Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Moving Day

I did it! I moved my blog to WordPress!

Here is my new address.

Please bookmark me at my new home!


P.S. We're no longer Nadine's Notions.  Just "Nadine Roth"

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2018: Time for a (blog) Change?

I've been toying with the idea of moving my blog from Blogger to WordPress for a long time now.  I'm not happy with how difficult it is for my readers to comment (communicate) with me on Blogger.

If you could, I would like to you ask me a question about reading or writing. 
Please click below to jump to my new blog address:

Please let me know if you can easily comment to this post on WordPress.

As always,
Until next time,
Be good to yourself.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Hiring an Editor: Take Two

As you may know, I was ripped off by a so-called editor back in September. I was premature in writing about hiring her. Once bitten, twice shy, as the saying goes. When I went looking for a new editor, I didn’t check out her editor web page exclusively, like I did the first gal. This time, I looked at all of her social media outlets. Had I done that with my first editor, I would have figured out she was a crack-pot pretty quickly.

But this post isn’t about getting burned and learning a lesson, this post is about My Editor. This time, I hit the jackpot! Five Stars. A+.

The service I hired her for was to provide an Editorial Letter for my manuscript. This means she reads the story and tells me what parts work well and what needs work. I was blown away at the thoroughness of her notations and her understanding of my story!

The editorial letter is eight pages long. She provided an overview of the story (spot on), talked about the setting and some things I could do to make improvements, as well as character POV (point of view), the supernatural elements in the story, backstory, and she also addressed the flashback scenes.

THEN, she broke it all down, chapter-by-chapter! She answered questions I had thought of myself and she gave me a few alternate plot ideas, as well as a load of other thoughtful considerations.

And the best part? My story doesn’t suck. 

This is how I know:My editor said, This is an interesting take on time/space travel, incorporating themes of love, family, loneliness, and belonging, all around the unique setting of tattoo artistry.”

And this: “Toward the end of the story, in Chapter 39, there is a lovely echo to Otto’s flashbacks of his childhood, when he tells Hazel it’s better to be adopted into a loving family than to be raised by a hateful one.”

One more: “Overall, I think the structure of your story and the character arcs that you explore work very well. Since the manuscript is on the light side at 55,000 words, you do have room to explore several scenes more deeply, to fully flesh out Otto’s and Hazel’s thoughts, and their growing feelings for one another. It is a beautiful story about finding love and belonging, and I enjoy the supernatural twist that keeps the mystery going until the end.”

Remember friends, the editorial letter is eight pages long. It is chock full of suggestions to make my story stronger, richer. And I’m going to comb through that document and do everything I can to make THE INK OF TIME the very best story I can.

In the New Year I envision another run with this editor, an appointment with my awesome cover designer, and exploring publication options. Stick with me. It’s getting real now!

Happy New Year!

Until Next Time,

Be good to yourself,


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

On The Fifth Day of Christmas

Image courtesy of Google.
On the fifth day before Christmas my true love gave to me, Five Golden Rings….

ZZZZEEERRRRP! (record scratch sound) Wait. What? What kind of rings?

Well if they’re from my true love at Christmas time they would be  these five things, err, rings:

1.       Family. Family is what it’s all about. Family makes us strong, brave, and compassionate. Family holds our hands through the good and the bad. Family helps us be better people than we would be without them. Family equals love. And love is everything because God is Love.

Image courtesy of Google.
2.      Faith. Faith has so many layers.   Have faith in yourself that you can achieve your goals, or at least conquer your biggest hurdles- which in and of itself is a pretty satisfying goal. Have faith in others, in human-kind. Not all people are bad, in fact most are good. We just hear more about the bad. (And remember, those bad people probably have grandmas who are praying for them.) Faith in God the Father. Without faith in the guidance from a higher power (whatever yours may be), life would be a bit “pin-bally”/ without direction.

3. Friends:Sometimes, if you're really lucky, you have good friends who become family. We are blessed with fabulous friends!

Photo by Tim. Woodshed built? Check!
Logs cut? Check!
4.       Hard Work: It’s the only satisfying way to get what you want and what you need.  As my true love would say, “If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it.”  And, "If it was easy, anyone could do it." He’s so right. Work hard in your relationships, in your education, in your career, and, of course, to meet your dreams.

Make the world a better place
by planting a garden.
5.       Appreciation of our home: Look around at this beautiful Earth, be it the blue skies and green fields of Iowa, the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, or the rugged mountains of Colorado. Take time to appreciate a violet sunset, stars in the night sky, and the soaring beauty of an Eagle. Celebrate the plants and animals in your own back yard that go through the cycle of life every year. Don’t take this home for granted.

Photo by Tim. Okoboji sunset
Photo by Tim. Sunrise over the lake.
Photo by Tim.
The moon rises over the woods.

These five things. They’re IT. They’re all we need.

Merry Christmas and Peace to all.

Until next time,

Be Good to Yourself,


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Artemis, by Andy Weir: A Review

Image courtesy of Google
Did Andy Weir’s creative mojo weaken when he joined the Big 5 Publishing Machine? Is publishing in New York City his kryptonite? For sure, it’s hard to follow The Martian. It became an on-line sensation that was noticed by publishers and movie-makers. But still, I know Mr. Weir has better chops that this.

Artemis, in Greek Mythology, is the daughter of Zeus and twin sister of Apollo. She is the Goddess of the wilderness. A perfect name for this book, considering it takes place in a colony on Earth’s moon.

