My Blog
Thursday, 16 March 2017
What in the world is happening?

 

People are fearful these days about what is happening in the world. However, events that seem confusing can produce positive results. Deepak Chopra noted that chaos often precedes change.

That hopefully describes this disorienting time. When the election happened in 2016, many were caught off guard. Some welcomed the result, others were devastated. As events began playing out in 2017, the mental and emotional confusion increased. It was fascinating to watch the intellectuals and the self-assured pundits, on both sides of the political spectrum, try to make sense of what occurred day after day. Over months, the populace was educated in regard to how the government works. The good and the bad emerged, giving people a better understanding of why governing can be so complicated.

If we examine how the country responded to the situation, one notable fact emerges. Before, people took comfort in the status quo. Now they are engaged. Many have chosen to get involved in local politics, something they never considered doing before. Others are helping vulnerable groups in a variety of ways, if only by being emotionally supportive. 

Even though there is no more complacency, people are upset because they don’t know exactly what to do. It is disconcerting when we can’t “figure it out.” We are used to thinking our way through problems. The brain is basically a problem solver. One thought leads to another. The thought is usually, “If this happens, I will . . . If that happens, I will . . . .” Or “This happened years ago, and this is what I did.” Sometimes things worked out and sometimes they didn’t but that kind of thinking was reassuring. When the brain can’t find a quick answer to grab hold of, fear enters the picture. Out of fearfulness often comes anger, even hatred. Consequently, this strange time has not just been about the government. Many have found the same uncertainty in their personal lives. When good people have intense negative emotions, it is unsettling to say the least. Anger and hatred may not have ever been in their vocabulary, let alone in their minds and hearts.

It is human nature to want to do something. Perhaps author, Clarissa Pinkola Estes said it best in one of her blogs: “Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.” That resonates with many people, and they are acting on that premise, helping others in small but important ways.

Sometimes we need to take an emotional step back and just observe what is happening. That is not an easy task in a society that has become impatient in our advanced technological world. It is difficult for us to just allow things to play out. Perhaps, for a while, we need to focus more on living in the moment and trusting the end result will be positive rather than negative. Focus on family and friends and helping our neighbors. Contribute to society in whatever way we can. Trust that there is a reason this needed to happen in the bizarre way it has. For example, many issues were under the radar. That has changed dramatically. Hidden agendas are being made public. People who have gotten away with things for a lifetime are being found out, even prosecuted.

It is possible that the world needs this time to save it from self-destruction. Perhaps the exact persons and situations had to be in place to force each of us to look honestly at ourselves and the world in general. We see people turn their lives around when the worst has happened to them. When there is a physical infection, it is often necessary to lance the wound before healing can begin. Maybe that is what this time is all about. If the election had turned out differently, none of the above might have happened. Complacency would have remained in place. Now we have to trust that somehow, some way, we will be able to fix our seemingly broken world. What we do to address current problems and the manner in which we act is going to determine the outcome.

Emotions have cooled, but there is still a large divide in the country. The reasons on both sides are valid, but nothing positive can come out of anger alone. It only exacerbates the problem. Strong emotions are only productive when they turn into passion. From that place, creative ways are discovered and implemented.

Which brings up the subject of compromise and working together. We can get upset every day when it appears as though things are going awry, but that only makes us unhappy and doesn’t address the problems. Solutions that endure take careful examination and planning. In the end, nothing is going to be changed until we take a deep breath and find a way to share this earth with others, regardless of our political or religious beliefs.

I believe this is a time like no other and that the world is going to get through it to a better place. The challenge is to regain hope. I admit that some days I've felt hopeless as I watched chaos reign. But if chaos precedes change, hopelessness should not be an option. To achieve positive change, we must find our emotional, mental and spiritual balance. As we navigate through a minefield of emotions, we can walk a path of darkness and destruction or a path of light and hope.

The choice is ours.

 

Link to the Haverford Trilogy: Promises to Keep, Lydia, True Abundance, and my mystery, Desert Soliloquy on Amazon:  http://ow.ly/HXHE3 

If you would like to read the articles on my website, go to http://www.libbygrandy.com.

