Category Archives: Books

Little Blue Bear [socs]

Beanie Baby America

I have a little blue bear on my desk at work. He’s a Ty beanie baby named America and I bought him when he came out after 9/11, which was shortly after I began working here (I’m writing this Friday lunchtime and will schedule it to post Saturday morning). On the left side of his tag it says that 100% of the profits from the purchase of the bear will go to Red Cross Disaster Relief. On the right side it says: “In memory of those who lost their lives in the national catastrophe that took place on September 11, 2001. We mourn for them and express our deepest sympathy to their families. God Bless America.”

A lot has changed in 18 years. My parents have both passed on. I’m divorced. My two daughters both graduated college and have gotten married. One of them has a baby, which magically makes me a grandma. I’ve moved five times. I had a relationship with a married man for two and a half years. If you believe in “bad karma,” then this gave me mine and I’ve been unable to have a happy/successful romance since. I also had a couple minor car accidents, which were horribly upsetting at the time, but in the grand scheme of things, not so bad really.

In these 18 years, I’ve been a flame warrior on Usenet, made enemies and turned them into Facebook “friends,” and since I quit FB most of them have forgotten my existence again. Perhaps that’s a good thing. I’ve been on Friendster and Twitter and Snapchat and G+ and other “social sites” too dark and dirty to mention here. I’ve experimented with different lifestyles to see if they were for me (no), and they’ve greatly enriched my fiction and poetry writing.

I’ve written a lot during these years. So so much. Poetry, novels, short stories. Zillions of blog posts and tweets. Loads of emails and texts. Have had interesting text chats with many men that I thought might “go somewhere,” but they didn’t and here I am alone, which isn’t a bad thing after all. I’m not sure anyone could really put up with me now… and vice versa.

I find that as I trudge toward my seventh decade I’m more or less the same person I was at age 14. I like to read romance novels and write poetry. I love games and puzzles, kittens and puppies, cookies and pizza. I’m not a sophisticated adult type person with advanced tastes in wine and music. Give me rock & roll and mac & cheese, woo! I’m a homebody and enjoy simple comforts. A hot shower is bliss. As I age, I’ve learned that I get more easily stressed out by other people, so I have to limit my interactions with them.

But through all this, I’ve had a good job, where I’ve been treated well. And every work day, little blue bear has been there to greet me, no matter what else is going on. I am grateful/thankful for my job and for my side work too… and for my book sales even though I wish there were more. (I’ll keep writing regardless.) When I began this post, I assumed at some point I’d say something political, but really there’s no need.❤️🧁💙

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Creative Fources

Shamrock

More Q’s from Rory, S1g4.

What truly motivates you to write?

Depends on the day. Could be a need to express emotion, which I tend to do best via the written word. Could be a need to express the joy of creativity, like yesterday when I wanted to capture how I felt about a beautiful painting of purple flowers. Or maybe I want to challenge myself with a writing prompt outside my usual genre simply to see if I can do it well. Sort of like an intellectual puzzle.


What’s cluttering up your life today and what are you doing about it?

I have a to-do list full of lots of unfinished writing (and other) projects, which bothers me, but I’m always running out of time for all the things. At this very moment, I’ve just finished my weekend paying work, which took me too long because I was texting in between, and now I still have cleaning I want to do. It’s almost 5pm though and it would be nice to relax tonight before work Monday, but I really can’t. This post is my break. Maybe in a couple hours I’ll blog more, or read.


Did you enjoy a creative childhood?

I think so, though there could always be more. I read a lot and began writing little poems early on. I had sketchbooks and paints, and loads of beads for bracelets and such. My mom loved arts & crafts, so we always had something going on ~ candle making, latch hook rugs, macrame, knitting blankets for dolls, etc. Each was a fad, but fun.


Have you ever wanted to write a book or if you have written a book do you feel accomplished for doing so?

I have written books… and at first I did feel accomplished, but now not so much really. My first one was easy because I simply globbed together previous writing, edited it a bit, and made a cover. I was thrilled to have some sales and grateful for each one. When I completed an entire novel though (while working full-time), it felt like a huge deal. I had amazed myself! But then I did it a few more times, so eh whatever. And it turns out that zillions of people are writing novels while working full-time. Plus, they are also finding the time to market their books properly and get way more sales and do promos and send newsletters and tweet and do Facebook ads and so knowing this…

I actually feel like a failure a lot of the time. Like, why did I bother sinking so fucking much of my time into writing? I could have just been watching TV like a normal person and reading romance novels written by others. Blogging sure, since I enjoy that and there’s no expectations. But I did think I’d “get somewhere” with my writing. No, not on the NYT bestseller list, but not a flatline week after week on Amazon either.

I’ve been taking a writing break because I feel so down about it all. And no, I’m not fishing for praise or rah-rah follow your dream type pep talks. Just venting. Maybe someone will come along and commiserate. We can be writing quitter buddies.

The Daily Four

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Free Four All

Shamrock

More from Rory’s Question Fun Directory!

Welcome to The Daily Four!

Today’s Questions to the Readers are….

