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Monday, August 29, 2011



I had always loved to write but was learning new ways to develop and convey things as I wrote.  I worked to create more action instead of describing the action.  I learned new ways to look at the things I was trying to do.  When you can take a class that teaches not only information but also an ability to think and grow in what you are trying to learn and accomplish I began to feel I was succeeding in my goal I had originally set….to learn.

I had said that I did not care if I passed or not.  The grade I received was not my objective.  I was there to learn and that was what I was trying to do to the best of my ability.  Class by class I became more comfortable and was at least able to understand what was being discussed.  I loved the friendships that developed and the communications with the other students.  We went on breaks together, occasionally got together for a study group and actually did more general discussing than study, but found it inspirational and supportive in this learning adventure. 

One of the short stories I wrote during the class had suspense and mystery but concluded with a happy ending.  I like happy endings.  The instructor once mentioned that the only thing he had a problem with the way I wrote was that my writing style would make a great movie of the week.  Before I stopped to think I burst out laughing.  I told him I would love to be able to write novels, short stories and movie of the week, month, and year.  I wanted to write.

He encouraged us to take the short story that we had written and see what we could come up with if we changed it involving a different ending.  Could we develop it in a totally different conclusion with the same original situation and characters?  He again mentioned that I seemed to prefer to write happy endings.  He passionately explained to build the suspense and drama in my writing skills he thought I should consider the fact that not all of life has a happy ending.  Realistically life did not work that way.

I thought about what he was saying.  I had to agree.  Most of life often seemed as if there were no happy endings.  Many times in life there are unimaginable hardships.   I smiled and took my time before I answered him.  We were in a conference so I did not have to worry about what others thought about what I would say or share.  “I have to agree with you that life often presents situations or periods that are very unhappy, painful, disappointing, hopeless, filled with despair, and more desperate and depressing than even a writer could describe.  I may understand that better than you might ever believe or be able to relate to.  Since in some ways I have lived such things instead of creatively imagining them, there may be an answer to why I prefer to write happy endings.  My stories have conflict, problems, even pain and difficulties…but one way or another seem to find a way to survive and resolve some of the most difficult or disturbing of problems or situations.  I do love a happy ending.  Maybe I am hoping that is what I will one day find in my own life.  If I write happy long enough maybe I will learn more than how to write…I could learn how to live it.”

He thought on my answer, then replied.  “I can see what you are saying but I would like to see what you can come up with from a different point of view.  See if you can create and make a short piece work with an ending that is less than happy.”  His next assignment was to use our short story and re-write it with a different ending.

I did the assignment but still preferred the happy ending.  My second short story is one that I loved writing.  I would tell you about it, but that would ruin the fun of reading it.  I will share it soon on this blog and on the fan page on facebook.  I will say that I like the way it was written but this instructor found it to be too complex.  He felt sure most of the readers would find it confusing and not fully understand the story.  He wanted me to re-write it in a more traditional way telling the story.  I have a bit of an odd sense of humor.  I wrote the story to involve the reader to the extent that they would actually be a part of the story.  I can not wait to share it and see what you think.

I did the re-write and it was a good thing because it gave me experience to be able to look at things that I write in more than one way.  It helped me to grow and develop more ability.

The first time I had a conference with the instructor I had wanted to find out how far behind the others in the class he found my work to be.  He seemed confused.  He asked why I would assume my writing skills to be less than any of the others.

He was so shocked he was almost speechless when I announced that I had taken the class to learn.  I did not care what my grade would be because learning the skills I needed to make the novel I had written something I could be proud of was my objective.  I wanted that and more.  I wanted to be able to write many things, but write them well.

“How can you not care what grade you receive?  Your grade will directly influence your GPA.  This will count to either raise or lower your total GPA.”

I smiled and thought I was reminding him….”This is my GPA.”

“No, this will be averaged in with all of your other classes you have taken through the years.”  He shook his head in disbelief that I had not understood that.

“I have no others classes.  I am not even a freshman yet.  I have not had years to prepare for this opportunity.  I have been worried if I would slow the class down or even understand what you are trying to teach.  There have been times I took notes in class and then have to go home and look things up and learn what you were saying so that I understand what you were teaching.”  I waited for him to reply but he took his time thinking as if he was in disbelief.

He finally smiled and asked if I was serious.  He explained that when he approved me for the class he assumed that the reason I had no transcript of classes is because I was a transfer student and the records had not been available.  He had no idea that I was not in at least my third or fourth year of college or even a grad student.  They had certain requirements for the class and he was shocked that they had allowed me to take the class at all.

We continued to talk about many things concerning the class and writing.  I knew at that time I no longer could say that I did not care if I passed the class or not.  I wanted to pass the class.  I had to make and earn at least a passing grade.  I wanted at least a “C”.  I still thought in ..A…B…C…D’s and so on instead of points.

