Saturday, September 15, 2012

Today's Spotlight is on author and poet R. Jane Hess

Hello again and welcome to Not Enough Time in the Day. I'm very excited to have an author and poet who's just getting started in our business. She writes short stories and poems and is working on collections of both. Hopefully she will have her first book out for us to enjoy very soon. Until then, I've invited her to share a bit of her work with us today. She would love it if you took a moment to let her know what you think about her work. 

But before we get to that, Let's bring her out so we can chat with her a bit and learn more about her. Grab some snacks and your favorite beverage and join Jane and me here on the patio. It's such a beautiful day, I thought it would help take away some of Jane's nerves. ;)


What inspires you to write? 
The simplest thing can touch me and bring to mind an idea that starts the process of imagination. Today for example: There was one blooming dandilion on the lawn. Only one! Watching it sway back and forth in the breeze sent my imagination soaring. I put a few ideas down on paper about that dandilion so I can work up a poem around it. It is not always the big events of life that impact a writers thoughts or ideas.

I know what you mean. That's why I always keep a notebook with me at all times. You never know when an idea will pop in your head and you have to get some of the details down before they disappear. Sort of on that same line, are you a plotter,  panster or a little of both? 
I would have to call myself a panster. I never think a story or poem through before I put it to page. The story creates itself. When I write poetry I never look at what I have written until it is complete. That has worked well for me! My thoughts are truly what is on the paper exactly how I see it, because I don't let myself correct it or change it several times or allow self-doubt to stop me from finishing the rhyme of the work. I am always surprised by what I have  written when I go back at a later date and look at what's on the page.

Do your stories tend to be character driven or plot driven? I find I'm a bit of both depending on the project. 
Definitely character driven. When I pen a story I already have developed the main character and her/his personality. But I never know when I start to write what that character is going to do or who he/she will interact with. It is all left up to the moment the story unfolds on the page.


In what ways are your characters like you? In what ways are your characters not like you? 
Like a lot of writers I use my own life experiences in my stories. I draw from the people I know and mix the characters personality with a bit of several people. I always want a positive ending to the story. A feel good ending. That's not always real life, I know. It doesn't always end with they lived happily ever after, but I want my reader to feel happy at the end of the story. Feel good about the ending. They might want to read it again  and again. At least that's my goal for the reader.

That's the basic rule of writing romance novels too. You have to have a happily ever after ending or at least a happy for now. I guess that's why we love to write and read them. Real life can be hard and we need an escape. Even with that in mind, some authors love to weave in specific issues or lessons in their work. What about you? What are there recurring core issues in your stories? 
Fairness, forgiveness, friends and of course family ties. Family is for me the glue that holds us together. Having friends who stand behind you and look out for you. The good parts of human nature is what I aim for in my writing.

Why do you think you are drawn to these types of characters/plots again and again? 
I always feel for the underdog. You know, the one that is hurting. Bringing that person to life, I hope it helps the reader feel a deep sense of compassion because it gives a little insight into how that character is feeling and why. When  we are rooting for the underdog and it turns out good for him/her, I like the effect it has on me and hopefully my readers. 

What are your favorite fiction genres to read from?
I love the classics like Jane Eyre, Woman in White and Rebecca. All these books are must reads in my world. The characters are so colorful and rich. 

Those are wonderful books. What kinds of stories are your comfort reads when you are sick or feeling low? 
I like to read a good historical romance novel with earls and ladies and a bit of scandal. I really enjoy the back ground information as well. It’s fun to read but you’re getting a history lesson at the same time. I love a good ending!

Ooooohhh, you love historical romances? I may have an author friend or two I think you would love to meet. ;) Who inspires you in life and in your writing and why? (loved ones, friends, authors, public figures, historical figures, actors, teachers etc) 
My family and friends have always encouraged me to write. A good friend of mine told me to start taking it all to the next level by putting it out there for people to read and enjoy if they so choose too. I took his advice and here I am enjoying this time on this blog sharing some of my work with you. 

And I am so happy you decided to use this forum to share some of your work! What are you working on now? 
I'm working on a few different projects right now. One in particular is a book set in London England. It's about a family in the textile business in the mid 1800's. I'm also working on a few more short stories. So there will be more to come! One long time project I've been working on will take me at least two years to complete. It's a book about prejudice. 

