30 November 2014

A THREESOME: Much Gratitude, Random Literary Fun, and Giveaways

Welcome back, Posse!

A massive, heart-felt thank you for hanging in there with me. I so love you and appreciate you. To celebrate the return of my blog, I’m making this post about you and dishing up a three-count fun adventure.

First, a flashback:  I left off blogging in order to concentrate on writing my novel. I did finish, and I’m into the next phase of working toward publication. I’ve also taken on writer clients, am working on novel two in the STEALING PARIS series, and am writing a memoir. More about all that in a later post.

For now, however, let’s start with you. Call it an antidote to fear-inducing news and relief from holiday shopping, daily pressures, and technology's over-stimulation.


Fun Fact—Hilary Mantel on Morphine

Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, recently admitted to writing her latest, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, on morphine. No, it wasn’t an experiment. She was in the hospital receiving treatment for endometriosis. She must have liked the morphine, however. Click on THIS LINK for the whole story.
 

A little Hilary Mantel advice I love:


Who are You?

You may have already taken this personality test, but for those who haven’t, find out which classic literary character you are by clicking on THIS LINK.
 

This is my classic literary character. I'm honored!


— Two Giveaways —

P. D. James

Nadine Gordimer

To celebrate the lives and works of two of my favorite writers, Nadine Gordimer & P. D. James, who both passed away this year, I’m giving away 1) Nadine Gordimer’s Life Times: stories, 1952-2007 and 2) The Detection Collection, an anthology of British mystery writers that includes P. D. James.



To enter to win:

1) leave a comment on this post with a suggestion of what you’d like to see on my blog. More about my writing projects? My dreams and nightmares? (My husband says, “Don’t go there!”) Jokes? (No, I’m English and French; we’re not known for our humor.) Observations about life in general? Recommended reads? Photos that have something to do with my new novel? Places where I write? Places I set my novels? Interesting, obscure, fascinating, crazy facts about writers, artists and musicians I love? Memoir pieces?

2) at the end of your comment, put NG for Gordimer’s book or PD for James’ collection.

I will randomly select a name from the posts that are left on this blog and post the winners in the comments and on my next blog post.

Again, thanks for sticking with me. You’re the best!

In the meantime:
Let yourself breathe. Listen to music. Laugh.
Love,
Valerie






Upcoming post:

The Concert VIP Experience—What It’s Really Like
Rocking Out with Fleetwood Mac

Me and Mick Fleetwood, FM's amazing drummer
If for some reason your comment won't post, email me at ValinParis@earthlink.net

17 comments:

Katie Custer Bernstein said... [Reply to comment]

How about routines you have for before, during, and after writing? Places also, definitely. PD

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks, Katie. Will do. Good suggestions. Places I write is already in the works. Have a great holiday!

Tonya Rice said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Valerie and welcome back!! It was such a treat to see your blog return to my inbox. Cool picture of Mick Fleetwood and you!

Please continue to share your writing experiences. I'd also love to receive your recommended books.

What an interesting tidbit about Hilary Mantel. I haven't yet read her latest, but I'm so dying waiting for the third of that Cromwell trilogy!!

Thanks for returning and I'm looking forward to your novel!

NG

~Tonya

Tonya Rice said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Valerie and welcome back!! It was such a treat to see your blog return to my inbox. Cool picture of Mick Fleetwood and you!

Please continue to share your writing experiences. I'd also love to receive your recommended books.

What an interesting tidbit about Hilary Mantel. I haven't yet read her latest, but I'm so dying waiting for the third of that Cromwell trilogy!!

Thanks for returning and I'm looking forward to your novel!

NG

~Tonya

Ms. K @ Write On Thyme said... [Reply to comment]

Yay!! She's back! So would love to know how you go about organizing your novels while in process, from outlining to scenes to plotting, post-its, storyboarding...anything regarding organizing the information. Everyone has their own thing that works for them and always looking for ideas. ~So glad to have you back! ---PD

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks so much, Tonya! You are such a luv!
I'm eagerly awaiting the third book of the Cromwell trilogy, too. I get so lost in her stories!
Your name is in the hat for NG.

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

Yay!! Yes! Great suggestion and will TRY to put that in an organized way so you can tell what the heck I do. That may take some time for me to think through.
Thanks, my sweet Paris soul sister. Glad to be back.

