Welcome to my blog Upstate Girl, (a.k.a Follow Your Bliss Part II), I am an independently published author. This blog is all about writing and the stuff that inspires me to write, the joys and obstacles that come along with the writer's life, and my fascination with the psychology of people and what makes them tick...the human condition, as is...and my love for words, playing with them and making sense of them...and I throw in a few photos from my acre of the world just to make things pretty...sometimes there are things I have no words for, only pictures will do.

*Copyright notice* All photos, writing, and artwork are mine (
© Laura J. Wellner), unless otherwise noted, please be a peach, if you'd like to use my work for a project or you just love it and must have it, message me and we'll work out the details...it's simple...JUST ASK, please.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Fractured Hues of White Light

Now available on Kindle...

I've dragged my feet getting it on there...how come, you ask? Well, sometimes I just have to set my mind to it and do it. I'm in that rare down time from working on a manuscript, so I spent time on my vacation a week ago last week reading the paperback and making updates for the Kindle edition...eventually, these updates will be transferred into the paperback edition, but I will need to set time with my Fred for that later (I'm clueless about InDesign.) I've updated the Nook version too, so that's all set as well...

This book is one of those "big books"...meaning it is a bit heavy reading (what me write a "heavy book"? Noooooo, really?) Yes, really...in spite of the bright yellow cover, it is a dark book...yellow is Samantha Ryder's favorite color, and the color yellow has significance throughout the book...from the color of a beach umbrella to a bouquet of flowers. (The cover image is one of my little paintings, Walking on the Sun.)

After revisiting it these recent weeks reminded me what I loved about it, and it felt good to revisit those characters again - I felt energized, which I've needed for a long time. So in spite of the tedious fussing with making a table of contents and making sure the spacing was right, page breaks where they needed to be, and making sure what was italicized in the paperback was still italicized in the digital...a lot of fuss and such trying to create a digital file that will somewhat "read" like the paperback, but it's done, and I'm fairly happy about the result.


The Fractured Hues of White Light is a literary fiction novel about an emotional journey that explores love, who we love and why we love them. Mother, father, daughter, siblings, lovers, spouses, and friends; it’s all love in some form. It is a story about Samantha Ryder, a young, high-functioning autistic woman who is an artist; it is because of her handicap that she often fails to articulate her emotions with an appropriate demonstration, so the complex emotion of love is an enigma. Ironically, the ‘normal people’ who surround her are just as incapable of communicating their feelings, creating a sense of isolation full of things left unsaid. It's a love story.

Saturday, June 23, 2012



 All she said was:

“I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no’.”

The next day Lisa Brown was banned from speaking at the Michigan House of Representatives—apparently, she was out of line the other day.

Seriously? Big deal, she said “Vagina”. It’s just a word—a natural word—a word to describe a very specific female anatomy—a clinical term—the official word vagina has caused the male members of the Michigan State House of Representatives to “GASP!”

What if Lisa Brown said “Penis.”

Or what if one of the male members said the word “Penis.” (Yes, I picked to refer to them as "male members" on purpose.)

Lisa Brown had no reason to bring up the word penis because the issue wasn’t a male issue it was a female issue about reproductive rights for women—and she was voicing her opinion against the latest anti-abortion legislation that was being debated on the floor that day—she was doing her job by being the ‘voice’ for her constituency. The gavel came banging down—she was out of line—I guess the Speaker didn’t like her attitude.

SO she was “silenced” by the House Speaker (along with Barbara Bryum who apparently had “a tantrum” on the House floor the same day about the same issue being debated—she said something allegedly inappropriate about legislating men who needed a vasectomy that they needed to prove their health was at risk and after that she was done for.) Both of them silenced, banned from the House Floor. This pretty much means they were told to go to the “shut the fuck up” room for the day. What the fuck-fuckity-fuck is that shit all about?

 Twat you say? I cunt hear you.

Apparently to some male members, the word “vagina” is so disturbing that is not suitable to be used in the presence of women or “mixed company” (This implies that you’d only chuckle warmly with other male members about the word “vagina”?)

Excuse me, what century are we in?

