Changes …

Making A Change

Photo Credit

Changes that began last September with a new house, revisited me on Christmas day with a blank computer, gave me a Valentine when my old car gave out, and two weeks ago came unannounced and for no special reason at all and my television went black.

In case you forgot the first three dozen times I’ve mentioned it … I’m Italian … and we are a people who love roots. I am a nester, a compulsive list maker who doesn’t like sudden changes in her schedule. And for the last seven months, I have not only had to tolerate major changes in my daily routine, I have also had nothing but change in everything.

I left a note last week that my next flash fiction story would post today.  Inspired by the sentence contributed from Anne R. Allen, this post will appear at a later date. Why?

Because I changed my mind and decided to switch the order of my posts. Today I am going to ramble on about the blog of it all.

Of late, I am diddling with the pages above my header, refining the links on my side-bar and thinking of adding some new photography … courtesy of my talented photographer/daughter.

Anne, Porter Anderson, and Jane Friedman … just to name three … have discussed the pros and cons of blogging in several posts. To blog or not to blog. Does it help promote your work, establish you as a brand, market you to your target audience?

No disrespect intended, but I honestly don’t think anyone knows the answer.

Why do I blog?

It doesn’t matter that I haven’t got a book to promote (YET), no launches in sight, no book signings in New York so I can give the finger to a few I left behind.

What matters is what I told Anne R. Allen one week in comments.

I blog because I love it … love it as much as I love crafting stories or selling vintage china, or making pretty things. I love it because I get to talk to perfectly wonderful people and because a few of them love what I say.

Because if you truly don’t love it … no matter how much advice you get about marketing or branding your name … it will show.

And if you don’t love to blog … then for your own sake …

Do what you love …

The key to success in anything is to do what you love.

What I love is talking and writing. I love reading, music, classic films, public television, crafts … and talking and writing.

I also love Brooklyn, Manhattan and most of the rest of the five boroughs of New York City.

While gremlins ran a muck in my  little cottage, I began a shop on (That page is also out for repairs.)  I fretted that I didn’t know how to use the camera and take good photographs. No talented daughter to save me this time.

I worried that nothing I made or the beautiful things I had collected would sell.

In short, I was expecting to be pelted with tomatoes and drummed out of Etsy-world forever.

To my shock, the darn thing is working.

Oh, fine: here’s one of my creations.

This is a thirty-year-old hat box I restored and then decoupaged. I had nine hat boxes and after restoration, several of them were covered in vintage fabric that I had also saved for decades.

I am so border-line hoarder.

Etsy.decoupage 058

					Link to my Estsy shop

I don’t think I’ll make enough to buy any luxury automobiles or plan a whirl-wind vacation … but … but … it is working and I am loving it.

Changes …

I started this month thinking I had no posts for April and May. Then I found myself with twelve great writing prompts. (You can see a complete list of my prompts on the revised page when it’s finished.)

And after a dozen private emails from my wonderful readers, I realized I had the makings for four wonderful blog features.

Share the love with me and tune in every Wednesday. You will either be treated to one of my features, or one of my ramblings.

It matters not, because when combined, these things I do and the novels I love to craft,  are the total of who I am, what I love and why I show up most Wednesdays.

What do you love and how has that influenced your writing?

fOIS In The City


Filed under Ramblings

35 responses to “Changes …

  1. Dear Florence, I’m three and a half years retired from my infamous career, yet I’ll never forget a funny episode from my workaday years. A well-loved supervisor called a special meeting to announce that she’d be leaving us for a new adventure. She began her practiced soliloquy by saying, “The only constant in this world is change.” Before she could move on to the next lyric in her song, a few straggling colleagues walked into the room. So our supervisor chose to rewind and repeat, “The only constant in this world is change.” A few more latecomers shuffled into the room, and once again our passionate leader repeated her first statement. I locked my open palm onto my mouth to muffle my chuckle, because I was considering the notion that the only constant in this world is interruption.

    Life interrupts itself, interrupts our plans, and chuckles if we try to set it all straight again. My Sicilian sensibility shivers, simmers and shouts its cry of protest, but to no avail

    I haven’t written anything worthwhile in several months. Call my disease Writers Block, or name it Life Block, or call it fear of imperfection. The truth is that my life keeps interrupting itself. I can entertain my Sicilian shiver, simmer and shout routine until the wind shouts back, knocks me down and chuckles at my frailty. Or I can accept my constipated state of mind and do something else I love to do.

