Merci To B.A. Cabin Crew

I’m in the opening stages of planning a follow up to Conventions: The Garden At Paris. It will build upon Conventions, while I hope it will also be a “stand alone” novel. Likely it will have some of the same characters, as well as some new ones – once again, both historical as well as fictional.

While I have some general thoughts right now, essentially I’m on a “blank slate” once more. As I have written recently, it is a terrifying place to be. However, it is also an amazing one: for this is where “it” all begins.

From where do writers get their story and characterization ideas? I have discovered that you as the writer are probably a better initial source than you may realize. However, you need to understand too that in all likelihood you are not interesting enough to write a “memoir” either: chances are you aren’t “Nelson Mandela.”

Continue reading

A Look Back

Now that I am no longer regularly beating my head down on my desk…

…when I find myself frustrated or annoyed by something I’d written, or am struggling to write, or feel unable to convey precisely as I wish, I think it is time to take a few moments, sit back and enjoy it. This “battle” is over. For better or worse, I wrote it.

I thought a post sharing a variety of “snapshot” excerpts – in no particular story order – of Conventions: The Garden At Paris might be fun. I’ve not posted many completed parts. You having put up for so long with my talking here about writing it, you are definitely entitled to see bits of the finished novel!:

Excerpt from “Conventions” on Kindle for iPad. Click to enlarge.

I labored over it and its characters for over a year and a half. I researched that bygone era carefully. I hoped to bring aspects of “1787” and the years immediately after in America and Europe back to life for us in our 21st century.

It's indifferent Monday weather.πŸŒ§β˜”οΈπŸ’¦πŸ’§πŸŒŠSo nothing great to photograph outside. I spent much of the day here – at the desk in my office.πŸ€”πŸ’»πŸ“šβœοΈIt's in our late-1600s built house's (it was, insofar as we can figure out, originally a three room cottage) converted loft space. . Oh, and the desk is actually not nearly as cluttered and chaotic as it looks in this pic. (And that's Thomas Jefferson in that portrait, keeping an eye on me.)πŸ˜‚ . #office #homeoffice #photo #photography #photos #writers #authors #authorsofinstagram #Monday #organization #writing #reading #upstairs #home #humor #humour #history #rural #countryside #Hertfordshire #England #thomasjefferson

A post shared by R. J. Nello (@rjnello) on

My hope is that you sit by a poolside, or on a beach, or on a sofa, or in bed, and lose yourself in it. Ultimately, that’s what writing is about: hopefully captivating a reader:

Excerpt from “Conventions” on Kindle for iPad. Click to enlarge.

Continue reading

That Blank Page (Again)

We are back home in England after our visit with my father and our North American holiday:

Back home in #Hertfordshire this morning. Took a photo of the seat-back route map over the Atlantic very early on Saturday morning between Newark and Heathrow. We were on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. I like that plane a lot; I find it more comfortable as a passenger than the 777. . We are "weird" at times, too. What we also take for granted. How astonishing – awesome, in the real sense of the word – it really all is technologically.πŸ€” . We huff about, say, not having quite enough leg room, or about where to put our carry on, or about the peanuts. We forget: WE'RE FLYING…at about 40,000 ft and going around 600 MPH!πŸ˜œπŸ˜‚πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ . Cc: @victoriaflies many of us always watch the safety demonstration. And we know exactly where our nearest exit is – even if it is behind us. Just so you know. πŸ˜‚ . #travel #airplanes #Dreamliner #humor #humour #photo #photography #britishairways #writer #writers #writersofinstagram #author #authorsofinstagram #technology #newarkairport #heathrowairport #heathrow #England

A post shared by R. J. Nello (@rjnello) on

And I have the souvenir mug:

Now, back to reality.

Conventions: The Garden At Paris is also finished and available. That chapter is, shall we say, “closed.” Time to move on…

Continue reading

Danger: Second Guessings

Monday motivation, courtesy of the Voice of America’s Instagram:

I know over in Britain it is not an ordinary Monday. It’s the May bank holiday. Thus the need for “Monday” motivation today may be less than usual.πŸ‘πŸ˜„

The holiday rental here on Puerto Rico’s Vieques Island has no television. But there is fantastic internet. I’ve reached the point now where I don’t care much if I ever watch TV – as long as there’s internet.

When we’ve not been out and about, I’ve done some necessary social media “housekeeping”:

Continue reading

PUBLISHED: “Conventions: The Garden At Paris”

I thank all of you who follow me here and have purchased my earlier novels. Once again, I have reached what is simultaneously the most satisfying moment a writer experiences and also the most unnerving one. Conventions: The Garden At Paris is becoming available on Kindle currently on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, and all other Amazons:

With that novel finally finished, frankly I’m about finished as well. Mentally, I had been thinking for years about writing a tale like this one. I had been actually doing it since January 2016:

Continue reading

“Author Facebooking”

I saw this on Instagram earlier this morning:

And it got me thinking that while there is “truth” in that, I have learned that the likes of “Facebooking” – for me it is more “Instagraming” – can be a stress breaker, too. One cannot work at one’s writing ALL of the time. You’ll become “isolated” and go bonkers.

It is necessary to blow off steam, have a laugh, and to think about something else now and then. Social media is one way to do so…

Continue reading

Deadline Day

As you can see, today is March 31. As you may also see, Conventions is not out today. However, I knew a few weeks ago that the deadline was going to have to give – by a few days or weeks.

I had set “March 31” as publication day in my head sometime late last summer. If I may offer one piece of writing advice based on my own experience, it is this: you must give yourself a deadline that you take seriously. It focuses you on finishing the work. Without one, I assure you that you will drift – and may never finish your book.

Screen shot of Kindle site.

Continue reading

Rocket Flares In A Pre-Dawn Sky

The clocks moved forward here in Britain last night…

After the “short” night, I’m still awake early. I am usually an early riser – particularly now. My brain seems on “full speed” as I awaken and for some time afterwards.

Continue reading

At The “Breakpoint”

I don’t normally do more than one post a day. But the stark difference in the subject matter between this one and the previous one is such that I could not combine them. And I wanted to make sure I posted this as well.

Yesterday afternoon, unaware of what was going on “out there,” I had been working as usual. Also I took a break which included not only making a coffee, but listening to Soundcloud while doing so. Marion ClaviΓ© has a beautiful voice:

Continue reading

In Our Times

Since about 1750 (after the Reformation, the Civil War, Cromwell, and battles over the succession to the throne), other than during WWII, Great Britain has generally been a pretty safe place. It had some “highwaymen” and street thuggery, but even that was patchy. (In 1800, it also had several dozen offenses for which hanging was still commonly applied.) And there has been the occasional, isolated “political riot” – such as the “Gordon Riots” in London in 1780.

Because of the patterns of life, centuries of rural habit, and the static world most were born into, lived in, and died in, there was little public violence. Great Britain has not suffered from extended periods of political instability and the terrorism that usually stems from that – save for that which emerged from Ireland in the 1960s, and which had a clear political goal. What happened yesterday on Westminster Bridge is a relatively recent phenomenon – but one we are now seeing all too regularly in various places.

For us as Americans, in 1777 Morocco was – informally – the first country to recognize the newly independent U.S. A friendship treaty was officially signed in 1786, and that treaty remains in place even today. The first foreign property the U.S. Government owned would not be in London, Paris or Amsterdam, but was the U.S. Consulate in Tangier, which is now on a register of U.S. historic places.

Continue reading