I worked.  I really worked in that class and felt confident that I had learned so many new things.  I had learned more than that.  I had learned a new way to view the things that I wrote and opened the possibilities of developing my writing in many ways.  I had learned to learn.  I still liked my happy endings.  I guess I always will.  Life can be so hard and painful that when I read a book it is almost a relief to see something work out for someone.  Not everything in what I write is happy.  Not all things work out, but we keep trying.  I am not giving up and neither will my characters.  I am even thinking about writing sequels to both of the first two novels.  Their story will go on.  The title of one is Life Goes On and so it does.  Life goes on.  The title of the second one is Journey Home.  We are all on a journey in life and finding our way home is not always what we think and may take us to places we never dreamed.  We each have our own journeys to travel and hope that home is happy and safe waiting for our return.  If we do not give up we will make that journey touching others along the way and weaving our own story.  I will not give up….not today.
 Don't miss all of my books and ebooks on Amazon.....Linda Nance 
Join in the journey with mystery, romance, drama and a story to remember.
Even from the grave, love comes to make sure the Journey Home is safe and fulfilling—excellent suspense keeps pages turning ‘til the end- GABixlerReviews
Linda Nance awakens the reader’s understanding of what greed, hate, revenge and deceit really mean. –Fran Lewis Reviews
CreateSpace eStore:​06777

Saturday, August 20, 2011

NEA Writer’s Group North East Arkansas Writer’s Group WHO…WHAT…WHEN…WHERE…WHY…WHY NOT?

North East Arkansas Writer’s Group  is a new writer’s group.  There is such a need for a group that can meet and have the opportunity to share, learn, and receive assistance and inspiration from others with the same interest and desires.

I could give you a list of our members…but you do not have to sign a list unless you want me to have your contact info.  You do not have to pay dues.  You do not have to make a commitment.  If you have an interest in writing you are welcome.  We can share things that we have written, receive feed back or ask for critiques.  We discuss numerous subjects that are concerns to those who attend.  If you have a question or something you are working on, all are more than willing to share information or assist one another.  I walked in alone as a writer and soon felt the company, camaraderie, and companionship of friends. 

If you live far away you may be only a thought or click away.  I will be answering and discussing many things on my fan page relating to the writer’s group.  I will also be posting things on the blog.  If you want to participate we welcome you from near and far.  We can discuss and share, even if it is typed words instead of the sound of a voice.  I hope that this is something that can help and inspire from one to another here and there.

North East Arkansas Writer’s Group (NEA Writer’s Group) will meet on the first and third Thursday of each month from to at the Books A Million store in Jonesboro, Ar.          

1515 S. Caraway Rd
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 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 with others, we hope to form an interesting group to grow, share, learn, and reach out.

At this time our meeting will be on the third Thursday of each month at at the Books A Million Store on

Caraway Road
in Jonesboro, Ar.

You may contact me, Linda Nance at for questions or more information.  Or join in the fan page.

Linda Nance  I am the author, illustrator and cover designer for two novels and a children’s book.  I write novels, children’s books, poetry, short stories, essays, editorial pieces and many others.  I have had the opportunity to appear as an inspirational and motivational speaker.  I am listed as a mentor for public speaking.  I founded the NEA Writer’s Group in North East Arkansas and hope that it will provide a special place for people to share their passions for writing and learn as each one helps the other.

Some of the things I have written are…….


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.  
Each and every page is an art work done to bring the story to life. I am so pleased to be able to share something so special in so many ways. The characters are ones that will remain in memory not to haunt but to be happy memories almost like friends on an adventure. The first of the book allows you to write to and from, making it a gift that is special just as you would a greeting card. This is a greeting of happy memories and good times shared. 
In a short and magically poetic story many doors open allowing communication on various topics and of as many thoughts as are possible in the young minds of those who share the tale. It is not just a story to tell but one that can be special in many ways. 
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.

Contemporary family-oriented story with suspense. 
Journey Home Lara Stanley’s life is about to drastically change as she embarks on her journey home after the death of her uncle. Join in the journey with mystery, romance, drama and a story to remember.  
Journey Home  
Even from the grave, love comes to make sure the Journey Home is safe and fulfilling—excellent suspense keeps pages turning ‘til the end- GABixlerReviews  

Linda Nance awakens the reader’s understanding of what greed, hate, revenge and deceit really mean. –Fran Lewis Reviews

            JOURNEY HOME 
Journey Home is filled with mystery, suspense, drama, and romance, at the same time showing how swiftly greed, revenge, deceit and betrayal can escalate to deadly proportions. 
Lara returned to the home where she had grown up.  If she stayed she would inherit the bulk of her uncle’s holdings but if she left, the man named Allen would inherit everything.  She accepted the terms of the will with mixed feelings.
            Lara had endured strange occurrences but felt sure that the odd things happening would stop when she moved.  Instead of answers to her problems she found more questions and a situation that appeared more ominous as time passed.  The man that her uncle had trusted seemed too good to be true.  He and his friends offered to help.  She knew that it would never stop until she found out who it was and made them stop.

Day by day the turmoil and torment increased.  The situation became more than irritating and worrisome.  The feelings increased warning of impending danger and ultimately a fight for life.  What stalked in the night also began came closer and closer day by day.

Lara’s new friends and an investigator she hired began to fear for her safety and worked together.  The instigators also bonded together to carry out their devious plan.  To survive, Lara would have to find the whole truth.  Life became a nightmare that increased to deadly proportions.  This is a story of mystery, suspense, a touch or romance, treachery, friendship, and betrayal that takes the woman on a journey of life to find her way home.  Only time would tell, if she lived at all and could heal enough to be able pass an open window without wondering who was outside looking in and an unlocked door fearing what was about to intrude.  This was a Journey Home.

