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Monday, May 28, 2012

Bringing Memories Home

In my last blog I told about my family going to a place I remembered from my childhood and from many visits through all of the years.  There was, and if I am honest, is a certain sadness that I am unable to go on an outing right now such as this.  That sadness could not bloom into something bad as my husband, daughter and grandson took the time to take pictures and bring back such stories told with enthusiasm sharing with me the memories of the day.  They brought the memories home.

I looked at the pictures and it is still so beautiful.  When I saw the water flowing over the dam I could remember not only the sight and sound as it literally roared with the power of such massive amounts of water flowing, but you can feel it.  You can feel the cool radiate from the cold spring water and feel the low rumble feeling of the power of the water.  The sound is almost a roar and the site is awesome.

The actual spring is 70 foot below the surface of the water you see as you enjoy the view.  It forms a large pond with a color rarely seen.  The water is so crystal clear but also so very deep it has a magnificent color of blue to it.  

 The massive amounts of water flowing through from the pond and then over the dam make a display of sparkling patterns and diamond like reflecting shimmers exploding below as it rushes on to make the Spring River.

I guess in some ways I see things differently from some.  We all do that in our own way.  When we would go up into the hills of the Ozarks in the Fall I would often get so excited seeing the colors of the trees.  There are times I would look at the bare branches of trees in the winter and see beauty as they created patterns against the sky.  I might see a tree with and interesting twist to the form of the branches.  I might look up through the trees and appreciate the canopy formed by the living branches and leaves above. 

When I looked through the pictures I found one from the view below looking up through the tree leaves.  I had to smile as I knew my daughter had been thinking of me and there was a tree picture for momma.


My daughter laughs as she remembers more than one occasion when I would gasp pointing,  “Look at that.  Look!”

She seemed puzzled and would ask what in the world I was looking at.  I would point to a tree that seemed almost ablaze with color and say,  “That tree….it is so beautiful.”

In a forest of trees I am so excited as I see a tree.  There are times we forget to look for the tree as all we see is the forest.  There are so many little things in life that are so beautiful.

Sitting under the huge limbs of an old tree, enjoying the shade and view I have often noticed some weed growing near by.  At first glance it really is a weed but if we look closer they often have some tiny little flowers that are the most delicate and beautiful sites.

The look of excitement in the eyes of my grandson as he reels in a fish or sees all of these sights for the first time would be a site of beauty.  I did not have to completely miss these things.  When they got home he was filled with such excitement as he could not wait to tell of his adventures.  My daughter and husband had smiles and tales to tell of all of the things seen and done for the day and pictures to go with it.

When those we love show their love in return by taking such joy in making me feel a part of the day and the memories it is something not to be missed.  When others take the time to not only share but to include and show love we need to take the time to see what it really is they are doing.  Each one of the pictures is a moment captured to bring home and share.

When they got home the excitement of the day was still with them.   The idea of a bonfire came to life.  The end of a perfect day shared in the last moment of daylight as darkness surrounded and the time to tell each story of their adventures.   Tales told around the fire ended a perfect day for all.  (It also cleans up any limbs that need to be picked up in a really fun way)

Bringing Home Memories and the memories of those we love.  I hope you each and every one have a wonderful day and create some wonderful memories to share with someone you love.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memories Now and Then

It is a beautiful day.  It is a day that I would love to be able to spend with family and friends.  For a moment I felt a bit weepy and sad.  We have always loved to go and do things outdoors.  One place that is especially dear to my heart is the Mamouth Springs, Ar. area.  Even when I was a child we used to drive for hours to be able to go to that area and see the sights and camp.

If you like to trout fish you would love it.  The water is so crystal clear and cold.  It is very cold.  At the part you can see the spring and so many other things in the area.

Mammoth Spring is Arkansas's largest spring and the second largest spring in the Ozark Mountains. As a National Natural Landmark it is well worth stopping to see or even plan to spend the day.  I can remember as a child hearing from my father all about it and the history of the place.  There is so much history connected to it and the area.  The spring flows nine million gallons of water hourly.   It forms a beautiful 10-acre lake and then flows south as the Spring River, a popular Ozark trout and float stream. 

Located near the spring, the park's 1886 Frisco depot will take you back in time to an early 1900s train station. Outside the train station is a Frisco caboose to explore.  I can still remember when there were cabooses on trains.  Often you would see someone standing by the rail on the back or looking out the window.  I remember what fun it was to be able to climb inside this caboose and see how they actually used and lived there.  You could almost feel as if you were ready to ride the rails to places far away.

