The Magic of Creativity

by Kathryn Jane

The creative process is different for all of us. But I’ve recently realized that mine is magically the same whether I’m writing fiction, or painting a picture.

When I’m writing a story be it short or a novel, it begins with a vague image of an opening scene, and the story grows one word at a time. Some people find this hard to fathom and describing it adequately has been difficult. The closest I get is to say the story unfolds for me, just as it does for the reader…like magic.

Painting works the same way for me…mostly. The exception being when I do commissions of people’s pets. But even then, I can’t think about the finished product. Instead I concentrate on one stroke at a time and somehow in the end, I have a remarkable likeness that amazes me.

But recently, after seeing a friend’s photo of a famous door set between two large trees, I was itching to create it in a painting. I grabbed a small canvas board and set to work. And…minute by minute I got farther away from the original inspiration of this:.

The final result was a fairy door at the base of a tree.

And then I knew I needed to paint what was behind that door.

I imagined it would be something like the adorable little scene always at the end of the Friendly Giant TV show. Yes, now you have an idea what generation I belong to!

For the fun of it I posted a photo at the end of each evening to show the progress I was making, while not sure what I would add the next night…just like when I’m writing, and proof that for me, the creative process is always by the seat of my pants.

The final product took almost 2 weeks and every day I looked forward to sitting down with my brushes and setting my imagination free.

  

Want to see more of my creativity?  Pop on over to my website to check out my books and art.

Cheers!  And Happy Holidays to all.

Kathryn

 

 

Spreading Love WILL Change the World

by Kathryn Jane

I’m a creative. I write, paint, make things with my hands. This means I spend a great deal of time in my own head.

When I’m writing, my characters occupy that empty space quite nicely, but when I’m painting and creating other things like reality tend to seep in, and whatever is going on around me gets a lot of airtime.

The horrible event in Florida last week has been front and center in my mind and all over social media, and while I could have blogged today about the book I’m writing, I would rather talk about our very human reactions to what happened in a school that was for many of us, far, far, away. (I’m even in a different country, but this tragedy has been all over our news for days.)

While Facebook has been filled with anger and panic-generated rhetoric, I did come across links to a few well written blogs that resonated with me. Gave me food for thought, and I agree with some of what I found.

Below, I’ve shared a tidbit from each of three which stuck with me–mostly because of their different perspectives–and gave me food for thought.  I hope you find the same.

From:

Engineering, Parenthood, and a Solid Attempt at Adult Status

“FUCK YOU, I LIKE GUNS”

“Military style rifles have been the choice du jour in the incidents that have made our country the mass shootings capitol of the world. Formula One cars aren’t good for commuting. Cheetahs are bitey. Professional grade fireworks will probably take your hand off. All but one of these are common sense to the average American. Let’s fix that. Be honest, you don’t need that AR-15. Nobody does. Society needs them gone, no matter how good you may be with yours. Kids are dying, and it’s time to stop fucking around.” For the full article:

https://agingmillennialengineer.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/fuck-you-i-like-guns-2/

From:

SLATE

“How to Stop Violence

Mentally ill people aren’t killers. Angry people are.

By Laura L. Hayes

Violence is not a product of mental illness. Nor is violence generally the action of ordinary, stable individuals who suddenly “break” and commit crimes of passion. Violent crimes are committed by violent people, those who do not have the skills to manage their anger. Most homicides are committed by people with a history of violence. Murderers are rarely ordinary, law-abiding citizens, and they are also rarely mentally ill. Violence is a product of compromised anger management skills.” For the complete article:

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2014/04/anger_causes_violence_treat_it_rather_than_mental_illness_to_stop_mass_murder.html

From:

Rob Myers

“There’s a Way to Stop Mass Shootings, and You Won’t Like It

“Notice those around you who seem isolated, and engage them.”

If every one of us did this we’d have a culture that was deeply committed to ensuring no one was left lonely. And make no mistake, as I’ve written before loneliness is what causes these shooters to lash out. People with solid connections to other people don’t indiscriminately fire guns at strangers.” Full article here:

https://mystudentapt.com/2015/10/06/theres-a-way-to-stop-mass-shootings-and-you-wont-like-it/

 

And then there is Emma, a student who was there. She lays it all on the table, with passion, and I find myself rooting for her, wanting her to one day become president.

