Tag Archives: Jody Ballard

…for all the true buddies out there, my Guest Blogger, Jody Ballard…

No plaudit for the merit of a good  ‘buddy’ system could be better expressed than the blog post below from my dear friend and writing companion, Jody Ballard. She, who constantly compresses five days of social and business events programming into one, and wonders why there’s no time left to do everything else she wants to do in a 24-hour spell… She, who reflects the truism, ‘Ya can take the lady outa Montana, but ya can’t take Montana outa the lady ‘,…read and rejoice in her wisdom…(oh, and I paid her to say all the nice bits about me…)

JODY BALLARD

As a guest blogger, I understand it is customary to bla bla bla or blog blog blog about myself. I am supposed to discuss my private practice as a relationship therapist, as well as my other life as a novelist. As a responsible blogger, I should announce my soon to be released first novel, THE SMELL OF MUD,  (wonderfully readable and erudite, if I may say so myself). But being a bit Bohemian and anything but mainstream, I would rather blog about my daily writing office mate where we convene in the windowed corner of a hotel lobby. I am introducing him from my perspective to the virtual world in much the same manner as I introduced him to the ladiesʼ groups of Abu Dhabi. Are you ready cyber world for the true nature of Seumas Gallacher? Prepared for the reality of it? I know his secret! The secret of what lies hidden beneath the kilt! …..oops no, no donʼt let yourself slide to the Fifty Shades mentality…..be good and keep reading.
Those who follow Seumas know his genre is Crime Thriller and he does a marvelous job of it. He entices, intrigues, shocks and amuses. He can keep a reader riveted just to see if he can manage to kill eight more people on the next two pages and make you grateful they have vanished from the book. For those who follow his blog, you know he is witty, clever and loves a good turn of phrase. His secret is a shift of paradigm, I am not sure how it will settle in the tweeting world. Okay, enough, here it is………

SEUMAS IS A SOFTY. Beneath the kilt and the Braveheart bravura  lies the softest, most tender of hearts. When we first met, I thought, okay, interesting man but he’s a banker, a trouble shooter, logical, systematic, timely and very organized. I fashion myself quite the opposite. I am a therapist by trade and an artist in my soul. I am an independent-spirited and  ʻdonʼt fence me inʼ kind of gal. So initially his most redeeming qualities in my view were his sparkling mischievous eyes and his VERY Glaswegian accent. I had to listen closely to his words to understand and months later, Iʼm very glad I did.

Today this combination of traits are qualities I appreciate much more as I see them working to help me systematically move through the world of writing, editing and hopefully publishing. YIN – YANG, BLACK – WHITE, ABBOTT – COSTELLO. Seumas and I are almost polar opposites, but we differ enough to be able to augment each other in clever ways. This has proven to be a wonderful formula for enriching our lives and our writing. Just this last week, Seumas asked me how many more times he might need to remind me to get my calendar in order and schedule social networking, and the business of marketing my novel. Seumas, who unlike me, actually wears a watch and always shows up on time with the right equipment, is correct and Voila! My guest blogʼs finished and word-smithed! My contribution to this system is to reinforce all the touchy-feely sides of novel creation, character development, the internal and external psychological reactions to events……… Together we are able to give feedback to each other and collaborate in a way I would never have been able to had I found someone who merely replicated myself.

Therefore, my not so embedded recommendation is for authors to find an opposite, to celebrate diversity, and together write exponentially better for having combined skill sets. No one is an island, no one singly possesses all the qualities needed to survive and thrive in this authoring world. Pair with someone very different from yourself or just seek out that person at the next reception who appears to think differently and your world will expand. Wrap your mind around those things you have avoided or considered mundane. My world is organized (today anyway) and I thank my book-end for this.

I would love to hear your ʻauthoryʼ ideas. I am @relatetojody or http://www.stratwellsys.com. I appreciate your taking the time to read this blahg, blahg, blahg. Remember now that you know Seumasʼs secret and be gentle to his tender heart.

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