Twitter handle is: @LibbyGrandy 

 

 


Posted by libbygrandy at 1:51 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 18 March 2017 7:28 PM EDT
Friday, 18 November 2016
Libby's Blog

 I’m not going to talk about politics in this blog even though the three emotions I want to discuss—anger, despair, and hope—stem from that arena. My focus these days is how we should deal with these feelings, because regardless of divergent beliefs, we must find a way to work together in this country.

We have to rise above anger and direct our passionate feeling toward goals that will help turn things around. My emotional button is triggered by seeing people hurt, especially the vulnerable. I’m well aware, however, that anger alone doesn’t produce positive results. It is calm, thoughtful actions that do that.  

The emotions of despair and hope determine the quality of both our present and our future. I’ve felt despair a few times in my life but usually only for hours, maybe days. When it descended, I quickly decided it was not a feeling I wanted to live with. It also felt like giving up, something I never choose to do.

Then there is the sometimes elusive emotion of hope. Those who know me won’t be surprised to hear that hope has been an integral part of my life for almost eighty years. Even after my mother died when I was thirteen, I was determined to work hard in school, in the hope that I would move past my sorrow and build a good life for myself, in honor of my mother.

The reason I’m blogging about this is that I’ve talked to many distraught people over the past week. Good, compassionate, kind people who are feeling lost and confused.

I decided to take some quiet time to examine my own feelings, knowing that I could only help others if I reintroduced hope into my own life.

I won’t lie. It wasn’t easy. I even began to wonder if someone in my past might have been right about me. Years ago, a young man whose life was a mess and who I was trying to help accused me of not living in the “real world.” I understood what he was trying to say, but my world was real to me, so I didn’t pay too much attention. Now, however, it occurred to me that maybe he was right. This was not a reassuring thought.

I tried different things. I returned to working on my new novel.  It was a good distraction, but when I’d take a break and turn on the TV, real life would take over again.

I took walks, ate sweets, talked on the phone and on Facebook, meditated and prayed. Everything worked for an hour or so.

As the days went by, however, I began to regain perspective and remembered that I believe everything happens for a reason, and a tiny ray of light began to emerge. It glimmered and flickered, finally staying for longer periods of time. I read an inspirational piece that talked about forming a network of light. The moment the word, “light,” entered my thinking, I began feeling that peace that passes all understanding.

My TV is now off more than it is on. When I get the familiar negative feeling, I quickly turn it off or change channels. I’ve found that reading about events impacts me less than seeing and hearing people on TV. I’m not burying my head in the sand. I know what’s going on. I’m just trying to become more of an objective “observer.”

I don’t know what the future holds, personally or globally. I only know that I don’t want to spend whatever time I have left on this earth in a state of anger, despair or hopelessness. I want to regain my strength, look for ways to soothe the fears of others, particularly children, and choose a life of hope.

I would like to reach out to all of you reading this blog, regardless of religious or political affiliation and invite you to join my friends and family in our “network of light.” I believe you will find that hope and renewed strength will follow. And our work can begin.

 

Link to the Haverford Trilogy: Promises to Keep, Lydia, True Abundance, and my mystery, Desert Soliloquy on Amazon:  http://ow.ly/HXHE3 

If you would like to read the articles on my website, go to http://www.libbygrandy.com.

Twitter handle is: @LibbyGrandy

 

 

 

 


Posted by libbygrandy at 2:05 PM EST
Wednesday, 6 July 2016
Libby's Blog

I wrote a blog entitled “It’s a mystery,” awhile back. I’m having the same experience again, because I’ve started a new novel. People often ask writers where their ideas come from. Sometimes we know, more often we don’t. How does that work? I’ll use my novel Desert Soliloquy as an example.

I got the overall idea from visiting the ghost town, Calico, located in the High Desert of California off Interstate 15, heading toward Las Vegas. I fell in love with the town and knew it would be a great template as a setting for a novel. Consequently, those who have visited Calico recognize the buildings in my story as the historical buildings that are still there. My fictional town is called Odessa.

