A New Chapter Begins

This past weekend I began a new chapter in my life. After a self-imposed exile, I and my way better half moved back to the place I have always considered home, even after 35 or so years of not living there. We are heading one town away from where we are now to Southbridge, MA, the town I grew up in.

I have been thinking about doing this for some time now, especially for the last year after landing a great job in Southbridge. I realized just how much I missed it. Now some people think there must be something wrong with me, and they just might be right, after all I have been living on the greatest lake in the area, on property that my family has owned for almost 100 years. Some would consider moving back to Southbridge a step down, but I don’t  see it that way at all. Rather I look at it as a coming home.

True, Southbridge is not quite the same as it was when I left. There are many changes,the school system is rated one of the worst in the state, recently having been taken over by the Commonwealth, and it also ranks among the bottom of the list in income. But still it is Southbridge and there are many good people there, of all stripes. There are many people who are trying to make a difference. I think it is time for me to be one of these, I don’t know how or at what level yet, but perhaps it is time for me to give back to the town that gave me my start in life.

  • The town that provided me with the set of values I still hold.
  • The town that provided me with a first class education.
  • The town that made who I am today.

Of course there may be some who might not think I turned out so well, but so be it.

As I have been walking and driving around Southbridge, I see good things and see not so good things. I see neighborhoods that were once well kept with manicured front lawns, fresh coats of paint, porches where people would sit an talk to their neighbors, that are now rundown and unkempt. But I have also seen signs in other neighborhoods of improvements being made. Three deckers being remodeled, front yards being landscaped, pride being taken in the homes and neighborhoods again.

Southbridge is no different that a thousand other small towns throughout the country.Once burgeoning industrial centers, with full employment and vibrant retail operations, the factories moved out, malls and then regional shopping centers replaced the downtown stores. Towns where personalities take over politics and actually working together to improve conditions often take a back seat to who is siding with who against another.

Will I become involved in the local political scene? That is hard to say at this time. I will admit I have been perusing the local cable access channels attempting to get up to speed on what is going on. But until such time as I make a decision on how I will proceed, I will be spending my time getting to re-discover my new/old home town, and writing about it here.

Free Advice: Worth Every Penny

Lately, I have taken to signing up for free webinars and teleconferences about writing and marketing. I look at it this way, most of them are an hour, maybe an hour and fifteen minutes long, they only cost time, so if I learn only one thing that might help me, then the hour was worth it. If I don’t learn anything then it only cost me an hour of my time. Continue reading

The Meaning of Life or Something

As I  sit here in my study, pondering life, I have come up with the definitive answer to the eternal question, “What is the meaning of life?” This has been a question that has plagued man for ages. Greater minds than mine have pondered this question and have failed to come up with the answer, yet, here I am, as unscholarly as one can be, and I have found the answer.

Continue reading

5 Bits of Writing Advice From P.D, James

I came across this today while going through all my backed up email. I really need to get my stuff together when it comes to them Any ay it is from the Gotham Writers website and it consists of a list of five bits of writing advice.

5 Bits of Writing Advice

Increase your word power. Words are the raw material of our craft. The greater your vocabulary the more effective your writing. We who write in English are fortunate to have the richest and most versatile language in the world. Respect it.

Read widely and with discrimination. Bad writing is contagious.

Don’t just plan to write—write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.

Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.

Open your mind to new experiences, particularly to the study of other people. Nothing that happens to a writer—however happy, however tragic—is ever wasted.

via P.D. James: 5 Bits of Writing Advice.

Since she has written way more books than I have, and made a little more money, I would say this is good advice.

The One Tip You Need For Writing Success

In my last post, I wrote about the definition of a writer. Let me begin by saying my first book was written and I published it last week. Now whether it is selling or not is a different story, but the point is I put my mind to it, and I did it. I have always had a dream of writing a book, but I always had excuses. Finally, I had no more excuses and it is done. And I learned a very important lesson … the first step to writing success. Continue reading

The Definition of a Writer

Here is a question for everyone: What is your definition of a writer? Is it someone who makes a living writing, someone who has been published or someone who just writes because they love to write?

I believe the answer is someone who loves to write. And the reason is simple, if you don’t love to write, you will never get published (well you can but if there is no passion in the work, well…) and you will certainly never make money at it. Continue reading

Blogging: Where the Hell have I been

I realize I haven’t been very consistent with this blog, or any of my others now that I think about it, and that isn’t a good thing. It breaks one of the main rules on “How to be Successful in Blogging” and that is

Computer

is to be consistent in how often you write, whether it is once a week, every day, so your readers will know when to expect something from you. I guess I believe in the “Roy Philosophy on Blogging” which is to keep ’em guessing. Could this be why I am not successful? Hmmm. Continue reading

Writing from Home Lessons

Courtesy Unsplash.com

Courtesy Unsplash.com

As I continue on my working from home until I find a real job journey, here are some lessons I have learned along the way.

  1. The only way you can concentrate on writing is to shut off the television when Maury, Jerry and Steve are on. Unless of course you are researching how far we have fallen in society. (Advice: If you ever appear on “The Maury Show” stay out of green room.
  2. Do not leave the computer on if there is any chance the cat will decide they want to sleep on the keyboard. If you do and he or she does you will end up with pages and pages of unreadable nonsense. Of course there may be times when that might actually be better than what you actually write.
  3. Spending hours on Facebook is not really research no matter how much you try to convince yourself.
  4. Spending hours looking out the window is not really a “creative enhancement exercise” no matter how much you try to convince yourself.
  5. Listening to your favorite music station while you are writing is not a good idea, unless you want to find yourself typing the lyrics of all your favorite songs into whatever the current project you are working on It happened once before, when I came to your door, No Reply. See what I mean?
  6. Spending your writing time playing with software just to see what it can do is not writing no matter what you may think. You really don’t think you will need to translate your work into 47 languages do you?
  7. Along the same lines as number 6, spending your time searching the web for “Free Software that will write your book for you without you even being there” is not productive. It does not exist no matter how hard you look, trust me on this one.
  8. While eating cookies may actually be necessary to keep the creative juices flowing, eating them over the keyboard can have adverse effects on your typing abilities.
  9. And finally, no matter how you look at it, playing Solitaire is not writing, research, marketing or corresponding with your potential readers.

Now with all that said I am happy to say that I have completed the first draft of one of the books I have been working on, This one is about dealing with fibromyalgia and it will be coming out as an eBook soon. I need to go through the editing process and then format it and find someone to design a cover.

Stay tuned.