Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Day After WIP Wednesday

The two rules of procrastination: 1) Do it today. 2) Tomorrow will be today tomorrow. ~Author Unknown

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Musings from Under the Steps: Talent Knows No Style

I think when two opposite forces, beings, cultures, styles collide something beautiful can come from it. I think the world of art and entertainment thrives on this.

Take Bing and Bowie as the perfect example...

Merry Christmas folks!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

WIP Wednesday: The Curse of Knowing What You're Doing.

"Fiction writers, present company included, don't understand very much about what they do-"not why it works when it's good, not why it doesn't when it's bad."

~Stephen King.On Writing.

BUT... We sure as hell know when we are dragging our feet. Procrastination--we the procrastinators. We are our own worst enemy...

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go kick my ass.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Musings Under the Steps: Words You Live By

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Invictus, William Earnest Henley

I had found this poem not long after recovering from an extensive and life changing back surgery, when I was 12 yrs old. In no time I remember it word for word (keep in mind I've often forgotten my own phone number) and to this day I can recite it at the asking.

The poem inspired me-made me feel stronger and made my situation feel more real while making it also more manageable. Back then it had made me feel less alone. The irony in that is it took me 22 years to research the writer and find he'd wrote this from his own hospital bed, recovering from a amputation--the result of a illness he was diagnosed with when he was 12. Maybe a century separated us but his words had been there for me when I truly needed them.

How many of you have words that do for you what this poem has done for me--still does? Or a writer thats reached across cultures or time to lend you inspiration?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Inspiration Through Reading Old Blogs.

OOOKAY. I was going to write out a nice, long sentimental WIP Wednesday entry involving the similarities of nursing a WIP and impending motherhood. Even made it a point to go looking through older entries to find the link to another entry of similar but not same nature and then it happened...


The last few days I have been a little lax writing new material for my WIP 'Ghost Mountain'. I have been...distracted. Well, I fell into reading some of my old blog entries concerning said WIP and its MC Wyatt and BAM!!!!!!!

Soooo, have a lovely evening all and nice of ya to stop by, but I have a date with my WIP.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Musings from Under the Steps: Jelly of the Month Club

This Sunday Musing is neither serious nor sublime. Just funny as hell and so

To all of us who have felt like this....

And had the humor and family support to get through it.

Thanks Eddie!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Self Realization Time Again.

When starting this blog, I referred to myself as a Work in Progress. I don't think I fully appreciated that statement or that fact at the time.

More than anything, the WIP part was pointed more at my professional and creative endeavors. I understood that through working on these things, I would find changes in myself. This occurs with any new road one takes. What I didnt fully grasp or maybe just wasnt ready to see yet, was the more personal--more elemental things that would-could change in me when the WIP's in my life delved into big life changes (i.e. the little space alien inside my tummy and what its birth will mean).

You see, I have had some major shake ups in my life within the last few years, but the changes they evoked in me were somehow different than what I am experiencing now. I would sooner name all the stars in the heaven than I could exactly or accurately explain what I am feeling now... but I like it.

So many changes are coming for me. Things that will join my present works and other things that will change them. Jim and I will find a house before spring and that will be a big change in our daily lives--but a welcome one. I will continue to care for my little family and myself and fall in love with him or her as the day grows nearer. And then I will be a mother, a job I believe I have been in training for a long time and will justly make my priority.

But how will these changes mix with the things I want for me? Should they be pushed aside and turned away like many of the women in my life have done? Or maybe WIP's and dreams do not have to disappear, only change a bit. The true nature of a WIP don't you think?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Musings from Under the Steps: My Gift to You.

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?"



8 year old Virginia wrote this letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial ever.

And although the earnest words of that child touches me, it is the response that warms me each time I read it. My gift to all of you this hectic holiday season. A bit of perspective--a moment to see how we should see this time of year and every day that follows it. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you.


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

WIP Wednesday: NaNo Sum Up and Continuation

This year was my 3rd entrance in NaNoWriMo. The first two times I surpassed the 50,000 words and came away with the rough ideas for two novels. This year I entered the fray, not to write 50,000 wrds of new material, but use the one month experience to sort out last years novel idea I had been tangling with since.

