Author photos taken by Robert Abrams in Paris, France.

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY - Rebecca Buckley's Blog
Hello, I'm Rebecca Buckley, and I write books! Welcome to my blog. Here I'll talk about almost anything. Depends on the mood of the day. I'll also talk about publishing, writing techniques, and editing ... subjects close to my heart. And I invite you writers to include my blog on your book blog tours, it's my pleasure. So today, anytime you feel like it, feel free to jump in ... click on the COMMENTS link at the end of a post and give your opinion. If you sign in "anonymous" to comment, it's easier, just be sure you say who you are in the content of your comment.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

HOW TO KEEP YOUR SANITY - Reaction to Cruelty - Part One

How many times do you work yourself into a tizzy because of what you consider cruel, thoughtless treatment to you by others? I'm not talking about physical or sexual abuse here. I'm talking about unkind, deliberate words or actions to demean and hurt your senses. Well, do you know that you can diminish and eliminate the hurt you feel and your reaction to it?

First of all, sit back (or stand back if that's what you're doing at the time) and just observe your reaction. The proverbial slap in the face, the breath taken away, the quickened heartbeat, nausea, the impulse to strike back ... and so on.  Don't resist or attempt to change that reaction. No physical action necessary, however. Calmly and quietly watch the reaction come and go.

I am doing that right this moment as we speak because of discovering a hurtful situation a few moments ago. Okay, I'm observing my reaction.

We are not to call the perpetrating thoughts our own thoughts, because they aren't. They belong to the one or ones who generated the injury to your feelings.  Those original words, deeds, or thoughts don't have any power whatsoever, they are just trying to enforce power over you.

So, number one, be aware of your reaction and then watch it come and go, for it will go, it will.  Takes practice.

This had been very useful to me and most certainly builds inner strength. It gives you the ability to take command and full responsibility for your reactions to whatever is said to, against, or happens to you.   Whatever slight and hurt you feel, whether it comes from family or friends or coworkers or strangers ... you are in control of what you do with your reaction. So, be calm, let it dissipate, whatever it is. Realize that it isn't part of you. Your reaction and action is you, yes, but that you can control ... you can watch it come in one window and go out the other.  And if it revisits, watch it again ... in one window out the other.

I'm working on it right now.  lol lol  It's doing its job ... I'm smiling.

I have a wonderful book that I refer to for help with many life situations and spiritual thinking ... THE POWER OF YOUR SUPERMIND.  I've given copies to many of my friends over the years. It really is my Bible.  And the above teaching is from that book.

We're asked, "What commands you?" And the book says "You are commanded by anything above your own psychic level."  That's why a person on a lower psychic level (look up psychic levels) has trouble and problems with both self and other people. Conflicts are above him, out of reach of handling ... he joins them, creates them, is in the throes of them, wreaking havoc in the lives around him.

We're also asked and are told, "What can you command? You are in command of everything that is below your own psychic level. If you are above cruelty in yourself, you cannot be commanded by the cruelty of others."

WOW!  Isn't that terrific?

"If your level is higher than hysteria, you are immune to the mass hysteria of mankind, expressing itself in fighting and deceit."

I mean to tell you, think about this.  Where do you see yourself?

AND if you practice the steps above ... sit back and watch it come and go ... "your mind can control everything in your life because of its supreme power to react correctly to everything."

Okay, I feel better already.  At least when it comes to my reaction.

 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

SUMMERTIME IN THE BOONDOCKS!

Yep, summertime is upon us in the 'sticks' of Arizona ... hey! I can call it that if I want for that's what it is to me.  Boondocks, sticks, desolate hell, the tules (a California term), the boonies ... and other such descriptions of places like San Tan Valley AZ.  Although boondocks also describes a mountainous area by the Filipino race, and I wish it were in my case, I love the mountains, forests, streams ... log cabins, yes!!!  Oh yes!!!

Then to add to the grief of being so isolated, the summers are unbearable here in AZ!  Up to 117 in July, sometimes higher.  It is not a place you want to be in the summer, especially if you're a cool weather person like me and would rather have daily rain than daily sun.

So why don't I move?

Well, first of all, I have created a beautiful cocoon for myself and my babies - Princie, Albee, and Oreo.  A lot of my time and $$$ have been expended.  My backyard is completely enveloped by trees that have been trimmed to form a canopy over the entire space, mostly shade back there now ... it's taken six years to do that. I've planted all kinds of flowers, roses, bougainvilleas, and many other flowering plants and shrubberies that surround a very small lawn area including a fire-pit (winter) and lawn chairs.  There are two iron bench niches under the trees, too, and an umbrella covered table with two stools out under the tallest tree, as well as other seating and table/chairs inside my covered patio. It all makes for an outdoor living space, an extended living room so to speak. You aren't going to believe this, but there is seating for 16 in my back garden without adding more chairs ... spread out under the foliage and in the covered patio.  I know, that's quite a bit for the small space it is, I know. But I don't care, I love creating my vignettes outside just like I do the ones inside.  (Per square footage, I probably have more seating area inside my home than most other people do in a house this size - approx 2200 sq ft.  I love that too.)

So I work in the garden, front and back, every morning.  The front garden is overgrown too - one tree covers it all giving it plenty of shade.

Indoors of course is my little palace holding my collections and eclectic furnishings - lace and satin, brocade and silk fabric.  A woman's house, not a man's house.  

The reason I don't move is because if I sold this house I would not realize enough profit to purchase another home that would equal this or go one better.  Just doesn't compute.

So, I'm stuck!  But you know, most of the time I don't look at it that way.  Like I said, I love my garden and I love my home.  It 's just the damn surrounding desert I don't care for ... and being way out here in the boonies, having to drive 40 minutes to an hour to a town -- a real town with shops, cafes, music, antique stores, etc.  

