Post Election Thoughts and Feelings

I’ve always been a hope-and-positivity person. In my family, my brother was the cynic and I was called the optimist. Post the recent Presidential election, I’ve changed. My reactions have run the gamut from shock, despair, overwhelming sadness and depression. Now I am struggling to find a way back to the hopeful person I usually am. My despair has been for the people I fear will suffer from racist remarks, hate crimes and the most heinous acts that people can perpetrate on the “other.” The President-Elect has given many “permission,”through his own language,  to act out their hate, anger and resentment of those they blame for their own despair over income disparities, jobs no longer there for them in this global economy dominated by technology.  These are all real and understandable fears, but it is too easy to blame the underdogs, minorities. I fear for my Latino friends, many undocumented workers contributing to our economy with children born here; I fear attacks that might be perpetrated against my African-American, Muslim and gay and lesbian friends, and yes, my granddaughter’s African American boyfriend, father of my beautiful new great grandchild.  I have almost become sick with fear and then rage: how could this happen in the America I used to pledge allegiance to?

 Recently, I listened to someone talk about the fact that we are all energy, we create our own energy field and it radiates out from us, that we must decide what kind of energy we want to spread, the negative, dark and spiteful energy we’ve heard far too much of this past way-too-long campaign cycle, or positive, loving, tolerant, inclusive energy? Of course you can guess that I choose the latter. Let me add: that does not mean I will lay down and be a passive observer of events as they unfold. Oh no. We each have a role to play as a counterbalance for the negative statements made during the campaign. I am committed to remaining vigilant, for the very core of our democracy is at risk. But I will try to create a positive energy field, a kind of protective shield, a place where others, including myself, can laugh again, love again and feel safe. 

 I will try to rally others to share that optimism and hope, while forming a strong resistance to the potential dangers that face us. There are many ways to do that, the same means I’ve used in the past: through my writing and my artwork.

 I hope my readers will feel free to express their opinions and ideas. Freedom of Speech is still an ideal which we must protect.

 

Mixed Emotions

It’s with mixed emotions that I returned to my familiar home of 39 years, Portland, Oregon in mid-May. Leaving what I call my “adopted country, Mexico” where I share a home with my husband in the beautiful town of San Miguel de Allende,   (http://adventureswithsher.blogspot.com/2014/03/in-residence-in-san-miguel-de-allende.html) is always with mixed emotions as I have so many new-found friends there, a support group of writers with the San Miguel Literary Sala, wonderful neighbors, both Mexican and Ex-pats,  and a Clay Studio where I can go and sculpt to my creative hands’ delight. On the other hand, its always wonderful to know I am coming back to dear long-time friends and my wonderful family in Portland, Oregon. The plus side also is I return to our small cottage on the Oregon Coast on the Nehalem River, a place of peaceful days where I can write, kayak, walk the nearby beach in Manzanita and just enjoy our mild summer weather. Note, I said “summer weather!”  It’s a different story in the winter when Oregon rains and grey skies color our days!  How blessed I feel to have the opportunity to live in two such ideal places at times when they are at their best: winter and spring in San Miguel and summer and fall in Oregon. So no complaints, just mixed emotions. 

Mission

 Oregon’s Nehalem River  and the beautiful colonial buildings of San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. 

 

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New Year’s Resolutions: Keep Them Simple

What I’m Learning about the Art of Marketing a Self-Published Book: 

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Arriving back at our Oregon Coast cottage after a wonderful holiday in Portland with our family and friends leads me to reflect on what I’ve learned in the past year. Kept indoors by the lashing rain and cold outside  (you’d never know it from this photo as it was sunny on New Years day)lends itself to thinking about the New Year and what I resolve to accomplish,discover and learn in 2015. Uppermost in my mind, of course, is marketing my book successfully. I am learning new things everyday and want to share some with my aspiring author friends and those who are just now self-publishing. Here’s a couple of websites I’ve found helpful: 

 Abigail Carter is the clever and successful author of Writer.ly, a fantastic website set up to help aspiring writers and self-publishers. She, coincidentally, is the daughter of my wonderful cover designer, Margot Boland, who formerly worked for a major publishing company in Toronto, Canada.  I’m impressed with the many helpful suggestions Abigail has on her website and only regret I didn’t go to it sooner. Being caught up in completing my first novel, Under the Salvadoran Sun, and then self-publishing, I failed to follow some of the tips offered and ran blind sighted into the morass of “to do’s,” book readings, launching parties without first “learning the ropes” by taking advantage of the many helpful sites available on the web. Part of the problem was my perception: “There’s just not enough time!”  Well, as I often commented to friends and fellow-writers, this is my “practice novel.” It has been that in every way, from learning more about the craft of writing to setting up a book marketing plan and sticking to it!  Now I know what I have to do for the next book. It’s on the burner. 

Here’s another great websitestandoutbooks, with some helpful author’s tools such as a template for your first Media Press Release. As late as I am having launched my book almost a year ago, I’m using it to reach out to print and radio media.

In fact, I did a radio interview with Peter Newman with Coast Radio station KMUN just two weeks ago. You can listen to it here or friends on the coast will hear it  aired on Monday, January 26th at 9:30 am PST. Please post a comment on my website after you’ve listened to it. I’d love to hear what you think.  

To keep my New Year’s resolutions simple, I have decided to work more on understanding the marketing of self-published books, to continue to learn more about the craft of writing and to accept the help of others in the process. 

I wish all my blog followers a Happy New Year and hope you will read my book, write a review on Amazon, and most importantly, stay healthy and in love with life! Of course, we all hope for more PEACE in the world.