Saturday, August 16, 2014


For the past many months, I've felt like I'm on an algae-smelling river, in a boat without a paddle. It's a wooden boat, not of Elvish make, but one with no beauty nor grace.

I've made it out of the boat but ended up in a fly-infested bog, slogging forward. The best part of the bog, if there can be such a thing, is that my brain is clear, frightened, but clear.

Writing is so personal, no matter what my subject matter. It's like going into a deep, water-floored mine. I know there's something down there, but I'm afraid of what it could be.

It's me

Tonight, D came over and we had an awesome time with her Cornelius story. I can see her characters and know what they're thinking and what's happening to them without any thought. She reads me a line, usually funny, and I am off, eyes closed, imagining the scene before me and voila - somehow - I see more. I see the little things that make humans special and fun and I tell her and she sits there, mouth agape. It is such an unusual thing, being a teacher/editor. I know now what spurred on my love of reading as a child. I could see it all before me and imagine, before I read the next part, what might happen. I loved those moments when I was right.

As we sat there, I pondered  upon my own writing - now that I can look at it subjectively. I wondered why I couldn't edit/revise my own writings the way I could with D and my other student/friend.

I pulled out 'Blue' and D and I went over it - the first two paragraphs - and I was able to see what I thought might be good changes to make the character more vibrant and the scene more understandable. In the midst of it all, I realized I needed to move a scene up. It's an action scene and it's much farther down in chapter one. Moving it up will answer questions sooner. I used to think it was better to keep my readers guessing, but I think there's only so much a reader wants to guess :)

D is happy and I'm excited - after all this soul searching. I know how to read/review/revise this book, at least for the moment. Tomorrow morning, though it's technically already tomorrow, I'm taking the pages we scribbled over and write them out. Then onto the next paragraph. It's going to be tedious, the thought of which has disabled me these last few months, but I feel hope again.

Life is hope. Blessings, my friends.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


I've been back to the Center numerous times since last I wrote, but the little one and her friend have decided they love this place and so, we play Animal Jam on the Center's computers. They like sitting next to each other. I would, if I had the money, buy an extra computer and have it at my place. Though it's fun coming to the Center.

D is coming over tonight. I'm hoping she has another chapter of her Cornelius story to share. She's so determined she drives me crazy. She subscribes to the theory that every word counts. Now, I'm not saying that I don't believe the same thing; however, I write and then go back and take paragraphs and edit them. Then onto phrases and then, finally, words. She does word by word as she writes. I'd go insane.

As for me, I printed out the first chapter of 'Blue' again (after the aborted trying to edit here). However, (this will be the word of the day), the kids have been over constantly and we've been at the pool. Nights - we're watching My Little Pony and the 'Mommy and Gracie' Youtube vids. The kids love them. If you've got My Little Pony and Monster High fans in your house, check out their videos. It's great fun.

I was hoping to submit this chapter to my Skyline Group but alas and alack, I can't get it onto here. For some reason unbeknownst to me, I just do not like to use my own computer anymore to write. Perhaps it's because it's become my second-job computer. Hmmmm.

I was hoping to sit with a cup of coffee and my draft and edit here by hand, but the kids slept over last night and I couldn't find my shoes, never mind my MS, if I wanted to.

Life is chaotic but lovely with grandchildren.

'Mommie and Gracie' link:

Friday, August 1, 2014

*Bangs Head Against Computer Table*

Happiness swelled through me this past week as I devoted myself to 'Blue'. It felt good to be in the groove again. Smiles lit my face more often than of late.

Expectations - I'd forgotten. According to Martinez's Four Agreements:  no expectations.

I came into the center today, wringing my hands in delight at the thought of working on 'Blue' again.

I opened my email (I can't 'keep' the document at this site and so I send it to myself.) I looked everywhere - all three email accounts. No document. I looked in Drive and there it was - from February!!!!! I looked in my sent boxes, my spam boxes (remind me never to go there again - yikes!), and all mail boxes. No sign of the document.

I looked in the computer's files here. I'd been assiduous in making sure I deleted it the last time I was here. They do not allow 'members' to save files to their computer.  

*heavy sigh*

It really doesn't matter. I'm not sure what has happened but I feel like the weight of the world is off me. I've been losing weight and other maladies are subsiding. I'm eating much better than I've done since my 'Mother Earth' days (that will tell you how old I am.)

My buddy D came over last night and she is feeling the same way. Uplifted. She's changed her diet, too, to a more non-processed food regimen and God forbid stay away from fast food. I'm totally believing that's why my mood has improved and even my visage. 

Life is good. I'll get the old document off Drive again and see what I can do. I'd been most happy *heavy sigh* with the changes I'd made. Thankfully, I'd only worked on Chapter One. I'm planning on submitting it to my writing group in a week. 

Life is interesting. Love to all.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I Willl Not Say I'm Back

for I never really left. Who can leave writing? After months of moaning and feeling sorry for myself, I have taken one step forward.

Today, I went to a community hall and used their computer to begin the process of revising 'Blue'. I think I've known for awhile that the book needs major revisions. I believe that's why I've been running the other way.

When I first started writing as a career and not a hobby, I knew the joy of writing. These past few years, I've come to learn an important lesson. I am not entitled to being published. But -- I will not stop trying.

For now, I decided to tackle 'Blue' and make it the story that is trying to get out. The one I fell in love with. I know it's in that mass of 70,000 words. I've fought taking any of them out. I've fought revising it. I'm a seat-of-the-pants writer. What the Muse causes to be typed on my keyboard is what the story should be. Foolish woman. The Muse is only one part of the story. I'm intelligent and good at writing. I should be part of this process.

I went through the first three paragraphs of 'Blue' at the center and still am not finished with them. This process is going to take an even stronger commitment, but unbeknownst to me, courage and tenacity are part of my soul.

I'm not sure if I'll be blogging every day the way I used to, but I do know I will keep this blog up. Working on 'Blue' is my first priority, after taking care of myself and the family. For goodness sakes, I must be healing for I wore make-up today for the first time in years.

Love to you all out there, writing and wishing and hoping and bleeding. After all, as Hemingway said, 'There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down and bleed.'

I've got bandages. Angry bird ones. I'll be ok. So will you. xxxooo

Monday, June 9, 2014

Voices In The Air

Today I lifted my arms in the air and conversed with the Universe. I told it thatI wanted to write again. It told me To go ahead.

I've received much encouragement from friends and fellow writers.

I am thinking of putting 'Blue' away for a time, grab somerhing from my idea pile, and create a new tale.

However, I plan on continuing to send out querries for my giraffe tale.

As I said before, I got chromecast for Christmas. I'm hoping to search for querie letters and how to write them.  I'm also going to find a class and take it.

Life is stardust.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Universe

If you can't believe that the universe flows through us, breathes within us, and causes us to action - then you should open your mind to such an adventure.

D and I were talking about Claudia Taller's Word Lovers Retreat and the wonderful writers we met and the plethora of information we gleaned from just two days. Inviting D had been a second thought, but we both realized that the universe wanted D to be there. She's still flying high with the joy and encouragement she found there. I'm trying.