I remember my father explaining how when it rained the water would seep down into the earth and it was like underground rivers and lakes.  When it came up to the surface it was a spring.  You can not see the opening of the spring at Mamouth because it is 70 foot below the surface of a 10 acre pool that flowed to the dam and over the top.  The dam was made of stone.  You can hear the roar of the water and feel the power of the flow as 344 cubic feet per second rush on to form the river beyond.
Nine miles northwest of Mammoth Spring you can see a part of the underground river that feeds the spring at a collapsed cave at a Missouri State Park called Grand Gulf State Park. What remains as a portion of the cave are now a 130 ft deep chasm with a natural bridge over it. Dye tests have proven that the water flowing through the chasm at Grand Gulf exits through the existing cave and emerges at Mammoth Spring.

The spring was used to power a grist-mill from the times of the earliest settlers and the Mammoth Spring Milling Company constructed a dam and a water-powered grist-mill just below the site. In 1925 the dam was purchased by the Arkansas-Missouri Power Company which constructed a hydroelectric plant at the dam. This plant supplied power to the surrounding area until 1972. 
When ever we got a chance to visit there, it was so beautiful and filled with such history and things of interest.  The original Frisco Depot was restored in 1971 and has artifacts and memorabilia related to the railroad and the spring area as well as a gift shop I love to look through.  The State Park provides a visitor's center, picnic areas, walking trails, and tour access to the dam and hydro plant. 
The last time I got to visit there my grandson was so young.  His little eyes sparkled and he was so excited by all that he saw.  The water and site of the dam amazed him and he loved climbing and exploring the caboose. 

One thing he really loved was a memory I will always cherish……
I became tired and was unable to go on or walk farther.  I chose a picnic table under a shade tree and waited as they went on too explore more and rest for a while.  I noticed so many others coming out of the visitor’s center with little bags of bird feed.  They would toss out some of the seeds but the birds would not come up until they stepped back.  With a little distance the birds flocked to the feed and the children loved seeing so many.  As soon as they tried to approach the birds they would fly up into the trees near by and wait.  One group after another did the same thing and had such fun feeding the little birds.

I could actually remember feeding the birds as a child.  When my husband and daughter returned with my grandson and his father the look of excitement and awe filled his little face.
I want to take the time to share something with you.  My husband, Albert has always had a way with animals of all kinds.  I have always loved animals too but marvel at some of the responses from them I have seen with him.  I will try to find the picture I took of what I will tell you next.
A family was at the tables near where I sat and as they stood back and watched more birds than I could count were landing to eat the feed spread before them.  The branches of the trees near them were filled with birds.  It was beautiful.  I explained to them where you could get the bird feed and they were off to get a bag of their own. 

My grandson asked if we thought the birds would come and eat the food from him too, and my husband told him he was sure they would.  “We will see if we can get them to come right to us and eat it.”
Albert explained to the little boy how he had to stay calm so he would not frighten the birds.  He showed him how to spread the feed and patiently stand so still.  The picture tells the rest of the story.  It was a day to remember.

I do have memories from that area.  The trout fishing is fantastic there.  If you go down to the river the water is so cold.  It varies very little from winter, spring, summer to fall.  I have always wanted to go on one of the float trips but never quite made it.  I have notices some people who seemed to be having so much fun and later were so very sunburned.  You can have such a good time you loose track of how long you are out there.  The canoes are a favorite of many.
I remember one time we were there fishing and there was a place that rented canoes not far around the curve in the river from where I sat.  The cold water is something you have to feel to really appreciate.  There was a woman’s voice that was shrill and loud and talking non stop.  The man sounded calm and had little to say.  She was not listening to him as he explained about the canoes.

There were a few moments of silence when I assume they were beginning their trip before the sound of a splash and high pitched hysterical screams…. The man’s voice spoke calmly in a deep tone in the gap between screams.  “I told you not to rock the boat.”

Maybe I should not have laughed knowing the screams were from the shock of the cold water, but it struck me funny.  It was like a living example of some of the jokes about women.  She may not have been listening as he tried to tell her to begin with but she sure understood after the splash.

My grandson stayed overnight with us last night and it was late before he could fall asleep.  He was excited about going trout fishing and getting to see the spring and hopefully feed the birds.  Early this morning his Momma, our daughter arrived and the three of them gave me hugs and were off on an adventure.  Part of me is sad because with the health problems it would be foolish for me to try to endure this heat of an extended day of fun.  I have always loved nature with all the sights and sounds.  To feel the breeze gently on your face or the sunshine warm and bright lighting the world around is so beautiful.  I told my little grandson to be sure and look at how the sun sparkles on the water, see the clouds in the sky or the trees all around and to really do more than look….see that and more.  He does not really understand but with time he will.  For a little guy he understands a lot already.

