It’s #RIAuthor Month – Meet Pat Mitchell

Thanks to Martha Reynolds once again for featuring me on her blog. A Girl from the Hill is one of the hundreds of books that will be available at the Association of Rhode Island Auhors (ARIA) annual expo at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet this coming Saturday, December 2nd, 10am to 5 pm. Come visit- books make great gifts!

Martha Reynolds Writes

Pat Mitchell photoThe Girl, with her fiance, in 1946

A Girl from the Hill is a tribute to my mother, who grew up on Federal Hill during the Great Depression. The collection of essays depicts her life of as one of laughter and love, as well as its share of suffering and sorrow.

Providence’s Federal Hill neighborhood was, and still is, Rhode Island’s “Little Italy.” Thousands of Italian immigrants, including my grandparents, came to Rhode Island at the turn of the 20th century to begin new, better lives. They struggled to assimilate into American culture, and my mother’s parents, Giovanni and Maria, tried their best to become John and Mary. My mom, their youngest of eight children, was full of joy, and enjoyed much of her childhood despite her mother’s struggle with diabetes.

I began the book merely as a simple exercise, to see if I could actually write a book…

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The Tortoise Steps Forward

turtle-177661_960_720First post of 2017, and 2017 is nearly more than a quarter gone. Geez. Where have I been?

Book two is coming along slowly, a little too slowly for my liking, but I try each day to make progress, even if it’s just thinking about my story, my characters, the little world I am creating. I miss them when I’m away from them too long.

I find myself in a constant struggle to organize my time to suit my priorities. I have a day job, a husband, a sixteen year old, two aging parents and house and a beagle that all need some level of attention from me on a daily basis. Not to mention all of my friends whom I wish I could see more of, or my own body and spirit, that are not getting the best care I can give at all. I overwhelm myself with the intensity that I want to put behind each aspect of my life, and usually end up getting much less accomplished than I feel acceptable.

And while I continually feel angst that I’m missing something wonderful every day that I don’t spend writing, I observe my author friends and acquaintances moving on with their writing careers which causes me, on bad days, to feel left out. Almost jealous, that they have made writing their priority versus all the other things that complicate life. They labor and bear the fruit while I get angry at myself for being afraid to take the leap and re-prioritize my own life, fearing that I’ll lose some artificial sense of security.

I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. I also know that I can be a bit impatient at times. Most times. And a tad impulsive. I realize that life, over time, becomes a balancing act, a waiting game, and comes down to discernment between what can move you forward and what can bring you down. I don’t feel really great about my ability to follow this mindset, though, and do all that “make the journey into the destination” stuff. I’m always TRYING to do something – trying to write my book, trying to get healthy, trying to lose weight, trying to organize my house, trying to meet my work deadlines before they’re due.

My new practice: taking small steps, every day, no matter how microscopic, in the direction I’d like to travel, instead of planning giant leaps to immediate success (or failure).

That’s all I wanted to say really, and in doing so I have taken a tiny step. Please feel free to share your experiences, cheer me on, or tell me about a better way. I’m going to stop trying to put out infernos and just keep going, slow, but steady.

Nov 20 – Meet Rhode Island Author Rachael I McIntosh

Rachael McIntosh is one of over 100 Rhode Island authors appearing at the 3rd Annual ARIA Author’s Expo on December 5th.  Her Security through Absurdity trilogy will be available, and just reading her bio on Martha Reynolds Writes tells me that her style is crisp, clear and a wild ride.  Take a look:

Martha Reynolds Writes

Nov 19 – Meet Rhode Island Author Elda Dawber

Hope everyone is hanging on for the ride through a whole week full of Rhode Island Authors in one day (night).  For me it’s a great way to distract myself from the Sunday Night anxiety many of us face when the work week moves upon us.

Elda Dawber’s  award winning book “Wait Til I’m Dead!” is definitely worth reading, so be be sure to check her out at the ARIA Author Expo too- Lincoln Mall on Saturday December 5th.

Martha Reynolds Writes

Nov 10 – Meet Rhode Island Author Steve Porter

Yesterday, in my haste to make sure I was keeping up with the “Meet Rhode Island Author” daily blog tour, I made a huge mistake.  I reposted this introduction to Steve Porter off of another site and did not take the time to read it.  What a dope.

I never post other people’s words without reading them first.  But I knew my day would be lost to my day job well into the early evening.  I panicked.

This ARIA Book Expo blog tour has helped me understand who my Association of Rhode Island Authors colleagues truly are outside of what I normally see.  More than people I attend meetings with, coordinate events with, and share FB posts with.  This introductions have help me learn something special about each person, that sliver of pure creative spirit  each one possesses and shares with their readers.  Steve Porter, founder of ARIA, is indeed one of those talented souls.

So my apologies for not reading Steve Porters post first.  I have since taken a little time (one more reason to give thanks on Veterans Day is no 9-5 work) and read about the man who really makes ARIA happen.  Other than meeting minutes and emails, I have never had the opportunity to see Steve’s work from a creative perspective.  So this little slice, this peek into who he is as an author has affected me as a writer and a reader.  I hope you will take some time to read about the President of ARIA who often puts his own goals on hold to keep the momentum of the organization soaring.

Nov 10 – Meet RI Author Steve Porter

Thinking About Nothing is Everything

lotusI just completed a much needed and very inspirational phone call with my book coach.  Hopefully she will not read this and see that already I am procrastinating about my next assignment.  But I needed to express this, for myself and anyone else who can hear me.  Thinking about Nothing is the most important thing I do each day.  You may call it meditation, prayer, getting in touch with my inner self.  All those labels apply to that time that is just mine, to let go and let life pass through the space between my ears.  But lately, I haven’t been doing nearly enough Nothing, and it shows.

I’ve been very tense about everything these past few weeks:  my daughter starting high school, which means soon she’ll be having all the experiences and adventures of a teenager and will come of age.  Exciting and scary at the same time. And work, the day job, has been frantic. Lots of changes, some significant, some silly, like the fact that I’ve had my cube location moved three times in the past three weeks.  I’m settling in, and it seems silly, but I began to feel like a transient, fun at first, but eventually frustrating and without stability.  And my body keeps me guessing by the moment – hot flashes, muffin tops and excess facial hair all scrambled up in a soup of chaos.  I feel like Linda Blair in The Exorcist these days, with no control over my body temperature or disposition.  Just a puddle of cold, then hot, pea soup.

So the book, my new book that I’ve been working on these past two years was really coming along and then the work, the flow all halted, abruptly and with no warning.  I was Trying to Get the Feelin Again like the best Barry Manilow fan, but nothing.  Flat.

Even as I’ve attempted sleep at night (or early morning, thank you menopause), all I can hear is voices, loud ones yelling and trying to get their pointless points across to me as I lay there covered in sweat and unable to rest.  I have no idea what they are even talking about.

Now I know what’s been missing.  The fuel that energizes me and in spires me to live from moment to moment, savoring each breath without judgment or drama.  Well, maybe a little drama for the sake of telling my story. Continue reading

Join Me Tomorrow at Symposium Books

Stop into Symposium Books this Saturday from 1 to 3 PM for a spot of tea, a little trivia and some nice conversation with me and three other women authors from Rhode Island about our books, writing, publishing and being an woman author in this wacky little state. Hope to see you locals.

Symposium Books is located at 240 Westminster Street in Providence.

Phaidon Press

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