Word Stitching

Readin' & Writin', And So Much More


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A Giant Leap Forward

Posted by gayingram on September 9, 2010 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Must be because the long summer heatwave is finally broken and slightly (and more bearable) temperatures are finally here. I am feeling energized and ready to plunge into a new area. Last week I began research into background for a possible new novel involving a ten-year-old Chinese girl. She survived the San Fransisco Earthquake of 1906 but lost both her parents and was rescued by a  Irish (or Scotch - haven't decided yet) part-time gold miner.


But what has captured my passion is an entirely differnt project I conceived after a long conversation with a critique partner who recently started her own publishing company. I am going to upgrade my persona as a writer and become more professionally visible. How can I do that, you ask?


I, too, will begin my own small business -- not to publish books, but to become an internet entrepreneur. I plan to set up a business website to sell my books direct to the public. Lots of work involved, I know. The name of my new company is still undecided. Need to check out whether what I'm considering is available as a web domain name and email address. A clue to those who know me well -- it relates to where I live.


So...if you happen to call and get the answering machine, don't get upset. I may not be readily available but I will be happy to connect at a later time and bore you with all the exciting happenings.

Time To Speak Out

Posted by gayingram on April 25, 2010 at 1:51 PM Comments comments (1)

I received two email this morning and just have to speak out. The first was a reporting of an event regarding the actions of Buzz Aldrin while on the moon. At the time he was an Elder of a Presbyterian church in Houston and asked permission to broadcast his taking of communion from the surface of the moon.

Authorities denied his request because of the uproar created by activist Madalyn O'Hare over the reading of Genesis on a previous moon visit.

Now how is it possible for one person to influence the actions of so many? This does not line up with my conception of our country's established structure.


The other email reported the reaction of visitors to the World War II monument in Washington, DC. Someone in the group was reading the inscription of Roosevelt's speech aloud. As the reading ended, one of the older visitors objected, saying it was incomplete. She was old enough to recall the original broadcast and stated the inscription lacked the words President Roosevelt ended his speech with: "So help us God."

My question echoes that of the older couple, "Who gave the inscriptor the right to change the content of a historical speech?"


This brings to mind the notification I received recently about 'the powers that be' declaring our National Day of Prayer had been eliminated. What is this country coming to when it turns its back of its founding principles? All supposedly in the name of political correctness.


This great nation was established as a place where its citizens would be free to worship as they choose. How have we come to the place where, at times, a single individual can curtail that freedom? No one is being forced to worship in a manner contrary to their wants. All it takes is a dip of your head and remaining silent during that public prayer if you don't agree with its intended receiver. I'm not requiring anyone to worship the way I do, just be courteous enough to allow me the freedom that is supposed to be mine. And I'll do the same for you. 

Waiting For My Copy

Posted by gayingram on March 10, 2010 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Well, the publisher says a copy of Twist of Fate is in the mail. I have already checked out the webpage they set up for book orders on their site. By the way, if anyone is interested, the address is: http://www.bookstandpublishing.com/book_details/Twist_Of_Fate. Now comes the more demanding part of producing a new book which I dread but have learned is a very necessary activity - the promoting and marketing.


I have no reluctance when it comes to plunking myself in a chair, fingers on keyboard, and letting the words flow. This other half of what makes a book a success  is what twists my stomach into knots.


Promoting and marketing a book means calling attention to yourself. It means speaking out in every situation, announcing who you are and what you've done. All for the express purpose of getting people interested enough in your work that they will be willing to shell out some dough to buy a copy or two.


So now comes a concentrated blitz of email  announcements and press releases, all for the purpose of calling people's attention to the new book. As a result, it spills over and calls a lot of attention to me, the author.


So, what's an author to do? If we want our new book to be read, we do everything necessary to get this latest production noticed. And isn't that part of the reason I continue to write? To share my thoughts, my imaginations with others?

