As you may know yesterday was International Women’s Day. Being a man, I thought I should best be “quiet.” My piling on with my male opinion was hardly necessary.
Now that we are here the day after, I thought I would offer simply this:
Well, that’s all for the latest France visit. I no longer know how many times I’ve been in the country. I’ve lost count.
If you have never been there and ever have a chance for a trip, don’t hesitate. I would suggest, yes, see Paris, but also make sure you get away from there and find a part of the country that is NOT Paris. And, above all, if you are American, don’t worry: trust me: the French do NOT hate Americans!
Maybe it's just me. But I'm detecting a pattern in the chalet artwork. (See also a photo from a couple of days ago.) I've not seen any skiers dressed like that!😂🎿⛷🖌🇫🇷🏔. . #goodmorning #bonjour #travel #art #humor #painting #LaClusaz #France #mountains #chalet #skiing #women #ladies #femmes #drawing #photo #photographylife #vacances #holiday #writers #authors #fun
By coincidence, returning to Geneva airport on Saturday we ended up with the same woman driver who had taken us to the airport last year. And she remembered us. We had a great chat once again over the hour and a half between La Clusaz and the airport.
If you have seen Instagram, we have been in the Alps since Saturday…
It's cloudy here in #LaClusaz as it's due to snow. And – trust me – you don't want to see a selfie right now: I'm attempting a beard.😜😂Much better (and less likely to frighten you than a selfie): a view of the Alps from above, Saturday afternoon, approaching Geneva Airport.🛬🏔📸😊 . #goodmorning #bonjour #travel #holiday #vacances #mountains #Alps #Alpes #airplane #view #scenic #Switzerland #France #flight #photo #photographylife #photo #writersofinstagram #beautiful #snow #authors #humor
We are about an hour and a half from Geneva Airport:
It is taking me much longer than I had hoped to work through the final bits of (what I lightheartedly like to call) my, uh, personal “Gone With The Wind”:
As a consequence I know I haven’t really had the time to write posts here as usual in recent weeks. But no writer should ever cut him/herself off entirely. I always find some time (mornings especially) to read blogs and check social media – especially Instagram.
I like Instagram because it’s fun. And it’s a necessary distraction at times. I can’t get over the stuff some people post.
Lizzy of Lizzy’s Weekly Blogs wrote me an email yesterday asking if I would share some advice on “how to write a short story or a novel.”
I said I would give it a shot. What are some things I’ve learned in the five years I have been doing this?
As I so far write only novels, here is my brainstorm on that complicated, yet also very simple, question. For starters, I have 10 suggestions (not offered in any particular order):
Yesterday, I was having what I had thought was an innocuous FaceTime with my father. There was our usual current discussion of the weather in his northeast Pennsylvania, and any snow – including what is up at our house in the Catskills. There was also the required exchange about what the new U.S. president is up to. And there was other chitchat.
As I thought we were about to sign off, abruptly he veered without warning into again reviewing my mother’s cancer and death in October 2015. Through hard personal experience, I’ve learned a lot about widowers since then. “The widower” is a particularly difficult area in our culture.
I’ve learned since 2013. I hate this “ending” period perhaps the most. A novel is essentially finished…
…but it’s not “quite” (in my mind) finished.
And you take a photo of your desk and put it on your blog as you plan to return to it once more. Because it’s your “baby” and it’s almost all grown up. And you want it to be PERFECT – or at least as “perfect” as you as an imperfect human may make it.
For today’s topic – the obvious one. I’ve found that writing romance is one of the most difficult things to get right as an author. It is too dangerously easy to produce sappy, or unrealistic, or simply unbelievable relationships.
"Good morning. And Happy Valentine's Day, my dearest."🌹💐👒🎩😊[Thomas Gainsborough (c. 1750): "Mr and Mrs Andrews".]😂#valentines #valentines2017 #gentry #portrait #painting #art #history #humor #humour #England #love #fashion #style #eighteenthcentury #romance #authors #writers #fiction #writing #amwriting #editing
It is also easy to poke fun at romance writing. However, if you try to write even a few romantic paragraphs yourself you will quickly develop a respect for those who craft romantic tales. Since 2013, I have.
Most of you know I write under a pen name. Since the publication of Passports in December 2013, I have gone to some lengths to try to separate my real-life self from my authoring identity. To do so, I created social media accounts for myself as an author that are different from my personal Facebook account, which is under my real name.
That does not mean I am some dramatically different person on here as an author, and on my Instagram, etc., than I am in my real-life. (Yes, it may disappoint some of you to learn perhaps that I am not, for example, secretly actually a 6 ft tall blonde Swedish woman.) I have sought merely to keep my two social medias apart for primarily creative reasons.
I’ve written novels to date that stem in large part from my own life experiences. And they feature characters based on people I know, or have known, and events that often happened in my life and in the lives of people I know, or have known. When I’ve told some close to me in real-life about the sort of fiction I’ve written, I’ve more than once been asked: “Am I in your books?”
I just Facetimed my wife in Portugal. I laughed and waved the manuscript at her: "My 'Gone With The Wind'."😂Much more about what on earth I mean by that, and about the two previous photos on here, and about my late novelist uncle, at the link in my bio: https://rjnello.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/my-gone-with-the-wind-i-laughed/ 😊💻📚#writers #writing #entertainment #publishing #novels #humor #family #books #authors #travel #history #fiction #romance #Hertfordshire #England #photo #photography #socialmedia