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Wednesday, June 29, 2011



July 20th I will be doing a radio interview with Fran Lewis along with some talented and wonderful authors.  I feel it is an honor to be included with such writers.  I am going to try to do several blogs and share some of what it took to make Journey Home a reality.  I have no idea what all I may come up with to write, but I hope that you will join me.

Thinking about the radio interview with Fran Lewis on July 20th and talking about the novel I wrote Journey Home brought back many memories.  I want to do and write so many things but still get tired so easily.  When they talk about being a cancer survivor they forget to mention that there are times it takes a lot just to survive and I want more than that.  I want to live.  Writing and being able to make the things that I write into books I have a chance to share with others is so important to me.  It helps me to not only feel alive but as if I am doing something with my life.  It is more than selling books…it is proof that dreams can come true and we should never give up. 

Thinking again of that reminds me of what all it took to make Journey Home what it is today.  I have to go way back if I want to start at the beginning.  Maybe it is time to tell all of it.  Maybe it is time to find words for emotions, and times and life.  Maybe NOW IS THE TIME to begin the journey through memories of the book called Journey Home.

Since my baby is now 26 years old it has been some time since she came home with a school assignment but that is when all of this started.  I have written all of my life.  Many years ago poetry all rhymed.  I would work to find a way to make the thoughts and feelings rhyme to say in short verses feelings, thoughts, hopes, dreams, and memories.  I never did keep a journal or diary but these verses were the documentation of many things.  I had written several short stories but never presumed I could write a novel.  I was not a writer.  I was and am just me.

My daughter came in from school perplexed and claiming there was no way she could do what she had to do for school.  She was terribly upset.  My brother in-law and his wife had given us a computer to help with what ever we needed especially her school work.  She is very intelligent and many of her classes had advanced studies.  A computer was a God send and he gave it freely gifting not only something of value in monetary worth but in the ability to achieve, succeed, and learn.

My daughter is a person that can achieve what ever she puts her mind to and wants to accomplish.  She has great organizational skills, people skills, working with the public, problem solving, assessing and organization, technical issues,  and normally filled with confidence and enthusiasm…except a few of the things that I am so intense about such as  art, crafts, and writing.  She does what she must in those areas with competency but not enthusiasm.  A short story???

She claimed that she could not do it.  I laughed and said that we had been doing it for years.  We have a large yard with huge trees that drop limbs with every storm.  If I told the kids they had to clean the yard it would not have been a smiling affair.  I would tell them ...if I could only find a few limbs we could have a bonfire and roast hotdogs for supper.  The yard was cleaned in no time and there was a big fire.

They and their friends and the neighbors and friends would often gather and we sat around the fire talking.  I had written a poem about a haunted pumpkin field that is a whole other story but often used it to initiate conversation, discussion, and provoke thoughts and emotions.  Each and every line of the poem is written so it can be used for more than telling a story to entertain…it can teach, open communication, help with childhood fears and even reach adults with adult problems.  It is more than a story in a book.  It is a doorway to so much more.

We would also do a story….. I would say something such as “Once upon a time a long time ago there was a (boy, girl, man or woman)  who walked down a path into the woods right there…right back of where we sit right now.   Do you know what he or she found or saw?  Do you know what happened during that little walk in the woods? 

They all sat with big eyes listening intently.  They shook their little heads no…they did not know the story.  That is because it is a story.  We will make a story ourselves and it is YOUR turn.  I would point to who ever sat next to me and repeat the last line and say it is your turn.  What happened next?

One by one their imaginations fired up and they came up with the story one little person at a time.  In the process they shared their thoughts and feelings and had a good time.  That is a short story even if it is a collaborative effort.

I told my daughter she could do it.  She has done it for years.  What if???? Then what????  We discussed what it takes to make a story a story.  It takes a protagonist or central character and then some kind of difficulty.  What and how they overcome that and who and what they are can start your story.

She went on to write  a story that got not only an A but the teacher’s recommendation that she should publish it.  It was then that she turned to me with such an intensity and said, “Mom, why don’t you write short stories?  Why don’t you write more?  I know that you can.  You should do it.  Write it.”

My husband Albert, was on her side and also encouraged me saying that he believed in me.  Why not?  We had the computer and that made it so easy.

Easy?????  I did not really even know how to type.  She had said, “If I can do it I know that you can….do it.  I really want to see what you can do.  Will you?”  How could I resist?  One little letter at a time, and one little word ….I started my short story….my short story.

