifully and didn’t balk in the least.

Today she is an invaluable “kid-broke” mount. After a year and a half of being left to her own devices, she is calm and attentive. I love her. My son hasn’t had an issue with her either. Thank goodness.

She doesn’t have the flawless conformation of our thoroughbreds, but she has a beautiful heart. Riding makes my brain relax and my imagination take flight.

I hope you have as freeing a release as I. I’d love to hear from you. Tell me all about your method of relaxation.

Nena

My Writing Buddy


We all have a special environment in which we like to write. At a desk or on the couch. Outdoors on the porch or locked away from family distractions. Whatever it is, it works for each of us, or we find one that does work finally. Our surroundings all contribute to our productivity in some way or another.

I like to write away from my family when possible. Not always accomplished, but very nice when I do get there. One thing is constant, though. I always have Cooper with me.

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Cooper is a Shitzu of two years. He came to us as a puppy and is technically my daughter’s baby. But since I was the one at home caring for him, he took to me like a fish to water. I’m his mamma.

And who couldn’t love that little face?

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I know, I know… I have four great kids. I love them all, am proud of their accomplishments. I even have a stunning grandson who really does outshine any pet any day of the week, but….

I love Cooper like one of my kids. He’s always there as I write. He gives me a distraction when I get restless. He helps feed the goats and the chickens providing me endless satisfaction as I watch him race around our farm like a bullet – for about ten minutes. Short legs can only work so long before they tire.

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He gives me something to huggle when I get frustrated. I talk to him when I get stuck. I love having this little guy around.

Tell me about your companion. I know you have a cat or a dog, big or small. They give you unconditional support and wonderfully amusing distraction when you need it most.

Thank God for all the little creatures.

Nena

This is Who It’s Really All About


aka The New Man in My Life.

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Did you think it was someone else?

Besides all the other hats I wear, I am also a grandma. Seriously though, I’m too young to be a grandma, but my kids are certainly old enough to parent children. Thank goodness it wasn’t up to me to keep that little miracle from happening. This little guy is a gem and his parents are the best people in the whole world.

His daddy is my first born. Hard to believe that thirty-two years ago he made me a mother. Happiest day of my life. Now he’s made me the proudest grandparent around, and I know quite a few proud grandparents lately.

Just one more….

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I never dreamed the joy of having this little guy’s head on my shoulder would melt my heart that much more. Grand kids are something else.

That is my diversion for the week.

I’m still plugging along in the Mentorship program. My mentor has pointed out some very enlightening areas to correct and I’m going at it like gang busters.

Keep up the great work all you writers. Relax and let your muse take over.

A Visit From Best Selling Author Sylvia Day


This weekend my local RWA chapter was fortunate to enjoy the company of best-selling author both US and Internationally, Sylvia Day.

Sylvia came to Little Rock to attend the city’s Literary Festival as a panel member discussing erotic romance (quite a stretch for this Bible belt community). I can’t tell you how excited we are to have her here. As a small chapter of Romance Writer’s of America, we seldom have the funds to bring in such well written and renown writers. I should also mention Sylvia is the President of Romance Writer’s of America.

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Most impressive to me was the resolve with which she spoke about handling our careers as authors. She was very adamant about knowing where you are going and walking into a new contract with your eyes wide open. She stressed looking at each contract by evaluating its value not only now, but how it will impact your next work. If you have to, don’t sign.

Right now, I’m just trying to write something someone will want to buy.

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Sylvia also stressed that this is the best time in the world to be a writer. We are not under the thumb of the big publishers. She has made more money on her self pubs than the she has after she turned them over to the NY publisher. Her decision to do that was to enable those books availability on the international market. She is one savvy lady. I loved every minute.

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This was one of our largest turnouts for our chapter. So worth it. Had a blast ladies!

Nena

Gotta Keep that Heart Pumping!!


As a romance writer I know all about the heart pumping away. It’s what makes us all hot and bothered. (I love hot and bothered.) But…..

On a practical note, it also keeps us healthy and fit – if we take excellent care of it. I am not a fitness fanatic, but I am somewhat of a health fanatic. I work in the medical field in my day job and I know how important it is to keep my body healthy. If we don’t take a proactive approach to our health and bodies we will end up sick and out of shape. I want to keep my mind sharp and the best way I know to do that is to keep my body awake and mobile. It sort of connects don’t you think? The brain is firing with all sorts of ideas and bunnies because all those muscles are moving making the blood flow … back to the BRAIN!

Sorry. Tangent there.

Personally, I do a thirty minute elliptical exercise daily with some Pilates or Yoga a few times a week. It’s about all my older body will handle. (Hate aging. So debilitating) But! exercise really does keep me moving.

This brings me to an awesome little find. I was watching the weekend Today show just after New Years and Jenna Wolfe put forth a very minimal exercise routine for all of us office rats. Sitting in a chair is of dire importance for word count and finishing that breakout novel.

I have done these exercises so they are totally doable. No excuses and they don’t take any space just a little time. That is no excuse either. We all have to take a break every hour, don’t we?

Click on the link and Jenna will give the whole run down. Remember now… you have to keep that heart pumping to get your brain really engaged.

I am sorely lacking in skills to get this to embed.  Here is the link that gives you the video. Very easy and straight forward.

http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/50436725#50436725

Just do it! (To borrow a phrase.)

And happy writing in your new, fit body!!

Nena