LIFE GOES ON The Family of five found themselves in crisis as they were evicted from their apartment after the father lost his job. With great trepidation they accepted help from a relative that offered them a place to live and new start in life. They had no choices except seeing their family homeless in a rough part of the city. It was not an easy adjustment for any of them as they experienced moments that would test their sense of humor and times that would test their strength of character. There were some difficult issues they would have to face and how they responded could have life altering consequences. Learning what family can mean was a lesson each person learned in their own way. This is a story of people and a place they would work to make their home. It is struggle, heart, moments of triumph and times of despair. It is a story that speaks to many of us in different ways as the characters struggle with life. They had weathered the difficult transition of the relocation and would face new challenges as life goes on for them all. Life Goes On is a dramatic story worth reading and remembering.

I will soon be sharing many of the short stories and have even thought about publishing them in a special book formed of a collection of stories, poetry, essays and other pieces of interest.  Right now I have the new novel I am working to edit and design the cover taking shape and a new children’s book that will be a collaborative effort from the amazing story my grandson has share in is youthful enthusiasm.  I was so shocked to hear a story from a 6 year old child that I think will be so fascinating and entertaining I can not wait to start it.  With my help with words and illustrations I believe his little story will be outstanding.  I am going to write a book that is co-authored by a 6 year old and can not wait.

I hope you will join me and share in the journey I am taking to not only write, illustrate, and publish my works but to reach out to others and find a way to make a difference.  I wanted to be able to have a voice and I will cry out to the world and tell them to never give up on their dreams.  Dreams really can come true…if you do not believe me…Hold one of my books in your hand and you have not only a story that I think is unique and entertaining but one of my original art works or paintings as well.  You hold a dream in your hands.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Stepping Up and Moving Ahead Part 7 of the journey of Journey Home

I had no idea what to expect when I started the classes at ASU.  I did have an intensity of purpose I thought would carry me through and give me the courage to face and adapt to what ever situations were necessary for me to be able to benefit from the class.  That did not alleviate the tension of facing a situation I have never dreamed I would have the opportunity to participate in and experience, not only the learning possibilities of the class but the total atmosphere present on the campus.

Before the class began I arrived early and sat resting on a bench beside the building I would soon enter and begin a new part of my journey.  Students came and went individually and in groups on their ways to and from….  There radiated an intensity and unity about them.  They were all working to acquire knowledge, achieve, accomplish their own goals and at home in this wonderful place of learning.  Many were talking on cell phones, some chatting and laughing in groups and others alone and intent to get where ever it was they were going.

There were a lot on cell phones.  I realized how far behind the world I was in some ways watching these young people rushing forward in their lives.  I did not have a cell phone.  I was not only lacking in my knowledge of writing but in so many other things in life.  I had managed to get a home computer and knew how to type the things that I wrote but very little else. 

As a student at ASU I would have the opportunity to experience many things available including a library that was so amazing I marveled at even the appearance of it let alone the contents and assets it afforded.  The computer lab not only provided the most up to date equipment but was staffed by individuals that were so patient and helpful.  I would soon learn to know and appreciate so much with their help that I remember them to this day.  Knowing so little about so much was not only a handicap on my ability to achieve my goals but also in my confidence of my own ability and place in the order around me.  If I had thought about everything it would have overwhelmed me so I would focus and work on one thing at a time.

I drew in a deep breath and released it slowly feeling a measure of relief from the tension that I felt.  A few students passing made eye contact and I was not met with wondering stares about the old lady sitting on the bench…I saw a brief smile or nod of the head in greeting as they hurried on their ways.  Soon others began to congregate near the door beside my bench.  Some evidently knew one another and then there were some that appeared even more nervous than I felt.  Conversations began and it was nearing time for the class to start.  Most students were done for the day so the crowds and groups of people who hurried to and fro had diminished.  It was time to head to class.

I was one of the first to go in.  I hate to be late and had arrived so early I was ready to face my future.  I did not think of it as only a class.  I thought of it as a doorway that could open opportunity for me to accomplish many things that I desired to do.  Doors can open and doors can close.  I had the opportunity, but it would be up to me and what ever ability I might have or effort to work and achieve my goals that would determine the outcome from that point on.

One by one the other students arrived.  It was not a large class but soon they were chatting and greeting each other.  You could tell that most of them knew one another from before.  They had had three to four years of college to meet and get to know one another.  I silently sat in the chair near the back of the room and near the door listening and observing.  Several students smiled and introduced themselves.  There was a friendly atmosphere.  Many of them seemed as nervous as I felt.  I thought that odd, considering that most of these students were honor roll or deans list students.  These were people who had worked and accomplished much in the years of their study.

The instructor arrived in a hurried entrance filled with authority and confidence ready to begin.  He handed out the syllabus for the class and began to describe what the class would involve and what was expected to us.  I did not know what a syllabus was.  I could tell by reading that it seemed to be a list of assignments and a schedule of things involved with the class.  I had so much to learn.  I had to learn not only the topic to be taught but all that was involved in learning and ….I had no idea what all would be required to learn because I did not know enough to know how little I knew.

The oration flowed describing the different assignments and what they would contribute to our final grade and many different things that would be covered.  One statement stood out to me as it was mentioned we would not have to review any of the basics of writing because every student there was at an advanced level of their education.  I briefly wondered if he realized or had ever known that not all of his students were so well prepared for what was soon to come.   So many things were covered in that first meeting. 

One thing he did ask was if there were any in the class that smoked.  I was one of two or three who raised their hands.  He explained that since it was such a long class they would be taking breaks allowing the students to leave the building if they wanted or to stretch their legs.

