22 June 2013

A Case Of Perspective?

This Day

A day flows by,
one flash in the pan
of life.  Tomorrow
holds better, some aver.

A week disappears,
seven spans linked
together, lost to
yesterdays for many.

A month becomes two,
time lost to nothing
but time, half a year

In the stillness, I dream.
Today is good, I embrace it,
drinking in all it may offer, both quenching
my thirst and burning
my lips.
For tomorrow remains yet unknown,
and yesterday is a memory.

~ Nadja

Well!  What brings this poetic silliness?  My own observations.  What compels one to dwell on things past, to exist in limbo waiting for that 'good day' to come, while another accepts with appreciation of lessons learned, looking forward, eager and expectant toward what this good day will bring? 
This is the psychology I've pondered over the week.  Are some individuals 'wired' to experience emotion more intensely...or is it simply perspective?  Does the ability to freely 'let the past be the past' indicate lesser emotion, a lack of feeling?  Hmmm...food for thought, fellow writers! 

© 2013 Nadja Notariani, This Day        

17 June 2013

Monday Musings

Beginning a new project is terribly exciting.  With my busy schedule, I'm employing tried and true methods.  My notebook, with its character profiles, research information, what-if pages (another 'thanks' to K.M. Weiland), and other sundries is my lifeline while planning a story.  My brain simply will not remember all the details and ideas I conjure.  Ha!  Character profiling for my new historical has me sifting through names, one of my favorite things!  I've narrowed my options.  I'm leaning toward Juliana and Mikhail for my heroine and hero.  <3

This past week was busy...and I mean BUSY!  My oldest son and I sealed the driveway and patched two dips, trying our hands at home maintenance.  Cold-Patch, giant rollers, and TAR.  ...um, yeah.  It looks fantastic, and handling the job felt good.  Yesterday was his seventeenth birthday.  Where did seventeen years go?  Oh my!  Darling Daughter #2 nears the end of her deployment.  I miss her so!  She's become quite well traveled, visiting Bahrain, Dubai, Philippines, and Guam to name a few.  She also became a Shellback....an accomplishment of the Naval Sort.  Haha.  School ended for my boys, and today was the first morning in a long while that I slept in.  It was sheer decadence to wake, roll over, and close my eyes for another half hour.  Today, I will paint my bathroom.  I've chosen a darker, bold color for the walls - a daring move for that particular room.  Ooh-la-la.  

I'd best get my buns in gear!  I've got things to accomplish.

 ~ Nadja

15 June 2013

Pleased As Punch

Good Morning!  Hope today finds you happy and healthy...and offers you a fabulous story to read, write, and enjoy!

It's Saturday - a day off for many - but not for this Chickie.  I finish up my work week tomorrow afternoon.  Now, I suppose you all are wondering why I would title a post *Pleased As Punch* and then babble on about work...(and rightly so!) but the truth is, I enjoy my job!  Add in a mix of terrific co-workers with a fantastic sense of dark humor...and *VOILA*.  Heading in to work becomes a treat.  (although the public can be...(ahem!) ...well, enough said about that!

Still, the reason for my cat-like smile this sunny morning (Finally!  Egads!  It's been raining and dreary far too long!) is something entirely other.  Last evening as I propped in my bed with the newspaper...lightening struck.  Okay, Okay...not literally (Thank Goodness!)  but in the *SHINY-NEW-IDEA* sort of strike!  Last week, I shared my utter lack of progress and creativity on two projects I'd attempted.  It left me a little down to be honest.  That elusive *fire* ...well, eluded me.  Busy and stressful circumstances left no room for all-things-romantic to smolder and ignite.  Life has a way of settling down.  You adapt.  You accept.  You grow.  I decided to set a few small goals - one being that I would write a little every day - no matter what.  Another was to focus on *my genre*, historical romance.  And so, here I sit, pleased as punch.

An entire story premise page has been scribbled down into a new notebook.  Sticky tabs mark character outlines.  I began my heroine's profile packet.  I feel eager and excited about writing in a way I've missed.
It's a good morning.