What’s coming soon?
My pet project right now is a story about a logging camp in northern British Columbia. The main character is a saucy lady who runs the camp. I'm enjoying this piece of work very much. She's the kind of lady I would love to be friends with. I am looking forward to finishing this project!

Thank you so much for joining us today, Jane. Now let's take a look at the two short stories and the poem you brought to share with us today.  

The Price You Pay                           

courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Blake slumped in the chair exhausted from the long night behind him. Mud crusted his boots as he looked down in distress. He had lost the battle tonight, and wondered about the next course of action. Removing his cap showed a small trickle of blood from the experience he had just encountered. Oh he knew it was there alright, as his head throbbed all over. He hoped that the damage was minimal as the dust rose above him from the slapping of his cap on his knee. Could he even move from this spot now that he was here in safety?


A better man then he would have finished it tonight. He would have ended the fight that had been going on night after night for the last week or so. How could he let this happen? He had been warned over and over again not to leave the stall door unlatched. An oversight on his part had cost him hours of sleep and the prize of his one mare that promised to yield a winner in some future race which he had placed all his hopes and his dreams. Not to mention the financial burden that he carried to cover this one shot at making a go of it. 


He just had to get her back. A small breath escaped his lungs as he reflected on the job ahead of him.


He thought of Sally upstairs sleeping soundly, not knowing what was going on around her. She had no idea of the situation and the strain he had put on himself over this foolish idea of his. It was a pipe dream yes, but one that had the payoff if he had done all the calculations right. Now this! He would not be able to tell her how their life savings was running with the wild stallion that he had once had in his hands so long ago. Why just two weeks ago he had the chance to put him down. One shot from a well-aimed rifle would have solved everything. Instead he helped the animal by removing a rope from its neck that tied him securely to a pole. He had argued that the golden beast had the right to be free to roam the hills beyond his Ranch and everyone's for that matter. Now he thought better of it as he wiped his face with his sweaty palm. 


He remembered the stallion so long ago, untamed, a spirited animal that few had ever seen in these parts. He remembered the day he looked deep into his eyes as he opened the gate himself to free him from certain death. His dad had given the order to put him down as he was more trouble than he was worth. Tapping his fingers on the table, he focused on his weakness for this animal, after all the stallion was given to him. He had the right to decide its fate. He did! Now years later he sat here knowing that decision was a mistake. 


Oh well, the past was in the past he thought as he began to ponder his next move. He would try again tomorrow night as he felt the strain of tonight getting the best of him. Pushing himself up off the chair and getting upstairs for some much needed sleep, seemed to be the order of business now. He slowly moved into a standing position and felt the dull aches from the saddle and the hard ground that he encountered earlier. Nothing was broken but his pride. His determination to fix this was still intact. He would get the mare back and leave the stallion in peace. Shaking his head he knew that this incredible animal sired the colt deep inside the protection of the mare. He knew the risks when he put his plan into action. Now this turn of events would test his endurance and his intelligence.


The fact that the stallion let him live tonight was a sign that he was getting close. Taking a second to ponder why the stallion did not bite him or even worse trample him was a question he could not answer. There was hope, a lot of hope to fix this mess. He would do that tomorrow for sure. 


There was always tomorrow. Tonight he tasted the bitterness of defeat. Tomorrow the war would continue. That was a fact!



Cindy's First 


courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Cindy closed her eyes in anticipation of what was about to happen. Part of the reason she went on this date was because she longed to know what the other girls had been talking about. Even Amber and Christie her best friends were open and yet shy when they talked about Brian. Amber had hoped that there would be a second date with Brian, but it had never happened. He was so smooth and had all the moves down to perfection. She had not heard of any girl who had been disappointed just to be seen with him. 

Cindy felt her heart beat hard against her chest, feeling it in her temples as if it was the distant call of a maiden to a great warrior. Her mind was racing. Moments seemed like hours as she waited for what would be the best part. Knowing what she did about him made it even more exciting! 

Brian was the star quarter-back of  the football team and the captain of the debate team. Along with that he found academics a sinch! His father was a respected member of the faculty and his mother a well known author of children's books. What was even more amazing was that Brian was nice. He talked to anyone and everyone and was adored by all. He was all wrapped up in a totally gorgeous package. Brian was everything any girl would want. He had never had a steady girlfriend but he had countless dates.

