May You Choose Love and Light in 2018!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What Am I Working On?

Today I’m participating in a blog hop. My first time ever! A bit of history:

MaggieLynch, founder of Windtree Press author cooperative, started this blog hop.

PatyJager, one of the first author’s to participate in Windtree Press, was next.

ChristyCarlyle, who writes Victorian historical romance and designs fantastic covers as Gilded Heart Design, was the third Windtree Press author to hop on.

I’m the fourth. It is possible this particular blog hop ends with four stops because I’ve not found another author to pick up October 1. If that changes, I’ll add her/his link to this post.

A blog hop is a way for readers to learn about other authors and perhaps become interested enough that they begin to read their books which is one of the main reasons writers write them.

So let’s begin:

What am I working on? I am diligently working on Ashley Book Four in The Sacred Women’s Circle series because I have a deadline – it’s due to my editor, October 26. The Sacred Women’s Circle series will be comprised of seven full length novels. Since each novel is specific to a member of The Circle, they vary from contemporary romantic women’s fiction to contemporary romance.

How does my work differ from others of its genre? There are many contemporary romances as well as lots of romantic women’s fiction. Mine differ in that they have a mystical spiritual element that is integral to the story.

Why do I write these stories? In some ways I have no choice. In 2001 and 2002, I had vivid day dreams and lucid night dreams about these seven women and their challenges. As I finish and publish one book, the next heroine invades my dreams. I’m curious as to what will happen when the stories are finished. What makes this so compelling for me is that I seldom remember any dreams and would swear I don’t dream except science says I do.

What is my writing process? I write the first draft – as straight through as I can. I learned how important that is to my writing process with Lily. that book took years!

Book two and three (Elizabeth and Diana) I started during National Novel Writing Month. I finished the first draft of Elizabeth in 51 days (over 112K words). Diana took a little longer because there were a couple of weeks around the holidays when I didn’t write at all. I finished that first draft mid-January.

Ashley is a bit different. I finished the first draft August 1, 2014 but I started the first draft in October, 2013. About half-way through, I paused to complete two short stories for the Love and Magick: Mystical Stories of Romance Anthology with Sarah Raplee and DianaMcCollum and published Lily, Elizabeth and Diana in e-books and print. Health problems and a granddaughter’s graduation from high school also impacted writing time.

Right now I’m editing and revising and am about half-way through the manuscript. Next is sending it to my editor to read. That is a different process – usually I have a Beta reader who is a whiz with grammar and punctuation read it and I make revisions based on her feedback before it goes to the editor but there is no time. I’ve a spot in my editor’s schedule and if I want this book published before the end of the year; this is what needs to happen.

So now you know the truth. Life happens and I scramble around, get my bearings and sit back down and keep writing. That is the only way these stories will be published and I’ll be back to my dreamless sleep.

PS: Do you think my being #4 on this blog hop and my working on Book 4 has any special meaning? Really, if this blog hop ends with me? A bit of mystical magick working?

PPS: You can follow another great blog by clicking “here

For free short stories click “here

To read more about The Sacred Women’s Circle check out my website and my author’s page at Windtree Press.

© Copy right by Judith Ashley 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Diana, Sarah and I had a Wonderful Time!

The co-authors of Love & Magick 
Saturday, September 20, 2014 marked the first time the co-authors of "Love and Magick" were at a book signing at the same time!

We were at Jan's Paperbacks in Aloha, OR.

Not only was "Love and Magick" available but the first three books in my Sacred Women's Circle series were also.

Diana McCollum made beaded book marks for the first twelve people to stop by whether they purchased one of our books or not. To add to the promotional opportunity, she and Sarah Raplee used cording to individually attach the book marks to the "Love and Magick" post card.

Judith and The Sacred Women's Circle books
I made up two mugs filled with chocolates and teas. I included our business cards and one from Windtree Press as well. Diana donated a box of Cadbury Chocolate Bars. Those three items were "give-aways" and an incentive for people to sign up for the Windtree Press New Release newsletter.