Considering What Keeps Me Writing

Posted by gayingram on February 17, 2010 at 11:16 AM Comments comments (1)

What is it that keeps me plunking down words, fingers tapping keys, clenched hand pushing a pen across a page? Certainly my accumulation of rejections -- especially the ones resembling nothing more than a mass produced product – do more to feed my disappointment than inspire me to keep on writing.


Success in getting published comes along, sometimes with months of famine in between. Yet, even as I savor a sense of accomplishment and brandish the flag of recognition, those instances aren’t what drives me to my writing pad


The magic happens each time I set aside time to create words; each time the tip of my pen, or fingertips pounding a keyboard, produces squiggles and curves that morph into understandable language. That’s when I find myself connected to a force beyond myself.


As I witness words accumulate on paper or my computer screen, it’s a reminder that I am connecting to the Source of creativity. It is this awareness as something newly created flows out of the deep center of my being, that feeds my flickering flame of inspiration into life.

Thoughts as Christmas Nears

Posted by gayingram on December 20, 2009 at 1:53 PM Comments comments (2)

Only five more days until Christmas - it can't come any sooner as far as I'm concerned. This may turn out to be the grumblings of a curmudgeon, but read on.


The 'joys' of the season have been bombarding us since the beginning of November what with the resonating of Christmas music in all its various mutations from sublime to rediculous and the incessant visuals emitting from our televisions urging us to save money by buying...huh?


But in the midst of all the noise and humbug, if you listen carefully you can tune into the message of good news that all this hinges upon.


Christ did come as a Babe that long ago time - the Son of God incarnate as a human for the sole purpose of paying the cost so we could have the choice to re-establish connection with the Source of all our being.


It's a simple message yet when accepted with a willing heart, will affect your life profoundly.


So, in the midst of this firestorm of commerciality this world presents as their version of "good news", find a quiet place, sit with open heart and receive the One who came to give His all so you could become a channel of His Love.


And that's my wish for all --- let Love for others be the guiding light of your life.


Makin' It Through The Bad Times

Posted by gayingram on October 24, 2009 at 2:29 PM Comments comments (2)

I ended last Sunday's chattime with family by remarking on the fact that I looked forward to a week entirely void of any away-from-home meetings, suggesting I expected to get in a lot of writing time. It doesn't pay to tempt the gods!

Instead, I found myself bed-bound for the next five days, laid low by what the doctors named an 'upper respiratory virus infection." Chills and fever, sometimes simultaneously. Excrutiating headache that caused nausea and dizziness. Complete lack of interest in food of any kind.

I gave in on Wednesday and allowed my all-suffering husband to take me to the hospital's emergency room. Too weak to even walk to the admitting desk, I was immediately handed a mask because I spouted "flu-like" symptoms. A chest exray, blood tests and registered temperature of 103.2 confirmed I was really ill. Since I didn't display any of the dripping and explosive expulsions, a flu test was taken but reported negative. Meds for pain and nausea, orders of bed rest (as if that wasn't what I'd been doing for the past 36 hours!) and drink lots of liquids sent me home to continue suffering.

Not wanting to continue this drama through the weekend, we made another trip to emergency Friday afternoon. Surprise! The breathing issue had alieviated (I could have told them that) Instead, this time I was treated as a possible victim of stroke. So here came the EKG, the monitoring equipment for breathing, pulse, blood pressure and heartbeat. More blood tests; in fact, because of faulty blood withdrawal once and incorrect labeling the next, I ended up having blood extracted three times for one test. Another chest exray and a CAT-scan of my head for good measure.

Verdict? Stop taking the previously prescribed meds because they were exasberating the situation. This time the official conclusion was a virus infection of the inner ear. The remedy prescribed? You guessed it--more bed rest and lots of time. And, just to be on the sure side, a prescription for nausea (another one. A pill this time not a lotion that needed to be applied with provided applicator containing single dosage. Spread on inner arm, rub with other arm and be told at least three times: do not touch with your hand. You can share it with your belly if you feel the need.)

So...another day has dawn. With all remnants of that vindictive medication out of my system - the one that zonked me out for two and a half hours with each dosage of half-pill and was taken every four hours - I am actually in an upright position today for the first time since Monday afternoon.

