Mama always said, ” ‘Tis better to give than to receive.” (Amazon & Goodreads Giveaways!)

Yes, this is really my Mama...but this book is still a WIP!

Yes, this is really my Mama…but this book is still a WIP!

People will often hear me say, “Mama always said, […enter her wise quotable here…].” That’s because my mama, probably just like yours, was wise…like her mama before her and hers before her, etc., (x) infinity.

My kids have heard me say this all their lives, especially when I couldn’t think of an original thought to pass on when advice was required. “My mama always said…” filled the bill so well that 7 of my 10+2 children have reported that they’ve said it to their kids as well.

I miss Mama. A lot.

Well, Mama’s birthday is coming up. She would be 85 on August 27th and I wanted to do something to commemorate her day. I wracked my brain to figure out a way to share her with everyone…then I heard her say clearly in my ear:

“What did I tell you all your life?”

“That all you want is for me to behave for just one day?” I thought back at her.

“No, you nincompoop! About giving and receiving!”

“Ohhh, yeah…riiight”

“Don’t ‘yeah’ me, young lady!”

“Ohhh, riiight!” (The title of this post was the correct answer, by the way 😀)

And so a couple of Giveaways are in order:

“But wait! There’s more!!”

  • My next Goodreads Giveaway will also begin on Mama’s birthday, this coming Saturday, August 27th, when you can enter to win 1 of 10 print copies of Folded Dreams- the Beginning.(see book details and reviews here). The final drawing for that Giveaway will be held on October 20th.

I think she’d approve.

After all, Mama always said, ” ’tis better to give than to receive.”!


Shall I Post Excerpts of My Novel-in-Progress?

(This has absolutely NOTHING to do with my novel…I just thought it was cool!)

Although “Mama Always Said…I love you more!” is right next to complete, it still requires illustrating and won’t be published, probably, until the new year, 2016. Because of this, “Folded Dreams – the Novel” has become my priority. Now is time to decide how to prepare for publishing this novel. Should I just post updates? or shall I post excerpts, off and on, of my Great American Novel-in-progress?!

Although I have an idea for the cover and am working on the Author Bio and back cover blurb, Folded Dreams in novel form is going to take some time to finish. If you were to look at the notebook dedicated to this novel, you would have a good idea of the form it is destined to take. I’ve had a good bit of input from objective readers, as well as those family members who have read the short story, and their opinions range from, “Wha’ WHUUUT?!!” to, “Wow…I can’t wait til it’s done!”

That works for me!

We’re looking at, at least, 6 months til completion, though, and maybe even 8 months, depending on whether or not hubby and I get moved soon and into a house that will afford me a separate office where I can shut the door and work, sans distraction.

But there remains the question:

Shall I post excerpts, off and on, from my novel-in-progress? Or would simply posting updates (“Finished chapter 1 today! It sounds pretty good!”, “oh sheesh…here we go again…editEditEDIT!”, “Designed my cover today. I think you’ll all like it 🙂 “) be enough?

I’d REALLY like to hear y’alls opinions on the subject.

Thanks, everyone!


I just HAD to make this a size large image...cos,did I mention, IT'S OFFICIAL!!!

I just HAD to make this a size large image…cos,did I mention, IT’S OFFICIAL!!!

It’s official! “Folded Dreams – the Beginning” has been published!! YAYYYY!

My very first little book, “Folded Dreams – the Beginning” is currently for sale on my CreateSpace e-Store! You can find it at (I think it’s okay to put an external purchase link on here. I’m sure that if it’s not okay, somebody will tell me about it…I hope :/ )

Anyway…I am now officially a published author.

Wow…I’m so psyched!

Three “Books in Progress”. Sort of.

Perhaps a more apt title would be, “Three Books in Various Stages of Progress from Nearly Finished to Under Construction”. But that would be a bit like negating the need for a post!

Full summaries for these books will be posted elsewhere…on Amazon and/or Kindle, or after I figure out how to make an Author Facebook page. Since reading excerpts from various authors, I’ve also been seriously considering GoodReads. Studying how to use that will be my next task in the next few weeks. Apparently you guys swear by it; I know I swear by it for reading purposes!


Mama Always Said_Vol I_BookCoverPreview

This book will, hopefully, be completed by spring 2016.

Book #1, “Mama Always Said…Sage old words of wisdom to live by. Sort of.” (I just love using that ‘sort of.’ turn of phrase!!), was going to be the first book I would publish upon retirement. It deals with all those sayings that mothers seem to churn out at will; they all have a standardized opinion and/or advice, relevant to whatever the situation calls for.

