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thoughts/conversations/heart to heart

Here is an excerpt from my interview with Written Voices Blog:

Tell us about your journey to publication.

… Last year, something inside me clicked. I felt that I had to share. By then, I had written several novels — I had completed almost all of them. There were so many stories that could potentially touch someone, change their perspective, encourage them, and remind them that they were not alone. It made no sense to hide myself or what I had written. I researched, worked day and night on editing my novel, and I self-published.

The next lesson I would learn, was, no matter how much writers think they know, it is always best to have another professionally trained pair of eyes to look over your work. Also, I learned that it is okay to submit your work and learn what it feels like to be told, “no”. This only gives us an opportunity to grow; it gives us an opportunity to understand, also, sometimes, rejection is subjective.

Visit Written Voices Blog to read this complete interview 🙂

JBTSforbasement

Bookworm’s Nook

a writer’s perspective

 

 

Hello and welcome, Author Ernestine Rose!

Would you like to share a bit about yourself?

Yes. I retired from teaching after 36 years: English, speech and theatre. I’m actively involved with several theater companies in Fort Worth. I teach acting classes and direct as well as promote plays. I started writing after retirement. Although I thought about it, there was never enough time when I was teaching and I enjoyed the breaks so much that I just chilled. I’ve been saving up my stories and struggling over the perfect word choice ever since. I’ve self-published three books on Amazon. My niche is family: I believe in the power of family, language, and love.

My website is familyaffairbooks.com. Family Affair Books by Ernestine Rose is my fan page. I blog about books, writing, creativity, and the importance of family. I enjoy supporting other writers by sharing their posts and reviewing their books. Many of them have done the same for me, and this sharing of creativity and encouragement is just beautiful. 

My first book, 7 tips for a success marriage even when opposites attract, is a guide on marriage and relationships even when opposites attract. My husband of 38 years and I have learned to minimize our differences and maximize the things we have in common. I offer great advice and personal stories to support it. 

 Raising the Rosesis a personal memoir that begins in high school, follows me to college and meeting my husband, and recants my adjusting to marriage and motherhood. There are hilarious stories about raising four boys on a budget: a must-read for any struggling mother. Each chapter concludes with parenting advice.

Tales from the Family Tree is a collection of ten stories about family, some that work and some that don’t. Some of the stories are mine (truly), and some are in my mind. They deal with relationships between mothers and daughters, sisters and brothers, and fathers and sons.
The working title of my current work in progress is Monday Morning Blues, a realistic romance novel about a middle-aged woman whose husband abandons her for a younger woman, leaving her to keep it all together for their two children. I have plans for some young adult fiction and historical fiction along the way.

When did you fall in love with reading?

I always loved to read. I was an adopted only child of older parents who went to bed very early. So I entertained myself with classic movies and sit-coms on TV, and my mother kept me supplied with good books. I loved reading and discussing stories for school and taking the bus to the library. I still love good biographies, but my favorite genre has always been novels.

 When did you fall in love with writing?

I remember writing an essay in fourth grade proclaiming my intent to become an author. I became so enthralled with dance and theater when I got to high school that I focused more on the arts, and I loved high school so much that I became a teacher so I could stay there. English was a natural, dependable major since I enjoyed it so much and I was really good at it, even though it wasn’t very popular in the militant seventies.

Do you remember your favorite place to read as a child/teenager?

I read everywhere: in bed, on the back porch, curled up in an easy chair, on the bus. Today, I still love to read outside more than inside. I have a closed-in patio, a swing in my back yard, and two chairs by the front door. Any of them will do, depending on the weather and the mosquitoes. I live in Texas.

(Mosquitoes. Ugh!!)

If you could introduce two characters from two different books you have read, who would they be and why?

Toni Morrison is my favorite author. I just love Pilate from Song of Solomon (“If I’d a known more people, I’d a loved more people”). And at the end of Beloved, Paul D, “a man who would make women cry,” brings tears to my eyes (Sethe, you yo’ best thing.”) I would love to see these two get together.