  ~ Nadja

09 June 2013

Lazy Sunday Morning

Not only is today Sunday, it's also a day off for me!  (I am *lucky* enough to work at the only bank in known Christendom to be open seven days a week....)

What will I do with these fine hours gifted to me?  Hmmm...  I will visit my father.  Go to breakfast with friends.  Cook a nice dinner.  But first, I'll spend a lazy Sunday morning lingering over coffee.  The birds are singing and the sun is shining after days of dreary, rainy, chilly weather.  It is so very nice.

I'm reading a new historical romance on my trusty Kindle, too!  I'm only two chapters in and already there has been a great exchange between the hero and heroine, which leads me to believe I'm in for a terrific read.  There is one odd twist to the story line revealed thus far...the heroine, although previously married (albeit briefly), is a virgin.  I don't know how I feel about this - so I'm quite anxious to discover how the author plans to explain this oddity and work its relevance into the forthcoming romance.

How will you spend this Sunday afternoon?  ~ Nadja

05 June 2013

Balancing Flawed Characters

In my most recent novel, I wrote a character with mental illness into the story line.  Readers have responded with great enthusiasm for this 'real character with real problems who wasn't put away'.  I'll admit, I was wary to craft Opal Grey so openly, concerned that her portrayal be balanced.  Opal, in her own way, does love her offspring, her husband, and her friends; mental illness distorts that love.  Families have issues.  Family members, while loving the afflicted, pay a price.  Addiction is another prevalent illness in society, often stuffed under the rug, hidden, covered-up - its effects on family deep-reaching and devastating.  The struggle is not only with the addiction itself, but the consequences of addictive behavior.  Poor financial decisions, erratic behavior, and betrayal plague spouse and children.  I plan to delve into addiction in a future novel - from multiple perspectives.

Reading is an escape, yet we need flawed characters to experience their story.  The art is in crafting balance - portraying a character with real problems while leaving their humanity intact.

What issues would you like to see explored through characters?        

                ~ Nadja

03 June 2013

Adventures In Self-Discovery

I've been on extended hiatus...due to *ahem* life changing events.  For months I struggled to read, to be creative in any way. Adapting to my *new* life - accepting things beyond my control - finding the will (and the desire) to forgive stole my time, my energy, my attention.  Pushing through to write was simply...not working.  So, I set aside my pencil and notebook.  And began living again.

A few interesting things happened along the way.

I started a contemporary story.  I started a fantasy/supernatural story.  I waffled.  I hemmed and hawed.  I stuttered.  The words would not come.  I railed.  I shouted.  I felt discouraged.  And then, I picked up my most recent novel ...  and read it.  Understanding dawned, so incredibly simple, which I should have known all along.  Historical romance is my genre.   It is what I love to read...and it dominates the ideas rattling around in my brain.  My characters speak formally.  My characters want to be prim and proper.  (Well, outside of the bedroom, anyhoo!)  Write what comes naturally...else be prepared for a hard road to hoe.  To quote that famous (or infamous) utterance of late - 'Ain't nobody got time for that!'  Phew.

The realization that I enjoy working outside of my home hit me like a thunderbolt, er, once I settled into a routine and gained my bearings.  Smart and sassy suits, heels, nail polish, and accessories are a great deal of feminine fun.  I may have become *stylish*!  Who'd have thought it...  Ha!  

Love, sweet and elusive pleasure that it is, stole into my life.  An adventure of the best sort...

Discovering myself anew is challenging.  Fulfilling.  Exciting.  Picking up the pieces, taking control of my life, and embracing it wholeheartedly, I'm anticipating good things.

On The Writing Scene

Reviews are piling up, and I'm thrilled with what readers have to say about A Practical Arrangement.

With little to no promotion since my initial book tour, and lack of promotion on my other novels, I happily report steady - and climbing sales!  I thank the *romance gods* and die-hard readers.  Thank you!

Over the next week, I want to organize a manageable plan of action for at least some promotion.  I also will set aside a small writing time for each day.  This is non-negotiable.  I will give myself a kick in the pants...and ask my children to help out (which they will be more than glad to do!).

~ Nadja