But on the flip-side, there is a plus of being isolated for it forces me to get things done that I need to do ... like writing, editing, publishing and doing the support work that makes it all pay ... rather than being out-and-about, playing.    

But it's so damn hot!!!!  It's summertime in the boondocks, guys!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

I HATE BEING FAT - Part 7

CHAPTER SEVEN
FAST FORWARD

One hundred sixty five pounds!!!!!!  Yes, I got down to 165 by eliminating all dairy (including cheese) and sugar, and no bread – decided against gluten-free, why have bread at all?
I had a Magic Bullet drink of three veggies and three fruits every morning, a salad with protein at noon, veggies with protein for dinner, occasional glass of red wine before bed. And I stuck with it and was doing fine, lost twelve more pounds!
Then my oldest son had a fatal heart attack, he was 52 years old. Of course my system went into a tail-spin, no rhyme or reason for what I ate or drank after that.  No thoughts at all on eating correctly or weight loss crossed my mind. It just didn’t matter, unimportant for weeks.  So I gained five pounds back of the fifteen I lost.  But I’m at 170 now, still better than I was at 180, so there is something to be grateful for, right?  You’re damn right there is. Life keeps rolling on, regardless.

So, I’ve had my Magic Bullet drink this morning, this makes two servings:

1 beet
1 banana
1 green apple
1 handful of kale
½ big carrot
1 handful frozen blueberries
Water

TODAY, three months after my son died, I vow to diligently begin the loss of the remaining 30 pounds I need to lose.

Last night I watched an HBO docu-series about obesity in America. There are four segments, I watched the first two and learned some startling facts, enough to get me thinking again.
And if for no other reason and a reminder, in memory of my son, it is up to me to make sure a heart attack doesn’t take me too, neither a stroke.  Especially if it can be avoided by what I eat and drink and by doing exercise.

Count me in, not out!  

Just a footnote:  In addition to the basic daily plan above, I might also have another portion of the drink later in the day, as long as it's on an empty stomach, not within 2 hours after a meal.   And I will drink teas as more antioxidants, coffee as stimulants (keeps my brain working) and I will eat all the veggies I want, par-cooked or raw.  It worked before, and I'll do it again this time. 

I see some good things on the horizon for me, I really do ... stay tuned!  





Thursday, April 24, 2014

HOW DO YOU WRITE A NOVEL THAT SELLS?

That's a very good question.  I doubt that it can be answered in a way that will make anybody a best-selling author right off the bat. There's more to it than meets the eye, or eyes as is the case.

Oh, there are many books out there on the subject that give tips on writing a bestseller ... do an Internet search and you'll see what I'm talking about.  I have quite a few of those books myself, and I do read them and I do absorb them.  I even apply some of the tips to my own writing.

But as I've said before and I'll say it again, first off, you must be a reader, you must be an avid reader to even begin to write a novel. You must learn how to write smoothly and succinctly and the best way to do that is by reading successful writers in the genre of your choice.  You'll learn the rhythm and the pattern of using short and long sentences, how dialogue is written.  You'll learn when an author uses too much description or not enough to make your readers feel, hear, see, and smell what's on the written page. Pay attention, it's all there for you to grasp when you read other authors. Read authors who aren't quite as accomplished, too.  You'll notice the difference in the writing. So yes, the best way to learn to write is to read.

The second best is attending writers conference workshops, writing classes in your community colleges, online classes, all of it adds to what you're going to need in your writer's toolbox.   Reading how-to books, grammar books, punctuation books ... there are some really interesting ones out there that make it not so text-bookish, you might even enjoy the challenge.  I dreaded my English and writing classes in high school, I didn't like them at all. So boring to me they were, and I only skimmed the books just enough to write the assigned book reports. I was a terrible English student. But now, I'm over the top about it, about reading and writing. I'm captive of English grammar, punctuation, spelling, and so forth. It's become my life as a matter of fact.  Amazing that it's turned out this way.

So ... while you're doing all this study and self-educating, start writing your novel.  Don't wait. You don't have to have it all laid out, or outlined, or perfect, just start writing.  You do need to know who your main character is, however, and what his/her backstory is: parents, upbringing, beliefs, personality type, dreams ... you might even write your main character's bio on a couple sheets of paper to have handy as you write, to keep you on track as your character weaves through the plot. That's what I do, as well as a list of the other characters as they appear and are developed.

But how do you know that what you're going to write will sell?  You don't, unless you're Nora Roberts or Tom Clancy or Ken Follett and the list goes on.  How do you write a novel that sells?

Well, you don't want to be a copy-cat, but you know whose stories you like the best and if you say you want to write like that particular author, terrific! You've found your genre. Write the genre you love to read. If you've read enough of your favorite author's books it will automatically rub off on you and become second nature as you write.  The patterns of speech, the rhythm, etc. So that's good.  And if you read several authors, you will have a combination from each of them in your head. But you need to cultivate your own voice, your own stories now. That will come, the more you write.

In classes and how-to reference books you're taught the tricks of the trade, how to hone your story, create your characters and plots, all to help make your first novel a page-turner and one that everybody will want to read.  Next comes the publisher.

After you hire a professional editor to help you polish your work, you can either go the route of self-publishing or submit to an agent who will pitch it to a publisher.

So, if you've done your homework and your characters and plot bring something new and interesting to the mix, if you have writing talent and you know you've done your best, and your manuscript is polished and professional ... that's all you can do at that point. You've done your job for now. The agent and publisher will take it from there, they will decide if they want to take a chance on it, and whether or not it will sell.

So in the meantime, start writing your next novel. Whatever happens, keep writing.

AND ... keep reading.

Good luck in selling your first novel!