So that’s a question I can answer. The rest, not so much. I decided to have the main character go to the town (not renovated) that is owned by her ex-husband, Charles. She’s supposed to meet him there. As I started writing, however, Charles didn’t show up.  It turns out he had been kidnapped and stashed in one of the abandoned mines in the mountain.

After I wrote a few chapters, I knew that I had to get the guy out of the mountain, but I didn’t have a clue how to do that realistically, so I put the manuscript away and started my ghost story, Promises to Keep. A year and a half later, I suddenly thought of a way to get him out and went back to working on the manuscript. The rest of the story simply evolved. By that I mean I just let one chapter lead into the next and allowed the story to happen.

If you think I’m strange, I can assure you that I’ve talked to many writers who write exactly the same way. An idea “just comes” to them, and they write it down. Of course, there are also others, like SciFi writers, who outline and know exactly what is going to happen.

I’m allowing my new storyline to evolve the same way. I thought I knew who was going to get killed in my latest book, but lo and behold, it turned out to be someone else. I have an idea about what will happen with some of my characters, but who knows, they may rebel and take me in another direction.

Does this sound like I don’t know what I’m doing?

Probably.

How does this work? I have no idea.

It’s a mystery.

And I love it!

 

Link to the Haverford Trilogy: Promises to Keep, Lydia, True Abundance, and my mystery, Desert Soliloquy on Amazon:  http://ow.ly/HXHE3 

If you would like to read the articles on my website, go to http://www.libbygrandy.com

Twitter handle is: @LibbyGrandy

 


Posted by libbygrandy at 11:27 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 18 November 2016 12:53 PM EST
Thursday, 9 June 2016
Libby's Blog

I have made a decision. I am not going to run for president. I know this is going to disappoint my many supporters who believe I can solve all the problems in the world. It’s true, of course, I could. However, I have an idiosyncrasy that disqualifies me as a presidential candidate.

I like being nice to people. It makes me happy.

I also believe in being kind, thoughtful, reasonable, and respectful.

Apparently many see this as weakness rather than strength. They have no idea how tough and determined people like me can be. Just ask my husband although he may add the word, “stubborn.”

So I guess I’ll just be nice to my family, friends and strangers on the street—postpone my presidential ambitions until the world is more receptive.

Maybe 2024?

 

Link to the Haverford Trilogy: Promises to Keep, Lydia, True Abundance, and my mystery, Desert Soliloquy on Amazon:  http://ow.ly/HXHE3 

If you would like to read the articles on my website and blog, go to http://www.libbygrandy.com.

Twitter handle is: @LibbyGrandy

 

 

 


Posted by libbygrandy at 7:04 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 9 June 2016 7:09 PM EDT
Monday, 16 May 2016
Libby's Blog

I suppose that a refined Southern lady (my “image” lol) should not use the word, “hell,” as in “Come hell or high water.” However, it adequately describes my feelings right now.

Everyone I know is feeling overwhelmed by all the negativity and anger in our country these days. Most of my friends are very positive people who don’t usually contemplate “giving up.” However, this is a time like no other, and frankly, no one knows what to do. Everyone has serious challenges. The world scene is chaotic. And then there’s the political arena. (Need I say more?)

But I have made a decision. I refuse to give up hope.

Next year this time I’ll write another blog on the subject. We’ll see where we are in our personal lives and what’s happening globally.

Everything evolves from a thought and a choice.

I choose to believe we’re going to be in a better place.

Come hell or high water!

 

Link to the Haverford Trilogy: Promises to Keep, Lydia, True Abundance, and my mystery, Desert Soliloquy on Amazon: http://ow.ly/HXHE3 

If you would like to read the articles on my website and blog, go tohttp://www.libbygrandy.com.

Twitter handle is: @LibbyGrandy


Posted by libbygrandy at 8:23 PM EDT
Friday, 26 February 2016
Libby's Blog

Even though it has become a cliché, I do believe there is a reason for everything. I often don’t know the reason until later, but it helps me go through difficult times if I believe there’s a purpose behind them. I have to admit that in regard to the political scene, I have felt stymied. Recently, however, I had a thought. 

