So what about that Manuscript thing… ?

Oh. River Fork?

I had planned a coming of age, YA story. With a bit of fantasy aka paranormal.

Why did I write it?

tbwavestandbyjo-2017-72dpir

As a former teacher, I encouraged my high school students to write. Several of my students had dealt with a major loss. They wrote about it, but no one talked about it.

Neither did I—Mother died in a fire. My sister and I witnessed the event. I was five, sister was seven. We never forgot. We never talked about it. Nor did father. Assumptions and rumors spread.

During my teaching career, a story slowly evolved in my head. Picture book? Children’s book? Family story book? My brain cranked out scenarios. It was a morass of imagery. How would I best present my idea? I wasn’t a writer. I wrote poetry. Still do and tuck it away in a briefcase. But writing a book?

I’m an artist. So, I started with cute pictures and poem-like stories.

The story grew. I dropped the cute — loss is not cute.

I needed a plan, feeling, a theme, a plot, etc… . What did I get myself into?

My head said, put it into words. I began writing, finishing the Manuscript the year I retired because I had more time to myself.

Then I researched the writing craft, improved my writing skills and investigated publishing options. Needless to say, publishing  surely changed from when I first put pen to paper.

The story:

  • Timeline: 1956-57
  • Theme: the loss of a parent.
  • Setting: River Fork. A farming and logging community. In the mountains near the Saco River.
  • Characters: Three neighboring friends: Tim, Charlie and Roach. Tim will be 13 in three days. The others are teens.
  • It is about coming of age, death, forgiveness, hope and faith. Oh, and there is a budding romance.
  • There is a bit of paranormal (no magical potions, witches, vampires, violence, etc…)

 

So, Has Anyone Reviewed It?

tbwavestandbyjo-2017-72dpir

The Manuscript has been line critiqued and gone through lots and lots of revisions.

A year ago I found three beta readers.
Results:
I did not write to the YA audience. It is suitable for the Middle Grade audience. Disappointment for sure here.
Okay. I asked for an honest review.
I received three great reviews. Two people pointed out what didn’t work and what could be done to make the story more interesting. One Beta Reader recommended a few resources. With expert advice and suggestions, I learned a lot. I am grateful.
So. I’m doing lots of editing, developing my characters and setting a bit more. And DUMPING stuff that was kind of iffy even as I first wrote it.
  • If it’s IFFY for the writer – It most certainly will be IFFY for the reader. DUMP IT. Ahhh. Yes. You’ll feel better. I did.

Once this latest revision is complete, I’ll need a couple of Beta Reader(s) again. Then on to an editor and publishing—self-publishing.

tbwavestandbyjo-2017-72dpir

For those who work with me in this endeavor, your name will be mentioned in the credits and you will receive a free digital copy of my novel once it is published.

The sequel—Roach’s story—sits in my laptop. Waiting.

Please like, comment and share this post.
Thanks.
J.M. Orise

Are you a Beta Reader? Want to swap?

Hello fellow, writers, authors, publishers, readers,
I’ll swap with Beta Readers for my MG, historical, paranormal manuscript. 53,000 words. Want an honest critique. I’ll do the same for you.
Theme: loss, feelings of guilt, frustration, anger, love, acceptance, hope and coming of age.
The setting: 1957, New Hampshire, fictional farming town on the Saco River, cradled in the White Mountains.
Tim will be 13 in 4 days. His two friends are 15 and 14. All have experienced the loss of a parent.
tbwavestandbyjo-2017-72dpirHere is the blurb:
Tim refuses to accompany his dad to the woods. His preference: digging for worms. This decision cost him his dad.
One year later, desperate to have things back as they were, Tim convinces his best friend to help him find the key—a bear—that could help bring his dad back. His dad had spoken of the bear. But Tim hadn’t asked enough questions. Where and how can he find this creature? On their quest to the Saco River, searching for the bear, unexpected events unfold.
A girl, and neighbor to Tim, spots the boys’ early morning departure from her kitchen window. Hurt at not being included in what looks like a planned picnic, curiosity takes over. She follows, unwittingly placing herself in danger. Unable to get back home she is lost. A storm is brewing nearby and it’s coming her way.
The boys are trapped in a flooded cave. Their food is limited. How long will it take for the River to recede? How can they find the bear if they are trapped? Tim has to convince his friend to believe in the bear, that it will rescue them like it had rescued his dad years before. But did Tim really believe? His roller-coaster of emotions confuse him. Is he angry at his dad for leaving? He doesn’t think so. But then—
The three find themselves in a world that is like theirs—but not like theirs. They befriend a very old Indian couple. Perhaps the old couple knows where the key to Tim’s desire  can be found.
Please leave a comment, share and like if you truly like.
Helpful critiques are always welcome.
Thanks for reading.

