Everyday Angels

  Recently I spent four days in The Royal Jublilee Hospital located in Victoria, on Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada. It was quite the roller coaster experience.

I had a planned hip surgery (a revision, as they say – meaning second time around) with a brilliant surgeon. I was organized and researched everything I could that would assist me in understanding the operation. I followed every guideline, did every test and was a model patient-in-waiting.

And yet… events unfolded in a different direction. You see. I was not in charge. It is an illusion that we are in charge.

My body was in charge. And my body didn’t like some of the interventions.  I won’t bore you with a ghastly medical journal, but I do want to share two small events.

Event One – Pre-op

I was lying on a gurney ready to enter the operating room. A cheery woman whose name tag said ‘Rachel’ was fussing around me. Now you have to know, I adore the name Rachel. That is the name of my main character in my YA series.  I was thrilled to realize that I had a Rachel close by.

Rachel was wearing one of those snug, trendy, green surgical caps. And it was decorated with a small print.

“Cute hat,” I said.

She moved closer. “Yes, it is.”

I could see that there were tiny Tinkerbelles, complete with wands, and tiny stars. I smiled.

Then she whispered to me. “Everyone could use a little magic, don’t you think?”

And with that, she moved me down the hall.

Event Number Two – Recovery Room & Onwards

There has been a lot of fussing around. It appears that my heart is not co-operating. I’m now slated for a ‘cardio-version’. The medical folks will zap my heart so that it will return to it’s regular rhythm. I’m waiting and waiting in the cardiac unit, the day after surgery for this experience. I’m starving (you’re not supposed to eat) and it’s 4:30 p.m. and I’m just plain cranky and worried. And wishing I had some excellent magazines. Notice: I’m not feeling any pain or anything.

Finally, I’m wheeled into yet another room and am prepped for the procedure. I’m staring at the ceiling wishing I could evaporate. Three cardiologists are intently studying a monitor. For quite a long time.

One of them says: “Lookee, lookee” or something like that.

Then they all turn around and look at me. “Your heart has righted itself. We don’t have to proceed.”

Ah yes! A special moment. My body is co-operating. A nurse appears and informs me that she’s phoned my ward, and a hot meal will be waiting for me upon my return. I smile weakly. Another act of kindness.

So, basically, ten days later. Here I am. In the recovery mode. Did I expect to have a fractured pelvis as well as the surgery and the heart incident? Of course not. But as I’ve discovered your journey through life will take you down unexpected paths.

I’m sending my gratitude and my love to my everyday angels, the staff at The Royal Jubilee Hospital. Four days of medical excellence. Four days of professionalism and tenderness. I would especially like to thank Nurse Gurinder and Nurse Maicala. Of course, there were others too numerous to remember during those long nights.

Words cannot convey my appreciation.

And yes Rachel, magic was there too!

 

 

 

Lily’s Point of View & Others

Lilys' Point Of View - from the Romance Finding HaydenIt’s intriguing to consider that everyone we meet in the course of a day is walking around on this earth, immersed in their own point of view bubble. That is, they are experiencing the world through their own eyes and through their own background of unique experiences.

So, the young man who helps me with my groceries, the bank teller, the barista  – all of these people process the world in a different way.

It’s the same with my writing. My characters approach each day in different ways because of what has happened to them in their journey through life.

 

Lily’s Point of View

In the first book of my contemporary romance series – Finding Hayden – my female character Lily Mae Morgan has experienced more than one heartbreak. As the author, are they my heartbreaks? No, they are not. But because of my reading and research and the challenge of inventing a new character, her point of view becomes mine. That is, I’m now writing as if I am the character.

And wow! What a rush that is! It’s important to me to decide on whose head I wish to dwell in. So, I choose not to write from the point of view of a serial killer or someone whose main goal in life is to threaten others. I just don’t want to live in that brain.

As I write, I’m hoping to create empathy. I want my reader to care about the character. I want my reader to worry about the character. And in some cases, I want the reader to be happy that they haven’t had to deal with the character’s problems.

I’m  hopeful that you will take the opportunity to read about what kind of life Lily Mae Morgan is living. I would be thrilled if you did.

 

Buy Finding Hayden Now!

 

Whatever Path You Take

This past weekend, I had the privilege to listen to author Susan Wiggs. You can say that I’m a fan. I’ve enjoyed many of her novels in her career stretching over almost three decades. My writing group was fortunate to be able to listen to her outline her journey to publication. It was fascinating to hear about her challenges and triumphs. She’s an avid public speaker as well as a full-time author who devotes herself to her novels. Over the years, she has acquired considerable information about the publishing business. She touched on topics such as Keeping Descriptions Fresh, Writing Gurus, Marketing, Endorsements, Branding and Helpful Tools that can assist in keeping an author organized.

