A Word or Two on Headers

Getting ready to head off for a presentation at Enterprise Museum on “Those Squirrely Guys,” but I wanted to take a minute first to thank you all for the terrific emails I got yesterday on our new Friday feature. I think this is going to turn into something fun, even for those not interesting in winning free books. 😀 You guys rock!

And I also wanted to mention the latest header at the top of the page. I’m sure you’ve all noticed that I change them pretty frequently, because, why not? I have the power! And the same old picture bores me after awhile, so I switch, just for “pretty.” The header above has special significance for me, though, because my daughter took it.

Erin & family have lived in Charleston for the last few years, but decided to relocate to Denver. They rented their house, packed up all their belongings, and hit the road, determined to make the drive west one they’d never forget. They’ve been on the road for 3 weeks, camping at some gorgeous places, and visiting many of America’s most beautiful locations. My favorites so far have been Niagara Falls (which I visited many years ago) and Mt. Rushmore, which I’d dearly love to see. But it was the pictures of the Badlands, themselves, that amazed me the most. I never expected them to be so beautiful.

Now I won’t say they look like a place I’d want to live–which might be why you see no housing developments in the immediate vicinity 😀 –but they are utterly gorgeous. So for the next few days, you’ll have those stunning rock formations with the colorful striations to enjoy. After that, who knows what I’ll put up. I have a plethora of images to choose from, stretching all the way across the country.

Enjoy! 🙂

#Sharing – Just For You Guys!

So happy to be nearly finished with TE2, and close to release time. Mostly, it’s about formatting now, and double checking to be sure everything looks as good as I can make it. And as a thank you for being such a great, supportive group of writers and readers, I’m sharing a wallpaper I recently (this morning) made to inspire me on days when I’m feeling a bit ho-hum about it all. Hope some of you can use it. Enjoy! 🙂

(NOTE: Right click and save. It should save as a full-sized 1920 x 1080 desktop wallpaper. If not, email me and I’ll send you the .jpg. )

A Miracle Named Reya Happened Last Night!

Our beautiful granddaughter arrived last night, just about dinnertime. (I think she planned it that way. Erin said she came into the world hungry!) Both mother and daughter are doing great. I’m almost as besotted by this baby as her 5-year-old brother Kaelen is, and I haven’t even met her yet.

Reya (a shortened version of Mireya, which means Miracle, among other definitions) weighed in at nearly 9 pounds. (Still smaller than her 10-pound-mother was, but don’t tell Erin I mentioned that part.) Her arrival was truly a longed-for miracle! Mark and I will be driving to Charleston soon to meet Reya Love (a family name that seemed perfect for Reya’s middle name) and to spend some time with her big brother, so he knows how important he is, too. I can’t wait!

What I Did Way Back BW (Before Writing) Part 1

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Thought maybe it would be fun to learn more about each other, and to make it easier for you to confess to your past lives, I’ll start. For many years, I was a painter. I tried my hand at lots of styles, but I enjoyed tole and decorative painting the most. My rule of thumb was, if it sat still long enough, I’d paint something on it. I sold my items at various craft fairs, on my website, and on eBay. I also taught decorative painting and acrylics on canvas for beginners.

Things painted on rustic wood were always big sellers for me, especially during the holidays. (These pictures were taken long before iPhones and digital cameras existed, so excuse the poor quality.)

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Facial detail.

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I painted seasonal things, like these:

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And things on slate, wood, tinware, jars, and even rocks. And oh, yeah. Even canvas!

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You get the idea, I’m sure. And truly, I loved to paint, whether it was decorative painting, like above, or landscapes and seascapes. But then, I discovered digital painting, and my whole focus changed. (See Part 2).

#ExcerptWeek – Poem from Summer Magic by Marcia Meara

The first half of this little book contains a series of poems featuring my Wake-Robin Ridge hero, MacKenzie Cole, as a boy of ten, exploring his beloved North Carolina mountains each summer, with his dad. The second half contains poetry about Life. And Love. (Hence the line at the bottom of the cover. 😀 I’ve chosen to share one of Mac’s poems, since the Perseid meteor shower can be counted on to show up right around August, every year. I hope you enjoy it.

Star-Gazing by Marcia Meara

The Perseids . . .
Lying back under
The ink-blotted sky,
He tries out the words.
They tickle his tongue.
The Per-see-ids. Those
Pinpoints of brightness
And streaks of fire,
Lighting the night
In a spectacle
Older than he can
Possibly know.

Look Dad, he cries,
Look how many!
I see a hundred,
Maybe a thousand!
I see them, too,
Dad says,
And together, they laugh,
Delighted!
Joy shared,
And excitement
Doubled.