    And so these days I read. A big, thick book — an encapsulated world not so different from my own — a biography of a writer I admire. That book and the poetry of William Stafford.

    I love to read. I’ve told my closest friends that if I should lie dying for a lengthy slice of time, I don’t want priests, or tears, or soft guitars. I want someone to read to me.

    So please take whatever time you need to fuel your fire. I admire the fact that you post here as often as you do. You own a loyal following for good reasons. You’re true and funny and all too human.


    • Ah sucks, Anthony … I thank you so much for your kind words. I love and appreciate my readers. Yes, when we get bogged down or blocked, it’s wonderful to lose ourselves in the pages of others. It transports us to another world and we soon discover that when we return to ours … we can see much better.

      So, please enjoy your recent “block” or the vacation of another man’s words … you’ll be better for it when you return 🙂


  2. off to look at your Etsy shop 🙂



  3. Margie Lawson is the one I credit with making me see what I love. It was in the middle of an Immersion Master Class, and I was spewing my deer-in-the-headlights, monotone elevator pitch for my novel. She stopped me, and said, “Your writing is fun, Gloria. Funny! USE that!”

    She may have added, you’re making it sound boring. Selective memory.

    “I love laughter in life, and that’s what I put on the page.” was born that day. It became more than a book descriptor.

    People, people, people. I love being around interesting people and draw energy from them. I love adventure and change and pondering “what’s next.”

    It wasn’t long ago that I heard words of wisdom in the rooms of AA: “Build your life around who you are rather than who people expect you to be, so you don’t have to escape your life to be happy.” WOOT and amen to that!

    Wonderful post, Florence. I can’t wait for the writing prompts. I PROMISE I won’t be late to future Wednesday parties!


  4. Change can be a good thing. It keeps us from stagnating.

    Love the hat box, Florence. You do nice work.


  5. Here’s to the challenge of change! Adversity makes us stronger, but not all change is adversity… unless we choose to see it that way. A television going black is an opportunity to read a book, or decoupage another hat box. (Fabulous, btw!)

    Your question, why do I blog, jabs me in the ribs.

    I blog because posts are short, hence giving me the sense of accomplishment that I’ve written a project to it’s natural conclusion at least twice a week. (If only a novel could be written so fast.)

    I blog because finding new material while respecting my chosen themes is a challenge and keeps me from going all willy nilly.

    I blog because every post is an exercise in craft and in becoming more comfortable in my voice.

    I blog because the banter exchanged in comments refresh me much as a cuppa and a chinwag with a friend.


    • Adversity does indeed make us stronger, Sherry. And reading is always a better alternative to the TV 🙂 Even with a TV I craft. I can never just sit there and do nothing. That’s how I decoupage and craft … to the background noise of TV.

      Now you know I am a huge fan of your blog and clearly, I can hear the tone of your voice in your posts. Then of course there are your visits to “ghostly” places, the series for Nancy Drew and Trixie … those were a treat.

      I know what a “cuppa” is … but would you please tell me … what is a “chinwag” ??


  6. I blog because I enjoy reading people’s comments about whatever my posts are about. What I’ve found is that the more “personal” I am on my blog the more personal the comments from readers. I get to know people much better from this versus promoting my work or promoting other authors. That’s just the way it’s been. I know as far as I’m concerned I enjoy reading unusual blogs and that’s why I gravitate to yours. You’re always entertaining and fun, Florence.


    • Patti, what shines through your posts is your love of nature and all her creatures … your warm spirit and BOY … do I love those videos !!

      We do have a great deal of fun and the banter with other bloggers in and out of comments makes my week. If I’m feeling down, I can turn around and it’s Wed and time to talk to you guys again 🙂


  7. christicorbett

    Dealing with changes makes you stronger, so after the year you’ve had I’m thinking you’re now made of steel 🙂

    I enjoy all your posts, regardless of what they focus on, because your writing style is amazing and you do so much with your words.

    Christi Corbett


    • That’s funny, Christi. Just this morning Sherry posted something about “steel” as in Steel Magnolias and our strength of character.