The other part of me is so happy I am still here to know and share even through the tales they will bring home and pictures of special times and special memories.  I will be and am with them right now in heart.  They did not leave me behind.  I saw in their expressions just after the hugs and good byes a look of sadness but I reminded them to take lots of pictures and I could be there sharing it too.  They wanted for me to be able to come and laugh and have a good time so I am there with them in heart too.  It really is a beautiful day.

 People from around us watched as the birds flocked all around us.  When they saw them eating right from his hand, it was a special feeling with nature and the beauty of the moment.

If you get a chance to stop there, I am sure you would enjoy it.  Here is more information 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up

Linda Bales

When I grow up I would like to be able to able to say that I lived my life as best I could.  I would like to say that I had the courage to live it honestly and the integrity to make it my lifestyle.  I would like to say I had determination to stand up for what I believed is right and protect and provide.  I would like to say I was a good person and have it be true. 

Now if you knew how old I am, you might laugh…..But…. we can spend a lifetime trying to be what our heart knows we should be.  I am trying my best.

Now I want to tell you about a friend.  My friend has touched the lives of so many.  My friend is all that I described above and more….so much more.

Not everyone I meet is a friend.  We may even get along, but a friend is special in your heart.  My friend touched my heart and does to this day.  Every time I think…..  I think of how many other lives this one woman touched that are so much better for having known her.  I think of how many lives she influenced by the example and life that she led.  I think of how many smiles, laughter and memories live forever in the hearts of others because of her.  I think……   I think of the passion in her voice and the light that shone from her eyes when she spoke of her family.  God knows she loved her family.

I do not use that as an expletive or common phrase.  I used the term “God knows” because he does.  And it makes him smile…I am sure.

This woman who is my friend, and is one that I am sure God Knows and it makes him smile.   She reached out and touched so many.  Some say “Linda, was our Park Ranger… and she was that and so much more.  She maintained the business of operations of the State Park but would still take the time to visit with a smile with interest an enthusiasm of all.  She really reached out.

She shared love and encouragement, honesty and integrity and hope.  She was many things to many people but one things she was to all is ....Special.  When you have met someone like Linda Bales…You met someone special…….

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Linda Nance NEA Writers

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. 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.

That’s it. I had an idea and hoped it would work out to be something that might really help others. It seems like a long time ago, but it really was not that many years ago I joined a writers group for the first time. I had always dreamed of being published but had so much to learn. I had no idea where to start so I started by trying to learn as much as I could.

In the group I found such warmth and supportive encouragement. Members would often share by reading things that they had written or we would do a writing project. I found those to be interesting and stimulating. When the co-founder of the group could no longer continue with the meetings, he asked for my help. I tried my best but the group dwindled and I did too. I was so tired and it became difficult to go out at all. I did not realize I had cancer. I have had so many health problems that I thought it was something that would pass or I could deal with.

I became desperate to see some of what I had written published. I have explained before what it took to see and hold my first book. Since I knew almost nothing I had so much to learn. I went to the library and would research many things. They were ever so helpful. I tried to learn as much as I could about traditional publishing. Several authors even offered helpful advice and many sites on the internet were filled with information. I began trying to find an agent.

Feeling time was short when I realized how sick I really was, I decided I would or could not wait and would self-publish. I began to try to learn as much as I could. There were so many things to consider. Every company made it sound so easy and like all of your dreams could come true…but… I wanted to know more. I began to contact authors who had published by this company or that and found them to be amazingly helpful and filled with information.

I began to see patterns of some things I found disconcerting. Many told stories of vast amounts of money they had spent for books they could not sell. Some had prices so high they could hardly afford to buy their own books let alone sell them to make a profit. Others had terrible experiences with things they had agreed to from their so called publishers, such as large quantities of books they had to purchase….they had to buy their own books. Some had complaints about the quality of the printing. Most spoke of the promises made, concerning how successful they were soon to be if they just….sign this and do that or buy this or pay for this and pay for that and…and…and…

I could go on about what all I learned, but I will just tell of what I decided to try and how it worked out. I decided to try CreateSpace for several reasons. Those I spoke with that had books published through them seemed satisfied and some even pleased with their services. The books were reasonably priced. Why publish a book no one can or will afford to buy? They did not make wild promises. They clearly explained many things including about how they would assist me if I wanted, in promotions and about all of the services they had to offer and the costs. They are a business and they offered a service and I hoped they would provide in quality what I had chosen. You pick what you want from them and clearly know what it will cost.  I got what I paid for.  I was not disappointed. They treated me honestly and professionally.  When I first saw the proof I was so happy it made me cry.