Besides that, C, creator and moderator of Westlake's Writers' Ink, shared a book with D. Tonight, D brought it over and we salivated as we turned the pages. Wow. It's an incredible book that has been out since 1990. How on earth we both missed it, I can't explain. The universe must have been in eclipse at the time. A new edition came out a few years ago and that's the one C lent to D.

The title of the book is 'Descriptionary'. I'm sure some of you have heard of it or perhaps use it as your writing bible. It's got so much to thrust at your creativity, it's astounding. As I was delving into the pages on weapons and animals and the environment, I thought, 'This really needs to meld with an etymology book'. Because of the genre I write in, I need to know what century the word is from. If it's too modern, I can't use it.

So I am delegated to using my old pal, the Online Etymology Dictionary, alongside the 'Descriptionary'. There are phrases in both that just set you off into the depths of words you had not even considered. It's fun.

Also, we were watching an interview with James Patterson in which he stated: 'There is one rule in writing. Break the rules'. D and I found that funny and freeing. We'll see how many rules we can break and still get published.

On the week-end, Trudy Brandenburg told us a little about a software called, 'Skivener'. I'm sure many of you use it or know of it. I've heard the name tossed about a few times, but Trudy's presentation showed how easy it is to use and what a great tool it can be for writers. It's called the complete writing studio and it really is about that. D's going to buy it next week and we'll look it over when next we get together.

Writing can be expensive. Skivener, Descriptionary, conferences, books, etc.... It is all worth it, though. You must pay yourself first to reap the benefits of your investment.

Life is learning.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Heart Palpitations

Something odd happened today. I opened my MS of 'Blue' and felt disturbed. So disturbed that my heart did a dip. Perhaps I'm not quite as ready as I had thought to renew my relationship with this tale. The Muse screams at me, 'It's been since March. You must get back and help Kathleen. You've got to delete those scenes that we talked about.'

Deleting is difficult. Especially after I've edited and edited and edited. By now, the words feel right, the scenes are developed, and the characters are friends. How can I go in and delete even one word? Yet, my friends, I know, deep in my gut, that there are scenes that must come out. Period.

I suppose it's kind of like deleting my Facebook account. It's been years in the making and I've spent time developing relationships and contacts along the way. I look forward to pictures of friends' children, to news that an author friend has another book published, and to joy in the finding of a lost pet or a magnificent morning's sunrise.

Every story I've written is close to my heart. I have trouble editing them. Sometimes I wish I could edit blindfolded. *g* It would be simpler if I didn't know what I was cutting. ROTFL

Well, I did go into 'Blue' today and I marked some areas that I will cut and paste in another file - just in case the Muse turns unruly and insists I put the scene back.

Working with a Muse is difficult.

Life is challenges

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Even committed....

As I said in earlier posts, the week-end definitely helped turn me around. I decided I would start working on 'Blue' again and knew about what I had to do with it.

However, life got in the way. I had such hopes for today, but they fizzled to naught. My car, close to dying, decided to make extra fun noises yesterday. The air conditioner died. My son, bless his soul, said he'd help me with the car-buying process. He found a few vehicles that looked about right and my daughter and I proceeded, last night, to check them out. We found one we both loved and set into motion the buying of the 2007 Impala. This took quite some time. Paperwork is insane in this day and age.

Before we went back to the dealer, we spent the morning at my granddaughter's school. They had Spirit Day that lasted from 10am to 1pm. Both my daughter and I were exhausted. The sun was mega hot and even with a breeze, we were both dying. No matter. We had to go to the dealer and that was that.

Besides that, my daughter dropped my cell phone and the face shattered. After the car-buying fiasco, I went to Verizon for another several hours of getting a new phone. Shattered is a great word. My heart shattered at the cost of the replacement phone. I can't live without a smart phone. They are expensive.

As for 'Blue', I will work on it tomorrow. I promise. I am being a very good girl and keeping up the engine of writing.

I found a fun article at writers digest and I copied the link for you and pasted it below. Have a fun read and know, as I now know, there is hope.

Life is hectic.

Monday, June 2, 2014


A short continuation of yesterday's post.

My children's picture book is on its tenth rejection. I succumbed to a form of malaise that threatened to implode my writing career.

One of the ladies attending the week-end retreat is a poet. On Saturday night, I worked up the courage to ask if she would listen to my giraffe story and critique it. I thought that the meter might be off and that's why the little thing is getting rejected.

Lo and behold. Hallelujah and Praise the Lord.

This dear woman sat on the rather cool porch in the most wonderful Amish rocking chairs and actually laughed during almost the entire reading. She read the MS out loud and giggled and chortled and caused my heart to burst with renewed hope and joy. Bless you, woman!!!

She turned to me, when she finished the tale, and said she did not understand why it was being rejected. She found the tale delightful and charming and funny. She found the poetry flowed and the meter perfect.

I've often written here how important it is for affirmation for writers. Most of us sit alone and write while the Muse holds back her portion of the tale. To have such uninhibited appreciation of my work made every rejection almost laughable. (Sorry I've used almost a couple times, Claudia. I do know better. *g*)

Friends are important and friends should be included in our struggles and our joys. I hesitated inviting a friend of mine to the retreat, but I have rarely seen anyone so affected. She is still on Cloud Nine. I spoke with her this evening to see if the aura of joy had dissipated - it had not.

I will remember these lessons from this delightful Word Lovers retreat put on by Claudia Taller, and continue to feed myself in hope and joy and with friends and co-writers who exude creativity.

Life is creation.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Where Am I?

I've been in a void in outer space somewhere these past few months. I've felt much like David in the desert with King Saul's soldiers searching for the anointed shepherd destined to take Saul's crown. Of course, my life isn't quite that dramatic, but I'm sure I share some of David's feelings as his songs, The Psalms, touch me deeply and sustain me during this time of testing.

Luckily, I have writer friends who value me and what I am about. One such, Claudia Taller, invited me to 'chill out' at a bed and breakfast in Lakeside, Ohio, this past week-end. She knew struggle had become my middle name. Claudia was holding a 'Word Lovers' Retreat'. I'd been to one before and knew the venue and the presence of like-minded women would definitely not hurt me, but help me. It's kind of like going to the cemetery and breathing in all the gifts that remain behind of those who have passed on.

The women who attended were delightful, intelligent, committed writers. I knew from the first moment I stepped into the gathering room that my decision to accept Claudia's invite was the correct one.

I didn't write this week-end, I sucked in the creative vibes emanating from the attendees and the two wondrous speakers, Trudy Brandenburg and Liana Laverentz. (see links below) These two women listened to my woes and promised I would be a revitalized writer by the end of the week-end. Safe to say, they were right.

Sitting on the front porch, rocking on an Amish-made rocking chair, I found some peace about the rejections I'd been receiving. I gathered strength from the love and laughter of the other participants. The food was great, the creative challenges offered were fun and enlightening, and the sharing and laughter were plentiful.

If you get a chance, sign up for one of Claudia's great retreats. The Idlewylde, the B&B we stayed in, is a delightful late 18th century house and the rooms sparkle with kindness and love and comfort.

Life is continuing.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


I can't stand it when I've written notes in the margins of my story and can't remember why on earth or what on earth they mean. I've got one note now at the top of the page that says, 'Snowflakes'. I have not a clue as to why I wrote this. If anyone has a vision, let me know.

