Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Each Other ...free for month of July at smashwords.com

With this coupon code my novel, Each Other, is free for one month. It's easy!
Go to http://www.smashwords.com, search for the title Each Other by Pamela Erickson and enter the coupon code: LX74N to download a copy.

If you scroll down through the past blogs you'll find a review of the book. The novel is set in 1862 in northern Virginia during the Civil War when some women served as spies and even dressed as soldiers often for months and years before they were detected. This story begins and ends in 1891 when Annie Cunningham, a former spy for the Union, is called to the deathbed of a woman whom she's never met.

Each Other is the story of Annie Cunningham and Warren Dodd, a Confederate Captain, who despite their differences have an attraction to one another that cannot be denied. Each Other probes the events of 1862 as they are reflected in history. Years of research by the author reveals that life is not black or white but shades of grey and the Civil War reveals the extreme challenges of creating and maintaining a free society on the broad scale and on the personal level the complications in creating a meaningful relationship. Both reflect the core of what it is to be human.

Each Other reflects a slower-paced time in history and the research embedded in the story shows us the world of the Fugitive Slave Act to the Emancipation Proclamation, the introduction of the documentation of war with photography and the celebration of Watch Night on December 31, 1862, 150 years ago. Offering fictionalized but historical scenes of the world in the mid-19th century, Each Other was created scene by scene,first visually and the author's job was to attempt an accurate interpretation of the stories that interweave with one another. It would make a great film! Read it and add your comments here!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Tactility Can Save the World

Rainy morning and I’m overdue for a day of drawing, writing, and slowing down. I travelled somewhere for work every week in May, sometimes by air, other times by car. On my last assignment the road sign that I kept seeing and that caught my attention was telling me to watch for moose. It was dusk. I kept an eye out for the big boys.
Here’s what I’ve been thinking about lately. Tactility is key for me. Celebrate those senses! Even though I rely on the cyberworld for my livelihood, give me a garden, a kayak, a meal to create or a good flowing pen to write or sketch and I'm a happy girl. One of my favorite things to do is host a dinner party and have friends and family sitting around the table eating good food and drinking good wine by candlelight with the phones/computers are put away. Okay, I'm sure that my kids have been texting in their pockets around that table without my knowing it, but we'll go with my ideal.
My son and step-sons range in age from 18-25. I've actually raised five boys but that's another story. My own son, the older guy grew up on the cusp of all things internet- and- video and my step-sons grew up in the thick of the electronic explosion. It goes without saying that kids born now are immersed in the cyber-culture and communicate differently  than any other generation or humanoid that has ever come before them. Ever. Pause. Just like the climate, the info and electronic explosion is changing how we live on the earth with each other. AI pets? AI mates?
I'm still a believer that it is the little things we do everyday that count, that can have the biggest impact on our human experience. A kiss. Telling your people that you love them. Eating mindfully. Being quiet and listening. Reading aloud. Stretching your body (and mind).
Good parenting is needed to balance a potentially AI (artifically intelligent) world. There's enormous value in  setting aside time during each day when the electronics are put away completely, their off buttons activated (for parents  AND for the kids) to plant seeds or draw with sidewalk chalk or play outside on the monkeybars. A time to eat together and hide the phones and the tablets and talk with one another. To listen to each other's viewpoints and perspectives, each other's goals and dreams or just download the day. 
Did you see the blog entry: Writing  as Curiosity and Healing? I hope you scroll down the page to check that one out too. Read Each Other, this blog, could be about the power of conversation on these topic of tactility and living a creative life. Be the first to write a comment!  
Or, review Each Other, now on iTunes (iBooks), Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, Diesel and more!
Time for a steamy cup of java.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

First Review and Book Discussion Questions

It's a beautiful May morning and before I start my day job I want to share Each Other's first review.
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/147682. The link will take you to the Smashwords.com and just scroll to the bottom to find it. Four stars! Many thanks!

 I am hearing from a lot of folks about the book and the blog. Please feel free to add a comment on the blog ... you can use initials or first names if you don't want to sign it. I'd like to hear about your writing. Do  you write? Do you want to? Does the use social media add to or detract from your personal writing?