From:

CNN

“Florida student Emma Gonzalez to lawmakers and gun advocates: ‘We call BS’”

“Every single person up here today, all these people should be home grieving. But instead we are up here standing together because if all our government and President can do is send thoughts and prayers, then it’s time for victims to be the change that we need to see.”

http://www.cnn.com/2018/02/17/us/florida-student-emma-gonzalez-speech/index.html?sr=fbCNN021718florida-student-emma-gonzalez-speech0446PMVODtop

 

In conclusion:

I am one small person in Canada without any way to change what happens to my friends in the USA. I don’t know the answers to the problems. But I’m still certain of one thing which has been deeply ingrained in me for many years, in spite of what many might call an unusual upbringing.

People spreading LOVE will change the world.

Yep. One at a time we will make a difference… and yesterday in my own community, I saw proof of that.

Somewhere close to me, an unnamed entity set something in motion which drastically changed the ambience and landscape of what used to be beautiful. First houses and businesses were boarded up, and then just a couple of days ago a company was brought in and all the trees were stripped from the property. What used to be green and beautiful became barren and sad.

But.

Instead of angrily ranting about the person/people who set this ugliness upon us, instead of crying over the weeping stumps, a group of us got together, and fought the ugliness with positives. We took one lone section of fence, and painted a message of LOVE to be seen by anyone passing by, and especially for those made sad by what had happened to a neighborhood.

The remarkable thing was that all of us felt better and better as we worked, AND, bonus, everyone passing by stopped to remark on the project and tell us they were impressed by our attitudes and message. Neighbors walked over to chat, and cars slowed while their drivers smiled, waved, and gave us a thumbs up.

It was a win.

And it changed the atmosphere in a very positive and uplifting way.

After days of watching the horrors in Florida, aching for the loss of children–and the adults trying to protect them–and being battered by the online vitriol, we had a lightening of the heart. Not much in the grand scheme of things, but it changed our little piece of the world.

Here’s the project as we left it on Friday… since then, it’s been added to several times, and we will continue adding until there is no space left at all 😀

 



My latest book, Into the Sunrise, is a story about a woman who takes all the cr*p life flings at her, and finds her own way out of the dark. In the sunrise, she not only discovers a passion for saving children, but even finds her way to great love.

The Magic of Story

by Kathryn Jane

Authors are frequently asked where their story ideas come from, and I usually shrug and say, I have no idea. They just happen somehow.

Then I heard Nora Roberts say, it’s magic.

Brilliant.

And it’s true! I have no idea where the words com from,  how they form and become a story, but here’s how they showed up for me the other night.

Unable to keep my eyes open, I went to bed super early. Yep, was dead to the world almost as soon as my head hit the pillow at 8pm. But at 11:00 I was suddenly wide awake, tossing and turning , but loathe to get up and disturb the sleeping hubby.

Instead, I spent two hours letting words race around in my head–a jumble of everything from song lyrics and poetry, to potential book titles.

Then I started to think about the characters in the next book of my Intrepid Women series. Up until that night, whenever I tried to write Broughton and Alexandra’s story, the words I put on the page were as uninspiring, lackluster, and limp as old socks.

Until a couple of hours of trying to be still, and not thrash about.

Like magic, Broughton’s words (the book’s opening line), came to me and I nearly laughed out loud. “Yes!” I shouted inside my head, then slipped into my comfy sweats and heavy sweater, pulled on woolly socks, and crept to my laptop in the living room.

I quickly opened a new word doc and typed the fabulous line. But it didn’t stop there, because the magic happened. Words poured forth while I fought off the gleeful laughter (still trying not to wake up my sleeping hubster in the next room).

When I crawled back into bed at four in the morning, my fingers were tired and my mind empty, but the book is well under way.

