Pam’s Blog

DarkShadow - Bk 2 COE, Garden, Life, Writing

Write for Love – It is not always possible

Why do I write?

My brain is a miraculous thing. There are times I marvel at my thoughts. That’s why I write!

Today, I didn’t get to write like I wanted to do, but I did do some busy prep to help my websites stay approved and accessible.

Because of the time involved, I didn’t get to put down those thoughts that woke me at 5 a.m. this morning. But then, whoever has the chance to write their words without interruptions, they are very lucky souls.

Goals

Next week, I had a goal. It was to send out book two – DarkShadow – a work in progress – to my editor. Sadly, I haven’t gotten the last act written. Though, I know what I want to do, say, have happen, and explore.

The first fifteen pages are crafted, edited, and sent off to my writing leader for the writing retreat I am going on next week. My editor, well, she will get Acts One and Two when I go on the road. Act Three will not be finished as planned. So goes the writing life!

Writer’s Retreat

Where am I going? — Nimrod Hall. It is like the emblem of ancientness of Virginia. I am so excited and freaking scared.

How will I do? Will I fit in with the other writing gurus I will be connected with in real time? What can I offer that is important? I mean, after all, most of them are probably good writers. Me, not so much. Not even close. I’m a wanna-be writer that took it on the cuff to try to learn an elusive craft.

Oh, I’ve been traditionally published — academic publication as well as a book that was billed as a supplemental reader. The challenges I faced during the writing and publication of the supplemental reader were unbelievable. It was put on me, and my co-author friend, to market our book. We did a tremendous amount of editing and design work. That wasn’t really all bad until you realized how much of the royalties would go to the publishing company.

Self-Publishing

Having felt that pain, I realized that self-publishing was the way to go for the time on task. Why should I give 90% of my royalties to a publishing company when they didn’t even do the marketing, let alone, the editing, the design, the whatever.

So, I bit the bullet and wrote my stories my way. And, I feel good about what I’ve written. Oh, I used editors, beta readers, and I modified my stories according to feedback. Are they literary award winners? Absolutely not. I didn’t write for that goal. I wrote to tell a story. Did I succeed? I hope so, but only my readers will tell me. Some have, some haven’t.

Now, I’m writing my second series, and I find that I am just as weak-kneed as when I started my first book. I’m scared. I’m alone. And, I hope that my writing reaches someone. That is the goal. That I touch someone’s soul in that special way. That he or she will want to read more of my writings.

Will I succeed? I pray so. I’ll only know when the reader lets me know. Those moments are rare, but I cherish each one!

Motto – Write!

Write on! That is the motto! Live strong and prosper is the reward!

Thanks for reading. If you like this post and want to support it, forward it to someone who’d like it or, even better, buy them a book!

If you’re seeing this post for the first time, you can read prior posts on Pam’s Blog. To receive email notices of the next post, then sign up using the form in the right column (or if you are on mobile, scroll down until you see that sign-up form). If that fails, write me, I’ll get ya signed up.

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Until next time, I am
Pam

Pam in her garden.
Fun Image: Pam in her garden enjoying a break!

The blog post “Write for Love” was first posted on Pam’s Blog on July 12, 2019.

Blessings, Connecting, Family, Life, Love, Rainbows

Going Home, Again

They say it can be easy, but…

Such a simple phrase — Going Home, Again — but with profound implications when you grew up in an orphanage, a children’s home, or as a resident of family services. Going home again, can be a challenge, but it can also be a revelation.

The Home

A couple of weekends ago, June 22-23, 2019, a group of “old” kids got together to remember, reflect, and on Saturday, to dedicate The Hough House. We came home.

During the dedication ceremony of the brick structure that was the home of the Franklin Hough family, the current Executive Director, Dr. Richerson mentioned that the number of children that passed through the campus was counted to be over 30,000. I was one of them.

These were children who relied on the support of strangers. Not because they desired it, but in many cases, it meant life or death. Children who knew nothing about what their potential future may hold, but were clinging to the hope that the people who were entrusted with their care, would do them right.

The dedication of The Hough House helped bring that home to me. It also brought back many memories. Two of the three sons of Mr. and Mrs. Hough, Jr along with their daughter were there to celebrate their father and grandfather’s work. Together, we remembered living on campus as one and we celebrated the Hough legacy.

Listening to different ones share their memories through story, one thing became very obvious. We were family then. Not all by blood. But, by a unique set of events that thrust us together. The important thing I realized, we still are family.

What’s In A Name?

The Baptist Orphanage of Virginia first opened its doors in 1890. Then, around 1953 the name was changed to the Virginia Baptist Children’s Home (VBCH) to reflect the change in need of the children. Most were no longer true orphans, but were there due to financial hardships or other family tragedies. VBCH was the name I came to know, hate, and then loved.