      You were my first and remain my most loyal blog friend. I am more than delighted to know you will soon be published … there is a thrill when we can say … “I knew her then.” Thanks for almost four years 🙂


  8. Florence.

    Change all you want. Your blog brings me such enjoyment I always look forward to it, even if I don’t get to read it on a Wednesday, I know it’s there waiting for me-the perfect treat, no calories but it will fill my heart and my soul.
    And far too often I need that so I can pursue my passions when my emotional energy tires.

    Love your Etsy store. 🙂


  9. annerallen

    As you know, I’ve recently been encouraging writers to blog for its own sake, and I used your blog as an example of how to do it right.. People like you, and Nina Badzin, and Anthony Toscano are blogging because you love it. (I hope Anthony gets unblocked soon :-))

    There is nothing intrinsically superior about writing book-length fiction, and we need to let go of the idea that “just” publishing electronically–either in an ebook or on a blog–is in any way inferior to other types of publishing. You create art here whenever you post. You have many, many more readers than the average self-published novelist. So keep on doing what you’re doing. It works.


    • Anne, I wondered where I got Anthony from 🙂 He has now gone through … and Nina tried yesterday and got through. Thankfully, I’m still on her list as well.

      I truly appreciate that you gave me a little thumbs up in your posts that day. It was really a thrill to hear someone of your stature compliment the “tenor” of my blog posts. I guess that I love it has really come through to my readers and that’s wonderful for any writer.

      And if my readers don’t know yet … then I’ll say it again here. Anne R. Allen’s blog is now a Writer’s Digest top 100 blog and is featured in this month’s Writers Digest magazine. Thanks for everything you do for so many of us 🙂


  10. vicki batman

    Hi, Florence, I wish we were hanging on a couch with our favorite drink because I believe we would have lots of stuff to ramble on about. You write well and I love reading your blog.


  11. Hey Florence, I agree with you 100%…none of our experts can really say if blogging helps us sell books. But I do it because it’s a stepping stone to the writerly lifestyle, which is my ideal, especially going into the “retirement” (ha, ha) years. It’s keeps me disciplined, focusing on craft, and gives me a weekly venue to play with words. It keeps me constantly reading (which I’d do anyway, but now my reading is more focused). And of course, I adore my subject matter, creative late bloomers. Every time I discover a new one, I get so jazzed.

    Sounds like you live in interesting times (as that old Chinese proverb goes), Florence. Hang in there. Your Etsy shop is out of this world!


    • Debra, your blog is a constant source of inspiration for those of us gals who have gone over or are approaching the top of that first hill. And like you, I adore the subject matter of creative late bloomers.

      And thanks for vising my shop. As I said … that too is a labor of love 🙂


  12. I confess! I’m feeling stagnant right now because of the snow mold that’s clogging my head. I love spring, but it’s also the season of allergies. So I’m trying to blog in a fog and it’s definitely showing. But when I’m feeling bright and chipper, I blog because I love to talk, even if it’s to myself. LOL. And I love to visit blogs like yours because I get to read about someone else’s life. It’s the personal stuff that draws me in and keeps me coming back. 🙂


  13. Florence – I love your blog for the many reasons you mentioned. I never know what I’ll experience. Each visit is different. However, some things remain the same. I’m always met with a well-written blog, I’m not only entertained but informed. You have a way of engaging my spirit and I take wing to wherever you happen to be writing about. Keep on going and I’ll keep on reading.


  14. You indeed have a talented daughter. I wish I could take great photographs. The restored hatbox is pretty cool. You guys are some artistic people. 🙂

    I had the week from Hades last week and am prepared to have a better one next week!! Hope you do as well. Thanks for always visiting my blog. I think you are awesome.


    • First of all, Brinda … I am delighted to hear from you. Yes, I have a very talented daughter. I loved restoring the hat box. I’ll do more of them next month.

      I trust that the devil will stop chasing you in circles, that you get to the letter “Z”, and that you have a better week 🙂


  15. “The key to success in anything is to do what you love.” More people need to “get” that, Florence. I often hear people say they’re too buy to do the things that make their heart sing and I think that’s just a wee bit sad.Many of us have been told that following our artistic endeavours is frivilious and a waste of time.How very wrong that thinking is.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s