Okay . . . here goes. We can agree there is a lot of emotion going in the political arena. A lot of passion, albeit not always very positive. But maybe that’s the answer to the reason behind the madness. Maybe people can use the passion to eventually move forward. Maybe we can use it to stop fighting one another and devote ourselves to solving the problems. Maybe everything has to come to the surface first—the good, the bad, and the ugly. When there is an infection in the body, it sometimes has to be lanced before the healing can begin. 

I have to admit I’ve never been that politically motivated, but the anger and dismay that I’ve felt the past few months when watching the news has evolved into a passionate desire to dive into the fray, in a positive way.

This is a tough time, but . . . dare I say it?

I believe there’s a reason for everything.

 

Link to the Haverford Trilogy: Promises to Keep, Lydia, True Abundance, and my mystery, Desert Soliloquy on Amazon:  http://ow.ly/HXHE3 

If you would like to read the articles on my website and blog, go to http://www.libbygrandy.com.

Twitter handle is: @LibbyGrandy

 


Posted by libbygrandy at 11:47 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 26 February 2016 6:51 PM EST
Thursday, 18 February 2016
Libby's Blog

I talked about anger in my last blog. It helped me to acknowledge the problem and choose to change the behavior. I still get irritated when I watch the news but that’s far easier to let go of. There is a reason people hang on to anger. Underneath anger lies fear. Anger makes them feel strong for a short while. Fear . . .  that’s the real problem in the world today.

We don’t like admit it, but we are afraid. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have something to fear in the future. Hopefully, their fears never materialize, but it’s a daily challenge to trust that we will get through this difficult time to a better place, both personally and globally.

If I could, I would fix every problem for every person in the world. (It’s a Pisces thing.) But that’s not my job. I can be there for those I love in appropriate ways, but everyone has to figure out this strange time for his or her own self.

What I can offer is the fact that we are not alone. I feel connected to others these days, including strangers on the street. That may be another Pisces thing, but I hear the same thing from my family and friends. We’re in this together. And we’ll get through it together. As long as we don’t go to the dark place of hatred and anger.

It’s a choice.

 

Link to the Haverford Trilogy: Promises to Keep, Lydia, True Abundance, and my mystery, Desert Soliloquy on Amazon:  http://ow.ly/HXHE3 

If you would like to read the articles on my website and blog, go to http://www.libbygrandy.com.

Twitter handle is: @LibbyGrandy

 

 


Posted by libbygrandy at 3:46 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 18 February 2016 3:57 PM EST
Friday, 5 February 2016
Libby's Blog

I’m not an angry person. I get irritated like anyone else but usually have a fair amount of patience. However, for the past few months I’ve (foolishly) been watching the news every day. At first, the negative comments amused me as they were so outrageous. As they turned unkind and even hateful, I began to feel less patient and more than irritated. Eventually, I got angry every time I turned on the TV. Apparently anger is contagious. (Hopefully hatred isn’t.)   

It always helps me to write my feelings down, so I decided to blog about this new, uncomfortable feeling of anger. I have learned that others are often experiencing similar emotions, so I assume my words are resonating with some of you now.

There are those who insist that things will only change and improve in our country if we energize ourselves through anger. I disagree. I have always felt passionately about certain issues, but I never got angry at people who didn’t share my beliefs.

Unfortunately, many others have bought into the theory that anger is the solution to the nation’s problems. Even good, kind people. I spoke to an old friend this past week. We had a wonderful conversation about growing up in Virginia—until we touched on the subject of politics. This “good man” ranted and raved, so uncharacteristic for him.  I didn’t respond to the tirade and changed the subject, so we eventually got back to our original friendly conversation. However, I hung up feeling sad.

Perhaps those of us, who are normally pretty easy-going, are being affected by “mob mentality.” I am not happy in this new, dark place of fear and anger, so I’m going to try and get back to who I am. To change a behavior, we first have to acknowledge it. I’ve now done that in this blog.

If we can rise above our fears and reject anger as a solution, perhaps we will be able to move through this profound time to a better place. That is my hope and my prayer. 

