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Friday, May 20, 2011

What Do You See?

What Do You See?
Some time ago I posted a photo that I had taken on Reviewers Roundup.  I asked the question…What do you see?  What I had in mind was not to find out who could guess what the picture actually was.  I had a more complex ambition and have to admit that it was a wonderfully enlightening and interesting project.  I enjoyed it so much I would like to do it again.  Many might remember it from before and think they would have nothing to add to the subject, but I think it is something that could be used in so many ways.  I want to post this same picture again and ask the same question.  I will post it on the Linda Nance Fan Page on Facebook and on the Google blog that I called More Than Just A Story in a Book.  The question is ‘What do you see?’  As you think about the question the next thing is to find a way to share your thoughts, feelings, impressions, and ideas as you look at a simple little picture.

I mentioned the name of this blog.  This project has nothing to do with any of my books, but it would be so much fun.  I chose the for the blog for more than one reason.  The most obvious is that I am trying to reach out and talk about the books that I write.  There is so much more to the name.  We each have our own stories.  We each write in our  own ways.  There is more to who and what I am than just the story in each of the books.  There is so much more all around us if we take the time to look and find it.  I think there are as many different styles and preferred ways to create and write as there are writers.  The things that we work to create are from us and by us, but often are accomplished with work and perseverance.  There other times the words seem to flow.   There may be a special location that is a preference to use as the writing begins as Kim Hanks mentioned in his blog.  There are more things than could be listed that might inspire the imagination of a writer.

I have often been working on a novel and come to a point of contemplation.  I had not found exactly what I thought the story needed or the words to tell what I needed to say.  At those times something different frees my thoughts.  It could be a ride in the country, a visit with family or sitting peacefully watching a beautiful sunset as it flares in all of the intense magnificence and the changes before your very eyes until it dims to the night to come.  It can also be a fun writing project.  I might write a special poem or note to a friend.  I might write a short story.  Since we got on the internet I have been writing many things.  It can also be something such as this project.

It was amazing when I saw all of the responses.  There were no two alike.  If you already know what the photo is please do not tell until the end.  Do not hesitate to take the challenge to see what you could create as you really look at the picture.   I would love to see what the imaginations can create.  It is not really about what the picture is as much as what you see.  What more can you see?  Is there a story behind it?  I hope to hear from you all.  I will be joining in too.  I took the photo but if I really look at it I can see many things it could be.  Come and join in the fun.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I have written about wanting to reach out and that is what my books are.  I have said that it is my way to have a voice.  I wanted to see the books become a reality before I went in for the cancer surgery.
I did not want to give up.  I even worked to create my own cover to make the book special from cover to cover.  Life Goes On is a real book and one that I am very proud of.  Life Goes On at   I even made it into an eBook.

Life Goes On   Amazon Kindle    ebook

I lived and now have a second novel out.  It is one the one that I did a painting in water colors to create the cover for.  I actually did many paintings and then chose one that has special meaning for me.  I could share my art as well as my writing with every book.  The cover for the first book is one I did from a photo I took over twenty years ago.  I knew it was right for the book and hoped that people could hold it in their hands and have something special.  This is Journey Home with the painting.  Journey Home..... and

 and the children’s book that I wrote and illustrated is just now out.
This is so special to me. 

I am working to try to make my dreams come true.  My dream is to be able to reach out to others and have a voice.  I want to write books that not only entertain but might have meaning.  I want others to know to never give up on their dreams and if we work hard enough our dreams really can come true.  I want to have the strength and courage to follow those dreams and not give up.  Every day is a challenge and presents new things we must deal with and find ways to endure, overcome or conquer.  I think we have to remember to never give up and I trust that the good Lord will watch over me and hopefully lead me to where I need to go.

I want to try to help others so I am now thinking about starting a writer’s group.  I am an expert at nothing but have passion and a desire to make a difference.  I try to learn as much as I can and never give up.  Together I think we could help one another.  In a group setting as we work to read and share things that we have written and work to learn from one another we might not only find inspiration in those awful moments when the words do not seem to come, developmental issues with what we write and also experience in public speaking.

Jonesboro, Ark is northeaster Ar.  If you know of anyone who might benefit or be interested in this they are welcome to contact me or watch the Facebook Linda Nance Fan page.  I will be posting things as it develops. 