Many authors are avid readers — how can writers separate inspiration from imitation, cultivate their craft, and mature into their own artist?

Sometimes when I start something new, I struggle with this. I decide that what I’ve written is not original, and instead of writing something new, I’m just subconsciously copying something I’ve read. I usually throw it out and keep starting over until I decide that I’ve found my own voice. Once that happens, I’m good. Writers have to be willing to see their own flaws and throw away their own words. Unfortunately, many writers aren’t and their egos make them see their every word as art. They’re not. We all have to struggle and critique ourselves, or be willing to get honest criticism from others, even the best.

Do you have any recurring themes in your books?

Yes, as I’ve expressed in my blogs, I believe in the power of love, language, and family. I also believe that your family are those who nurture you; it may have nothing to do with your bloodline, as I can attest. I’m also an incurable romantic, and I believe love and faith can conquer anything.

When do you feel that you are at your most creative?

I admire the romantic idealists of the 19th century, and I loved teaching about Henry David Thoreau, author of “Civil Disobedience,” whom I used to promote as the world’s first hippie when he protested slavery and the War. He gave up his material things to move to the woods. He cited in Walden, “All intelligence awakes with the morning. Poetry and art, and the fairest and most memorable actions of men, date from such an hour. . . Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me. . . To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”

He referred to his genius coming alive in the morning, and that is when I have the most energy and enthusiasm. I thrive on the sun. That is when I am most creative, when I am ready to get down to business. But occasionally, I am ‘in the zone’ at night and I can work until the wee hours of the morning. But usually, I prefer not to work late at night at all.

Do you prefer fiction, non-fiction, or do you love them both equally? (Reading and Writing)

I love the power of a good story, whether I’m reading it or writing it. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, as long as it’s a well-told tale. Though it may be historically significant, if a book is presented simply as a list of facts, it won’t engage me. I’ve learned more about history from writers like Mark Twain, Zora Neale Hurston, and Toni Morrison, than I ever did from history books. They get the feel of the time period, the frustration and limitations of the characters, as well as their emotions. They make us feel the lessons that history is supposed to teach us, and some people don’t get that. Of course I couldn’t put advice and “how to” books in the same category. I want to be able to relate to people, real or imagined.

I thoroughly enjoyed “7 tips for a successful Marriage, even when Opposites Attract.” Here is a bit of my 5 star review:

This book covers many issues, such as: marrying someone of a different faith, parenting, finances, expectations, infidelity, and just about any topic you can think of. One of my personal favorites, was the idea that it is okay to approach most situations with a sense of humor. For me, in my marriage, I agree: having a sense of humor is one of the best parts of realizing that we are both human and doing the best we can to conform and compromise.

What was the biggest inspiration behind “7 Tips for a Successful Marriage, even when Opposites Attract?”

My husband, of course! Once I’d come up with as many excuses as possible to start writing, I still didn’t know where to start. He asked me, ”What do you know the most about? I responded, “Being married to you.” We had been married thirty-six years, longer than anyone else we knew. And it was amazing because we are so different. We don’t read the same kinds of books or watch the same types of movies. I love plays and love stories. He loves sports and records five hours of news every day. I love revisiting books and movies; he never wants to see anything again. To pursue the “opposites attract” angle seemed only logical, and I realized that there are a lot of couples out there just like us, and too many of them just give up.

Would you like to share an excerpt from one of your books?

Of course! This is from the first story in Tales from the Family Tree, “The Reunion.” I was adopted at birth, and this story is about meeting my birth mother several years ago.