I don’t have to tell you that I lived through the surgery since I am here visiting with you now. I will say, that it was the most difficult and painful surgery I have ever endured. Recovery was an ordeal of determination to survive. I did not give up and continued trying. I got the second novel out and loved the book when I saw it too. I was on the internet at home by then and learning so many new things.

I realized and appreciated that there were so many people who had helped me so much. I have heard about how mean some people can be on the internet, but I have found so much care, compassion, understanding, support and assistance there are just not enough words to tell. There were those that stayed in contact with me from when we first discovered the cancer and are with me still offering prayers and encouragement. They are my friends. Some may laugh and say they are not real friends…just internet friends. Someone who cares and is there for you is a friend, and they are only a thought or click away.

I thought it would be a marvelous idea to start a writer’s group with that same thought in mind. I wanted it to be a group of people helping people to make their dreams come true. I wanted it to be a way we could help with information as well as the actual issues involved in writing. No one would have to sign and become official members or pay dues. They would have to have an interest and be willing to try to help others as they could. I contacted some of the members of the original group to share my idea with them and they expressed interest. As soon as I had recovered enough and got strong enough to go out and do it, I planned to try to make it something special.

The NEA Writer’s Group was on it’s way. I announced a day and time and location to hold the first meeting at a local bookstore. I began to hear from others asking me about the meeting because they received notification that the day was different. It was the same place and time but two days earlier. I explained I had not changed the day. The NEA Writer’s Group….right? That is right. Finally I was contacted by the friend I had told all about my idea, and she wanted to be sure I would be coming to the new group that was starting  and they would be happy to let me help them. She needed me to tell people about it and that I was part of it. She explained that they were important people and knew published authors. She had met them at a writer’s conference and told them all about my idea. They were going to collect and share the expenses to have guest speakers and pay dues for the cost of the group.

I felt so betrayed. I felt as if they had taken my idea and scheduled their meeting two days before mine at the same place and time making it appear they were me, and then had the audacity to ask me to provide the members and use my name endorsing a group that was something I wanted no part of, let alone for my name to be used in connection with.

I explained that and then after the first meeting, chose to change the day we met so people who were interested in both would not have to choose one or the other or spend that many hours in meetings.

They changed their day. I changed it a third time and so did they. There was no way it was coincidental. I moved the meeting to a local restaurant and did not tell any of them at the time. It had become very difficult to do something that would not be easy to begin with.

At one point I had contacted the library and found out I was already scheduled for meetings there and had been having meetings there. I asked her if she was serious. She knows me. I explained I did not and had not had any meetings there. She advised me that they had been told it was my group and even asked if it was my group. When I told her from then on if I did not talk to them, it was not me. I wanted nothing to do with them. We continued to meet at the restaurant.

One person demanded we meet at the library. At first he demanded we join the other group and be part of their group. I became irritated and told him I would never consider it and did not want my name even associated with it. Finally he demanded we meet there. That is what he wanted and we were to do it. I told him no.  I actually explained 'no' in a little more detail.  He did not speak to me for awhile after that.  Time went by.

I stopped by the library one day to see the speaking and book reading of one of our members.  Carol Dabney did a wonderful program with live music as well as educational and entertaining moments and sharing her children's book...... and ran into some people who worked there that I knew when it concluded and I was leaving. They thought I was still in my meeting. I had no idea what they were talking about. The man had told them he was making arrangements for me and my group. It was more difficult than I ever dreamed just to be me and not have everyone else claiming to be me. The NEA Writers.....  He had been a member of the original group, so they had believed him. I explained it without hesitation to him and them.

At our next meeting I had an idea I thought looked and sounded so self-serving but it would stop some of the problems of who and what we were. I would change the name to the Linda Nance NEA Writers. If you want to know who I am... if it is not Linda Nance it is not me. What we are is something you might want to stop by and join in and see.

They had bragged about paying to have guest speakers who were published authors. All you had to do to be a published author is to pay the money to have the book put into print. I was not impressed. I had two books in print…would they like to pay me?  They wanted me to do the ‘helping,’ pay dues and give up my own idea.

The members of this group are an amazing bunch of people and authors. We were able to share ideas, information, inspiration, encouragement and it is only the beginning. So much has developed in this short time. I now have 5 books published and 4 are in e-book. Another member has a novel and two children’s books and another she is working on. One lady has two children’s books and does special Christmas programs for the local school children. Another has amazed me in so many ways. She has a children’s book out that is so inspirational it has been featured in many publications and she has done so many special programs. She has such a talent in music and her own CD’s. She has a second children’s book and was having problems finding an illustrator. She claimed it was my paintings I used for my books covers that inspired her and you should see the whole collection of paintings she has now.

