Author's Life · Morning Thoughts

Why Do I Blog?

I’ve tried various methods of blogging through the years. As a blogger with a small audience, I feel the same as I do in the writing business–an author in a big sea of even bigger fish. I’ve tried different themes, all with the hopes of attracting a larger reading audience. But that doesn’t happen. So, why do I blog?

The reason I blog is because I love to write. And, it’s a way of expressing myself outside of the stories being created in my books. A way, I hoped, that would show the real me my book readers might want to know. When I finish a book, I appreciate reading about the author’s life if it is placed at the back of their books. It helps me feel connected to the authors writing the kind of books I enjoy reading.

It doesn’t really matter if I have a small following to my blog, but I sometimes wonder if anyone reads them at all, except for a small handful. I often question myself for being faithful in continuing to maintain a blog and website. I think we all fall into questioning things we do. Especially when we have a weak moment of feeling insecure.

In the past I have even questioned if I’m following God’s will by continuing to write books. I’ve prayed a lot over the years about this “gift” and how to best use it. I trust Him. And I write, hoping this is a ministry that reaches people I might never meet face to face. I trust Him to put my books in the hands of the people He chooses. If it’s only a few, then I’ve written this book for them. And that’s satisfying to my soul.

As I write this blog, I wonder how many will actually read it. How many might even understand what I’m saying. And that’s where trusting God comes into play. He gives me the words. I sit, place my hands on the keyboard and He provides the words that appear on the screen. I believe this with all my heart.

And so, I blog.

Finnegan's Diary

It’s My Uncle Bobby! (Finnegan’s Diary)

Hi! I’m back!

My mommy talks on her phone when it plays a pretty melody. It doesn’t happen a lot, and usually I ignore it. On Saturday, it played that tune and she answered it. I decided to sleep in my bed and ignore her talking, like I usually do.

She was laughing a lot, and so I jumped down to be closer to her on the desk. She started petting me and then she put the phone close to me and I heard my uncle Bobby’s voice! He’s the one who brought mommy to that place where I slept in a cage because I was afraid of the other cats. Even though I’d still be there if it wasn’t for him, I was afraid of him when they brought me to my new home. A couple days later, I let him pet me while I was eating and after that I’d come into the room where the two of them sat. It’s my playroom now. Well, I share it with mommy so she can watch things on that big screen she won’t let me play with.

I got off track, sorry. So there’s my uncle Bobby’s voice. I started purring and rubbing against the phone. I wanted to tell him thank you and that I love him. I didn’t know any other way. He kept saying my name and I loved it. I do love my new name of Finnegan. Mommy doesn’t know all the other names I used to have but they aren’t as good as this one. I hope my uncle Bobby comes to see me again. He lives far away in a state mommy calls Texas.

Do you know it snowed a lot? The day mommy goes to church we had a lot of snow all day long. Then it was mostly gone by yesterday. But while mommy was sleeping I curled up in my bed and watched the snow come again. I don’t mind seeing the snow because that means mommy will stay home with me. She was gone yesterday a lot. She left after she fed me lunch and when she came back she brought groceries. I looked and waited, but she didn’t give me a new toy. After a little while, she gave me a little snack and left again. She says she wasn’t gone long to her small group but it seemed long to me! I always hear the garage door open and I wait close to the door to welcome her home. I like getting all the petting and hearing she missed me and she gives me hugs and kisses.

Oh, do you know mommy says I have short legs? I guess I do. She laughs because I can’t keep my bottom off the litter when I go. I do dig a hole but my fuzzy behind sometimes gets nasties stuck to it and she has to cut the fuzzies. I wonder if I do have short legs? What do you think?

Thats about all I can think to write about today. If you are reading this uncle Bobby, I love you meowy much! I’ll be back next Wednesday. Bye!

Author's Life · Morning Thoughts · Senior Life

Snow, Nature and Me

I love the beauty of nature. I often post my morning view from my office window because I love the peace and serenity I see. God’s work. I love what is revealed in spring and summer, fall and winter. I did a little research and found the sounds of nature trigger the part of the brain that lets us experience rest and relaxation. This is truly what I gain from my views as I sit at my computer every day and watch the darkness turn to the light of day.

Yesterday it snowed. I love the snow. I love to see the flakes falling from the sky and slowly covering the earth like a comfy blanket. I no longer enjoy driving in the snow, as I did when I was younger, but from my office window I love what I see. In my research, I also learned that snow absorbs about 60% of background sound. I hadn’t realized how true that is! The morning sounds of traffic on the road adjacent to my condo complex is silent this morning, yet I hear the call of the geese even louder than usual. Yesterday, just as the snow started falling, the ground was filled with birds seeking what they could find before the snow covered their feasting place.

I heard them chattering even through my closed door as I took these pictures. I didn’t enjoy my drive to church as it was slow going, but there were those who didn’t want to be careful. I saw several cars that slid into the ditches along the rural roads I travel on.

The snow was a wet snow and I watched it continue to fall throughout the day. The snow for me means serenity and calm. A peaceful and quiet atmosphere. When I see the beauty God creates, whether in sunny weather or the cold of winter, I feel positive and filled with joy.

Author's Life

And Then There Were Websites

And then there were websites…what a crazy title, right? Let me lead you through why I chose this title.