I am back with 'Blue' if you wondered. I thought I'd given up entirely on Kathleen and her cohorts but the tale keeps bringing me back. I don't feel quite as disillusioned about it after reading another few chapters aloud.

Truth be told, my friend D was beside herself with praise over Ch. 8. She said Kathleen's voice came through loud and clear. Of course, I consider, it's well into the story and is this too late to hear her voice? I think so. I'll go back to the previous chapters and see if there's something I can do about this. I think it's a valid concern on my part.

BTW - I've got a friend who's written a non-fiction book. I keep calling him and asking him to send it to me. He's quite intelligent and I know the book is well-written and timely. But, that's the problem, it is so timely that some of the stuff he's written about has changed. Social mores have changed and some chapters will either have to be reworked or deleted. Not a fun prospect. I do not envy the man the challenge.

This is one problem that I find with writing for teens in fiction. That's one of the reasons I prefer fantasy to 'real time' fiction as I don't have to worry about jargon or cliches or whatever. I can write in a form that is acceptable to all - as long as I keep the voices true to their times. 

Never a dull moment with writing. Unless we forget the beauty of words and the joy of putting them down in some semblance of beauty. Don't you love the turn of a phrase? The fun of finding the 'right' word? There are so many gazillion words out there and trying to find the right one is complex but wondrous. 

CBS Sunday Morning had a 'Travolta' piece about forgetting. They said the longer you live the more you cram into your brain and the harder it is to filter through to find what you want or need to say or remember. My brain is crammed full. I need a supercomputer to filter things out. And that means I'm pretty smart. *g*

Life is such fun.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


Going from highs to lows, from mountains to valleys, from ups to downs is tiring, to say the least, frustrating to be more precise.

I am coming to the conclusion that writing takes support. I know writers are often depicted as solitary figures, but I'm not so sure. Yes, we usually write in the void, unless we join the NaNoWrMo movement every November, but we most often can be found sitting alone before a blank screen, or a blank piece of paper, or a blank stare (as we share our stories to some non-comprehending friend). 

Given that premise, that I need support, I'm looking for other writers in my area and for other conferences/workshops to grow that support. I told you the other day about a blogger who said something like this. Why get to the mountaintop alone? Why not have someone(s) to share it with? What is the sense of reaching the pinnacle if I am alone and cannot share it? Is it something like the tree falling in the forest and no one hearing? Shees!

Also, I'm reading books and articles about writing (their is a plethora of material out there - either in bookstores, libraries, or cyberspace.) I'm watching YouTube videos of famous authors and getting their input. Why should I try to grow alone? Why not listen to those who have come before me?

In that vein, I was watching Stephen King who said, "I have a routine because I think writing is self-hypnosis. You fall into a kind of a trance if you do the same passes over and over... I'll make my pot of tea and then sit down and write for three and a half hours."

I've heard this advice before, I think we all have, but it does make sense. I'm going over in my mind what I used to do, before this horrible slump. Besides finding a nice quiet restaurant where I could sit for a couple hours and write in peace (I've closed most because if their a quiet restaurant they soon go out of business *g*), I wrote late at night. I was a night-owl. My modus operandi was this: I'd putz around the house until about midnight and then, like some black swan turning into a white one, I'd sit down at my computer and spend the next gazillion hours writing. 

Since I've had major health issues and am just recovering, I've taken my doc's advice and am going to bed earlier. This change of life pattern seems to have affected my writing. I am convinced I must write during the day if I am ever going to write again. Must get into that routine that Stephen speaks of and make it a part of my daily life. Along with exercising and good food choices. 

Life is routine

PS - hello to my new Chinese friends and to those in Ireland who continue to support and read. Bless you and thank you!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Writers' Groups

A moment's time - I love my writers' group, Skyline. It's not fun being critiqued, but being critiqued by people you trust and respect makes it easier. 

I submitted a draft of Ch. 11 of 'The Other Side' and got some nice feedback. Not nice in the sense that all is well with the world - but constructive criticism given with a sense of being in a safe place with people who support me. 

Descriptions - one Skyline member insists that I give more. I can't, I scream (in my head), but she's right as she always is. This is a new world, this sci-fi world I'm creating, and it must be painted with acuity. Otherwise, it might as well happen on Earth. Telling me the premise is good is not what I need. I'm grateful that the premise works - what I need to know is what doesn't work. This member helps me with that. Another bone of contention - the timeline. Confusion reigned. I'm glad I know. I will fix it. 

Thankfully, most of the critiques I get are fixable with not too much blood, sweat, and tears. Pat myself on the back and praise the Lord.

Walked into the meeting room and delighted in the fact that we had new folk attending. They joined in the critiques, which was great, and they look like they might stay. All three are well on their way to being accomplished writers. One new attendee is published. That's always great to have - published authors bring a sense of hope to a group. *g*

Once again I must remind myself that this upcoming mountaintop experience (being published) is not somewhere I want to be alone. I want friends and compatriots to share it with. I'm very glad I have Skyline and my other writing buddies. I'll bring marshmallows and chocolate and graham crackers and we'll celebrate with SomeMores.

Life is sharing. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Arrggh - Rules

It's great having a little one if you're a childrens' book writer. I get to go to the library all the time because she has book reports to do. And what a fun thing that is. 

We found a book that is pure delight. "Patti Cake and Her New Doll" by Giff, illustrated by Bryant. The story is simple yet beautiful and lots of fun. 

As always, I can't read a book without doing a bit of editing, perusing, checking out stuff. The author uses adverbs. Now, you know I used to use adverbs. I loved adverbs till I went to school and discovered that publishers don't like adverbs. At least, publishers in the USA. (I've got a writer friend in Russia who says they LOVE adverbs. Oh well.)

The adverbs in this sweet children's book are perfect. They serve a purpose. I'm sure the publisher saw the import of the adverbs. My favorite is - greatly dark. The child's new room is described as greatly dark. It just works perfectly. The doll the child finds lives in a greatly dark box. 

I suppose it's the voice. Greatly dark is something I can see this child using. There are other adverbs in the book, like frizzly hair and sparkly dress. They all are something I could see my little one saying and using. 

I suppose there are always exceptions to the rules. I let an adverb slide by now and again. If it works.

I got a nice rejection back today for 'Sorrysorrysorry' - I'm still learning to process rejections and not get disheartened. I called my editor and told her. She told me, in a sweet voice, to suck it up and keep writing and keep sending. So much for a pity party. I was ready. Really I was.

Life is courage.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ranting With The Stars

Watching the thank-you's from the Oscar winners proved quite an education. I've seen them before, but this year's thanks seemed so much pithier, more sincere, more heartfelt. They thanked everyone.

I've been focused on support the last few blogs. I write alone, sitting at a corner desk in my bedroom, facing a wall. The cold air (tonight it's going to be -1 F) seeps through the window right next to me and turns my fingers a nice shade of blue. (of course, I really like 'Blue' - *g*)

I think most writers write alone but I'm discovering a fair number of writers are congregating for support. Reminds me of a beehive. Not that there's one queen in the middle, but the close proximity of every member of the community. 

I found this particularly delightful blog today and I want to share it with you. The author is now published. Her first book, 'Gilded', released. She held a virtual launch and the site and the things I learned were amazing. 

