Friday, February 27, 2009

Hello All

Just wanted to say howdy. Busy day. Trying to stay positive.

I had planned not to blog today. Just did not feel like it. What would be the point? But, it's funny. Just when I have prepared to detach myself to save myself... well give up, God sends us an encouraging word. And I received that word today. Thank you Father.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ups and Downs

Ugh. I am just having one of those days I suppose. Maybe I am just taking this thing too seriously. Sometimes, I just feel like I am screaming into the darkness and no one hears me! LOL

But I am not in a bad mood though. I guess that my skin is just thickening, that's all.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday

I hope that everyone had a good time yesterday. Did anyone see Obama's address last night? I missed it. ;-(

In any case, Happy Ash Wednesday. I will go to Mass at noon. I've been backsliding all year, so this is the motivation I need to get my tail back to church!

Still chipping away at the editing. Boo. Editing is the worst part of writing. But at the same time, it is gratifying, seeing your work rise to perfection! It is the ultimate double-edged sword... At least for me.

I posted a few more chapters to I am not sure how many more that I will post... I guess that I will play it by ear.

Check it out!

Have a great Ash Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Mardi Gras!!!

Hi All,

Ah, today is Mardi Gras when excess is blessed! I hope that many of you made it to my beloved Big Easy to enjoy the festivities! In any case, I am there in spirit.

One day, I will return to my home. Actually, my mother's family is from there. I dream of it always.

Mardi Gras brings to mind Louis Armstrong's "Do You Know What Means to Miss New Orleans." I love that song. It was the theme song for an old TV series, "Frank's Place," set in New Orleans, back in the '80's. (I think that was the '80's, from what my mother tells me, of course LOL).

Strangely enough, I never included a Mardi Gras celebration in the novel. Maybe Josephine should do something one year. Perhaps present a girl at the House (she runs the family brothel) for Mardi Gras. In fact, I think that I just figured out how to work it in! Well, you heard it here first guys!

Gosh darn it! I cannot get the song out of my mind. I will be singing it all day...

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
And miss it each night and day
I know I'm not wrong... this feelings gettin stronger
The longer, I stay away
Miss them moss covered vines...the tall sugar pines
Where mockin birds used to sing
And Id like to see that lazy mississippi...hurryin into spring

Oh the Mardi Gras a memory.......a creole tune.... that fills the air
I dream... about magnolias in bloom......and I'm wishin I was there

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
When thats where you left your heart
And there's one thing more...i miss the one I care for
More than I miss New Orleans

(instrumental break)

The moonlight on the bayou.......a creole tune.... that fills the air
I dream... about magnolia's in bloom......and I'm wishin'that I was there

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
When that's where you left your heart
And there's one thing more...I miss the one I care for
More.....more than I miss.......New Orleans

Love Reigns...

Happy Mardi Gras!

Monday, February 23, 2009


I had a productive weekend. I finished some of the work on La Fleur. My computer crashed and my heart stopped, for my novel was open at the time. However, I did not lose any of my changes. Yeah!

Now, it is Monday, and I must re-orientate myself to work (that pays the bills).

You know what I dream? I dream of New Orleans... of staying for a week at the Monteleone, finishing my book... undisturbed. I have had this dream for some time now. At one time, the dream included my true love accompanying me (he is a dream too). Now, I don't even want him there. I just want to be alone with my novel, my dreams and my libations.

I would go to the Carousel bar, where Julian despised New Orleans, to edit La Fleur and drink.

I would go to Commander's Palace for lunch. Octavius took Beatrice there, along with Josephine, Toussaint and Sylvia. Octavius and Beatrice were reunited at La Fleur in 2008, in the final novel, La Baton. If you have not guessed, Octavius and Beatrice are Jamie and Lela, reincarnated... Sylvia is Nancy...

Well, I am getting ahead of myself. But it is what I dream. I dream... I dream...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I'm exhausted. I finally went to bed at about 4am this morning. It is now just before 10am, and here I am.

I feel this tremendous pressure to finish; however, I am resisiting, not working as diligently as I should. Procrastination is taking a stand. Perhaps on some level I do not wish to finish it. Maybe I am simply tired and need rest. Whatever it is, I must get past it.

Suddenly, it all seems so big. And it is. 340,000 words is quite a bit of text to edit. But I have already done so a several times over the past years, why the sudden weariness?

And now, I have the added the task of surfing the web, searching for readers for this novel. The task is very consuming... Meeting other writers, reading other manuscripts and comparing them to my own. There are so many great writers out there.

Maybe that is my problem. I am afraid... I fear that my work will not measure up, that it is not good enough, that no one will be interested in reading a 1,000 page plus novel. My own family and friends will not do it, do not have the time perhaps... Why should I expect strangers to do so?

Last night, I dreamed that this person had made the red card for me out of construction paper, shaped similar to a christmas tree, with petals of sort that flipped up in pages. I read some of the pages, and there were messages on them from famous authors. I remember reading one message, and someone had applied the stamped signature for Maya Angelou.