I had to develop a central character for the story.  I wanted someone who was real.  I wanted her to have feelings, heart and soul.  She knew what pain was in life, disappointment and also joy and love and family.  She was not simple…she was a complexity of life and all that comes with it and so are we all.  Life is not easy.  We never find everything coming up roses.  We have challenges, trials, hopes, dreams, laughter, love, joy and heartbreak.  We have to be strong enough to withstand these things and go on and try to find a way to live the best that we can.  Her name is Lara.  She was the character for the short story that did not end for 568 pages.

I had told my daughter to think of a central character and then ask yourself what problem does she have and how does she react?  What happens?  How will she solve the problem?  Then think of how you will create her.  What does she look like?  How does she dress or act?  Why does she do and say or react as she does?  Are there things in her past that influence her?  Create the character and create the scene. 

She asked me what do I do then?  I told her to just go with the story.  She already knows who and what they are and why then decide if this or that happens how they would they likely react?  What would they do and say?

That is a beginning and how I began.  One little letter of each little word hunt and pecked out to form thoughts and words.  She turned in her short story and finished the class and graduated with honors.  I kept on writing.  It was the story that did not end.  I wanted to make the characters and circumstances as real as possible.  I wanted it to be special.  It was something from me.  My husband kept saying that he believed in me.  He thought I could do it.  My daughter said the same thing.

I was still not a writer.  I was a mother, wife, homemaker, housekeeper, and what ever was needed by others.  I had to be…who else would be?  I was what others needed but had never been me.  I had never done for me what I wanted to do….but they told me I could….they believed in me…..I kept on trying and doing…..and writing.

The short story that became a novel.  The words on the pages that became a book.  There was a lot in between.  That is what I want to share here.  I want to share it all…no matter how it sounds….this is real.  These are my words, thoughts, feelings and heart.

 This is my voice.  I once said that I did not want to die in silence and alone.  That is how I felt with my life.  I was at that time alone and dieing.  I have numerous health problems.  Even as a child I was always sick.  I have even been in research centers and that is a whole other story.  Life has not been easy but I have had this compulsion or desire to reach out and let others know that it is all right.  We can make it.  We can do it.  We do not need to give up….Not Today.  I wanted to make a difference.  I want to live and be alive.

When they said that the cancer had spread and was growing rapidly in really bad areas…I knew more than the doctors here knew how badly things could go.  I have been on life support more than once and at one time they gave up and said I would be a vegetable.  I am still here but do not underestimate how fragile life can be.  Now is my time and this is my life.  These books are a symbol of what life can be…Never give up…you can do it…what ever your dreams are you have to believe you can if you are willing to work hard, believe, and try.  Have a little faith.

JOURNEY HOME was a dream come true to reach out and have a voice….to never give up…to keep heart and try…..Journey Home is only the start….I am not giving up….I am alive and living.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011



Last night was the first meeting of the North East Arkansas Writer’s Group.  I was excited and apprehensive at the same time.  I had an idea but was unsure if it would work or others might be interested in what I wanted to do and be a part of it.  I will start by sharing the introduction I wrote for what I hoped this group will be.

NEA Writers’s Group

We hope that by gathering together and sharing we might offer and receive encouragement, support, information and individual growth assisting us to accomplish our goals and make dreams come true  through discussions, readings, critiques, and assistance we may share and receive.   It is my desire that each person find something of interest and benefit from these meetings of friends reaching out to one another while sharing a common interest and goals.  If you love to write, want to write, are published or write for your own pleasure or just have an interest or want to share what you write this might be something you would enjoy.  We hope to form an interesting group that helps and opens doors

To organize and create something this versatile and yet be able to directly provide a program that is beneficial for the needs of the individuals involved is a challenge.  I will not say that I have all of the answers but I will say that I intend to try to the best of my ability to start something special.

I will also try to continue to write about all of this on this blog.  I thought about starting a separate blog specifically for the writers group but started the project of publishing my books as more than just a way to create a book you could hold in your hand.  I wanted it to be a way to reach out to others and this group is the same thing.  I want people to be able to reach out sharing and offering support, assistance and inspiration to one another.

I realize there will be many challenges and things done or not done that could have been done better or differently but I and we will try our best.

 As I write this, it is difficult to decide to use the word I, verses we.  I have a dream or desire for this project.  I want it to be we that is…we that do….we that are the driving factor….but I do understand there will have to be some format of meeting and direction to stay on tract with the objectives of assisting each in their own projects and writing.  

