No power in our building for a while this morning - no TV, no internet. So I got busy with a couple of phone calls, then I painted a picture, and wrote a short story.
Books by Audrey Austin
The theme of this blog is creative writing. Any writing on this blog by authors other than myself is by permission of the author. I've written many poems, short stories, novellas, novels, and more. I hope you will want to get to know me and, of course, I hope you will want to buy a book or two.
Tuesday, May 23, 2023
POartRY and PROSE - working on book 2 in this series
Social Studies - Books one, two, and three
Top review from the United States
The Man On The Bench - a short story
The Man On The Bench is a metaphysical delight. She sees the old man on the bench as she walks with her dog through the park just as she does every morning rain or shine. What is it that causes her to change her walking route this morning? What is it that draws her to approach him? What is it that causes her dog to behave the way he does? This fictional short story may leave the reader with a tear in the eye and a smile in the heart.
Saturday, May 20, 2023
Some Reviews of Weaving Alice - a short story
Some reviews of Weaving Alice. https://amazon.com/author/audreyaustin
Friday, May 19, 2023
I've often considered myself an observant individual. Lately, I've been questioning this notion.
It seems to have happened with the speed of lightning. I didn't see it coming. I didn't notice its arrival. And I don't remember inviting it to stay, but it's here. My awareness has transformed into acceptance which, in turn, has gifted me with multiple changes.
This uninvited visitor introduced herself as 'old age'.
She didn't arrive alone or empty-handed. She brought gifts of dimming vision, some breathing challenges, and fingers that sometimes, stubbornly, refuse to type or hold a paint brush.
She wasn't totally negative though, I must admit. She also brought with her quiet, insightful times of rest and relaxation. She increased the amount of patience, although that's something I'm still working on.
Even though I wasn't blind to the facts that my children were talking about retirement; my grandchildren were busy with careers, and I was blessed with the gift of a beautiful great-grandchild, old age still didn't resonate with me. It wasn't something I thought I should be experiencing so soon.
I couldn't overlook the fact that my friends were becoming younger. Those of my generation were either moving away to be near their families or, sadly, passing away to be with the God of their understanding.
I missed these dear friends but I developed a great appreciation and gratitude for my younger, vibrant friends who, with their enthusiasm and positivity, were open to sharing their time and talents with me.
Now that this uninvited visitor has permanently moved into my life, I've grown accustomed to her needs, her goals, and her perception of life. Although I didn't welcome her when she first arrived, I am now very comfortable and at-home with her. I actually like her.
We spend our time together so much that she has most certainly become a part of who I am. I smile when I consider that I have reached what I like to call 'the bragging age'. In some ways, I consider the milestone an achievement.
I have many more years behind me on this beloved planet than I do ahead of me. But that's okay. I've accomplished much more than I ever dreamed I could or would achieve when I was a young teenager spending time with my first boyfriend who, later, became my husband and father of my beautiful children.
I am filled with many wonderful memories. Though some memories are sad, painful, joyous, unhappy, exciting, or tiresome, they are all wonderful because they are all the puzzle pieces that came together to make me who I am today.
Material things have come, have gone, have come again, gone again, and still I have all that I need. I am grateful for all that has happened in my life; the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am excited about new adventures that await me.
I have been defined in many ways by others. I've been called Audrey, Odd, Oddball, Red, (yes, I used to be a red head), daughter, sister, aunt, mommy, mom, gram, great-gram, employee, boss, counselor, author, painter, and friend.
If I have been called other things, I simply recall the words of Wayne Dyer who said, "What others think of me is none of my business."
Throughout all the years I have embraced many changes. There is one very important facet of my being that has not changed. No, perhaps it has changed because it has, indeed, grown stronger. This thing I refer to is my unwavering faith in a forgiving, loving God who has been more than generous with his guidance throughout my entire life. I am grateful.
I was prompted to write this blog post this morning after reading a Facebook post with the words, "The past is in your head. The future is in your hands." I found them to be very inspirational words.
I am truly thankful for the life I have led and I'm excited about continuing my journey.
And since this is my "Writing blog" let me thank you for buying one of the many books I've written over the years. My books are, in many ways, a reflection of their author. They do not fall into one neat genre. They are all over the map, covering many topics, adventures, thoughts, and dreams. Maybe, hopefully, you will want to explore them all.
You will find them at https://amazon.com/author/audreyaustin
Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog.
Thursday, May 11, 2023
The Marketing/Promoting Challenge
The most difficult and challenging job of this author is marketing and promotion. Especially when one has many publications, it's not always easy to know which direction to take.
Do I focus on one book or do I talk about 'books' is one question, but there are many. Do I talk about the book's content, its cover, its cost, its author?
I'm always tempted to simply share my Amazon author's page and hope readers will check it out. My author's page is found at https://amazon.com/author/audreyaustin
I like to share photos of my books. Do the covers capture a reader's interest?