So what about that Manuscript thing… ?

Oh. River Fork?

I had planned it as a coming of age, YA story. With a bit of fantasy aka paranormal.

Why did I write it?

tbwavestandbyjo-2017-72dpir

As a former teacher, I encouraged my high school students to write. I found several of my students had dealt with a major loss. They wrote about it, but no one talked about it.

Neither did I—Mother died in a fire. My sister and I witnessed the event. I was five, my sister, seven. Needless to say, we never forgot. We never talked about it. Nor did our father. Assumptions and rumors were spread.

During my teaching career, a story slowly evolved. Picture book? Children’s book? Family story book? My brain cranked out scenarios. At first it was a morass of imagery. How would I best present my idea? I wasn’t a writer. I wrote poetry. Still do and tuck it away in a briefcase. But writing a book?

I am an artist. So I began with cute pictures and poem-like stories.

The story grew. I dropped the cute — loss is not cute.

I needed a plan, feeling, a theme, a plot, etc… . What did I get myself into?

My head said, put it into words. I began writing, finishing the Manuscript the year I retired. Then I researched the writing craft, improved my writing skills and investigated publishing options. Needless to say, publishing  has surely changed since I first put pen to paper.

The story:

  • Timeline: 1956-57
  • Theme: the loss of a parent.
  • Setting: River Fork, NH. A farming and logging community. In the mountains near the Saco River.
  • Characters: Three neighboring friends: Tim, Charlie and Roach. Tim will be 13 in three days. The others are teens.
  • It is about coming of age, death, forgiveness, hope and faith. Oh, and there is a budding romance.
  • There is a bit of paranormal (no magical potions, witches, vampires, violence, etc…)

 

So, Has Anyone Reviewed It?

tbwavestandbyjo-2017-72dpir

The Manuscript has been line critiqued and gone through many revisions.

A year ago I found three beta readers.
Results:
I did not write to the YA audience. It is suitable for the Middle Grade audience. Disappointment for sure here.
Okay. I asked for an honest review.
I received three great reviews. Two people pointed out what didn’t work and what could be done to make the story more interesting. One Beta Reader recommended a few resources. With this expert advice and suggestions, I learned a lot. I am grateful.
So. I’m doing lots of editing, developing my characters and setting a bit more. And DUMPING stuff that was kind of iffy even as I first wrote it.
  • If it’s IFFY for the writer – It most certainly will be IFFY for the reader. DUMP IT. Ahhh. Yes. You’ll feel better. I did.

Once this latest revision is complete, I’ll need a couple of Beta Reader(s) again. Then on to an editor and publishing—self-publishing.

tbwavestandbyjo-2017-72dpir

For those who work with me in this endeavor, your name will be mentioned in the credits and you will receive a free digital copy of my novel once it is published.

The sequel—Roach’s story—sits in my laptop. Waiting.

Please like, comment and share this post.
Thanks.
J.M. Orise

I Remember Stuff Like That

Why Is Sunday Longer Than Monday?

Every Sunday. Always the same. No one ever moved. Like they ate glue and got stuck. It was so boring.

boredgirl2-pexels-com

Why is Sunday longer than Monday?

At six years, Sunday proved the longest day of the week. Once home from church, the hours passed so-o-o very slowly.

Dad napped on the sun-room divan wearing his Sunday suit pants, white shirt rolled up to his elbows, and his tie draped over the maple lounge chair nearby. The Sears and Roebuck catalog lay on the floor, inches from his fingers. Mom was somewhere in the house doing Mom things.

Oh how many more hours before the end of the day?