Do you have any friends from your school days and if so how often do you socialise with them?

-Elizabeth is the only old friend I’m in any contact with these days, though I have corresponded with 3 other high school friends in the past. We live too far apart to socialize in person. In college, I didn’t make any lasting friendships.

Do you find it difficult to admit that you are wrong, and why?

-Not at all. I’m wrong frequently, as are most people. (I also have a poor sense of direction and am used to going oopsy.) It’s the human condition to try things out and learn from our mistakes. Otherwise, no progress would be made. Those who refuse to admit error either never try new things and/or suffer from terribly fragile egos.

What was the title of the first movie you watched in a movie theater?

-Mm, wish I could remember! The first clear memory I have is The Sound of Music, which is from 1965, when I was 4, but I’m sure my mom would have taken me to a movie before that.

What was the most awkward thing that you’ve done for a friend?

-Let’s see, back when… a friend was curious about racy novels. I was too, but I’d already read a bunch of stuff my father had lying around. Anyway, we found a sleazy adult bookstore, but friend was too chicken to go in. I wasn’t. I brazened it out and strolled through the door like hey this is normal. It was so icky! This was before men got all their pr0n online. I wandered around a bit (no cell phones then, so couldn’t text her for help) and finally grabbed a few books to buy. We read some in the car, but she made me take them home so her family wouldn’t find them.

Rory’s Daily Four

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Sunday Night Blahs

Witch with cat and candelabra

Later tonight my 3TC post will pop into the feed ~ I have 10 more scheduled. These 10 include an announcement that September 10 will be the end of my 3TC hosting. Please let me know if you’d like to host (it’s fun!), and I’ll add your name to the remaining posts so people are aware. I’ve done 178 of these posts now (including the ones coming up), and it’s time for me to move on.

I will continue my Thursday Inspiration prompts because I really enjoy doing those. I don’t always write something myself, but I find it inspirational to search for the music to go with the picture. I’ve been using my Happy Color app pictures, which make me… happy. 🙂

I’ve done two audiobooks and am really disappointed that the narrators don’t seem to be helping out with any marketing. I thought we were in this together. Oh well. It was a good experiment, I guess, but it took a lot of time (and these were short books!), so I won’t be doing more. In a way, I’m glad my 200 page romance novel never got going as an audiobook because that would have taken forever to review.

From time to time, I get bummed out about writing generally, and this is one of those times. I never seem to get anywhere. I don’t have time to market like you’re supposed to, and nothing I write is great enough or lucky enough to simply take off without that. Yes, I write because I love to, but after all these years, it’s depressing not to have made any money at it.

I recently encountered a published poet and his stuff was just so bad… I don’t get it. Not saying my stuff is great or even good. But it’s so random and frustrating what gets attention and what gets published. Same as it’s ever been, I suppose.

Notwithstanding all this whining, there are still lots of good things in my life, just not any good writing news is all. Idk if I want to continue toiling away during my free time finishing all the OCD items on my writing to-do list just to keep seeing a flat line on my sales reports. I could just… stop.

I don’t mean stop blogging. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I have loads of writing in progress. Romance novels in various stages of completion. A murder mystery love story half-done. Stories for anthologies. Finished books I want to edit again. It’s ridiculous.

Happy September. 🐱

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

PFF13: Portlandia!

Time

Welcome to my Friday Flashback! This post originally appeared here on August 30, 2015, exactly four years ago.

Portlandia!

Diane and I went to Portland, Oregon for a few days ~ it was so much fun! I love this city. The vibe was so mellow and friendly. Everything was clean. Great place,  fab food, beautiful gardens… wanna go back someday. 

https://goo.gl/photos/yUc8V8k3vWwxCoor6

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Exciting News!

Dangerous Curves Ahead

Before I get started on my “normal” weekly posts, I want to share with you how thrilled I am that Dangerous Curves Ahead will be coming out this Thursday, August 29! As you can see from the lovely graphic, a story from my nom de plume Anna Fondant will be in the collection. Yayyy! 😍❤️🎉

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

PFF12: Novel Overboard

Time

Welcome to my Friday Flashback! This post originally appeared here on August 23, 2014, exactly five years ago.

Time to Let Go

I stumbled onto this great article by Anne R. Allen. She discusses some of the protagonists that readers hate. We all know about the villain we secretly (or not so secretly) root for, but it’s important as a writer also to understand the kind of protags a reader does not want to see.

1. The Mary Sue. I never heard of this before ~ the term comes from fanfic (which could explain why). Basically it’s an ordinary person who has a massive amount of strength or wisdom to save the planet and/or attract the hottest supermodel. She (or he) is the author’s fantasy self. Boring!

2. The Special Victim. This protag endures all sorts of horror, but can never do anything about it because that would wreck the storyline. The reader sits there frustrated, urging the dumbass to walk out the open door. (This could also be called “revenge fiction” if the protag is really a stand-in for someone you want to torture in writing.)

3. The Perfect Pat. This is another fantasy writer self ~ a protagonist who does everything perfectly and never has an incorrect or repulsive thought. It’s basically a gilded memoir. More boring than a boring boring thing.