I'd say I've just about done that. I did get some bugs worked out and came up with a few clearer scenes than before. Even better, the writing--as always--gave me the chance to get to know my characters better. For this I am very pleased. This month will most definitely make the continuation of my WIP easier.

How did all of your NaNo endeavors go this year. Find yourself a new story or a new idea to change a old one?

BTW, thank you for all of your support and kinds words last week regarding my latest and greatest WIP--my future baby. It put a smile on my face. ;-D

Thursday, November 25, 2010

May I Introduce My Latest and Greatest Work In Progess...

Yep, I'm working on a baby. I'm 3 months into this project and so far so good. I'm a bit tired, naturally worried for a multitude of mommy-to-be reasons. And I feel impossibly happy everytime I think him/her/strange little space alien in my tummy.

I think this may be my greatest work ever.
Happy Holidays!!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Sermon Under the Steps: A Poor Trade Off

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.' Benjamin Franklin, 'Pennsylvania Assembly: Reply to the Governor,' November 11, 1755."

I'd say this makes as much sense today as it did in Ben's time. Keep these words in mind now and in the days to come.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Journey to a Unknown Destination NANOWRIMO

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to
Alice: I don't much care where.
The Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.
Alice: …so long as I get somewhere.
The Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.

This is sort of how I'm seeing NaNoWriMo this time. And I am very happy with that!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday Sermon on a Monday Because I Can. SO THERE! ;-P

I get up in the morning, torture a typewriter until it screams, then stop.

- Clarence Budington Kelland

My intention is to continue to do just that this week! To continue the pursuit of my story with a wild combination of violent aggression and love, making it succumb to my desire to make it more than words on a page...

Now I need a cigarette.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Veterans Day Reminder

"Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die."

~G.K. Chesterton

Through ink lines and key strokes, some of us labor to create men and women who epitomize noble courage. Tomorrow, remember that there are those of flesh and bone who 'are' courage.

Honor our vets by remembering them tomorrow. Let their courage be your muse.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Musings from Under the Steps: Take Heart on Your Creative Journey

"The public has an appetite for anything about imagination - anything that is as far away from reality as is creatively possible."
Steven Spielberg

And yet what we most easily digest is what's closest to our hearts. Remember, whenever, wherever or whatever place you take your story, do not go there without the understanding of the human heart.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WIP Wednesday: It's Elementary Dear Watson!

Like a WIP...

"Good books don't give up all their secrets at once."
— Stephen King

So be patient while you type away at that WIP. Keep writing--I've told myself and now I'm telling you. It does pay off and when it does--when you've excavated away the filler in your WIP, made the connections, and deduced a mountain of scattered ideas into a story--you feel like the most brilliant detective on Earth. Move over Sherlock!

It is amazing to be not only the asker of the mysteries, but the answerer as well. Our writing and our writing hangups/issues come from us, so essentially we are fixing "us' while we write... I think? I hope?

Good luck with all of your WIP mysteries.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

WIP Wednesday: A Rehash on Luck

I do believe luck exists, but more and more I see it as something that needs our assistance. Do we make our luck? Maybe we simply entice it.

Example. I sit, do nothing with my WIP and it all slows down. I wish for some luck to come my way while I get a little more depressed about all my projects in general and therefore I become unattractive to Luck. Luck does have its standards after all.

So I wait and nothing really happens while I wait for Luck—correction, life happens and it feels like filler. No substance. Nothing I can hold onto later and show for my time on Earth.

Now, I do something. Maybe not a big something, but a few well placed something’s and I do them with regularity. I work hard at these little things that slowly grow in size and reach. I may feel frustrated at times, when nothing seems to have bloomed, but I take comfort in the growth of my projects just the same. I feel inspired by the time I have spent on my projects, the large accumulation of things I have done to feed my work a slow and stead diet. My work is healthy with my care as am I by the process and Luck likes healthy things best.

Luck likes healthy things best, but it will also visit what shows promise—what shows a spark of ambition or hope. Luck rewards those who wish to work for its attention. Hard work is a Luck attractor, so apply as much as you can if you want visited by it.

