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Hi there!

For those of you who don't know me, along with writing, I am an artist. And for the last too, too many years I have made hundreds, if not thousands, of Christmas ornaments. It exhausts me to even think how many there have been. I'm going to go out on a limb here and dare to say it could be close to a million... maybe...

And this is the time of year when this whole process of creating new ornament designs starts. At least for me, it is. If I try to start any earlier, the ideas just aren't there. I guess I work better under pressure. Or maybe it's just that I'm a procrastinator in the highest form.

I majored in fine arts in college, but the closest I ever got to landing a job in the 'art world' was an offer I received from the American Greetings headquarters in Cleveland as a contributing artist.

I had sent out samples of my work to random stationary and card companies, hoping it would turn into a freelance opportunity. And American Greetings was the only one who responded.

When I walked into the room for the interview, you can imagine my surprise when I came face to face with what seemed like about a dozen men sitting around this huge table. At first, I thought I'd walked into the wrong room.

But no, there they were... waiting for me and ready to ask all these questions. So, of course, I was feeling pretty high on myself to have all of this attention. Unfortunately, there was so much I didn't like about their job offer, starting with any design I came up with, it was automatically their property. There was also the three by five feet cubicle (if even that) I would have as my home away from home. From nine to five, for five days a week. And then there was the random bag check I was warned about, to make sure you weren't taking off with one of their designs when you left work.

Seriously? Maybe this is normal, but again... seriously? I didn't know the greeting card company business was so secretive, their designs in such high demand that someone would try to sneak them out of the building.

So, I refused the job, much to the chagrin of one of those twelve who called and offered me the job. In fact he was quite sarcastic about it, insinuating I was making the biggest mistake of my life.

Oh well, their loss, right?

Now I'm sure their hiring tactics are much different now, but I have never regretted not taking the job. Because, let's face it... I'm not a nine to five type of person. I do my best work late at night. I like the solitude of night and this seems when all my creative energy is at it's highest.

And with most artists and writers I know, they will claim the same.

So right now, I write a little, then I paint a little. I've found this works well for me, I don't get bored. Or if I find I'm staring at my computer, unable to even come up with a simple sentence, I switch to painting for a while. And usually, when I go back to the computer, the wording I was searching for comes to me. Like magic.

Okay, maybe it's not like magic, but it's there and I feel much better about what I wrote.

About the photos I posted here - the first is of ornaments laid out on our family room floor. No, this is not a good thing. I usually work in the kitchen, because the natural lighting is so much better there. But the kitchen is now out of commission - remodel going on. The second photo shows a close up of ornaments that will eventually be a full-color painted design, but now has only a basic design shape in white. Sort of like a template, I guess? The next step will be to paint in the required colors. Then I'll do the shading. And so on and so on, to finally end with the bow. It's a long process...

Since this is how I work, I live in a heightened sense of panic up until the ornaments are just about finished. This is because I think I'm behind, I have nothing done, the designs I've come up with are terrible and I'm never going to finish.

Ask anyone who knows me and they'll assure you, around this time of year, I do a lot of whining about this. But I always think about what my favorite art teacher in high school told our class. He said if an artist is completely satisfied with what they've created, they won't be motivated to improve their work. And they are shorting themselves to do better.

Sort of like the saying, 'Be the best you can be.'

And that's what I'm going to do now. Leave the computer and paint for a while. Then it will be back to the computer. Yes, I'm working on book #6 - it's coming along.

Until the next time, take care, and thanks for reading!

Linda

P.S. Feel free to comment. About anything, especially about the books in the series. I'd love to hear what you have to say!

Updated: Sep 2

Yep - you read right! You can now get all 5 of the books that make up Twelve Months, Twelve Love Stories, in your favorite digital read. From just about anywhere in the world!

Amazon Kindle

Apple

Barnes & Noble Nook

WalMart

Playster

SCRIBD

24S

Apple

Kobo

Indigo

And the list goes on... and on... and on.

Here's the UBL (Universal Book Listing) for each Ebook:

A Million Decembers - https://books2read.com/u/mBOeNZ

For the Love of July - https://books2read.com/u/bM9GdV

February's Angel - https://books2read.com/u/meB06g

Promise Me November - https://books2read.com/u/brVgLw

An Unexpected June - https://books2read.com/u/baWP92

Or go to the digital site of your choice and type in the title of the book you would like to check out - you can even read a sample!