This is a big project even if it is a small group.  I hope to hear from others near and far.  I am no expert on anything but I am inspired and want to try to do something special.  I and we are learning as we go and hopefully learning from one another.  I think that is the key.  If we want to learn, grow, and be able to be and do more.... then we will.  If we believe we can and are willing to work and strive in our chosen objectives, then how can we fail when doing our best is success in its own right?  

We gathered together last night.  Our group was small.  Five individuals with five opinions and hopes for what could be or become.  They took the time to listen to my idea and each joined in sharing their own thoughts and feelings.  I think we have a good start.

One of my concerns is that I would not be able to physically do this.  When I say that I get tired it is a fearsome feeling of more than fatigue.  I did good.  I am getting better all the time and not going to give up.  My husband did go and drive so I did not have to worry if I got too tired.  He is so sweet as he supports my ideas and dreams showing pride and support.  may not sound late, but for me it can be.  We discussed what time would be best to meet and it still seems that would be the best for the group.  It is difficult to meet earlier for many to get home from work and back for the meeting.  7 to 9 it seems it will be.

The next thing to decide is the day of the week.  Monday is a problem for several people that showed an interest but were unable to attend on that day.  We are going to try changing the day to Thursdays.  I had felt that once a month was all that I would be able to do until we found out how I actually did and what happened after the meeting.  (How tired would I really be?)  I did great.  We are tentatively planning to now meet twice a month on the first and third Thursday of the month and continue at Books A Million.

I came home excited and full of enthusiasm.  I thought if we met for the first meeting to make a definite plan of what the group would be and how we hope to accomplish the task of forming a writers group that could accomplish a more complex agenda of multiple projects and topics it would be plenty for the first meeting.  I actually enjoyed meeting the others and hearing what the interest, projects, backgrounds and expectations were.  We actually had one member who shared his most current project showing a compelling start to a fascinating story waiting to be written.

This will be no easy project to form and direct staying on tract but I think we have more than a chance to make this happen…we can make it real.

Thursday, June 16, 2011



There is so much I would like to write for father’s day.  I decided to look for some photos that I could share and the memories flooded my soul.  They brought with them smiles and warmth to the heart as I viewed the moments captured and knew the stories of each one.  We all have our memories and special moments to cherish. 

There are also memories that bring sadness and even a tear as we miss those so dear to our hearts or remember times so long gone by that are so distant from us now.  Even in the sadness we can take comfort knowing and remembering the love shared and times together.  Those are things of the heart and heart and love never dies.  If there is love there is something within that will be there forever.

There have been many years pass since I wrote a little poem for my father.  I have decided to share it here.  It may not be the best or most well written but it is from my heart and I hope it is something that will have meaning.  I wish that each and every one of you could know my father.  He has lived his life….He really has.  He lives loving and sharing with his family and others he might meet.  He reaches out to others and has and had a zest for life.  He taught us, cared for us and shared the joy of living as we grew.  He gives so much to everyone around him. 

Every photo I viewed brought so many memories and stories I wish I could share.  Daddy is special.  This is for him…..and…..

I want to take the time to mention all of our fathers.  Albert has been there for us and the grandchildren.  He reaches out to others to care and help.  He shows in the life he leads what it is to be special.  No one or thing in life is perfect but he strives to build and grow creating memories for the future that we may cherish.  The little children smile in delight as he takes the time to play, share, teach and not only talk to them but listen to them with heart as well as ears.  He takes the time.

Now to salute the next generation who work so hard to face life and are now the children of memories and daddies of today.  Jason, Carl, and Albert…we hope that you know our love and respect as you work to do so much.  You protect, provide, and do so much more.  You teach love in the love that you show.  You take the time to listen and care.  You are Daddies and we love you.  You will still however be our kids.

I will try to write more but for now close with this thought…Daddy…..We love you.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Who and What is Linda Nance? Just me.

I have so many things that I want to write and tell you about with my books.  I want to share what it took to make them something that I take pride in and hope are worth while,  I want to tell you about what it took to make the words and pages take form and become a book that you can hold in your hands.  I want to share me…and all that is me because what I write or paint or sculpt is me.  I was going to try to separate the business side of the blogs from the personal side.  I was going to separate the people side of what I have to share from the books…but the books are me…and my dreams… and from me.  It really is more than just a story in a book and a book to make a sale.  I hope each and everyone gets one of my books but I want more,  I want that book to be something special.  When they hold it in their hands and gaze at the cover I want them to have something special.  When they read it I want to touch them in some way.  I want them to be more than just a story in a book….Because of all this I will post things that I write, think, live and feel here as well as talk about writing and books.

