Thanks to everyone who commented and made Holly feel so welcome.
Congrats, Julie-ann!! Please contact Holly at HollyJacobs1 (at) gmail (dot) com to claim your prize.
It is my pleasure to welcome Holly Jacobs to the Jaunty Quills!!
The View from Here by Holly Jacobs
Most Mondays I post something on social media about my Monday Glee.
Now, let me be clear, I know that the majority of people don’t think of Monday as their happiest day of the week. As a kid heading back to school, I don’t remember ever feeling gleeful on Mondays. But as an adult with four kids and a husband, my point-of-view changed.
You see, my family is not quiet by nature. That means my weekends are loud, chaotic…and yes, gleeful. But years ago, I started to notice how quiet things got after they all packed up for school or work and left. As someone who works from home, I crave that kind of quiet. So despite how crazy in love I am with my family, on Monday mornings as the house got quiet, I felt glee.
That’s where my love of Mondays began. Plus, Mondays are a rather unloved day of the week, so I like to think my Monday Glee makes them feel better about themselves.
My point-of-view changed from school-aged-Holly to grown-up-Holly. And a different point-of-view made all the difference.
As a writer, I have capitalized on that realization many times. A prime example is in the second and third books in my newest Words of the Heart series. I wrote the exact same scene in two different points-of-view. Readers saw the scene through Addie’s eyes in These Three Words, then in Siobhan’s eyes in my new release, Hold Her Heart.
It’s rare that readers spot when I repeat the same scene in different books (though I do occasionally hear from some who spots it). Even editors have missed when I do it. I think people miss it because though it’s the same scene in each book, it’s very different. Why? Because—I know you know the answer by now—the point-of-view makes all the difference.
Sometimes I employ that change of perspective with my writing. Most days I work on my couch, but especially in the fall I move to the glider in the yard. And this year, I’ve been heading to camp once a week and writing there. Making those moves makes a difference in my writing. It gives me a fresh perspective.
And as you know, that different point-of-view can make all the difference!
A different point-of-view can make all the difference…what’s your view right now?
Everyone who answers, will be entered into a drawing to win a signed copy of the first book in the series, Carry Her Heart!!
Check back on Sunday to see if you’re a winner!!
In the US alone, more than three hundred thousand books were published in 2013, according to Wikipedia.
Back in 2010, Google estimated that at least 129 million books had been published worldwide.
So, obviously, finding the one you will really love isn’t easy, is it?
In recent years, Amazon and Book Bub and social media have helped a lot. Amazon, particularly, has grown eerily accurate about its “featured recommendations” based on my browsing/buying history.
They recently suggested that a woman who reads as many mysteries as I do might like The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery, by Alan Bradley. I sampled it, bought it, and wow. I really, really do. 🙂
But I still find a lot of my favorite books the old fashioned ways, the ways I used back before the great I(nternet) in the Sky began reading over my shoulder. Here are my favorite ways:
- Recommendations from friends. I have lots of reader/writer friends, but there are a select few whose advice I trust absolutely. We’re not clones, of course, and we’ll occasionally disagree. But they know me well enough to know when a book is right for me, and when it’s not. My favorite recent find this way: Where Have You Gone, Bernadette?, by Maria Semple, which was suggested by my writer friend Susan Blexrud.
- Browsing bookstores. Nothing is more exciting than pulling out a book you’ve never heard of, leafing through it, and then deciding to take a chance and spend your precious gift certificate on it. When I was seventeen, I stumbled on Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence that way, and what a life-changer that was! To this day I sort of feel maternal toward this early-Twentieth Century author, as if I single-handedly discovered her. My favorite find this way: Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles, which I found in a Tallahassee Barnes & Noble one weekend when I was visiting Girlchild at college. The next year of my life was consumed by reading the entire, difficult, marvelous series.
- Listening to the radio. I love when NPR interviews authors and I adore their Morning Edition book club, where smart people hash over books chosen by well-known authors. My favorite recent find this way: Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness and Family Secrets. I may never look at my doctor the same way, but it was absolutely fascinating!
- Stumbling on a lead while I do research for my own books. Writers spend a lot of time scrambling down rabbit holes on the Internet, checking out a particular character’s career, or location, home, hobby, or neurosis. One site leads to another, and sometimes, when we’re lucky, we’ll encounter something we want explore further. My favorite recent find this way: Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune. (Cool fringe benefit…to double-check the title, I Googled the book tonight, and I discovered that a movie version is in the works! Can’t wait!)
So how do you decide which of those 129 million books to read? I’d love to hear what works for you. I’ll be giving away a $10 Amazon gift certificate to one randomly chosen poster today, so if you share your favorite methods you might end up being able to chip away at that Wish List! 😉
Nope, we didn’t buy a place on the lake or snag a condo with an ocean view. The water came to us.
Yesterday, it started raining while we were having lunch after church at our favorite rib place. No big deal. We just had to make a mad dash back to our car after we polished off our meal.
We settled in for a little football. It continued to rain, harder now, peppering the windows and drumming merrily on the roof. The storm upset our terrier, Mack, but he’s always been a scaredy-cat when the sky is falling. We put his “Thunder Shirt” on him and encouraged him to snuggle into his crate, his go-to “happy place.”
The rain continued to fall. Finally, we ventured a look outside.
This is our side yard. Everything that’s currently under water is ordinarily a lush expanse of grass all the way to the treeline. Now we have a shallow lake lapping against the railroad ties next to the gravel drive. Beyond the walnut trees and evergreens, there’s a drainage ditch that’s about six feet deep. You can see that it’s running full of reddish-brown water.
The view from the front yard is only marginally more comforting. The little pond across the street is normally just a four feet deep depression. It collects run-off from the other side of our oval-shaped neighborhood, then empties into the drainage ditch on its way to a lower place. It’s still flowing strong. As long as there is no blockage downstream, we should be good.
When we bought this place, I studied the obvious drainage features around the perimeter of our property. I went to city hall to check on whether or not the house was in a flood plan. It is not. We’ve tried to buy flood insurance, only to be told we weren’t eligible.
We are NOT in a flood plan. All the topographical maps say so.
I wonder if they told the folks in Baton Rouge the same thing…
How about you? Have you ever been in a flood or some other natural disaster?
In THE COLDWATER WARM HEARTS CLUB, my heroine Lacy Evans has some disasters of her own. Unfortunately, they’re of her own making!
Good thing Jake Tyler, my wounded warrior hero, is ready to help her find her way home.
This book is coming out in just a few days–September 27th! The early reviews have been terrific!
“The heart-tugging scenes, stellar characters, captivating secondary storylines, and small-town charisma will whet readers’ appetites for a return visit to Coldwater.” – Publishers Weekly
If you’d like to visit a place that’s a cross between Mayberry and Lake Woebegone, I invite you to pre-order your copy of THE COLDWATER WARM HEARTS CLUB.
When you do, be sure to enter the pre-order contest at Kensington Publishing. You could win a $250 Visa card for yourself and another $250 will be donated in your honor to Fisher House Foundation, a terrific organization that benefits military families.
Jennifer Haines, you’re the one! Email me at email@example.com for your prize.