About Jennifer E. McFadden

I am the author of the children's book, Rusty My Playful Cat. I am currently writing an adult ghost novel with my good friend, Anthony F. Rando, and a YA science fiction novel with my husband, James G. McFadden.

Summer Vacation

Crater Lake Two

Photo by Boomsbeat

Summer flew by this year, and my family and I have been busy. We flew to Los Angelos and then drove as far north as the Crater Lake National Park in Oregon before driving South to San Diego in Southern California. All in ten days!

 

 

20140806_162345We explored three national parks in four days: Crater Lake, the Redwood Forest, and Yosemite Park. These parks are each beautiful in their own way; clear blue lake, beautiful redwood trees, and the gorgeous mountains of Yosemite, though the waterfalls are bone dry. It’s sad how dry the state of California is. The fire risk is extremely high with several fires devouring sections of the trees throughout the mountains.

Los Angelos is a fun city to visit, and see family. Disney Land has a fantastic color light show at the California Adventure Park, which inspired me to work on my manuscripts. San Diego has such beautiful beaches.

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We saw so much and slept in a different hotel almost every night that when we returned home it felt odd to be in Texas.

Fathers

Dad baseballI’m grateful to my father for raising me to follow my heart and making me laugh. He protected me while growing up in New York and took great care of my brother and I.  He is also a fun grandpa to my sons, and I’m so glad he lives with us!

946733_10202093347679830_1045844382_n(1)I am so grateful that my sons have such a wonderful father to guide them in becoming great men, such as my husband. I hope he notices how their face lights up whenever he comes home from work each day and know how much they love him. I’m so grateful we are an eternal family. 

Progress

I’m happy that my husband and I had time to work on our YA time travel novel together. I started this book 5 years ago, and work on the manuscript off and on.

This past weekend, we both felt ready to read what we wrote and refresh our memories, and the two important scenes that help move the story was what we focused on. The nice thing was, I was able  to type it instead of using the Dragon Speak. I talk faster than I type, but it was nice to work with my talented husband after more than a year past without him typing a single word!

It would be great if I spoke the rest of my scenes with Dragon Speak and finished it already, yet because of my sensory overload problem, it is much harder for me to put the headphones on and start talking for longer than five minutes. As long as we make progress on the manuscript and enjoy this fun writing journey, I’m happy.

Full of Hope

Stretching_cat Tonight as I write this post I am grateful for these three things:

My son has helped me lift a light amount of weights (on machines) for my arms, chest, and lower back at our local gym to regain some sorely needed muscles which I need in my everyday life. It’s amazing how fast our muscles will turn to fat once we hit forty. My son is a wonderful at pushing me to go when I make many excuses to stay home.

The Dragon Speak software is such a blessing as I write and edit my Young Adult manuscript that I no longer feel anxious about finishing it. Actually, the idea of opening the document gave me some anxiety, since writing for long periods of time is painful.

While my body today is a bit sore from yesterday’s workout, I am filled with a lot of much needed hope that as I faithfully continue with these workouts, my body will become strong enough for me to return to an active life where I can return to serving my friends and family instead of being the grateful one to receive their love and service.

It brings me joy to write this post tonight without my arthritic fingers begging me to stop, that I am full of hope for a brighter future, both with writing and my family life. Yet I know that my three chronic illness will last me throughout my life, and I must be diligent in keeping my body strong. My perspective and gratitude since my illness began has strengthened me to always persevere, and to never give up.

Image of stretching cat can be found here.

Training My Dragon Speak

For the next two weeks, I will be training my new Dragon Speak software program to learn my speech patterns to help me work on my novels. As I have thought about it, I was always better at telling a story out loud.