Good things can happen by simple luck, but extraordinary things happen with hard work.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday Musings From Under the Steps: Human 101

  1. If you learn what a man loves and know what he fears, you will understand what he hates and why.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

WIP Wednesday: What I Want it to Be

While sorting out the plot of my long suffering WIP Ghost Mountain, I’ve found my mind drifting towards the stories intended Mood and Tone.

I know how—I’ve done it before and to varied degree’s. It just feels so vital for me to think on it now. Setting the right Mood and Tone for my novel is like starting the heart beat of a living thing to me. I want this beasts heart beat to be strong and I want it to be right.

I think my concern may be due to the multiple genre’s mixed together in this story. Paranormal Romance with a side of Mystery, Suspense, Action, Drama and a fair amount of Humor. I’ve dabbled in mixing genre before, but not this many. I feel it is doable and even feel confident in my intended mix. I just—I just…

I want you, the reader to go through my story and feel the heart and wonderment of a Steven Spielberg film. To feel good that you’ve met my characters and believe in their story. I want you to care so much about their journey, you’ll believe anything I put them through. I want you to pay attention to the details, the way JJ Abrams made me for six years and counting. And then I want you to feel gotten in a good way when you get to the end, like M. Night Shyamalan (the earlier works).

I want the suspense, the twists, turns and thrills of Deaver, Koontz, Grisham, Crichton, and Patterson. I want the foreboding foreshadowing and fear of King, along with the dance he does with good and evil, human frailty and human strength, the everyday and the paranormal. I want dialogue like Elmore Leonard—plain, simple but colors the readers mind and lets my character breathe like real ‘folk’. The real complexity is in simplicity kids. My characters will show you what there made of, not tell ya about it.

I want to give you a world where you find yourself on your back in the bed of a pickup truck, watching stars and fireflies on a cool clear night with a lost love. And then in the same chapter, have you chasing ghosts through burning buildings right after being shot at by a gun toting granny. I want heat to radiate off the stares my would-be lovers will throw and laughter when they make fools of themselves in the pursuit of love and forgiveness.

I want all this and more and maybe something will fall short or drift away in the editing. Maybe not. But whats in my writers mind and heart right now are all the above things and more. But most of all I just want to finish…

Wyatt tilted his head back and let out a deep huff of breath into the chilled autumn air.

It was nights like these he found himself talking to the stars. Not like they would talk back or give answer to all life’s mysteries. He just liked to say his peace to something bigger and grander than himself, hoping to find perspective in the process. And sometime—sometimes, he could hear a old voice…

“Now boy, let me tell you about that mountain.”

~~~Chapter 1: Just Howling at the Moon. Ghost Mountain.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Musings From Under the Steps: The Darker Side of Goose

"For every evil under the sun, there is a remedy, or there is none. If there be one, seek till you find it; If there be none, never mind it.
~~~M. Goose

A lovely fairytale survival lesson that translates so well to the real world.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

WIP Wednesday: NaNoWriMo to the Rescue!!!!

Come one, come all WIP's! As mentioned last week, I will be untangling my present WIP with the help of NaNoWriMo this November. 30 days and nights of wild writing abandon, how can I resist. And what can I say, my WIP needs the extra attention after the physical neglect I have given it.

Now I didnt say emotional neglect. Maybe I havent been stroking my fingers up and down the keys in a age old dance--writer and filling a blank screen/page. But my story and its characters are always on my mind. I have a steno pad and a computer full of bookmarked info and images to prove it.

I just need to write!!!!!!!!!!

So if ya have a neglected WIP or would like to take the NaNoWriMo challenge, 50,000 words of original story in 3o days, JOIN ME!!!!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Musings From Under the Steps: To Be A Individual

Individuality is what opens the coral, frees you from the rest of the herd and gives you the opportunity to find greener pastures.

Individuality is never apologizing for being different from the flock.

Being a individual is loving yourself enough to not only march to a different drummer, but do so while wearing a cowboy hat and a tutu.

And sometimes, being an individual wasn't a choice. But accepting and making it work for you was.

Homeless local. Kailua Kona, Big Island of Hawaii.

Be brave, my individuals. Be you.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

WIP Wednesday: What WIP's Do When They Are Sick

First, thank you all for your well wishes. I am feeling better. Thank you and I shall be catching up in the blog world this week. I will not bore you with the details of having a cold or sinus issues, but I will say I started feeling sick about a couple weekends ago.