I am a do it yourself woman, self-taught in everything since graduating high school. During some tight years financially, I purchased a green IBM Selectric typewriter. You might know it’s the one with the little ball that spins to type the letters. At the time, I was working at a university for a non-profit organization. I placed an ad in the college newspaper offering my services to type dissertations, theses, and term papers. That led to some long hours after my family was asleep to complete these papers for my clients. I had only taken personal typing in high school so I taught myself to type, practicing until I was tested at 100 to 120 words per minute when applying for jobs.

After the organization I worked for moved to another state, I had to find another job. I ended up in a position that gave me the opportunity to learn how to use the first Apple computer. Wow, what a difference from the magnetic card contraptions myself and three other women were using. This eventually led to the company upgrading to a universal computer system. I was a fast learner and one who would help whether it was my job or not. Yes, this led to several promotions, the last being Sales Administration Manager at a time the first laptops became tools for our sales force. You got it, I learned how to use that tool as well.

When I retired, I had a lot of knowledge about computers. My husband said I should have been a man because of my love of technology and how I wasn’t afraid to tackle adding memory or changing a hard drive. And this is how my writing career began. I left my position when the company was on the verge of merging with another and took a job in a telecommunications company. Only a few short months later, we lost a huge contract and everyone but a handful were let go. I was one who remained. Four years later, the company ran into trouble again and I was blindsided by being terminated from my position of Reporting Manager to the Vice President.

And that launched my desire to pursue a lifelong passion to write. I looked for another job but, I was turned down on offers because I was over-qualified. During my first ever time of not working, I took several online creative writing courses and began my first novel. A publisher gave me a contract for that book after many revisions. The second followed a year later along with a novelette being published in an anthology. I began to be uncomfortable following the guidelines for romance novels at that time in history, so I began my third novel but in a Christian worldview. I was handed over to a Christian publishing house and that book did very well.

Then came the big indie publishing evolution. I’d already learned a lot about the publishing world, so I decided to branch out. I was able to get back the rights to all my published books. One of them is still in publication on Amazon, Joshua’s Hope. It’s the first one I wrote in the new genre. Being on the self-publishing path, I was looked down on by members of the writing group I belonged to which was part of the RWA. I severed my ties and kept marching to the beat of a different drum.

And them there were websites. I knew I needed a website and a way to interest people in my books. So I learned how to do this myself. I’m not a professional. I cannot create a website like the authors who can afford to pay others to do the work for them. But I was savvy enough to set up a website on WordPress by using the free templates offered. Sometimes I get frustrated because I can’t find a template that allows me to do what I envision. It’s time-consuming to work on and occasionally I screw things up, but I have perseverance. I have a blog on my website and I am being faithful to post two to three times a week. I’m honest about myself and who I am. I’ve set up a presence on Facebook, but honestly, I’m not a marketing guru. Yes, some pay for that benefit.

Many might wonder why I continue pursuing a career in writing now that I’m a 79-year-old widow. The honest answer is “I love to write!” I love the feel of my fingers on the keyboard and watching the words in my mind flow onto the screen. I love the technology, the writing programs…everything about the writing process.

I look back to the typewriter generation and how I’ve evolved. I was typing dissertations for others one day and then there were websites.

Finnegan's Diary

Finnegan Gets a New Tunnel (Finnegan’s Diary)

I’m so glad it is Wednesday and I’m able to tell you about my week. But first something new is coming. Mommy and I both like to type our words on this iPad, but it does sit kind of low and my face is right up against it as you can see. So mommy ordered a stand that will raise it a little higher. She says it is coming today. So, this one last time, I’ll work up my diary post to share from this position.

Okay, last week mommy did something that makes my sleepy time so comfy. My favorite window bed was becoming uncomfortable because my legs would hang off the edge and sometimes when I changed positions, I’d fall off. I let her think I did it on purpose, but I don’t think she believed it. Anyway, she moved the bolster from the window side and put it on the outside. I don’t know how she did it, but it’s wonderful. She also took the little yellow flannel blanket Cat Welfare sent home with me and rolled it up like a bolster and put it on the window ledge behind the bed. Now I can curl up inside and it is warm and cozy. My mommy is the best!

So one morning last week while I was snoozing and mommy was working, there was a big, bright strike of lightning followed by a loud crash of thunder! It made me look to see what was happening. I could tell mommy didn’t like it. She said it was time to go in the other room. She turned off the computers and the light, but I just yawned and went back to sleep. The storm didn’t bother me because I know inside my home nothing can hurt me if my mommy is here. After the storm ended she petted me, kissed me and told me I was a very brave boy. I guess I am.

Maybe that impressed her because when she left to run errands she brought me home a new tunnel! Now I have two!! This one is different. It has three openings. I decided to try rolling in it and it got stuck against my other tunnel. Took a few seconds, but I figured out how to roll the other way. Tunnels are so much fun!

I have so much fun with all my toys and tunnels and especially when mommy gets the feather thing and I have to jump to reach it. I can play with mommy like that for a long time and then I need to rest. I kind of think she does, too. She often says, “Finnegan, you wore me out.” I think that means she needs to rest.

I have fun when mommy looks for me. I have such cool places to hide. My favorite is behind the jungle tree. She walks past me and starts looking in the bedroom, then in my cat tree cave, and she even peeks into the bathroom to see if I’m in the litter. Tee hee! And then I jump out! She always laughs. I like it when mommy laughs.

I can’t think of anything else I need to tell you, so I’d better let mommy take over this keyboard. She’s faster than me on the keys. Do you know she doesn’t even need to look at them! My mommy is smart, just like me. See you next Wednesday! Bye!