I can’t share the amazing  line yet, but here’s a picture to stir your imagination 🙂  … oh and when the story begins, Caleb Broughton is mountain climbing, and just about to come over this ridge…

 

 

 

 


Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order.   http://kathrynjane.com


 

Soul destroying questions and equally stunning answers have Dusty digging deeper than she ever thought possible, and when she discovers her Self, in an entirely foreign landscape, she begins anew, more determined than ever to achieve her lifelong dream.

#UpbeatAuthors

by Kathryn Jane

I belong to a Facebook group called #upbeatauthors. It was the brainchild of an author who was feeling (like many of us) overwhelmed by the negativity on social media. Her idea was to have a safe place where we could go to share positive outlooks, and uplifting words.

A whole bunch of us jumped on board of course, and we’ve grown to nearly three hundred members.

What do we do there?

Our leader has posted a theme for every week right up to the end of the year, and on Mondays, we post something positive, related to the theme.

Want to know the coolest thing about this group? In the beginning, many of us struggled a bit to come up with something to write, or share by picture, but as the weeks have gone on, so has the participation, and the ease with which the positivity flows!

Also cool, that when I remember to put my #upbeatauthors post on my own page, it often gets shared around Facebook, so I feel like I’m contributing to making the world a happier place. (Call me Pollyanna if you must, but I’m happy there!)

Here are a few of my favorite posters:

 

Your favorite historical figure

Ways to show the important people in your life that you love them in simple ways

Places you would like to go, and why

How to work smarter


Living in the moment/mindfulness


Turning a negative into a positive


When one door closes, another opens


Ways to be kind to yourself

 

How to deal with busy holiday season

 

Watch for a new #UpbeatAuthors post every Monday on my Facebook page, and see if you can resist the good feeling that comes from a positive heart!


Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order.   http://kathrynjane.com


 

Soul destroying questions and equally stunning answers have Dusty digging deeper than she ever thought possible, and when she discovers her Self, in an entirely foreign landscape, she begins anew, more determined than ever to achieve her lifelong dream.

 


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The Intrepid Women Collection (books 1-6) by Kathryn Jane (e-copy edition)

Maggie’s Revenge by Jacquie Biggar (e-copy edition)

Partners: Odyssey of The Phoenix by McKenna Sinclair (e-copy edition)

Season of Promises by Vicki Batman (e-copy edition)

A Midnight Clear by Jeannie Hall (e-copy edition)

Too Many Women in the Room by Joanne Guidoccio (e-copy edition)

Truth Be Told by Marsha R. West (e-copy edition)

$10 Amazon Gift Card donated by Marsha R. West

 

by Kathryn Jane

I had a blog almost ready for posting, but it wasn’t a good fit for today, so instead, in the light of the tragedy in Las Vegas yesterday, I will simply share what I believe to be true.

Kindness and Love are the answer to all the troubles in the world. I know, it seems way too simple, or farfetched, and some might think the idea is beyond stupid, but I believe it down to the soles of my feet.

And I practice what I believe. I do my darndest to be a good person. To never be unkind.

Hard task?

It was for a while, because I grew up surrounded by negativity. Judging other people and believing the worst about others, was all I knew. But over the last few years it’s become easier and easier, to the point I don’t have to think about it, and I rarely have to reword a comment to make it positive instead of negative.

No small wonder this Maya Angelou quote resonates so deeply with me.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

I know better, I do better, and I celebrate.

 

 


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All She Wanted by Kathryn Jane (e-copy edition)

The Rebel’s Redemption by Jacquie Biggar (audiobook edition)

Partners: Odyssey of the Phoenix by McKenna Sinclair

A Midnight Clear by Jeannie Hall

Hearts Unloched by Claire Gem

Too Many Women in The Room by Joanne Guidoccio

$10 Amazon gift card donated by S.A. Taylor

$5 Starbucks gift card donated by Vicki Batman

Act of Trust by Marsha R. West

Kindness is the ultimate headline, don’t you think?

By Kathryn Jane

 Here most of us sit in front of our monitors and televisions, watching disasters unfold, and what I’m seeing time after time, in spite of the horrible click-bait type of headlines, is Kindness!

 I’m seeing:

 People of all races, ethnic backgrounds, and stages of financial security helping each other.