I have a problem with my back.  When I sit in the same position the muscles often begin to draw up into painful muscle spasms.  I have to change positions.  Now I may have fit in the desk but it was no way large enough to change sitting position to any great degree.  The more my back hurt the more I fidgeted and squirmed.  Soon there was a point appropriate to take a break and we were allowed to go outside or where ever we wanted for our ten minute break. I did not know until the class was almost over that every time the instructor saw me fidgeting he thought I was in need of a cigarette break.  I had to laugh when I finally did admit the real reason.  I wondered if he thought a nicotine addict could become a problem or was just being considerate in making sure we had our breaks.

I was quickly up and out the door.  I headed back to the bench I had found when I had arrived.  I could move and stretch and sit when I needed and yes….I did want to have a smoke break.  I noticed several others had joined me and we quickly began discussing.  We talked about the class, the instructor and some about what they had accomplished so far and how this class would contribute to their goals.

Time up…and back to class we went.  The pace was swift in the progress of the class.  We were not reviewing.  We were jumping into the course of study.  So much of what was being said, I did not even understand.  I could tell by the expressions on the faces of the other students that they all understood and were moving right along.  I felt as if they were almost speaking a foreign language.  When ever there was a term I did not understand I wrote it down and would look it up later.  I realized I would not only have to learn what they were teaching but would have to learn what exactly they were saying to do anything of worth in the class. 

There were some simple differences that were easy to understand.  I found my self when asked about this one or that one in the story phrasing my responses differently.  I might say that this person or that person said this or that in their conversation or discussion.  I could tell by the expression on the professor’s face I had said something different from what he had expected.  The second time I spoke in that manner he could not resist rephrasing my response with something about the characters and the dialogue, the scene instead of location and a few other minor things that made my responses different from all others.

I would remember.  I did remember and I liked the fact that he did not criticize or blatantly correct me.  He simply rephrased my responses as he repeated them in his own answer and continued his discussion.  I did not know if he was being deliberately considerate since I lacked the prior education or simply his manner of instruction to do so in a constructive way rather than critical.

By the time I left the first class I had a better understanding not of how much I knew but of how little I knew and would have to learn in a very short period of time.  I still had the objective that if I learned I would have succeeded but I wanted to do my best.  I had to try.  I had a headache. 

My husband was excited for me and asked all about the class when I arrived home.  At first all I could tell him was that I had a headache.  I then confided that I had never felt more stupid in my life and was pretty sure I was mentally impaired.  I was not joking.  He tried to reassure me and encourage me but I was sure he did not understand how advanced the others of the class were.  He reminded me that I had wanted the chance to learn and I should be happy that I was getting what I had wanted for so long.  I explained it would be hard to learn something new if I can not understand what they are talking about.  I had so many basic things and other things that I needed to know. 

He was right though.  I had a wonderful opportunity and this was the start of an adventure.  At that point I was a bit overwhelmed but began to work to learn and do my best.  The other students had been friendly.  The instructor was impressive in his ability and knowledge.  His manner was one that did not make a person feel intimidated or embarrassed yet did not ignore or leave anyone out.  This really was an opportunity to do more, be more, and grow in new ways.  It was as if a door to a new world was opening and I was actually a part of it.

It was time to buckle down, get to work, step up and move ahead to see how much I could learn and what I could do.  It was a start.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I had gone through reconstructive surgery on my foot and had bones pinned back together.  I had joints realigned and lost all of one joint but was still able to limp along if it was not too far.  Where I wanted to go was a long way from where I was.  I wanted to go from telling a story to writing a novel.  I wanted it to be the best that it could be.  It needed more than I could give it.

I did not have the money for professional editing and I did know that this was not the only book I would write.  I needed to learn as much as I possibly could and be the best that I could be.  I can not remember the exact number of pages at the beginning but it was more than 550.  I loved the story but ….

Most of the time, as parents we may decide to go with our children and help them to enroll in college.  It is a wonderful and proud time in their lives.  What I had in mind is different.  It was me that desired the class.  With all of my heart I wanted and needed to learn more.

I had no preparation for such a class.  I did not have the years of English or other studies the other students would have to help them prepare.  I was not even a Freshman.  I graduated high school in 1972 so it had been awhile since I was a student.  There are requirements for some classes.  I had to try and find a way to be allowed to attend the class for writing fiction.  I had to find a way to learn and understand what would be taught in the class.  Before that could occur, I had to be allowed to take the class.

I have to admit that I may not be your traditional student.  My daughter had gone along with me for moral support and make sure I did not get lost…..The kids helping the parents to go off to school.  When I stated the reason I was so intent to take that class was to be able to have the competency to write a novel that I could take pride in having done, her expression appeared a bit skeptical.  I had completed the novel but could do no more with out the class.

When she explained that it was a difficult class and would affect my grade point average, I had to laugh and explain that was of no concern for me.  She became more intent saying it could lower the GPA and I countered with the thought that I had no GPA.  Since this would be my first class it would be my GPA.  The idea that I take college level English and work my way up to the class as was normally required was quickly dismissed.  I felt that I had no time.  I was obsessed with trying my best if they would just give me the chance and promised that no matter what I would not slow the class down.  If I found myself in an impossible situation where the material was beyond my grasp I would not waste their time trying to teach me years worth of English preparation.