Would you like to suggest discussion questions for Each Other?
I promised to offer up a few myself so here are just a few to start off:
-What is different or unusual about Annie and Warren's relationship, outside of the time frame that they find themselves in?
-Do you find that some people have come into your life with a special quality where they can reach down into your core as if you two have been connected somewhere before, in another time?
-Have you taken a new Path or journey because of someone you met?  Think about the impact it had on you or how it changed your course in life.
-What do you think Annie means when she writes, 'We are who we are because of each other?'
-If that is a true statement, how does our world of sound bites and defined number of character announcements constitute communication?
-Did folks of the 19th century do a better job of connecting then we are in this crazy busy 21st century world? Why or why not?
-If you could ask Annie or Warren a question, what would it be?
-Why the time period of the Civil War? What did that have to do with each other (find examples in the book)?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Writing and the Creative Process

Writing is indeed a creative process. As I discover more about the creative process it is essential that we as individuals can slow down and listen within, thereby getting to know our own unique creative self.  Breathe and listen. It’s a fine way to start the day and set an intention for focus.
Listening to authors, artists, chefs or surgeons discuss how they get lost in what they do, with Passion, intrigues me because everyone has their own take on the creative process. What sparks you? What connects you to your greater Source? Clearly fast-paced cyber society is often numbing and getting away from electronic equipment long enough to breathe and listen is restorative.
Inevitably what I come back to is breathing, visualizing, having gratitude and connecting with people, usually through conversation. Now it’s your turn.  I’d be grateful to know what YOUR COMMENTS are on anything discussed here, or in the archived blogs, whether or not you’ve looked at Each Other, the novel that started this blog.
The bulk of Each Other takes place in 1862, 150 years ago. Reading Each Other takes us to a simpler time, a slower time when the telegraph was new and before electricity was harnessed for daily use; A time when oil lamps and candles were used to light homes after the sun went down and a time when men, women and children had to chop wood and haul water no matter what the weather. Many grew the food they needed or purchased it nearby. There are many discussions that can be generated from reading this story about a spy for the Union living in northern Virginia in 1862 and what she is willing to risk just when her life gets complicated by falling deeply in love with a Confederate Captain.
My next blog will be book discussion questions for Each Other. Download or sample the book at www.smashwords.com  or at many of the distributors for ebooks and if you have discussion questions for the book, please submit them as a comment to this blog. Many thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Are We Communicating?

Rainy day relaxing after many hours of driving over the last few days... I'm following my intention of reading the Sunday New York Times with no time pressure and few electronic distractions while sipping strong, hot coffee. I so enjoy the tactility of holding a newspaper and after reading my first go-to section of the paper today, the Sunday Review, I can't wait to get a copy of Sherry Turkle's book, "Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other."  I like what she says about the value of face to face conversation unfolding slowly unlike our sound bites in digital text.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Writing As Curiosity and Healing

Over the many years that it took to birth Each Other I see now that I was sparked by two things: curiosity and a desire to present my words and ideas, bringing alive my findings if you will, in a creative manner of self-healing. For me, writing is a creative form of therapy and personal growth.  I can identify with writers who express the difficulty of self-criticism, that inner voice that arises to question one’s skill, the scratchy inner voice that asks, "Do you really think that you can write?"

Who knew that at the time I started my first drafts of the book until now, we'd move into a world where I can share ideas before or after my work day with whoever decides to read it worldwide on the internet. When I started Each Other in the mid-1990s, around 1995, we didn't have cell phones or the internet to work with and a few years later when one of my friends had a "mobile phone" it was the size of a large woman's shoe, not pocket-sized like today. I had my share of rejection over the years through several drafts but with each rejection I felt more determined to believe in my characters, the story woven through actual historical events and the belief that I could write, despite the critical voices in my own head. My biggest rejection letter inspired me to rewrite the entire book in first person from its original version in third-person and I think that it created a much stronger story.

As a very visual learner and interpreter, I first saw the scenes of the story in my head as if in a film and then interpreted those ‘scenes’ into words and paragraphs as a translator would to put them down on paper for later editing. Writing fearlessly as described here is a method of trusting the creative process and quieting the noisy voices within oneself to let the characters and the time period shape the chapters. My curiosity led me to study the social and political climate of 1862 in detail: the weather the troops faced, their uniforms, the herbs used to heal, the events of the day such as the passage of the Homestead Act and the Emancipation Proclamation and the daily life of pumping water from a well, chopping wood to heat it and finally washing the dishes with that water. My experience living in a cabin in Maine as an 18-year-old many years ago, helped me to make those descriptions come to life.

I’ve been very fortunate to have an adventurous life with many unusual experiences and it is those life experiences that I drew on to build my story. Contrary to a quiet life of research and writing, my research and writing time was built into the multitasking that I had to do to raise one son and help raise four stepsons, work full-time for 27 of the last 30 years in classrooms and libraries and more, and in the midst of all that, go to grad school.

Now in the hectic time that is 2012, 150 years after 1862, I am reminded of the value of finding balance and slowing down the day whenever possible. Your comments?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Each Other soon to be available from Apple, Barnes and Noble, and more!

Each Other made it to Smashwords.com Premium Catalog and will be available from other ebook vendors in the coming weeks. With this coupon code: LC35P at Smashwords.com, the book is available at a 20% discount until September 1.