 Posts of gratitude by those reasonably well off, who have been hit by Hurricane Harvey just the same way the poor were hit

 People regardless of socio-economic background gobsmacked by the kindness offered them by fellow human beings.

 Video footage of men and women reaching out to each other in a time of need.

 Groups, whole groups of people hooking up their expensive hauling rigs and driving INTO the fire zones to rescue horses and pigs and llamas and any other critter who needs a ride out before the flames wipe out their homes.

 Facebook pages where people can reach out to ask for or offer help. Where strangers from miles away facilitate a meet up wherever it is needed.

 A woman driving 14 hours to deliver a vanload of feral cats and kittens to a specialized shelter. These are creatures only alive and on the planet due to human neglect. Yet not only was some wonderful person in Quesnel looking out for them, providing them food every day, but another wonderful human stepped up when that lady was being evacuated, went into an evacuation zone and trapped these half wild cats, then brought them to safety.

 Men and women driving long hours, then lining up on a highway, with their trucks and boats, waiting to get into a hurricane ravaged landscape to rescue strangers. Nobody seemed to care what color the rescuers or the rescued were.

 Strangers combing neighborhoods, using everything from boats to totes in an effort to rescue pets left behind due to circumstances beyond the control of their owners.

 Big strong men holding tiny babies in their arms without any apparent consideration of color, race, ethnicity, or whatever making any damn difference to how gently those babies were held, or how grateful the mothers were for the help.

 Kids selling lemonade so they can send money to other kids who’ve lost their home in a wildfire in a place far away.

 What I’ve seen and continue to see?

 Humans being kind… on my television, and my monitor, every damn day.

 And that my friends, is a good thing.

 


Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order.   http://kathrynjane.com


 

Soul destroying questions and equally stunning answers have Dusty digging deeper than she ever thought possible, and when she discovers her Self, in an entirely foreign landscape, she begins anew, more determined than ever to achieve her lifelong dream.

 

 


 


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Second Act by Marsha R. West

A Midnight Clear by Jeannie Hall

Touch Me by Kathryn Jane

Bug Stuff and Other Stories by Vicki Batman

Too Many Women in the Room by Joanne Guidoccio

Snowed by Veronica Forand

Hold ‘Em in audiobook format by Jacquie Biggar

$10 G/C by S.A. Taylor

Photographic Notecards by Sharon Wray

I am not my childhood

by Kathryn Jane

I’ve taken a side trip from my Romantic Suspense series by writing a Women’s Fiction.

A novel about a woman of heart, courage and integrity. A woman who could have been irreparably damaged by the man who raised her.

But wasn’t. At least not for the long haul. Oh, she made some monumentally  bad decisions as a teenager and young adult, but she eventually learned from them.

And when she became privy to the details of her own childhood and the secrets she’d unknowingly lived with, instead of breaking under the weight of what she learned, she built herself a new life.

She found purpose. And she found a way to realize her lifelong dream in spite of all hope being stripped from her soul.

She became a warrior for her cause. And she changed lives.

She fought for her dream and she won.

She is a testament to women everywhere who do what needs to be done, say what needs to be said, and live with the consequences. Who overcome what appear to be insurmountable odds and obstacles.

She is much more than a survivor.

She is not her childhood.

And neither am I.


Award winning author, Kathryn Jane writes the popular Intrepid Women Series. Novels filled with mystery, suspense, adventure, psychic abilities, and romance. Think MacGyver, Criminal Minds, and James Bond…with a dash of I Love Lucy.

Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order.   http://kathrynjane.com


 

Soul destroying questions and equally stunning answers have Dusty digging deeper than she ever thought possible, and when she discovers her Self, in an entirely foreign landscape, she begins anew, more determined than ever to achieve her lifelong dream.

I’m addicted to words

by Kathryn Jane

I love words, and I’m constantly amazed when they’re put together so perfectly an inspirational quote is born… therein lies my addiction.

I can spend hours pouring through quotes, drinking in meaning, and occasionally making memes to share.

It’s a weakness.

Today I’ll share a few of them with you, just because I think it’s a great way to start off a new year (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it) .



