We Must Stop This

Susan B. Anthony

“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” ~ George Orwell

“Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defense of women hating.” ~ Andrea Dworkin

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Welcome to the new Saturday Sage Woman Chronicles posts. Thanks for joining me here.

Today I’d like to share my thoughts about the controversy surrounding Harvey Weinstein because the novel I’m working on addresses women’s rights both during the suffrage movement and now.

In Time’s Echo, both Jenna in the present and Morgan in the past are struggling to break down the barriers that women have had to deal with for many centuries. Surprisingly, I’m having a difficult time writing it, because misogyny is such a complicated issue. It’s like a huge fortress that everyone has assumed is impenetrable, but as we’ve seen in recent years, and especially in the last few months, the fortress is beginning to crumble. Part of my dilemma comes from not wanting to make my novel preachy. I’m trying to walk that fine line between showing what happens to my characters on a personal level in a truthful way, so that my readers can empathize with their struggles, while being accurate to what was and is really happening. If my readers connect emotionally with what’s going on with my characters, maybe it will help shed some light on how to move forward.

When I got the idea to tackle this complicated situation, I did some research so I could get a better perspective about what women have had to deal with throughout history. Misogyny is centuries old. One of the books I read was A Brief History of Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice by Jack Holland. The reasons for men subjugating women are extremely complicated but maybe we don’t really need to go back and look at why they felt they needed to take control. What we do need to do is examine how it works right now.

Holland says that misogyny can be summed up in four words: pervasive, persistent, pernicious, and protean. (pg. 270) And the reason breaking the back of misogyny is difficult is because men and women are linked by biological, sexual, psychological, social, economic, and political ties. If the human race is to survive, men and women must cooperate with one another. And maybe that’s the main reason women are rising. It’s high time men and women had true equality so we can break down this fortress of misogyny and reshape the world to be a friendlier, more supportive place in which to live. I’ve got some ideas about how we can help that happen.

First of all, it seems to me that some men have the idea that everything that exists belongs to them. That applies to territories they “discover” or women they meet, their children, or people they think are inferior to them, and so on. They claim the Scriptures back them up. “And MAN shall have dominion over the earth” or words to that effect. But if we’re all created in the image of God, then we ALL have the right to navigate our own paths without interference.

Second of all, I’ve been a teacher for many years now. At the beginning of every school year we are required to take refresher workshops. one of them on harassment. The law states that whether or not harassment has taken place is determined by the victim (for lack of a better word) rather than the perpetrator. That means when a person claims they are being harassed, the law says we are supposed to believe them and take appropriate actions. So victim shaming and blaming has got to stop. A woman, or any other victim, does not ask to be harassed, raped or abused in any way. People need the support of the law, not condemn the victim.

Third, people have to speak up when they’re assaulted in any way. I would be willing to bet that almost any woman you care to ask has at least one story of being harassed. We need to teach our children to not only respect others, but to have empathy for them too.

I was so lucky to have the father I did. He taught me that I had every RIGHT to say no to a boy who thought that he had a RIGHT to my sexual favors just because he paid for everything on our date. And I did have at least one time when a boy tried to play that card. I pushed him away and told him if he wasn’t going to take me home, I was going to get out of the car and walk. He drove me home and we never went on another date.

When I was about to enter ninth grade, we moved to a new small town. I was the new girl amidst a group of students who had grown up together. As a result, I was harassed by the boys of the school. They thought they were teasing me as a way of welcome. That’s not how I took it. It was the age of mini-skirts and one day when the teacher was called away from the classroom, a few of the boys decided it would be funny to put me into the tall, narrow trash can in the room. They then pushed me out into the hallway and stood by watching hoping I’d try to get out. Fortunately I was rescued either by the teacher, or the girls in my class. That wasn’t the only incident at that school. Another day a group of boys, teasing and harassing me, pushed me into the boys bathroom. When I came out, the principal happened to be walking by. Fortunately, he had been my principal at a school in another town, so when I told him what had happened, he believed me.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the last time I was faced with harassment. Another incident happened when I was in college. I had a summer job working on the campus grounds keeping crew. I was paired with a man old enough to be my grandfather. At first he was nice, but soon he began making lewd comments and eventually he began touching me in inappropriate ways. I hesitated to report the situation because often in such situations women aren’t believed. Thank heaven when I finally told my supervisor what was happening, he said, “Oh, no! I’m not going to stand for that.” I was moved to another crew. I don’t remember what happened to the older man.

