This Writing Stuff is Hard!!

Reasons why this Writing Stuff is Hard!!

Okay, so I’m not trying to complain (well, maybe a little bit), but this writing stuff is hard!!
Not the writing itself. Just getting ready for writer’s conference. I’m going to go off the blogging grid for awhile as I get ready for conference.

Coffee fuels creativity!

2018 Goal Revisited

My 2018 goal was to finish my dystopian novel, The Fall of Light. Done-ish. I wrote like a crazy woman to finish the first draft.

Here’s the thing…I’m just not happy with the writing yet. I have to pitch (or work to sell) the manuscript, but I still think it’s in draft stage. Booooo! No, seriously, I’m not just saying this to be humble…it really is still drafty!

I often post photos of my work space. This is at Piper & Leaf at Lowe Mill.

One Sheet, Synopsis, Outline, Pitch

Anyway, I got together what’s called a “one sheet.” It’s like a marketing flyer for the book. I wrote a synopsis, an outline, and a pitch script. I re-wrote them. I re-wrote them again…times five!

I could use Your Prayers

So I guess I’m just asking for prayers about the whole thing. I’d love for an agent to pick up my work, but there’s still a lot to be done. Please pray for this starving writer. It’s going to be okay, no matter the outcome. I’m just ready to finish all the prep work and just go!

Thanks for letting me vent. You know one theme behind Sweetgum Life is that sometimes life can be sweet, sometimes it can be gummy. I’m in the “gummy” part now, and hope things turn out with sweet rewards!

#writersconference
#writersofinstagram
#writerlife

Work space at the library.

 

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May Flowers

Hey, Everyone!!

I just got back from one of my favorite stores in Huntsville, Alabama–Bennett’s Nurseries.  I l-o-v-e that place.  It’s like a Disney World for flower lovers!  They have around 20 greenhouses where you can go and browse to your hearts content.  They’ve got annuals, they’ve got perennials, they’ve got a huge selection of the sweetest roses, they’ve got herbs, trees, landscaping, you name it.  You can take your kids along with you, and they can enjoy the gardens and the train while you shop.

May flowers Bennett's Nurseries

My wagon of herbs and flowers.

Flowers are my passion are one of the things I love to photograph and write about!

Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas, my favorite!

Those who know me well know that my favorite Artist is our Creator…I love His work so much.  He is so creative, and His use of color, composition, and Light (especially, Light) blows me away.

So, Mr. Bennett was nice enough to let me photograph their May flowers, and I bought a wagon full of herbs, a Endless Summer hydrangea, a primrose, and a dark red Calliope® geranium. Bennett’s has a wide selection…I chose dark red to go with the tint of bricks of our house. I plan to put the geraniums in a hanging basket outside our front door. You know that I’m a newbie photographer, so the Calliope people have a better photo on their website, here.

Let me know what you think about my flowers and plants!  I hope y’all are able to download my photo-heavy site okay.  WordPress optimization + Stephanie = Learning Curve!!

Hugs,

Stephanie

roses from Bennett's Nurseries

pretty May flowers

Lots of pretty May flowers!

rose

Dark Red Calliope® Geranium

Dark Red Calliope® Geranium

Note:  I did not receive any reimbursement from the businesses mentioned on this post.

The Portrait — A Story

Author’s Note about The Portrait

Hi Everyone! When Lefty and I visited the Alabama State Capitol last week, I came upon this portrait of a young lady that made a creative impact on me. I had to take a picture and follow it up with–of course–one of my stories. This is what I’ve got so far…It’s the start of a young adult story. Like with my other story, The Black Box, I’m not sure where it’s going to take me, but I hope you enjoy this first part.

Please let me know what you think!

