Chainbooks.com – Writer’s Wanted!

I’ve met this wonderful guy who has come up with a unique writing experience for everybody.  Chainbooks.com is a company which will soon be up and running on the web.  I really am impressed with Matt Evon and Chainbooks because as a future teacher, his goal is to make Chainbooks something that schools would eventually utilize in helping children experience writing chapter books, and at the same time teaching them to process and develop storylines, characters and enhance their writing ability.  It’s got great dynamics!!!

Matt still needs help with acquiring “Starter Chapters” though.  These “Starter Chapters” need to be about 2500 – 3000 words long.  As a “Starter Chapter” author, you receive a payment for the “Starter Chapter” plus you will receive royalty payments once the book is completed and copies sold (payment is based on how many are sold).  You can get more information at http://www.chainbooks.com/.

Writing Atlantis into my stories

The sunken city

Since I can remember, I have been fascinated by the theory of Atlantis.  Plato’s description of the city beyond the Pillars of Hercules has fueled an imagination of who these people were.  Many scholars have rebuffed the idea, claiming this theory is pure fantasy.  But what if it were true, and there existed a civilization that rivaled our own, thousands of years earlier than well known history.

While writing Legends of Green Isle, I thought about the Atlanteans.  It gave me the idea of how Uthal (see Characters page) came about, and the disappearance of these great people from Earth.  The theme is a subtle background for the main story and its characters.

{{On researching, I found some tidbits that peaked my interest further, and I climbed into more history. Mayans believe the foundation of time began as post deluge survivors made it to South America (August 10th, 3113 BC) – the Egyptian first dynasty began approximately 3100 BC – Babylonian version of the great flood approximately 3116 BC.}}

While not using the flood theme in my series, I did use the survivor beliefs.  In the series the Formorians (see Characters page) needed to escape their destruction by the warlock, and with the help of the Elfs, they went through the portal to a parallel dimension.  The majority of the race disappeared into the sea, with only a select survivors from the royal house making it.

I have also run across theories that the Berber people of Morocco believe they are descendants of survivors from Atlantis, as well as the Basques in Spain.  It calls for further research.  What if there was a fallen continent between North America and Europe and North Africa?  This would change all we know about history.

{{In “The Atlantis Encyclopedia” = Atlaintika (Euskara) was a sunken island referred to as “The Green Isle” from which Basque ancestors arrived in the Bay of Biscay.}}

I hope that having the shadow of the Atlantis legend will peak the interest of the reader, perhaps creating a desire to satisfy their own curiousity by doing their own research.  As a future history teacher, this is what I strive for – the stimulation of young minds, and old alike.

Happy Writing!

Map of Atlantis

Putting your heart and soul into Writing – Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Charlotte Gilman

Back in 2003 when we first moved from Texas to Georgia, I was at a time in my life when I was doing some major healing and correcting.  Somewhere I had gotten lost, and did not recognize my own heart and soul.  I think our journey from Texas to Georgia was God’s way of taking me to a place where I could heal and get back on track with the goals I had set for myself a long time ago.

I remember reading a story called “The Yellow Wallpaper” in my English Literature class last spring semester (2010).  It was written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who based the story on her own healing she went through.  During the early part of the 20th Century, women were frowned upon should they venture to doing anything outside the home, especially if it consisted of anything which showed women actually had brains.  Charlotte was a writer and artist, and told by a doctor to never do either, because it was affecting her domestic goddess position, causing her to be sick mentally.

In an article from 1913, Charlotte explains why she wrote the story:

“For many years I suffered from a severe and continuous nervous breakdown
tending to melancholia–and beyond. During about the third year of this trouble
I went, in devout faith and some faint stir of hope, to a noted specialist in
nervous diseases, the best known in the country. This wise man put me to bed and
applied the rest cure, to which a still-good physique responded so promptly that
he concluded there was nothing much the matter with me, and sent me home with
solemn advice to “live as domestic a life as far as possible,” to “have but two
hours’ intellectual life a day,” and “never to touch pen, brush, or pencil
again” as long as I lived. This was in 1887.