Her friends and family rallied around her. The launch lasted all day and one after another of her supporters stepped forward and offered a bit of themselves and sometimes a giveaway. It was mind-boggling.

On the site is a video - filled with encouragement. Watch it if you get the chance. It's uplifting.

For now, I'm readying myself for the Skyline meeting on Saturday. I'm hoping to show the video and challenge my fellow writers to supporting each other, not just by attending the meetings, but by spending time reading the submissions, saying hooray if the MS deserves it, and helping to make each other's stories just awesome. 

My writing buddy and I are growing in support of each other. I plan to be a wee bit more assertive and urge my friends to allow me to ask for their help and support.

Life is support.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hardwiring Happiness

You know, if you've been reading my blog, that I love to watch CBS' Sunday Mornings. Most times, there are segments that are beneficial to writers or anyone in the arts. This morning's was no exception. (see link below)

They had a segment regarding bad reviews. It fascinated me. They interviewed two movie critics and some people they had vilified. One actress, upon seeing the critic after a nasty review, dumped her plate of food all over his head. She vindicated herself.

The segment dealt with negativity and how one bad word or statement or critique could wipe away a thousand good ones in our minds. We are programmed to remember the bad, Dr. Hanson, neuropsychologist and author of 'Hardwiring Happiness', said, because our brains are still stone-age brains. We have to remember when bad things happen to us so we don't get eaten by carnivores. (see link below)

This gave me pause to laugh due to an incident I had while traveling with the dearest sister-friends imaginable in New Zealand. They constantly shouted warnings to me as I drove along the highways, side roads, and cliff-hanging dirt roads.They were afraid I was going to hit the inevitable bird sitting on the asphalt or dirt or whatever. I would giggle, for a time, until I got a touch testy. Why would they ever think I would hit a bird? Or for that matter, anything that was on the roadways? Turns out, they were right. The birds in New Zealand are not used to traffic. Some roads might get one or two cars on it in a week. Their home of Ireland is about the same.

The birds don't know better. They don't have the memory of sitting on the road being a bad thing.

In the United States, ALL the birds have great primeval memory. They know they'll get squashed flatter than a pancake if they sit on a road with a car/truck/bus coming. And they fly away long before the vehicle gets close. Our birds (USA birds) know traffic. They can't rest for a moment on a roadside.

To get back to negativity. The program brought to mind the times I've had critiques. I cannot tell you one good word that I heard during those critiques. I can tell you every bad word, phrase, sentence, nuance, feeling...... Arrrgggghhhh... Stupid primeval memory!

TV can mirror life. Just yesterday, at our Writers' Ink meeting, we talked about negativity and how terrible it can be and how impactful and life-altering.

Just another reason we have to fight to remain positive. Fight to hold onto the good things. Fight to support each other.

Life is primeval. *g*

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Power Of Words

A dear friend, Neal Novak, put this link on Facebook. It blew me away. It confirmed me as a writer. Please take a moment, if you are the least bit creative, and watch this video. Then - read on. I pray it uplifts you as it did me. (You'll have to cut and paste it.)

The video said to me, 'You are gifted with sight. Your creative force is bestowed upon you. To be used. Don't get caught in the mundane when the words you have been given can change the world. Or one person's world.'

The video made me glad and humbled to be a writer. I know I now see things differently. As if I have rose-colored glasses at times and, at other times, magnifying glasses. 

Oh sisters - be glad, very glad, that you have been blessed with this benefaction. It can cause pain and angst and world-weariness, but if portioned out to the world, it can be such a blessing. And you, because you are the benefactress and the donor of this gift, you will thrive and grow. And you can become the fairy godmother. Wouldn't that be fun? Wouldn't that be precious? Wouldn't that bring you to tears?

Come along with me and be a fairy godmother. Give the gift you were given, write it out, and sprinkle it upon your world. It will be a better world for it. And you will be a happier person for it.

Life is short. Gifts can be taken back. Use yours. I'm trying to use mine.

You are precious to me. You who read these words. Know I struggle and continue because you are here and listening and supporting me. I am grateful.

Life is Abundant. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Persistent Tenacity

Is that an oxymoron? I love figures of speech.

I have not, nor will I ever, give up on 'Nothing But Blue Skies'. There was a period there, this deep and dark winter, when giving up seemed the right thing to do. No - not the right thing but the only thing. I'd given up on Kathleen and Kaspar and the hope of ever finishing editing this book.

However, something in the middle of the night said to me, "Sharron. 'Blue is good'. Kathleen's story needs to be told. Pick it up again and forge ahead. Never, never, never give up." (I can't believe I'm quoting Winston Churchill.)

'When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then --- for this is just the place and time that the tide will turn.' Harriet Beecher Stow.

I started reading 'Blue' out loud a couple nights ago. Then I spoke with my buddy D who said she'd love to listen to it. Tonight we started. I read aloud the first seven chapters. We both loved it. She gave me a couple hints of some places to condense, but aside from that, the chapters and the story are strong. Next time we get together, we're going to read out loud again. Until we finish the book. I know there are going to be a couple chapters that have some weak parts in them, but they are not insurmountable parts. 

Phew! I wipe my brow in exhausted satisfaction. I will complete the editing of 'Blue' and then I will send her out by summertime. I think June would be a nice month for looking for an agent. *g*

As for 'Sorrysorrysorry' - I'm going to send a follow-up email to the publisher I sent it to three weeks ago. With a gentle reminder. 

I can't sit on my duff anymore and hope without doing anything. Well, you know I've been doing things, but I have to prioritize and the completed children's picture book is #1. 'Blue' is #2. and 'The Other Side' is #3. I think that's enough for this month. *g*

I am excited to be up and about my work. It's extremely difficult, being an author, being a creative person in a snow-covered mess of a land. The frigid cold (they've dubbed it 'the polar vortex') is upon us and the temps will be below 0 degrees F. Pippin and I will snuggle together and enjoy the night.


Life is tenacity persisting.

PS - I've got a buddy whose whole family is suffering from a bout of norovirus, including twin three-month olds. Please lift them up. Thanks.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Tips In The Midst Of Snow

Working with a writer friend, I happened to discover I have some tips tucked inside my brain. I thought I'd share them with you. Some you've already seen, but these ones appear more succinct.

1)  Tools. My thesaurus. Most times, I find the word I need when I use my thesaurus. Of late, I've noticed, the word might not be there. But no concern needed. If I go to the dictionary, something in the definition will have the right word. So there. Two wondrous tools to find the perfect word. And we all know writing is about the perfect word. I use the on-line programs instead of books by my side. If you go to the site listed below, you can click on the top and surf between dictionary and thesaurus. You don't have to type the word over and over. Anything to save time in this insane world. Too busy.

2)  Adverbs. You know I really truly try to stay away completely from the use of adverbs. I just had to do that. It is such fun to use adverbs. I have said before, it is easy to fall into the adverb trap. Adverbs are great for once in a thousand years. However, adjectives are so much better. They are stronger and more meaningful.  

I came up with a motto:  Using an adverb is a lost opportunity for an exquisite sentence. It is like eating chocolate when you could have had a chocolate brownie sundae with chocolate syrup and whipped cream and a cherry on top. Chocolates always good but why not have the entire enchilada. 