It’s sad to say that women throughout the ages have had to learn to maneuver, manipulate and endure all kinds of horrible situations involving men, if they survived to grow up at all that is.

So these latest revelations about Harvey Weinstein have provoked a frenzy of discussion about misogyny. Any time there’s a big controversy about any topic, it’s an opportunity to untangle the hows and whys and make decisions about how to solve the problem. The four “Ps” that Holland talks about in his book, apply to more than just misogyny and we need to be persistent in dismantling practices that were never right to adopt in the first place.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate your comments and likes.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2017

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, a historical, time-travel, magical realism, women’s novel. It’s available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, and print-on-demand at Amazon and other fine book sellers. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

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Before You Buy Those Christmas Gifts

Horse Sculpture by Alan Potter

“Giving gifts to others is a fundamental activity, as old as humanity itself. Yet in the modern, complex world, the particulars of gift-giving can be extraordinarily challenging.” ~ Andrew Weil

“I think it would be bad for culture and the art if artists and people who develop the apparatus to support those artists don’t get paid.” ~ Lyor Cohen

“We have to support our local artists. It’s just that simple. Otherwise, we will have no art.” ~ Al Jourgensen

My husband and I are lucky. We have lots of artist friends and our house is filled with beautiful artwork, much of which my husband has created, or traded for. Yet, only recently, since I published my first book, did I understand just how important it is to buy original artwork.

Don’t get me wrong, I love getting the gift cards so I can buy the things I’ve been wanting, and the other thoughtful gifts people give me. But the most meaningful gifts are when someone gives me original artwork. On a recent birthday my mother-in-law gave me a pair of hand carved busts of an African man and woman. I cried when I opened them, they were so beautiful. And I love the handmade earrings and necklaces, and other artwork my husband buys for me from his artist friends. And, of course, I love getting books.

This past week was the annual Art in the Park in our home town. We took Barry’s parents so they could buy a gift for their neighbors who have been picking up their mail. I thought it was nice that they wanted to give them a handmade gift. After they purchased the gift, we visited a potter friend of Barry’s. He and his wife had invited us to dinner one Christmas season when Barry’s parents were visiting. It was fun for them to connect again. Alan creates whimsical figures, mostly of animals. I have always loved his horses. As I looked around the booth I saw the beautiful horse figure pictured above and I decided to buy it. I did this following advice I recently read about supporting fellow authors. It’s important to buy their book, even if you aren’t going to read it, because it supports all the hard work they put into creating the book, and it’s good karma. I think that principle can be applied to supporting local artists as well. Art is a reflection of someone’s soul. Buying those that speak to you enriches our life. Yet, often people balk at paying so much for a piece of artwork not appreciating the time and effort expended in its creation.

One day when my sister and I were talking about the situation in this country, a kind of radical idea struck me. We have been brainwashed into thinking that buying goods and services for the least amount of money possible is a good thing. That’s why Walmart, Costco, the Dollar Store and other stores of that type have sprung up all over the country. We have been encouraged to buy cheap, kitchy stuff that we don’t really need. Slowly the idea of buying cheap, then when it breaks, buying another equally cheap item to replace it, has become the norm. We’ve never stopped to think who benefits from planned obsolesce? What happened to the notion that when we need to make a purchase, we should first consider the quality of what we want to buy?

Barry and I spent last Christmas with his family, and I was happy to hear our nephew and his wife say that they were saving money to buy a dining room set made by a local master craftsmen. It was going to be an expensive purchase, but they wanted it BECAUSE it was handmade with great care and would last many, many years. I loved that!

There are certain things that are worth spending a great deal of money on. As my father used to say, “Buy the best and you will never be sorry.” So, I’ve begun to change my ideas when it comes to buying clothing, books, and other household items. Knowing that I’ve purchased the best just makes me feel good. Buying artwork to enrich my home gives me very much the same feeling. I’m not only paying for the piece, but the time the artist spent making it, and their artistic vision.

I hope to begin a trend of showing appreciation for wonderful craftsmanship by taking the time to consider giving quality handmade Christmas gifts this year. They don’t have to be expensive, but it would be nice if they were unique and well made. If you do this, you will help support an artist so they can continue to make beautiful things for us to admire and appreciate.