4. The Looky-Loo. Like the annoying non-buyer of real estate, this protag wanders through the story, looking and feeling and hearing and thinking. The writing may be profound and beautiful, even deep and poetic, but NOTHING EVER HAPPENS.

5. The Literal Larry. This is the star of a memoir, where no detail is omitted, no matter how mundane or irrelevant, because “it really was just like that.” Gah.

I will give you one guess which protag is the one I’ve been writing for the last twenty-five years in my fabulous epic novel Motion Sickness.

MS began as a short story where I was mocking an old boss (RIP Tony G) for his goofy dietary prefs. It was a pretty fun story called “Broccoli.” Then I decided to enter a novella contest, so I expanded Broccoli to 25K words. I overlaid it with a theme of drowning and called it “Water.” Later on I decided to squish a couple of new ideas into Water and make it novel-sized. At that point I renamed it “Motion Sickness.”

Never satisfied with the story, I kept tweaking it. Start in a different spot, use new themes such as synesthesia and depression, add in imaginary characters, throw in some hookers, create a love triangle, have a happy ending, no! change it to a sad ending…

But the problem was that my protag simply floated through all this, unchanging. She is an observer, not an actor. She is not a compelling heroine. She watches and snarks, she loves mildly and hates dispassionately. She is detached from everything, including her own neuroses and fears. She is way too much like me ~ i.e., boring as hell.

It’s time to let this go.

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

My First Audiobook!

Here’s something for the Weekly Smile: my first audiobook Burnt Offerings was approved by ACX last week and is now available to purchase! I’ve made several sales already, and some folks were kind enough to leave a review. Thank you so much! 💖💖💖

Burnt Offerings

Funny, sad , bittersweet. It’s what a gourmet box of dark chocolate would be if it were a book. ” ~ Hamlet (reviewer)

Yay! 🔥

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Mellow Yellow

Sunshine Blogger Award

Big thanks to Mathew at Blog of the Wolf Boy who thought of me for this sunshiney nom. Yay! 🌼🍋🍯

Mathew is reusing the 11 starter questions that he received and I don’t blame him. They’re fun! I’m not going to tag anyone, but why not have a go and see what you can do with them too? Feel free to copy the sunshine logo if you do play along. 😀

1. I love it when someone buys one of my books!

2. If I could, I’d write all day and save all the kitties too. 🐱🐱🐱

3. Not too many people know that I write sexy romances as Anna Fondant. ❤️🌹

4. What really gets to my nerves are people who want me to “donate” to read their blogs. Why not pay me? No? Okay then!

5. I can’t comprehend why people still support that lying sack of sh!t. (Left that open for you.)

6. My fantasy job would be writing and saving kitties! 🐱🐱🐱

7. If I were a color, I’d be turple. 🦋💜

8. Sometimes when I’m by myself I wish I never had to talk to anyone again.

9. This may sound crazy but… I think we were all better off before the internet.

10. The funniest thing about me is how funny I am. 🤣😂😎

11. It doesn’t really matter if I have a million followers or 10 when none of them is that one guy who offers me a movie deal.

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Wrapped in a Riddle

Mystery Blogger Award

I would like to thank my fellow tea-lover Dr Tanya of Salted Caramel for this award. Tanya has an interesting and informative blog, and I’m very happy she thought of me. 😻

Now, what’s the Mystery Blogger Award?

“It’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.” ~ Okoto Enigma

Wow! Thank you again, Tanya! 🌺

Now I am to answer Tanya’s 5 questions and then tell 3 things about myself. At that point, I will end this award ceremony without doing my own tags or questions, as is my preference. 🦋

Five Questions For The Nominees Of This Award

1. How old is your blog now?

– My first post on Light Motifs II was March 25, 2011, so almost 8.5 years at the time of this posting. 🥳

2. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

– Currently, I appreciate the opportunity to have an audience for my fiction and poetry.

3. How important do you think Social Media is for the success of a blog?

– I consider the WP blogging community to be social media. My entries autopost to Twitter, but that doesn’t help much. When I had a Facebook account, I autoposted there too and did receive a bit more traffic and comments, but it wasn’t that significant. Most FB’ers posted their comments on the FB side. Annoying! 😡

4. How would you define a sucessful blog? In other words, what do think a successful blog looks like?

– A site that updates frequently with engaging content. Since it’s a blog, I usually expect some mutual following/commenting unless the writing is so utterly fabulous that I don’t care. Almost always, this is not the case. Except for you, of course! 🤣

5. Funny/Weird Question: if you were a superhero, what superpower would you like to have and what would you do with it?

– I would choose invisibility, and I’d use it for evil. 😈

Here are 3 things about me:

1. I use butterfly imagery a lot in my writing, but in reality the butterfly life cycle isn’t very poetic or romantic.

2. My fiction is really fiction; it just seems real sometimes because I’m a good writer.

3. The female characters in my stories are not me, though perhaps some of them do things I wish I could have done. ❤️

~*~

© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.