Interview with Cade

What was your first impression of Gitana when you met?
(Laughs) I couldn’t figure out why the hell she was dancing around like a lunatic at the end of the peninsula. I never thought she’d be fighting a seagull. After I tackled her, I was immediately drawn to her beauty. And her strength.

I hear that you’ve saved her life twice?
Once. Twice. Gitana and I always argue about the first time. The second time sealed us together.

What do you like better, being a sculptor or a gallery owner?
Tough question. I like both, equally. Working with metal and glass is a great stress release. Taking raw materials and creating a work of art is very satisfying. I’m not a show-and-tell type of person so sculpting is a way that I can express myself.

For the gallery, I like helping new, talented artists get their name and work out to the public. I had a great mentor when I first started, and he helped me through my first shows. I like doing the same for others.

You say that Rex, your assistant, came with the gallery?
True. He was the manager of the gallery before I bought the building. I was actually going to close down the gallery and use the building as a workshop. Rex convinced me to keep the gallery open. He said he knew how to make it successful if I let him be creative with it. I gave him a chance and he’s done a fabulous job. The galleries, including the one in New York, are his success story more than mine. He runs them. I look for the new talent, like Gitana, but she was a surprise.

I hear that Rex and Gitana hit it off from the beginning. How do you feel about their closeness?
They have to work closely together, so I’m glad that they get along. Years ago, I learned to trust Rex’s judgment. I’m building that same type of trust with Gitana as well. She has a keen eye for talent and marketing.

And how would you describe Layne?
He’s the type of person who observes and then speaks. He’s quiet so you know to listen when he offers his assistance.

Gitana and Layne were close friends before you met her. Were you ever jealous of their relationship?
(Laughs.) Maybe intimidated. The dude is muscular. I work out and can hold my own, but Layne is solid. And that’s the type of relationship that they have together. Solid. I wouldn’t want to mess with it. They were two lonely souls in need of a friendship before I even came along.

And you?
I was a lonely soul in need of a plan. Gitana gave me that but not by choice.

Any regrets?
I don’t regret falling in love with Gitana. Not at all.

Gitana – Life Plan
Available in eBook and soon in print.

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Lessons Learned: Accomplished

A couple of weeks ago my daughter used this word to describe how she felt when she was lying in bed between her fiancé and her son as both of them snored. She never thought that she would feel so peaceful, being proud of her little family. And then after her statement was the words “Feeling accomplished.”

The word “accomplished” has stuck with me since her post. She described being happy, satisfied, content, loved, whole, and proud all at once. For her, the accomplishment came at one moment in time to describe her emotion. For authors, we love words like this to use when we write. Each word in a story has to have meaning. Writing one word can be more powerful than a dozen words describing the same thing.

Thank you, Willow. I bet I’ll be using “accomplished” in my next novel. 

Lessons Learned: Marriage and a Car

Mike and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary last week. As we drove home from work (we carpool), he asked me if I thought our marriage was more like a Cadillac or a Buick. I wasn’t quite sure how to answer the question. I never thought of our marriage as a “car.” I was a little nervous about responding based on the either/or question since I was given the top-of the line vehicle versus the old people vehicle (sorry, but that’s what I’ve heard Buick’s are known for—even though I previously owned a Buick in my thirties.)

And then, a different vehicle popped into my head that described us. I gave Mike a different answer, which he usually knows that I will. I said, “A Subaru.” I explained how:

Subaru: They are rated high for their safety.
Marriage: I feel safe when I’m with him.
Subaru: The vehicles are designed with the outdoors in mind (reason for the bigger windows).
Marriage: We’ve seen different kinds of scenery and we manage to see the big picture.
Subaru: They are reliable.
Marriage: I know that I can count on him when needed.
Subaru: They’re ready for any type of weather or terrain with being all-wheel drive.
Marriage: We’ve had many adventures, both up and down and we’ve seen some amazing things.

I think I got the point across.

I thought my husband’s question was fun. I was able to relate my relationship with him to a car (yes, weird, I know), and I bet I could do the same when comparing our marriage to a flower, a style of house, a city, or a state. If you ever want to strike up a conversation or know your place in a relationship, ask the question and have fun with it.

Happy Fifteen, Mike!

Fall Writing Retreat

Last weekend was our RWA, WisRWA Chapter, writing retreat for the Chippewa Falls group. Once a year our small group dedicates three days to focus on writing. This includes learning what we’ve been up to, helping each other out, sharpening our skills, and hiding around the hotel to work on our own projects.

This year we shared our successes and presented one author with a framed copy of her first published article in “Tea Time” magazine.

Chip Falls Writing Retreat Oct 2013 007

We also brainstormed ideas throughout the day. If someone had an issue with a character or storyline, we were all there to help. We love getting those “aha” moments, and we had a few of them this year.

To sharpen our skills, we reviewed Michael Hauge’s Story Mastery presentation that he gave at our WisRWA conference last June. We decided to watch “Hitch” and “Shrek,” movies that he used in some of his examples. We were able to identify his six stages of plot structure and the turning points in both movies. This was a great exercise to study plot structure. I’d highly recommend it.

And last, our biggest goal of the weekend was to write. The retreat gave us a chance to write without interruptions, renew our energy, and bond with friends who love to write.
I’m fortunate to belong to my writing group, and I look forward to next year’s retreat. I’m sad that the weekend has ended, but I’m also supercharged to finish my next book.