I get so excited when I see good things happening for good people. There are others who have worked so hard helping and also on their writing projects I have never seen in person. I could go on for hours and never fully explain how spectacular they are. They are friends. They are people who make a difference. They are people who care. No matter what name it has... they are the writers group.

I started a page for the writers group online. If we can not get together and the miles are many, it is a place we can share many things of interest. We can share news of our projects, our questions, or problems and maybe someone will know of something that might help. We can share pictures of our events, book covers, art and more. We can share so many things.

People do not have to join the page or click like on the page to stop by and visit. I want it to be a way to reach out beyond the miles of location and know that friends who help and care are only a click away.

Who and What are we? We are people who want to help where we can and enjoy sharing with others. We are working to make our dreams come true and hope yours do too.

It may seem strange to use my name in the group Linda Nance NEA Writers but it works. The pages changed and I need to find pictures for the page. The big picture that goes across as a banner….what could I do? I have pictures of my books but I want it to be for everyone. I ran across a photo I took in our backyard of the dogwood tree in bloom. It is so beautiful to see the earth come to life in the Spring, full of flowers and trees like that. It is like new hope in bloom.  I chose that. It may not be a book or about writing but it is about beauty and hope. I needed a small picture. Many pages had logos. What could I use. The photo I had been using was of some of the members but they were not all in the photo and so many are from on the internet. I got out my pen and a piece of paper and think this will work. Now I wonder if it needs to be darker?  I will be back soon and hope you all have a wonderful day...    

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

Me and my mother...a few years ago

Happy Mother's Day to all.  I am going to try to do something special.  I am going to share some poetry on my blog today that I wrote long ago.  I was just telling a friend that one of them, I made up the music and actually sang it to my children when they were young. I had a porch swing and I often would sit with the baby in my arms and as I sang my little song they quieted and slowly drifted off to sleep. Maybe it was the song but then again, it might have been the swinging motion of the porch swing. I like to think it was my      Someday I may find a way to make a youtube with the little song.  I sang it for my grandson when he was small too.  The words can be changed at one point...   Your momma she loves you and your daddy does too... or... Your grandma she loves you and grandpa does too....or Uncle Bob and Aunt Mary or anyone there for the little one.  I really wish I could still sing but those years are long gone.

For all of the mothers and grandmothers and those who were like mothers to others I wish you happy Mother's Day here and everywhere.  Everyday should be mother's day and father's day that we never forget to say "I love you."

Instead of me telling you about them I will hope you find somethings special in the words as they are.....

Mother’s Day

My Mother and Grandparents

 Momma have we told you our hearts are filled with love,
We are grateful we belong to you and thank the Lord above?
Always you have sacrificed and given us your best.
Many are the times you’ve worked, so hard to give us rest.
And when we’re sick you comfort, your love and strength uphold.
Many of the times you give happiness are thought of but untold.

Now we want to take the time and speak straight from the heart,
But to say in words just why we love you would only be a start.
How can words explain the warmth of your mother’s comforting arms,
Or the quiet way her strength somehow protects us from all harms?
Can you explain the love of a family in times of growing and strife?
Can you explain the bond that exists as we walk our paths through life?

Sometimes we don’t measure up to the children we should be
Your faith is unfailing and you show how you care through the love you’ve shown to me.

Baby Says To Grandma

Grandma, I want to say so much, but in words Mom has to write.

Try as I may, the words I can’t say, but they shine in my eyes so bright.

Let me tell what a Grandma is, to a child as small as me.

She means joy and laughter and good times all, and all the love there can be.

Grandma’s somehow never seem to mind when our bottoms become so full,

And always forgiving the little things done, we know we shouldn’t do.

Grandma’s feed us good things to eat, tasting so good we delight.

Somehow things always taste much better, when Grandma feeds each bite.

Grandma holds us so gently, as we lay our heads to rest.

Grandma manages to love us some more, even days when we are a pest.

Grandma will tell you and Mom will to, I’m good as I can be.

They can see the love and warmth in my heart as I know that they love me.

Grandma’s are great as all little ones know, but you’re the greatest by far.

Happy Mother’s Day to my Grandma I say

I love you just as you are.

Happy Mother’s Day to Grandma

I love you.

Linda J. Nance

Momma Says

Ask me all of your questions, I’ll tell you no lies.
Bring me all of your problems and I’ll help you get by.
Your Momma, she loves you, your daddy does too.
We’ll stand strong together what ever we do.

The Lord he did bless us when he gave us this child,
This sweet tiny baby so precious and mild
He answered our prayers with this baby so small
The joy we now have fill the hearts of us all.

