Archive for December, 2011

Christmas letter

December 17, 2011

I know that I’ve already written my two blog posts this week. But I used to do a Christmas letter, and today I felt like I should take up the tradition once again. And doing it electronically puts the responsibility on me to get this out to everyone that I’d like to get this to, instead of having to wait for someone to help me with the printing and actual mailing of this. So here it goes.

I think the biggest thing that has happened in my life this past year is that a Independent Living Center has come to Columbus. Those who read this blog regularly know that story, but I plan to send this letter to people I haven’t communicated with in a while, so I am going to recap. The Independent Living Center helps people with disabilities live on their own, get jobs, etc. I really wanted to work there. Had dreams of becoming the executive director of that place. And if that job opens up again, I am going to once again do my best to get that job. Sadly I missed the training that was mandatory in order to get that job, so I’m not connected to the center at this point. That’s still my dream, and I’m praying that something opens up there.

And yes, if I do get a job at the center, I would need to move my own. That has been another dream of mine for a long time. So I just ask that you keep this in your prayer please.

I am working on my novels and other writings. I’ve had a few writing jobs at the beginning of the year, but nothing since the summer. I am looking, but really not finding much of anything.

Hanging out with my family is always a highlight, especially when it includes my two nieces and my nephew. My sister, Mary Elizabeth, had had a quick courthouse wedding January of ’08, but always said they would do a real wedding. That took place this past June. It was a crazily busy time for us, but still wonderful fun to see everyone.

A couple of weeks after this wedding, Mary Elizabeth announces that she’s pregnant. The baby will be born sometime in February… And then over Thanksgiving we found out that my brother’s wife will have their second baby in June. Aunthood is one of the greatest blessings in my life.

Another blessing is that I got a kindle on my computer, and have gotten lots of free books. I love being able to read by myself.

God bless each of you in the new year

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Crazy week

December 15, 2011

I mustconfess that I really have not done much as far as work this week. Monday I had to go to the doctor on Monday. I just needed to get aprescription for my new communication device. And then as it turned out, I had to go to the dentist, and it worked out for me to get in there on Monday afternoon.

Sadly, my mouth problem was not fixed Monday afternoon like we were really hoping. I need to get my wisdom teeth out. And that meanssurgery and everything.

Tuesday was pretty normal. I did get some things accomplished that day.

However, yesterday was crazy! I usually go to a prayer meeting on Wednesday mornings. But with my parents gone, I had to go back to church that evening since that is where my sister was. I really did not accomplish much at all yesterday!

I’m actually at church in our cafe as I write. Wish I could just stay here this day, but we have to go meet my aides. Anyway.

Trying

December 13, 2011

I don’t think I’ve gotten that job. And that’s disappointing and frustrating. I think writing about motherhood and things would be an awesome way to make money.

I looked around at other jobs today, and found one thing that might work. But I haven’t heard back from them yet.

Honestly, I would love a job, any job, at that independent living center to open up, and for me to be able to get that. I’m really not sure which direction my life is supposed to take. I’m more than ready to start figuring it out!

No news is good news?

December 10, 2011

I haven’t heard anythingmore about the job I worked so hard to get. It’s frustrating… And yet at the same time, I’m still somewhat hopeful… And I’m not sure how I would have really worked due to some health problems. Hopefully we are going to get everything resolved in the next week, and I’ll be fine.

Fine or sick, I usually seem to have one day a week where I can’t make myself do anything except read.. Usually that’s later in the week. I want a job that keeps me busy. Hopefully I’ll get that and figure out a way to do to get everything done..

Once again…

December 8, 2011

I know I missed Tuesday. Tuesday was really crazy, this whole week kind of has been. I found out about a job Monday, and bid on it, and the person was actually interested in me. They asked me to write a proposal on several articles  that I would like to write. They want articles on babies/motherhood etc which I would really like writing about.

Tuesday morning they say that they wanted more information about the articles. That required research, but I started on that.

Tuesday afternoon I had a meeting with people to look at the latest and greatest communication device. I really really like the device a lot, and we’re now working on getting one, which means getting a funding package together for medicaid. I have to go to the doctor Monday. My speech language pathologist is doing pretty much the rest.

Yesterday I was working on this proposl for the job I would like to get most the time that I was here. I do have a meeting on Wednesdays that I go to.

Got the proposal sent yesterday afternoon late. And I haven’t heard anything more from them. At this point, I’m not sure if I’m out of the running, or if they have what they need from me and are waiting on others, or what. Anyway, we’ll see.

An Interview with Elizabeth

December 3, 2011

I really do not have much to say. Part of that may be I’m just too tired to think. There is no news on the discussion boards. I need to think more of how to get the info I want.

So, rather than not post, I decided to do an interview with a good friend of mine, though we’re only met online. She’s an author, actually has several books published. Anyway, I interviewed her, and here’s what she said :

Tell me, how many books do you have out there?