When my sons were young, I asked what topic they would like me to tell talk about. After they chose one, usually about one of our cats, the story literally flowed out of my mouth without me thinking about what I would say, as if it were the animals speaking. Many of them were very cute stories that I could fit into my goal: if they were fighting or upset, I would just start talking about whatever popped into my head at the time. If it was nap time, I would have the cats play with an animal they just met in the woods and when they wore themselves out, they would curl up into a ball and go to asleep. Somehow I could lead into the sleepiness part, and it would help them fall asleep.

In the past, many of the famous tales we know about were oral stories that no one wrote down. Each generation would pass down stories they learned from their parents, so it makes me feel better knowing that I am using an old form of story telling which I’m sure my Irish ancestors did. I know what my characters need to do in each scene, so I will just review the scene and tell myself what the characters are doing and saying to move the story forward. And I will most likely pretend that my sons are listening to it so it feels more natural.

Have you ever tried using Dragon Speak? If you couldn’t type for long periods of time, would you?

Would Rather Be Writing…

Sometimes I wonder if my novels will ever be published. The arthritis in my hands have become severe and it is difficult to type well. Adding to this is my numerous family responsibilities, and I can’t remember the last time I added a single word to any of my documents.

I still think about my characters and stories, but it now seems to be in a distant part of my mind. The way you file things in your head to remember in the future, instead of immediately working on of my stories.

I am in the process of training the software Dragon Speak to learn my voice patterns so that I can ‘speak’ about my characters’ lives into my tales. So far it has been a very slow process because it has trouble loading, or can’t find the registration numbers that I already used to set it up.

My husband and I are working on training it today, so hopefully my version of writing will go much smoother and faster.

Grateful

My husband is home from the hospital. It was a long five days for both him and I, and is such a good reminder of how important it is to strengthen our immune system.

A friend of mine introduced me to amazing healing oils, called Doterra Oils, to use on my husband’s infected leg and feet. I was desperate to help him, and applied four different oils two-three times a day. His leg healed at a remarkable speed along with the antibiotic.

Good health is priceless. I am now determined for my family and I to eat healthier, use essential oils, and get enough exercise to keep our bodies strong. While antibiotics are needed to get rid of tough bacteria, a strong immune system is needed to avoid getting sick, because this is NOT a cycle that we want to repeat.

Reflections

Tonight my husband is in the hospital with an aggressive infection in his leg. It started yesterday, and this morning he had a fever and a large red rash on his leg. He couldn’t walk, and I drove him to the ER. They admitted him and he is on antibiotics and pain meds, and has received many blood tests to check his white blood cell count. 

The tests this afternoon came back a bit high, most likely from fighting the infection, though they will scan for a blood clot as well. All of this served as a good reminder to me that things in life can and do change very fast in life, and I must try to always be prepared, whether I feel well or not.

I wasn’t feeling too good myself, but made the choice to serve my husband and best friend to the best of my ability. Dealing with this stress and uncertainty caused me want to write more scenes in our time travel novel, as a way for us to remember our love of this young adult story, and how it brings us closer together.

This is one of the many reasons I became a writer – to create tales that temporally help me forget about my problems and concentrate on my characters who have a life of their own.

Change

I have neglected my blog for a while due to my busy life and the pain that floods my body.  It is a bad combination that has distracted me from my love of writing both my novels and this blog. But I now have hope, that since I wake up in the middle of the night, and when I take my headache medicine that also contains caffeine and aspirin, it alleviates most of my pain.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about who I am and what I write about, and my love of our earth and the stars inspired me to change the look of this site. I am in the process of editing my Enchanted Locket manuscript with my co-author, Anthony F. Rando. These characters talk to me the most often, and we are changing the location of where these characters live.  Instead of upstate New York or Western Pennsylvania, they now live in Galveston, Texas.

And everything has fallen into place; when my family and I went to visit the day after Christmas for my mother’s birthday, I found the perfect house for my character’s setting. It felt right, and I could imagine my character Olivia living there and dealing with her encounters with ghosts.

My chronic pain seems to affect my memory recall, so I’ll be re-reading my novel writing books and posting my thoughts on my writing blog, Epic Tales.