So bring me all of your questions, I’ll tell you no lies.
Bring me all of your problems and I’ll help you get by.
Your Momma she loves you and your Daddy does too.
We’ll stand strong together what ever we do.

Now my baby is growing, and getting so tall,
And soon will be walking in no time at all.
A walking and talking and shout with glee,
That baby is special, especially to me.
I wrote this poem and made up a tune to sing it as a lullaby to my babies
By Linda J. Nance

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

J.P. Lane and The Tangled Web

J.P. Lane is many things.  She is also an author of an amazing new novel, friend, and member of our writer’s group.  There may be many miles between us but there is a passion for writing and a friendship that reaches beyond the miles allowing this wonderful woman to share so many things.  This is a chance to get to know her and find out the news of the Tangled Web.
Linda Nance I notice your bio says you were born and raised in Jamaica, but you don’t have much of a Jamaican accent.
J.P. Lane Think my accent is a bit mixed up because I’ve lived outside of Jamaica more than half my life. Though I wasn’t just born and raised in Jamaica. I didn’t leave Jamaica until the year I turned thirty, so a decade of my adult years were spent there.
Linda Nance Can you speak the Jamaican dialect in that chapter of The Tangled Web where the detective stumbles upon the missing clue?
J.P. Lane Not very well, I confess. I write it better than I speak it.
Linda Nance Your book whizzes all over the world – London, Prague, New York, Colombia, and of course the Caribbean where most of the story takes place. You’ve lived in several countries. Is the book a reflection of your experiences?
J.P. Lane I think all fiction is, to some extent, a reflection of the author’s experiences. I’ve lived in, or visited, all the countries in The Tangled Web except Colombia, which I had to research. I never did find as much information as I would like to have had on Cali, which played a major role in the book.
Linda Nance Your female protagonist Lauren Anderson is a journalist and you wrote for The Miami Herald. Is Lauren based on you?
J.P. Lane Not at all. I’m nothing like Lauren. Besides, Lauren is an investigative reporter. I was a marketing writer for The Miami Herald. But as a newspaper marketing writer you have an intimate relationship with the newsroom, so I’m as familiar with a newsroom as Lauren would be. I would say the only thing Lauren and I have in common is a passionate love for Jamaica.
Linda Nance But you never mention Jamaica in the book. You always refer to the island as “the island.”
J.P. Lane That’s because The Tangled Web could be the story of any Latin American or Caribbean country. Cocaine transshipment on a massive scale is a problem that’s endemic to the region.
Linda Nance Aside from giving readers a glimpse of how the powerful and wealthy elite of the islands live, The Tangled Web blows away the image most people have of the Caribbean. To quote a review on your website, “under its post-card facade there can lurk a horrifyingly corrupt underworld.”
J.P. Lane There’s always a dark side, isn’t there? It just stands out more when contrasted against extreme beauty. That’s why all the antagonists in The Tangled Web are drop-dead good looking people.
Linda Nance The Tangled Web has a romance weaving through it. Would you say the book has male appeal or female appeal?
J.P. Lane Both, I think. It’s got guns and kisses.                                   
Linda Nance The Tangled Web is a very entertaining read. You must have had fun writing it.
J.P. Lane Oh yes, I had a lot of fun writing The Tangled Web. I enjoyed it so much I was a bit disappointed when it ended.
Linda Nance Your plot is amazingly complex – layers of sub plots within sub plots that keep you turning the pages to find out how it will all unravel. Yet in the end there’s still a big question mark. Are you writing a sequel?
J.P. Lane Readers have said they would like to see a sequel, but to tell you the truth, I got sidetracked by this historical novel that flew into my mind out of nowhere. But I’m thinking of setting it aside because the final chapter of The Tangled Web does leave the door wide open to a sequel.
Linda Nance I can hardly wait for all there will be to come and want to remind everyone not to miss the special two days the Tankgled Web will be offered free on May 11 and 12.

I have enjoyed our visits and especially this interview.  I thank you for sharing so many interesting things about you and the book.  The Tangled Web is a novel not to be missed and it will be remembered.  You have accomplished something special and I hope to read a sequel too.
J.P. Lane It was a pleasure, Linda. Thanks for the opportunity!
Don’t miss the chance to get your free Kindle copy of The Tangled Web on Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12.

Visit J.P. Lane at
Joan P. Lane  on FaceBook

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Reviews, Comments, Messages, Emails and every person who has taken the time by phone or in person to tell me……. What it did to me?

Well, I have been gone for awhile but am back.  I was going to explain how busy I have been, but I promised to be honest and will admit that I have not felt too good for….   I can not remember when I felt good physically.  My mind races with ideas and my heart is filled with ideas for things I hope could live on and reach out to help others ….   But….  I got sick and have been so very tired.  What to do?  What can I do?

