Finding a Balance when life throws a curve ball

Dear Friends,

I’m adding another plug for my latest book Finding a Balance. To purchase a copy, paperback or e-book, any of the links below will direct you to the right place depending on the preferred site. All you need to do is click specifically on the words Xlibris, Amazon or Barnes and Noble and you’ll be on that site.

BOOK COVER FINAL 1.26.15This collection of poetry is a compilation that speaks often of my emotions and spirit after finding out about my daughter’s illness three years ago. But in contrast to this sadness, I possess a romantic soul and am blessed to have celebrated close to twenty-seven wonderful years of marriage to my husband and best friend. So from darkness to light, through faith and romance, I find strength to move forward. This book takes the reader on a ride of different emotions evoked from life and love.

My Publisher, Xlibris: http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000756814/Finding-a-Balance.aspx

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Balance-Lauren-Scott/dp/1503528006/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1445952378&sr=8-1&keywords=finding+a+balance+by+lauren+scott

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finding-a-balance-lauren-scott/1121084225?ean=9781503528000

All proceeds go to The Chris Klug Foundation in honor of my daughter. Chris had the same disease in his twenties, underwent a liver transplant, then became the first transplantee to win in the Olympics (2002). He is a professional snow boarder and lives in Aspen, Colorado, now in his early forties. Please also feel free to share this post with others who you think might be interested in helping with this cause and who enjoys poetry.

chris klug foundation

 

 

 

 

http://chrisklugfoundation.org/
His mission is to spread the vital importance of becoming an organ donor; offering second chances. Please visit his site for more information.

I sincerely hope you’ll help with this cause, as the only reward I’m receiving is the knowledge that others are becoming organ donors. Some day my daughter may need a second chance…Thank you so much and if you do purchase a copy, I hope you enjoy its contents, Lauren ♥

“This isn’t a post for sympathy, but a request to help with a cause important to my family. My daughter is fine now, with occasional symptom flare-ups, but the disease is slow progressing and there is no certain timeline showing when things will get worse. Of course, we continue to pray for a healing miracle.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Ways Novelists Are Just Like Poets

I’m sharing a wonderful and informative post by my good friend, Louise, from her blog, A.B. Michaels and am honored to have been included in this comparison between novelists and poets.  She is the amazing author of a romantic series, Sinner’s Grove, The Art of Love, and The Lair, which are all available on Amazon. I encourage you to take the time to visit her site, http://abmichaels.com.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NE18GYY
http://www.amazon.com/Art-Love-Origins-Sinners-Grove-ebook/dp/B00K5C0JYA/
http://www.amazon.com/Lair-Sinners-Grove-Novel-ebook/dp/B00YYJT2G6/

The Lair by AB Michaels

A very good friend from my years in northern California is the poet Lauren Scott. (lscotthoughts.com). We are both writers, but while she writes pieces with minimal words, I write full-length novels. Not much overlap, right? Wrong. The truth is, long-form writers and poets have quite a bit in common:

We both love words. I mean love them. I know that even though she may write a first draft intuitively, Lauren considers every single word that goes into every single poem she writes. Is it conveying the emotion I want it to? Is it describing the scene I’ve created as well as it could? Does it sound right next to the other words I’ve chosen?
As a novelist, I do the same thing, except that I have a bit more latitude, because my readers are kind enough to give me ample space to set my scene, introduce my characters, tell my story, and so forth. But sometimes, having all that leeway causes “bloviating,” as one television commentator calls it. I simply write too much and have to get rid of the excess. Sometimes that’s painful. Sometimes, for the sake of the story, I have to say goodbye to a bit of writing I love very much. My guess is, sometimes Lauren has to say the same goodbyes. With such a short form within which to share her vision, she can’t afford to have even one word that doesn’t work for her.
BOOK COVER FINAL 1.26.15

Our words must tell a story. Novelists like me have hundreds of pages in which to tell their story; poets like Lauren measure the length of their work in lines, not pages. Yet we must both serve the same master: the story.
I so admire the discipline that Lauren and other poets use to shape their work, that I thought I’d share a writing exercise that fiction writers sometimes use to fine tune their editing chops. The general term for it is “flash fiction” and those of you who like poetry might also follow flash fiction writers.
I subscribe to a writing blog written by Morgen E. Bailey (she’s a writer in the U.K.) https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/flash-fiction-fridays/ and she regularly publishes examples of very short fiction (less than 500 words) and better yet, six-word stories. That’s right. Six words. Even Lauren’s poetry has more than six words!

