1980s, Addictions, Depression, Domestic violence, Dyslexia, Human Behaviour, Human Nature, Humanity, Learning disabilities, mental illness, Publishing joys

A Library Refuses to Promote a Novel Launch? Really?

Everyone profits from sales. Church events, yard sales, book sales etcetera.

What exactly is non profit? What is 100 percent profit free? I could sell my books and give all the proceeds from my launch sales to a charity. All of it And that’s just what I would have to do to put up ads for my launch at my local library, despite years of never ending work, education, searches for the right publisher, paying for edits working through daylight and holidays. You write, you know what I’m saying.
Over the phone speaking with someone from the library, I heard this, “I’m sorry, any ad space we have goes to 100% non profit events.”

This reminds me of school when my memories dissect it. Beginning young when I got  a handle on reading and writing while struggling with dyslexia, which had no diagnosis until my adult years, I wrote poetry, the best way I knew how. My soul expressed me. This took the place of math. My entire notebook carried words rather than mathematical equations with worked-out answers. When it came time to hand in the notebook, my parents were called to the office. Long story short, my writing ability was not fostered. No mention of creative writing classes, no mention of a budding talent. Just old-school discipline and I went under the thumb of rules.

So my point is, in my middle age, haunting rules ironically surfaced. A library wouldn’t let me promote my novel. The very place I thought would be the first to help me.

Sometimes a person needs to vent, so I am doing just that. I wrote my novel, They All Wore Black, during a bleak time. It’s loosely based on truth, and the truth involves many people and four relevant-to-today circumstances: addictions, mental illness, domestic violence, and learning disabilities.  The contemporary drama is heart-wrenching, joyful, humoured with dark splashes, and most of all, realism.

“All families come with skeletons in their closet, but not all family skeletons come with a bottle, bruises, busted fingers, fear, hate, broken spirits and shameful secrets. It’s 1988, the Faddens are left to sort out the father’s death. Brad, Kelly and their mom must come to grips with the horrific impact of his deceptive life.”

Print version is available on Amazon, they’ll send when they’re stocked, ebook is available now.  Just punch in the title if you’re interested.

Visit me here: https//www.facebook.com/PennersPen88/


The library can’t share this, but I can, and you may if you’re so inclined.

Thanks for reading.

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Dementia, Human Behaviour, Human Nature, Humanity, Old age

Writing Preserves Loved People

At first I thought her stories were just talks to take the place of silence.

I smiled and listened a few times a week. She told me of her meeting her late husband, how she had surgery in order to at last get pregnant with her final son. I heard how her husband laughed before the war, and what was left of him afterward. She told me about her whole life. She told me about all the pets she had, what happened to them, and how she felt about it.

It was coffee at my place and tea at hers. She loved driving to see me. Hours of story telling were also hours of bonding. In time, I picked her up to visit at my place, or go to parks or coffee shops. She no longer had a driver’s license or even her beloved cars. My phone rang often; a lonely sounding voice asked for a visit. At times I became frustrated as I needed to concentrate on my upgrading courses. My compassion was greater than my study habits.

Less than a year later, she couldn’t tell me anything new. She struggled to remember what I said minutes before, and she was frustrated with her lost ability to remember what she had just said. But I had bonded with my mom-in-law, and I remembered for her. I was her external brain, and she would always say, “Oh, yes, that’s right.” Nonetheless, she honestly never recalled.

Within a year, Mom could not function at home. Her weight had dropped significantly. Our visits were at a lovely rest home. Her memory continued to decline, however, having a lucid few moments one afternoon, she directed me to sit with her on her bed and told me she had to clean out her in-laws home, and she knew of the hard work and long hours. She thanked me that day, when previously she had resentments for her son and myself taking her from her familiar home.

All those stories over that period of time were not silence fillers. I believe she knew she had only so much time to tell them. I’m certain she understood her mind had slipped and would continue to be eaten by something she herself could not identify.