The neighborhood kids vanished. They had been at church, dressed up fancy, boys with leather shoes, crooked neckties, buttons showing. Girls in dresses with pretty flowers and petticoats and shiny patent shoes. This fancy clothing was not for running around at the park up the street from our house where I spent nearly every day of the week. Were the kids pining to be out of doors too or did they have company?

Sitting alone on the front porch, watching cars drive by, what would I do?

One Sunday I decided to wash clothes.

wolverine waching tub and machine

I filled  my tiny washing machine with water, begged Mom for a little Tide detergent then gathered my doll’s clothing. There I sat, rhythmically cranking the miniature plungers up and down, dislodging the make believe filth from my sedentary doll’s clothes.

The glass faceted wash tub sporting a mini-wringer,  squeezed water from the wet laundry. With laundry suitably clean, I filled the washer with fresh water, rinsing the soap from the fabric. One more wringing and I was done. Afterward, I scattered the wet clothes on the porch floor near the sudsy and rinse water puddles.

Well, I made a mess of the porch. But the sun would take care of that for me. Besides, I had something else I wanted to do. I wasn’t sure what that was yet? It had to be something fun to make this gosh-darn-long-Sunday go away.

The dog. Where was the dog?

sleepydogpexels

Sorry, kid. Sunday is sleep day. Go wash some doll clothes or something.

“Tiny!” I called, leaving my naked doll sun-bathing, patiently waiting for someone to pick her up, perhaps dress her in her nice, clean clothes. I suppose Mom did her Mom thing, cleaning up the front porch while I searched for Tiny. Don’t quite remember that part.

Never knew what happened to the little wringer washer. It disappeared somehow.

 

doll-eye-puppet-box-pexels

Leave me naked one more time and I’ll… !

wolverine washing machine toy

Anybody out there remember those long Sundays or perhaps that little Wolverine washing machine? I found a picture of it tonight. It is just as I remembered.

I hope my memories last longer than those gosh-darn-long-Sundays of long ago.

Sleep well my friends.

I think tomorrow is Monday. Yess!

Please leave a comment and share.

Thanks.

A House Full of Boxes – Where Is That Key?

The world’s greatest packer here.

All boxes taped solid, each box marked—contents, how to handle and where to deposit.

housefullofboxesbyjo

I like order!

Contemplating the move from New Hampshire back to Maine, advice came in from all quarters:

  • Hire a mover.
  • Get a large box truck.
  • Sell it all.
  • Have an auction.
  • Hire my friend—and his truck—and his friends.
  • Pack books by theme and organize them—like a library.
  • I’ll be there, just call me.
  • Buy moving boxes and white wrapping paper. No newsprint!
  • I got a trailer you can use. It’s an open trailer, pack it all at once and move everything in a day—just be sure it doesn’t rain.
  • Move it all into the garage and move it out later.
  • Rent a storage unit.
  • Leave it all behind.
  • $9-10,000 is a good price for all you got to move. That should be the worse case scenario.

Sheesh!

Hubby and I stopped talking and got busy.

  • What! You’re moving it yourself?
  • Hire someone to pack. You don’t have to do that.
  • You’re too old to do all that work.
  • Hire a mover!

No one asked what we wanted.

Our concern? Others packing would be a disadvantage—our not knowing where things were. That “good price” was too steep. We’d moved before—no one helped unless we begged at the last minute. Those buyer walk-through days had been met each time. We were successful this time too! The house was empty in ten days!

Day two, we packed an open trailer and a relative hauled it leaving it in our new yard. Arriving a few days later with a very heavy load in our box trailer and pickup, Hubby and I unpacked both trailers and truck. The next day, we were off again to NH.

What made it work for us was a special condition agreed to by the buyer—leasing the garage at closing. We moved out of the house ten days, in time for closing. Now we had thirty days to clear out the two-story, four bay garage. We made it in twenty-nine days! We now have thirty days to clear out the sawmill building. At the end of this month, we will be home free! Done! C’est tout finis! Finiti! Terminado! Back to painting and writing!

Okay! Calm down.

Why so long? Hubby and I were the crew. We spent days sorting, packing and going to the recycling center (I call it “the dump”) to dispose of unwanted stuff. We sold a few big items by hauling them to dealers for consignment. Each trip was three hours, sometimes more. Back pain was excruciating. It was difficult and exhausting.

