I was delighted to have been invited to take part in “A Tour Through Blogland” or also known as “The Virtual Blog Tour Award.”
My nominator, Christine Robinson, and I have discovered that we have quite a bit in common in recent weeks including brain health, and nutrition and a few more whimsical activities such as Tarot Card and Palm Reading. We have both had a cat called Snowy and a thing about Tom Selleck. We also have a love of sunsets and sunrises and it is only a pity that we live on separate continents. However, as you will see as you meet my nominees, distance is no barrier to friendship and as well as sharing their talents, I would like to reciprocate their warmth and kindness. I am also nominating a new friend who is about to publish her first book and I would be very grateful if you would give her a great welcome and share her details.
Firstly, Christine and her very sunny blog. She recently retired as a board certified nurse practitioner having worked in inpatient and outpatient psychiatry for thirteen of fifty plus years in nursing. She has now dived into the world of writing with her blog and three non-fiction books, including Before Sundown a love story about Albie and Phyllis and their 60 years together. All this and the stunning sunset and sunrise gallery that you can contribute to. Bring a smile to your day and follow Christine at the following link.
The rules for this project:
1. Pass the tour on to up to four other bloggers.
2. Give them the rules and a specific Monday to post.
3. Answer 4 questions about your creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires you to do what you do.
4. The last part of Tour Through Blogland is to write a one-time article which is to be posted on a Monday (the date supplied by your nominator). This article can be in the same post in which you answered the 4 questions. The article can be anything of your choosing.
The date supplied by my nominator was Monday, January 26th, 2015. And I have opted for these two dates for my nominees. Either Monday February 2nd 2015 or February 9th 2015.
My Three nominees are:
Mary Ann Perez – Reflections of the Heart – http://maryaperez.com/
Questions Section About My Creative Process
1. What are you working on at the moment?
I probably could sum that up in one word. ‘Writing’. My keyboard has become an extension to my fingers, and as I type rapidly throughout the day, I am reminded of how reluctant I was to sign up for my mandatory secretarial course 46 years ago. I wanted to be a singer and actress but was told that I needed something to fall back on should I not achieve immediate Hollywood success! 46 years later and I am thankful for that sound piece of parental advice.
Project One..Whilst technology plays a huge role in industry there are still people working within companies and the skills required for their management is absolutely key if companies are to succeed. I am very keen that young and bright front line staff are developed over time to build a strong internal management structure. So the original people management programme I wrote 25 years ago, and have updated over the years, is on target to be published early March and it is aimed at the business market, and those who are looking to be promoted to a management role.
Project Two..For the average family faced with the care of an elderly family member who chooses to remain in their own home or move in with their children, it can be very difficult. Although my field is nutritional therapy, I had to turn my hand to most things when looking after my mother for six years until her death age 95. My book is an across the board look at what is needed from a practical, house related,physical and mental support and nutritional perspective to ensure that independence is maintained and stress reduced. This is due to be completed by the end of the summer and published by November.
Project Three..Finally ‘The Novel’ my story of Diana Grace who does not have the best start in life but who decides that she must make changes if she is to survive…have no idea when that will be finished but my aim is by the end of 2015.
2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?
I believe that I tend to write as I speak and as I see it. This applies for my blog as well as my books, particularly the non-fiction. I hope that whether it is health related, management training, publishing or fiction that people feel a part of the writing and that it is clear and down to earth. I am not sure that makes my work differ from others in the same genre but it is the only way that I know how to write.
3. Why do I write/create what I do?
They used to say when I was on radio that I could talk for China… Actually I was talking for China as one of my shows was uploaded and broadcast there for a time… However, talking and conversing with people has always been very important to me and writing is really an extension of that. Especially since we have been living in a certain amount of isolation here in the mountains above Madrid. Also, I do feel a compulsion to share.. Whether it is health, humour, other people’s work or the lessons that I have learned in life, it is important to pass that along. If it makes a difference to just one person then it is worth it.
4. How does my writing/creative process work?
It really depends on what I am working on. It nearly always begins with research and making notes. An interview for the Sunday Shows could take three hours to research and prepare a draft interview.. My intention is to read as much as I can about the guest so that I can find something new and different to discuss or promote.. My health blogs are fairly straightforward since most originate from one of my books. However I always update, write and edit off line before inserting into WordPress and then do a final edit when in place.
The books themselves can take a year to research and I tend to write in my head – make a few notes to remind me of key points and then I sit down at the computer and type for several hours a day until I have dumped everything onto the screen.
I then go through each chapter refining and adapting.. I then go back and edit page by page (taking out my favourite word ‘that’) I then read through again until I am happy and then hand over to my husband… He will read as he does another edit and then he will format for me and we design a cover together. It is then read through again before publication.