In the five years she lived in the rest home, she declined to the point of not knowing me, hollering at me, and insulting me. I took it hard as I only hoped Mom lived in herself somewhere, and somewhere, she still loved me.

Dementia did not love me. It didn’t keep track of our bonding. Dementia hardly recognized her son. The disease took her away forever, and she died not knowing who we were.

Over a year has passed. I can write about this without weeping, although my eyes sting. I can still hear her story-telling voice. I can smell her White Diamonds perfume. I can feel her genuine hugs, and I can imagine a delicate tea cup in my careful grip. I’m so afraid these memories will fade like she did. Writing preserves loved people.

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Human Behaviour, Human Nature, Humanity, information, Mistakes, Traditional publishing

What’s to Say Writing’s Glamorous?

In a few short minutes a contract was cancelled.

I was lucky to get out of a contract. My publisher, who was editing my novel MS felt too ill to concentrate and diligently work on it. The warning signs were there, but I was excited to be accepted by a traditional publisher after just turning down my first traditional contract. I wanted to be in that less-than-two percent. And I am, but with a price.

No matter how excited you are to get published by a traditional house, make sure you vet them the way they vet us. Actually, do this for self-publishing also.

Check their Web site for the year they started and how many books they have. This is more important than I initially thought. If they have few books compared to the length of time they’ve been publishing, they may be short staffed. Worse than that, you don’t know if anyone is being payed or if it’s a group of friends helping one another get the company going. Books, books and how many tell a story of their own. If no one is collecting a paycheque, the incentive likely isn’t the same. Who works hard and invests themselves for free? Even with the frail promise of a booming future business, most people are not driven if they have a job, and volunteer on the side.

If there are major delays in sending out a contract, keep looking for a publisher. Be aware, fully aware there may be delays in editing, too. There were delays with my MS, and it was frustrating to sit here in my writing lair hour after hour for weeks, then wait for months for a return.

Talking yourself into believing it’ll be okay, is not the way to start a contract or a publishing journey. Once you have a contract, in most cases you’re bound and there is nothing to be done but be at the mercy of your publisher.

I’m grateful my publisher is a fair person, and she wanted me to be happy when I was not. I lost eleven months, but I am on my way with a publisher who needs to be paid, but I get all the support of a traditional house. He was able to help me leave the contract, simply because he knows the publisher I was with. Moreover, he has paid staff.

Be vigilant with edits. Keep a copy of previous edits you’ve worked on. My publisher edited dramatically. Half pages at a time were deleted and her writing replaced mine. Her voice, her style, and ideas. My characters were doing things I never had them do, and they said what I didn’t have them say. She was showing me what I could do in trouble areas, but her text should have been alongside mine if it were to change so much. Had I not retained a copy, I would never have never been able to restore my work and edit in my own voice. I’m sure I would have had a nervous breakdown. I’m serious.

This is so recent, the knot in my neck is still pulling all the way to my shoulder blade.

My intention with traditional was to be accepted as it was important to me. I needed the risk-taking approval of a publisher. I’ve been accepted twice now with a query. I practised my query for a long time, then started getting action. If you are seeking traditional, ask questions. Ask how many are active on staff. Do they have volunteers? Ask how long edit rounds usually take. Ask what your gut prompts you to ask. It is your manuscript. It’s your slow return on book sales.

I have found since being accepted by a reputable publisher, one I will pay, that once the dust settles a bit and I can purchase books to sell, what I pay in is an investment with return as long as I don’t slack off in selling.

If your first book will be self-published, there’re contracts, so be vigilant. Take the time to study, what’s good and what’s not. Google will get you there, just type in bad authors’ contracts. The good authors’ contracts. Take the time to study, and hope you get a good publisher.

I studied hard. My downfall was trusting because this publisher I met in a writers’ group. I liked her. I still do. Keep personal feelings separate from business sense.