The Sunday before, I attended my first International Woman's Writing Guild meeting of the season. It was great to be back with the gals. Pot luck treats and writing prompts abound for our season starter.

Unfortunately, I felt the 'walking dead' feeling on and off through that day and by Monday I so knew I was sick. This did not bode well for the rest of my week. Aside from my other obligations, I was in the final stages on getting ready for a area craft show, my first.

So what do WIP's do when they are sick? They improvise and soldier on.

Welcome to my tent at the 34th annual Boardman Rotary Oktoberfest! Sad to say, the day was cold and rained part of it. Not good for getting over being sick. Happy to say I did enjoy the experience, the people and made my space for the day with a little extra. All of this let me ignore the whole wet and cold thing.

The tent is Jim and I camping pavilion when we go to the astronomy field. The pretty little table up front is my great grandfathers. The photos of my wares and said wares are of my creation of course. It was Jim's idea for me to place some of my pics out to advertise (good hubby) and the displays are of my creation. And if you ever wanted another use for a old type drawer, try it as a craft and jewelry display. Just $5 at my local junk store.

And some of my crafty neighbors and patrons milling about old Boardman Park.

Now, be sure to take a card before you go. All not sold at the show will be up on etsy soon enough.

Now, as for my sick WIP Ghost Mountain, I have found some good medicine. A lovely writing pal of mine, Eliza, reminded me that National Novel Writing Month is upon us and NaNoWriMo may be the perfect chance to untangle my WIP while pushing a steady word count towards completion.

I say it sounds like just what the doctor ordered.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Musings From Under the Steps: K.I.S.S.

"Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple."
~~~C.W. Ceran this point I am still a moron.


~~~Einstein Quote Generator

Here's to stripping life down to idiot proof!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WIP Wednesday: WIP Tug-of-War

Do you have two WIP's fighting over your head space, heart and time? I do. Presently both are showing me the best of themselves, taunting my muse to take on one and not the other. All the while they have pulled my nerves so taut, I'm not in a place to work on either of them.


I am very certain I am not alone in this dilemma. How do the rest of you sort out this tug-of-war of your muse?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Musings From Under the Steps: The Highest Reward...