After her funeral years later, I learned that Aunt Dee had been run out of three towns in Ohio, and had even gone, fully packed, to the home of the white man in Kentucky who had killed her father. She relented when he and his wife begged for his life. The experience hardened Aunt Dee to men in general, as far as putting up with any mess. She outlived five husbands before her heart attack at seventy-seven, despite a serious back injury in her youth. When she buckled up her corset-like brace and donned her jewels and furs, she was stunning, like a black Mae West with a mole on her cheek. In their youth, the beauty of the Roebuck girls was legendary, but in a time and place where Black women had no voice, their beauty brought them as much tragedy as it did joy.

The Roebuck girls had been victims of every type of abuse from every type of man, black and white, stepfather and husband, lover and stranger. Determined not to be trapped in this cycle of insanity, Mattie opted to simply leave. She left Delilah, who had mothered her since her own had abandoned her; she left four protective brothers, all skilled brick masons trying to make it up north; and she left two babies that she thought would be better off in stable, two-parent homes.

And I was.

******

Beautiful excerpt, lovely chat! Thank you, Ernestine, for stopping by.

Connect with Author Ernestine Rose online:

Website

Facebook

7 Tips for a Successful Marriage

 Raising the Roses

Tales from the Family Tree

Bookworm’s Nook:

an artist’s perspective

Hello and welcome, Chris Lewis, of Stratosphere Group!

Would you like to share a bit about yourself?

Hello All!  My name is Chris Lewis and I am 28 years old.  I have a beautiful wife, Faith, and two little boys: Noah and Logan, 6 and 7 respectively.  I own my own business of websites and graphic design, and when I am not tied to a computer, I can be found doing a variety of hobbies.  From exploring caves, astronomy, canoeing, and rocketry, there is never a shortage of things for me to do to pass the time.  One of the most interesting things I have done with my hobbies  involve triggering lightning strikes with my rockets that I have made.

I am a very active member in my church, and have come from being an diehard atheist at one time, to seeing my faith in God be as solid as a rock.  I run sound and video at my church during the message and am the lead worship singer during our worship sessions.  All in all, music to me is a way to say something that normal communication cannot convey, and just like my writing, is a way for me to express myself second to none.  When a story comes upon me, my paper is my canvas and my pen a brush, capable of painting beautiful journeys for the reader to enjoy.  In writing there are no limitations to the adventure that one can create.

What is your favorite thing about reading?

I believe the best thing about reading is the endless adventures one is able to go on without ever leaving their chair.  From being next to Abraham Lincoln when he gave his Gettysburg address, to stepping out of the Lunar Module with Neil Armstrong when he uttered his world changing words: That’s One Small Step..  Reading brings you into the story and gives you an experience like none other.

Do you remember your first book? Do you remember your favorite place to read as a child?

The first book I remember reading was called I Want To Be An Astronaut.  It was a real simple book, but was the founding book that ignited my love for science.  Another set of books I read when I was young was the Boxcar Children series, I remember having dreams of being one of the kids in those stories.  Upon entering Junior High my real love for reading came after reading S.E. Hintons The Outsiders.  I was so captivated by how reading a book was actually like seeing a movie, only better.  I then discovered that my favorite place to read was any library.  To be surrounded by adventures just waiting to have their covers turned was almost a thrill to me.

When did your love of reading inspire you to write?

I began to write my own stories as a way for me to create adventures of my own.  Nearly all of the stories I have ever written have come from my dreams.  I used to dream so much, and so many interesting stories, that I began keeping a pen next to my bed so I could write down all I could remember from the dream.   My very first dream and first story I ever wrote was called The Trip to Space.

Another thing that I would have to say inspired my writing was a computer program my parents got me for my birthday.  It was called “Story Book Weaver,” and it, I can honestly say, really ignited my love for writing.  With that said, I encourage parents to skip video games for their kids and get games that inspire kids to be creative and to achieve their dreams.

Do you prefer paperback books, e-books or both? Why?

To me, a book shelf is like a work of art.  Looking at all the various colored spines and titles is truly a sight to behold, and therefore, I always look for books to add to my never-ending bookshelf collection.  I do however enjoy the simplicity of having e-books, as if I am waiting on a client to arrive or have some time before an appointment, I can simply pull out my iPhone or iPad and begin reading.

