Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Why We Write Blogs

Why is it so hard for me to write a blog? It oght to be a cinch after writing four books and editing two others. But I find myself stalled just as badly as when, like many writers, I would dry up during the writing of a book. Suddenly you find yourself finding excuses -- first I need to play three computer games, like an athlete doing his warmup stretches before a game begins. Or I need to look up something on the internet, usually something I might need three chapters later. Or anything to distract me from actually writing a blog, like the legendary sharpening of pencils before setting down to writing, back in the days when we used pencils instead of computers to write with. Why?

My best guess is that I'm discouraged by my problems in setting my books up to be sold via the internet, but also my inabioity to find an effective way to make internet users aware that they existe and of interest to readers in their field. When I sell books in local stores or fairs I do it by attracting passersby  to listen to my story, person to person. How can I reproduce this situation on the internet, so the story goes out and creates public interest .without my physical presence? I know it can be done, since many people do it successfully. I'm hoping some of them will respond to my blog and give me some good advice.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I feel so inept in this new E-world and Google country and Facebook friends and all the rest crowding my inbox. But I must learn to be fluent in it since my age forces me to rely on them  for telling the world about the five volumes I've created in the last ten years. The younger generations, in their search for instant everything don't know, or care, that I can remember and report the terrible years of the Great Depression that's haunting us now, and the chaotic forties when WW II changed all our lives in so many drastic ways, yet created a united effort that bonded our generation forever and now seems to be lost..

My trilogy of memoirs is filled with stories about the real events of the last century.  But  they are written and published and now must be marketed to find their niche in history. And there are so many people, young and old, who want to hear those stories. I only need to find the right links. My new friends on Facebook and Twitter and Linkedin and Goodreads and Dames of Dialogue and all the yet unknown readers who would love my books are out there in the great global wireless world. The real question is whether I'll live to reach them. How will I find the ways?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Visitors!!!!!! -

September is already here. What happened to summer? It feels like we never had one this year. You turn your attention away for a bit, and when you turn back, it's fall! Between the endless political talk and the Olympics and the US Open, and one thing and another, and the year has gone by with no attention paid to what should be the fun time of the year.  Come Oct I will have some special visits - helping me to note my 98th birthday!!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Resurrection of a wayward blogger

Reading my old blogs, I can't believe I haven't posted one since June! Trying to figure out why, I've realized that an unusual phenomenon seems to have developed, actually a combination of things.

First, I think I've just been overwhelmed by the reams of Email that turn up in my inbox, all hollering for comment or reply. Between Facebook and messages of the millions of friends of President Obama, individual personal messages from friends and family and readers of my books are often lost in the shuffle.

Add to this the natural slowing up of my normal mental functions nas i approach my 98th birthday, and the recent development of an uge to concentrate one one project at a time. Unthinkingoy I accepted an urgent request from a fellow member of my writing group, the High Country Writers, to take over as editor-in-chief of an Anthology project of our short prose and poetry. For a month or more I was so focused on its complications that it seemed to fill my hours to the exclusion of  almost everything else.

Happily, that effort is now completed -- at least my role is -- so I can retrn to my own life, and make my peace with all the websites I have so shamefully neglected. As my mobility becomes more unsteady, I am determined to continue my efforts to promote my five published books, three of which form a trilogy of memoirs. My major media for making them known to the reading world must be the electronic ones.

There are not too many of us left to tell the stories of the most critial times of the last century -- the years of the Great Depression in the 1930s, World War II, and the chaotic life in eastern Europe created by the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, where I was born nearly a hundred years ago. Though my writing may seem too far behind the younger generations to be of interest to them, my five children and eleven grandchildren have kept me involved in their lives and concerned with the 'sturm und drang' of their times.

It also works the opposite way, and my experiences are of valid worth to young people in many ways. The old warning still holds good: "They who ignore the lessons of history will be forced to repeat them."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

LATE BLOOMER: Today I was given a genuine moment of nostalgia. T...

LATE BLOOMER: Today I was given a genuine moment of nostalgia. T...: Today I was given a genuine moment of nostalgia. The new Nat'l Geographic came, and had a story about Russian Summer. It was described on th...
Today I was given a genuine moment of nostalgia. The new Nat'l Geographic came, and had a story about Russian Summer. It was described on the contents page as: "In vacation cottages . . . they brood, plant, party, and restore their souls." And eat watermelon! A great picture showed a family at a dacha, with cut-up chunks of watermelon, big, bright red and luscious, just as I remember it from my early childhood, when my whole family -- parents, grandparents, aunts and cousins -- gathered at a dacha for a month every summer and vacationed together, enjoying the produce of local farmers and the fun of being together -- "restoring our souls" -- as I think Russians still do and always will, no matter what kind of government they suffer under.
Even after all these years my dear lost family comes back, with that wonderful juicy melon that I still love to eat, and still get messy with juice and nostalgia. Watermelon has always meant summer to me, and always will.

Friday, June 15, 2012

It seems to be hard for me to write my blogs regularly. So many things seem to get in the way. Last week and this one have been pretty hectic. Of course the high point was my Book Launch last Saturday. Though my audence was nt very numerous, everyone there seemed to be interested in my new memoir, and a couple were new to my writing and bought all or most of them, which was very gratifying. I am now promoting my three memoirs as a historical trilogy. I'm hoping they will appeal to older people because they remember those times, and to younger people because they know so little about them, and would like to know more.

