What Kate’s Reading

A few months ago, I was asked to join the local book club. I’d always planned on joining when it was formed a decade ago, but life and my introverted persona thwarted any plan to attend.

I was excited and frightened to go.  I knew most of the attendees — when you live in a village of less than 1000 people for over twenty years, you get to know who’s who.  My fear was garnered by writer’s doubt.  They would realize I’m a fraud.  They hated my books and were planning to tar and feather me.  Or even worse…they planned to review my book in front of me.

Well, despite my fears, none of the terrible things I thought would happen happened.  I’ve enjoyed my time with the group, their insights and the books that we’ve read.

This month’s selection is Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance.  The New York Times Bestselling story is about Vance’s family, his youth and the culture of the Rust Belt areas of Ohio and Kentucky.

I felt an affinity to the characters described in this book.  They fought to protect the family and the family fought among themselves.  In my family, we were taught from a young age that “blood is thicker than water”.  Another point the author made was how even as his family moved into the middle class, they were uncomfortable with the difference in the culture around them. Behaviors which were accepted in Jackson, KY were frowned upon in Middleton, OH.

Throughout the book, J.D. Vance chronicles the events of his life and how he could have taken a different road than the one he ultimately did — graduating from Ohio State and Yale Law School.   His story made me laugh, cry and get angry.  Bounced from household to household, a parade of “father figures” and dealing with a parent with substance abuse, J.D. grew up with uncertainty and fear.  His only source of stability were his grandparents.

I highly recommend  Hillbilly Elegy, it is a moving story which helps to shed light on the reasons we have a large social and political divide in our country.  I believe it is important to see what other people have experienced and how their lives are affected by the politics of the day.

Never Show Your Hand Progress Update

Writing a book can be crazy, but writing a series can be nightmarish at times.  Even though I have notes from each book about characters and plot development, invariably there is some item I’ve forgotten to document.  I started writing Exodus in 2015 and now three years later, I’m scratching my head over a little detail knowing I’m going to have to go back and look it up.  Aaaarrrgghhh!!

On the next book, I will try harder to provide a bit more detail in my chapter summaries and notes.

Oh well, here’s the update on the status of NSYH — 39,000 words IMG_8055thus far and working on Chapter Twenty-Seven at present. The action is starting to fire up and the story threads will begin to emerge to show the big picture. This book will unveil the truth behind the other books and the sometimes incomprehensible actions of the main characters. It will also lay the stage for some potential future stories about some new characters, but only time will tell where the writing muse takes me.

In my future projects file are three stories — the compilation and expansion of my “Natalie Parker” short stories; a novel about a widow who discovers love again in Empty Chairs, Empty Promises; and another short story I’m planning on expanding about the most unlikely assassin.

So hang in there, friends, the next Clare Thibodeaux book will be nearing completion sometime in the near future.

Keep reading!   ~ Kate

Country and Camping

Over the past few years, my family and friends have been traveling to a 4 day-long Country Music Festival called “TreeTown” in Iowa.  It’s great fun with the IMG_7717best in Country music (new and classic artists) as well as a night of Classic Rock.

Listening to music outdoors under the summer sun and the starry skies with good food, drink and company is a wonderful experience.  I take my trusty laptop with me in the hopes of getting some writing done each year.  This year wasn’t an exception.

Wifi was spotty even with my dedicated hotspot and I found it difficult to work as quickly as usual on projects that required data to download. It didn’t stop me from attempting to get some work done.  In between the music and socializing, that is.

Back to the party…IMG_7703

The Words No One Wants to Hear — #OMP Blog by Kate McGinn

The battle against Cancer is real and sometimes heartbreaking, and my family has andcancer-389921_1920 is currently dealing with this terrible disease. Despite being a nurse and caring for patients with cancer over the years, it hasn’t made it easier emotionally.