When reading, what types of characters do you find yourself relating to more than others?

I find myself relating a lot to characters who are not taken seriously right away, for their thoughts or beliefs, and only after someone gives them a chance to prove themselves is their usefulness discovered ever so brightly (ie. David and Goliath).

Are there books that you find yourself revisiting? (Either in yourmind or literally picking up the book to reread it again and again)

Other than my Bible, Auto Biographies is where it’s at for me!  To become a part of someone’s life, who did something famous or worth remembering — moon landing, discovering America, etc., are truly incredible reads.

If you could introduce two characters from two different books youhave read, who would they be and why?

October Sky has been a book that so captivated me, I have actually spoken with the author on the phone and he sent me an autographed copy.  October Sky told the story of how these kids faced odds of being taken serious as potential college students in the field of science and overcame the odds of being forced to work in the coal mines.

(Wow!! How crazy is that!?) What web design advice or tips would you give authors,artists and business owners?

Web design is a profession that has taken me over 11 years to get where I am, now, and with that said, my advice is to honestly hire a professional.  Websites have come a long way from their earlier days when anyone could build them.  However, with the current trends and standards set by the world’s three largest search engines: Google, Bing and Yahoo, not having a properly designed and/or keyword rich site can actually hurt your ability to gain potential customers and help your competition.

The search engine providers have a delicate balance to achieve.  They succeed by helping people find your business or site, but at the same time, they do not want to take people to sites that are junky, because that then gives them a bad reputation.  However, if you are definitely set on designing your own site and maintaining it, here are a few tips to follow:

1) Choose a domain that is close to what you do and in some situations get more then one domain. ie You own a guitar store in Pittsburgh.. A few good domains that you could choose could be mikesguitars.com and pittsburghguitarshop.com  Your domain is your first step in getting Google, Bing and Yahoo’s attention.

2) Build your site around one main keyword and use it 2 or 3 times on the home page.  ie. Welcome to Pittsburgh’s number one Guitar Shop.  We at Mikes Guitars…  Too many keywords, google will think you are trying to cheat the system and will actually bump your site down in ranks.

3) When you use images on your site, make sure you give your images a good file name.  If you take pictures change the file name ie. DSC_3201.jpg to blue-electric-guitar.jpg

4) If in doubt look around online.  A good google search of web design tips is only a few clicks away.  Also, youtube is a good source for visual learners.

If any of you would like to contact me regarding anything you have read here or would like a free quote on website work, please don’t hesitate to contact me!  Mention this site for a 20% discount as well.  Also, don’t be mislead by all the hoop and holler about the high cost of websites being thousands of dollars.  There are some designers that charge that much but the range of websites I have done are $250 to $850 and I have never had anyone’s site cost more then that.

Have a blessed day and happy reading!

Jeremiah 29:11

Chris Lewis – Web & Graphic Designer
Stratosphere Group

Taking Business Higher..

Thanks so much for sharing, Chris!! It’s been wonderful learning about your creative journey!

Connect with Chris:

Toll Free: 877-994-7376
Email: helpdesk@stratospheregroup.us

Girl Talk!! with Sherry Pringle of Healthy Happy Relationships! Today, Sherry has a few topics, and I will be in the hot seat, with some really tough questions.  Feel free to hop in, share your view; share your thoughts ..girltalk

Sherry: One of the main reasons I felt confident in my ability as a Relationship Coach, was because of all the times friends and family repeatedly came to me asking for relationship advice. Once I really focused on getting more knowledge in relationship support I was able to really help them more.

1. I’m wondering: If Kendall Berkely from your book, Just Beneath the Surface, came to you for relationship advice, what would you, as a mother/friend, say to her?

