It is my pleasure to host one of the Roses from The Wild Rose Press, Peggy Jaeger, who shares her answer to my question...
What is one of your hobbies and how has it enriched your writing?
PJ: Creativity is very important to me, whether I’m writing, cooking, or crafting – all three of which I love to do. One of the best ways I’ve found to relax my mind when I’m writing is to decoupage. In fact, it helps with my writing if I’ve fallen down a plot hole or if a character is being obnoxious, by taking my conscious mind away from the work and focusing it on something else. All the while, my subconscious is trying to work through the writing issue and every single time I find my way.
I started decoupaging as a child during a school art class. For Mother’s Day one year my class was assigned the task of creating a decoupage jewelry box for our Moms. We were provided with small wooden boxes, reams of magazines and newspapers, and told to find pictures that “spoke to us.” As a nine-year-old, not much spoke to me, but I shuffled through the paper and found a lot of what I thought were images my mother would like.
Next came the actual artsy part of the project. Once the images were chosen, we had to arrange them around the box so they would fit and “tell a story.” Again, as a nine year old the only story I could think to tell my mother was the “I love you, Mom” one, so I just arranged the images in a collage that I thought looked pretty. They were glued to the surface of the box and then polyurethaned over until a seal was formed.
My mother loved that box and still has it to this day. Maybe it was the positive affirmation I received from her for the gift; maybe it was the fact I liked telling a story with pictures and not only words. Maybe it was even the subtle high I got from inhaling polyurethane (kidding!), but I found I enjoyed the art of decoupage.
In college I was given an old footlocker, bent, battered, and scratched, to hold my bed linens. I decoupaged it with pictures of my family so I wouldn’t miss them so much while I was away.
Recently, I’ve completed three new projects: a storage steamer trunk for my daughter’s apartment, a cedar chest for myself with the theme of successful women and icons, and one for a dear friend covered with images of her family. During those three projects, I’ve simultaneously written 3 books. Each project in some way helped me with the corresponding timed novel, to the point I actually printed off miniature versions of my book covers and used them as photos for the projects.
These days, decoupage has been elevated to an art form. Any arts and craft stores or hobby centers, will have everything needed from specialty glue called ModPodge, to brushes specifically made so no brush-streaks will show up on the finished project. You can also find vintage paper now sold to help form a background and a base for your projects. And virtually anything can be decoupaged. I’ve done large items such as steamer trunks, but I’ve also done miniature earring boxes, photo album covers, glass wear and desktop items. All you need is the desire and a theme to start.
Whether I tell a story with actual words, or through the interpretation of decoupage projects, my desire to create always has an outlet, something I am so happy for. Writers are more than just the sum total of their words. Their world of imagination can stretch to other branches of creativity as well, be it art, crafting, cooking, sculpting – you name it. Just s long as it’s fun!
by Peggy Jaeger
by Peggy Jaeger
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Family Practice Doctor Clarissa Rogers’ first impression of Padric Cleary is biased and based on gossip. The handsome, charming veterinarian is considered a serial dater and commitment-phobic by his family and most of the town. Relationship shy, Clarissa refuses to lose her heart to a man who can’t pledge himself to her forever.
Pat Cleary, despite his reputation, is actually looking for "The One." When he does give his heart away, he wants it to be for life. With his parent’s marriage as his guidebook, he wants a woman who will be his equal and soul mate in every way.
Can Pat convince everyone – including Clarissa – she’s the only woman for him?
She sent a quick text, thinking he would read it when he woke in the morning.
Home. Long day. Sorry I couldn’t text before now.
When she plugged her phone into the charger, it pinged.
She typed back: Thankfully, yes.
Are you? He immediately replied.
“I would be, if I could get you out of my head,” she muttered.
Tired. She typed.
I missed you after you left. Everyone did, but me most of all.
“What are you doing to me?” she asked the phone.
Crawling into bed now. ’Night.
Get some sleep. Talk 2morrow.
Clarissa snuggled under the comforter, and as she was about to close her eyes, the phone pinged again. She reached for it and laughed out loud.
What are you wearing?
Pat. Go. To. Sleep.
I can’t. I keep seeing you whenever I close my eyes.
“Oh, dear Lord.” A seeping warmth dropped through her system.
I am not sexting you. I’m too tired right now.
Does that mean you’ll sext me some other time? He added two emoticon faces with smiles, their eyebrows rising up and down suggestively.
Stop. Please. I need sleep and you’re making me laugh.
My intent was to make you as frustrated as me, not laugh. My ego is bruising again, Clarissa. Want to come over here and kiss it better?
“The man is too much,” she told the empty room.
I’m powering down now. Go to sleep. Friend.
She waited a minute to see if he’d reply. When he didn’t she put the phone back into the charger. Exhaustion took over, and she was asleep almost instantly.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance author who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can't live without them. Her current titles, available now, include Skater's Waltz and There's No Place Like Home, books 1 and 2 in her 6-book The MacQuire Women Series, published by The Wild Rose Press. Tying into her love of families, her children's book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law. Peggy holds a master's degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer's Disease during her time running an Alzheimer's in-patient care unit during the 1990s.
In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance. A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.
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