Into the Mystic

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This has been my very favorite song for about two decades.

I remember as a teenager playing this song on repeat over and over again while thinking deep thoughts. Ha! Well, as deep as a teenager can anyway. This song inspired a lot of terrible poetry on my part back then. Probably still does 🙂 but for some reason, it just speaks to me.

Enjoy the song as you thumb through my shiny new web-site that was brought to you by none other then my amazing artist brother Todd Powelson. He is the graphic designer for Adobe (yes, he’s that amazing!) Seriously, check out his website at toddpowelson.com. I love his artwork and have many of his ‘flower series‘ on the walls of my home. He is constantly featured in galleries and art shows. His blog is Artduh. If you need help with web, graphic, or logo design, he’s your man. He also has done illustrations for books and even book covers. Check out his resume, He’s basically amazing!

Enjoy the tune – Tara

My Writing Process Blog Tour

Thank you Jodi Milner over at http://myliteraryquest.wordpress.com for the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour. Jodi writes epic fantasy and is a very talented writer. She is my Vice President in Anwa Storytellers. She keeps me in line and helps me, as the President, to remember upcoming dates, introduce new members, and nudges me to stay on track during our meetings! I tend to be scatterbrained. (ask my kids and husband!) I am always anxious to hear her feedback because she offers marvelous critiquing.

The blog tour asks for four questions.

What am I working on?

Well, a lot actually! I am deep into editing for my debut novel Broken Smiles, set tentatively for an August release through Astraea Press. To counter the rigorous brain-pain of editing, I have to write creatively.

My creative outlet right now, is working on the second book in the Vagabond trilogy. It is a Young Adult Fantasy and dark romance. Hop on over to my “Works in Progress” for more info on those books. I am so excited for this series! Although they still need work before I submit, I feel like my writing has grown since I started on them almost three years ago. I did get a request for the manuscript from my dream publisher. So, I am also polishing the first novel to send over to them.

How does my work differ from others in my genre?

My novel Vagabond differs because I want it to feel real. Sure, it has plenty of fantastical elements, but I also want to create a sense that my novels could actually be real. The creatures in Vagabond are a subject that many people actually believe in – Sasquatch!

For many summers, I would move horses through the mountains of Montana to a horse ranch. In college, the mountains called me home and I moved there. My love for that part of the world runs through my veins like the raging wild rivers that weave through that majestic country. I think because of my deep love for the mountains, the setting of Yellowstone National Park comes alive. I have actually referred to my journals and sketchbooks while I lived there, to echo into my novels. It’s been a fun world to escape into.

Why do I write what I do?

Um, because the story won’t leave me alone until I do!

I know this is ridiculous, but I have a contemporary Women’s Romance fiction (Broken Smiles), a YA fantasy trilogy (Vagabond), a middle grade series (from a young boys perspective), a Christmas novella, a screenplay, and a children’s book. It’s such an amateur move to write in so many different genres.

Do I care? . . . No!

I am still finding my voice. I am still finding my niche. I know I love writing romance, but I have really enjoyed exploring writing things my two boys would like.

How does my writing process work?

The process of writing, for me, usually occurs in the middle of the night, when everyone else is asleep. Or, I tend to be a professional daydreamer (hence the comment above about being scatterbrained!)

I have long sheets of butcher paper for every novel on the walls next to my bed. I have numbered all of the chapters in my books. During the dark hours, when my brain wakes me up with an idea or a passage of dialogue, I click on my Petzl headlight and scribble down my ideas onto the chapter where it should go. I can hopefully then fall asleep again. When the thoughts won’t leave me alone, I sigh, grab my computer, and head downstairs to write until the genius (see link) leaves me.

So I guess this explains why I look like a zombie sometimes and why I occasionally zone out when someone is talking to me.

 – Tara Mayoros –

I now will continue this blog on to a couple outstanding authors. Check out their blogs and books.

Jeff Salter – http://taketwoonromance.weebly.com

Bio: Jeff Salter is a Somerset, KY resident. Published by Astraea Press & Dingbat Publishing. Retired library administrator. Former newspaper photo-journalist & editor. U.S. Air Force veteran. Fiction already released: four novels & two novellas. Three new releases scheduled for 2014.

