Life as a Kaleidoscope

I’ve had a busy couple of days – how about you? Last week, one of my spouse’s days off involved us shopping for, and installing two new florescent ceiling fixtures. I will NEVER write the How-To book for that task, I assure you. Without the four-letter expletives, I just couldn’t do it justice. Somehow, we are still speaking to each other…

A ghostwriting memoir project, titled MIRACLE BOY, has come full circle this weekend. In a few short weeks, Isiah will have paperback copies of his story to hold in his hand. We’ve had miracles occur while writing and editing and producing this book. Rik Feeney, who is a publisher and outstanding cover creator, took my poor attempts at a cover design and turned it into a masterpiece. ( I look forward to watching Isiah’s growth as a young man when his book sells and he gets to speak to people about it.

I was jostled from a sound sleep at 8 AM on Wednesday morning, by the editor who organized a local Christmas short story contest for the paper. What a wonderful way to wake up a writer! She was calling to tell me my entry was a finalist and to invite me to the cocktail reception next week. Another first in my writing career!  

Co-author JJ Dumont and I are only 2 chapters short of completing our first draft of “Merciful Blessings,” a southern women’s fiction novel. The first of a four book series, it’s been fun to explore the dynamics of a three-sibling story with roots as deep in the South as a Magnolia tree. Our writing time has been wrestled away from family travel, family illness, career chalenges, and other things, but we refused to slow down for too long. It should be an interesting first draft, though.

And therein lies the tie-in to the title of tonight’s blog. The trials, the interruptions, the struggles, the laughs, the tears–all of it becomes particles in the kaleidoscope that we should be looking through when we write our stories and create our characters. Plots heavily flavored with Essenced of Disappointment, or Oil of Angst, make strong, interesting plots! And characters, made up of colorful bits and pieces of the characters from our own lives, make for powerful, riveting characters who will grasp our readers by their lapels and hold them in our stories until the end! Don’t write around the challenges, incorporate them!

Embrace the calamities as well as the quieter times! You’ll find you are a better writer for it. The trick is just not to slow down too long…

Light and love,



About NL Quatrano

Award-winning author, speaker, editor and ghost writer, Nancy owns a full-time editing, writing and specialty publishing business: On-Target Words/WC Publishing. Volunteer/member of professional writing organizations including Florida Writers Assoc., Sisters in Crime, and AWAI. 2010 Professional Woman of the Year by the NAPW. Linked in Editor Pick May 2013. International Women's Leadership Association nominee for Outstanding Leadership 2014.
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