Good luck.

Thanks for reading

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encouragement, Human Behaviour, Human Nature, Humanity, inspirational

Nothing Prospers Yesterday

Nothing in the world will prosper yesterday. Yesterday does not exist save for our memories. It cannot be taken back and tweaked, and yesterday is a reminder that we live in the present.

No future plans will be turn out as we imagine, and how can we imagine anyway? The future is out of our reach. Planning is healthy, but expecting the perfect result may always disappoint. And it may surprise us. Humans were not designed to know the future, and there’a good reason for that. If we know our future, it could very well blow our minds. No psychic can truly see your future. Some people are truly gifted; however, the future events of our lives are not entirely predictable. There are too many variables. It’s my belief psychics can pick up impressions from the present, and guide persons into a decision, but who has learned the exact future from a person who is sensitive? In my experience, I paid too much to raise my own expectations.

Focus energy on today. Our days have twenty-four hours, and those hours are split into dark and light—to be awake and to be asleep. Fill days with hope, find solace in a good days work or play. Get a good night’s sleep after a busy day.

Today will turn into tomorrow—what have we done to enter into tomorrow? Have we succeeded at something? Will we? Tomorrow waits, but for today, dream, because dreams and goals are healthy. We enter into tomorrow with that dream.  What takes years to do always happens in our todays, and it could be this day we reach a lifetime goal.

Thanks for reading.

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Addictions, Human Behaviour, Human Nature, Humanity, parental losses

Dear Unpublished Name

PRIVATE PAIN

Please come and share with me,

I promise not to judge.

I see the pain in your eyes,

so young… I hold no grudge.

I care to know about you,

what takes way your sun,

and I wish to be there for you,

if dark days have begun.

I ask your pillow sometimes,

why tears have run from you.

I wonder what each stain there means,

and then I cry some too.

Nothing you could ever do

would turn me away from you,

so never be afraid.

I have much love for you that’s true.

You are changing

and I am too.

Do you know

that I grow with you?

Each step that you take,

I am there in shoes

that lace up with your learning days

with double knots tied for two.

God has placed you in my hands.

He blessed me to teach and love.

So always know I do,

and no matter what happens to you,

in my heart, it happens for me too.

Always remember, I love you,

I know you and I need you.

We shall reunite again

because I filled your heart

with teachings of loyalty

to last your lifetime long….

© Lynn P. Penner, 2003

Some things just don’t end well no matter what anyone does to help.

2018

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Human Behaviour, Humanity, millennial children, undisciplined grandchildren

The Changes Regarding Parents’ Rights

Baby boomers, both my husband and myself. We grew up with rules, and we didn’t make decisions about what we ate and when, about bedtime, or if we went to school or not. And if we disrespected our parents and other authoritative figures, there were most definitely consequences.

Why did the rules change? Why do little children get to decide so much these days? When did it become all right to show little to no respect? Why are parents giving up the driver’s seat? Why are they surprised when their unmanageable little ones become manipulative, defiant teenagers? And why does everyone have to get a trophy in competitions?

Moreover, why do parents turn to the internet to raise their kids now rather than asking a parent. Grandparents are called grand for a reason. Grand experience, skill, knowledge, understanding, background, maturity. Wisdom.

Why is my daughter teaching her kids to scream it out when they get frustrated? My grandson could’t get his zipper undone. “Just scream… and breathe.” Scream? Are kids no longer being encouraged to cope at five years old? I’m the grandmother of twins and I’m telling you, it’s double mayhem. There seems to be a confusion in this day and age about the difference between discipline and abuse. And we grandparents are to step back and watch the decline of our future adult population. If we offer our opinion, we’re given twenty-five excuses as to why our logic, which has sustained society for  centuries, is terribly wrong.