Friday, May 5, 2023
As Guest Speaker at Women Alive
Tuesday, May 2, 2023 I was guest speaker at "Women Alive" in Elliot Lake. I share my 'talk' here with you. It's my pleasure to share a little about my writing journey. I speak about my latest book, titled "Shh! We Don't Talk About That" which you will find, along with all my publications, on all Amazon sites. My author's page is found at https://amazon.com/author/audreyaustin
Good evening, everyone. My name is Audrey Austin and it’s my pleasure to be here. Thank you, Pat, for your invitation to come to speak about myself and my adventure with creative writing.
I’ve brought along a few books with me that I hope will interest you.
I’m a semi-retired psychospiritual practitioner. I say semi-retired because each Thursday I offer Table Talk which is Empowerment Counseling for Women.
My hobby is acrylic painting. My passion is creative writing.
I mention my positions as counselor and author because one has a very powerful impact on the other. I write primarily about social issues.
My writing career began fifteen years ago when I reached retirement age. My friend, Shirley Green, introduced me to the WynLit writing competitions offered by Wynterblue Publishing Company which was in North Bay. I was blessed to have some of my short stories take first place in competitions.
This success encouraged me to write my first novel which is titled Sara, a Canadian Saga. With the help and encouragement of Maggie Kirton, my publisher, within a year my novel was available on all Amazon sites in paperback and kindle formats. No one in the world was more excited than me when I held my first book in my hands.
Wynterblue continued to be there for me, and they published several more of my books before, sadly, they had to announce that they, like many small presses, needed to fold.
I no longer had a publisher. What to do?
I was by then well into my seventies. I didn’t like the idea of sending manuscripts to publishers and then having to wait a year or two for their response, if there was to be one. I was far from rich and didn’t want to spend money I couldn’t afford on vanity publishing.
It was quite the learning curve, but I decided that my only option was to learn how to do it all by myself.
From that point on, I became author, formatter, editor, and publisher of my own work. I even learned how to create book covers. Today, I remain a proud independent author.
I currently have 77 publications available exclusively on Amazon. 25 of these are books available in both Kindle and Paperback formats. Five of these are also available as audio books. The remaining publications are short stories that, like Daniel, dare to stand alone in the Kindle Store.
I’ve been busy. To speak to you about all my books I would need at least a month. So I decided that this evening, I would speak to you about the one book that I most recently completed. It is titled “Shhh! We don’t talk about that!”
Primarily I write fiction. This book is something a little different.
This book recalls many mystical memories. I reference many topics including premonitions and dreams.
Long ago in my studies at the Transformational Arts College in Toronto I was introduced to the work of psychologist, Carl Jung. He described dreams as “God’s Forgotten Language”.
If it were not for a repetitive dream way back in the early nineties, I would not be living here in Elliot Lake today. I have loved living here in town for 23 years now and being here is, literally, a dream come true.
I would like to share the story of the dream that brought me here.
I was living in Toronto. At first, I simply found the dream interesting. But, by the time the dream had repeated itself multiple times it was beginning to really annoy me.
The only thing I would remember upon awakening were the words ‘Elliot Lake’. Repeatedly, I would wake up in the morning with Elliot Lake alive in my thoughts.
In my reality I had never heard of a lake called Elliot. I had no idea where this lake was located. And I had no idea why it should be important to me.
I began a little research, and it didn’t take me long to find out that there, indeed, was a lake called Elliot. I also learned that there was a place called the City of Elliot Lake.
When I learned that Elliot Lake was located in Ontario, and not in some far-off land like India or Africa, I decided that I needed to visit. I phoned my sister, who, at that time, was living in Newmarket.
I shared with her the persistent Elliot Lake dreams and why I felt the need to visit Elliot Lake. I asked her if she would accompany me. Although she was a driver, she had no desire to drive on such a long trip.
She was, however, willing to make the bus trip with me and so it was arranged. I called and reserved a room for us at the Algo Inn in Elliot Lake.
Our bus trip began. It was, we discovered, a long trip.
When we arrived in Sprague we had a good laugh when we realized that the bus that would take us into Elliot Lake was a very small school bus. That was certainly unexpected. When that little school bus began its trek up Highway 108, everything felt comfortable; and strangely familiar. I turned to my sister and said, “I’m coming home.”
We arrived in Elliot Lake and had a short walk to the Algo Inn. It felt strange but I knew where everything was located. My repetitive dream was coming true. We walked directly to the Algo Inn and settled in before enjoying a meal at Peachy’s Restaurant downstairs in the Algo Mall.
The following morning, as it happened, there was a Wellness Fair at the Elliot Lake High School. Surprisingly, we didn’t need directions. We walked there.
Upon leaving the fair, we exited the school and were delighted to see the beautiful, large sheer rockface wall. We leaned against this wall, soaking up the warmth of the sun.
While we were there at the rock, a man approached us. He seemed to ignore my sister who was standing right beside me. He spoke directly to me and simply said, “You are meant to be here.”
Before I had a chance to say or do anything, he turned his back on us and began to walk away. That was very strange. Stranger still, believe it or not, that man vanished. He was a short distance from us and then he was suddenly gone. Weird! It was very weird!
I believe this left me in some kind of shock. I turned to my sister and asked, “Did you hear what he said?”
“I did,” she said, and she repeated the words to me. Then she asked me, “Where did he go?”
“I had no idea!”