Brenda Gallaherhttp://brendabirchgallaher.blogspot.com

Bio: Brenda Birch Gallaher is a writer who has lived in 22 states and has visited 9 foreign countries. She is the middle of five children so she has plenty of accidents/incidents from her childhood to choose from to include in any given story she is writing on. She has one novel out to a publisher waiting for a good answer while working on her next project.

Words for a Headstone

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Words for a headstone

A painting I created for my friend.

A few years ago, I received a birth announcement from a good friend with a darling photo of a newborn. It was also a death announcement. This sweet infant only lived a few short moments as her complications were too great.

At the same time I was going through a hard time in my life. Suddenly, my own trials and heartaches seemed very small in comparison.

Sometimes I gather words, other times I gather art supplies . . . and then I let my heart bleed on either canvas or journal. This time I decided to pick up my watercolors and create something for my friend. With each stroke of the paintbrush, and each line of my pen, I thought a lot about the different trials people are faced with. I thought about my friend, I thought about eternity, and children, and life. These are questions that conjure within me usually while I am deep into the trees and mountains, far removed from people. But at the time, I was living in the desert and I felt trapped, both mentally and physically. I realized I was living day to day, without stepping back and looking at the majestic view before me. Even if that view was of rocks, sand, and prickly plants.

Because I am a lover of literature, I dwelled on the words I wanted to use in this painting for a long time. I asked myself, what would comfort me? Finally, I sketched in “Life and Love are Eternal.” Because, well, I think that they are.

I framed the painting, then sent if off with a sympathy card. My friend contacted me and told me that it brought tears to her eyes when she opened it.

A couple years after this experience, I received another birth announcement from my same friend. I was thrilled to see that through her dark clouds she was able to get pregnant again. Along with the announcement, she enclosed a note that reads. “I had struggled forever with what to put on my baby’s headstone. I wanted something positive and pretty. I used your words. So, thank you again for your painting and words. They will forever be on her headstone and I’ll forever remember your kindness.”

I am honored to have inspired words for a headstone.

Tara

p.s. I asked my friend if I could write about this before I posted it.

??? Inspiration ???

I attended a writers conference this past weekend, which in turn, caused thoughts of inspiration to flood my mind. Not actual inspiration, just the concept of it.

As writers, we were told in this keynote speech, that we do not receive inspiration. That it is the deep recesses of our subconscious mind that are speaking to us. When someone is given a soapbox on which to stand upon, I always get a bit excited to listen to what rings true and what I process as crazy talk.

First, I need to define in·spi·ra·tion – noun \ˌin(t)-spə-ˈrā-shən, -(ˌ)spi-\ (Webster dictionary)

: something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create : a force or influence that inspires someone

: a person, place, experience, etc., that makes someone want to do or create something

: a good idea

Here is the problem with the speakers claim that we do not receive inspiration. Listed above are three different ways to process what is inspiration. Is it something divine? Is it an external thing/person/experience? Or is it a good idea? With making the claim that we as artists and authors are uninspired, can easily offend. Because everyone sitting in the audience has a different opinion of what inspiration is, and where exactly it comes from.

Personally, I did not take offense. In fact, I was thoroughly entertained. But many did take offense, as I was sitting in the back and noticed people began to trickle out. Some shaking their heads in disapproval as they did so.

Many months ago I stumbled across this Ted talk by Elizabeth Gilbert. It affected me very much and I found myself dwelling on it for quite a while afterwards, I still do actually. I loved it. It rang true to me. I hope you will take the time to listen to it in its entirely.

My favorite part of the speech was when Elizabeth referenced Ruth Stone. Ruth said at times when she was working in the fields, an idea or a moment of inspiration would roar towards her like a freight train. She would run to catch it. I have felt this and to me, it is one of the most happy, enlightening feelings in the world. I have sprinted home or rushed through a shower to find a pen and paper (because turning on the computer to Word or Scrivener would take to long) to scribble down thoughts that have come completely unexpected.

So where do these thoughts come from? We all have our different opinions. Personally I’d like to say Ole Ole (watch the link above) and stick with that.

If you have comments or you were one in attendance, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Tara