I’m not the only one who feels this way, yet it’s one of those things we don’t talk about much. Although our grandkids are not our children to raise, isn’t there still an element of shame in our cheeks when we see how those we did raise well are failing at the essential task of being in control of their own kids? Didn’t we teach skills of coping with frustration? Didn’t we teach manners, like being grateful for birthday and Christmas gifts with a thank-you said rather than a gift thrown to the floor in distain? Didn’t we teach about eating proper food before getting dessert? Did we not teach our kids to greet company and say good-bye also? I’m sure I’ve not mentioned it all, but I bet you get the point if you have grandchildren whose parents think we and our ways are old and outdated. Silver hair, invisible being. Wasted wisdom.

Perhaps not. It could be your grandkids are well behaved, and you’re comfortable taking them anywhere. If this is the case, I must say I feel exceedingly glad for you. You have sensible grown children who’ve accepted old-school logic.

What makes the difference? Why are some millennial parents better at getting good results? Well, I can only assume your grandchildren are being raised not by the internet, but instead with your input when needed, and good information in published books by reputable publishers. Good parents these days know how to say no and stick to it. Consistency outshines giving in to fear of children being displeased and not being their parents’ buddy.

I’m genuinely interested to know who out there finds the discipline lacking and tension growing. Who, despite raising your own children to the best of ability, are experiencing the hardship of keeping your mouth shut while watching chaos develop?

Thanks for reading. Leave a comment to agree or disagree. I’m looking for input.

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Human Behaviour, Human Nature, Humanity, Spiritual

A Micro Second Death Face

I remember the headlights and the shiny bumper on the white SUV. I was swerving and my husband was yelling at me, “You’re going to roll the car!”

The only thing separating vehicles from other vehicles on the road is about five feet of air and an imaginary do not cross barrier. What are drivers on these days? How many believe they’re experienced drivers who are immune to the effects of alcohol or hard drugs, or marijuana for the argument? Or was he texting?

My car didn’t roll, but I felt the unsteady jerking beneath me. I had swerved to the right towards the soft, gravel shoulder, and the SUV driver swerved to the left, missing my little Hyundai Accent by mere inches, tucking himself back in. He couldn’t see us when he thought he could pass? There was no warning. He drove out directly in front me.

That’s all I remember. My husband yelling, near tipping of my car, and the white SUV’s headlights and shiny bumper.

My life is forever changed.

Everything I have worked for, everyone I have loved or not loved, every sticky note I’ve written to remind myself of something wouldn’t matter beyond the micro second that it takes to die, then leave my body, and watch the vehicles embrace, in a crunching tangle from my soul floating 20 feet above. I’d look for my husband as he was extracted. He’d be limp and bent unnaturally. I’d try to see myself behind the battered face I used to recognize. The emergency team would pull my squashed body out. I’d see my husband looking, too. We’d then see each other hovering above the chaos, and we’d remember the discussions we so often had about dying together as neither of us could bear the emptiness if we were left behind. Also, there he would be, the drunk driver being extracted from his white SUV. He’d be bloodied and crying, repeatedly saying he’s so sorry. He’d be banged up, but he’d see his loved ones again. He’d finish projects, he’ll drink again.

He’ll forget about the people he killed when he drinks himself to sleep, but the dead will be there every time he wakes.

Nothing would matter anymore. Not my novel which was accepted by a trustworthy publisher, not the closet I meant to clean out, not the computer I am writing this on— nothing. Not a thing would matter. Our lives would matter to all who had to receive the dreaded news, though. Our grown kids, our friends. Our bosses. Our innocent cats who always wait to hear the door open would be surprised as family came in to do what had to be done. Maybe our cats would pine to death in a shelter, separated from us and each other.

None of this death aftermath happened, though, but my life has changed nonetheless.

Thank God we are alive. No one can tell me God didn’t have the last say at that near head on collision. Why am I here? I’m going to find out. We all should find out why we’re here. A micro second wipe out could be anyone’s ultimate fate, but when?

Live before you leave. Really, really live. God Bless.

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