Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Go with Grace

On December 19, 2014, my father, Art Magill, passed away.  I lost my confidante, my advisor, one of my biggest supporters and someone I admired very much. You may be wondering what that has to do with Vancouver history and I'll tell you. Dad was born here, at Grace Hospital.

In January of 1927, the cornerstone of the future Grace Hospital was laid. On October 2, 1927, the hospital was officially opened. It had 50 beds and bassinets.

In 1943, Grace Hospital delivered over a thousand children. 1,117 in total.

The first set of triplets was born at Grace Hospital in 1957 and three years later, the hospital reached 50,000 births. During its fiftieth anniversary in 1977, Grace Hospital reached 100,000 births.

On April 2, 1982, Grace Hospital became the first hospital in Canada to have midwives offering care.
In 1987, the hospital established itself as the busiest maternity hospital in Canada with 8,235 births.
The Grace Hospital Foundation was formed in 1989.

Health Minister Elizabeth Cull, Premier Mike Harcourt, and Mayor Gordon Campbell opened the "Centre for Prenatal Diagnosis and Treatment" at Grace Hospital in 1992. This centre became a one stop service for prenatal care.

In April of that year, the Women's Health Care Centre was opened as part of the University hospital - Shaughnessy Site.

In April of 1993, the NeoNatal Care Nursery opened. It provided incubator/bassinet space for 10 premature, underweight and/or infected babies. This service was used by more than 1,100 babies a year.

The University - Shaughnessy Site closure was announced in February of 1993. Grace Hospital continued though, reaching 200,000 births on August 27.

In February of 1994, the Salvation Army handed over responsibility of the hospital to the B.C. government. Now it is known at the BC Women's Hospital and Health Centre.

There is more milestones the hospital achieved, and is still achieving, but it is no longer Grace Hospital and that's what I was writing on today.

My father was born on Good Friday. My grandmother said she woke in the hospital with the sun shining and the birds singing. She thought she had died and gone to heaven! Then she saw my father and not long after that, World War II broke out. Okay, I always added the last sentence not her but it sounds good. LOL

Dad will be missed not only by me but by all those whose lives he touched. He had a good heart and was always willing to help others. There were times his generosity was taken advantage of but that didn't stop him from reaching out to the next person in need.

He taught us - my two brothers and me - to be strong. To face life's challenges with humour and determination. I know he was proud of me following my dreams after multiple sclerosis took me out of the workforce and he enjoyed reading my books. He was supportive in everything I tried to do. And when my plans didn't work out as planned, he encouraged me to pick myself up, dust myself off and try again.

During the last few years when he was in ill health, my dad kept his sense of humour and flirted with the ladies. (He was Irish, you know!)  Dad brightened the atmosphere of any hospital room he was in as well as the old age home where he spent his last few months.   Although I miss him, I am happy he is now out of the pain he has been in for years and that he has discovered what comes after this existence. Daddy, you will always be an important part of me. I love you.

Karen Magill 
If you aren't six feet under, then you are on the right side and anything is possible.
Twitter: @KarenMagill  

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Why I Write Sex Scenes

My passion for romance novels run deep.
I love to read romance stories with sex scenes that are woven nicely within the plot and played out perfectly by the characters. In the same way, I enjoy writing sex scenes that are real and deepen the relationship between the characters. Writing sex scenes lights a fire in me and gives me a satisfying buzz.
In practical terms, the aim is to write sex scenes that help real life couples learn a thing or two on how to please their partners. Over the years, I have benefited immensely from reading romance novels with various heat levels.
However, it is more important to build an irresistible emotional tension and toe-curling romance between the characters and to develop a gripping plot for the sex scenes to give the added oomph!
Out of my eight published romance books, Stolen Valentine Kiss (Holiday Series #1) is the only title that has no explicit sex scene, but it is rich in clean romantic scenes with captivating emotional tension.
Do you really want me to answer honestly? Lol!
The sex scenes in my romance novels come from various sources. From reading tons of romance novels to getting first-hand experience from the most loving man I have ever known. The one to whom my heart belongs for a lifetime.
More seriously, writing sex scenes is the most challenging aspect for me. To get the scenes smoking hot, I have to get into the characters head, heart and understand their attitude, personality, disposition, sexual tendencies and the specific situation. Once the atmosphere is fully tense, piping the plot with the appropriate heat level comes easy.
There are some sex scenes I have written that were purely instinctive. In other words, there are no hard or fast rules. The characters, plot, setting, heat level and so on, all drive a great romance story.
Thank you for having me, Siggy. It has been a pleasure to share my thoughts on writing sex scenes with you.

Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku

Flirty & Feisty Romance 

Our to deliver an intensely emotional experience you'll never forget.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Welcome to the world of Social Media ;-)

Marketing a book feels like an endless journey. There is never enough hours in the day to fulfill everything you have wanted to accomplish. Now I know why its called Social Media. Its pretty much as social as you can get without changing out of your bath robe. All the hours of reading about authors books, their cats, dogs, favorite foods and so on. I mean it is endless! I barely have time to brush my teeth. My day seems to go by in a fury as if I am in some sort of a race but the only race is one with the clock. Not sure where the times goes? How does anyone even have time to take a bath let alone write a manuscript? How can we have the next best-seller when we are all so busy whittling away the hours enjoying a little conversation.

Dont get me wrong. I love the interaction, the sharing of stories and the knowledge. There is a wealth of information out there in the World Wide Web. Well, at least sometimes there is. One thing I know for sure is I will never be lonely at home by myself again!!! Facebook has solved that fundamental problem.

I used to find pure satisfaction in sitting down, pen to paper, writing for hours at a time. My mind was a buzz and I wrote without a care in the world. I never felt rushed or hassled like I do now. I didnt have to consider how many messages I was missing or how many notifications I was receiving. I simply wrote for the pleasure of it. There is nothing better than the feeling when you are writing something and the puzzle pieces come together. It is instant gratification even if it didnt happen in an instant. When the writing is going well, it feels as if I am floating above my body as my imagination and recollection come together. These days I dont seem to have the luxury to spend hours on end writing. I am far too distracted and frankly too darn busy!

Now to learn how to balance my time better. For a start I have had to learn to use the word no more often. That is not always an easy thing to do. It feels so good to help support someone that is doing the same thing you are. It can be so rewarding but at the same time can be all consuming. There needs to be boundaries, I have discovered. That is if I want to have a life outside of all this self-promotion thing. I have friends and family outside of the computer and my books. Sometimes I do forget that but that is my New Years resolution. Take more time out for the people that matter the most. Myself included.

Rome wasnt built in a day and I am constantly struggling to find this balance. For me I have to make a conscious decision to make these changes I need to give myself a calendar and break it all down. How much time do I spend marketing (playing) and how much time writing. It needs to be done and I know it is possible. Are you with me in following a time calendar? Can we stick to it? I do know if we set our minds to it, anything is possible. So why dont we give it a try and see how it goes.  Break out the licorice and lets start writing again. :-) 


Sunday, January 18, 2015

PSYCHIC REALITIES: Writers and their Minds

Oh my God! I desperately wanted to finish that story. Look! I just abandoned it. I had been working on it for the past one month. It’d been six weeks since I hadn’t touched it. Would I be able to resume it? How could I do justice to the story, now, after such a long time of discontinuation? I did have some notes made from the times, while I worked on the stuff. I do not think those notes are of any help, anymore, though. 

It is clear to me how vague the classification of writers would be if I categorized them based on such feelings as above. A writer, at almost all stages of his or her growth feels this way. Most of those super-successful writers may not experience it the same way, because they have the ability to pursue writing without bothering much about another day-job, but apparently have other issues that affect them the same way.

If writing gives a person immense pleasure or joy, and the person is forced to work in a bakery in order to make a living, the resulting conflict could damage the mental equilibrium of that person. Those person(s) who have no aptitude for working in a bakery, when forced to compromise their psychological ecosystem with the sophistication of an altogether different system of things, creative writing suffers. This is when one feels; “Oh my God! I desperately wanted to finish that story. Look! I have abandoned it.”