Not all that I write is set in stone.. A newspaper headline or an event will trigger a spontaneous combustion that results in a direct straight into WordPress or comment online and that can be a very satisfactory thing…..
Now time for my article (and yes there is more…)
The benefits of synergy within the blogging community.
The definition of Synergy is the following:-
The interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions, etc.; synergism.
That brings me very nicely to the subject of my three nominees today for this Tour through Blogland. Our relationships, although we have never met, is a perfect example of how synergism brings benefits far beyond our own individual efforts as writers.
Jo Robinson- Author, blogger, illustrator, gardener, bird fancier and dog lover etc
Jo Robinson was one of the first bloggers to notice my posts and to comment over a year ago. Some weeks she was the only one who noticed me.. This is not a sob story but the reality for many bloggers starting out.. Then slowly over time others began to follow me and also added their encouragement. But I never forgot that Jo had interacted with me in such a kind way from the beginning.
These days we communicate by email regularly, share each other’s posts, reviews and comments on all the social media sites and I would consider her to be one of my closest friends. She has a wonderful blog and also reviews books on Feed My Reads SA and contributes to Lit World Interviews. Although very busy with blogging, writing her own books and designing book covers for other authors, she will always be willing to leap in and help out. If you are looking for an original and professionally designed book cover then do visit this link on Jo’s blog.
Her latest book is a delight and a must read particularly for those of us who have experienced narcissistic relationships and you will find my review of her book at this link. Please do follow her blogs and buy Echoes of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight. You will find on Amazon and Goodreads with links in the review that I did recently. Synergy
M.C.V. Egan – Author, Blogger, History Buff and a dab hand in the kitchen…
This brings me onto Catalina Egan.. What a delightfully energetic force of nature. Catalina offered one of her recipes for the Cook From Scratch series, delicious by the way… And since then we have been in touch in all the usual hangouts..
As author M.C.V Egan she has enjoyed great success with her book The Bridge of Deaths set over 75 years ago just before the Second World War. Her new book, a deadly game of life and death in Defined by Others. Here is a video to whet your appetite.
Catalina has recently become the History Editor US for The Inflectionist a website that promotes comment and debate with articles written on the subjects of language, literature, music, the arts and history. She very kindly asked if I would like to contribute from time to time which I have accepted and recently had my article on King Edward and Wallace Simpson posted. Catalina has managed to find time in her busy schedule to write a post for Chinese New Year that will be posted on Smorgasbord the week of 15th February… So again synergy. http://thebridgeofdeaths.com
Mary Ann Perez – Author, Blogger, mother, grandmother and Survivor.
My third nominee is Mary Ann Perez and although our relationship is relatively new it has still provided an opportunity to work together.
Mary is now a mother of four grown children, “Mimi” to a couple of gorgeous grandchildren, and happily married the second time to a phenomenal man for twenty years. It was from this place of security and happiness that she felt able to write the story of her traumatic and frightening start in life in the 60s.
It is a story that she wanted to write, to offer hope to those who have experienced similar trauma, that life can change for the better. Mary’s book Running in Heels is being released on 24th February and I thought that this would be a great opportunity for a some advance promotion.
‘My desire is that my story may help someone else walking through similar circumstances I once walked.’
This is not a work of fiction but the first hand account of someone who has survived the most traumatic childhood in the 60s and than a violent life as a teenage wife and mother.
“Somewhere between stealing cold cuts from stray cats and watching a stranger leave my mother’s bed after breaking in through our bedroom window, I figured out that my family was dirt poor. Worse than my empty stomach, I was hungry for acceptance and love. I thought I found it when my baby sister was born and I became her “mommy”, taking care of her needs as best I could at the age of seven. Then I had to say goodbye over a small white casket. I found faith and stability living briefly with my grandparents, first-generation immigrants from Puerto Rico, but they thought Mama needed me and I lost my way again. She needed more than I could possibly give.
So, just out of Juvy Hall, I found someone else to take me away: my knight in shining armor. I became a teenage bride to a man twice my age – a man as deeply enslaved to booze as every “step-dad” I’d had as a child. I loved him anyway, even wearing the bruises he gave me, even when I tried to leave him, wanting to give our children a better life. Despite my fear and loneliness, I never imagined it would take a gunshot in the middle of the night to teach me courage.
I am looking forward to Mary joining us once her book is published as a guest on the Sunday Show Defining Moments.
So those are some examples of hour our blogging community can thrive but it requires collaboration, sharing and support. In one word. Synergy.
My thanks again to Christine Robinson and also to all the wonderful writers,artists and photographers that bring the world into my home every day of the week in such a synergistic way..
Sorry that I could not showcase more but we would all have been here until next Christmas! Hugs from Madrid. There are some alternative images that you can use for the award.