  I do not know who and what I am.  I still think of myself as being what is needed by others because that is how I have lived my life but somewhere deep inside there is still a real live person who thinks, feels and is.  I want to find that person and be more.  Be more than just a story in a book, or what others need.  I want to find me.  This is me.

I talked to my friend today….

Life can sometimes seem to overwhelm.  Worry, stress, illness, and pain seem to fill the hours of the day.  If you add in heartbreak, disappointment, and betrayal it feels as if the weight of the world is pressing down.  What I find even more difficult is to see someone you love mistreated and betrayed.  What can we do?  I do not have the answers to all of life’s problems, but I have something I have found that has and is helping.  I turn to a friend that is far wiser than I.  I put it in his hands and we have a little talk and I feel the peace and hope promised.  I may not see my friend in flesh and blood…in person.  I see my friend in the wonderful things around me that we can forget to take the time to see.  I see my friend in the wonderful smiles and love of family and friends.  I see my friend in the kindness of strangers.  My friend touches lives in so many ways if we take the time to see and hear. 

I had a little talk with my friend and it sort of went like this.  Lord, please grant me your strength to do what you lead me to do, see what I need to see, understand as you would have me to know that I may live in truth and not lies, hope and not despair, light instead of the darkness that may fill the soul. Please give me the strength to stand strong and not waver in confrontations or hesitate to accept less than honesty and heart in life.  I do not have the answers to life so I trust my life to you, my friend, my Lord.

 Allow me the passion to paint the paths of life and I ask that you not only guide my brush but guide my footsteps in the path that you choose for me to take.  I want to paint the path of life.  I want to be able to create with words, paint, clay the beauty we need to see and the hope we need to feel.  I want to be able to find words thsat help others to not only read a good story but be able to feel emotion and see life.  I want to find words to touch the heart and soul.  I ask for help and guidance, strength and courage.   God grant me thy peace, love, forgiveness, healing touch and heart to see and hear and live your will.

My friend gives me the courage to go on another day and not give up.   Not Today, 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Not long ago a friend of mine asked what I felt the first time I actually held the proof of my book in my hands.  That is a difficult question to answer.  It is because there was such emotion that I find it hard to describe in mere words.  To really understand, it would take many pages to share what and how the book came to be.

I chose Life Goes On for many reasons.  I wanted to be able to do more than publish a book.  I wanted to see a dream come true.  I wanted to be able to reach out to others and let them see this and know that they can make their own dreams come true if they are willing to work hard and never give up.  I wanted to find a way to design a cover that could be special.  This is something that I had created from cover to cover and all that is in between.

Many years ago as we traveled and headed home, there blazed across the sky a sunset so intense that it took the breath away.  Gazing across the sky, it appeared the heavens themselves were afire.  We stopped the car and took a picture of it before we continued our journey.  No picture could equal the site, but the memory and feeling persisted through the years remembering what beauty often surrounds us in so many ways.
I chose that old photo and decided to try to turn it into a cover that would wrap around the entire book from front to back.  The title of Life Goes On is in the sky.

There are so many people that are and have suffered so many things in their lives.  Many have lost their jobs, savings, and even their homes.  There are personal problems and family problems and we often can feel overwhelmed and alone.  As I wrote this book I wanted the characters to seem real and come to life.  I wanted people to know them and love them or hate them but feel with them or for them.  I want it to be  more than just a story in a book.  I want it to be the story and the book is a story of it’s own.

I wanted to feel and see and hold it before I went in for the surgery.  I had most excellent doctors and medical care, but have been sick.  I have also had other health problems and even know what it feels like to not be able to wake up after surgery and exist on life support because you are no longer able to even breathe for yourself.  I feared that I had run out of time and the days were numbered.

The company I chose to self publish was and is CreateSpace.  I knew so little about all there is to do to make this become a real book but they worked patiently with me.  I could not wait to see the printed proof.  I had done the digital proof and knew that the actual book was on it’s way to my house.

I got so tired so easily by that time.  I did not even hear the truck that brought it up to the house but my husband went and got it for me.  He smiled with me as he handed the package to me.  At first I could not open it.  I held it in my hands knowing that it had finally arrived.  It was finally a real book and I held it in my hands.

I slid the book out and saw the detail of the sky ablaze with color and the tiny headlights of the travelers on the road.  It was real.  It was a dream held before me in my hands.  I had not words to say what I felt but the tears of joy that glistened in my eyes told it all.  Dreams really can come true if we never give up and are willing to try.  I am still trying and not going to give up…not today.