Maybe the dream is encouraging me to perservere on.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Thursday was my birthday. I actually had a nice day, but I was very tired. I had gone out with my bosses the night before to send off one our own, headed for greener pastures. He started his own business!

I got a special gift on my birthday however. I found this site where new authors can post their works. So I put up a few chapters. The publisher reads your work, if enough people recommend it. Please stop by and give my work a read. Sign up and recommend me!

Last night, I got a few hours to do some more editing. The novel, well at least the first 10 chapters, is pretty clean. Things are looking up! I just need time... If I had uninterrupted time, I could get it done. But life does not present the majority of us with uninterrupted moments.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Long Night

Ugh... I went out with my co-workers last night to send off one our comrades... I think that I mentioned him, Bill. We had a great time. But wow, I DO NOT need to be at work today. I am sooo tired and sleepy.

Needless to stay, I did not do any work on my novel yesterday. Maybe I just need the break.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Unbelievable! I have devoted my entire evening to working on my blog instead of editing my book. I guess that is why I hesitated creating this blog in the first place. I knew that it would consume me... reading other blogs, finding out what's new in the world. I need to focus and finish what I have started! But I can't write every free minute! Well, I do. It is like "fire shut up in my bones..." I'm becoming a little weird and withdrawn...

I will lose novel-time tomorrow as well. One of the guys who I support is leaving the company. I am happy for him, but I will miss Bill too. Anyhow, I plan to attend his going away party. I have to figure out how to get to the train station in the morning (I cannot drive, long story... but if I leave my car in the commuter lot overnight, I will get a ticket), how to get home (the party will be at Morton's in Rosemont, I live near Orland Park... wow, 60 miles one way). It is a logistical and financial nightmare for me. I'm on the wrong side of the payday... Well, I won't get into that day-terror.

Let me roll up my hair and go asleep. I will blog with you tomorrow.


Once again, 11PM had snuck up on me as I sat on the sofa working on the 4th edit of La Fleur. It is never-ending. How many times can you review a document and find a missing comma, word or quote?

There just never seems to be enough hours in the day to get it all done. If I could have a week, well two... ok a month, I know that I could finish up! There is not that much which remains to be done...

My job seems to dominate my life, since I enjoy buying a few groceries and having running water. Wow. My long days at work are topped off by a long commute.

Well, the long Metra commute works out. I can work on the novel.

In any case, I made the decision that I should get up early and write. 3AM, yeah that's it. Sure, I AM NOT a morning person, but I'm going to show my dedication by getting up at the crack of dawn to work on this novel...


I said a little prayer before falling asleep...

I open my eyes and looked at the clock. 4:15AM! Hey, that's not too bad for a first try...

I open my eyes and looked at the clock. 6:30AM! Loser.

I get up and get into the shower for another day at work. I will just have to rendezvous with my love whenever possible throughout the day, as always.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Lela Chevalier Roberts!

February 12, 2009

Today, I am celebrating the 157th birthday of my friend, Lela Chevalier Roberts. Lela was born a slave on February 12, 1852 to her father, Augustus Chevalier on his plantation in St. Helena’s Parish, Louisiana. Little did anyone know that Lela is La Rose, Holy to the Lord, the mother of His children. Lela returns to the earth, yet again, to further the Vine, bringing forth its blooms in season, the children of the Lord.

With Satan's many attempts to destroy Lela and her children throughout her lifetime, her greatest challenge proves to be her great-grandson, Julian Charles Chamberie. After witnessing his mother Josephine plummet from the third floor of their home to her death, Julian becomes cold, unable and unwilling to feel and to love ever again. If he cannot love, how can the last generations of the Most High come forth?

When Julian returns to New Orleans during the March on Washington in August, 1963, he plans to place Lela, who is now 111 years old, in a nursing home, sell the mansion and auction off its contents. However, Lela narrates for him their family’s long and complicated history, attempting to explain his mother’s death. Lela’s story forces Julian to contend with the realization that his mother committed suicide, out of anguish for ruining his life.

Julian flees their home, running to City Park. As he weeps for his mother, an old woman sits beside him. She listens to his heart's hurt, soothing and comforting him with her words of wisdom. As she leaves, Julian remembers her perfume, realizing the woman’s identity. Julian runs after her, reuniting with his greatest love, his mother Josephine.

La Rose succeeds in furthering the Holy Line in its march towards it vintage fruit, La Baton.


Well, this is my novel, La Fleur; however their is much more to the story. I have attached the few chapter of the book. The novel is approximately 340,000 words.

Each week, I will post a few chapters from the novel. Click on the links at the left to read the first few chapters!

I welcome your feedback. And hey, agents and publishers, please feel free to contact me if you like what you see! You may contact me at

If you wish to read more, please subscribe to this blog or select the link above to 'follow this blog.' When I load a new chapter, you will be the first to know!

Claudia Helena Ross