Thanks for reading, commenting, and liking my posts. I appreciate it very much.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2017

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, a historical, time-travel, magical realism, women’s novel. It’s available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, and print-on-demand at Amazon and other fine book sellers. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Thanks Pam Grout

This picture speaks for itself

“Show up, show up, show up and after a while, the muse shows up, too.” ~ Isabel Allende

This week I’ve been doing the week 6 exercises from Pam Grout’s Art & Soul Reloaded. We were supposed to write seven blog posts, which was a bit of stretch for me. I’ve been posting once a week since spring or summer of 2013, yet as I put my mind each day to what I was going to write for the next post, ideas came to me. Now I won’t say that they were fantastic ideas, but since I’m in the habit of doing lots of self-reflection, I was able to come up with enough ideas to complete my assignment.

The amazing thing is that this week my in-laws have been visiting and we’ve been doing some galavanting. So, I’ve had to fit my writing in where I could. And that’s the real advantage of doing this exercise, making writing my priority. Doing that is what Steven Pressfield calls being a professional. In his book The War of Art, he explains the difference between being an amateur and a professional: Don’t fit your creative endeavors around the rest of your life,  make your art a priority and do it every day no matter what.

I have to say that I write almost every day, but I’m not sure I’ve got that professional attitude quite yet when writing my novels. I am always thinking about my novel, but I’m not always sitting in the chair writing new scenes, rearranging, or revising everyday.

After doing these exercises, however, I’m going to commit to two things, I’m going to add a blog post on Saturdays so that I’m posting twice a week, and I’m going to sit down and do some work on my novel every day.

That’s all for today. We’re going on an outing again today, the last day or my in-law’s visit, so see you Wednesday.

Thanks for reading, commenting and liking my posts. I appreciate it.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2017

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, a historical, time-travel, magical realism, women’s novel. It’s available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, and print-on-demand at Amazon and other fine book sellers. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list

Routines and Ruts

Oregon Trail wagonwheel ruts

“As long as habit and routine dictate the pattern of living, new dimensions of the soul will not emerge.” ~ Henry Van Dyke

“I saw my mother in a different light. We all need to do that. You have to be displaced from what’s comfortable and routine, and then you get to see things with fresh eyes, with new eyes.” ~ Amy Tan

Sometimes it’s good to have my regular routine shaken up a bit. My in-laws are visiting and we’ve been having so much fun doing things Barry and I wouldn’t normally do. That’s why vacations are so important. We get a chance to vacate our lives, to explore, or experiment, which in turn help us discover new things about ourselves.

I don’t know about you, but I get stuck in ruts and it’s sometimes hard to pry myself out of them. On the one hand, I’m attached to my daily routine, on the other I feel like I’ve become uninteresting because I’m bored but don’t want to admit it.

I know people who go to the same vacation spot every summer, or who eat at the same restaurants. I’ve never understood that. I know that there are multiple layers to be discovered about a place. If it’s true about people, it can also be true about places. But I also want to explore new places and see and feel the beauty and wonder they offer.

I’ve been reading Winter’s Tale, by Mark Helprin. At first I didn’t get what he was trying to do by describing New York City in such detail as the nineteenth century turned to the twentieth. I’m not a big fan of large cities, which has more to do with being a highly sensitive person than with the merits or downfalls of cities. But as I continued reading, I felt that Helprin was doing something I had tried to do in my book, he was giving the city and surrounding countryside different personality traits and he describes them in such interesting ways that I began to feel that I had misjudged them, especially New York City.

As I’ve traveled to various places around the world, I’ve felt subtle differences that a place embodies. When Barry and I took our trip around the world in 1996, we did have a stop for a few days in New York City. It was difficult for me to be in all that energy. It was the same at most of the large cities we visited in various countries around the world, but after reading Helprin’s book, I’m beginning to feel differently about cities.

Reading is much like visiting a new place. It’s a way to shake up our ideas about the world and the way it works. We get a chance to hear a character’s thoughts, and understand what motivates them. I’m looking forward to finishing reading Winter’s Tale. It’s a book one could read over and over and get something new from every time through.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate your comments and likes.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2017

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, a historical, time-travel, magical realism, women’s novel. It’s available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, and print-on-demand at Amazon and other fine book sellers. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

What I’ve Learned From Theater

“I regard theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” ~ Oscar Wilde

I don’t write about this very often, but I teach theater classes at my local community college. It’s a part-time job and for the most part I love it. I mean what can be more fun than watching student actors develop skills in listening, communication, and confidence? Or watching plays and movies and discussing them, or putting together a play production. It can be a lot of work, but doing theater is extremely satisfying as well.