The "Old Main" Building on VBCH campus
The “Old Main” Building on VBCH campus circa built 1900s raised 1960s

Through the years, the needs of Virginia’s youth, and adults required more help, more intervention, more hope. Thus, in 1985, the Virginia Baptist Children’s Home changed its name again to include the families it served. The change made the name long – The Virginia Baptist Children’s Home & Family Services. Now, it is doing business as HopeTree Family Services. There is still a residency campus in Salem, VA at the same location. This name covers more aptly the vast services offered.

The Work

Many of the old buildings are gone. I remembered walking their halls. But somehow, the ghosts of those old buildings reflected the work that is still going there now. And the new structures show the determination to continue that work.

When I was growing up there, at any one time, there were at least 200 or more young souls running around, being kids, learning how to live, and to do it together. There were adults who served as our houseparents. They were surrogates. Their job was not easy. I know that now. At the time, I thought they were there to be cruel, rub in the fact I was an “orphan,” or it was a job.

The administrative staff worked miracles as I look back on how they managed to wrangle so many of us with so many different issues. To think as many of us turned out as good as we did is in and of itself magic.

You see, the need has not changed, what has changed is the services offered to Virginia’s families now. It is much broader and reaches a diverse group of souls.

Reunion Time

The lives touched by those who made campus life in Salem possible was seen in the dedication of the members of the VBCH Reunion Committee. This committee is made up of “old” kids who were residents. Often their spouses pinched in to help.

It took me over 40 years to walk on campus again. And when I did in 2009, I was numb, excited, and marveled at how the campus looked different from my memory.

This past weekend, walking around the campus, I saw many more changes. Hours before the dedication was to take place, finishing touches were being made on a new handicap access ramp to the old print shop building, which now serves as a museum.

Then, I saw my brother, moving around the reunion table setup in front of the museum. He was helping Debbie, Stan, Fred, Larry, and many others, too numerous to name, getting things ready for the days ceremony.

Visiting – Greeting – Remembering

Different “old” kids began arriving. It was a joy to hug and greet them. It was going to be a good afternoon.

My husband, Albert, and I went into the museum. Pictures of the campus as it was in the early years were on display. They contrasted with images I had in my mind. We looked at old annuals of Andrew Lewis High School where “The HIll” kids mingled with “The City” kids. The annual I picked up and looked at with care was the “final” album. My little brother, Ralph, was a member of that last class–the class of 1977.

Bitter sweet memories of Ralph, Archie, and I came to mind…

Searching through the pages, I found images of him playing football. Happy. Five years later, he would be gone from us. Bitter sweet memories of Ralph, Archie, and I came to mind when we’d play, fight, and then run around the grounds with other “brothers and sisters.”

Next, we walked through rooms replicated to depict scenes of life on campus–the infirmary room, the dinning hall, a cottage room. Each I could relate to, and I shared with Albert memories or events.

On one wall were the portraits of two Executive Directors – Franklin Hough, Sr. and his son, Franklin Hough, Jr. They were the reason for the dedication of the Hough residence.

Life

During my ten-year residency, I lived in three cottages. The first being Hobday and the second was Robertson — an innovative cottage for brothers/sisters to live in together that was consider “close to a real home life.” The summer of my Junior year in high school, I moved to Shiloh cottage to live during my Senior year.

While on campus that Saturday, my last roommate with me in Shiloh, Laura, greeted me. We hadn’t seen each other for two years. It was fun to catch up, talk, and commiserate.

We walked the campus together talking about the different cottages as we meandered the sidewalk to where we lived. Shiloh no longer stood where it once protected us. The shadows of that building structure formed into a ghostly image. There it stood in my mind all the same.

Hobday Cottage on VBCH campus with the print shop to the left.

Hobday cottage with the print shop to the left

Then, when we walked back to the center of campus, across the parking area from where the old main building once stood. I looked to my right and saw myself as a young eight year-old girl, carrying my suitcase up the steps to Hobday cottage. Hoping my life would not end, praying I’d be okay.

And, as it turns out, I was okay then. On this day, I had come home again and I was doing well.

My husband waved to me. We needed to walk down to The Hough House. It was time to make more memories with my family.


Thanks for reading. If you like this post and want to support it, forward it to someone who’d like it or, even better, buy them a book!

If you’re seeing this post for the first time, you can read prior posts on Pam’s Blog. To receive email notices of the next post, then sign up using the form in the right column.

If you’d like to receive Pam’s Newsletter (sent out quarterly or less), join and get a FREE eBook – The Gist of It!