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

EMAIL COMMENT FROM Samantha Waltz:
Hi Valerie:
Being Atticus is pretty cool. Very cool, in fact. Very honorable. I was Elizabeth Bennett.
I don't usually take time -- this was fun. What a lot you are accomplishing!
samantha

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

EMAIL COMMENT:
Good to see you back on the blog. In your absence I published my second book, "The Air In Me" .... publlished by One Spirit Press, here in Portland..The book is a collection of prose and poetry.
Looking forward to your continued blog. If you click on the blog link, you'll see how I've thrown blogging to the depths of hell.
Cheers,
Dan
Dan Johnson
Blog: http://danielljohnson365.blogspot.com

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

EMAIL COMMENT:
Valerie! So good to see Gobsmacked in my In-box! I miss you! We need to have a long chat, soon - we settled in Yardley, PA, in the heart of beautiful Bucks County, but only about a 20 minute drive to Joshua's work. I'm realizing my dream of building a spiritual direction and astrology practice - full time! I miss California, yes -- I had a new chapter in me, also yes.

Where do you find these people, (Hilary Mantel) my Gemini with the Moon in the 10th and her finger on the mass pulse? I remember when you wrote about Cheryl Strayed many years ago - now they're making a movie about her! (I loved, loved, loved her book and went to see her at City Arts and Lectures in San Franciso.)

I particularly love to hear about what you're reading and I love your memoir pieces.
PD James - I love her.
Love you,
Karla

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you, Karla! So good to find out where you are and what you're up to. Hooray! Hope you go back to your blog soon, too.
love you,
Val

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

EMAIL COMMENT:
What a joy this morning to receive email notice of Gobsmacked, Val, and Sparrow's return! Welcome back. The first thing I did was fill my pirate cup with morning coffee, drop everything, and read and read and read. My question for a blog topic came in the form of an epiphany near the end of your "disappearance" blog, regarding threats to creativity. What can I do to successfully ignore the abundant "should be doings" that grip me, keep me moving, and fill my time before I sit to write or escape to my writing Hideaway? The epiphany was realizing, for over an hour, I have been able to eagerly gobble up the fruits of YOUR creativity with only vague twinges of "should." Perhaps this goes along with Katie's "before, during, and after" routines? NG
Mary Jo Comins

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

Mary Jo,
Oh, the writers life! Ack!
I do love what you've asked me to address. I think it's so important. I fight the same demons--won't I feel better if I do the Christmas cards first? won't I feel like I've accomplished something if I organize my office? won't I be able to zing out a few pages after I bathe the dog? It's constant.
Last night I sat down with a journal and just started writing, nothing in mind, just some random thoughts that slowly built a confluence to a scene that I'd been mulling over way too long before I sat down to actually write the damn thing--and I kept going, even when Dan came up to say goodnight, even when I felt the clock ticking away and I knew I wouldn't get to bed too early. I have no idea what blather is on those pages, but I do know this: I now have crucial bit that had me stuck and I intend to keep writing in the journal instead of trying to type it up so it looks good. Kind of like cleaning the house. If the house is fine, maybe not immaculate, leave it the hell alone and do what matters. Same with the pages in that journal. That scene made me shiver and finally cry. I knew I hit the lodestone, and I had to move it out of the way so I could continue.
Just a thought.
hugs,
Val

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

FROM MY BEST PAL, STONE SOUP CREATOR, JAN ELIOT:
Well, anything you write would be just grand by me because I love reading your posts. They just flow...And thanks to you I now know that I am HUCK FINN, which does not surprise me in the least. You are amazing in your dedication to your craft and a joy to have as a friend. Love! and ... PD

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

OMG! Huck Finn fits you so freakin' well!! Thanks, BFF, you are the best, ever!
Your name is in the hat.
xxoo

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

EMAIL COMMENT FROM MY LITCHIX PARTNER-IN-WRITING CHRIS SCOFIELD

RECEIVED, already read and enjoyed. Lovely to see GOBSMACKED in my email box again. Put the "If You Get Stuck" quote on my desktop too. . . it's a good one!
Hope you get lots of positive feedback, Val.
Off to the shower and then writing.
Hope your Monday is wonderful.
From soggy West 10th

Valerie Brooks said... [Reply to comment]

EMAIL COMMENT FROM JUDITH WATT
How fun, Valerie. Good to read Gobsmacked again! Hey ... I'm Atticus Finch, too! PD
Thanks!