3) Strong verbs. These are the meat of writing. I discovered that I can sometimes find a strong verb in my sentence if I look at the adjective that is in it. I can change the adjective into a verb and voila - there is a strong verb that makes the sentence just shimmer. How about: I climbed the rambling stairs. Change it to:  I rambled up the stairs. More fun. Different. If I get stuck and need a strong verb, I look to the sentence and see if I've hidden one in my adjectives.

Got to get the little one. Have a blessed day.

Life is good.  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


We got slammed with another almost 1/2 foot of snow last night. The wind howled with horrid intensity. I swear I heard avalanches of snow falling off the condo's roof. This morning, the temps climbed. As a result, I have a large puddle right in front of my door. The dog, blasted sweetie, refused to go out. I thought I'd have to carry her, but she summed up the courage and forded the beast and did her business.

The little one had off school again today, but her mom was home, so I spent the morning doing paperwork and 'gentle' clothes washing. This afternoon I waded to the laundry room, about five units away, and did some real wash. Towels. They get very heavy. I only did one load, but it took four trips. Ah the joys of life.

I have decided, after losing so much of the 'Ring of Doom' story when I started to write, that I best get myself some kind of recording device. I used to be able to write 28 characters in 14 locations with 10 plots going - all at the same time - and remember what and where and who was happening. Those days seem to be gone. 

Watching the Olympics and the Olympian struggles that the athletes go through, first to get to Sochi, and then to compete, gives me such fodder for thought. I have thousands of ideas of what I'd like to hone in on with my writing. And also for what I'd love to share here on my blog.

However, by this time of evening, when I sit in front of my twin screens, I shake my head. All the wondrous insights are gone. Perhaps they weren't as wondrous as I had thought. *g* Usually at least a dozen ideas attack me and I rejoice and tell myself, 'I must remember this'. Then, it's gone.

I will go out tomorrow, in the midst of the rain that will now melt four to six feet of snow in a very short time, and navigate the potholes and the rivulets of water, and get myself to a Radio Shack, before it closes for good, and buy myself a recording machine. I'll let you know what happens.

BTW - had a glorious time at Skyline Writers. Committed writers showed up and we had a lively discussion about the future, a good one, and then did a lot of good critiquing.

Life is discussion.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Mind Games

Or the stories that just won't sleep.

Due to doctor's orders, I am trying to go to bed earlier and sleeping at least seven hours. Yeah. Right. I am trying. So Friday night I went to bed at about 1 am. I have a midnight marketing job that I spend an hour on and then I jump into bed. Computer's in the same room as my bed - that makes it easy to jump into bed. Be that as it may - I went to bed about 1 am and tried to sleep. My mind refused. The Muse was wide awake and had another story she wants me to write. Honestly, I've got two in the hopper and one out to publishers and  another one that's just in the beginning phase and she wants me to write another!!!! Sorry about the multiple !'s - my Muse made me do it. *g*

Sleep would not come. I tossed and turned and listened to the Muse's story. It was a fun one. A children's chapter book. Lighthearted and intriguing. The Muse told me the whole story - beginning, middle and end. There were parts missing but the crux of the tale was there and I liked it. I put to memory the title and the story and, blessed be the powers that be, I fell asleep.

I met today with friends to try to crank up my writing machine. Of course, I brought 'Nothing But Blue Skies' and 'The Other Side' with me. I made a mistake and told my fellow partners in crime about the 'new' story and one wise friend said, 'If you want to write it, write that one instead of working on the others.' She didn't have to twist my arm.

However, as the Muse is likely to do, she changed the story. I began to write with the fun title and the subtitle and then.... the story, from the first sentence, turned dark. I wrote four pages and none of the words were anything like the story the Muse tricked me with the night before. Blasted Muse. I like the story. I like the premise - two children who find their father is having an affair and want to 'save' their mother - only to discover their father is a spy. Ah the joys of life. The tricksy of the Muse. I haven't a clue as to where this story is going. I don't like to begin a story without knowing the ending. *heavy sigh* But the story is dark enough and thrilling enough that it has captivated me. I'll work on it a bit and let you know what happens.

Of course, 'The Other Side' is still number one priority or my editor will strangle me. She wants another chapter yesterday. *g*

My one word of advise - if your Muse starts speaking, make sure she's telling you everything and not tricking you. She's a sly one.

Life is tricksy. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Conferences And Whatnot

Two of the writing groups I belong to suggested we look into conference. We decided if we rode together that would help save some costs. Never thought it would be this difficult to find writers' conferences nearby. Of course, if I lived in New York or California, it looks like I could go every week-end. I've spent hours doing google searches and have come up with very unsatisfactory events. Back to the drawing board.

My friends in Ireland are getting blasted with nasty storms, high winds, and wild waves. Per our news stories, we in the USA are the only ones suffering through this winter. My goodness, I really can't stand the sight of snow. I was watching the Olympics and they showed the mist-shrouded mountains and I ran, screaming, from the room. If I see another snowflake, I will do it damage.

Bitter cold has assailed my hometown, too. It was -15F two nights ago (that's -26C). Tonight it's going to be a balmy 18F. But I saw Donegal, Ireland had 37 degrees F. I bet they are shivering in their boots. More blankets my dear sister-friends. And pull the dog in with you. I can't believe how warm Pippin is. Except when he's licking my face!

The cold and forced insidedness are filling the air with germs. The flu seems to be gone, but the colds are never-ending. We will survive. 

I wonder if the Japanese earthquake, which actually shifted the earth on its axis, has anything whatsoever to do with this horrid winter? I know folks believe in global warming as its cause, but I'm beginning to think the earthquake had something to do with this.

If anyone knows of a decent conference in the Midwestern part of the USA, let me know. I'd be most appreciative. Hopefully, I'm meeting with friends on Saturday to write, just write, and maybe have a cup of nice hot coffee or cocoa.

Life is cold.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


I was in the library the other day with not much time. So I went to the magazine section and found Poets and Writers mag. There were two articles that interested me. 

The first title - 'Life Seems Inconceivably Rich' - was written by Richard Smolev (see link below). Richard was diagnosed with ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. I don't suppose there are many diseases that are ok. This one horrifies me. I surprised myself to see I kept reading even due to that fact. Not that someone had the disease, but that the disease is monstrous and I hide from monstrosity. (the old ostrich head in the ground) 

The article was glorious. It put me to shame. You know, if you've been following this blog, that I find it extra hard to write when I am sick. I whine a bit about it, though I try not to. Here is this man, stricken by this horrendous disease, and typing with just one finger, and does it daily. And well. He's published more than once. He has a wondrous spirit about him. I weep. And I rejoice. And I will not complain again. And I will keep writing even during the times my own wee disease attacks me. For Richard, thank you for sharing your struggle and your triumph.

The second article was about silence. Well, modulation. The author, Benjamin Percy, taught me about ebb and flow in a story. I had a review of 'Nothing But Blue Skies' where the critiquer told me she couldn't catch her breath while reading the fist ten pages.That there was so much happening. I thought that was a good thing. That was how I was trying to write the book. More like, I suppose, the Perils of Pauline type book. After reading Benjamin's article, I thought about pauses, breaks, sipping wine by the fire, and I think he has a point. I love cliffhangers, but not every chapter. I love action scenes but see my readers might need a moment to recover from the last scene. Benjamin told of how quiet scenes create a sense of security before you pounce on your reader again. I really liked the article.