A bit more discussion and a lot more paper work along with permission from the professor that would teach the class and I was on my way to make the arrangements for payments to pay for it.  I was almost a student.

When I had to go get my student ID it was like a dream.  I am old enough that many or most of these people were younger than my children.  I may not like my picture but I loved my student ID.  I held it in my hand and gazed at it.  This was amazing for me.

In younger times it is easy to take school for granted.  You may even work hard to make the grades but the real test is did you learn?  The knowledge acquired is more than an accomplishment that is acknowledged with the grades given…it is a gift.  To learn should be a never ending journey in its own right.  This class was an opportunity to not just receive credit and or grade but to be able to be more than I was and do more than I had dreamed.

I had promised not to slow the class down.  I explained that I did not care if I passed or failed the class because the reason I wanted to take it was to learn.  If I could do that to the best of my ability, then I would have succeeded in what I was trying to do.

I was almost ready.  I needed to arrange for parking.  I would not be able walk far.  I had the State issued handicap parking but found out I needed the college handicap parking.  That was a challenge.  Most people there at the college were exceptional in their efforts to help in any way that they could but this woman was exceptional in her ability to almost give me a stroke and at least high blood pressure.  I had the physician statements, the information, the handicap hang tag from the State of Arkansas but she made it such a miserable ordeal there are no words to describe it. 

If you were not handicapped when you went in she could make you so frustrated you would be near brain dead before you left.  I was determined and becoming old lady cranky by that point and we found a way to work out the difficulties…to this day I have no idea what her problem was.  She told me she had no way of knowing that my foot was really something that would make walking difficult just because she had the information about the broken and repined bones, one joint completely removed and other problems that were not correctable.  How much more did she need?  She demanded I walk the length of the building to get to the elevator and go down, go outside to the car to get the actual hang tag and then walk back and show it to her. 

Do you remember that statement I mentioned a little while before this about the old lady cranky?  Well I had had all I could take and was so tired I knew I would have to leave soon so it was time to let the truth show.  I kicked off my shoe right in front of the whole room full of people, stuck the poor deformed thing up and asked her for her professional, medical assessment on if it looked normal, or something that would make walking easy, or if she would like to walk on something like that.  Her mouth fell open and she was shocked but I was not going to settle for less than at least a response.  She had been openly degrading and demeaning with me in front of everyone in the waiting room then she could answer me right then. 

She quietly accepted the fact that the foot is crippled and any documentation or doctor’s statements relevant but still demanded they see the actual hang tag.  I explained I could not walk that far at that time.  She allowed her assistant to go down with me and look at it.  I thought it would be hard to get into college but parking was so far the biggest obstacle.  I left feeling as if I was about to embark on an adventure.  Just being able to be allowed to or finding a place to park could be a challenge.

My class was at night so parking would be easier.  When a child begins a new school or new class they often suffer from anxiety.  Would they get along with the other kids?  What would the teacher be like?   How hard would it be?

With all of the medical problems I had been on large amounts of steroids that caused a lot of weight gain.  I still had some scars and difficulty walking and back problems….and I am an old lady compared to the others that would be in the class.  I admit that the day before my first class I felt nervous.  My husband saw some humor in it.  He asked me, “What are you afraid of?  This is what you have been wanting and I am sure you will do fine.”

I had to laugh at what we must sound like in this conversation.  I mimicked a child like voice to the best of my ability.  “What will all the other kids be like?  Will I get along with the other kids?  Will the teacher like me?  Honey, my big fear is….will I fit in the desk?”  How embarrassing would that be?

He thought it was funny.  I did not see a lot of humor at the time even though I have to admit that when saying it out loud it did sound funny.  He smiled patiently and spoke softly.  “Honey, after all that you have been through I can not believe you would be worried about your weight.  You lived through the accident and stood up to it all.  You have been there and done that a dozen times and not backed down to hard things in life and you really are worried about this class?”

Unless a person has gained or suffered from excessive weight they can not fully understand the differences they may endure in many ways from many people.  There are some who judge a person only by their perception visually.  They associate obese people with stupidity, lack of ambition, laziness and many other negative things.  There are even those who are openly cruel.  That would not worry me as much as the sad ones that never give you a chance and in the process miss out on some amazing people they pass right by with attitude.

When I found myself broken, cut, bruised and scarred I had the little child look only at my eyes and explained that I was just me.  I am still here.  There is a real me inside.  I felt the same way with the weight problem but it is just as difficult to deal with.  I had no idea what to expect.  I was not the traditional student in every way.  I did not have the opportunity to have had the education that would have prepared me for the course of study.  I was not getting any younger, but I was on my way.

The time had arrived.  I got my notebook and pen and book and headed off to school.  I parked in one of the closest places but still wondered if I would be able to make the walk.  It was so beautiful.  I had arrived early and began taking one step at a time closer to the impressive and beautiful building where the classes were held.  Near the door was a bench where I gratefully took a seat.  Little squirrels danced in the branches of the big trees there without fear of the people.  I watched the students going here and there with arms full of books.  The anxiety of before was easing to a gentle nervous apprehension but tainted with excitement.  It was almost time. 

I entered the building and found my class taking a seat near the back by the door.  I did fit into the desk, so that was a relief.  One by one the students began to come and take seats.  Some laughed and knew one another and others appeared as nervous as I felt.  All were friendly.  It was wonderful.  I was in a room full of children and yet they were my fellow students.  I may not fit in with them but this was going to be something special, and I could feel all of the anxiety fade away and be replaced with optimism and excitement.  I had no idea if I would be able to understand the class let alone participate but I was going to try my best. 