Hugs,
Stephanie

The Portrait–A Story

By: Stephanie L. Robertson

Part I
I hate this!
It took Farren Guthrie’s thumbs approximately two seconds to type the three words and send it to her dad. She waited for his response, but none came. Mrs. Hughes’s eyes cut in her direction, and Farren shoved her phone into her back blue jeans pocket. The high school teacher who sponsored the trip had threated to take the students’ phones away if she saw one out during the art museum tour. That was the last thing Farren wanted—to have her mode of communication confiscated.
Farren didn’t know what made her angrier, the fact that her parents had forced her to go on the field trip or the fact that her best friend, Gwen, seemed to be enjoying it. Then again, Gwen was a big history buff. She loved the subject. Farren couldn’t care less about a bunch of dead people.
Now they were at perhaps the most boring part of the tour, the long hall with gloomy oil portraits of governors, land owners, and such. Farren wished she could be on Snap Chat instead of looking at the frowning faces staring down at her.
A few of the students were crowding around one particular painting. They began talking excitedly and looking over at Farren.
“What?” Farren mouthed to Gwen, who was in the middle of the group.
Gwen rushed over to Farren. “You gotta see this lady, Farren! She looks just like you!”
Farren sneered at her friend, and Gwen grabbed her hand and pulled her over to the group.
“Hey, Farren! You’re famous!” said Farren’s ex, Bryon Heinrich. Farren made a face at him and then stared into her mirror image on the museum wall.
The hairs on the back of her neck stood up.
Sure enough, the lady in a gilded, oval frame had an uncanny resemblance to Farren. The shape of her face, the color of her hair, her smoldering eyes, her straight nose and small lips, the slope of her shoulders—all mirrored Farren perfectly. Even the way she stared in distain at the gaping students resembled Farren. The lady’s hair was parted in the middle, whereas Farren’s had a side part. That was the only difference.
That, and the fact that the woman wore a white gown, probably fashionable in the mid-1800s. Unlike the other portraits in that wing of the gallery, this woman—like Farren—was also a teenager.
“Creepy!” Gwen breathed.
The other students quickly seemed to lose interest. The portrait gallery was, after all, the last leg of the tour, and the students were more than ready to leave the museum and head to the restaurant.
“Come on, Farren,” Gwen said and tugged at her friend’s arm.
“Just give me a minute,” Farren whispered, staring up at the image.
“Hurry up, though…” Gwen disappeared with the blob of teens, following Hughes and the museum guide down the stairs, the sound of their voices echoed behind them.
Farren stared at the portrait, transfixed. If she moved to the right of the portrait, the lady’s eyes followed her. If she moved to the left of the portrait, the same thing happened.
Farren began feeling dizzy. Something like static electricity made the hairs on her arms stand on end. The teen was mesmerized by the lady’s glowing eyes. They were like tunnels, irresistibly drawing the teenager in. Hypnotically, drawing her in…

 

A Blog, a Platform, and the Fast-Paced World

The Fast-paced World of Web Design

Hello Everyone!  What a beautiful day–sunshine at last!  It’s hard to believe that it’s the end of April.  This month has f-l-o-w-n!  I’m busy editing my dystopian novel and don’t have much time to post, so I’ve decided to post the reason why I started blogging in the first place.

It really goes back to the late 90’s when I learned how to design web sites and wanted to have an online magazine of sorts.  The only problem was that the technology was moving so fast.  As soon as I learned one thing, the Internet had moved on to something else.  I’m not one to easily absorb new coding.  I was just happy to have a rudimentary knowledge of HTML.  Then they were on to XTML and JavaScript.  I kind of gave up for awhile.

picture of Stephanie

Back when I first started blogging.

What’s a Writer’s Platform?

Then I learned about blogging, and I was in!  WordPress handled the technology for me.  All I had to do was write and photograph–what I’d wanted to do all along.  Not only that, I read over and over again that writer’s needed a platform–a way to hang my the-doctor-is-in writing shingle, so to speak.  And I was all set.

Now, the Newsletter!

Everything I read tells me that potential publishers really look at numbers…followers, that is.  So I figured out MailChimp (well, kinda) and hope to retain some of you wonderful people all over the world by asking (begging) you to subscribe.  That’s the advertising part of this blog.  Industry folks call it a “call to action.”  I promise not to email you to death or try to sell your email to anyone–that wouldn’t be very nice, and I wouldn’t want anyone to do that to me.  All you have to do is subscribe.

Screenshot of how to sign up for my monthly newsletter.

My idea is to send a newsletter out once a month.  (I’d better get on that!!!)

Okay, well, I hope you all have a very blessed day!

Hugs,

Stephanie

the pond at Jachin

The pond behind our home in Jachin, Alabama. I lived in Jachin for 18 years!