Then my writers' group, High Country Writers, had our annual Spring Fling yesterday, and it was a lovely party. This year it was hosted by Maggie Bishop, our founder, in her  beatiful new house, which has the most superb view I have yet seen, Even in this High Country, where great views are everywhere you look, I have not found its equal. To help make up for the days when I didn't write a blog, I will share the poem I wrote for the occasion (we're all supposed to write something):

How quaint!
In this chop-chop world
of pleasure NOW!
of moment by moment delight,
 never mind tomorrow
they say it may never come.

The feast is spread.
Sit down to it
before some angry god
jerks off the tablecloth
and sends ther world crashig.

And in this selfsame world
we sit and read our verses
as we have done each year
and plan to do in many years to come,
peaceful in our surety of eternal renewal.

All hail to HCW. I know
our future is safe in your folded hands.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Too much to do to have time to have much to say. Suddenly my book launch is just around the corner, and we have to rush more publiciy about it because of the necessary rearrangement because of the mix-up with the bookstore. I hope the new plan to have it the same morning, June 9th, at the Library has been aired thoroughly enough to get to all those who had planned to come. I know I'm being a bit fussy about this, but it makes such a huge difference in the attendance and the success of the party, that I feel I must try to do all I can to spread the word.

BOOK LAUNCH of "The Whirligig of Time" at the Watauga County Library on Queen Street in Boone, this Saturday, June 9th, from 10 a.m. to noon. Rerfreshments, readings and revelry! discussion, signings, the works.
Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sorry, friends. The plans to launch my new memoir on Saurday, June 9th became totally confused by an information breakdown between Black Bear Books and me. As a result, we started from scratch, and:

I will launch "The Whirligig of Time" on Saturday June 9th at 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Watauga County Library. All other facts are unchanged, and I hope you will come and help me celebrate what has now become a Trilogy of Memoirs. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Art as communication

Today I have been meditating on art, especially on art as communication. As usual as such moments, when communication fails me, I fall back on my Dictionary of Quotations, and find bits of treasure.

Shall I share them with my friends who share so much with me? Here are a few delicious thoughts by some great communicators:

Somerset Maaugham in 'The Summing Up,' sums it up: "There is nothing but art. Art is living. . ."
"Art comes to you proposing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass." writes Walter Pater.

H. L. Mencken provides one of my favorites: "The true function of art is to . . . edit nature and so make it coherent and lovely. The artist is a sort of impassioned proofreader, blue-penciling the bad spelling of God."

I love Al Capp's comment on abstract art: "A product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered."


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Book Launch! 3rd memoir is being officially presented to an eager public on June 9th

     I am excited! My local Boone bookstore Black Bear Books is hosting a book launch for "The Whirligig of Time" on Saturday June 9th, 1-4 pm.  I plan to answer questions, sign your books, share a few stories and read a passage or two, like:

......."That winter my life was quite disorganized and unsatisfactory.  My job was boring and unrewarding...
     Then in April Julie told me about her new job as Assistant Head Counselor at a huge defense plant.  The country was reeling from a terrible year of enemy advances, and I felt a growing urgency to get involved in the war effort in some meaningful way. -- "The Whirligig of Time," page 76

......."The Sperry Gyroscope Company had invented a bombsight for warplanes and the Army Air Corps was ordering it in enormous quantities for the first major air war in history...thousands of the workers were female, filling the jobs that in peacetime would have gone to men.  Most of these workers were new to factory work -- housewives, clerks, saleswomen, teachers, even a few debutantes - who had never before seen the inside of a factory.  Both the workers and the Counselors found themselves in a new world -- page 78

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Despite having lived for nearly a century, I feel like a first grader in my new world of wireless browsing.
I'm stumbling to find the right button to push, the tiny square that will connect me
with the new billion-hit game -- a game that will bring me readers for my books.
It's the smart young browsers  I'm looking for,
the ones who need to  learn about the long-gone events which made the world they live in
and want to conquer,
Once they would have heard these stories from grandparents living next door.
But now most of those are living down in Florida or maybe even Tahiti . . .
It's just we few  -- we lucky few -- who are still around to tell what it was like when the Great Depression battered our teen years . . . when WW II played havoc with the hopes and dreams of our twenties . . .
Those times are what changed the world into the dangerous age we're now living through.
My own life was turned upside down much earlier still by the Russian Revolution, which broke up my family in my childhood, and made us move halfway around the world.
That was the first story I knew I had to tell, though I was in my '80s when I finally got to publish it.
Since then many many readers have thanked me:
"My grandmother would never talk about her life in Poland," or "I've always wanted to know how my grandfather lived before he came to America."
Maybe it's this need to tell my stories that's the reason I'm still around, getting near my 98th birthday this fall.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Getting used to writing a daily blog, as my several mentors insist is important, is still a battle. But each day I can go a bit farther before having to call for help. So I have hopes of a future where I smoothly wend my way through the process and send my words into the air to Facebook and its companion programs with little clicks of my cursor -- my magic wand. In the meantime, greetings for another day to all my friends  -- known and soon-to-be-known.     Pax, Nora

Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's been a busy winter. I spent three months on the West Coast, mostly with my youngest daughter, also Nora Percival, but with a middle initial -- J for her father, James, who said she was our sign-off!

Now my focus is in establishing my books on the internet, since my body is getting too unstable for me to keep going to sell them at fairs, book clubs a;nd stores as I did until last year.

I'm looking for blogs or websites where I could join others of my generation who are still active and creative. I'd love to hear from them.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Book is Done!

I now have a trilogy of memoirs which covers critical periods of the twentieth century: The Russian Revolution; The Great Depression of the '30s; and World War II.

The "Whirligig of Time" is now available for sale along with "Weather of the Heart" and "Silver Pages on the Lawn."

Visit my home page: www.norapercival.com for more information and to buy my books now.