The key to this exercise is that your six words must tell a story.

“She had a new blue cell.” Is there a story there? Meh.

“The cell beeped and she screamed.” A story? Possibly. As readers, we wonder, why did she scream? Who was calling her that she should have such an extreme reaction? Is she in danger now? Yeah, but maybe she just wasn’t used to the sound and that’s all it was. Not much of a story after all.

“The cell’s silence lacerated her heart.” Not great, but best of the bunch, I think. We imagine something intense is going on with the woman; she’s experiencing a profound sadness because someone on the other end of that cell isn’t calling. There’s a story there. Both Lauren and I look for the story and try to tell it the best way we can.

We seek an emotional response. Okay, so the beeping cell that caused the woman to scream? Maybe it’s a story, maybe not. Let’s say it is. Are we emotionally invested? We might surmise the woman’s in danger, but do we really care enough about her at this point? I don’t (but maybe I’m cold and heartless!). In example three, however, the reader has a sharper sense of what’s going on. We don’t know the details, but we wonder. And we empathize. In short, we connect. Lauren strives for that response from the reader and so do I.
We strive to capture the imagination through imagery. In long form, this is a matter of style. Some writers take great pride in their descriptive ability; they love to use metaphor and simile to describe character, setting or emotion. Others feel their work is best served by keeping such word play to a minimum. I’m somewhere in the middle. Too much of “The willows undulated like dancers in a riverfront’s far flung chorus line” takes me away from the story; too little leaves me feeling like I’ve just eaten unbuttered toast. I strive to keep the right balance in my writing.
For poets like Lauren, however, capturing the reader’s attention through vivid imagery is their stock in trade. Since they work with so few words, they have to make virtually every word do some heavy lifting. Here’s an example from Lauren’s poem, “Pillow”:

It’s not the best night
for a mutual agreement
instead my stomach
entertains a live
basketball game
where thoughts dribble
and strategy is weak
You ask about the score?
It’s looking like a blowout,
not in my favor

©2015 Lauren Scott

I can perfectly picture what Lauren’s protagonist is going through, thanks to her basketball game metaphor. I too look for ways to bring the idea I want to get across through vivid images.

We want our readers to take something away from the experience. Let’s face it – most writers, even if their main goal is to entertain, consider it a bonus if their readers walk away with something – a thought, a feeling, a new way of looking at some aspect of life, a nugget they might remember and mull over after they’ve read the last line or the last page. Consciously or not, we interject theme into our work, that underlying takeaway. It’s our way of saying, “Hey, this is what I think or feel or wonder about this subject, and I’d like to share it with you.” Poets and writers of any form have this trait in common. It’s what keeps us tapping away.
Are you a poetry lover? Have you ever used that form to express yourself? What other similarities do you see with longer forms of writing? I’d love to hear from you.

P.S. Lauren’s books of poetry are available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, and Xlibris (links are below)

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Finding+a+Balance+Lauren+Scott
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/new-day-new-dreams-lauren-scott/1117050670?ean=9781483685687
http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-0140289049/New-Day-New-Dreams.aspx

(ALL proceeds will be donated to The Chris Klug Foundation to help spread the importance of becoming an organ donor; to offer second chances on life.)

“Finding a Balance” is available!

Dear Family and Friends,

My book, “Finding a Balance” is now available on my publisher’s site, Xlibris,
Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The links are below if you’d like to order a copy
and I want to thank you all in advance for your support to my writing, but most importantly, to the awareness of my daughter’s disease, PSC, and to becoming an organ donor.

More information is found on my prior blog post: http://lscotthoughts.com/2015/01/12/working-on-finding-a-balance/

BOOK COVER FINAL 1.26.15

http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000756814/Finding-a-Balance.aspx

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Finding+a+Balance+Lauren+Scott

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finding-a-balance-lauren-scott/1121084225?ean=9781503528000

ALL PROCEEDS WILL BE DONATED TO THE CHRIS KLUG FOUNDATION, which is dedicated to promoting lifesaving donation and improving the quality of life for donors, donor families, organ transplant candidates and recipients.

chris klug foundation(chrisklugfoundation.org)

Please also feel free to visit my Published Work Page
on the tab 
beneath my header.