According to another male member’s comments, it was the “no means no” part of Lisa Brown’s comment that was offensive. That it had nothing to do with body parts, dissent or religious beliefs, it was just that last bit. No means no—must be this hit a nerve. A “not tonight, honey” nerve. “‘No’ means ‘no’” alludes to the age old circumstance of rape and recurring events of violence against women—so ‘no’ means ‘no’ apparently rubs this male member the wrong way. That’s my best guess anyway.

Then came Eve, and the Vagina Monologues were read, speeches made, clever homemade signs waved in the sunshine and smiling faces proudly lit up the scene.

You go girls.

Click to go to Washington Post article
The Scene at the Capital, looks like a good time - Photo by Dale G. Young AP

Oooo, what she said!

Vagina. If you can’t say it, don’t legislate it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

A photo of my daddy as a young man...what a handsome sailor! I always loved this photo of him, he was just about 18 years old, it was 1945, WWII was winding down by the time he shipped out, yet there were still things going on around the world to keep busy. He was on the aircraft carrier the USS Makin Island heading to Shanghai as part of the Magic Carpet operation...a rescue mission. (He worked in the boiler room.) The aircraft carrier was converted to carry people, not planes...about 1000 bunks were added to accommodate the people coming on board.

I'm on my way to visit with my daddy today...he time travels mostly now, but his stories about his time on the ship and time in Shanghai come up now and then. He always loved telling a good story, I wish he had written them down...and I wish I had too... it's never to late to start.

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 1, 2012

And so it goes...

White Viola from the garden 5/28/2012

I'm on a vacation, using up my time before I lose it at the end of the month...some times the first day off is difficult to unwind from the days that came before...so I'm picking away at the knots in my head and thinking about what to do with my time...

Leaf lace on stone

I've been in the garden this morning, cutting bottoms out of paper cups to protect my little sunflower, morning glory and corn seedlings, dang critters won't leave them alone without the cups...I rescued some that were pulled out by the roots, I'm hoping they will settle back into growing...It's raining now so maybe they will recover from being so violated.

Looking up inside Bill's barn silo

 I'm still working my way through Drinking from the Fishbowl, it's been an education...as always, I'm glad that I'm still learning what to do as I'm doing it...writing a novel is such rollercoaster ride of determined focus and flighty whimsey...anxious frustrations dangle off the reassuring hand of precise contentment. I was recently reminded about the reader's perspective, and pulled my head out of the swaddling cocoon of the words I'm crafting, suddenly feeling overwhelmed by the work that still lays ahead of me with this manuscript. I'm sure it's going to be fine when it's done (whether that is two months from now or two years), but I'm also sure there will be the same Love it/Hate it see-saw reaction from readers that I receive, which is all right, I've gotten used to that in the way that authors eventually do, shrugging off the stars and numbers that rank my work, and then the words said about what I do (or didn't do). I have to trust that my books will be picked up by readers who are looking for what I'm writing about...like Steinbeck said: 

"You know just as well as I do that this book is going to catch the same kind of hell that all the others did and for the same reasons. It will not be what anyone expects and so the expecters will not like it. And until it gets to people who don't expect anything and are just willing to go along with the story, no one is likely to like this book."

(from A Journal of a Novel, quoted from page 26, March 8, Thursday.)

I go back to Steinbeck and smile, I'm no where near this man's talent, but I feel the same way...I have a high bar for myself as a writer (and an artist)... I want to write what I feel is right, I want to write about things that matter...perhaps I'm wrong to expect readers to be savvy enough to come to a book (any book, not just mine) without expectations—at least, that’s what I was taught by my older siblings who were diligent readers, they shepherded me to the library and introduced me to such grand tomes like East of Eden, War and Peace, the Master and Margarita, To Kill a Mockingbird, Wuthering Heights and Wonderland, or maybe I just made it up in my own mind that that’s how it should be. Books are beautiful creations, I love going into a story blindly and finding the treasure buried within...and even when I don't particularly like how a book ends...it's the author's vision that matters to me...I appreciate the individual who sat down and wrote it...I appreciate this even more now than before I became a writer. I'm there...in good company.

Popeye, May 2012