New York memories

Happy Friday.

I haven’t been out to shoot, so I thought I’d revisit some old photos. I have been thinking about New York a lot…maybe because it’s been a year since we were last there.  With a feeling of nostalgia as I went through the photos, I found myself skipping over all the shots of buildings and selecting these images to play around with. They evoke good memories of the feelings of New York. I hope you enjoy this bit of New York flavor.

SONY DSC
Carousel “Granny’s Folly”
clipped-moment-grand-central
Grand Central Market
mount-vernon-hotel
Mount Vernon Hotel
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Mural
subway-mural
Subway Mural

Have a nice weekend!

Waiting for a contract for my new novel…and New York life

It has been very convenient not to have a contract in September because I’ve been vacationing like mad.

I have some scenery shots from the New York portion of my September vacation, plus some photos of New Yorkers living their lives. You can see that despite the stresses of the city and the crowding, that people here live normally, exercising, walking their dogs, playing with their children, and going grocery shopping. I didn’t take photos of all of these activities, but I’ve seen them. The parks are what make the city livable for people. Because I grew up in the mountains, I didn’t appreciate the value of parks until I came to New York City.

Exercising at Riverside Park
Exercising at Riverside Park
Exercising at Riverside Park
Exercising at Riverside Park
Exercising at Riverside Park
Jogging on a pier in Riverside Park

Even while on vacation, I’ve been checking email 10 times a day, hoping for one from my publisher saying they’d like to offer me a contract for Third Strike’s the Charm. So far, nothing.

I did get up early to take photos at Riverside Park. The rewards for crawling out of bed so early were there, and I have to ask myself why I’m not doing the same for writing. I have to think about that. I bet I could get some good creative thoughts first thing in the morning (and then go back to bed for a nap later.)

Heading to work
Morning by Riverside Park
Old railway ties with New Jersey in the backgroun
Old railway ties with New Jersey in the backgroun

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Early morning on the Hudson River
Early morning on the Hudson River
Early morning on the Hudson River
Early morning view from Riverside Park
Riverside Park
Riverside Park

In the middle of the day, I could do your standard kind of work, the editing, research, promo, and networking, just like I took an amble through Central Park and snapped a few good travel shots.

The Bow Bridge, Central Park
The Bow Bridge, Central Park
View from Central Park
View from Central Park

Around lunch I could enjoy some time with friends like this man with his best friend.

Walking with your bestie in Central Park
Walking with your bestie in Central Park

In the afternoon it’s important to have some refreshments,

Having some refreshments
Having something to drink

Finally, evenings after dinner can be left for:

John Lennon memorial in Central Park
John Lennon memorial in Central Park

For the rest of today, I’m going to imagine receiving the email that says something like, Dear Nicci Carrera, The Wild Rose Press would like to offer you a contract for THIRD STRIKE’S THE CHARM.

What dream of yours are you imagining into reality?

Robyn Carr Virgin River book review and photos of New York City

Yesterday was hard work in some ways, with a lot of walking and emotions ranging from fun to sobering to sad. New York provided extraordinary weather for being a photographer and tourist: cool with a pretty sky.

Even after all the touring, which started at sunrise at the Flatiron Building and ended after 10:00 p.m. on top of the Empire State Building, I finished reading Virgin River by Robyn Carr. The last 50 or so pages were so riveting that despite being tired, I had to press on and read to the end. The Virgin River series is small-town contemporary romance, which is the direction I might be heading with my romance writing. I say “might” because I have some romantic suspense stories planned as well. I’ll probably write both sub-genres. Anyway, I’m so glad that my Goodreads group started reading this series. I’d picked up a couple books from later in the series but they didn’t captivate me. Now that I’ve ready the first one, I know to just push through the first few chapters, and I will be rewarded. I loved the contemporary and realistic elements and was moved and riveted several times throughout the book. I ended up giving it 5 stars, highly recommended.

The reading group is a great thing because many of the long-term members had read the book and their encouragement to keep going made the difference for me. Now I have a great new (to me) author and series to enjoy and another good example to follow.

Here are my favorite photos from sight seeing on Monday.

Old Ferry Building, New York City
Old Ferry Building
Statue of Liberty, New York City
Statue of Liberty
View from Staten Island Ferry, New York City
View from Staten Island Ferry
The old Ferry Building, Detail, New York City
The old Ferry Building, Detail
New York City Architecture
New York City Architecture
New York City Architecture
New York City Architecture
New York City Architecture
New York City Architecture

Here are some other photos of my day in New York City in a gallery for you. The World Trade Center and the memorials are absolutely gorgeous. I was very impressed by and proud of the people who came up with the design and implemented it. I’m glad I went, although it’s a very hard thing to stand there and remember, to absorb. It feels good to have paid my respects.  Taking photos at the September 11 memorial is very easy because the site is beautiful from every angle. I won’t say much more because I’m starting to tear up. I really have no words, but am happy to share a few images in the gallery. The other photos are a smattering of images I enjoyed and hope you do too.

Artistic choices

With writing, I receive a lot of help from my critique partners. Not only do they tell me what’s not working about a book, but they suggest how I might fix it. They also tell me what is working, so that I am careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Then I receive more help from my editor because I am lucky enough to have one! Good editing is key.