"The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it."

~~~John Ruskin

Writing anyone?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Shhhhh Its a Secret Blogfest!!!!!!

My late entry for the Shh It's a Secret Blogfest being held by the lovely Summer Ross (BIG congrats on your first Blogfest!) at My Inner Fairy. Under 700 wrds BTW! Stop on by her blog and check out all the other wonderful entries this weekend and have a great day!

From my shelved WIP 'Touched' (Never got to editing stage—so I have 2 POV going in this...bad Nicole). The moment is shortly after Mike(my MC's best friend) blows up and demands Logan (my MC) tell him what’s going on, after Logan uses some of his abilities to help Mike subdue a bad guy on the island (My FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT BLOGFEST ENTRY). Logan has just told Mike about his secret abilities--his biggest secret, and now Mike wants Logan to show him some proof. So Logan shows his friend his mind reading skills. The scene is in the chapter, ‘So Is It a Jedi Mind Trick or What?’


Mike grimly eyed his long lost friend. He still wasn’t sure about any of this, not by a long shot, but this ‘more human human’ before him was still the guy who had saved his life the night before and tried saving his late brothers life those many years ago. Logan was a friend. Hell, to a Mahoning that made you family. And even this new version of Logan, the jaded arrogance, coarse humor and darkness—he was still Logan. Aside from not telling him and his family that he was Seer Islands answer to Superman, Logan had never lied to them or taken advantage. He’d never hurt them...

‘Just kept one hell of a big honkin secret.’

“So what am I thinking now?” The bulky blond challenged, crossing his arms over his uniformed chest in a mildly childish stance.

Honestly, Logan had expected Mike to ask him to levitate a table or prick a finger and heal it. He’d already been witness to Logan’s strength and endurance. But the mind reading?

Quirking a dark brow at his pragmatic friend, Logan pushed off the window sill and stood before the young deputy, holding his friends unremitting stare. “Looking for proof, Sheriff?” Mike nodded. Logan simply shook his head, this moment bordering on a childhood dare. “Okay.”

Taking another step closer to Mike, Logan felt his friend flinch, but hold his spot at the center of the old hardwood floor. “You’re sure?”

“Do it.” Mike swallowed hard. Logan smirked then shook his head once more. He’d never been in the position where the person he was reading asked for it.

Taking in a deep breath, Logan raised his hand between them, palm out to Mike’s chest. He could feel the hum of life within his friend’s body—strong and steady like the lapping of warm ocean waves. Slowly his hand hovered to the side of Mike’s curly headed skull and began to see the shades of images sharpen and sounds become words. It was no surprise to Logan that his friend’s thoughts came to him as straightforward as the man who had them—with little hesitancy and no doubt.

“So-so what do ya see?” Mike blurted out.

Logan grinned, his eyes still closed. “I see a pretty brave guy for letting his ‘alien’ friend have his way with his brain.” Logan felt Mike’s entire body go ridged and smiled in spite of himself. “Kidding, buddy. Kidding.”

Logan lowered his hand and opened his eyes. He saw a lot inside the stalwart man before him; more than what he was comfortable revealing to the other man if he wanted to keep him as a friend. Things like how Mike had secretly envied Logan when they were children or the extent of Mike’s present fears—that he would not be able to keep the people of this island safe during the coming storm. No, what needed to be said now had nothing to do with the things he saw within his friends mind, but the reason why his friend had let him see them at all.

“You trust me.” His eyes steady on his friend. “You think I’m a little fucked up and you’re uncomfortable when Anne [Mike’s sister, also Logan’s childhood friend] and I are alone” Logan knowingly smirked when his friend’s eyes fell to his boots “but you trust me.”

Mike raised his head again and silently nodded.

“And that same trust does not extend to my family.” Logan continued.

“I’m sorry, Logan…”

“Don’t be. You are right not to.” Logan turned from his friend and walked back to his view of the mounting snow fall. Hell, he didn’t trust his own family. He was intimately aware of what his family was capable of and viewed mistrust as a survival skill when dealing with anything of his kin.

“And Anne?” Logan felt Mike’s brotherly concern before he spoke it. A pregnant silence fell between the men.

“I’d never hurt her, Mike. Believe that.” Logan just wished he could believe it too.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Writing What You Have Felt.


I think I speak for most fiction writers when I say we write what we know. Even when we think we’re writing/thinking outside our mental box, we’re really just borrowing something we have already absorbed from the world around us and now see from a different view. Living does that. Life demands it.

Moments in our lives can take what we thought we knew and widen it to proportions we will never be able to shrink back from. And then with the same gusto, break our thoughts and dreams down to scatter them to the winds, only to be rebuilt again different. Moments shine lights on ideals and set fire to new ones, but just as easily can yank them by the scruff of the neck and tosses them into shadows making us ask… “What the hell just happened?”

But what about writing based on what we feel through our empathy and observation of others? What about writing from other peoples experiences?