Can life get any better than this?

Yeah, maybe it can... but this is also a way to make it a whole lot sweeter.

For the next ten days (Until August 20) your favorite Ebook version of A Million Decembers will be at $1.99. This is half off the regular $3.99 price.

Imagine that! Still such a great deal! And a great way to jump right into the beginning book of the series.

You can also now get the paperback version in just about any of your favorite independent bookstores - just bop on in and ask them to order it for you. Or look up their website and easily order the book of your choice.

Of course, it's always available on Amazon, both paperback and Ebook.

Just remember - Book 6 will be coming out before you know it - at least this is the plan - and you don't want to get too far behind on what's happening in the series!

Take care, and thanks for taking the time to check out this blog!

Linda

Always remember...

Updated: Jul 23

https://www.amazon.com/Unexpected-June-Twelve-Months-Stories/dp/0960031189

Hi!

I'm back! I know it's been a long time, but is it just me, or is time flying by? Mid-July? How did this happen?

But I guess I've been sort of busy... finishing up Book #5. And, I did it. It's finished. Done. Hasta la vista, baby!!

Be honest here... don't you just love the cover? If you've already read the book, you have to agree it fits the story to a tee.

But don't worry, it's not the end. I am working on Book #6 as I write this.

I think you may become hooked on this series after you read An Unexpected June. Why? Because I have definitely left you hanging with this latest installment in the series. I'm just sayin'... you're really going to want me to hurry up and finish #6 so that you can find out what was only hinted at in #5.

I have to confide in you... when I was about halfway through An Unexpected June, my mind just quit on me. I can't tell you how many times I sat in front of the computer, staring at the screen, writing absolutely nothing. I got to the point that I didn't know if I was going to be able to finish the book.

I know, sad, huh?

But then, on one of those sitting-there-writing-nothing-and-wondering-why-I-ever-started-this-in-the-first-place kind of days, I decided to go against the rules and write the ending. This was because I had already decided how I wanted the book to end. I could see it all in my mind, the words just waiting to be written.

If you read all of the advice and rules about writing a book, they (here's that infamous 'they' again) tell you to come up with a plan. Outline the book from beginning to end.. Line up your cast of characters, decide when they will become a part of the story, set up a plan of how the story is going to unfold and then finally, come in with the ending. All in this order.

Ha... seriously? Do people really do this? I'm told they do.

Well, I can't. My mind doesn't work this way. I skip from chapter to chapter - an idea comes in my head and I start writing. Because I've found, even if I write it down, when I come back to what I've written, I've lost all of the little details.

For those of you who aren't aware, I'm also an artist. I paint my original designs on glass Christmas ornaments. In fact, I have been designing and selling Christmas ornaments for almost forty years. I've worked with all kinds of materials - fabric, wood, polymer clay and so on. About ten years ago, I began to feel like a machine, making the same ornament over and over. Turning them out assembly line style. So, I started painting on glass, each design whatever popped up in my mind. No exact duplicates and I don't do special orders.

I've found by doing this, I've become more creative. And this is how I go about my writing. Whatever and whenever something pops up in my mind, it goes right down on paper (or should I say, the computer screen). A little crazy, I know. But it works for me.

Now... back to book #5 - for those of you who read it, what did you think? I really like how this book turned out. I think the story is starting to come together. The characters are all turning out to be the best of friends, developing into the type of friendships that will last a lifetime. Let's just say everyone is watching out for everyone else, it's a small town kind of atmosphere.

Not that Cleveland can be classified as a small town kind of place. But it really does give off those vibes. Maybe this is the Midwest influence. And they really do have the best fans when it comes to their hometown teams, no matter what sport it is. This is why I've brought baseball into the mix.

My hope is you were feeling a little sad when you came to the end of the book. Only because you didn't want it to end.

Here are a couple of quotes from An Unexpected June ~

If you have any comments, questions, etc. etc. please, please do. Also, if you have any spare time and you're just hanging around, looking for something to do, you can also go over to FB and check out my author page @lbjoyceauthor or my ornaments/Christmas page @LBGlitterGirl

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading, and have a great week!

Linda