I send this information your way, not to tantilize your sensibilities, but in an effort to get word to as many as possible with the least possible effort. I am definitely on the road to recovery. The dizziness persists in spite of medication but I am finally eating solid food again after subsisting on liquids for three days. Supper last night included a 1/2 cup of chicken noodle soup and a few saltine crackers with cheese.

Now that I've made this huge effort, it's time for a nap!

Enjoying The Change In Weather

Posted by gayingram on October 11, 2009 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

This part of the states may not be able to brag about the resplendence of its fall foliage, but we can guarantee an experience in the changing seasons. This year, fall seems to have arrived bearing heavy rainclouds that are determined to get the ground thoroughly soaked even as the temperatures continue to drop. Yes...fall has definitely arrived.


Maybe all of my hard work and persistence is finally paying off. A letter (and check) from Word & Sound International Creative Writing Competition delighted me with the news of a Second Place win for an essay I entered, Water's Lure. This piece of writing has been languishing in my files for several years. Every once in a while I'd pull it up and do a little more tweaking. So, maybe now I will let it rest in peace and stop feeling like it hasn't quite reached the mark yet.


I have a new experience in store for me this coming week; I'll be participating in a forum discussion for a class of university students working toward their teaching accreditation. The subject? Writing For Children. Not exactly something  I've done a lot of but I was told all that was expected of me was a sharing of my writing career and experiences. I can do that.


A lot of my writing time these days is spent preparing stories and articles for contest-entry or submission for eventual publication.  However, I still manage to keep plugging away at the work in progress; a novel entitled Second Time Around. I'm close to reaching the 60,000 word mark and FINALLY feel the story is beginning to wind down to the finish.


So, on that hopeful note I'll step away from what I consider fun - the writing of these blog entries - and get back to the hard work of real writing.


More Traveling

Posted by gayingram on September 26, 2009 at 4:52 PM Comments comments (3)

There is no place like New England in the Fall. I just returned from spending a week there. Didn't do much sight-seeing because my main purpose was to spend time with my sisters. One sister lives in Windham, CT and another who is a permanent RVer was spending the summer months on the East Coast. But I did get to do some beach walking as we searched for beach glass and polished rocks I hope to have made into a bracelet someday.

I spent a very special day with a friend from high school days. Even though we live 2,000 miles apart, we have maintained contact over the more than 50 years since we both began our working careers at the same bank. Nancy DePietro took me to my most favorite place, Watch Hill, Rhode Island. We checked out the shops, smiled at kids enjoying the merry-go--round that's been in operation for ages and struggled uphill to the path to the beach where we soaked up the sunshine and waves. When she took me to lunch in Westerly, RI, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

I want to especially mention the fantastic flights, both going and coming home, Southwest Airlines provided. This company is tops in my book for its friendliness, attention to detail and super efforts to maintain an on-time schedule. Way to go, SWA!

Here it is the end of September and I can brag about visiting both the Pacific Ocean, which I did when my husband and I flew to Oregon to meet our first great-granddaughter, Alexia Elaine Perkins, and now this trip to the east coast to enjoy the Atlantic Ocean's charms.

Now if I can just figure out how to squeeze in a visit with my good friend Tami who lives in Port Bolivar, TX, I could add a Gulf Coast visit to my highlights of the year.

On The Road Again

Posted by gayingram on July 30, 2009 at 8:49 PM Comments comments (0)

I do love to travel and tomorrow I'm on the road again, traveling to the First Baptist Church in Houston, TX to attend my first Texas Christian Writers Conference. They have a great lineup of speakers with Cecil Murphy as the keynote speaker. I heard Cecil give a presentation several years ago when I attended the Christian Writers Conference in Denver, CO that Marlene Bagnull puts on every year. I was impressed then and I'm looking forward to hearing him again.

Another reason I've decided to attend is because I received notification that I am a finalist in this year's contest. Since I entered both a devotional and a short story, I don't know which is the winner. But it will be fun to find out.

