I’ve been thinking about names and how they inform our lives. When we’re born, our parents select our name that starts us on a journey. It might have some mythical weight to it, like Adam or Naomi. In that case, we’re already embedded in an archetypal story. The Biblical Adam makes me think of a male archetype, one who is grounded in masculine stereotypes of responsibility and obedience. With Naomi, there is another Biblical connection. A woman whose life is filled with strife, she is fortified by Ruth, her daughter-in-law. Continue reading
The word magic gets thrown around loosely and can have many different meanings, depending on the context. For a child, the world must seem forever magical as s/he explores and constantly makes new discoveries. Even for adults who have retained their childlike enthusiasm for life this state still exists. Seeing sunrises or sunsets that astound viewers with color variations is just one example, but so, too, is the miracle of tiny, dried-out seeds eventually producing plants that can nourish us. Those who have done a little gardening know how magical this process can be.
Blogging has become a major part of my writing process.Each Monday, I publish a new blog post that is related in some way to reading and writing. Today’s is no exception, but it’s about the process of creating a new blog.Since 2009, I have taken advantage of WordPress.com’s free blog templates and platform. Until recently, I felt satisfied with the one I had been using from the beginning. I also appreciated not paying a monthly/yearly fee for using it. A newbie to creating a blog, I needed something simple so I could teach myself how to set up a blog, and WordPress offers online guidelines for how to do so. Over the years, I became somewhat adept at publishing my posts and keeping my pages updated.
But now that I have a fourth book (a novel, Freefall: A Divine Comedy) coming out on August 1, 2018, I want a more professional looking site.
When I couldn’t find a free template on WordPress that would give me the kind of author platform I need, I searched for literary blog templates. That took me outside of the free WordPress world and into a whole new range of options where I fell in love with what is now my new theme. And, yes, the theme’s name is “Literary.” It was designed with writers in mind, and I love the way it displays published books on its pages. Do take a look!
Unfortunately, I not only had to pay for this template, but I also had to upgrade my WordPress.com account to the business plan. Otherwise, I couldn’t have used this more advanced theme. Since the business plan offers continuing support from “happiness engineers” (and they really do bring happiness to novices like myself who are fumbling around in this world of codes and obscure language), as well as access to excellent plugins such as Yoast SEO, Google Analytics, Page Builder, and so much more, including ways to sell your books directly on your site, it’s well worth the expense. And it’s a tax write-off.
So while my approach ended up costing me more than I had anticipated ($300 per year for the business plan plus around $60 for the new theme), I not only have my own easily remembered domain name now (lilyionamackenzie.com), but I also have a site I can constantly improve as I grow more familiar with all of its possibilities, including sliding images, videos, and other tantalizing prospects.
I would love to hear from other bloggers about their experiences in setting up a blog and your response to my new format!
I recently took a walk with a friend who writes but hasn’t committed herself fully to being a writer. There is a difference! Someone who writes doesn’t necessarily need to take on all of the responsibilities that being a writer requires, including marketing her work. Her response to all of the things I’m currently going through (finding Advanced Review Copy (ARC) reviewers; seeking interviews; setting up readings—and so much more) as I prepare for the release of my next novel, Freefall: A Divine Comedy, was “I couldn’t do that!”Continue reading
“Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for the love of it, then you do it for a few friends, and finally you do it for money.” —Moliere
Recently, I’ve been struggling with this idea of writing for money. Moliere suggests writers are prostituting themselves if they write for money. But what of doctors or lawyers? Doctors charge patients for treating them, and lawyers do the same for advocating, things they’re trained and skilled to do? I’m sure Moliere had complex reasons for thinking this way about selling one’s writing, many connected to his era, economics, and his philosophy on life.
When I arrived at the gym yesterday, I parked the car next to the Big 5 Sporting Goods store’s huge garbage containers, located in my gym’s parking area. I felt embarrassed for the man I saw lurking behind the bins. He wore a baseball cap and tried to appear invisible as he rummaged through the trash. The image of him prowling there stayed with me, and I couldn’t help but think of it as a metaphor for writers.
The publishing date for my new novel Freefall: A Divine Comedy draws near (July 15, 2018), and I’ve started the final editing process with Pen-L Publishing. It reminds me of when Pen-L published my debut novel, Fling! (July 2015) and how long it had taken to complete it.
When We Were Shadows, for middle-school students, is based on the true story of a Jewish boy and his family hiding from the Nazis in WWII in Holland. It traces his journey at the age of 5 from Germany to Holland in 1937, where the family thought they would be free of the persecution happening to Jews in their home country, only to have their haven invaded by the Nazis 3 years later. The story describes how the family fled from one hiding place to another, aided by people in the Dutch Resistance, until they found refuge in a hidden village in the Veluwe forest. For 18 months they lived in fear of discovery, and were assisted by local villagers and the Resistance, and trying to make the best of their situation. After the village was attacked, the boy and his family had to take on new identities and continued to hide until liberation in Zwolle by the Canadians in 1945. Continue reading
“Logic will get you from point A to point B, but imagination will take you everywhere” – Albert Einstein.
I’ve been thinking about the importance of imagination not just as a writer and reader but also as a survival tool. And I wonder how and when this faculty first appeared. Of course, when discussing imagination, creativity is not far behind, for the two are handmaidens. The imagination needs our creative abilities in order to be realized, and to be fully creative, one needs imagination.