Advice was replaced with “I told you so” comments! A few poked fun at how we just loved to move the hard way. Why not be happy for us? Why not congratulate us for what we accomplished—by ourselves?

We didn’t know how in the world we could carry the heavy furniture into the house and up a flight of stairs. We had struggled to move it to the trailer from the house. While dreading how to move our last heavy piece of furniture to the trailer, our young neighbor volunteered! He was fantastic. Later, he informed us of his bad back gotten while on duty in Afghanistan, but not to worry! He was glad to help. Bless his soul. At the other end, we hired two high school boys who gladly moved furniture upstairs and down with ease! Youth and strength go hand in hand. One hauled lobster traps with his dad, that explained his ability to pick up what we could not. Bless their souls! And very nice too.

My step daughter is very good at cleaning out barns and selling ‘stuff’ of interest to

Pic_0422_680

Time for a break.

collectors. I snapped several photos to help promote the sale of the ‘stuff’ left behind.

One of the items we decided to sell was my old snow blower. They ignition key is packed in one of the boxes labeled KEYS. She needs that within a few days.

“Hmm. Hun, have you seen the box marked Keys?”

Hubby stares at the jungle of boxes.

No response.
________________________________

Share and tell us about your moving experiences.

 

 

Angry – Happy

What makes one happy? And others just so damned pissed off?

Happy Green frog

Happy Green frog (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

I’ve met both.
What is anger? What makes it happen?
A little research can enlighten many.

Gargoyle enhanced

Gargoyle enhanced (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bitterness Street is that shortcut taken to Anger Street. When you get to Anger Street, you notice the lights are dim, house shades  are drawn, nobody sees you and it is so quiet it is deafening. If you ask for directions, residents lie, leading you deeper into unknown territory. Very debilitating. You don’t want to be there, but you are lost and  can’t find you’re way back.

English: Angry cat

English: Angry cat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Friends want to help but they have no idea what street you’re on. They don’t know what is happening in your head.

Remember when mommy said, “If you get  lost. Find a nice police man. He will help you and bring you home.” Well… ?

We all get angry at times. The trick it to get over it.

Insisting on being bitter with another doesn’t make the victim miserable. You, the antagonist, suffer the most.   Bitterness turns to anger and poisons our thoughts, relationships, and our lives. By refusing to let go of a hurt, we increase the hurt to ourselves. We become toxic.

“Too easily we become bitter. The thing with bitterness or resentment is, it takes control, and it consumes and robs us. Bitterness is more than a negative outlook on life. It is a destructive and self-destructive power. It can be physically as well as emotionally debilitating. Persistent bitterness and resentment makes one angry and confused, and leads oneself deeper and deeper into a jungle of despair. Bitterness and resentment is a frozen anger in latent form. Bitterness is a malignancy that makes a person extremely vulnerable to unwise decisions and destructive thought patterns that infiltrate and affect our bodies as well as our souls. It may aggravate or even cause physical problems. It causes fatigue, backache, ulcers, headaches, and drains our vitality. It is an oppressive and destructive emotion that is the root of resentment, anger, hate and other negative emotions, which when not dealt with may even lead to violence.
Bitterness spreads easily like cancer, we become bitter towards other things and it can spread to those around us. It also comes out in different ways – the outworking of bitterness often include jealously, anger, division, dissatisfaction and hate. It makes us focus on what we haven’t got, rather than what we have got. Bitterness is a trap that the devil puts out and is all to easy to fall down. It will always hurt ourselves more than it will hurt the other person.
Bitterness and resentment starts growing from denial or rejection followed by shock and/or numbness, guilt, shame, depression, anger and grieving. These feelings are part of the normal grieving process over bitterness. Bitterness grows up when people linger over and cling on tightly to the anger and the depression of the grieving process. Bitterness and resentment is a cold and latent form of anger that shows itself through complaining and plotting and scheming and grouching.”
Source and more info:http://www.charminghealth.com/applicability/bitterness.htm