Turns out that, even though my handwritten manuscript covered nearly 200 pages, once it was typed out, it was so short as to not even qualify as a book, so I’ve been working very hard to turn it into one; to use another favourite: #editEditEDIT! It’s still not nearly ready, but I continue to plod along 😀

This full cover was completed weeks ago (or has it been months???), to be used for printing by CreateSpace. As this series of books is dedicated to my own precious ‘Mum’, (August 1930-August 2000), the first one just had to bear her image. Look closely and note that her whole face smiles. I chose this photo because it shows her personality perfectly.

I Love You More Cover_JPEG-Copy

Book #2, “Mama Always Said…I Love You More!”, is of course, one of the ‘Mama Always Said…’ series. It actually started out as Book 4, but at the behest of my, oh! so many children who think it’s far easier to write a children’s book than the Great American Novel, it shot up to the #1 spot for publishing.

Unfortunately, while it was fairly easy to set to paper (or, rather, flash drive), illustrating it was no longer something at which I could be proficient.  Arthritis, you know.

So daughter, Dixie Hedden-Sheffield (who also has a ton of children for whom she creates stories and pictures!) will be taking on the role of illustrator. Right now, however, she and her multiples of children are in a fierce battle with a New England brand of the ‘flu bug. Nasty stuff.

Hopefully, though, this one will be ready by either Christmas or end of year, 2015. Can’t force creativity, especially when your brains are leaking steadily from your nose!

download_Folded Dreams

Book #3.

This is an odd one.

I entered into college at age 52. Yes, I know…jaw drops and eyes get big as you exclaim, “Holy cow (et al)! Why so late?”

If you will read the above, next to last paragraph, that is in parentheses, you will note the word, “also”. That means daughter, Dixie, has followed in her mother’s footsteps, sort of. I have 10 children, plus 2. Five are blood born, five I married when I married their dad; the “+2” belong to his late wife, but I love them as I do my own. So I claim them.

Anyway, married in 1972, just after graduation, twelve children, the oldest born in 1973 and the youngest born in 1991…when would I have had time?!

And yes, I could’ve waited to have kids…but then I wouldn’t have had the ones I did, nor the beautiful family that I married into.

The point is, I did go to college. During the initial, pre-requisites, stage, I had a wonderful English Lit professor. I was closer to her in age than any of my fellow students (older than her, truth be told!) and proved myself able to participate in a substantial way during discussions. I think our class enjoyed our…dissertations…regarding the English language, grammar, spelling (note that I tend to use UK spelling at times) and the pros and cons of verbosity…something both she and my Business Administration professor often pointed out as one of my personal writing characteristics (can you tell?!).

One day, she challenged our literature class to a competition; we were to write a short story, competing against each other; the winner’s story would then go up against hers and the class would make the final judgement.

Even the professor chose my short story, “Folded Dreams”.

I have been attempting to turn it into a book, but I edited it so much in order to add length that I completely lost the story. The plan now is to edit it somewhat for length, a lot for readability and save it for a book of short stories.

And there you have it. Three of the absolutes that are destined to be published.

Many more are awaiting, here in my brain, to be written.

May you all have a wonderful, fulfilling week, what’s left of it!

Write, Type or Dictate?

Each writer has his or her own way of developing his “next big project”, fleshing it out and producing an acceptable draft worthy of becoming the basis of the final, editable manuscript. They may dictate their thoughts and ideas into a recorder, type them out on a document on computer or, my personal favourite, physically write them down.

Every time I see a personal journal/diary at a store, I buy it.

If you stand looking at my bookcases, you will see a section dedicated to journals and diaries. There are spiral bound notebooks, little, square hardback diaries, “personal improvement” journals with those daily inspirations printed on each page, journals the size of a novel, paperback, rigid back covered in cloth, soft back bound in leather…it matters not!

There are also several old cigar boxes, each holding an assortment of pens and pencils.

One smaller box holds the few pencils collected from the home of Thomas A Edison when I was but a wee child; I reserve those for days that I’m “stuck” in my own writing. These pencils are down from a dozen to a mere three.

During those times that I feel my creative juices have dried up, I will pick up one of those pencils and immerse myself in daydreams; “Imagine what thoughts have been set down using this very pencil,” I will say to myself. “Mind drives hand, hand drives pen, pen drives words…this pencil was once directly attached to HIS mind.”

Yes, there is something…I don’t know…tactiley satisfying and inspirational  in doing things by hand.

This is most especially true when it comes to writing. Our books contain pieces of…US. How much more can you put of yourself into a book, how much more deeply and efficiently…and surely…can you bring it to life, than by touching it, as one nurtures one’s child.