There are so many elements of writing craft: understanding and showing the characters’ goal, motivation (why they have the goal and why they think and act the way they do), and conflict (what stands between them and achieving their goal, both internal and external obstacles). Then there’s character arc (how they change and develop), and story structure, which has its own set of elements. Setting, dialog tags versus character movement, point of view, deep point of view, and so on. I think any writer who has been a member of Romance Writers of America for a while could jump on any of these when critiquing a writer’s work. With all those elements, many things can go wrong, but assuming you have those things right, well then it comes down to artistic choices among multiple right choices. Even at the sentence level, there are multiple ways of saying the same thing. One writer is going to choose to arrange a sentence one way and another will choose another way.

For me, getting to the artistic-choice stage is incredibly rewarding and exhilarating. Getting to choose is worth all the work and frustration involved in learning to write and in producing books.

I went out with a group of four photographers yesterday in New York City, all of them professional. I have been learning all kinds of technical tricks with my camera and some artistic suggestions, but ultimately the choices I make are my own. When I get home and look at my photos, which ones do I like? How do I want to develop them? I wouldn’t say I’m anywhere near mastering the craft, so some things are “wrong,” but each of us who posts photos is making choices, and even for amateurs, that is fun and interesting.

Some of the images below are not perfect, I know that, but I still like them. That’s what I find interesting–why did I choose these images?

The first one reminds me of the famous painting Nighthawks by Edward Hopper. My photo is not very much like that painting, but for some reason, the scene reminded me of it. Our brains are so individual–we are reminded of or pleased by different things. I like the people sitting inside plus I like the colors, textures, lines, curves and that the scene looks three dimensional. This is my favorite photo in today’s group.

The Oyster Bar at Grand Central
Grand Central Station
An old-fashioned info booth with modern displays, Grand Central Station
An old-fashioned info booth with modern displays, Grand Central Station
Phone booths in the public library
Phone booths in the public library
The Chrysler Building
The Chrysler Building
Grand Central Entrance
Grand Central Entrance
Bryant Park by the library
Bryant Park by the library

The next one is another favorite of mine. I like seeing people reading, looking at their smartphones, and talking, a slice-of-life moment in New York City.

Bryant Park
Bryant Park
View from Bryant Park
View from Bryant Park

Who doesn’t like a carousel? These are always so beautiful. The bunny was pointed out by two of the other photographers. It’s fun to see what artists notice. When I went up to take the photo, I was captured by the words on the horse’s saddle, Granny’s Folly, so I included that in the foreground.

Bryant Park carousel
Bryant Park carousel

I had to cut off the day early because I have a cold, but I made it out to our deck for a sunset photo.

Nightfall at the apartment, photo from the deck
Nightfall at the apartment, photo from the deck

Well those are my artistic choices for the day. Do you enjoy getting to make choices in whatever your specialty is? Whether it’s choosing a recipe, an outfit, how you will approach a work project, or choosing how you will tell a story, it all reflects your uniqueness.

Waiting for an answer…oops!

I’m eagerly awaiting word on the next step for Third Strike’s the Charm, hoping for a contract.

I had to fill out a form, which I did. After not hearing back from my editor, I decided yesterday to be a pest and make sure she received it. No, she didn’t!

I thought I sent the form four days ago, but she never received it. (The form is for the Lobster Cove series, which is a fictional small town on the Maine coast. Many authors are writing books set in this small town, so we all have to coordinate the setting and characters. We have a reference spreadsheet that is our “bible.” When we submit a manuscript, we fill out a form identifying the shared information we’ve used, things like street names, minor characters, major buildings, land marks, weather events, newsworthy events, and the physical characteristics of the main characters. The editor who is managing this series makes sure all that information goes into the spreadsheet.)

I checked my Sent Items folder in Yahoo mail. Somehow I managed to email the form to myself! Well, I could have been waiting a very long time! I now understand that if I don’t hear back from my editor confirming that she has received an email, to follow up. At least the clock has started now, plus I also learned more about working with my editor. She said she’s always there and will always send confirmation. We had a laugh about me sending the form to myself.

Have you found that your communications are getting mixed up lately? Apparently it’s in the air, so if you don’t hear back, double check.

I have a confession to make though. If I don’t get my first round of edits until October, that would work out well for my vacation. I am in New York. I wandered around the city today. Here are a collection of photographs. I read recently about photographic voice and making one’s own stamp on pictures. I was excited about these concepts in theory, but in reality, I found myself not sure what to photograph! My friend said just shoot everything. That I can do. These were my favorite today.

New York City fall day (13 of 17)
Newspaper vendor outside Penn Station
New York City fall day (12 of 17)
US Post Office
New York City fall day (10 of 17)
My husband worked in this building many years ago.
New York City fall day (2 of 17)
A kasha knish at 2nd Avenue Deli (now on 33rd Street)
New York City fall day (16 of 17)
Penn Station
New York City fall day (15 of 17)
Penn Station
New York City fall day (14 of 17)
Penn Station

New York City fall day (17 of 17) New York City fall day (11 of 17) New York City fall day (8 of 17) New York City fall day (6 of 17) New York City fall day (5 of 17) New York City fall day (3 of 17) New York City fall day (1 of 17)

New York City nightfall-1

Good night!