Of course there are times when there is a little too much drama, but since I’m home alone and quiet most of the week, I can’t really complain.

In acting class, which is what I’m teaching this semester, I don’t go into great detail about different acting methods because I’m a firm believer that, when it comes to acting, you learn best by doing. (I think that’s true of other artistic endeavors as well, like writing.)

To get my students started, I tell them that they need to read the lines and listen to what each character is saying. I want them to listen not just to the words but the emotions and motivations of the characters as well. I suggest that they listen to each other and react or respond as if their partner were talking directly to them. Once I started using this method, I found that not only did my students relax, they also did better on their scenes. I think they were relieved that I wasn’t requiring them to do Oscar winning performances to get a good grade in the class.

I also tell them that acting is one of those disciplines in which you can always learn something new. I have heard older actors and directors say that they keep working because they are still learning and they have more stories to tell. Artists in other disciplines often say the same thing. Learning and working on their art feeds their soul.

In my opinion, if we’re going to embark on a creative endeavor, it’s best to just jump in and begin. As we do the acting, or painting, or writing, we might need to take some classes, but really being creative is an inside job. My creative expression is not going to be the same as yours because we each have a unique perspective on life.

So, if you have time, take some kind of art class, because it’s a great way to learn more about yourself. I’ve seen it happen so many times: My students gain confidence in themselves, and develop deeper empathy just by being creative.

That’s all for today. I hope you don’t mind if there are mistakes, we’ve been out and about with my in-laws. Oh, and we have water again. I’m very grateful for that.

Thanks for reading, commenting and liking. I appreciate that very much.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2017

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, a historical, time-travel, magical realism, women’s novel. It’s available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, and print-on-demand at Amazon and other fine book sellers. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Bad Days

Our Road

“You have to remember that the hard days are what make you stronger. The bad days make you realize what a good day is. If you never had any bad days, you would never have that sense of accomplishment!” ~ Aly Raisman

“I actually had someone say to me, ‘Lynn, you’re going to have very good days, and you’re going to have very bad days. But it’s rare that things are as good as they look, and it’s rare that things are as bad as they seem.’ So having perspective, and challenging perspective, is important to making good decisions.” ~ Lynn Good

“I still have my bad days when I think I’m not getting everything I deserve. But those pass quickly once my Mother gets on the phone and says, ‘listen, we used to eat rocks and walk 80 miles a day to school.” ~ Bonnie Hunt

Well, living in the country can be so idyllic, until your septic overflows, or you have car problems 21 miles from the nearest town, or when the well pump stops working. The latter happened to us this morning. Granted the advantages of living with glorious vistas, and lots of wonderful wildlife out weigh the disadvantages thousands to one, or two or three. But it isn’t until we lose some of the things we take for granted that we get a chance to appreciate all the wonderful amenities of our Western life.

It was the middle of the night that I realized we didn’t have running water, and, of course, it happened while my mother and father-in-law are visiting. When one thing goes wrong, it seems like dominoes tumbling down. First the well company was so busy they can’t come until tomorrow, then my sister called. Okay, that was a good call, and then my friend called with a serious issue, and while I was talking to her trying to help her work her stuff out, I got another call from a neighbor, just as my husband was trying to tell me that he and his dad were going to get water. Whew! That kind of thing can make me feel extremely stressed. But the conversation with my friend put all that was happening to us into perspective.

We all have days when things don’t go the way we planned. And whether it’s a bad day, or an opportunity to have a spontaneous adventure, is all a matter of our attitude. Okay, so we temporarily have no running water, but that can and will be fixed. My sister gave me exciting news, I was able to help my friend, and our neighbor wanted to give us tomatoes. I love tomatoes!

When I sat down to write this post and began looking for quotes to begin it, I laughed out loud at the quote by Bonnie Hunt. Moms can almost always put what’s happening to us into perspective. (My mother-in-law said, “This is like camping!”) It’s true, we get spoiled and need a reminder that those who came before us, or those who live in a different part of the world have a much more difficult life than we do. I don’t ever want to forget that. I want to be grateful for all the blessings of my life, as well as do what I can for those who don’t have many blessings at all.