I had high hopes for this novel. I absolutely loved the map of the moon colony at the front of the book, it stoked my imagination! Sadly, this book was lacking in so many ways. Just so you know, I’m going to talk about that now. Spoiler alert!

Jazz, the main character in this story is a petty outlaw. A smuggler. She’s estranged from her dad, a renowned welder. She’s promiscuous and impulsive. But why? We know that she and her boyfriend accidentally burned down her dad’s shop- thus the estrangement- but we never learn why she’s such a Bad Girl. 

Courtesy of Google Images
She has a pen pal on Earth named Kelvin (clever!). I though her backstory would develop through the letters they sent back and forth, they started out that way, but fizzled. Kelvin’s character became mainly her smuggling/scheming partner. As I’ve talked about before, every story has a back-story. Our past is what makes us who we are and what we do in the present.  I didn’t know what made Jazz tick, so I didn’t really care about her. Story death. Big time. (Story Genius by Lisa Cron.)

Other things that bothered me include several characters “pinched his/her chin…” What’s that all about? I believe in each scene, the character was thinking, but it’s awkward that at least three different characters did it. I understand if it’s one character’s tendency, it shows a bit of their personality, but it’s not o.k. for several characters to “chin pinch.”

Jazz’s friend, Svoboda, talked in exclamation points! Everything he said ended in an exclamation point!  Most writers understand that exclamation points should be used sparingly! This story read like a young adult or juvenile story. It was written in first person, like The Martian was, but it lacked maturity. Every time Jazz talked to me, the reader, 
I was pulled out of the story. Again, story death.

Like The Martian, there was lots of chemical, sciency stuff that went over my head in Artemis. However, in Weir’s first novel, that stuff was explained better. In that book, I could see the technology in my mind. I this book, I could not visualize so many, too many, things.

Overall, the characters were underdeveloped, making me not really care about them. The premise of the story was all about being underhanded- by accident they learned their underhandedness was against organized crime, and in the end Jazz talked herself out of being deported by convincing the Powers-That-Be that her monopoly and personal ‘community first’ stance in smuggling was what kept their colony free from drugs, gangs, and crime, and if she was deported to Earth, who knows what kind of smuggler would take her place? Give me a break.

Sorry Andy.

Until next time,
Be Good To Yourself.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Greatest Man I Never Knew by Reba McEntire

"The greatest man I never knew lived just down the hall,
and ev'ry day we said hello but never touched at all.
He was in his paper. I was in my room...
The greatest man I never knew came home late ev'ry night,
He never had to much to say. Too much was on his mind.
I never really knew him, oh and now it seems so sad.
Ev'rything he gave to us took all he had.
Then the days turned into years, and the mem'ries to black and white.He grew cold like an old winter wind blowing across my life..."

Friends, mend your fences. Rebuild that burned bridge. Swallow your pride. Bite your lip and kick yourself in the pants.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Ezra Jack Keats: Visionary

Last week I stopped to get some postage stamps. As always, the display showed a wide variety of beautiful stamps available for purchase. I’ve always liked stamps, and in the past couple of years, there have been some stellar subjects to selection from. Imagine my joy when I saw Peter of The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats, playing in the snow. A children’s book on stamps? Oh yeah, those were the ones for me.

I love Ezra Jack Keats books for the same reason I love The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton.

I grew up and learned to read in the Dick and Jane era. In those books, the world was perfect. The children wore nice, church-type clothes, even when they were playing outside. They had shiny new toys, and never got into trouble. The grass was manicured and the houses were perfect. I thought that was the way of the world, except for in my neighborhood.

I grew up in a marginalized neighborhood on the edge of town. We changed out of our school clothes and put on old clothes to play in when we got home. Our toys were new at Christmas time and on our birthdays. The “lawns” were really not much more than weeds that were mowed to grass length. All the dads worked hard and the moms stayed home, but none of the houses in our neighborhood were beautiful or perfect. And I didn't realize it at the time,  I just was a kid, but I lived in a mixed race neighborhood, too,like Peter. 

A scene from Goggles! by Ezra Jack Keats
Ezra Jack Keats introduced me to Peter’s neighborhood and it was worse than mine. Peter lived and played in a run-down part of a big city. Pollution and graffiti were a part of Peter’s world.  I loved the stories, because, even though Peter lived in a less-than-desirable place, he still had friends and adventures and problems that needed solved. He was kind and thoughtful and I could relate to him.

Now that I'm older, I realize what a visionary E.J. Keats was. His main character was a boy of color in the turbulent early 1960’s!  He also broached subjects that other children’s authors, at the time, did not.

Louie is mesmerized by Gussie, 
the green puppet.
Image courtesy of
In his book, Louie, a little boy does not speak. Ever. The other children shy away from him because he's different. But then something magical happens. When Louie shows his love of a puppet named Gussie, the other children realize Louie is like them and needs is a friend,too.

In Goggles, Peter and his best friend, Archie, have to outsmart the neighborhood big boys (aka bullies) to get back a prized possession.

Of course Keats’ stories delight, too. Such is the joy in the peace and beauty of new-fallen snow, or learning to help out with a new baby sister, or taking your pet to a pet show and winning a prize, or learning how to whistle for your dog. Good stuff.

Look who just arrived in the mail!
Go out today and get your very own Snowy Day stamps- and have a child-like day!

Until next time,

Be Good to Yourself.