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(My Second & Last Post of 2015)

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So, 2016 is almost upon us and I’m still thinking, ‘where did the time go?’

My time in  Atlanta has been full of writing, sunshine and… writing. After ‘landing’ here in the good ‘ole South’- I was in shock for about six months. But now, a year and a half later, I’m still rather coming to terms with with just… being here.

Tragedy has struck, surprises (not all nice) have come, yet through it all, my faith in God has remained and here I am.

Still here.

I feel so very blessed,

As with the writing- I have been partaking in that- a lot. And all will soon be revealed on that front.

Be patient, my luvvlies, be patient.

I have visited Savannah where I marveled at beautiful trees covered in Spanish moss (wondering how they got there) and visited the first African American Church;  Chicago (where I didn’t try a pizza); a little German-town in Georgia called Helen (where I stood beside windmills and a  Hansel and Gretel cottage);  LA where I cheered at my first Martin Luther King Day Parade and Austin where I witnessed a lady walk around the street with no top on (apparently this is legal in Austin).

My dream is to drive across the West Coast, but considering I don’t enjoy driving and have yet to master the ‘other side of the road’ lark, we’ll just have to leave that fantasy alone for now. I am of course taking applications for any willing drivers… (I will pay in cupcakes).

As you can tell, this is a quick post to remind you I am still alive…. and writing.

I wish you all a wonderful 2016 and may all your wacky, crazy dreams come true!

 

Lola J

My NaNoWriMo Q&A…Three Months Late(r)

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As many of my friends know, I have about a trillion email addresses yet only check one of them regularly. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the address Bob at Webucator wrote to. So, as a consequence, I’m rather late in responding to his kind request to write a piece for NaNoWriMo. Thank you for your patience, Bob! Here goes;

What were your goals when you start writing?

I just needed to get the story out. The one buzzing around in my head, keeping me up during the early hours.  A wonderful, yet crazy time- when the words come thick and fast and writers block existed nowhere in my  vocabulary.  I’d simply bask in the utter joy of sitting at the computer and placing thoughts onto a screen.  A clever sentence, witty paragraph, powerful chapters; it would all flow so effortlessly.

Of course a very first draft is mostly rubbish. 

BUT… it’s rather easier to edit garbage than, nothing.

What motivates you to keep writing?                                                                                                      books

The thought that at the end of this particular journey, someone on the other side of the world will (hopefully) be touched by my words, even moved.  This in turn (at least in my head)  is confirmation that I’m not indeed spouting nonsense and another human being can actually take something positive from what I have decided to share with the world.  

 

 What were your goals when you started writing? What are they now?

 In the beginning, my goal was to get this, something, anything, published. To become a published author.  Fast forward to now, with four published works under my belt – the goal remains the same;  a) transport contents of head onto computer screen b) get it published. Added to that, I have to make sure I’m constantly improving and growing as a writer. One day, I fully expect to read through my first novel and squeal self righteously; ‘Did I really write that sentence?’  

 

What motivates you to keep writing?

My passion for writing never dims. There are times when I procrastinate like crazy though.  Suddenly more interested in watching the latest reality TV show about toilets instead of writing.  But, ultimately,  I find immense joy in seeing my thoughts come alive on a computer screen and then inside a real life book, with pages and everything!

 

 What advice would you give young authors hoping to make a career out of writing?

 Young and old- never give up! There may be people around you, not as supportive as you’d like, but the trick is to see this as THEIR problem. Perhaps you’re doing something they’ve always fantasized about and it’s rather bothersome that you’ve actually taken the steps to make writing your reality.  It’s easy to say; ’I’m writing a book,’ but to actually sit down and complete one is true commitment to a dream.  Surprisingly, some of the strongest barriers can actually come from ourselves.  Planning your story and reading a hundred; ‘How To…’ books is okay, but when this goes on for months and then years- there’s a problem.  My advice?  Get out of your own way and start that novel.

NOW!

 

 Lola J

 

                                                                                                                  

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR FOLKS!

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Changes.

 Sometimes, they are good, sometimes they are just…bad.

 Leaving the day job and trekking to the States was probably not the work of a sane woman but it felt right and still does.  A new country (one incased in a new civil rights battle that included protests in major cities) different culture… The changes were coming at me like a mass of tennis balls.  It felt exciting, raw and challenging. I was ready. 

Ready Set Go.

 And then the unthinkable happened.

 I lost a dear brother. Sudden and unexpected (as if deaths are ever expected).

 The inevitable fall out of grief is that you turn into a complete shadow of your former self and walking around like a zombie becomes both normal and acceptable.  On one such day, I found a child.

 I literally, found a a two year old girl walking along the street dressed in a princess nightie and cute lil’ slippers.  This already unusual scene quickly took on an urgency, when she decided it would be quite nice to walk into oncoming traffic.  Running across the road, I managed to coax her away from the road, take her by the hand and call the police.

She clung to me trustingly as the police asked questions she refused to answer and after an hour they managed to locate  her father (who’d fallen asleep whilst looking after her).  This clever little girl had managed to maneuver herself out onto the street  and away from a gated community and in the potential path of oncoming traffic and opportunist child-snathers.

 This was a long day,  yet one that, thank God, ended well. I hadn’t even noticed the change in my mood. Albeit temporarily, it had indeed changed.

Hope.

You see, before I’d decided to take that route, I had sort of wrestled with the reasons as to why it would be better to take the OTHER route. An almost comical scene which undoubtedly led me to where I was able to see that beautiful little girl.

 I do believe God put me in the right place at the right time as I was the only person on the street that afternoon.

 Later that night, the child’s mother called and in between gulps of tears, said; “You saved the most precious thing in my life today, how can I ever repay you? Thank you.”

But perhaps that little girl called Olivia actually helped ME.

 As I wait to see in the New Year here in Atlanta, the recent memories of loss and the feelings that accompany them are surfacing.  But I will not discount the greatness that has also occurred during the past twelve months. Walking from a car accident unscathed, tasting chicken and waffles for the first time and almost passing out because of how wonderful they tasted; the beauty of New Orleans; warm sunshine in December.

 The fact I am here typing this Blog, is a blessing I do not take for granted.

 See ya later 2014… and hellooo 2015.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!