But the reason that has me most excited is that I have been nominated for Texas Christian Writer of the Year. Isn't that wonderful! I'm trying not to get my hopes too elevated because I know there are others nominated (one of them is Martha Rogers who is the person who has organized this conference for years) but it's a thrill just to be in the running.

On another note, everybody is invited to my booksigning event scheduled for next Saturday, August 8th. I'll be at my friend Shirley Miller's shop, Select Consignments & Gift Shop, in downtown Big Sandy from 10 to 2. I've gotten in a new supply of the Big Sandy history I wrote a few years back and will have copies there for anyone who hasn't gotten theirs yet. I still have a few copies of my latest, Living With A Depressed Spouse -- that is, if they don't all get sold at the conference this weekend.

Talking about the Depressed book, I just got my author's copies of an article purchased by Seek Magazine containing my article: When Depression Comes To Stay.

Ask me about it.


Gotta go get my bag packed so I'll sign off for now. Be sure to check back next week -- I may have a big announcement to make.



Thoughts On An Approaching Birthday

Posted by gayingram on September 26, 2007 at 4:42 PM Comments comments (0)

In a matter of days, I will be celebrating my sixty-eighth birthday. After achieving the half-century mark, I looked upon my life as being in a downhill slide. I began to experience a lessening of my physical abilities -- what I easily accomplished in my mid-forties, I would not even consider attempting in my mid-fifties. I took up more sedentary habits; reading, writing, sewing, improving my computer skills. All requiring more mental effort than physical. With the decrease in physical activity, I found it necessary to monitor my dietary habits in order to maintain a comfortable balance between being overweight and still healthy. But as I eased into a less physical lifestyle, my days continued to be satisfying and fulfilling. Although my goals and occupations had become more intellectual rather than physical, I was comfortable with the way my lifestyle seemed to be slowly easing as the years passed.

But for some unknown reason in recent weeks, I've found myself redirecting my thinking. Could it simply be the fact of summer winding down and fall approaching, allowing me to devote a few hours several times a week to more intense physical activities? In recent weeks, I've hauled and spread mulch, created new garden beds, dug up and divided the crowded irises, then enlarged a bed for the excess plants. As I move about the area defined by my gardening efforts, I find myself considering more and more projects just insisting that I consider adding to my list of things to do. When once I was satisfied with what I saw as I walked among the garden beds, now I find myself looking with new eyes at what I put into place over the years, some as long as twenty years ago. At the same time, I recognize I couldn?t do what I did so easily back then -- did I really load those railroad ties into our pickup at a friend's house and actually unload and maneuver them into position all by myself? Would I really be willing today to spend all those weeks chipping away the old mortar from that load of used bricks before I could reuse them to edge all those beds I created? But I do find myself thinking thoughts of taking on a major renovation in the herb garden, all the while acknowledging that it will be exhausting work and may require weeks to accomplish.

Is there some point in a person's life when they comprehend that life may go on for longer than they desire? On and off I?ve found myself surprised with the thought that it wasn?t entirely impossible that I would live for another thirty years. What is it that causes me to peer into the future and see so many years stretching out? I find myself wondering what will engage my passion in future years and give meaning to my life. How am I to fill all those days, weeks, months and years? I've reached a point where, unless the story is riveting, I cannot maintain my involvement in what I'm reading for those long periods of time as I did in the past. I look around and see the flotsam of past achievements -- books I've written and published, stories contained in notebooks, sewing projects, objects I've crafted. Perhaps not being actively involved in a particular writing project has caused this unrest, this dis-satisfaction with how I am using my days. What is it that will consume my passion, allow me to be so involved I become oblivious to the passing of time? Is there a new cause out there that I've not ever considered in the past just waiting to come to my attention? I have enough interests to fill my days with busy work, but none of it touched that deep place inside and while I am engaged with it, fills that particular spot with intense satisfaction and fulfillment.

If I do have another thirty years to occupy this earth, what is it God wants me to occupy myself with for that period of my life?