Well…. I can do anything.  I can do what ever I am willing to work hard and believe in.  I may not do it quickly.  I may not do it as well as some, but I will do it in my own way and it will be real.  I understand that I am lacking in some of the technical areas but what is in my heart and mind is intense…

When I write a fiction story, I want it to be the best that it can be.  I try with the punctuation and grammar and will continue to work at it.  When we talk about a story or something we create, I want to make it as real as possible.  I want it to have depth and feeling as well as a story to be told.  I want you to know the people, see the places and feel as if you had been there.

If we talk about the first book I chose to publish, there was a reason I chose it.  No matter where you live there may be difficult times in life.  This family is facing circumstances that could have destroyed them.  The father lost his job; they lost their home and were forced to live in an area they hated, with their children.  They thought they knew and understood their lives but in the new surroundings found things and influences so intense and different they were unsure about every aspect of their lives and futures.  Little by little they were loosing their children and their hope.  They thought they could guide and parent by communication and discussions and found their children were adapting and learning to use those things to their advantage, not to understand and work with the parents but avoid and do what they had in mind.  They had lived a life that had consequences such as being grounded or a parent’s disapproval but had entered a life with consequences that could last a life time and involve more than themselves.

When they were evicted from that place, life would take a drastic turn.  How they could deal with it and where they would go would be something that would forever change them each and every one.  This is more than a story of a thing or a person or circumstance.  This is a story of family, heart and life.  It is a story with no end because with every story it goes on.  There will be the days of our youth but in the blink of the eye there is a new generation to carry on.

I chose this story because I hoped it would be something others could not only be entertained by but relate to.  We hope to find the best ways to work with and provide for our children but there are not always right answers.  There are times that are not easy.  There times of uncertainty.  What then?  This is not a book that shows all of the right choices.  It is not a book that tells you what you should and should not do.  I do not have those answers.  This is a story…. Of their lives and that there are consequences for the choices we make.  Young and old alike, learn how life can have it’s darkest hours but there is always hope.  We have to believe and ….Life Goes On.

As I contemplated what to publish, there were so many things on my mind.  When it comes to health issues I have been told many things that left little hope but that is not always a bad thing.  One doctor was so sweet it seemed to almost break his heart to have to tell me the truth.  He had been very professional and one I would trust my life to.  You could tell he was a heart felt person with a difficult job.  Me…  What was my future?  No one would answer any questions directly.  The answers were very grim.  I believe the things I found out were true, but we do not always know God’s plan for us.  There are some times we do have to understand that no matter what our desires or plans or determination, the body may be weak.  It may not be what is meant to be…. Or did we give up?

If that was not enough to find an inoperable mass under the aorta….what can I do?  The surgery could kill me and the chemo might or radiation…so   ……..

When they said it has spread and was in some really bad areas right next to the lymph nodes, with the arteries that supply the lung on the left side and 2 other places…..  Not good.  Take away the arteries and ……  in the lymph and ????

What to do?  I did not want to give up.  I would not give up.  But what if I did not make it?  I wanted the things that I had written to live on.  I wanted others to know the characters and see some things they related to.  I wanted the stories to be something real for them.  I wanted to see something I had written become a book I could hold in my hand.  Just once, I wanted to hold the book in my hand.

I did. 

I had no idea what others would think of it.  Would they find it interesting?  Would they feel as if the characters were real enough they knew them?  Would the story be believable?  So many questions but the real question right then is would I live to see any of it?

When I came out of the surgery I was in a lot of pain.  I was hooked to oxygen and fighting for life…but filled with the desire to fight for more….I would not give up.  I did not know what the future would hold even after the surgery.  I know not the number of my days but that is something we fail to realize.  We never know the number of our days so we have to make the most of each and every one.

Journey Home will always be dear to my heart.  It is the first novel I wrote.  My daughter and husband gave me the strength to believe that I could do it.  I could not afford anything extra with all of the medical expenses.  If a person has pre-existing illnesses and can not afford insurance it is amazing how life can be.  It affects the whole family.  They told me not to worry, but do what was in my heart.

A dear woman I met on the internet offered to help and help she did in more than one way.  She helped editing and for me to get it uploaded and ready to go.  I had even done the cover myself from one of my paintings. 

Years ago I loved to do little art projects with the children and my father in-law expressed his admiration for what I did.  I painted him a picture of a path.  I start with a blank piece of paper and wait for the feeling to come and then just paint.  That is what I did, and I told him it was his path.  When I decided to choose a cover, I think that path would have taken them where they need to go in the book.  That path shows the journey they would take.  When we think of a journey, we do not always realize it is the one that might take us where we need to go to find not only a location, but a place of the heart that is home.  Journey Home is the journey to home.  The painting was his, but is now the cover for all to find the Journey Home.

