Saturday, March 18, 2017

Emotional Involvement in a Story by Connie Vines

Since I am still dealing with power outages, I can only hope this blog posts and doesn't disappear.

What a wonderful topic for this month's Round Robin Blog.  Thank you Dr. Bob!

Are you ever emotionally drained by writing certain scenes, and how real are your characters to you?

For romance novelist the emotional involvement is the 💖 of the story.  Whereas fear would be the emotional of a horror story, etc.

So, like so many other romance novelists of my era, I have one key movie and one key television series which spelled out emotion in capital letters.

  • The opening of the movie Romancing the Stone, where author Joan Wilder (played by Kathleen Turner) is bawling because she has finished her book with a very emotional scene in her book. 
  • The television series,  Beauty and the Beast, starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Pearlman (as Vincent, the beast).  The opening music was enough to make my throat thick and my eyes teary.

 I've read meany books that brought me to tears (Jane Eyre, to name my favorite), and I must admit, I still cry when I re-read scenes in my own novels, too.  Talk that dark moment in Lynx, Rodeo Romance, Book 1, when Rachel turns down Lynx's proposal.  Or in Brede, Rodeo Romance, Book 2 when my heroine is willing to sacrifice her life to save Brede and his daughter.  Well, you get the picture , ,  

I plot my novels and short stories, however, I emotionally live my scenes.  Since my settings are places I have lived or visited, I have memories and sensory reactions. In real life, since  I can feel other people's emotions, which is difficult at times, and it helps for me to write it out through my characters.

Emotional draining? Yes.
Rewarding?  Of course.

Please stop by and see what these wonderful authors have to say by clicking on the links below.

Happy Reading!


Victoria Chatham 
Marci Baun 
Margaret Fieland 
Judith Copek 
A.J. Maguire 
Rachael Kosinski 
Dr. Bob Rich 
Heather Haven 
Beverley Bateman 
Kay Sisk 
Diane Bator
Skye Taylor 
Helena Fairfax
Rhobin Courtwright

Friday, March 17, 2017

Blogging in the Dark by Connie Vines

This was not the topic I'd planned for Thursday, but as you can see, my neighborhood is still without electricity and I'm writing by the light of one,very dim candle.

**i intended to insert a photo of me by candle light, except the camera feature will not launch :(. **

Yes, I've been without services before.  I've been camping and stayed for a week in a tipi (complete with overseeing the operation of a smoke flap) and participated in meal prep were several salmon were cooked over a pit fire.  I'm not even afraid of wild animals (except for opossums, squirrels, and an occasional raccoon) few venture into the quirky suburbs of Southern California; nor am I fearful of the dark.  I simply find it extremely I convenient, today & tomorrow, to have my carefully laid plans disrupted.

I have a Geek Squad tech scheduled to service and back-up by iPhone, iPad, and PC.  This will not happen if I do not have electricity. I also have a 7 a.m. service appointment the service my car.

So what? You are thinking.

 What if I oversleep?  5:30 a.m. Is not an easy time for me to be functional, I'm a night owl, remember.  What if my cell phone and my iPad have zero battery life?  

I had planned on working on my office tonight.  I have stacks everywhere because I'm setting up my files and purging my bookcases.  Not an activity to be attempted by flashlight or candle light.  I had also planned on writing my blog (I have accomplished one item on my list. If it posts).

It's 77 degrees, no rain.  I have the neighbor's solar lights which cast a faint shimmer on the cement side walk, so no one should trip and fall into the street if they venture out into the darkness.

I'm going to see if I can locate an unsented candle to light, because the floral fragrance is a bit over powering.  It's 8:11 by the light of my Fitbit tracker. . . Have a good evening everyone!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Not For Sissies

Years ago I first saw “Getting Old Is Not For Sissies” posted on the wall at my mother’s nursing home. It’s proved truer--and truer sooner--than I could have ever imagined. Here I am, suddenly (who knows how?!) into my seventies, telling a disease of the week kind of surgery story, just like my grandmother's friends used to. 

A decade back, I had life-changing surgery which ended five years of suffering from Ulcerative Colitis. That’s one of those “down there” diseases, like colon cancer, recently out of the closet of unmentionable ailments.  One of the worst things about UC—besides the relentless belly-aching (!) was being virtually housebound whenever the disease was active, which became progressively more and more of the time. I spent most of one year in and out of bed, fatigued, sick, and in all over pain. (At least, if you are having a tough pregnancy, you may, at the end of the trail, have something nice to show for it.) 

Finally, when I'd gone in for yet another scope, I came to in a hospital bed, with a kind Asian Gastroenterologist explaining that the look-see had been impossible because my gut was about to rupture. It was decision time. Either take a chemo-type infusion treatment that would reoccur every six weeks for the rest of my life, or big, cut-and-paste surgery. 

Being an old fashioned girl, I took "the knife." It's an awful phrase that smacks of melodrama, but there is a certain truth to it as well, because there are some glaring body-concept changes to face.  

"Why?" I'd wondered to the surgeon. My husband was only three years past a colon cancer operation. The female surgeon just shrugged her white-coated shoulders and said we'd been hit by diseases common to people with our history. We'd lived for a decade in farmland Connecticut, drinking from a well. The old run-down house in which we lived sat amid fields of corn, tobacco, and potatoes, all of which require a lot of Ag-Chem. Cancer and immune diseases go with the territory.

Surgery left me with an ostomy, but freed me from the burden of all those ruined body parts. Once again, with a bit of strategy, I could travel, go out to eat, go to the movies, or even just out to the mall. I could ride my bike to the farmer’s market and load the bags with vegetables, or hop up onto the back of my husband’s motorcycle and go out to admire the rural Pennsylvania countryside for hours, a pastime we both enjoy.

For three years I felt better. I could lug sacks of mulch around the yard, yank weeds that were hoping to settle in my garden. I was attending Silver classes at the gym and generally enjoying life again.

Unfortunately, post-surgical patients of my kind are digestive Rube Goldberg machines.
Lots of things can (and do) go wrong. I'd considered myself well-educated about possible problems this drastic re-engineering might create, but it turned out that post-op adhesions are a common occurrence. I'd probably read that somewhere before I made my choice, but now it was in my face--or remains of my gut, I guess is better--another blockage. 

So, once more, there was hospitalization followed by a dreary, kick-the-drugs convalescence. I was crestfallen, scarred, and physically weak.  It was far harder after that to imagine a nice seamless future.

So once again, I sucked it up, and bravely head “Onward, into the fog.”* which, I think is a pretty good description of the future.  Once again, I'm alive and well some years past surgery.

The beauty of the right-now-moment--hearing the voice of a grandchild or an old friend, seeing the blood red just-bloomed Christmas amaryllis, or enjoying the pleasant sensation of a lean-against-my-leg-please-pat-me from a fluffy cat—must take precedence over all those middle of the night "what if's?"  

Whatever it took to get to today, I’m thankful to have been given a little more time in which to celebrate the small shiny bits of life, those marvelous happenings of every day.

*R. Crumb's Mr. Natural

~~Juliet Waldron    Historical Novels by JW at Amazon  A Master Passion   ISBN: 1771456744
(Alexander Hamilton and his Eliza, their story) Angel’s Flight  ISBN: B0098CSH5Q
Adventure and romance during the American Revolution

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