But, hopefully, the well will be fixed tomorrow.

Thanks for reading, sharing, liking and commenting. I appreciate it.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2017

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, a historical, time-travel, magical realism, women’s novel. It’s available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, and print-on-demand at Amazon and other fine book sellers. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Help Your Favorite Author

My Favorite Books

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“Reading is a conversation. All books talk. But a good book listens well.” ~ Mark Haddon

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” ~ Ray Bradbury

My husband’s parents are visiting, so I have been busy doing all the domestic chores I let slip because I’m too busy writing to vacuum and dust. Since that is the case, this post is going to be a little bit of a repeat of one I posted earlier in the year.

The Space Between Time is published in both ebook and print-on-demand formats. I hope you will consider doing some or all of the things on this list so you can help me and your favorite author sell more books. An author can’t make any money if no one knows the book exists.

Word of mouth is still the best advertising tool. How many of you discuss your favorite TV show’s latest episode with friends, family and coworkers? See what I mean? You are creating a buzz. You can do that for your favorite authors as well. Here are some ways you can help them.

Write a review of the books you read and leave it on Amazon, Goodreads, in your blog, or any social media site you choose.

If you are a member of Goodreads, just putting books on your “want to read” shelf will get the book noticed by the Goodreads staff and they may even promote them on their site.

If you like a book, let your local bookstore and library know what you thought of it, and ask them to carry and promote it.

Share your thoughts about the book with your friends and book club groups that you might belong to.

Consider asking the author to have a Skype session with your book club group so they can ask questions, or suggest that your local bookstore invite your favorite author to have a book reading/signing.

Give the book to your friends and family as gifts.

You may think these tips are rather easy and trivial, but if you help your favorite author sell more books, you will be helping them pay for all the time they spent working on it. Writing a book is not an easy thing to do, you know.

If you are so inclined to buy my book, and promote it. I will greatly appreciate it, and so will your favorite authors when you do the same for them.

The Space Between Time description: When Jenna’s life is shattered, she finds journals linking her to Morgan, a distant ancestress. As she enters Morgan’s consciousness, the two women embark on life changing parallel journeys that may help them find self-knowledge, healing, and love.

Thanks so much for reading. I appreciate your comments and likes.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2017

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, a historical, time-travel, magical realism women’s novel. It’s available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, and print-on-demand at Amazon and other fine book sellers. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Humans and Change

Chapel of the Red Rocks

“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” ~ Rumi

“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.” ~ Rumi

“There are no victims, only volunteers.” ~ John Berger

I was going to write an entirely different post today, but in the light of the shootings in Laurence, Kansas and Las Vegas, Nevada I feel I must write something else.

Since I graduated with a degree in religious studies, I’ve been reading lots of books about spirituality. They’re not the mainstream Christian books but a mixture of lots of different religious and philosophical points of view. I’ve learned a great deal about human nature from my studies. I’ll try to make my thoughts about this latest round of violent acts as clear as possible. They are not the conventional ways of thinking about violence, or even life and death, so you can take them with a grain of salt. They are my thoughts. I’m not going to try to convince you to change your point of view.

Before I became interested in spirituality, I learned some vital lessons from my father. One of the most valuable was that people who are hurting, hurt other people. Violence doesn’t come out of nowhere. We become violent when we feel powerless and full of fear. That’s what leads to uncontrollable anger that erupts into our desire to harm someone else. This lesson has served me well throughout the years because it has helped me understand my own lust for revenge as well as why other people strike out in anger.

In my opinion, these acts of seemingly unexplainable violence happen because we as human beings both individually and as large groups have not fully taken the time to look at the unhealed places in ourselves or our communities. The problems seem so huge that we get overwhelmed. Where do we begin to heal our wounds and those of our neighbors? Horrific violent acts will happen until we face ourselves and our culture and decide to make some changes.

Years ago I read Gary Zukav’s book Seat of the Soul. In that book Zukav asserts that, at some point in our development, human beings decided to learn through crisis. That we resist change unless we’re forced to do so. The ideas in his book were eye opening for me. What if he was right? Could we choose to learn, heal, and create without living through dire circumstances which force us to change?