Grandma was going to school and it was wonderful. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I have said that this blog is a little of this and a little of that and a lot of me.  On a recent interview with Dellani Oaks I was asked about my blog.  Do I think it is better to separate the writer from the writing?  I think that each and every person is unique and different in their own way.  I think it would be wonderful and so much easier if I could do just that.  For some people it works beau
tifully.  I can not. 

To accomplish my dream of these books that are, and the ones that are soon to be….it has taken a lifetime worth of living and seeing life to be able to try to find words to create the characters, stories, people and places in them.  I wanted each and every book that I write to be more than just a story well told.  I want every book to be one that the reader can become a part of and feel with and remember.  The blog is not to promote the books or it would be filled with discussion about writing them, and publishing them and marketing them and other things about them.  I do post the reviews and am very proud of those.  Someone took the time to write something special about something that I wrote and share it.  I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

My books are a part of me.  They are my way of reaching out and creating.  They are my voice.   They are a reminder of the past…painful and depressing as well as wonderful and exciting.  All things we see, hear, think and feel, live and love become a part of us in one way or another.  For good or bad…if we survive we grow.  Hopefully we grow in a good way that makes us stronger but there are times that I wonder. 

They say that time heals all wounds but they lie.  I have wounds that never heal.  I have wounds of the heart that may have scarred over but they are there, none the less.  People may tell you…. to get over it…but then it is not them that had to do the getting over, is it?  If you repeat history and pick at that old scar you may find more underneath than you expect.  I am getting old now and have poor health.  I do not have the time left in life to look on the bright side and hope for the best.  I would like to.  I try to.  I am often thought of as a fool for even trying to believe in good and honest and trustworthy.  That is all right, because it is usually the very same people that will lie and betray, hurt and destroy, and prove in their lives how little trust you can place in them before you are a fool to love or believe.

All of this sounds a little harsh when you put feelings into words, life can be harsh.  Life can be hard.  What we do with the blessed gift of life is up to us.  I could have given up and just died.  It is not hard at all.  All I have to do is quit trying and working to live.  Things have been that bad for me.  I did not want to do that for many reasons.  I do have some family that loves me and I love them.  I do have hopes and dreams.  I have more.  The story of Journey Home is more than a story.  I believe that God does have a purpose for me.  He has a purpose for each and every one of us.  I believe it is my responsibility to try my best in life and no matter what others do I will have to do my best.  I will not give up…I will not give in…Not Today!  If  I say that everyday, then everyday I will have a tomorrow until the good Lord calls me home.

Now I know that some people do not believe in God.  They think I am stupid and deluded or brainwashed into the beliefs I have.  I understand your skepticism.  I understand your doubt.  I am not even going to try to persuade you to think otherwise because you are not listening.  My beliefs are mine.  You see things as you want to see them, but I wish you well.  I hope that life shows you wonderful and happy things.

Here I go…The last thing I ever wanted to do was talk about religion or politics.  If I want to tell you about my books and reach out so that others might even take notice ….the last thing I need is depressing or controversial….but……

That brings us back to the subject of the blog about only the books or mine that is…me.  I may not want to talk about religion, debate religion or discuss religion, but if I am honest it is a part of my very soul so much there is no way I could avoid it.

I believe no matter how hard life is…we can make it….but I could never have done it alone.  I have been very alone many times.  I have been very isolated many times and even in situations that were abusive and controlling.  I do understand that part of life too.  I understand it too well and remember.  When you get a reminder that old scar falls away and leaves not only the new problems but the old with it.  How can I survive?  How can I deal with life’s problems?  I do not know.  I hope with God’s help because I have no more answers.  Am I giving up?  Never….Not Today.

When I thought I was alone and I had no one I could talk to because I did not want to worry them or start any thing….you would not believe the outpouring of love, support and encouragement from friends on line and they only knew the surgery and cancer part of the story….but they cared.  They made a difference.  I wish they really knew how much.

I can not run a marathon.  I can not hold a job.  I can not get disability because I could…I am not going to give up.  I have two novels, two ebooks and the children’s book that I wrote and illustrated.  I have more.  I have so much more.  I am going to share many things here.  I want to share stories, poems, pictures, thoughts, feelings and more.  I hope you come with me.  I hope that you understand.  I hope you share my journey.

I will be back to the ongoing blog I swore I could write about the Journey to Journey Home.  I might later regret being so honest with things in life but then again life is what is it.  If you do not want the world to know about it, do not do it, and do not do it to someone you say you love…..especially if she has a blog.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Review by Deb Hockenberry Life Goes On

Life Goes On

TITLE: Life Goes On
AUTHOR: Linda Nance
PUBLISHER: Createspace (
October 5, 2000)
FORMAT: Paperback, Kindle
PAGES: 256
PRICE: $12.99 – Paperback, $4.95 – Kindle
ISBN – 10: 1453780130
ISBN – 13: 9781453780138

John and Becky had a wonderful life until one day disaster struck. John was laid off at the factory and they all had to move into a rundown apartment building in a very bad neighborhood. Unknown to their children, John and Becky have received an eviction notice to vacate the apartment in ten days.

