As 2019 draws to a close, it not only brings a year to a close, but a decade as well. And, for me, it's been quite a tumultuous decade. There have been so many changes, personally and professionally, and these changes have affected all areas of my life; even my writing.
I always encourage my family and friends to take time to look back. Look back to see how far you've come, because as a general rule, you need to know where you've been, in order to determine where you want or need to go.
With this week's book bubble, I thought I would take the opportunity to share with my readers a little bit of where I've been, and some insight into where I want to go. So, sit back, relax, and let's take a journey through time... to where it all started...
In 1977, at the TG&Y in Fayette, Al, I bought a plaque of an old Irish proverb/prayer. One of those lines reads: Take time to dream, it is hitching your wagon to a star.
I still have the plaque; it hangs on my office wall and I still take time to dream. In following the dream of writing, I created the characters of Jorja (pronounced Georgia) Felsenthal and Regina Ingram and began their story.
Jo and Gina, in The Scrapbook Series, is an opportunity to look at life through the eyes of the most unsung hero in American life: the everyday, average woman. We take life as it comes and find a way to deal with unbelievable situations: we laugh, we cry, we struggle. We get angry and frustrated. We are overjoyed and in tears simultaneously. We love in ways that are sometimes completely insane, and we reach for each other…. we reach for our girl friends. In doing so, we reach for a better tomorrow, while we learn to make the most of today.
To steal a phrase from Jackson Browne’s Everyman, I wanted to create the “everywoman” in Jo and Gina. I wanted my readers to be able to identify with their life experiences. To read about one of their predicaments and say “Ah, yes. Been there done that.”
I needed to be able to write about things, events, and people that I was comfortable with. In my writings, although none of these characters are real, they were created from many of my own life experiences, interactions, thoughts, and beliefs. I needed to write in ways that provided a connection between myself, my work, and my readers.
I am a woman, so I wrote about women.
I have lived life and made mistakes, made the best of it and moved on. So have Jo and Gina. As I wrote about their low moments, I cried. As I wrote about their funny escapades, I laughed. I want my readers to feel those same emotions. I want them to walk away from the story of Jo and Gina empowered as a woman, with hope in their heart and joy for tomorrow!
Way back in 1977, I was a total book worm. I loved to read almost as much I as loved to eat! That passion has not waned over the years, nor has the desire to create stories for people to enjoy. Finally, during this last decade, I found myself in a wonderful position to pursue a lifelong dream: creating stories in the hopes of sharing some of myself, my imagination, and my passion with an audience of readers. My dream of being a creative writer has never wavered. I have spent a lifetime enjoying other authors' works of art, and now hope to be able to share my art with readers who can identify with the characters I've created: laugh, cry, and step into the world of Jo and Gina.
This story spans 5 books in a series I entitled "The Scrapbook Series", because our lives, if they were put to books, would most resemble a scrapbook. A hodge-podge of memories, events, places and people.
So, as we move forward to a new decade with new opportunities, I am looking forward to finishing a series with a storyline that spans some 60 years, and a writing effort that will have taken me through two decades to complete.
I hope you'll join me for the rest of the journey, and happy reading to you all!
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