A few years after reading Seat of the Soul, two other startling ideas changed the way I look at human existence. First, when my husband and I decided we wanted a much larger spiritual life than the one offered by the church in which we grew up, several other people left with us. One of them was our friend John Berger, who had suggested several books on spirituality to the group. He was a crisis counselor for the Forestry Service and had helped many employees work through traumatic experiences of various kinds that caused drug and alcohol use, to getting chased by a bear, to losing colleagues while fighting fires. So when he said that there are no victims, only volunteers, I felt like he knew what he was talking about. I didn’t understand it at first, but I thought that concept was worth contemplating.

The second idea came at about the same time. Neale Donald Walsch said to me, “Contemplate these words: Nothing matters, and you think it does.” What! Nothing matters! I did not understand. Yet I did as Neale asked. I thought about both those concepts for quite some time, though their deeper meanings were unclear to me.One day someone said something that helped me shift my perception. And once I understood what Gary Zukav, John Berger, and Neale Donald Walsch meant, I couldn’t unsee the truth of their ideas.

Humans have chosen to learn through crisis. Because that’s true, certain people volunteer to suffer and/or die so the rest of us have a chance to address all our unhealed places. But ultimately, no one ever dies. One way to look at it is that we go back to God when we die. Scientists say we go back to being particles in the universe, or we go to another dimension. But the real point is that what happens to us gives us an opportunity to grow and add to the wisdom of all that exists.

I know that was really academic, but let me try to help you see how I feel about human existence. Since I’m a highly sensitive and empathic person, I ache for the victims and their families and friends when any disaster happens to them.

On another hand, now that I have this other perspective about life on this planet, I’m grateful for those who volunteered to be the victims of those tragedies. Since I know those who died are still living in another form, I’m excited that we all get another opportunity to learn some deep lessons about ourselves and to choose how to treat each other better.

Maybe the best thing we can do to honor all of those who choose to be victims is to, finally once and for all, face the problems we’ve been trying to avoid for so long. If we face our grief maybe this world can become a garden of compassion, as the Rumi quote above suggests. It will take time and effort, but I think it’s worth it.

Again, I want to reiterate that these are my thoughts. You can take them or leave them as you choose.

Thanks so much for reading, leaving comments, and likes. I appreciate them very much.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2017

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, a historical, time-travel, magical realism women’s novel. It’s available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, and print-on-demand at Amazon and other fine book sellers. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Week 6 Exercise

Let’s Get Working

“The Assumption that art is a regal robe which falls upon your shoulders magically, bestowed upon you as an heir apparent rather than achieved through slinging the pickax across your shoulder every morning and making off to the mine, was revealed as the greatest hinderance of all to artistic work.” ~ Jane Lazarre, Author of The Mother Knot

I think I’ve written before that my husband and I are taking a year to expand our artistic flow by doing the exercises from Pam Gout’s new book Art & Soul Reloaded. This week she challenges us to write a blog post each day until the week 7 exercise. The title of the chapter is “Fear And Insecurity, Be Gone! I’ve Got Brilliance To Create.”

I’ve written and posted a blog once every Wednesday since the spring or summer of 2013. I’ve felt good about that consistency, but to write a post for every day of the week? Not sure I want to take that much time away from my fiction writing. But I think I can write one post a day for one week. So, here goes.

For the last few days my husband and I have been doing thorough house cleaning in preparation for his parent’s visit. One thing is painfully, and I mean PAINFULLY, clear to me is that I need to get out of my writer’s chair more often and move around more. I may have written before that I do not like doing housework. I do it if I need to, but my dream is to have someone come once or twice a month to do a good sweep through our house leaving Barry and me free to do our respective artwork.

About a year or so ago, when I was complaining about having to clean house, Barry surprised me by saying he loves to do housework. This weekend he proved to me that he wasn’t lying. He gets a job between his teeth and doesn’t let go until he’s finished. I told him he’s hired.

He’s also really handy. We live in a manufactured home in the country. Fifteen years ago the company we bought our home from provided us with TEMPORARY stairs for the front and back doors. Well, of course, we have needed to replace them for a long time, and finally, knowing his aging parents needed sturdy stairs to get into our house, he designed and built some beautiful front steps.