Their two oldest children were caught up in the neighborhoods activities. Bobby was learning the tricks of the trade of running drugs with the gang he considered his family. The oldest daughter, teenaged Donna, was caught up in the wrong type of crowd constantly partying, doing drugs and drinking. The youngest child, Stacy, was still a good kid but was beginning to following in her older sibling’s footsteps.

It looks like all hope is gone for the family. Ah, but John has a plan. He secretly contacts a relative for help. The relative is more than helpful and offers John more than he could ever hope for.

Neither John nor Becky wanted runaway kids on their hands. They love their children too much and knew the life their kids would be running too. But John and his relative have a plan already in motion to prevent that.

I have to admit that at first I didn’t like Life Goes On since there’s so much attitude and disrespect from the kids. Although this is very realistic, it doesn’t make a relaxing read for me. So, I started it over and was pleasantly surprised after I read on just why Linda Nance started the book the way she did. Soon, I couldn’t put Life Goes On down.

I highly recommend action packed story for both adults and young adults. Life Goes On is a story about what real families can do in the toughest times. Even if the families are separated by states!

You can learn more about Linda Nance by visiting her blog at: You can also find out about Linda at her Amazon Page at:

To purchase this page turner just go to, (the Kindle store),, or You can also buy Life Goes On directly from the publisher at

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Lara, Allen, Donald and Kate are great characters to begin your own detective series. Fran
Journey Home
Author: Linda Nance

Reading a will should involve informing the parties stated in the will what they have inherited. However, that is not always the case. Often times there are hidden surprises that family members are not aware of, people added to the will who are not relatives and have been given a bequest and stipulations that must be met before receiving your inheritance. At times it might even require delaying reading and executing the will until certain requirements are met.

Lara Stanley’s life is about to drastically change. Divorcing an abusive man, a mother who abandoned her at an early age and a father who was murdered, Lara went to live with her Uncle and Aunt, which proved to be wonderful. But, she needed more. Upon hearing of her uncle’s death she was summoned to come back to her hometown for what she assumed was the reading of the will. But, Lara was going to learn that there was much more to her uncle’s will and her bequest as she embarks on her journey home.

As Lara’s journey begins when she meets some wonderful people in her hometown. But, not everyone is glad that she has returned. Strange hang-ups on her phone, an uneasy feeling that someone was following and watching her plus unwanted visitors to her uncle’s home, including the deputy sheriff whom she had a strange encounter with are just a small part of what happens. But, there is much more.

“A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his estate and provides for the transfer of his property at death. For the devolution of property not disposed of by will, see inheritance and intestacy,” as defined in the dictionary. Sounds almost cut and dry. People are named to receive property, money or other types of inheritances; they are sent a copy beforehand and when the will is out of probate, receive their rightful inheritance. But, what happens when a stranger is added? What happens when one of the stipulations of the will is that you reside in your uncle’s home for nine months or lose the house and it goes to this stranger? Even more unsettling is the will cannot be opened or read until the nine months are up. Why? Only our author and this reviewer are privy to this information and everyone else will have to read the book to find out the answers.

The deputy sheriff is bent on unnerving not only the people in the town but Lara too. What happens next and the events that follow will unnerve the reader and reinforce why security systems, caller ID’s and other safety measures are necessary when living alone.

Allen Coleman came into Lara’s life just at the right time. Although he appears out of nowhere and is the stranger named in her uncle’s will he becomes more than that to her. Along with Allen there are many others who help create their own protection team in order to uncover what really happened to her uncle, aunt, his worker and many others.

Strange events occur that would make someone think they were losing their mind. Small things out of place, doors unlocked after you locked them, lights that are on and other little things most people would ignore signal Lara that someone is stalking her but why? As she gets closer to Allen and Donald she reveals many other unsettling events. What would you say to someone who thinks that a deceased relative seems to be communicating with him or her? What would you say if they told you they could smell their cologne or cigar? You would think they were crazy. Lara, Donald and Allen share these thoughts and experiences and what they realize will astound the reader.

As the story evolves and the author brings in more characters we meet Johnny, a private investigator, Dennis a body guard and Marla Lara’s best friend who all play an important role in helping to find out who is behind what might be the murder of her relatives, one special friend to Lara, and many more. Hindering them every step of the way is the deputy sheriff and a man named Paul who has been watching Lara, stalking her and verbally abuses her and many others. Together he and the deputy sheriff along with two other people form a deadly combination. What is behind their madness and what are they hiding? You won’t believe what is really happening in this quiet town of closely knit people right in plain sight, but with blind eyes. As the dragnet widens, the truth about our deputy unfolds, his actions are frightening and those that suffer will never be the same even if they survive.

When the past becomes your present and what you think you have lost comes back for revenge, you won’t believe the end result nor why. Told in the third person narrative, feeling the frustration, pain and anguish after losing her only family, afraid for her survival Lara’s voice and plight are clearly heard as author Linda Nance leads the reader the rest of the way on Lara’s final steps in her journey home.

Who was trying to kill Lara? Who believed she would inherit a fortune after the will was finally read? Who wanted her out of the way for their own personal gain? Who felt they were unstoppable and had just cause for the acts that were committed? Let’s hope no one ever personally finds this out.

Many people feel the spirit of those deceased enveloping them and trying to communicate with the living. Allen, Donald and Lara have experienced this phenomenon. As Allen and Donald explore the fishing dock to find out what happened to Paul and why he is missing, Allen receives a message that would change the direction and the course of events. Hearing the author’s voice as she recounts the events as they happen, the characters errors, flaws and mistakes author Linda Nance awakens the reader’s understanding of what greed, hate, revenge and deceit really mean.