Much love to You All! Lauren ♥

Working on “Finding a Balance”

Dear Friends,

I am embarking on a new adventure and this is an introduction. My second poetry book, “Finding a Balance” is almost ready for publication and it’s nice to not be such a novice the second time around. This book isn’t just about sharing more poems I have written. It’s not only about me. It holds a deeper meaning; the new adventure part. The proceeds will be donated to an organization for a purpose close to my heart and my family’s. I’ll begin, though, with a back story…

Part I:
After three years of abdominal pain and ongoing tests, on October 4, 2012, our daughter, Stephanie, was diagnosed with Primary Schlerosing Cholangitis (PSC). She was 21 years old. Her doctor was the head of the Gastroenterology department and was extremely competent. He didn’t beat around the bush. He told us this wasn’t good. Below is a brief description:

Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a very rare condition where the bile ducts inside and outside the liver become inflamed, leading to scarring, narrowing and blocked ducts, potentially causing a build-up of bile in the liver, and in some cases cirrhosis. Patients with PSC are at a high risk of developing liver cancer. Symptoms begin gradually with abdominal pain and itchiness and include worsening fatigue and, later, jaundice. Liver transplantation is the only cure for prolonged life. This is usually needed within 10 years of the diagnosis, but each patient’s case is different. 

I’ll try to keep the drama at bay, but I’m sure you can imagine our reaction. Our daughter doesn’t drink or do drugs so there is nothing she did to provoke this diagnosis, which is why it’s called an auto immune disease. This was a shock to our entire family. My husband and I had many emotional moments, wishing we could take her place. We were paralyzed of doing anything that didn’t need doing for the rest of that year, except for the necessity of living. We asked God why…why Steph? She has a heart of gold and is simply a nice, caring individual. Many have asked these same questions and there are still blanks waiting to be filled.

Since 2012, she has had symptom flare ups with several ER visits, but otherwise, on the outside, she’s beautiful and looks perfectly healthy. The doctor told her to live life to its fullest. That was his profound advice. She has a stellar attitude. She lives in the HERE AND NOW and there is no other option. She is due to graduate this year with a Bachelor’s Degree and has been busy with school, friends, her boyfriend and of course, family, with no time to sulk. She is human, though. She has broken down at times, but I think, as her parents, our score is higher.

So…I’m telling you this not for sympathy but to bring awareness to this horrible, slow progressing, life threatening disease and most importantly, the need for organ donors.  

Part II:

All proceeds from my book will go to The Chris Klug Foundation (www.chrisklugfoundation.org), also found on Facebook.
Chris (born November 18, 1972) is a professional alpine snowboarder. After receiving a liver transplant in 2000 to treat PSC, he went on to compete in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, winning a bronze medal in the Parallel Giant Slalom. This was the first and so far only time a transplantee had competed in the Olympics. He also won a bronze medal and lit the torch at the 2002 National Kidney Foundation U.S. Transplant Games. In 2004, Chris released a book called To the Edge and Back: My Story from Organ Transplant Survivor to Olympic Snowboarder. (Wonderful book of inspiration and hope)

chris klug foundation

Below is an overview and mission of his Foundation:

Founded in 2003 by liver transplant recipient and Olympic snowboarder Chris Klug, The Chris Klug Foundation is dedicated to promoting lifesaving donation and improving the quality of life for donors, donor families, organ transplant candidates and recipients.
CKF is passionate about sharing the message of donation, and educating people on the impact one person can have on the lives of so many others. Over one hundred and ten thousand people are currently on waiting lists for solid organ transplants across the U.S.A. CKF is devoted to making a difference to those waiting for a second chance. We are also there to help promote the message of organ donation.
Working with young people across the nation, CKF provides campaign materials and information for “Donor Dudes” chapters in high schools and college campuses. People everywhere are touched by organ donation and transplants, and we want to get the message to everyone.

The publication for my book will be at the end of this month or beginning of February. I’ll do a separate post when it’s available and again, I’m very excited for this new collection to have a greater, deeper purpose.
Our life now is about “Finding a Balance” between PSC and all the good things!

Someday Stephanie will need a liver transplant so becoming an organ donor is an unselfish way of giving another soul a second chance. 

Thanks so much for reading and I wish you all Happiness and Good Health!
If you’re so inclined, prayers and positive thoughts
for Stephanie will be greatly appreciated.

Lauren
♥ ♥ ♥