His reputation was well established. It was his thing to take a girl out only once. As it was, he had gone out with just about every girl in school. His team members snickered amongst themselves when ever they saw him with a new conquest. Now, it was finally her turn to feel the way all the other girls felt at his touch knowing full well that it was just for one time, one date, one moment!

The evening was nice. Brian was the perfect gentlemen. When they went to the movies, they sat close together and she could feel his eyes looking at her now and then. What was he wondering? Could he see how nervous and yet how excited she was to finally be here with him. It was no accident that she dropped her books in front of him on the school steps. As he bent down to pick them up she saw the glint in those incredible blue eyes. Dark curls framed his face as one fell from his perfectly combed hair and slid down to the middle of his forehead. She found herself staring as he looked perfect with that loose curl there. Oh.....then the voice. 

“Here you go,” he said with no emotion, but Cindy could tell he meant it. He smiled with such perfection as he gave the books back to her in a neat little stack. Cindy missed that altogether. She never saw him pick them up at all. Did he notice her staring at him in such wonderment and awe? Was she being so transparent? She could not help herself if he saw it. Cindy was never one to hide her feelings. She didn't even know how.

Dinner was okay, wasting time she thought, scolding herself for even thinking that way. The diner was packed and some of his buddies joined them at their table until Brian gave them the nod. They all knew what the nod meant and acted on it immediately. Yes he ruled that team. He was their quarter-back. The star player! The one the school was putting their reputation on to win the season this year. He could do it. Cindy felt a sense of pride as she sat there watching him eat his third burger without taking a breath. Wow, he was amazing all the way around. As they chatted about nothing really, she found herself absorbed in his tales of victory over neighborhood kids in a game of basketball. She even smiled when he talked about one of his dates that had played one night. To his total surprise the girl walked out onto the court and grabbed the ball. Dribbled it down center court and tossed it in the basket without even so much as a bead of sweat on her forehead. He admired this girl she could tell. But, she was not here tonight. No Cindy was, and that was all that mattered.

Now as they were parked outside of her house Cindy knew it was about to happen. Brian turned the motor off and lifted his right hand off of the steering wheel, slowly reaching for her. He traced his finger along her jaw line and settled on her chin. Pausing he smiled as he tilted her face ever so gently upward. Cindy could feel the sheer excitement of  his touch. Yes this was the way it was supposed to feel when you were about to experience your first kiss. 

Everything that happened was a first for Cindy. First date, first movie and dinner with a boy, not just any boy either. No, it was Brian. Her mind wondered back to the moment he asked her out. It was by the water fountain in the main hall of the school. Everyone would have seen him leaning down and asking her what she was doing Friday night. Cindy was so startled that her head came up and water went everywhere. Not one of her most glamorous moments. As she quickly wiped the water from her lips, Brian smiled again and repeated the question. She was sure  she had answered with complete control. Any grown up would have been proud of how she mastered her shock! So with quivering lips she announced that as far as she knew she was free on Friday night. She was so transfixed on his face that she  did not hear him ask her out. Instead she stared at him in a desperate attempt to try to force her mind to remember what he had just said to her. “Well,” he said “what is your answer?” Heat rose to her face as she nodded yes in agreement. “See you then,” was all she heard in the distance as she tried desperately to pull herself together.

Now here they were, together, alone, just the two of them as she had dreamed it would be. The moment, she would  mark as one of the most life changing events that had ever occurred in her short history. 

Her mind quickly returned to the events of the present as Brian was looking deep into her eyes. “Cindy” he said, “can I kiss you.” “Yes “ was the only reply she could muster as she moved toward his lips. His mouth touched hers gently as he brushed her lips and moved back . Cindy thought she might never recover. She could feel his breath on her face as he looked at her again. “You looked very nice tonight” he whispered. Finding her voice she weakly replied “thank you,” as her eyes shifted back to his full moistened mouth. Their lips found each other again and in a soft but strong embrace they matched each other perfectly in the rhythm of the kiss. Cindy's mind was whirling as she felt his response to her or was it she to him. It did not matter, this was heaven itself. It was a moment she wanted to go on forever and ever. 

Brian pulled himself away and stared in disbelief. This could not happen to him. He was affected by this girl. He could tell she liked him, but the idea that he might have some feelings for her was foreign to him. Neither one spoke, they just looked at each other in silence which seemed to last for hours. After a while Brian's lips started to curve into a smile. Cindy followed close behind. Smiling, they knew they had shared a special moment, one, that you watched in a movie or read about in a novel. Only difference was this was real. 