Personal Aside…

This past Wednesday, June 26, was our daughter, Julie’s birthday! Happy Birthday lovely, young woman! May you have a most wonderful year! HUGS to YOU!

Pam's Quill - Going Home

Write on!
Pam

This post Going Home, Again was first posted on Pam’s Blog on June 28, 2019.

Newsletter, Writing

Celebrating Summer 2019! Free eBooks for You!

Summer 2019 is here! Happy June 21 to you!

To help us celebrate, you will find below a link to a collection of FREE eBooks. These eBooks are available to you for a limited time, so check it out. In addition, you can get a free eBook from me. Read on to learn how to get your copy of The Gist of It! And, there is an update about the progress of The Chronicles of Eldershire – DarkShadow, the second book in the fantasy journey of KC Carson.

FREE eBooks from Thriller Authors

The awesome thriller author, JA Konrath (author of the Jacquleine Daniels series) created a new website, contacted a bunch of his bestselling author friends, and is offering a collection of FREE eBooks from June 21 through June 25, 2019.

Be sure you get JA Konrath (Joe) new eBook – What Happened to Lori – it is a new format of reading pleasure I think you will find enjoyable! I downloaded my copy to my Kindle a couple of nights ago and am reading it. Very entertaining in style and story! Joe is the leader in cutting edge approaches (IMHO).

Be sure to follow the prompts given, note that some of the eBooks are available in other countries besides the USA. Also, if you like to read on a specific device, please use that device when you click to download the book. Happy Reading!!

Pam’s FREE eBook

To receive a link to download my FREE eBook — all you have to do is signup for my newsletter – Pam’s Newsletter – when you do, you will go through a series of screens and emails to keep spam to a minimum and keep those pesky bots away. Then, the final welcome email will tell you how to download the eBook The Gist of It! for the particular device you’d like to use.

The Gist of It! on Kindle

Kindle with email capability: If you want to read The Gist of It! on your Kindle, be sure you are on your Kindle and that your Kindle has email capability. Open your Kindle, click on the last email from me after you signed up for the newsletter, and click the link to download to your Kindle. It should download and open up or be in your carousel to read when you are ready.

Kindle without email capability: If you want to read The Gist of It! on your Kindle, Click on the last email from me after you signed up for the newsletter, and click the link to download to your laptop, desk top, or other computer. After it has downloaded, move it to your Kindle where you can open the eBook up and read when you are ready.

Generic ePub The Gist of It! – Any other Reader

Generic ePub can be used with just about any device — Kindle, Android, or even mobile phones. Again, you will need to have email capability to use the link directly. After clicking the link, the generic ePub will download to your Kindle, other eBook reader, and even your iPhone or Android phone.

Two more Forms – Apple ePub and PDF

The Apple ePub form works with all Apple devices. The PDF will work on any device you select. If you use the Kindle for the PDF, you will find the eBook The Gist of It! in the docs section of your Kindle (provided it has that available).

Having Troubles?

Send me an email and I’ll try to help you. If all else fails, send me a note that you couldn’t get the book downloaded to your device. I’ll try to get the eBook to you through a different route. The sad part is that the eBook is a very large file, so I cannot send it directly to you via email.

Book 2 – DarkShadow Update

These last few weeks I’ve made significant progress with finishing Book 2 – DarkShadow. Wednesday, I managed to type out 4,400 words! It was a very productive day. Today, I’ve printed out Acts 1 & 2, and am reading through them, making notes of any loose ends. That way, when I begin writing Act 3, I’ll be sure not to leave something hanging. Then, I will spend the next week cranking out the final words for Act 3.

After that, the First Draft will sit for a few days to give my eyes time to rest. When I pick up the manuscript to finalize Draft Two, my words will be fresh to my eyes. The Second Draft, I will send to my editor and let her fingers work magic catching spelling, grammar, and continuity errors.

At that point, the revision process will take up the rest of my summer. It is hoped to have the revised draft out to my Beta readers by the end of August, if not sooner. Stay tuned! DarkShadow is getting closer!

Thanks for reading. If you like this post and want to support it, forward it to someone who’d like it or, even better, buy them a book!

Reading my Blog for the first time, then subscribe by clicking on the link in the right hand column.

If you’d like to receive Pam’s Newsletter (sent out quarterly or less), click the link, follow the steps, and get a FREE eBook – The Gist of It!

Owl - Mr. Scruffy Icon - Rainbows

Hugs & Kisses from Mr Scruffy & Me!

The post Celebrating Summer 2019! FREE eBooks for You! first appeared on Pam’s Blog on Friday, June 21, 2019.