I went home and obeyed those directions for some three months, and
came so near the borderline of utter mental ruin that I could see over.

Then, using the remnants of intelligence that remained, and helped by
a wise friend, I cast the noted specialist’s advice to the winds and went to
work again–work, the normal life of every human being; work, in which is joy
and growth and service, without which one is a pauper and a parasite–ultimately
recovering some measure of power.

Being naturally moved to rejoicing by this narrow escape, I wrote
The Yellow Wallpaper, with its embellishments and additions, to carry out
the ideal (I never had hallucinations or objections to my mural decorations) and
sent a copy to the physician who so nearly drove me mad. He never acknowledged
it.”

I connected to Charlotte’s story and article because I felt that, in some ways, being deprived of my art and my writing for such a long time, I almost went to mental ruin myself.  I lost myself for about ten years because I stopped doing any art.

For those who never have touched pen to paper, putting their heart and soul into writing, it would seem to them that the Doctor’s words may have been correct.  But to the contrary, writing is a means to which our heart and soul is expressed, allowing the emotions to spill forth in poetry or prose, washing us clean of the bottled up jumble of complexity which we need to convey to the world, but sometimes just can not find the right unspeakable words to do so.

I urge you to read “The Yellow Wallpaper.”

Creating my series Legends of Green Isle, other short stories and poems allow me to utilize my art in an intelligent way, to go somewhere beyond the hubbub of a 9 to 5 job, to express to my children my love, to give to my boyfriend a gift of myself through words, and to help others find another world to venture into if days are precarious.  As the main character in “The Yellow Wallpaper,” experienced the restriction of not being able to write, I believe, that should I be denied the time to write or create, it would put me into mental ruin. (But as Charlotte expressed, not to the point of complete degeneration, just enough to make me a little insane and angry.)

Being able to put my heart and soul into my writings help me to clear out the clutter of emotion which deluge me sometimes.  I feel more than other people I know, so these emotions can get out of control if they are not dealt with properly.  Writing is an outlet with which they can be safely vented. (I will be posting some prose and poetry here on the blog soon.)

I think all people should venture into expressing themselves in some kind of art.  My wonderful children all are gifted in some form of art: my son, Chase is a writer, my daughter Calle is a painter, and my youngest, Kelsey is a photographer.  I have seen their heart and soul poured out in their words and pictures.  And my boyfriend is also an artist, although he would like people to believe that he is more like a Nascar driver, but he does write me pretty poetry, and he is fascinated by the sunset and his pictures are breathtaking.

Everyone is this world should be a part of art.  It is a way to express the inner workings of who you are.  I urge you to try it, whether it’s writing, painting, drawing, photography, etc.  Put some of your heart and soul into it.  See what happens.  The beauty of your creation will be awesome.

History as a Writing Tool.

My son Chase and his girlfriend, Elizabeth, helping with the tree last Christmas.

Going back to school in my mid forties was a challenge.  Maintaining a business and working a 40 hour plus week, plus full time classes seemed like an up hill battle, but I was determined to do it.  As a history major, there is a load of reading and paper writing the accompanies your classes.  Along with research and outlines, you must learn to write with an eye towards the analytical and argumentative, especially as a student aimed at obtaining a PhD.  In accordance with the required dressing of a CV Resume, you also strive to submit articles to history periodicals and journals, as well as presenting papers at history conferences.  Writing and research become your second life, next to the life as a student.

It was during the first semester that I was also finishing up Book One of my series.

I can honestly say that going back and re-reading the manuscript before I came back to school made me ill.  My writing pretty much sucked.  I used to be very eloquent and artful with my words back in youthful days when I wrote alot.  But when you do not use your talent, it grows tarnished.  History became my writing tool as I delved back into school work and writing papers.