Preparing for my in-law’s visit has reminded me of one thing, we sometimes get stuck in one way of thinking. I did that so much so about housework that I’ve let it go far too long. As I look around at our newly clean house, I think I need to reconsider the way I feel about housework. A clean house is certainly a joy to behold, and one way to get up and move around more is to vacuum, dust and mop floors. See you tomorrow.

Thanks so much for reading and making comments.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2017

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, a historical, time-travel, magical realism women’s novel. It’s available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, and print-on-demand at Amazon and other fine book sellers. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

It’s Here!

Revised book cover for The Space Between Time

“Why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.” ~ J. K. Rowling

“Finishing books – and leaving the world you’ve created – is always a kind of emotionally wrenching experience. I usually cry.” ~ Lauren Oliver

I’m not crying, that The Space Between Time is live on Amazon, I’m cheering. The process of publishing a book is long and arduous and now that I’ve completely finished, okay I may do an audio book, I can now devote my full attention to the sequel novel and other projects. That’s a huge relief.

On the other hand, there are things I discovered while making the final corrections that I could have gone back and changed. Instead I said, “Hmm, should I go back and make those corrections to the sheriff’s dialect, or should I be like Elizabeth Gilbert and say, ‘Done is better than good.’” I do want my book to be good but will the reader really care if the sheriff says, “ya”, instead of “y’all”? I will change his dialect in the second book, but it was just time to get all versions of this book out into the world and move on to the next.

I do have a word to say about writing dialogue in general and dialect specifically. The way we speak and the vocabulary we use says a lot about us, and about characters in a book. I have several characters with specific dialects in this book. I didn’t even attempt to write the New England dialect, because I couldn’t hear that one in my head. However, since my background is in theatre, I automatically hear the characters speaking, so mostly I write the dialogue first. But that doesn’t mean I type the dialect correctly on the first few go arounds. I’m going to have to look for some writer apps or websites that can help me with that on the next book.

I think writing dialect is a tricky thing because you have to make sure the reader understands what the character is saying. Not long ago I was reading a book that took place someplace in what is now the UK. The author wrote what one character was saying in their native dialect, and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what the heck that character was saying. My conclusion: indicate the dialect, but make it readable for all readers, not just the ones who are familiar with it.

Of course, now that my book is published in both ebook and print-on-demand options, the fun (ugh) work of marketing and promotion begins. That’s going to be an interesting learning process. I’m only somewhat familiar with how to proceed, so I will keep working on that a little bit at a time. I know that many authors do pre-sales of their books and are so happy when they get lots of books sold ahead of time. I’m just not that kind of person. I’d rather have a slow but steady interest in my book. I hope that happens and I hope that this book will be one that people are reading many, many years from now.

If you buy The Space Between Time, I ask you to do somethings for me. Reviews help sell books, so if you would be willing to write a few sentences on Amazon, Goodreads, or any of your social networks (posting the links where people can buy it too) that would be a big help. And please post an honest review.

If  you don’t have time to read the book yet, but belong to Goodreads, putting it on your “want to read” shelf helps the Goodreads administrators see that there is interest and they may choose to promote it.

Also, if you feel so inclined and like the book, recommend it to your local bookstore, and/or library, book club group, on social media, or any other place you can think to talk about it. Even if you only tell your friends about it, that would be great. If you’ve got a blog, a mention there would also help me get the word out.

Here is a description of The Space Between Time:

Life is not going well for Jenna Holden. Her live-in-fiancé walks out. Her estranged mother is in a terrible accident that may kill her. And instead of the promotion she’s expecting at her book editor job, she’s fired. Jenna must return to the small town where she grew up to recoup. With all that’s happened she sees no future for herself.

But then, in her mother’s attic, Jenna finds journals written by a long-dead ancestress. They transport her to another time and place, giving her access to the thoughts and feelings of another woman, also alone in the world, who is facing similar trials of heartache and loss. Reading them somehow gives Jenna an escape from her own pain and sorrow, yet offers a doorway to resilience, healing, and the joy of a supportive love. Jenna need only find the self-knowledge and courage to step through, into that space between time.

Thanks so much for continuing to read, Sage Woman Chronicles. I appreciate your likes and comments.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2017

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, a historical, time-travel, magical realism women’s novel. It’s available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, and print-on-demand at Amazon, CreateSpace, and other fine book sellers. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.