I support the One Million Project and their efforts to raise money for Cancer Research UK (CRUK). Check out my blog on their website. The One Million Project’s Short Story Anthologies are available on Amazon. All proceeds go to CRUK and EMMAUS’ Homeless Programs.

myBook.to/OMPFiction

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPThriller

What Kate’s Reading: Memoirs, In Pieces by #OMP Blogger Michele Potter

OMP Blog by Michele Potter Perhaps you’ve heard the saying that everything is autobiographical; that authors cannot help but integrate their views, life experiences, and personality into whatever story they write. I will admit that my personal history has inspired some of my writing. Writing is a way to claim a bit of immortality, so […]

via Memoirs, In Pieces — theonemillionproject

What Kate’s Reading…

Check out this 3-volume short story anthology by authors from the One Million Project!

LINKS

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myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

Snapshots of a Lovely Woman

I’m of an age now.  An age which brings with it the loss of youth in not only the mirror but in my world-view of myself. Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and not only am I a mother, but I still have my mother in my life. I’m very fortunate in many ways.

The past month has been very difficult for me. I’ve had a front-row seat watching my mom’s physical and mental decline, losing a bit more of herself day by day. Over the past few years, her mobility decreased rapidly, but her spirit remained high. Even during her fight against breast cancer, she swore to anyone who would listen that she would fight it. Sure enough, when she awoke after surgery, she stuck out her tongue at us. She’d found a way to make the solemn and frightening event emotionally lighter. In the last month, her memory has been failing, and simple tasks require step-by-step instructions.

IMG_7410My mom was born in the middle of the Great Depression on a July day so hot, my grandfather had to buy two fans for the hospital room to keep his wife and new baby girl comfortable. Mom grew up on a 560-acre farm in a house without running water, electric lights, heat or an indoor bathroom. The family used an outhouse. Kerosene lamps were used for light. They had an icebox, not a refrigerator like we have now, and every few days a new block of ice needed to be purchased to cool their perishable food.

From kindergarten until the fourth grade, Mom attended a one-room schoolhouse.  She wrote about her feelings concerning school in a short autobiography published for her family, “I hated school so my mom would take me inside the building, and the teacher would hold me until she knew my mom had gone.  I would then go outside and cry.  I did the crying for quite awhile.”

As a teenager, Mom detassled corn working in fields with

IMG_7413
Mom is #20, back row, first from left.

mile-long rows of corn under the hot summer sun in order to earn money. She was an awesome basketball player, was voted the “Carnival Queen” in high school, and graduated third in her class. She would laugh when she told others of her prestigious class ranking, informing her listeners that she’d graduated in a class of three students!

 

She never left the state of Iowa until she married my father, a native New Yorker. After their wedding, they moved to New York City. What an adventure for her! She’d never eaten pizza, flown in a plane or seen so many people from so many different cultures. But being my mom, she made friends quickly and my dad’s Irish immigrant family welcomed her.

IMG_7436There are many, many stories about this wonderful lady and her life, but I offer you a sliver, a snapshot to avoid this becoming a novella. I share these small glimpses into Mom’s life with supreme gratitude for her patience and loving care of me over the years. I wouldn’t be the woman I am without my parents.

So, on this Mother’s Day, I return back home again to honor my mother, care for her needs and grab every moment I can to laugh with her and show my love for her just as she always did for me.

Thanks for reading…Kate

Absences and Apologies

This past month has been trying, to say the least. I can’t IMG_7108 1divulge the personal matters I’ve been concerned over, but I do wish to apologize for not being around for my fellow writers and my readers.

My writing has been sporadic due to these circumstances, but happy to say another first draft chapter is completed.  All I can promise is I will be working on this book whenever I am able to write, edit, re-write, etc.

I miss reading my fellow indie writers works in progress (WIP), and I’m hoping I will have more consistent time to pay homage to the great authors I think of as friends. If you are religious or spiritual keep everyone I hold dear in your thoughts and prayers. If not, try to send some good vibes their way.

So, keep smiling! Keep reading and know I appreciate all of you! ~ Kate

Stories that thrill with a kiss and chill with the promise of danger

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