One of her topics was: What are the three things that trigger your creativity?

I had to ponder that question for awhile. Finally I came up with the following creativity triggers that work for me.

  1. People – I find people fascinating and love to hear about their lives. Everyone I meet is living a totally unique lifestyle. Even twins are different. Each person I talk to gives me a glimpse into their personality and what compels them to get up in the morning. If I’ve known them for years, then I’m able to discover even more about them. All of this information is great for a writer.
  2. A number of years ago, I traveled with a friend and we took part in a gorgeous spa retreat. Each of us enjoyed a great massage in separate rooms. After my massage was over, my friend said, “Jodie, what were you doing? All I could hear was mumble, mumble, mumble.” Then she narrowed her eyes. “Hmm, I know. You were interviewing her, correct?” And I had to say. “Ah yes, I was.” So much for the relaxation moment. But sometimes I just have to understand what is going on.
  3. Magazines/Newspapers/Books – Ah yes. Reading, reading, reading. Without reading, I can’t improve as a writer. I try to read outside of my chosen writing genre. That strategy forces me to acquire new phrasing, new ideas and new ways of looking at the composition of a novel. Top notch writers in any genre are worthy of my attention. Why is their writing so powerful? Why do they have millions of readers? I like to learn from those who have mastered their craft.

4.  Movies I love dialogue in movies. Dialogue resonates with me. Fabulous films often have dynamic, meaningful dialogue. I own a number of screen writing books and they have been very useful in terms of assisting me with the flow and the narrative of my novels. In my own writing, I tend to charge ahead,  writing dialogue first and then plump up the writing with setting, internal thoughts etc. Perhaps I should have been a screen writer!

As an author, whatever path you take, whether it’s the traditional publishing route or the independent publishing route or a combination of the two, we can learn from each other.  All of us are in this writing stew together. The paths to publication may be different but our goals are the same. Every author wants to attract readers to their work.

Thank you Susan Wiggs for pushing my thinking. I thoroughly enjoyed your workshop.

 

 

Being Loved

I’m pondering the themes in my novels and beginning to understand the deep pull of these sometimes hidden concepts.

In my Young Adult novels – The Girlfriends Series my two main protagonists Rachel and Steph are yearning and searching for love and acceptance.

In my adult contemporary series – The Coopers the two main characters Lily and Hayden are also wishing to be loved and accepted for who they are today.

And I’m discovering more and more that I want to read books where there is hope and love and humour. The journey to love is a path dotted with challenging twists and turns. Sometimes my characters are disappointed.  Sometimes they have problems with the truth. Sometimes they are searching for someone else.

And looking into their future, perhaps that’s a good thing.  If a character in a novel has a support system of family or friends, then love and assistance can enter from many directions.  I’ve discovered that my secondary characters are  important as they can be good listeners even though they may not give any more help than simply ‘being there’.

I was so fortunate to grow up in a loving family. My mom and dad were there for me every step of the way. Their stability and kindness helped me thrive.

In the second book of my contemporary series, Finding Quinn I’m working hard on ensuring that my main characters Quinn and Kelsey are up to the challenge of ‘being loved’.

After all, during these precarious situations in the world, isn’t it time to take a few moments out of each day, to focus on the idea of love?   

 

 

Why I read.

Every once in a while, a section of a novel or sometimes the entire book,  blazes into my brain. And the moment is so delicious, so arresting, so fantastic that  I’m in debt to the author for opening my eyes. I’m able to see the world in a different way. I’ve been reading The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder – by Rebecca Wells, and it is truly a remarkable book.

The Louisiana setting is lush and detailed and Calla Lily has a wonderful childhood until … I kept wondering when the mood would change – and it certainly did. So, from that perspective, it was like a well-written suspense story. I knew something terrible was just around the corner. And then it happened.

I’m always interested in finding out about the author’s personal journey. How did Rebecca Wells do this? How did she write so well and capture an audience that she became a best-seller? I discovered that she is a novelist, actor and playwright. She’s an award winning author. One of her books was made into a feature film and her work has been translated into twenty-three different languages.

Wow! Wow! And not an overnight success that’s for sure. Just like musicians and other artists -it’s all about dedication, determination and yes, sometimes being in the right place at the right time. And for many different reasons, this novel touched my heart.

Have you had the opportunity lately to read something that really rocked your world?

I’d love to know what you’ve discovered out there in the vast ocean of books that we now have at our fingertips.


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