The last article, which I had forgotten about, has a wee bit of interest for me. My science fiction book has some sex in it. Not X-rated, but sex nonetheless. This last article, written by Beth Ann Fennelly, delighted me. And helped me to see that I should continue writing this book. The sex is fun. 

So - now onto 'The Other Side'. I presented Ch. 10 on Saturday and the group loved it. At least, I think they did. Two of the members of this critique group said they would never have known I'd written it - it differs so much from 'Blue' - I took that as a compliment. *g* I do like my characters and the premise of the book. It's a one-shot. I'm not used to writing one-shots, but this is fun. I'm kind of glad not to have a book tell me there are two more after I've finished the current one. Cheeky books!

Life is fun.

Friday, February 7, 2014


Earlier, I wrote about descriptions and when and where to stop so that the story is not too vague or too heavy. 

I was concerned about 'The Other Side' because a lot of detail needed to be added due to the fact that technical issues might raise questions for my readers. Anxious, I looked at it this morning, Ch. 12, and was surprised, pleasantly. What I thought would be dull, boring, and way-to-much detail turned out to be perfect. I found a lot of typos, which is unusual for me, but other than that, the chapter flowed. What a God-send.

I finished that chapter on Jan. 16th. Today I edited it and continued onto Ch. 13. I'm halfway done. My editor wants me to send what I've finished to her. She likes this story. She'll kill me when she hears I've started on another book. I like variety. I'm eclectic. 

Besides, 'Blue' is frustrating me. I don't even want to look at it anymore. I don't have a clue as to how to make me understand Kathleen better so that my readers will love her. I've got all the worksheets on character development and such and I've completed her synopsis, but still, there's something lacking. I'm beginning to think it's a lacking on my part. I might be expecting too much from her, in the early stages or her development. 

Book Two is going to be a fuller coming-of-age for her. Perhaps, once I get into that book, I'll feel better about her. But still, I wonder.

Life is perplexing.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Burning My Soul

A friend and fellow writer (see blog link below) quoted Maya Angelou about agony and stories inside us.

I suppose that's what forced my hand, so to speak, and made me not have any peace until I sent out the giraffe story again. I know this story bears telling. I know it is sweet. I came to the conclusion that if I didn't pursue publishing this tale, that I couldn't continue with my other writings. That I was abandoning my tale to a dusty grave. It is worth more than a dusty grave. 

I haven't written anything on 'Blue' or 'The Other Side' since and that has created a conundrum for me. I sent out giraffes and voila - I should be writing. 

Funny thing is - the Muse is fickle. She has decided to start a new story. Perhaps I do need a break. I spoke of it in the last posting. Since I can't afford passage on my favorite cruise ship, and am further strapped so that I cannot move to Hawaii, I suppose I am doomed to write. 

Not doomed. Never doomed. Thrilled. Exhilarated. Needy. Addicted.

So I've started a murder mystery entitled, 'Dressed To Die'. I'll not go into the particulars at the moment. Suffice it to say, I've never written a murder mystery and I thought I would die before I wrote one, but the Muse is laughing and so, I bow to her.

If only the snow would stop. I can envision myself on a white, palm-tree laden beach, wind ruffling my hair, waves tickling my toes as I gaze into the blue sky and think of murder. Hmmm.

Life is a conundrum. 

PS - I am not stopping 'The Other Side' - I am giving my characters time to recoup. As for 'Blue' - I want it done. I want the editing done and the book ready to go. I want to see a cover. I want to sign autographs.


You know from past posts that I've been working to save a writers' group that I belong to. We lost a valuable member last fall and I think this discouraged some folk. We had some take a hiatus while the rest quietly wondered if the group was still viable. I tried to arrange a Christmas party to give us all a break from the working sessions, but my own illness and really rotten weather got in the way. We never did get our party. 

Four members said they could meet in January, but I wasn't sure if they did. Nobody sent around an email regarding the February meeting (which is this Saturday). I was beginning to think the group had disbanded when I got a quick text asking if I knew what was going on. Someone then wrote a quick email wondering the same thing. 

This gave me the impetus to get back on the bandwagon. I figured out who was supposed to present and sent out a group email. One of the members wrote back that they had, indeed, met in January and had a great sharing. Looks like we're on again.

I don't present this month, but I'm looking forward to working with this group again. I find groups go in stages - sometimes really hot and sometimes really cold. You just have to drink an iced drink during the hot times and wear gloves during the cold times.

This brings me to the issue of bad apples. Duh - you say. A group can be knit together or torn apart by one person. Not usually that person's fault. But if there is ill-feeling, or despondency over writing, or critiques, or whatever, that person can infiltrate the moral of others and thus cause the downfall, or the rise, of the group.

I strive to be upbeat. To fight the good fight. There are not many good critique groups around. I wanted this one to stay afloat. I'm hoping when we get together we'll talk a bit about being on steady ground and what can make us steadier, as a group, and exhort each other to wondrous deeds.

Life is loud exhortation. 

PS - Be a good apple and spread sunshine and tasty fruit.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


There are so many words I could use for this: the dictionary says it means something hard or difficult to explain.

I think that's what writing is. Or, more to the point, what publishing is.

The Writers' Ink group met today and our intrepid leader brought out an article quoting different authors about - writing. The five stated opinions that differed from what I've heard other authors say. Mainly, you don't have to write everyday, or for a specific number of hours, or a specific number of words. Sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses. Or take a canoe ride. Or visit with friends. Sometimes, you have to take a break.

Every time I've HAD TO stop writing, due to illness or the Muse flying to Timbuktu, I've felt guilty. Most times, I've still thought about my books and where I'm at and what's going to happen next, but the guilt doesn't care. It still gnaws at me.

I took heart from these authors. I suppose I've been drifting for awhile. And worrying myself sick (as if I wasn't physically sick) about why I wasn't writing. It was tearing me up inside. I worried that I wouldn't be able to write again if I didn't do it daily.

Mind you - this isn't saying that it's easy to pick up after you've let go for awhile. Starting to write again, after a hiatus no matter the cause, is one of the most difficult things I've ever done in my life. It's horrid. It's torture. But it can be overcome. 

I keep going to meetings and seminars and workshops and classes. I find this helps me feel that I'm still 'working' my craft. I don't feel quite to guilty. Though feeling guilty never gets me started writing again. *g*

I refuse to give up. I refuse to let a wayward Muse or an illness, keep me down forever. I hope.

Life is hope. 

PS - I rely on my friends, too, and they hate it. *g*

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Yup. I'm finally writing about descriptions. I've written about this before but the little sucker keeps rearing its ugly head. By that, I mean the controversy continues. How much description do I write? How much do I leave to my readers imagination? Am I lazy if I don't write long descriptive passages? Am I boring my reader with long descriptive passages?

I'll not go into who is on what side. Suffice it to say - I got kicked in the butt by a critiquer awhile back and she really caused me to consider. She said that as she read the offered chapter that she started to think about other books that were similar but with more description because I had NOT given it to her. She didn't try to imagine the scene or what the character looked like, she thought about similar books - like Harry Potter. I sat with my mouth open in consternation. 