RH: That’s such a tough question — such a tough question. I am not a professional, and I don’t think I could handle a career like that. I wish I had the strength, but I don’t think that I do. But if asked, I would have to say, my advice would be: “Kendall, I’m here. What’s happening is breaking my heart. I know it has to be breaking yours. But you won’t find me judging you, telling you what to do, what not to do, or what I think. I just want you to know, I’m here for you, and when you say the word, we get you HELP, and we get you OUT of there.”

I’d feel like a criminal, standing by, practically watching it happen. Who knows, maybe I would be the type of person to anonymously call and report the man, and try to get the abuser arrested.

But as far as advice, sometimes, wanting the best for someone and giving them advice, can cause a serious strain on the friendship. Sometimes, it’s hard to know the difference between judgment and advice.

I’d like to think, that I would first ask myself a few questions. When I have been at my worst, was I venting to a friend, because I needed an ear? Was I speaking to a friend, sort of crying out for help? I say that to say, my answer would depend on “Kendall’s” need in that moment. I don’t believe someone in that type of situation is unaware of how dangerous her relationship is; more than likely, she is battling what she feels, what she wants to feel, what she knows, what’s been distorted.

Sherry: 2. In the real world, do you think that guys like Spencer can change and learn to control their abusive blow ups? Where can they go to get help?

RH: Wow! Even more difficult question. And I stress, *I am not a professional. This is just my opinion.*

He needs to be incarcerated, first and foremost. Jail, prison, plenty of time away from potential victims. (I think.)

But as much as I despise a man who is anything like Spencer, I would stand at a distance and hope and PRAY he could take some serious time to reflect. And I mean time alone. I would hope that whatever has happened and caused him to become an abuser, would come to light, and he would get help. Serious help. Statistics are against people like Spencer, but I would never say “never”.

Again, I’m no professional, but I believe they need to seek help as well as be prepared for the consequences of their actions.

Sherry: 3. As an author and more, how do you stay focused and confident enough to complete each novel?How much time do you spend working on that novel weekly?

Focus comes to me naturally, but only when it comes to writing. I say it a lot, but I repeat it because it’s true: I work on several projects at once. Short stories, novels, guest posts, anything that can keep creativity flowing. My attention span is not so great in real life, so the only time I am “focused” is when I am writing.

Confidence? That’s nearly a foreign concept to me. I write a lot about self-esteem and confidence and believing in ourselves, because  in my heart, I believe in the possibility that if it is God’s will, I will touch someone’s life through writing. I want everyone around me to know how talented and what a gift they are to the world .. but me — my thoughts? Sherry, you’ve seen first-hand what I say about myself. I’m definitely a work in progress.

How much time do I spend working on novels? I jot things down all throughout the day. I go to bed working on excerpts that I have emailed myself. And if I am not working on a novel, I am working on short stories and guest posts or networking and *sigh* promoting. I suppose just about all day, every day.

… And that concludes our chat, for today. Thanks so much Sherry 🙂

Any discussions ideas? Free free to leave them in comments!

Since this is the week of my Just Beneath the Surface re-release with Inknbeans Press, this will be a week filled with excerpts, interviews and more.

Today, myself and Sherry Pringle of Healthy Happy Relationships, have our first chat — a bit of girltalk — about a few of the issues in Just Beneath the Surface. Feel free to jump in!

******

In Just Beneath the Surface, the topic of living together unmarried, for several years, after having children, is a huge part of a couple’s breakdown. There are also disagreements about one man’s need to run home after every fight.

What, in your opinion, Sherry, is the difference between living together girltalkand getting married?

My husband and I lived together for over 1 year before we got married. Although we had no kids, I noticed a huge difference in my level of commitment for our relationship after getting married. I felt like before the wedding I still had the option to leave if I wasn’t happy in our relationship.