An ending that you will not see coming and friendships that will remain forever, Linda Nance gives new meaning to love, friendship, justice and one woman’s hope for her final journey to a real home. Who is behind all of the events from the past and the present you will not believe? A storyline that leaves room for a sequel with characters that are unforgettable and unique, Journey Home is definitely one of my top ten picks for 2010. Just what was in the will that caused the chain events? ........I will never divulge that to anyone.

Fran Lewis: reviewer
JOURNEY HOME is available at CreateSpace , Amazon and many other on-line outlets.

Monday, August 1, 2011


The Jonesboro Authors Fair was something that I will always remember.  I have never been to a book signing before this event.  When I saw my name on the table it was such a special moment.  Many of the people were already there and it was time to begin. 

You could glance around the room and not only see the excitement on the faces of the authors but feel it in the room.  The authors had their books displayed, smiles all around and were ready to begin.

One of my friends was there and seeing the happy expression on her face made me smile even more.  I began to notice the names of some of the others and realized I knew several of these people.  I had never met them or heard their voices, but they were and are my friends. 

So many times we talk and comment or click on the like button on a page on Facebook.  I have the Linda Nance Fan Page and the personal page.  When I first published the first book it was so helpful as one or the other of the friends offered advice or answered my many questions.  When the time neared for the surgery the comments of hope and love, prayers and support poured in.  I saw messages to inspire and comfort.  I saw messages from so many and it did and does make a difference to know that somewhere someone cares. 

As the weeks and months have passed I began to feel as if I do know these friends.  Some people may laugh and say these are not real friends.  They are just people on line.  What is a real friend?  Is a friend a person who cares about you?  Is a friend someone who offers encouragement, or takes the time to say things showing that they care?  Does a friend listen when you speak words from your heart?  If those are signs of a friend then I was looking around the room reading the names and seeing the faces of friends.  Many of the people at the book signing I recognized from the internet and they were gathered together in person with smiling cheerful faces.  They looked real to me.

There was no time to be nervous.  The library staff made every effort to make things as easy as possible and helped in any way they could.  The room was beautifully ready and the event began.

I do not know how many people attended but there was no time to be bored or even suffer nervous tension.  I loved to see the expressions on the faces of the people as they looked at the books and then talking to the authors.  Every author seemed to almost glow.  The passion and enthusiasm was real.

I have worked so long and hard on this project and been thrilled with every book bought but here were people in person I could talk to, sign the book and answer any questions.

One woman looked puzzled as she examined the cover of the children’s book.  She told me that she had seen it before.  I mentioned it was on many different sites and she said “No.  I have seen this book with this cover.  This is the same pumpkin.  I know it is.”

When I asked her where she had seen it, she said she was visiting a friend on vacation and it was on their table.  That was a strange and wonderful feeling to know that on a table far from here someone was enjoying and sharing something I had created. 

All of the children…oh, the children….they were such a delight.  Some were shy and some excited but they were all filled with enthusiasm.  I had such a wonderful time with them.  It brought back many memories of reading the story to so many children.  They always ask to hear it again and again.  They cheerfully begin to tell what they think of would do.  They ask, they tell, they laugh and share everytime I read it.  It was wonderful.

I was able to meet people interested in the art work it took to create the illustrations and covers.  It was like a world of magic.

The room filled with people coming and going when I noticed some very familuar people.  A small crowd had gathered in front of my table and we all chatted about this and that with the books.  I warmed my heart hearing such positive feed back when a little head bobbed through the crowd toward me.  As a man was saying how beautiful he thought the cover was on one of the novels I had done from one of my paintings, the little observer cheerfully told the man he was an author too.  People smiled down at him and he went on to explain that he had written several books and even did all of his own pictures.  He pointed at me and proudly exclaimed “That’s my Mamaw.  I am writing my next book with her and then I can get my picture on the back with her too!”

We all laughed and smiled and he was so proud and enthusiastic.  He also was telling the truth.  We often do projects and when he is done he has me staple it together and he has his books.  We had been talking about the Pumpkin Field one day and he started to use his little imagination and the ideas flowed.  His ideas are good, really good and I think if I help and write and do the illustration we can make his story for the next book one to remember as much as this first one that has survived through generations hearing it and passing it on to their own children.   I could think of no greater compliment than hearing that little voice saying he was going to be just like his Mamaw.

The different authors went around greeting one another.  I did not try to walk around the room but loved getting to shake the hand, hear the voice and see the smiling faces.

I will try to post more photos soon.

I thank the Jonesboro Public Library for the delightful event of the Author’s Fair on Saturday.  It will live forever in my memory.  The library does so many wonderful things for the whole community with programs, classes, and a staff willing to help and provide assistance. This special event unites people and was an amazing and exciting opportunity to meet and visit with authors and for authors to be able to reach out beyond the pages of their books.

The library does so much year round offering a full calander of special things of interest.  Anytime and anyday that you stop by you can be met by cheerful, helpful and professional people enabeling you to find worlds beyond and open a full range of interests for you and your families.  They are like a family at the library that helps one another and share the many things that they have.  They are like a good neighbor looking to the needs of those that stop by.  They are a door to the future if we take the time to open it and find out all within.