As you can see in the photographs, we had a Wonderful Time! (Thanks to Kayla Klefman for taking our pictures)

Diana McCollum, Judith, Sarah Raplee with Love & Magick
We'll next be signing out books at the Emerald City Writer's Conference, Book Fair, from 4:30 to 6:30 in the Grand Ballroom of the Westin Hotel, Bellevue, WA. We'd love to have you stop by. A percentage of the proceeds from sales of books are donated to DAWN (Domestic Abuse Women's Network).
Kayla Klefman, winner of the first drawing

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Book Signing Event

You can see this poster at Jan's!

Looking for a few great books to read? Diana McCollum, Sarah Raplee and Judith Ashley will be at Jan's Paperbacks, 18095 SW Tualatin Valley Hwy, Aloha on Saturday, September 20, 2014 between 1 and 4 p.m. Diana, Sarah and Judith will be signing Love & Magick: Mystical Stories of Romance and Judith will have the first three books in The Sacred Women's Circle series available. Can't make the signing? Stop by Jan's and check out these and more great books by Windtree Press authors.

Judith and Sarah at Book Signing, April 2014


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Future of Doors

By Judith Ashley (this post was first published on Romancing The Genres)

I'm very aware that this month's topic for the Genre-istas is "Favorite Romantic Cliches", after all I'm one of the Blog Queens who came up with this idea.

The only thing that came to mind as I sat down to write this month's post was "It was a dark and stormy night" along with "Time stood still" and "He was tall, dark and handsome". Not much for a 200 - 300 word post.

Doorway at Roslyn Chapel, Scotland
What did pop into my mind more than once was the phrase "When one door closes, another opens." I know those words do not fit the topic: romantic cliches. I'm not sure those words even fit cliche-status. Area they trite? I'm not sure but I do hope they are true.

Why? Because the weekend of September 5 - 7 I'll be working as an After Hours Consultant which translates into I'm a resource for vulnerable adults in Multnomah County, Oregon should problem occur after normal business hours. And, this weekend is the next to the last one I'll be scheduled for. I retire from this work on October 31, 2014.

October 1, I start my nineteenth year in this position - one night a week, one weekend a month (sometimes more if one of the other team members is unavailable).

What do we do? Tonight I was paged because a neighbor was concerned about a disabled woman in the apartment complex where they live.

Last weekend, the four team members split the long weekend. I had the Friday from 4 p.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday shift. My replacement has been hired and he shadowed not only me but the other team members all weekend.

Friday night a police officer called in with concerns about a man he'd checked on who had a head injury who was refusing medical treatment. When we went to his house the next morning, we found him on the floor, blood caked all over his head, face and upper body. The house was filthy with no electricity or water. The gentleman had no phone and was unable to call for help. I had my phone and called 911 asking for help. The fire department and ambulance responded and he was taken to an emergency room to be evaluated.

A woman who is on dialysis due to renal failure called. She was out of food. That call came in near the end of my shift so the next team member got her some food - enough to last through the long weekend.

One of my favorite places in the world - Depoe Bay OR
I tried to find a woman who was reported to be confused, thinking people lived in an apartment above her (there is no apartment above her, only the roof). She wasn't home.

One of the day staff was worried about an older gentleman whose roommate, who also did some care-giving activities, was arrested. He was managing well because someone else stepped up and made sure he had groceries, etc.

Since I made the decision to close the door on this part of my working career, I've had so many experiences. A dirty home that made it to the top three of all the homes I've ever been in (and that number is well over a thousand); taking police out with me twice in one day due to the reported possible danger I'd be in if I went alone; an EMT in his 20's or maybe his early 30's lecturing me about patient rights (I did not say anything snarky although I know one eyebrow arched and my jaw tightened).

In the last two months,without After Hours interventions, at least three people could have died.

When this door closes, I do expect another door to open. I'm not sure what will be on the other side. I am not picturing fleas, filth, rotten food, cockroaches, sticky floors, squishy floors - well, you get the picture.

The Blog Queens Book Signing - Desert Dreams 2014
When the next door opens, I'd love to see quality time to write, large royalty checks and books signings.
Whenever I offer a workshop or training, people will sign up! I'll have time to spend with family and friends at the coast, in the mountains and at home. In this utopia, weeds will not grow in my yard nor will any plants die.

My belief that when one door closes another opens is soon to be tested.