Like many writers, I am a people watcher who can be both distant and empathetic towards my subject. During my decade long stint in the “other people’s problems” business I accumulated an extensive and diverse catalog of other people’s emotional baggage that’s kept my writing well versed in human behavior. And of course there is the over thirty year diet of TV watching, movie watching, book reading and music rolling around like loose candy in my piñata head.

The fact is, I have relied heavily on this 'observers' stockpile to bring life to many of my characters and very little of my own personal plights. And for some reason I have yet to define, I feel as if I have cheated my writing in some way. That I haven't 'bled' for my writing.

Anyone feel this way? Do you use writing as a therapists couch or a working amalgam of the things you have seen around you? Maybe both? Do you have to 'bleed' for your writing to have it have heart?


I wrote this about a month after my own father’s death, two years ago. I think it was the first time I wrote something so close to home. The very first time I felt like I bled for a story.

This bit was from my Jericho Fan Fiction Chapters Series, the last chapter out of 22. Another example of my favorite mistake--TWO POV's in one scene. Jake (the MC) is in a dream talking with his dead father, Johnston. It's sort of a 'coming to terms' and a good bye.

A deep bark of a laugh rose from Johnston Green’s chest while he smiled at his son.

“You know you’ll get some stuff right, too? When you do it will make all the wrongs worth the gray hairs. I know that from my own personal experience.”

Jake looked up and gave his father a slight grin.

“You’ll do good, son. Might even get a little more right than your old man did.”

Jake watched his father smile and felt his heart pull. His mind was spinning trying to take in all that was said tonight. He wanted to remember this moment, when his eyes opened and this dream came to a end.

If only his father could be with him again, not in this world of dreams and memories, but with him like he had once been. In that moment, Jake wished more than anything, to take his father with him. To take Johnston Green back over the great divide.

“I miss you, Dad.”

Johnston reached out to his son’s cheek and watched the younger man swallow down emotion.

The elder Green gladly acknowledged the man his son had become, but right then the father in him could only see the young boy he’d once been. He saw that naked honesty in his son’s soulful eyes and not the stubborn silence that took him in the teen years. He saw his son’s limitless courage and heart, things that life’s circumstances never took from Jake, only buried for a time to be found once more. It seemed to Johnston, that in some strange way his son had finally come full circle. Back to his family, back to himself, back to life. It’s all he could have asked for.

“I’ll always be with you, son.” His words deep and warm. “Always.”

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Musings From Under the Steps: My Lying Little Writer Heart

"The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.

Tom Clancy

And I have already proclaimed fiction writers to be wonderful liars, haven't I? Well that is how we make fiction make sense. How we make others believe our outrageous tales. 'Suspend Disbelief' they say. We flavor our fiction-our lies, with truth and that makes our lies believable.

The best writers and liars know when to ration out a little truth now and then. The truth is the best bones to support a body of lies.
So research my writing friends. Whatever your genre or storyline, dip into the real world for some real facts now and again and you shall spin the best of lies.

Now my lies and truth I told in participation of The Bold Face Liar Award Friday. I found it interesting what some found believable and not. I guess we really can be anyone we wish here in the blogisphere. ;-D Remember, lies are best told when paired with some truth...

1. I visit China with my husband every 2-3 years.
I visit Hawaii every year with my husband. We visit his parents and their hide-a-bed. I haven't found my way to China yet.

2. I've seen a ghost.
I have seen a ghost. This is the full truth, cats and kittens.

I once worked in a old Tudor style home that had been converted into a mental health facility. It was one of my favorite jobs, but it often had me coming and going at odd hours. During my first month working midnights, I could not help but feel that I was being watched or not alone when I knew for certain that I was at the time.

And then one night I saw a pale human form go through the front door without setting off the alarm and take the steps without a creak to the old hardwood boards. My older co-worker noticed me seeing this but said nothing. Later that night it happened again and she finally sat me down.

She told me of the young man who once was a client and how he meant no harm but liked to play. He had been a simple minded young man and this had followed him into the afterlife. She told me she had not only seen me react earlier in the night but earlier in the month and was just waiting to see if I said something--or I could be trusted. She said she knew he would like me.

The remainder of my midnight shifts, if I felt I wasn't alone on my rounds or the cat wasn't following me per usual, I would tell the ghost I had to work, but to go play without me.

3. I've talked a person out of killing someone.
I have talked a few clients out of killing themselves. One was serious, the others were looking for a reaction. The 'reaction' folks, the whole killing thing was a weekly or monthly conversation.

And does talking someone out of beating the ever loving shit out of someone count?

4. I was published in Writers Digest.