Come see the meteors,
Dad said, as he
Shook him awake
Just before dawn.
He crawled from the tent,
Rubbing his eyes,
Then staring in wonder.
With the sky still a midnight black,
And bright stars wheeling overhead,
The fireworks came.
Racing toward Earth,
One after another,
The Perseids.
The miracle of hot August nights.
A late-summer light show
That electrified his soul.
His young heart transfixed
By the sight of the universe,
Lit with streamers
Of flame.

A meteor shower,
Dad tells him again,
But he knows nothing
So beautiful has a name
So ordinary.
Stars, he thinks, pulled loose
From the fabric of the sky,
And flung toward earth,
Trailing silver and gold,
And bringing pieces of Heaven
To those watching below.

He holds up his hands,
Cupped reverently,
To catch one of his own.
To be blessed by
This summer magic.
He holds his breath, waiting
For the illumination
Of his soul to begin.
Falling stars,
Falling from the
Summer sky,
For him.

Since my bio and photo are already on display in several places on this site, I’m going to skip that, and just share a couple of lovely reviews, instead.

“What beautiful, sensory poems! In Summer Magic, Marcia Meara writes that “Sometimes I think I’m drowning in a sea of words . . . Words have the power to make us laugh and cry . . . They lift us up in joy or slam us to the ground in misery . . . Amazing things, words.” And her beautiful poems use words to do just that. When I read the poems of Mac at Ten, I’m there with that little boy, not just seeing, but feeling it all––the magic of a sunrise, the fun of collecting treasures, the beauty of a meteor shower, the freedom of a carefree summer.”
~Elizabeth Vollstadt

” . . . a perfect read for a languid summer’s day or a long weekend like this one. Taking a breather from grilling and eating, reading the book is like dangling your toes in a cool, rippling brook. It’s not just her poems that reflect the childhood joy of plunging into cool green waters from a “Rope Swing,” or the ‘drip-drip’ of “Showers” on a rainy day that will give you that creekside, summer experience. “Summer Magic” the first poem, and the one that gives the book its title, is awash in words that conjure summer. My favorite lines from the poem:

There! A thin curve of molten red!
A far away sliver of fiery light
Breaks the horizon.”
~SUMMER

You can download Summer Magic here.

The Perseids

#ExcerptWeek Is Coming Up Again!

It’s here again! Yep, starting Monday, 7/31 and running through Sunday, August 6, it will be #ExcerptWeek here on The Write Stuff. A lot of you know how this goes, but for those who don’t, this is your chance to share an excerpt from one of your published books or a work in progress, with your Book Blurb, Author Bio, Buy Links, and Social Media Links. It’s a great chance to tell everyone why they should buy your book, so don’t miss out!

If you are already a contributing author on this site, feel free to post at will, on any day that works for you. And you may post more than once during the week, though only once a day, please.  If you are not already a contributing author, you will have to email me to find out how to take part. My contact info is in the Menu at the top of the page under About/Contact Me.

Whether or not you decide to participate by sharing one of your own excerpts, we do ask that you share the excerpts of others, please. The whole purpose is for us to help each other get the word out about our books and books-to-be. This is always such a fun time, seeing what others have written, and helping share their work. Hope LOTS of you take part, otherwise, you’ll be reading a ton of MY excerpts! 😀 I do intend to post a couple, but hopefully, there will be so many posted by others, I won’t have to fill in any gaps.

As an aside, I won’t be posting any of my usual features the week, so as to allow lots of space for you guys.

My only restrictions are no political, religious, or erotic content.  If you aren’t sure, email me, and I’ll guide you.

Other than that, have fun! We are all waiting eagerly (dare I say with “bated breath?”) to read your work, and to share it far and wide! Roll on, Monday!!

 

Review Memes For Ya!

Reviews? Need some? (Who doesnt’?) Here are four memes I created over the last year or so. Feel free to save and use as you will. I’m planning to do a few more with a bit more info on them, and will share when I get them done. In the meantime, hope you can use these here and there. (No need for attribution. I share these freely with anyone who wants to help get the word out.)

#ExcerptWeek Reminder!

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It’s here again! As you can tell from Bill Engleson’s wonderful essay, #ExcerptWeek is underway.  (From the HOME page, his post is the one directly  under this one.) Just wanted to remind you all that any writer, of any skill level, from beginner to old pro, is invited to share with us this week. This time around, we even have several children’s authors in the mix,  which will be a lot of fun, I think.

Those of you who are regular contributors to the blog, please feel free to post at will, any time between now and the end of day next Sunday. No need to clear when. I have at least one post going up from new folks every day this week, so post yours any time you wish. Let’s make this the best #ExcerptWeek, yet!

And please remember to share far and wide. That’s what it’s all about! Now enjoy Bill’s post, and keep an eye out for the rest, as they show up.  Happy reading!