Cindy caught a glimpse of the porch light being turned on and knew this was her cue to go. Her parents would be at a safe distance watching, making sure all went well. “Brian,” she whispered “I had a wonderful time tonight. Thank you for everything”  She took one last glance at those incredible lips and those eyes and that dark curly hair storing them away in her memory for a day when she would have the time to explore the emotions and feelings she felt tonight. Like so many other girls, it was a one date policy with him. But that was fine. She knew that when she dropped her books on the steps.

Cindy reached for the door handle and slid out of the car. The cool breeze could not erase the heat she felt inside. Her first kiss. The kiss she would measure all others by. It would be hard to beat this one for sure, she thought as she turned to walk up the sidewalk to her door. She would turn and wave him on so he would not think she was disappointed in the fact that she would not see him again. Other than on the football field and in the two classes they shared of course. This would be her life now. She knew it, she just knew it.

Reaching the front door Cindy turned around to wave Brian on, only to find him standing behind her on the step. She did not hear him get out of the car or   walk up behind her. She was so busy thinking about the end of the evening she never even felt his hand brush her sleeve or hear him call her name. Startled she gasped and leaned against the door for support. “Whats wrong” she mumbled as she was still trying to recover herself. Brian looked at her and did not utter a word. “Are you okay Brian” Cindy asked. Brian looked up and said “yes”. But Cindy was not so sure. 
“Cindy,” Brian said, “will you go out with me again.” Puzzled, Cindy looked at him in disbelief. “Sure Brian sure” she said. Cindy was surprised, and Brian saw that she was aware of his reputation. Brian was just as surprised as she was. They would go out again and he would explore this strange new feeling that overpowered his mind tonight. This girl was different and he had to know why. 

Yes it was Cindy's first kiss and it was all that she imagined it would be. She had a personal appointment with her diary tonight, she giggled to herself.

It was Cindy's first kiss. But to Brian it was his first real kiss, one that moved him inside and left him heated and nervous. No one had ever made him feel like that before. This was something he wanted to explore. “So next Friday it is,” he said to no one in particular.  “Wow,” he thought as he got into his car and drove off. Wow!


Free the Lion


courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Pacing back and forth in my small cage,
As each moment passes I feel a deep rage.
Was it an accident that put me in here,
Or was it greed and arrogance I fear.

King of the jungle in a cage that's so small,
People looking at me in a zoo or a mall.
What are you thinking as I die in this place,
Getting weaker and weaker in strength I face.

I was meant to be free, not caged in a box,
There is no respect here, no care, just locks.
I look out over the crowd that has gathered,
To see the king of the beasts, does this matter.

I am king of the beasts, that's what you called me, 
I'm trapped like a rat or rabbit, I need to be free, let me be.
Does time pass for me, as it does for mankind, 
As I am watched here, getting thinner, I am racing the time.

My inner strength is not what its been,
I feel myself fading, being locked in this pen.
My eyes are dimmer, I'm starting to fail,
Someone save me quick, this is a sad tale.

The cost of getting me was high no doubt,
The cost of losing me will bring a great shout.
In the wild my numbers are dwindling fast,
In captivity I am threatened, I'm sure I won't last.

Treated with a whip, respect to be gained,
From the one who was supposed to care for me, I am ashamed.
You think you can break me, maybe you can,
That is such a feat, a great honor for men.

                                                                                                                                 

I had a home, a country, a place where I lived,

Roamed free, had a pride, stood my ground, lots to give.
In a moment I felt a pain in the back of my thigh,
And now I am here, earning pennies for you, I sigh.

All I wanted was to be left alone, untouched.
To work out the problems of nature I clutch.
Our numbers dwindle and you wonder why,
You put us in small cages and let us die.

Take me back where I am from, as soon as you can,
Leave me alone, go away, let nature fix it not man.
Have respect for me as I am king of the beasts,
For me to survive, I must be left in peace.







Photos used in this post were provided by FreeDigitalPhotos.net by the following artists
The Lion by artist James Barker
Wild Horse by artist Evgeni Dinev
Caucasian Couple Kissing by artist imagerymajestic

By clicking on the above images, you will directed to the page where you can download your own copy or search through thousands of photos and illustrations.