We were not a unit yet so I still felt like I was solo and looking out for myself. I didn’t feel completely invested. I still had that, “I gotta’ do me” mentality at times. Our wedding day changed everything. After speaking our wedding vows out loud in front of all our loved ones and making that commitment to God and to each other, our bond grew stronger from that day forward. We became truly united in our lives. He has my back and I got his back. We are each others biggest supporters,  best friend, and confidant. We both felt more trust and belonging after getting married. There’s a powerful sense of security that comes along with marriage, that you just don’t get while cohabitating.

I would have to say the biggest difference between living together and getting married is our level of investment into the relationship. When you’re married, you’re all in, this marriage stands for you and your life. It’s not easy watching anything that you’re fully invested in fail. Before marriage, we were in the same boat, but had our own life jackets. After marriage, our life jackets became one. When things get rocky, now, we either sink or swim together in this ocean of life.

2. If a woman feels that her significant other is a “momma’s boy,” (no offense, guys …) how can she be sure she is not exaggerating? Where is the balance?

I think the best way to know if you have a momma’s boy is, like with many things, your gut feeling. There are a few general things to look out for, which will let you know you’re not exaggerating.

– If your man suddenly metamorphoses from a man to a boy in the presence of his mother. You get that icky feeling all over, and you don’t know whether to hurl or to slap him back into reality when you see them interact.

– He is still letting his mother make major decisions for him and his life, instead of a)figuring things out on his own or b)consulting with you before he calls Momma for help.

– If he is not sticking up for you when it come to his mom and allows her to continually over step boundaries. A man has to be willing to stand up to his mother in order to protect his wife.

Ladies, if you truly have a momma’s boy on your hands, you’ll know exactly what I mean by these.

3. What, in your opinion, should she do to express her concern in a healthy way?

The best way to express your concern is to first check your attitude and your intentions. Be sure you’re not just out to criticize or judge your man. Set a goal for getting more understanding and really expressing your needs. Truthfully, we all want a man who respects his mother, right? So if what you’re truly seeking is more of a balance, start by acknowledging the love he has for his mother, and then simply ask for what you need from him going forward.

You may even have to out right ask him, “Are you ready to open up that space for the number one woman in your life to a woman other than your mother?” His answer to this question will let you know if he’s ready to drop being a momma’s boy and willing to let someone, hopefully you, take on the leading lady role in his life. And if the answer is yes, that’s your moment to step up by asking for what you require as the woman in that role.

Thanks, Sherry. Couldn’t have said it better myself!

I had fun, and I can’t wait until next time.

Find out more about Just Beneath the Surface. Download your copy from Smashwords or Amazon

Bookworm’s Nook:

Journey to Germany

Today, we have a fun chat with Ms Andrea Cunningham of Creatively Yours Arc!

(Andrea is currently staying in a small village called Klein Gerau, about 30 minutes from Frankfurt Germany.)

About Creatively Yours:

Creatively Yours was born from a desire to do things differently.  For years I have been helping behind the scenes in corporate America to help companies achieve the ease and efficiency of streamlined organization, event coordination, mailings, spreadsheet maintenance and anything else an administrative assistant can be asked to do.  I am ready to offer my services to those who see their business growing beyond the 9 to 5.  Those who are willing to expand their services to include a team player that knows how to get things done efficiently within the timelines set forth.  Time is money.  Let my skills enhance your business.
Themes and Dreams now available on Amazon
Follow Creatively Yours on Twitter:  @cre8vlyyours
Find Andrea on Twitter: @authcunningham
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Q: What is the best part of being away from home, creatively?

A: I am learning that without the pressure of “home issues” I am able to write quite freely.  It’s amazing how much I am getting done because my phone is not ringing, I am sleeping properly and I don’t have to worry about where to be at what time.  It’s a blessing and I want to remember this feeling and duplicate it when I get back home.  My creative work is just as important as the “rat race”.

Q: How did you choose Germany?

A: In 2006 I was blessed to meet in person a friend I’d been conversing with online at that point for about 5 years.  We share the same birthday and are more alike than I could ever imagine.  She has graciously opened her home near Frankfurt to me and I am debating on how long I am staying.  Maybe 2 or 3 months.  So far I have been here for 1 month and having a wonderful time.  Shout out to Sabine for being such a great friend!