In a writers group I would like to see us meet the needs of the members.  Sharing information, experiences of what works or does not, what things have been good or bad and help in writing would be something to work for.  I would love to see it as a means to assist and inspire one another.  I still get tired and have to live on oxygen…..but that is just it….I am still alive so I should do something.  I am trying my best with the books and have started a blog and fan page.

I talked about believing we should try to reach out to others and make a difference.  I have talked about how we should try to look for good things in life because we may find what we look for.  There is so much bad and depressing things all around we can easily find that but we need to look for what inspires us, gives us purpose, hope and joy.  We need to never give up…., I think I am going to charge up the oxygen bottles and give it a try.  If this works and you run across someone who might benefit from something like this I would love for you to share it.  Thank you for taking the time with this. I also hope to relate things and share here and on the fan page for others who may be too far away. 

If we take a happy thought, helpful thought and hopeful thought and pass it on….Who knows how far it could go….Who knows how much it could grow…have a happy day.
This is so special to me. 

We could share things that we have written and work to learn from one another.   We might not only find inspiration in those awful moments when the words do not seem to come, but also help with developmental issues with what we write and finding ways to let others know of the books.

Wish me luck.

Monday, May 9, 2011

What is The Pumpkin Field?

The Pumpkin Field

This may be a seasonal story wonderful for Halloween but most people including children love a scary story any time of the year.   Through the years as I have told or read this story, the children sat listening to every word.  When the story is over it is only beginning as the questions flood forth about all different things from the different children.  I see emotions relating to excitement, curiosity and a desire to share their thoughts, feelings, experiences and questions. 
On this journey through the pumpkin field there are strange, ominous, mysterious, and even magical things that occur.  Was it real or was it a dream?  Could that be why it is requested even now into a new generation?  I hope that my illustrations will bring this tale to life and just as my children and grandchildren and so many others have loved this tale, it will bring a special smile and create memories shared by all who read or receive it.  This book is my gift to be passed on and shared, that can live on and reach out beyond the pages leaving delighted smiles.  The Pumpkin Field is a little book with a big reach.

This new children’s book, The Pumpkin Field is something I am passionate about.  It is only 40 pages but I wrote it to be something different from other children’s books.  Our boys, hated poetry so I wanted to show them a poem could tell a story, but I wanted more.  I wanted to write something that could be used by the parent or person reading it to teach and reach the child allowing them to give and share with the children.  An adult may see so much more in the simple pages than a child.

Every time I have read it, the kids love it and never seem to tire of it…but no matter how many times we read it there is always more for them to talk about and share that it instigates.  It starts out with “It was the dark of night but the moon shone bright, casting shadows on things below…..That sounds ominous but allows us to share later with the child.

 I can remember going outside at night with a clear sky and full moon many times.  When I ask them if it is dark at night their eyes get big and the answer is immediately,,,,YES.  What is dark?  We gaze up at the beautiful night sky lit by the soft moon light and sparkling stars across the heavens.  We could talk for hours, right there and then.  I show them how the moon shines enough light to make shadows and they realize no matter how dark we think it is, there are different lights.  It can be related in so many ways depending on the age of the person involved in the discussion or their own needs.  You would not believe how many adults have talked for hours about these things.  A child filled with fear of the dark often finds a new understanding and release from such fear.

There have been a few occasions when we had gathered with family or friends that I had conversations with adults who had overheard the viewing of the night with the children.  The same simple statement brought other emotions and thoughts to mind and offered a way to find expression.  There are as many thoughts, feelings fears and emotions as there are individuals, but it is often hard to find ways to recognize things that are deep with in and even harder to find a way to deal with them or express them.  It is amazing how often this little poem opens doors.

More than once “the dark of night” has been related to a person’s life.  The voice was soft but the words were from the heart.  “It is odd, but when you said the dark of night, I thought of how dark it sometimes feels in my life.  I have actually felt as if there was no light left….kind of lost…  But there are stars and light..I guess?  ..even if it is still far away and not that bright.”

Another individual related to the darkness instead of the light.  “It makes you realize there really are shadows in the darkness.  You may have some light but who knows what all there might be out there in the night in the shadows?”
There have been so many reactions from the one simple line.  I would like to tell you exactly what it does mean but I do not have all of the answers to life’s questions.  There are times that we can only discover the answers for ourselves…not what someone else tells you they are.  This little story can not tell all of the answers to life but it can be something enjoyed and shared. 

When I had to tell what age group it is written for …that was a problem for me.  I hope it is something that can be for all.  I hope it can be shared.  I tried to do and create something special.  I hope that you like it.