 

Link to the Haverford Trilogy: Promises to Keep, Lydia, True Abundance, and my mystery, Desert Soliloquy on Amazon:  http://ow.ly/HXHE3 

If you would like to read the articles on my website and blog, go to http://www.libbygrandy.com.

Twitter handle is: @LibbyGrandy 


Posted by libbygrandy at 9:51 PM EST
Thursday, 21 January 2016
Libby's Blog

Marketing is not most writers’ favorite word. Writing a first draft is fun. Writing subsequent drafts and having your work critiqued makes your story even better, so it feels good. Publishing is a bit stressful but the result is incredibly satisfying.

Then there’s marketing. If you don’t have the patience of Job, you are not going to enjoy it. If you do, there can be a certain amount of gold at the end of the road. However, if a writer hasn’t built a platform and branded his or her name before publishing a book, it can be a very long road. (Unless you publish a dreadful novel like Shades of Grey but let’s not go there.)

To better understand how marketing works, I suggest that writers put themselves in a reader’s shoes. Think about how you buy a book. First you have to know it’s available. However, just seeing a book posted on Facebook or Twitter may not entice you to buy it. Okay, if it’s a friend, maybe. But you probably will still go into Amazon and check reviews and download a sample. Now maybe you just paid the rent and decide to buy it later in the month. It turns out to be a very busy month, and you don’t get around to it until much later or forget about it all together.

Have I depressed my writer friends by now? I hope not, because my goal is to reassure published writers that eventually people will buy their books, if they don’t give up. There is a natural period of time between publishing your book and seeing royalties show up in your bank account. The initial amount appears within a few months and depends on how many friends and family you have. The larger amount depends on strangers. And that is where successful marketing kicks in. How do writers reach strangers? It’s helpful if a writer has more than one book available on Amazon as one book sells another. Even traditional publishing companies don’t see a real profit until an author has three or four books out, and they have professional marketing venues.

I often buy books recommended by friends. So I intend to let people know when I really like a book, as I will be helping a fellow writer in their marketing.

Too many writers get discouraged after a year or so and stop marketing. Some even stop writing. However, “real” writers just keep writing and practice Job’s patience until they develop a fan base and begin to sell more and more books.

Writers can enjoy the fruits of their labor in a variety of ways. My advice is: join writers’ groups, give talks, have fun. Cash those royalty checks and have a café mocha or buy a car, depending on the amount received.  

Appreciate the wonderful gift of being able to write. Rich or poor, we writers truly are blessed.

 

Link to the Haverford Trilogy: Promises to Keep, Lydia, True Abundance, and my mystery, Desert Soliloquy on Amazon:  http://ow.ly/HXHE3 

If you would like to read the articles on my website and blog, go to http://www.libbygrandy.com.

Twitter handle is: @LibbyGrandy 


Posted by libbygrandy at 3:32 PM EST
Friday, 18 December 2015
Libby's Blog

I’m grateful for so many things in my life these days, mainly my family and friends, but also that the third book of my trilogy is published.

I joked with my writer friends that now that I’ve written and published the third book, I can peacefully die, knowing that I have met my goal of four published books. Okay, okay, just kidding, but you never know when you reach my age. Just saying . . . .

The truth is I have another book started, so I guess I have to live at least two more years to reach my new goal. I believe I can manage that.

I’m not sure why I’m always publishing books around the holidays, as there is so much to do.  However, I won’t begin serious marketing of this latest one until after the first of the year. Then I’ll share that process with other writers in these blogs.

For the next week, I plan to focus on wrapping presents, decorating our usual huge (real) tree and celebrating with loved ones.

I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday!

See you in 2016!!

 

Link to the Haverford Trilogy: Promises to Keep, Lydia, True Abundance, and my mystery, Desert Soliloquy on Amazon:  http://ow.ly/HXHE3 

If you would like to read the articles on my website and blog, go to http://www.libbygrandy.com.

Twitter handle is: @LibbyGrandy

 

 

 


Posted by libbygrandy at 12:54 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 18 December 2015 12:58 PM EST

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