Welcome to the Blog Hop!
Thanks to Delinda McCann (delindalmccann.weebly.com/blog.html), I now get to meet all of you new people…share some of my writing insights…and direct you to a few other, incredible authors!  Oops…none of my invited authors chose to HOP IN…so, if you’ve got a blog about writing, and you’d like to join us…send me an email!  I’ll come back and add you in later…
(1)  So…what am I working on?  Perhaps, like many of you, the better question is what am I NOT working on?  LOL!  Non-writing projects aside…
  • I have a novel in the works titled, The Ghost Lords, in which my college-bound heroine discovers that her parents died to protect her from The Family, a thousand year old, mafia-esque organization of living ghosts!  Jordan’s awakening begins during the Great Recession of our modern times, as she quickly discovers that those in power care only about themselves…with a few exceptions.  Can Jordan avoid the assassins hell-bent on her becoming a real ghost?  Will the world slide into another dark age in our lifetime?  Or, will Jordan and her friends discover how to use our expanding information highways to join the “common people” together and renew our birthright on planet Earth?
  • I write a monthly column, printed in my local paper, about Community Health Issues.  I am an advocate for informed decision-making and I seek to create space for a third, middle-ground conversation on issues related to vaccinations.  Yes, I have vaccinated my children.  Still, vaccine science is complicated and ever-evolving, and simplified public messaging fails to fully inform citizens.
  • © Prose, Poetry & Purpose – my new radio show – gives me a chance to interview authors of fiction, poetry, and memoir about the underlying social issues they are attempting to address!  Fiction is a very powerful force for social change.  I give my guest authors a chance to delve deeper into their goals. 
(2)  How am I different from others in my genre?
Well, with regard to my novel, I’m actually attempting to create an entirely new sub-genre which I call Actopian Fiction.  Essentially, when actopian characters face current, real world issues, they choose to respond in plausible ways.  Their heroic decision to engage, despite the odds, has a notable impact, and provides readers with a template for how everyday people can make a difference in the real world.  Fundamentally, the actopian author seeks to tell a riveting story which will inspire readers to embrace their role in society in a proactive and meaningful way.  This is NOT the same as books that obviously lecture at the reader, often promoting a specific political viewpoint.  It must be more subtly entwined into the story, sort of like the Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer.  Is it about Vampires in the Northwest?  Not really.  How about love and romance?  Yes, but there’s more.  I would say that the underlying social messaging of Stephanie Meyer’s novels are:  No sex before marriage, when you fall in love for real – with God’s blessing – it will be forever, and never have an abortion, even if the Mother’s life is at risk.  My focus on inspiring activism and engagement in my readers, is somewhat different from the mainstream…yet, as my Radio Show suggests, I am not alone.
(3)  Wow.  Why do I write what I write?  Um…well.  Okay.  Here goes! 
  • As a parent, I take my decision-making very seriously.  For me, having information improves the ultimate decision I make on behalf of my child.  Because it matters so much to me…I hate the idea of another parent being manipulated or pushed into a decision.  Every parents deserves to be respected as he or she surveys the many options available.  There are, in my opinion, as many right decisions as there are people making them.  And so, this drives my Health Care Activism far more than any attachment with a final outcome.  For example, I truly, honestly, 100% don’t care if you do or do not vaccinate…I just want you to know why you’re doing it and what you’ll get from it when you make the decision.  
  • Between when I got here and when I leave, I’d like to be a force for good.  But, what is that?  As a fifteen year old, with an Environmentalist Mom and a Historian Dad, I looked around, studied the history of previous Empire Societies, and said to my Dad, “I’m probably going to see the next dark age in my lifetime.”  I hope I was wrong, but all signs point toward exactly that happening…so, what to do?  I believe firmly in Leading By Example, so I do walk my talk to a large degree…but what if I could write a novel which became as popular as The Hunger Games?  What if it was based in the real world?  What if millions of people could begin to see that each and every one of them was a piece of the solution?  What if…
  • As a woman taking her writing seriously, I need a platform.  And, as a busy Mom with a farm, I need anything I do to work for multiple goals at the same time.  My radio show, Prose, Poetry & Purpose, gives me a chance to expand my author-network, support authors in their self-promotion goals, have their audience learn about them and me, and promote the deeper underlying social goals of amazing men and women, all while offering content to my beloved, local radio station!  What’s not to love?
(4) How does my writing process work?  LOL!  In fits and starts!  
  • I co-write my monthly column.  I LOVE writing with another woman!  We totally improve each other by being different yet focused on a similar goal.  That happens usually over the phone, usually after her kids are in bed, and we used to talk into the wee morning hours.  It’s getting easier, though, and our soon to be published article, “Strengths of Autism,” was brainstormed by me, written 95% by her, and has flowed easily from our keyboards!
  • My novel does best when I’m alone.  Amidst the chaos of my life, I can barely disappear into a chapter before someone’s knocking on my door!  NaNoWriMo always nets me at least 50,000 words of progress.  Writing retreats (I went to Canada ALONE in October – HEAVEN!!!!!!!) are really productive times for me.  In fact, I’ll be at my Dad’s for a week this month and plan to revise 2-3 chapters a day.  Easily.  But, the daily progress piece…not working so well for me.
  • My radio show is a slow, steady process with a few fits and starts.  I’ll spend a month interviewing six authors, then I’m good for the next 6 months, aside from editing at home or in the studio.  Currently, I’m madly editing the last of my interviews in anticipation of a studio-editing session with our resident expert this coming Saturday…then I’ll have the next four months completed (at least) and I can start scheduling more author interviews!  I do need to learn how to record an interview over the internet, as I’m THRILLED to be interviewing Sarah Collins Honenberger in late March with a quick turnaround so she can be my April Show!  That’s because we’ll be talking about her novel, White Lies, based upon her real life experience helping a woman work her way through the Vaccine Court on behalf of her vaccine-injured child.  I’m hosting a documentary film, The Greater Good, at our island theater in early May…and I’d like to have Sarah’s thoughts on the airwaves the month prior.
As you can see…everything I do gets tied in with everything else…until I feel like I’m sitting at my keyboard surrounding by a million little strands of meaning and thought and hope…all reaching out into the world, carrying my messages of faith in self and hope in the future to others…

Thank you for reading, but mostly…thank you for writing.
Don’t miss my previous authors! Archived here: www.voiceofvashon.org/prose-poetry-and-purpose