I recently was walking in the park and took a picture of a tree that I was calling a pterodactyl tree because, well because it just reminded me of one with the pointy head. Well, I was so surprised, charmed, amused and enlightened to read what others thought it looked like. Dragons, eagles, flying Griffiths, Jesus’ crown of thorns, Pi, and the letter H were some of the answers. All different from what I had thought.

Image may contain: tree, plant, outdoor and nature

This got me to thinking. If one visual image evokes so many different responses, it’s no wonder people see and think differently on so many issues we face today. How then do we find common ground on issues like wearing asks, re-opening schools? These are the hot issues right now and there are many different responses. What do you think? Please post your ideas below.

One small point of love, sanity and common sense in a swiftly tilting world

I finished the third Madeleine L’Engle book last night. This one was called “A Swiftly Tilting Planet” and had rich symbolism and intertwining of biblical ideas and historical literature and fantasy once again. In this book Charles Wallace, one of the main characters travels back and forth in time and between planets in order to change the What Might Have Beens into a reality that will heal the earth. This book was written in 1978 and the father, Mr. Murray makes a comment about how the world has been abnormal for so long already that everyone has forgotten how to live in a peaceful and reasonable climate. When I think of all the unrest and turmoil in our world, especially in the USA right now, it makes me wonder. That is what is so great about L’Engle, her writing is timeless. Like Mr. Murray says, if there is to be any peace or reason in our own world today, it has to start in our own hearts and homes. Like the rippling of a stone thrown into a still pond, one small point can reach out to many others. That is what we need to be. That one small point of love and sanity and common sense.

My Brand

I just read an article about branding- what is at the heart of your writing, that got me to thinking. If I look at some of my latest writings I think I would say:

My Brand- Family

Seasons is about a family and how their faith grows through their trials and struggles throughout the generations of the Trevellian Family.

Shelter in Place: A 14 week Covid Study creates a family of participants across the United States looking at how each member deals with the virus and its implications in their own lives within their own family unit as singles and withs.

Teaching ELs- Cultural Implications, Connections and Curricuum– is about how to teach students within the diverse English as a Second Language or more family.

Gatherings at Granny’s is a short story sharing family memories with Granny and in the large house where she lived.

I’m not sure if this is too broad or not. What do you think? How do you brand or market your writing?

Be like the Daffodils

A friend posted about her daffodils today and that got me to thinking. Years ago, when we first bought our house the people before us had planted daffodils. I tried many things to get rid of them when they started to overrun the steps down to the driveway. I dug them up, threw them in the woods, covered them over with plastic, anything I could think of. Finally I thought I had gotten rid of them. Then the next year I noticed that wherever I had thrown them, they were growing, and multiplying. Now, over 35 years later they are still growing. My attitude towards them has changed to. Like my friend, I appreciate them more now. They are survivors. At this pandemic time we need to be like Daffodils and survive. How you might ask. Sure we are social distancing but what do Daffodils have to do with that?

Along with social distance we need to grow in our faith and our love for each other. We need to be like the daffodils in our faith, keep coming back to the Lord! Every time our faith wavers or fear creeps in, we need to go to the Lord. Remember 1 John 4:4- Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world!

Be like the daffodils and grow where you are planted and thrive!

Geosemiotics and Covid-19

I’ve been thinking a lot about Place and Space and our interactions with things and others now that we have been told to self-isolate as much as possible. I miss the freedom to go and do what I want, but since I am asthmatic, I am staying in. Fortunately, I have a lot of projects I can do at home, especially at my computer.

I hope others are being creative about how to stay indoors and cope with the Covid-19 constraints in our society. If you want to share ideas to keep yourself occupied indoors or at home, please share.

Characters taking control of the plot and sexual tension in historical inspiration novels- can it happen?

I’ve always had a vivid imagination. I guess that is why I like to read and now, to write. Yesterday I was working on the fourth part of my family sage, Matty’s Summer, when suddenly a romance I hadn’t really thought about bloomed right before my eyes. Apparently two of my characters had their own ideas about the way they wanted the story to go. Talk about a story taking off on it’s own.  It’s kind of cool and certainly a “novel” experience (has, ha, pun intended) for me.

Has it ever happened to any other writers? I wonder. Post your thoughts below. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

On a side note, some of my colleagues and I have been discussing whether or not there can be sexual tension (no overt sexual acts) in an historical inspirational novel for young adults and older. I’d love to hear your comments on that thought too.

Unearthing old manuscripts and bringing them to life

All Kinds of Crumbs book CoverLast year my older son mentioned he had been telling his daughter about my children’s books I had written, drawn and made for him and his brother when they were little. I was surprised he remembered and it touched my heart.

This fall I decided to look for the manuscripts (I found one finished, the other one was missing a few pages). Using Shutterfly I created the books for my sons for Christmas presents this year so they could share the story with their own children. I hope they enjoy it. Here is the cover to the first book written about 1986.


Random thoughts on my November & December writing

Well, I started out thinking I’d get a lot of my fourth section of my novel done. I’ve gotten at least half of it done, changed the title a little (it’s now Matty’s Autumn instead of Summer) and have an idea of the direction I am going to take with the last section of the novel. I also thought I’d get a lot further faster than I have. In the meantime, I have spent time with family, celebrated the holidays and spent time trying to be healthy. These are all things my characters will have faced too, after all they are human (at least to me).

Like Little Women, this book starts out with a woman and will end with a woman, highlighting the struggles and triumphs they have as well as other family members have.

I had done extensive research through the years about the 1750-1820 time period, especially around Pittsburgh, but the 1830-1850s will be another matter. I am researching as I go along.

One of my Beta readers suggested I slow down the plot and develop my characters more. I know I did that more as the book progressed, so I will have to think about it for Helena’s Spring. I think sometimes because we know a character well we forget others , our readers don’t.

More work ahead.

I had hoped to get my novel to an agent earlier than this, but… I think polishing it and get it in better shape than it was will be for the best. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a blessed Christmas and may the New Year 2020 bring joy and blessing to all.

Spending Christmas with family

Linda M. Au

Humorist. Novelist. Scapegoat.

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