The fear for being not able to do justice to one’s work of a lifetime deserves wise handling. If not, it will consume the writer, wholly. The totality of all fears has their common grounding in the unknown. In the case of the above-mentioned writer (let us call him Paul), the unknown part is the quality of his work. Paul does not know and fears this fact: how would it all turn out to be. How could I do justice to the story now, after such a long time of discontinuation?

In order to undo the fear of the unknown, the simplest method can be the Jungian concept of assimilation of psychic realities. Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) was a German psychoanalyst, whose groundbreaking theories on human mind, guided the world into a modern-renaissance. He argues about a specific course of action through which a human being can bring out the contents of his unconscious and experience it in the conscious level in order to alleviate the pressure from the unconscious side.

This same method is useful in undoing the fear for the unknown in Paul’s case. If Paul is uncertain of the results his work could bring him after a considerable gap in the process of writing, he should first, look at the results. There is only one way he can get the result—by completing the work. Paul just needs some gut feeling to cross the initial fear.  
Image Courtesy:

If one is stuck with the fear of how the work would turn out to be, the possibility of writing a book or a story is obliterated entirely. It is up to you to take that step courageously. Your work deserves to be born, simply because you have such strong feeling for it. Let your fears not obligate the stopping of your creative work.

If you liked this article, you might like my book too. Take a look.

You can catch up with him in Facebook too.      

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Un artiste complet...

Mixed Media Digital Art

mixed media digital art Since October 2013 I bring a compact camera on my daily walks in the surroundings. These first snapshots I re-work, and finally edit them digitally in several Adobe programs like Photoshop, Illustrator and/or After Effects, until I reach the effect that I want. It is always a work of hours, sometimes days to get the high quality formats. These images I sell in high quality prints, and in a numbered edition, signed, numbered and dated by me, for as little as 125 Euros.

Already since the eighties I'm interested in digital art; worked with all kinds of computers and environments, but it is with the further development of technique that this art evolves into lively and impressing images, which are not only stand-alones, but become more and more moving targets with an own language and imaging construction.

I also wrote a book:

Release "Wanderbach" in English

This is the story of Tork, an adventurer who travels around the world with his two dogs. By coincidence, he finds the village Wanderbach, a strange place inhabited by Nymphs who convince him to descend to Under Earth, the place where the Gods are, for a quest to end the growing problems on this world. During this fantastic journey, Tork finds out the real cause of all the trouble. The Gods were fighting amongst each other. After a lot of trouble, Tork finally finds and addresses the Gods. In the end, it leads to the destruction of the pantheon.
About Me
As an artist I had my first exhibition in 1980. I have lived in the Netherlands, Belgium and the US. In 1986 I moved to Amsterdam, got involved in organizations and committees, and, maybe even more important, it was the beginning of the internet and its possibilities. A new horizon opened up; the digital freeway. In this period, my writing became more successful, with publications in prominent anthologies and magazines. After a study of Internet Developer Expert in Antwerp, I moved to Spain until the crisis forced me to return to the Netherlands where I now live in Maastricht.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Dance of Truth…

Meet Bertha
Bertha is Jane Carroll’s voice of inner wisdom. She takes on a zany personification in Jane’s writing, standing on her soapbox wearing spandex and high-heels…telling it like it can be.

Dance of Truth...
She…says…there’s always another truth…to find…to own…to live…and the more I live my truth…the more truths I will discover…she also promises we will be discovering many truths this coming year…
So…today…Bertha…is whisper-shouting to me…that…I don’t have to listen to what they say…
She reminds me that…everyone…has an opinion about what and how I should do things…and that while I actually will listen to them…that…I don’t have to accept their opinion as my truth…I don’t have to become their puppet…and allow them to pull the strings for my dance…
Instead…she tells me it’s okay to weigh their opinion against my truth… accept what resonates with me…and…dance my own dance…
How do you handle the opinions of others?"

Jane Carroll, Life Coach, assists women in finding, owning, and living their truth. She is the bestselling author of Bertha-Size Your Life!, Becoming Bertha, and Where the Joys Are: Bertha's Guided Journal. Jane divides her time between coaching, writing, blogging, and working as a school nurse with a little social media thrown in for entertainment.

Amazon Author