This was an event that she and I talked about many times. Who was this man? Surely, we didn’t both imagine the exact same event. How on earth did he disappear? Was he an angel?
“You are meant to be here,” he said to me.
And I knew he was speaking truth.
We returned home but I enjoyed three more vacations in Elliot Lake after that. After my first trip, I had made the decision to make my move to Elliot Lake. But it wasn’t a move I could make immediately. There were too many things to be considered, not the least of which was how to earn an income. I was self-employed, working as a therapist in a private practice, in Toronto. I would need to work in Elliot Lake. How? Where? I had no idea.
In Toronto I began telling friends and family that I was planning a move to Elliot Lake. It took me some time though.
In January of 2000, I travelled again to Elliot Lake, again with my sister. Not for the first time we kept an appointment with realtor, Clarence Bardot, who was kind enough to, once again, show us through some homes that were on the market for sale. Unlike earlier home viewings, on this trip, I purchased a house located on Central Avenue.
April 1st, 2000 I moved into my house. My only friend in town was Dudley, my Jack Russell Terrier.
I was not so unrealistic as to believe I could magically set up a counseling practice overnight. Thankfully I was able to support myself by working from home at my computer preparing legal transcripts for the Official Examiner’s office in Toronto. It worked out very well and I continued in this position until retirement.
During these years I also offered many well-attended workshops for women here in town; some at my own home; some through Learning in Retirement, and later, at our public library. I offered meditation circles at Holy Trinity United Church and, later, at the Ren Centre.
I had been living in Elliot Lake for about two years when I met Brian, the love of my life. Soon after that my sister and her husband, who was then ready for retirement, moved to Elliot Lake.
Shortly after that, my daughter made the move to Elliot Lake. Then my second daughter and her husband moved here and began to build their home on Dunlop Lake. Not long after they made their home here in Elliot Lake, her sons, my three grandsons all made the move and shared a home in town.
The years have passed happily. My lovely great-granddaughter was born, the first family member to be born in Elliot Lake.
I often think of the angel at the rock who said, “You are meant to be here.” He was so right! I feel that I was meant to be exactly where I am.
When I reached retirement age, thanks to Wynterblue Publishing Company, I began to write creatively. I try to ensure that each of my novels has some mention of the name, Elliot Lake. Sometimes it is an actual location, a setting for a story.
I wrote a poem about my repetitive dream of Elliot Lake. That poem has since been transformed into lyrics. The title of the song is “I Followed My Heart to the 108 Highway”. I wrote the lyrics. My friend, the very talented Johnny Tyger composed the music. We first presented this song as part of a Creative Connections event at our local Civic Centre where it was performed by another very talented friend who later recorded this song as part of an album in Nashville.
And that is the story of the dream that brought me to Elliot Lake.
It is one of several mystical memories that I share in my book titled “Shhh! We Don’t Talk About That”
Since I’ve reached what I call the bragging age, I find it is good to stay busy. I continue to write, to paint, and to offer empowerment counseling for women.
I am thankful when you buy my books. I am grateful that my hands allow me to paint my pictures. I am blessed when during a counseling session, a woman feels empowered to be her authentic self.
Thanks for listening to me this evening and I’ll close with the words of Albert Einstein who said, “Do not grow old no matter how long you live.”
Thank you and God bless.
FREE in the Kindle Store - The Silent Star
The Silent Star - a short story is FREE this weekend in the Kindle Store. Saturday, May 6th and Sunday, May 7th, enjoy this story at no cost to you.
Wednesday, May 3, 2023
KEEPING IT SIMPLE - some reviews
Top reviews from the United States
Monday, May 1, 2023
Dinner at Seven
I currently have 77 publications available exclusively on Amazon sites. You can check out my author's page at https://amazon.com/author/audreyaustin
I love writing but, unlike many authors, I am not locked into a particular genre. I write literary, mystery, science-fiction, poetic, memoir, spiritual, personal growth, historical fiction, tragedy, and more.
So if you read one book and like it, I hope you will buy another. If you should read one book and discover it's not for you, then I hope you will buy another because no two books of mine are the same.
I have even written a romance novel. It is titled Dinner at Seven.
The story begins in 1985 at The Carrington Club in Toronto. Marsha feels in the doldrums until David arrives on the scene. Love and romance flourist until deception and betrayal raise their ugly heads. To escape, Marsha flies to Bermuda where the power of love cannot be under-estimated.
Thanks for visiting my author's page and checking out Dinner at Seven and all my books.
Sunday, April 30, 2023
Sara, a Canadian Saga
Sara, a Canadian Saga was my very first novel published by Wynterblue 15 years ago. It's available in paperback, kindle, and audiobook formats. https://amazon.com/author/audreyaustin Sara, a Canadian Saga - based on the harsh reality of life during the days of the Great Depression we follow one family. The story starts in the Maritime Provinces of Canada. The struggling economy is the deciding factor for Roy who makes the move to Toronto leaving Sara and their then two children behind in Prince Edward Island. Once he secures employment Sara and the children join him. More children follow and the Canadian Dream is more elusive than ever. Sara is available in Paperback, Kindle, and Audio Book format narrated by the talented Falon Echo.