My writings about the Constancy of Change in Life and beyond. From my view spot above the city in southern Costa Rica, I write.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Busy Summer and Fall, 2016

I know I made a promise 'to blog' - and thought I was safe to say 'every two weeks'. Ha.  It has been months.  And now, tail between legs and head hanging low, I'm attempting to make up with a brief review of Summer and Fall (June - October, 2016) which is Costa Rica's winter or Green Season. Increasingly rainy, it's a great time to finish up all the projects that need to get done by the end of the year.  I had a few to finish up!

First up - my book, A Woman Awakens: Life, AfterLife was numero uno on the list.  

After sending out carefully worded and individually tailored query packages to thirty different agents, I waited. And waited. From January to June. I did get some good refusals, meaning that they weren’t ‘canned’ – but no offers. In June I talked it over with my editor, Marie and I decided to turn my efforts toward self publishing – sometimes called ‘vanity press’. For me it wasn’t vanity or ego; it was simply time. I really wanted the book to be out of my computer and onto paper before I turned 74 in December. 

My first look at the book.
I selected CreateSpace, which is the publishing arm of  - mostly because of their great personal service team that guided me step by step through the process.  My great editor/friend Marie Beswick-Arthur helped immensely as we prepared the Marketing Essentials, formatting and Interior proof for uploading.  After one long, last read – I gathered my courage to push the 'Publish' button and uploaded the 80,000 words and forty photos to my Team at CreateSpace. It wasn't until September that I was able to hold in my hands the first paperback proof of the book that arrived at the home of my good friends, Joan and Myles O'Byrne.

I asked my son, Jonathan (Jay) to do my book cover, shown here. As a graphic designer and artist, he jumped in - using one of my early Raphael paintings to create the perfect cover. Thank you Jay! 

In July my other two sons,  Tim and Mike came to visit for two weeks, giving me a welcome break during which we went on the crocodile tour for Mike and the monkey tour for Tim and plenty of family and rest time for Mom. 


I had not returned to the states since just after Frank passed in 2014 – and it was time. After a quick but delightful stop in Seattle to see a few friends and experience the barely remembered joy of actually shopping for watercolor paints and a few brushes at Daniel Smith.

Echo Canyon, a favorite
Then – off for a long planned Fall workshop in Española, New Mexico with fourteen great students. We all worked hard practicing some new approaches with new insights into this medium called watercolor that I believe never gets mastgered on one lifetime. One evening we went in to Santa Fe to see the Georgia O’Keeffe Watercolor show at the O’Keeffe Museum. Some watercolor sketches that I've never before seen.  Dark, experimental and abstracted - she appeared to use the medium of watercolor to explore shapes and design. I loved them!

Roof with Snow Study, 1916
Sky with Houses, 1916

October rains in Costa Rica allowed a lot of indoor computer time to work with son, Jonathan (Jay) – this time for a website to accompany the book. Because of expense, the forty photos could only be published in black and white. Most of the photos were of my paintings that were integral to the 18 year story.  The Website Gallery contains all the photos in brilliant color.

We were finished. And then Jay had another idea!  “Mom – since you want to write more about your conversations with Frank – how about a small website that introduces and expands upon the conversations?” 

And so he did it!  Take a look.  This lovely website introduces and elaborates on the continuing conversations with Frank which were introduced in Part 3 of  A Woman Awakens: Life, AfterLife. I selected several subjects among the 80,000 words that I have from Frank and Jay did the rest . I will use these and others to write the next book titled either Notes in the Night or Frankly Speaking. And Frank is still speaking....

Stay tuned!

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