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Wednesday, July 3, 2013
A few words of thanks . . .
I've been having a really tough time with my writing.
I thought writing the second Whimsey would be a snap.
oh ho ho, have I ever been dealt a reality check.
far from it.
And then I had a little conversation with a friend who said she had moved to a different project because she was having a difficult time writing the sequel to her first novel. I replied that I was having the same issues and for the very first time admitted I was worried I wouldn't be able to maintain the same level of magic I had for Whimsey #1 (as it's come to be called here at home).
And it's actually the first time I've admitted it to myself.
Because, honestly, I didn't even realize I was fighting with those feelings.
An honest chat with a trusted friend is priceless, isn't it?
Once admitted, and shared, another friend popped in to tell me that what I was feeling was normal to probably everyone writing their second novel.
I cannot begin to explain how liberating all this has been.
I feel like the walls around my writing have been knocked to the ground. And yesterday was the first truly decent day of writing I've had since starting Whimsey #2.
HUGE thanks (along with a lot of hugs!) to my friends Dee Phelps (whose first novel will be released in September) and Beth Anderson (a deliciously grand writer of long standing). You gave me what I needed when I didn't even know I needed it.
And then - wow - then this lovely review pops up at amazon from Elaine Drennon Little (who, I hear, has her own book out. Just released - "A Southern Place.") - - -
"Whimsey--Harper Collins /Webster's Dictionary defines it as " a sudden passing fancy." In Whimsey, a novel by Kaye Wilkinson Barley, it refers to a mystical island off the coast of the Carolinas, serving as a nirvana-like home for artists and artisans of the visual, spiritual, and creative arts. My first question, as I began to devour this lovely piece of southern Americana, was of course "does such a place exist?" I wanted to go there, to mingle among the natives, absorb their culture, and then hopefully become one with this magical pseudo-family of the gifted and talented.
I've read about many artists colonies; I've even applied and been rejected from a few, but this one seemed altogether different from the rest. On the positive side, the residents all spoke my language--a sweet, dipthonged drawl served best with sweet tea, shrimp salad sandwiches and desserts that made me drool as I read. They also welcomed stronger drink--from mimosas and mint juleps to wine, bourbon, and punch bowls full of happy liquids that invite all to share the laughter.
On the downside, there were fairies, pixies, spirits of "the other kind" and regular, normal people (who could converse with fairies and shed an effervescent glittery substance wherever they went!) There were also a few family ghosts who favored verandas and porches and told a decent story, when prompted to do so.
Aside from Dickens's A Christmas Carol and a few isolated Stephen King books, I don't naturally cotton to speaking with the dead or with non-human entities, yet I couldn't seem to put this book down. Barley makes these mystical creatures as easy to converse with as my cat on a cold night. The only thing I DIDN'T like was that I can't visit this place--the author was simply too greedy to share the isle of Whimsey's whereabouts, email, or dot com address.
She does, however, share several authentically scrumptious-looking recipes for southern and low country food.
Don't let the ghosts and pixies scare you away. If you're in need of a short vacation for talented, mystical artists like yourself, whisk yourself away to the magic of Whimsey. If we can't really GO there, at least we can pretend... "
Thank You, Elaine!
Friends. I cannot imagine my life without my friends.
And now I have a whole new group of people who I feel as though I need to include in this group. And those are people like Elaine who I've never met and don't know other than through this lovely review she wrote after somehow hearing about WHIMSEY: A NOVEL. And taking a chance on it, and surprisingly enough, enjoying it enough to take the time to review it.
The reviews for Whimsey have knocked me off my feet. I never expected to read such lovely words from people I don't know. I thought Whimsey would get bought and read by friends and family and I hoped they would enjoy it enough to help spread the word. What I've gotten is magic in the purest sense. I'm humbled and grateful and totally gobsmacked.
and all I have to give back are simple words -
but they come from so deep . . . oh, my - so deep.