I have been there. Not a nice place. With much introspection, I realized I had to let go of angry thoughts. I encouraged others to be happy—think positive—it could be worse, etc.  This exercise makes me more positive and happier. You also must walk the talk.
I found it too easy to get sucked into a self-pitying, complaint session. Afterwards, I felt drained and angry to have participated. I was angry at just being sucked into discussing a miserable topic!
I feel sadness for the person who is miserable. I don’t want to reinforce misery so I point out “how fortunate that …” or “aren’t you lucky that…” or search for other points of view not considered. Other times, I am blunt and say, “you know, I used to feel that way, but I found that I got nowhere… and now I’m happier because I think or do this—or that— instead.” I try to make them think of what they can do for themselves and focus less of what they can’t do. Then I end the conversation and walk away.
Constant complaining sounds so absurd when you are in a healthy place. Healthy relationships are impossible when you are angry? Like attracts like, ergo you find unhappy people with whom to relate. These people bond with you, ensuring your unhappiness and theirs. You drain energy from each other and anyone within earshot. People avoid you. You may notice, yet don’t know why. So you become resentful about that too. Does this sound like a self-imposed cycle?

Happy CatHappy people are invigorating!

Today, I met a happy soul who just lifted my spirit. A young man (I’ll call him Hap) drove six hours from up Maine to our home in New Hampshire just to look at a car we advertised for sale.
The car is a 1980 VW Diesel Dasher. The vehicle was a favorite of hubby. I saw it as old and pretty much embarrassing to drive. After having it stored for about three years, the mice got to it and made a mess. The ceiling was now stained and the mice had chewed holes in its fabric. And it smelled.
So what did I do? I whined about this ‘ugly, filthy car’ as I cleaned it out. I resented having hubby’s messy car. However, I knew it truly was a great car with lots of room and the diesel engine guaranteed great mileage—50 mpg.

English: VW Dasher Station Wagon Deutsch: VW D...

English: VW Dasher Station Wagon Deutsch: VW Dasher Variant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My fondness for the VW Dasher  was augmented in 1991. It served to keep me save from harm when a driver in a big semi tried to force me to stop on a long, lonely highway. He continually blocked my path on route 10 from Chattahoochee, FL to St. Augustine, FL as he swayed from side to side at 10-20 mph. Terrifying. Each time I tried to get past, the rig sped up and pulled in ahead of me. Phones were mounted on  poles along the highway. I was too afraid to stop. No one else was on the road. There were no license plates for me to identify the rig. This started at around 10:00 AM. Finally at sundown, a vehicle appeared in my rear-view mirror. It was on the horizon with headlights switched on.  As it traveled pretty fast, it easily caught up with us. It was a little red pick-up and it was going to pass us! My plan was to be one with that red pick-up. I tailgated the pick-up and passed the semi. It worked! I stepped on the accelerator and passed the little truck. Tears of relief followed.

Hours later, I saw the semi pull off the road—perhaps to refuel. On the other hand, I had plenty of fuel and kept going. Not long afterwards, I realized I was lost. Whatever sign posts there were before, the size of the rig blocked them from me as we passed them. I had an interview the next morning in St. Augustine. I needed to get there on time. So I decided to take the next exit—onto a dark, unlit, dirt road. Now what? First a crazy man, and now if I ran out of fuel—alligators would eat me? I had never been to FL by myself. I just followed my instincts and prayed I was on the right path. At 2:00 AM I was across the river from St Augustine! Laughter, more tears and joy in my heart encouraged me on to the nearest motel. A comfortable bed was my reward. Thanks to the Dasher, I hadn’t run out of fuel.

I felt immense gratitude for my reliable Dasher.

happyguy+VWDasher

Hap is happy with his new Dasher. Nice fellow all around. Everyone was happy and what a nice time we had each time Hap came around. God bless

But this one had to go. We sold it within two days to Hap. He exuded delight at finding a Dasher in ‘excellent’ condition. The liner could be mended and he would give the vehicle a complete cleaning. He even bought the parts-car, which was in similar condition, and all of Hubby’s stored parts necessary to put the Dasher parts-car into driving condition. A month later, Hap came back and purchased our 1987 Mitsubishi pick-up. A prized possession of Hubby and me. Hap was happy! So were we. The Dasher was going to a good home and to a positively happy person. 🙂

Leave a comment below. Love to hear from you.