I was blessed to find myself amidst three wonder History professors who helped me shine off the dullness.  Dr. Thomas Stearns, Dr. Natalia Starostina and Dr. Matthew Byron here at Young Harris College are very kind to their pupils, but they push for excellance, in a polite, but demanding way and make you believe its for your own good.  It is the push that has helped me pick up the pace in polishing my skill.   I can certainly tell a difference in my writing.

It took me a semester to go back over Book One to re-create the chapters.  I had my boyfriend review it, as well as my son who was in boot camp down in Ft. Benning, Georgia. (I sent him a couple of Chapters at a time with his letters.)  He is a much better writer than I, and if it passed his examination, then I know I succeeded in getting to where it needed to be for publication.

While teaching History is my career objective, writing is my passion.  With preparing History papers and articles, it is the tool I need to help bring out the skill I once possessed.

Me and my wonderful boyfriend, Kevin

Book Two is shaping up pretty well.  I was very excited as I did some additional research on the Formorian connection in the book to find some other interesting things as I studied the theory of Atlantis.  I ran across a book by Frank Joseph called “The Atlantis Encyclopedia.”  What was fascinating to me was some other connections I discovered.

During last fall’s semester, I took Dr. Stearn’s History of Middle East Studies.  My research paper for the class was centered on the Berber people of Morocco.  I do not know why they peaked my interest, but they just did.  In Joseph’s book, I found a section in the “As” that along with the theory of Atlantis being a continent or land just beyond Spain and North Africa, the Berber people hold a tradition that they are descentants of the people who were refuged from Atlantis.  It excited me because this interest in the Berber people seemed to come from nowhere, but now I believe it came from a higher power. It is worth researching further.
I am amazed at all the connections I am finding between my writings and history.  Things which at first seemed to have no connection in my mind are now coming together as I study deeper into the history of our world.  History has become not only a writing tool, but has opened me for a doorway into a much higher thinking of who I am and my place in this lifetime.  Going past the trends and lessons which we are taught from childhood, I find myself seeing a much bigger picture of my place and task here during my short span of time on this planet.
Happy writing to you, and may you find your connection also.

Is writing good for your soul?

If I could, I would write everyday. It is unfortunate that life does not want to allow me that gift. If I could, I would squeeze a couple of more hours into the day just to quiet the desire of my soul, but with school, full time job, three grown kids, a boyfriend, four dogs and (I’ve lost count) cats, I am not able to pinpoint when those hours will be available. Writing is my art. I find I write best when I have been upset, or if my heart is sad. The emotion swirling like a tornado up from the essence of my being, the impressions of the discord inking the paper with feeling. Writing is an outlet, my words parallelling the disjointed life which I live. It is good for my soul. As a form of expression, it is an outlet for the damage from which my soul has traveled through, bringing forth healing.

I once had a fellow writer tell me that he admired my stories.  He commented that I wrote with heart, and that was very rare to find.  I’ve kept those words tucked away.  If I feel that I am writing to just to please the audience, I take them out and review them again, reminding myself to find the words of my heart – and my soul.  I try to encouage my children to be the same way about their art.  All art is good for the soul.  I believe our children have strayed from creativity because of so much stimuli with TV, video games, computers, etc.  Our technological world is making our next generations distant from art.  Without art, we have no beauty, no solace, no repair of injury to our souls, no magic of imagination.

Technology can make us machines, without feelings, without creative awareness, if we do not connect to our souls and feed our essence by our art.  Tolkien wrote his famous books because he felt the same way after WWI.  He saw the new weaponry, new machines used by humans against humans, saw the evil it brought.  Writing my series “Legends of Green Isle” I use the metaphor of technology replacing the soul, thereby destorying art.  Uthal, the Black Warlock is the machine, advancing on human kind, seeking to elimate all magic and magic creatures.  His spell is all powerful because it steals the life force of all, magic creatures as well as humans.  While writing my books, I wonder if that is our destiny?  Will we allow technology to consume our world, feeding off our souls, and procuring us to become slowly inhuman? Or will we stand to write, paint, sculpt, play our instruments, create for the benefit of our souls and the healing of the people of this planet?  I chose to do the last.