When I wrote it I wanted others to find a story that would hold their interest but more.  I wanted characters or people who were so real they could feel with them and understand or relate to them.  I wanted an ending they would not see half way through the book.  I have read so many where when you start, you understand who did it and why, and it was a good book, but you knew who did it…..

I did not want to give up…not today.  I wanted to do more.  The Children’s book is one that is not only in my heart but my whole family’s….and neighbors and friends.  It is a little book that I wrote for my own children we could use all the years of their lives to relate to things and touch their hearts.  It is a book of rhyme that has more than the story and the poem.

Each and every line of the poem has special meaning and applications that can be made from little child to adult.  There have been more people than I can count that have sat with me and discussed this little poem and instantly related to things in their lives.  One day I may try to write it all out but then again it is always better when there are things from the heart to speak to another of heart.

A Tale To Tell has it’s own story too.  We had some huge trees in the yard that dropped branches.  When I told the children….  “If I only had a few branches we could have a bonfire.”   It was not long before the yard was cleared…  and we had a bonfire.  There are many tales to be told around a bonfire depending on the audience and age.  These tales have not only the ability to entertain but also enlighten.  I wanted to not only create shadow but also light.  In one of the stories…’The Midnight Hour’….  Peer pressure plays a part.  We might forget how strong such a thing can be.  There are many other tales and more to come.

That brings me to the one with the very long title….  I Will Not Give Up…Not Today…Life Is A Journey.  You may buy or get the small e-book or paperback book and think that you have a book.  This is my heart, my feelings, my life, my dreams and me.  How can we say that is a book.  To me ….  It makes me so vulnerable.  What if it is misunderstood because I failed to be able to covey the things of my heart?  What if this is something that I write and share to the world that does no good at all?  I did not write it to help me as therapeutic.  I did not even want to write it.  I did because I had to write it.  I had to share the idea….not to give up.  We can….   I Will Not Give Up…Not today…Life Is a Journey.  

This book is not a simple memoir.  It is not about my life.  My life is the example but the book is the message.    I am not rich or famous.  I am not strong or outstanding.  I am just a regular person with a passion.  I felt called to share from the heart things that were, and feelings ,and all that is in the book.  I felt the need to ….    To….    Reach out?   I am unsure.  What if there is someone some where who needs to know there is hope?  What if there is someone somewhere who needs to feel a kinship and know that they are not alone in what they feel?  What if this little book could make a difference?  If it is only one person who needs it….what is the profit?  When we talk about profit…what is the worth?  If this book helps you then I feel it’s worth.  Even if it is free I feel I have succeeded.

I sell this book but it is offered in that sale as my gift to any one who might benefit or to someone they know who is having a difficult time.  Do not give up….not today.  We are all on a Journey in life and it is that journey that will take us to amazing places and people who will make life grand.  One day at a time we can make it.

I have told you about all of the books I have out now, but what about the title of this essay?  Reviews, Comments, Messages, Emails and every person who has taken the time by phone or in person to tell me…….  What it did to me?

I have worked many years of my life and put a lot into the things that I write.  I understand that they are not perfect and I could wait and hope to one day have them edited professionally.  I could wait but then again, maybe I cannot.  I can not wait.  I can not let life pass me by.  This is my time.  This is my life.  I can not wait for another day.  Every day that passes is another day gone.  Another day lost????   How many are my days?  I would like to say how many are my years but I do not know?

I keep working here on the blog, the fan page, and several other things.  I keep working with the books.  I keep trying but…. What and how do others perceive what I have written?  Do they hear my voice and know my heart?  Do they read the story and find an interest or …….

Every review of every book has warmed my heart.  I want each person who took the time to write a review to know how much it means to me.  I want you to know that you reach out to another with hope and affirmation as well as things I need to know to work to make my writing better.  You encourage and help in your observations to help me make the things to come the best that I can.  I want to thank each and every one of you who took the time.


You will never know how much the things you have shared have meant to me.  You will not know how much you have touched my heart.  Know that the time you took is something that will echo and live with me.  I have actually cried reading reviews.  They were not tears of disappointment but of hope that what I had dreamed was becoming real…..   I could reach out to others.  What was in my heart and soul could be known and understood. 

What it did to me?  It made my heart soar.  It made me feel as if I will not give up….not today and that this journey in life is not alone.  ….      The journey in life is not alone.  That is so much.

I read reviews, messages and comments….and they made my heart fly to the heavens and know that I can not give up…..there is tomorrow and I will be here.