If this is not the answer to the description problem, I don't know what is. If my readers are thinking about other books while they're reading mine - what are the chances that they'll put my book down and read the other books instead! Mind-boggling, don't you think?

This issue came up today because I was reading an adventure book. At one point, a couple was on the beach starting to become better acquainted (small cough) and the next thing I know, they're on a boat. There was nothing mentioned about a boat prior to this scene. There was no mention of how they found the boat, or why they decided to go boating in the midst of (small cough). I was disconcerted. 

Second part to this issue - my friend D has this splendid mid-point chapter that she wrote without much description. As she read the draft, I wanted to know more. There was a glorious opportunity for showing what the place looked like to a character and his reaction to it. There was a wondrous opportunity to grow the characters relationship with another due to where they were. It seemed a missed chance to open up secrets. She agreed. The more she's writing this chapter, the more excited she's become. She saw the need for description. Not paragraph after paragraph, but enough to titillate her readers. 

This is the fun part of writing. Discovering what needs to be said, either by description or by dialogue. It's a fine line. I think trusting the gut is the way to go, trusting other writer friends with their input, but in the end, trusting yourself. In the editing portion, read out loud and see if questions jump out at you. Why did the character go with this seeming madman? Why did he climb the stairs in the old, apparently abandoned lighthouse? So much fun.

I hope this helps you. It does me. I'm in the midst of an expository paragraph in 'The Other Side' and it's driving me mad. I thought I needed to tell all, but I realize now, nope, don't have to. It doesn't progress the story and my readers really won't care. It's that kind of a scene. Better to dwell on the horror of the moment. Ah such fun.

Life is fun.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Alternate Title - Never Say Die

I was going to title this post, Descriptions, but a friend came over tonight. I bit the pride bullet and asked for help. She did. To a degree. She's a nasty woman, in fact, because she makes me do things. She says she'll help and then she says - What do you think? - That's not you. - Write it in your style. - Don't follow the rules. 

I wrote my first from-the-heart cover letter, with her unhelp. *g* She sat on my bed and played with my dog as I read draft after draft to her. She didn't like them. I kept writing and swearing and she kept playing with Pippin. 

Sometime well into the night, she liked part of what I'd written. Well, I liked part but she liked the whole thing. So I stopped editing and I stopped cut and pasting and I reread it and decided she might be right.

I sent it out. *almost happy sigh*

It's a happy sigh because I am happy with the letter. It's real. It's me. No bull. It was truthful and uncomplicated and the best 'pitch' that I've been able to write. I am very happy with the pitch. Short, sweet, and introduced my giraffes in a way they'd like.

We prayed together afterwards, drank a glass of wine, and parted.

Pride can keep a person (me) from asking for help when all seems lost or fruitless or stupid. 

Friends can help us (me) overcome that pride and get on with what we're (I'm) supposed to do. 

I pray  you have friends like mine. I pray they make YOU do the work all the while supporting you. I pray life is good to you. Even with all the illnesses these past two months, I hope and smile.

Life is a smile. 

PS - Do you have a clue as to what it feels like to send out a query letter you're (I'm) proud of? AWESOME, DUDE!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


My 'new' (translate - hand-me-down) printer is defunct. Had a computer guy in and he says it's the new cartridges, take them back, get new ones and see if that works. Oh dear! Confrontation. I hates confrontation, precious!

In lieu of a viable printer, I ran over to my community center to print out the next chapter of 'Blue' for my buddy D who was coming over tonight. The center had been flooded and everything was closed. Everything that is but the computer area. Thank goodness. I printed out the chapter to the front desk and then commiserated with the volunteers at the desk and left. You guessed it - I left the printed pages there. Never did discover them till late this evening. Didn't matter though - D and I had quite a few things to discuss and never got to our writing.

I am sick again - a cold given to my by the little one - and have spent the day hacking. I think I'm going to have to start the breathing treatments again. The cough is nasty. However, I did get over to the school to help put in new data for the calendar and printed it out. It's always fun to visit the school. My little one gets to come and give me a hug and that is delicious.

My daughter stopped by and climbed under the computer table, trying to find my wayward camera. It was hiding behind the screens. Oops. She still loves me. I'm hoping to chat with my 'international' buddies sometime tomorrow, but there's a tablet class at the local library and I want to find out why my tablet can't access a certain app. 

Signed up for a half-day retreat for this Saturday. I need some time away from my house and me. *g* I trust the instructor. She usually comes up with some pretty powerful thought stuff.

I've got to enter data for my job now so I'll be off. Just know I'm thinking about you all and hoping you are writing. 

Life is insane. (and fun)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pretend They're Real

I was watching youtube vids tonight - on writing. There were a bunch of helpful hints; however, I didn't have time to research who was who. Don't trust the internet, my friends, there are scoundrels and fools out there. (Oh, of course if you're reading this, you can trust me. Bwaahaahaa.)

One of the vids talked about character development. The author pointed out lots of things that anyone who's written more than a year has probably figured out.

The thing that surprised and made me pause was the statement, "Pretend your characters are real".

In all my long years of writing, I have kept such a thought at bay. I have been fearful. Truly. What if the character becomes 'too' real and I can't discern what is real and what is not? What if I begin to believe it, in my heart and soul, and fall into the novel and never come out? *shivers* What if I fall in love with one of my characters?

Of course, I've done all of these things to a degree over the years. I remember when I cried for three straight days as I killed off a favorite character. I recovered, but I never forgot that.

These are valid fears, I think, in this age of 'Her'. 

I think it's also important to trust myself that, when the novel is finished, I can resume my own life. I must get into my characters, even the 'little' ones, and figure out who they are. I've got to know everything about them. I've got to create that back story so that I know why she is afraid of spiders or whatever. I've got to pretend I'm with them over a cup of coffee at the local book store or sipping wine on the back porch, or drinking tequila at a bar downtown. 

I wrote character descriptions for each of the folk in 'Blue' and I'm in the midst of doing it for 'The Other Side', but I still don't know them well enough. I'm going to pull out a bottle of wine (perhaps figuratively) and chat with Katherine. I know her, but I want to be her sister, to delve into her utmost secret thoughts and share them. I know it will make 'Blue' better.

Life is secrets.

Link to 'Her' --

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Benefit Of The Doubt

There are so many times this axiom is needed in this world. Give yourself, those you love, and those you interact with - the benefit of the doubt. 

I went to a writers' class today. It was okay. The best part of it was the writing prompt. We had fifteen minutes to write 'Why do you love me?' I don't write romance stories, but 'The Other Side' has decided to take a romantic twist. Many chapters ahead of where I'm at, there will be a love story. When I heard the prompt, I thought, I can't (don't want to) write this. However, my character whispered, "You need this" and he was right. I wrote the entire fifteen minutes and now I have the heart of the 'romance chapter' done. Isn't that exciting?

The instructor is published online. She shared her book with us via the internet as part of our homework for this morning's class. It was decent. Another best part? She shared her struggle and her doubts and fears and I really needed to hear that. 

So - as I've always told myself - there is something to be learned at every opportunity and I must keep my eyes and ears open for what the Muse pushed me into. *g*

I wasn't able to write yesterday because the little one had the day off. Today, with the class and other things, I wasn't able to write anything for either novel. I will tomorrow, God willing and the creek don't rise. I'm not too concerned at this point. Last Thursday's momentum is still with me and I will sit down and write. I might go back to pen and my handy-dandy yellow notepad. That seems to be working for me at this time of my life.