 

Currently, I have five ebooks available. Riley’s Mission is a sweet romantic suspense with a National Guard hero and a former Israeli operative heroine published by The Wild Rose Press. My three inspirational romances are all published through White Rose Publishing, an imprint of Pelican Book Group. Dreams Do Come True is about a struggling aspiring author and an acquisitions editor. In Healing in Haven Falls, the hero was wounded in Afghanistan and now wonders if he will ever find love; the heroine has made many mistakes and is afraid to trust men. My latest release, The Key to Charlotte, is about a partially mute autistic heroine and a guitar-playing children’s ministry director hero. My fifth ebook is a short one titled Basics of Writing: Point of View that I published through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Program. I think the title of this one is pretty self-explanatory.

 

What do you do when you’re not writing?

 

Thinking about writing. Just kidding, although writing and thinking about my latest work in progress or my next story do take up a lot of my time. I also love to knit and crochet, read, write an occasional review, spend time with my family, watch movies…the list goes on. I also enjoy playing with and training the puppy I adopted over the summer. She’s six months old now and usually obeys the basic obedience commands. The next big task: working on consistency in obeying commands and improving her attention span.

 

You have asperger’s, how does that affect you and your writing?

 

This is a much more complex question than one might think. Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a high-functioning form of autism, affects every area of my life. The thing is, I’m so used to perceiving the world differently from most people that I don’t really notice it most of the time. Being autistic does make life challenging at times, however. I have trouble understanding jokes that everyone around me laughs at. Body language is still a mystery to me, although I’ve learned to “read” the people I’m closest to pretty well. I have trouble with verbal communication, both speaking and listening. While I can usually speak just fine, I do occasionally have trouble getting words out or getting them out in the right order. When it comes to listening, auditory processing issues sometimes makes it take a while for me to understand what was said. I also have sensory processing issues, which means my brain doesn’t process sensory input normally. Silk is a good example of this. Everyone talks about how soft silk is, yet to me it feels sticky.

 

Obviously, the unusual way I experience the world does affect my writing. I’ve had to rely heavily on observation to be able to include realistic body language into my writing. I regularly have to ask someone how a person would react in a given situation because what seems logical to me is sometimes unrealistic to others. At times, writing my characters feels more like a scientific study than fiction, because I have to research how people act and react in situations, how they speak, how they interact with others and the world around them. It’s a challenge, sure, but I love it and the longer I write the easier it becomes to write my characters and stories in a way that others find realistic and believable.

 

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

 

Well, since it’s the Christmas season, one of my favorite traditions is driving around and looking at all the Christmas lights and decorations people have put up. I also love having relatives come visit and, of course, making Christmas cookies. There’s nothing better than spending time in the kitchen with loved ones mixing the dough, cutting out various shapes and baking them, and filling the entire house with the warm scent of fresh cookies that is guaranteed to bring everyone a little holiday cheer.

 

What are your favorite foods, especially holiday foods?

 

After the last question, Christmas cookies are an obvious choice. I love my mom’s sweet potato casserole, which has sweet potatoes, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, pecans, and marshmallows on top. I’m also a fan of mashed potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pie, and rolls.

 

Give us some info about your latest book?

 

My latest release is The Key to Charlotte. It’s an inspirational romance that’s a little different from what I usually write because the heroine is autistic. I loved the opportunity to finally write a character with some of the same unique ways of experiencing the world that I have, and readers are enjoying the story as well. In a review on Amazon, author Marianne Evans said, “With the same kind of artistry as Karen Kingsbury displayed in her novel Unlocked, EA West uses heart, God, and a straightforward approach to makeCharlotte come alive and be completely relatable in how she sees the world and reacts to it. We understand her, and therefore, we love her and cheer for her. And all I can say about Zakaria is that in him, EA has created a hero worthy ofCharlotte.”

 

Here is the blurb for The Key to Charlotte:

 

Charlotte Harris can’t speak due to a quirk in her autistic brain, but that doesn’t stop her from communicating with others. Unfortunately, it prevents her from achieving two of her dreams–praising God through song and to carrying on a simple conversation using her own voice.

Zakaria Rush is the new Director of Children’s Ministries at Charlotte’s church, and he can’t keep his thoughts off the partially mute blonde with a love for guitar music. Her love of the simple things in life intrigues him and makes him long to give her what she wants more than anything: her voice.

Can Zakaria helpCharlotte find the key to unlocking her ability to speak, or will his attempt to help her only lock away their chance for love?

The Key to Charlotte is available from Pelican Book Group (http://www.pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/the-key-to-charlotte), Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0060D5YC0), and Barnes and Noble (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-key-to-charlotte-ea-west/1106993907?ean=2940013237346&itm=1&usri=the+key+to+charlotte).

 You can find more information on me and my books at the following places:

 Website: http://eawest.mcphitty.com

Blog: http://thewestcorner.wordpress.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0064UV1NU

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/EA-West/34280264617

Thank you, Sarah, for having me here today! I hope you and your readers enjoyed the interview as much as I did.