Behind The Words
A journal by Barbara Wood
I saw this enchanting photo of a reading nook. What a wonderful place to cozy up and read a book. This seems like a magical place with its bird next chair and circular library. Hmm, wonder if I could order this online. For now, I'll settle for my comfy chair and cat for a cushion.
Visit my Facebook page for another enchanting reading nook image.
This lovely piece of inspiration came my way today and I'd like to share it.
"You know great things are coming when everything seems to be going wrong. Old energy is clearing out for new energy to enter".
As a writer, I often get "stuck". A paragraph isn't working. A character needs to move in a certain direction and I'm not sure how to get there. Or sometimes, one word just won't do, and I can labor on that for an hour!
So, I need to remind myself to . . . just breathe.
Happy Halloween to those of you who are trick or treating wiith your children or attending a costume party. Stay safe and have fun!
I woke up to a soft, gentle rain this morning. A rare treat in my neck of the woods :)
My first novel, The Magdalene Scrolls, was published in 1978. Turner Publishing has brought it back to life and is now available for pre-order at amazon.
When the first of the Magdalene Scrolls arrives, Professor Ben Messer is puzzled, intrigued, excited. What scholar of ancient languages wouldn’t be, when he held in his hands something even more astonishing than the Dead Sea Scrolls?a scroll just discovered to contain the life story and last confession of a man who had lived in Jerusalem just after the death of Christ.
By the time the second scroll arrives, Ben’s interest has begun to be more than professional. For it seems that David, the writer of the ancient scrolls, is in many ways very much like Ben?and he seems to be speaking directly to Ben, across nearly 2,000 years of history. Before long, the terrifying transformation has begun, and there can be no turning back.
What do the words of a Jew who lived 2,000 years ago have to do with today, and with Ben Messer, a man who had forsaken his Jewish identity years ago?or thought he had. And why does David’s life suddenly seem so much more real?and powerful?than Ben’s own? Why does Ben suddenly shut himself off from the beautiful woman he intends to marry and become involved with Judy Golden, a very different kind of woman? And what will happen if Ben surrenders completely to the power of the scrolls?
Before long, the terrifying transformation has begun, and there can be no turning back . . .
Whatever you are reading this Fall, i hope that it's taking you to a magical place.
And if it's one of my books, I'd like to hear about it. Drop me a line on my FB page.
1. Is it good if a vacuum really sucks?
2. Why is the third hand on the watch called the second hand?
3. If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how would we know?
4. If Webster wrote the first dictionary, where did he find the words?
5. Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a "whack?"
6. Why does "slow down" and "slow up" mean the same thing?
7. Why does "fat chance" and "slim chance" mean the same thing?
8. Why do "tug" boats push their barges?
. . .
It was with great interest that I read recently that the oldest indigo-dyed fabric ever found was just discovered in Peru. Scientists have dated it to around $6,200 years ago. Prior to this discovery, the oldest sample was dated around 4,400 years ago in Egypt.
You may wonder why this kind of information delights me. Many of my books are set in ancient times(The Blessing Stone, Woman of a Thousand Secrets are perfect examples), and require an abundance of research. So, I tuck these discoveries away for possible use in future novels. Now, if I choose to write a novel set in the Americas around 6,200 years ago, you bet my heroine will be rockin' a blue dress!
"Be Yourself -- everyone else is already taken." Oscar Wilde.
I read an article recently, the title of which I found intriguing, The secret meanings in 'how was your weekend?'.
Basically how you ask this simple question reveals a lot about you. There are 4 possible ways of asking this question:
#1 "Good weekend?"
#2 "Did you have a good weekend?"
#3 "Did you do anything interesting this weekend?"
#4 "What did you do this weekend?"
The questions are listed in order of how much you care about the other person.
Doing research is one of the stages of writing a novel that I particularly love. Research gives me ideas, inspiration, guides my characters and points my plot it in the right direction. I do all my research myself, I never have help. In writing my current novel about a German wine making family in California, I have naturally had to do research on wines. While I am a wine drinker, I am no expert. I buy my wine in jugs at the supermarket. So naturally I had to familiarize myself with all the different varieties, how they are grown, processed, etc. In so doing, I have tasted many lovely wines over the past months. Last night for example, I treated myself to a particularly delightful Gewürtztraminer.
Needless to say, I have been very happy while doing this research
I was fascinated with Roman and Egyptian history as a girl, so much so that I wanted to be an archeologist. This passion to unearth treasures did influence several of my books. Star of Babylon, The Blessing Stone, Sacred Ground, The Prophetess, The Watch Gods Hounds & Jackals, The Magdalene Scrolls. I never became an archeologist, but I get to write about it :)
This quote could easily apply to so many of the female characters I create. They usually have a past they are trying to escape or overcome or a secret that is consuming them. Inevitably a bright future is where they are heading (although it usually takes them about 400 pages to get there) - writer's prerogative.
Most of my author friends own cats (or are owned by them). I wonder why this is, as I too live with a wonderful kitty named Bucky. She loves to sit on my desk while I work, and when I step away, Bucky likes to walk on my keyboard - bless her! But what is the special affinity between writer and feline?
I recently learned, for instance, that the great French novelist Alexandre Dumas was a rescuer of stray cats. Not only was his home filled with them, but he formed a group in the 1880's called the Feline Defense League (sort of an early SPCA), and other famous writers - Baudelaire and Guy de Maupassant to name just two - were also founding members. Another famous French writer, Colette, was fond of cats and was known to have said, "There are no ordinary cats."
The right book can make any pool time experience a great one!
Hope you've found your perfect Summer book.
(Artist: Amos Sewell)
For Readers who like to listen: Land of the Afternoon Sun is now avaialble at Audible.com
Narrated by Mia Gaskin. Here's a little bit about the narrator.
Originally from Southern California, Mia began acting at age 5 on the sidewalk in front of her house, performing her heart out with the kids on the block for anyone that was willing to watch. Her passion for performing continued into her adult life, and she went on to earn a degree in Theatre from UCSD and later continued her professional training at South Coast Repertory. She spent the next several years performing semi-professionally and professionally on stage as well as in independent films. While living in Los Angeles, Mia discovered she had another calling: voice-over. She began recording radio spots and discovered that she LOVED being behind the mic! From there she began recording audiobooks and has narrated over 40 audiobooks in the past 2 years. Currently, Mia is collaborating on a new musical project with her husband as well as building a state of the art recording studio in her home. She lives in Southern Oregon.
Today is the official publication date of my latest book, Land Of The Afternoon Sun.
During book events and in my past blogs, I have likenend each of my books to a precious child. I don't have favorites and each one is special. And so the pub date of a new one, is like a birth. So, today I'm announcing that I'm the proud parent of my latest little one!
<p>Many of you know my assistant, Sharon, who is also a very dear and close friend. Sharon recently went to England to visit family and came back with lots of photos. One of them was of a residential section in the town where her family lives, and I was astounded at how much it looked like the small town where I was born in northern England. I could have grown up in a neighborhood just like the one near to where Sharon's family lives, if my father hadn't brought us all to America . . .</p>