16 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading those. You are a great writer and I look forward to reading more of your stuff

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  2. Thank you for stopping by and checking out Jane's selections. I'm trying to convince her to expand upon the first kiss short story and make it to at least novella size. What do you think?

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    1. I think that is a great idea... I wanted to read more of it..so yes absolutely

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  3. I think that is a great idea Tammy. Go for it Ruth. Your adoring fans want more.

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  4. I agree with Tammy! I found I wanted to hear more. Same with The Price You Pay. Horse lovers will eat it up! Always enjoy reading your stuff Jane. =]

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  5. Keep giving her the encouragement! Short stories are wonderful and can be great starting points for novellas or even novels. My short story "A Christmas Miracle for Jake" started out as just my way of filling in some back story from the first book of my Now and Forever series. Now that short story is a full novel The Island (Now and Forever 2) and will be released as an ebook in November.

    So yes, R. Jane Hess, you can write longer pieces from what you've already written now if you so desire. The Price You Pay would also be a fantastic novella with a flashback of your hero letting that stallion go years ago to him working to find his pregnant mare now. Oh and don't forget the drama that can happen between him and his wife when she finds out their life savings is riding on that foal in the mare's belly!

    Your poetry can also be a stepping stone. I've done that too. One of my epic poems is the basis of an entire series.

    The sky is the limit and the only person holding you back is you. Go for it!!!

    Tammy

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  6. Thank you for all your kind words. These two stories are small examples of the work I have been doing. The characters are dear to me and I enjoyed bringing them to life.

    My hope is that you would want to read them again someday. Stay tuned for some other characters that are saucy, proud, unforgiving and even vengeful. I have created some that are kind, gentle and compassionate as well. A variety is the spice of life.

    Your support means so much to me and I will consider expanding the stories you have read here on this blog. My love is a good short story. Who knows there might be a part two of some....

    Your words have made me want to bring you more of the best I can create!

    Jane

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  7. I really enjoyed all three pieces of Jane's work and am amazed that they are all so different. Surely an indication of what a brilliant author she is. I also want to go on Cindy's second date and to see where the relationship will go. Looking forward to seeing some hard cover work in the stores from Jane.

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  8. I have had the honor of reading many of this new author's stories/poems and i find them very inspirational. She is able to put on paper what many of us wish we could say or do in real life. I wish her nothing but the best and encourage her to keep writing her stories/poems as i can not get enough of them. It is an honor to be her friend. I can't wait for her to get her first book published. Keep writing Jane so the world will know what a brilliant author you are.

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  9. I have really enjoy the three pieces from Jane. I do have to admit though I find myself wanted to read more of Cindy's First. I really hope to see it soon. I think you have great talent and have the ability to reach all age groups. I also hope to see more of you on here. Keep up the hard work Jane. You have a lot of friends that have faith in your abilities.

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  10. I really enjoyed reading these and am looking forward to reading more. I especially want to know what happens on Cindy's second date. Please keep the stories and poems coming so all your friends can enjoy. I feel honored and blessed to have R Jane as my friend. Ready and waiting on her to publish. Keep up the great work.

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  11. I've offered her a monthly or even bi-weekly spot here on Not Enough Time in the Day until she sets up her own website/blog. That way she can still get her name out there and share some of her work. Just remember to not share it all. You have to keep some of it to yourself until you are ready to publish it, otherwise folks won't purchase your book if they can already get it for free. Just giving them teasers like this is a great way to introduce yourself.

    My personal opinion is to get that book of short stories or the one of some of your poetry out so you have something to promote when you visit other blogs.

    Tammy/Lia

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  12. I have been considering your kind offer Tammy and would love to hear what you have in mind for me on your blog.....I appreciate the invitation and would like to explore the "teaser" aspect of sharing my work......This has been a wonderful experience for me!

    Jane

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    1. We can talk about your feature spot more soon. I'm so happy you've enjoyed yourself for your first time out!

      Tammy

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  13. VERY GOOD READ, CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT'S NEXT. I AM VERY PROUD OF YOU RUTH

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  14. Thank you everyone for joining me on this new adventure. I appreciate all of your words of appreciation. It was a thrill to see how you reacted to my work.....I plan on working even harder now to put my work out there.

    :)Jane

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