Q: What are the major differences between Germany and the United States?

A: From my personal experience so far (this is my 3rd time here) these are the main differences I see:
There are very few SUV’s on the streets….and a ton of Smart cars.  Compact cars, smart designs inside homes and a general “green” campaign are just a few of the things.  They recycle their glass in brown, green and white.  It’s amazing. Culturally, I had to get used to being stared at a lot.  I am staying in a relative “village” and there are not many Black people around here.  So people openly stare at me here.  Rude?  Yes.  But I am adjusting.  (LOL)

Q: If you could give us a visual, detailing one of the most beautiful things you’ve seen on your trip, what would you write?

A: We went to a free concert in a historic part of Germany (Wiesbaden) and there is a huge “high roller” casino, that was gorgeously lit with a huge Ferris wheel placed in front of it just for the festival.  It was so romantic, beautiful and breath-taking that I will definitely be writing a love scene about that image/night. 

Q: Many people, especially those who have started a family or are heavily depended upon, do not find time to follow their heart and take time to recharge. What do you tell them, and how do they defeat that guilt?

A: Although I do not have children of my own, I am very heavily depended upon by both my family and my tight circle of friends.  I felt VERY guilty when someone said, “You will be missed more than you know when you are away.”
It could have stopped me in my tracks, made me cancel my flight and stay in that particular person’s face. It might sound morbid, but if I died tomorrow, everyone’s life would go on.  I’m not saying I’m not important to the people that love me. But at the end of the day, if I did not take this trip, life would have continued on just as it has — because I decided to go ahead and get on the plane.
Responsibility (especially familial) is no joke, but people will ebb and flow like they always do when you are not around.  In the end it will really be okay.  Take time for you, your family will be better for it in the end, because you are building yourself up to care for them.

Q: What, in your opinion, is the difference between following your heart, and running away?

A: I struggled with taking this trip and was questioned by several different people in my circle about why I had to go for 3 months.  First, I must say, that I have always been somewhat impulsive in nature.  So it would be nothing for me to run away.  However, I think following my heart (giving up my apartment, selling most of my possessions, and taking this “break” from my Pennsylvania life) has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.  It was a planned out decision, full of self-doubt along the way, but I’m glad I did this. Running away seems to imply that you have no direction.  I feel like this decision/direction is very clear.

Q: What is your current work in progress, and what influence will this journey have on your writing?

A: Currently, I am working on novel, with a main character that is a “looney tune”.  I am working on a collection of short stories, “Themes and Dreams 2”.  The first collection, “Themes and Dreams (I), is currently available on Amazon.

I am blessed to have a hostess who is showing me the beauty of her country, and doesn’t mind stopping to let me take pictures with both my camera and my mind.  There are so many images that I am processing for future writing.  I am excited to share this trip in the most creative ways with my readers and supporters.

Q: What is your favorite thing to say, as you learn to speak German.

A: “Dings vom Doch” – Literal translation:  Things on the Roof.

This is one of my favorite game shows over here. I love game shows in general, so it’s funny that I immediately found one I like.  A panel is given weird items, and they have to figure out what it’s used for.  After they take their guesses a short video shows how they are used.  It’s very entertaining and funny. (Although I don’t speak much German, body language says so much.)

schön – (2 dots over the o)  – Beautiful, lovely, pretty.

Entschuldigung – I’m sorry (it’s fun to say with so many syllables)

Thank you RH Ramsey for allowing me to share my thoughts!!!

Thank you, Andrea, for sharing your journey, your future projects, and for reminding us all of how inspiring a getaway can be!

Connect with Andrea online:

Themes and Dreams now available on Amazon
Follow Creatively Yours on Twitter:  @cre8vlyyours
Find Andrea on Twitter: @authcunningham