I tried to write an entire poem story that would entertain but be alive in the way it could be used to open the doors of communication for all ages on so many subjects, especially fears, feelings, thoughts, hopes and dreams and even prejudices.  People often hate or fear things that are different or that they do not understand.  They make judgments and decisions from their preconceived attitudes that may not be accurate or honest.  Kids learn more by life and how we live than what we say they should or should not do and adults often do not listen because they have their own opinions.  The witches are old, ugly and dressed differently but are the mean, bad or evil?  Some nursery rhymes have the witches trying to eat the children or casting evil spells.  The boy was afraid because she looked ???scary?  different?  Like a witch???  He saw her sister flying on a broom across the sky….Maybe so, but then again if we are afraid we may assume something that we fear instead of finding the truth of what it really is. Things may not be what they seem.  In his frightened state of mind, could it have been a black bird in flight lighted by the moon that made him think it was a witch.  Is different such as old and ugly, or crippled, or a different race or religion bad?  Her eyes are not that scary.  Could you have a really mean person in a beautiful body….is he or she ugly or beautiful?  I wanted a little story to be able to teach and reach people of all ages in many ways.    

You will not believe how hard I worked to make the pictures special.  I used pastels and charcoal from our BBQ.  I wanted the characters to become real.  Many people have commented that they love the pumpkins.  I tried to explain and finally said that they were the emotions of the children in the faces.  ‘A smile’  the children should be filled with smiles and laughter and joy in life….‘A look of surprise”  children are amazed at the wonderful surprises as they discover so many wonderful things in life….’A look of  fright and a gleam came from his eyes’  Children may have fears but then again they often love to try to scare one another and when they have some special little prank or idea you can see the mischievous look appear.  I want to tell and share all of these things and more allowing this little book to have a long reach.

 I won’t give up and will find a way to share these thoughts and even more as well in the things that I write.  I have even worked and made coloring pages.  When the kids get the books if they like them it is so wonderful to see their imaginations get going and them want to make their own pictures and books.  If a family has several children they may not be able to buy a book for each one and coloring books as many as they want to color.  I am going to post pages little by little on the fan page so that they can copy them for free and the kids can make pictures to decorate and books and write their own stories to go with them.  They can copy as many as they want when ever they want. 

My new Children’s book, The Pumpkin Field is a dream of mine coming true.  When I received the proof and held it in my hands I was holding a book of memories.  Memories of the many times I have read and told the little story and all of the reactions.  Memories of the smiles and enthusiasm as each child joined in sharing thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams and ideas.  Memories of when they used it at the State Park for their Halloween celebration.  There were adults who brought their children to visit and wanted me to tell them the story or show them the pictures.  From one generation to the next it had to become a book that each could keep and share with someone special to them.  It is time that any and all can have their own and make their own memories.  It is time to see if they can see more in the passages and words than a simple story but one that fires the imagination.

Each and every page of this book is an exact print of my art work.  Each page was done with thought, care and to the best of my ability to not only create the art, but the feeling to bring the story and characters to life.  Who knows what the scarecrow or pumpkins, cat, boy, witch or others may come up with if I write another.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Review by Fran Lewis of The Pumpkin Field

review of    The Pumpkin Field


 By Fran Lewis: reviewer

The illustrations help the reader feel as if you are experiencing the fear, the trepidations and the excitement of Halloween. The eerie feeling created by the three pumpkins and the picture of the tree that looks so alone and bare. You can feel the chill in the air and bite in it too just from the illustrations you begin to shiver. .As Halloween night takes a serene and calm pumpkin field and turns it into a world filled with scary scarecrows, pumpkins with faces that glow a silence that would frighten anyone- once again author Linda Nance takes the reader along with the young child who is either dreaming or experiencing what is happening in this pumpkin field, and you enter the same world and feel like you are there. The amazing expressions on the faces of the pumpkins, the black cat who lurks in the night and the young boy who is mesmerized by the sight of witch flying on her broomstick will give you chills all down your spine. The illustration of the witch is so detailed and graphic you can feel her spell working on the reader as she casts her fiendish bone chilling grin and smile sending anyone running in her wake. Is this a dream or did it really happen? I will never tell. Just wait until you visit the pumpkin field on the next Halloween Night and find out for yourself. 
This is a really great poem filled with mystery and suspense. I really think this is great. Fran

Fran Lewis: reviewer