I am so grateful to be blogging again. Fear seems to have left me. Perhaps it's the antibiotics. *g* I am grateful that my 'old' friends are still reading this. Your loyalty and enthusiasm lift me up.

Be still my soul. And listen to the Muse. Know she knows what she wants and will get it. (What a witch!) Know that I am a writer of excellence. And know that I am loved.

Life is love.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Eighty Percent

I've always been aware that statistics are not to be trusted; they can be read in so many different ways; interpreted to 'fit' the situation.

My daughter told me she'd seen a stat that said that 80% of people have bad thoughts. Hmmm, I thought to myself, that is strange. (not sure if that can be considered a bad thought *g*)

So I googled it and found two threads by two different people saying the same thing. Now, I'm not going to get into whether or not I agree or disagree - what I'd like to offer is my horror at the fact that these two people (I could have looked further but I didn't) offered the same opinion and never qualified where they got that 80% stat. Also, neither identified the other as commissioning the study; they both owned it. 

Plagiarism or some such, I'm telling you. How could someone write that stat and claim it as their own when it is obviously not there own. I remember some wild plagiarisms by well-known authors a few years ago and am concerned that plagiarism might be rearing its ugly head again.

It gives me pause to remember to put notes at the end of my book with where I found some of the information I use in 'The Other Side'. (I still don't like that poor period sitting outside the quote mark. Doesn't it look sad?)

Now that we've looked at that dismal 80% stat - there's another one: 80% of people are optimistic, whether they believe they are or not. I like that stat! I'm always working on optimism myself, though I find it difficult to maintain when the Muse hides under the kitchen sink. Dratted Muse.

I like Oscar Wilde's quote: "The basis of optimism is sheer terror." I certainly feel that when the Muse won't cooperate. And Voltaire's quote: "Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable". I SO relate to that. It's my mantra and I didn't even know it! 

One thing I found interesting and disconcerting at the same time. Many of the quotes at the above website intimate that optimism is for the young. I truly don't agree (except when it comes to health). My friends are optimists and we are not of the current generation. Perhaps I, without conscious thought, surround myself with optimists?'

Besides all that, I think writers have to be the most optimistic of all people. We start to write and believe that we will finish. Is anything more insane!?! Love writers to pieces!

Whatever. Give yourself a pat on the back today and remind yourself that life is good, that you are loved by somebody somewhere (how about that Higher Power!), and that being optimistic is not only fun, but fulfilling.

Life is optimism. 

PS - And take care of yourself. It's cold and flu season and being sick sucks.

I'm Back

I think I'm healthy and I'm chafing at the bit. I'll write a longer post tomorrow, I promise you AND myself, but for now, I've finished Chapter 12 and a good bit of Chapter 13 of 'The Other Side." I'd hoped to get out today and visit the library, but thankfully, Google answered a lot of research questions.

One thing I want to tell you - I got Chromecast for Christmas and I am in heaven. I can watch anything on my TV that's on YouTube. I've found some neat exercise classes and nutrition posts that I know will help with my rehab.

I've got things to do. I can't sit here forever. I am starting to see a light at the end of this hideous 'illness' tunnel. Hooray.

I hope you're writing is coming along. I hope the holidays didn't put a crimp in your schedule so that you've got to uncrimp it and get going. I'm uncrimping lots but have high hopes.

Oh my - I love that old song 'High Hopes.' Here it is for your enjoyment. And I can watch it on my flatscreen, too.

I do so love Frank Sinatra.

I'm also committing myself - not to a funny farm - to optimism and joy and fun.

Life is awesome!

Friday, January 3, 2014


Good grief. I can't get away from them. I've got TWO going on in 'The Other Side' and one going on in this crazy place I call home. 

Three foot snow drifts in front of my front door. My poor little doggie, Pippin, got lost in the snow. He went under to try to do his business and I lost sight of him. Thankfully, he was leashed and I pulled and Voila! out of the snow he came. Now my dearest Pip is mostly pepper black but his muzzle, his little feet, and his back were all white. I spent much of the day giggling.

Well, much of the day once I returned home. I had a follow-up doc's visit today that taxed my very endurance. The wind chills here are around 3F. Tonight it's supposed to get down to -10F. Not a fun time. As I turned the corner to get to the doctor's office, the wind took me and my breath. Thankfully, my daughter had my arm and we made it into the office, but the pneumonia drains all strength and breath from me. It took many minutes of gasping to get enough air to finally sit down. Insane! The visit went well and solidified my confidence in my new doctor. Most of the blood work was back and we will meet again next week, once the antibiotics kick in, to discuss my treatment plan. I'm still on the nebulizer and meds along with the antibiotic. I can't understand why it takes three visits to get an antibiotic. Such is life. Better to have a cautious doc than one that dispenses will he nil he (old English fro willly nilly).

I'm still working on the storms with 'Other.' Both storms hit at the same time, but one is a sandstorm and one is a tornado-like storm. Researched both and kept copious notes. Now it's time to pull everything together and see if it works. What am I saying? I know it will work. I'm excited about these storms. They have a pivotal place in the story. Fun.

As soon as these storms are over, and the temps climb out of the cellar, and my health improves, I'm going to the library. I've decided it's time to spend some quality time reading more on my craft. There are lots of magazines out there, expensive ones, but I can get the same free from the library. Along with the little herb stuff that I talked about yesterday.

Saturday is Writer's Ink. I do so hope I have the strength (and the weather cooperates) to go. I am signed up for a writer's workshop Saturday morning, but there's no way I'll have the stamina to do that one. I hope they'll let me do the rest of the series.

Life is storms.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

An Auspicious Start - Not

I had a wonderful quote that I wanted to share with you this first day of 2014. I lost it. Yup. In the midst of picking of the detritus of my pneumonia, I threw out the quote. It was a lovely quote about being courageous enough to delve deep. Not Saruman's deep-delving!

Bother. I had hoped to start off this new year freely running. Not happening. I'm still on breathing treatments and bed rest. Don't tell the doc. The bed is very close to the computer. 

I watched the Kennedy Center award program the other night. It was incredibly uplifting. I love the diversity of talent. I made my little one sit and watch with me for she is a bit of a music 'snob'. Got to nip that in the bud. I loved every moment of the show.

It was there that I heard the quote. It was a recurring theme throughout the evening. Courage. Perseverance. Faith in yourself. Faith in the future. Any artist has got to have these qualities. I'm a writer. AND I'm an artist. 

Perhaps I'll plant a little garden this winter on the kitchen table. Plant some herbs and learn from them. I found this awesome little book on the internet but it doesn't seem to be available. I'll try my local library and see what they can find for me.  "According to ancient wisdom, herbs were essential to magic potions and love charms, for calling up faeries and elves, for cooling down and keeping warm, for ensuring immortality, for soothing a baby, and making wine. In addition, each herb told a story or held a meaning...." Doesn't that sound perfect!
The Meaning of Herbs, Myth, Language and Lore...

I will use them in my daily cooking and in my daily writing.

Happy New Year!

Life is good.