“Be the change you wish to see.” Unknown


“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” ~ Dr. Seuss


“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.” ~ Edith Wharton


“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me.”~  Erma Bombeck


“If not us, who?  If not now, when?” ~ John F. Kennedy


“Live as though life was created for you.” ~ Maya Angelou

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

“Do the Best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” ~ Maya Angelou


“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting, ‘Holy shit…what a ride!” ~ Hunter S. Thompson


“You are so much more than your mistakes.” ~ Bryant McGill


The road of indecision is paved with flat squirrels. ~ Unknown



I bet you have favorite quotes of your own… please share them with us!



Author Kathryn Jane,  loves words, homemade bread, the Pacific Ocean, and cats!

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Poppies and Poetry Move Me

canva-poppies-stringI cannot tell you how many times I was given the assignment to memorize, In Flanders Fields. Seems to me it was every November, throughout grade school!

Sadly, when I tried to remember it just a few days ago, I could only recall a few lines, but thanks to Google, I was able to quickly pull it up for a refresher.

It’s a lovely poem with a sound both sober and lilting–if that’s possible–perhaps because it takes me back to childhood. And while I always hated getting called on to recite it in front of the class, I always liked the way I felt when I said the words. Even now, when I read it out loud, it echoes in my heart.

So this November 11th, known here in Canada as Remembrance Day, I give to you, In Flanders Fields.

 

IN FLANDERS FIELDS

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foecanva-poppies
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae  

 


Author Kathryn Jane,  loves poppies, poetry, people, and cats!

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Baby Boomers Rejoice the birth of Seasoned Romance!

 

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I was born at the tail end of the baby boom. I grew up in the sixties to: the tune of the best music; girls finally being allowed to wear pants at school; and slightly less expectation that we make one of only three choices for our future–become a teacher, become a nurse, or get married and have children.

I sense nodding among the crowd.

Graduating from high-school in the early seventies meant I was the generation riding the wave of freedom hard won by my sisters just a few years older… Not that I went out and conquered the world, but the possibilities were there, and devouring romance novels set me up to dream.

Fast forward forty years, and here I am still in love with reading. Okay, so what’s the rejoicing part you say?

Seasoned Romance … because love is ageless!

For those of us who aren’t interested in reading about romance between twenty-somethings, there is a new, burgeoning genre. One where the heroes and heroines are at least thirty-five, and (hallelujah) much older!

I’ve heard from plenty of readers who feel no emotional connection to stories about people the ages of their children and grandchildren. These are women who glance at the bookshelves and ask, “What about us? Why can’t there be stories about older women who’ve kicked butt as executives, pilots, wives, mothers, jockeys, nurses, doctors, dog walkers, and everything in between. Why can’t we read about the kind of women we are or want to be, and the heroes we’d love to meet.”

Good news, older generation heroes and heroines do exist in the world of romance books.

Better news, a group of authors already writing this kind of story have banded together to get our Seasoned Romance genre recognized by agents, publishers, and booksellers.

Meanwhile, there are Seasoned Romances already available. Great stories about women finding love for the first, second, or seventh time, single moms, empty-nesters, divorcees, widows, financially secure women looking for adventure, married couples rediscovering each other after retirement…

My own brand new book set to release in a few weeks, Dance With Me, is about a married couple in their early sixties. Julia and James, the mother and father in my Intrepid Women series have some serious issues to get past, plus a mystery to solve before they can get on with a romantic reconciliation.

I’d love to hear what you think about Seasoned Romance. What is your favorite age range to read about? Young, to relive your youth? Older to feel a connection to the characters? Tell me, tell me, so I can get the word out to other authors 🙂

If you’d like to be kept up to date on my new Seasoned Romance releases, as well as those by the Sisterhood of Suspense authors (and many others), hop on over to my website and sign up for my newsletter. Easy peasy.

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Addicted to the ocean, award winning author Kathryn Jane lives on the west coast of Canada with her fabulous feline assistant, and a devoted mutt to keep her charming prince company while she’s busy penning fast-paced mysteries and adventures about Kickass Women and the Men who Dare to Love them…

 



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