Nope, not yet. Sooner or later I will bite the bullet and enter one of there contests. I swear!

5. I live in a fairly old and very creaky Colonial in the country.
I hope to in the next year. It's a goal for me and hubby. And if not Colonial, something of the sort. But definitely back to country living at some level.

6. I killed my cousin.
I attacked and then choked my older first cousin till he turned blue and briefly passed out. It had been coming for years. That day he was messing with my sister and you do not mess with family--unless the family is doing the messing.

I told you--long long fuse with a big boom.

7. I use to 'dance' in college. It paid good.
I enjoyed dancing with friends in college, but not professionally. ;-) But I was mistaken for a local stripper by the old lady who sold me flowers every Sunday down at the market. She kept calling me 'Star' and then apologize. She would always give me this odd little smile, like I was lying. Maybe I was...

Photo courtesy SXC.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Finds and Friends: Thank You's and a Award.

I have a couple thank you's and a award to pay forward this Friday. First, a big long over due thank you to the ever multi-tasking and always generouse Lydia Kang at The World is My Oyster for the wonderful opportunity to win this...
...and a few other of it's deliciously wonderful smelling friends from...

I am LOVING the lavender soap. Thank you so much for the chance to enter your contest and congrats on making it past 300 followers. It was a wonderful prize. I am now no doubt hooked on the stuff!

Also, be sure to check out Doc Lydia's blog every Monday for Medical Mondays. Have a fiction related question regarding health and medicine, visit HERE and e-mail Lydia your question.

And a shout out and thank you to The Words Crafter over at The Rainy Day Wander, for awarding me The Bold Face Liar Creative Writer Award. I sort of hoping to get one of these. I love the concept. First, I am a wonderful liar. It's just true. But I have used it more for good and entertainment, I swear... *smirk* And second, I think a good fiction writer is a good liar. We fabricate stories around bits of truth and fiction, and then swindle others into believing the entirety of it. Journalist peddle the truth, Fiction Writers craft amazing lies. I truely have found my place.

So thank you my dear Words Crafter, and I shall pay this bit of fun forward. FYI, if you are not following this chick you are not one of the cool kids. So go HERE and enjoy yourself. You will find few bloggers so creative, supportive and thoughful of others in the bloggisphere.

So, the Rules atached to The Bold Face Liar Award...

The Bold Face Liar Creative Writer Award requires you to:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link to them.

2. Add the award to your blog.

3. Tell six outrageous lies about yourself and one truth. (Another variant: Tell six truths and one outrageous lie. YOU get to guess which variant I chose – and which statements are true, as well as which are lies.)

4. Nominate six creative liars writers and post links to them.

5. Let your nominees know that they have been nominated.

Can you figure out which group I went with? 6 lies or 6 truths? We'll see.

1. I visit China with my husband every 2-3 years.

I've seen a ghost.

3. I've talked a person out of killing someone.

4. I was published in Writers Digest.

5. I live in a fairly old and very creaky Colonial in the country.

6. I killed my cousin.

7. I use to 'dance' in college. It paid good.

Now you tell me if I won this award fairly. =^.^=

And I award The Bold Face Liar Award to...

1. Cort Ellyn at Wordweaver

2. Justin W. Parente at In My Write Mind

3. Old Kitty at Ten Lives and Second Chances

4. Roland at Writing In The Crosshairs (Because ya are ;-D)

5. Summer Ross at My Inner Fairy

DL at Cruising Altitude

And a extra Bold Face Liar award goes out to whoever guesses my lie or truth first!!!!

Thanks all, and I hope to have some more blogfests and contests up for your viewing soon. And check out all the nice folks above. They're a batch of great 'liars' and blogging friends!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Writing Recycling (And My Weekend at a Glance)

Sooooo. Have ya ever recycled bits of one WIP to feed another WIP? I assume you have. This 'recycling' is often what sparked the new WIP in the first place. A scene or a character didnt quite fit the project you were working on, but you liked it. So you kept it like the treasure hunting magpie that writers are and at some point it began to germinate into it's own story.

But what about using a piece of WIP from a Fan Fiction you wrote? I know the disclaimer--the characters and the story do not belong to me....blah blah blah. But what if the story bit was out of story cannon or non-specific of the original characters created for the original work of fiction? It's your writing right???? Writers find inspiration in others works all the time, don't they?

It's a topic that has crossed my mind now and then. I was wondering if anyone else has come across a similar dilemma?

BTW, Napoli (pictured in his favorite hiding place--my grocery bags) say's "Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. And remember my cat treat."

Below is a bit from a Mentalist Fan Fiction I am hoping to recycle into my present WIP, Ghost Mountain. It would not be word for word do to the many differences in the characters and works, but the gist would be there.

"Just the slightest touch from him was beginning to feel like the biggest leap into the unknown. So many voices of reason and experience told her to take her hand away, but so much of what she needed—what she knew he needed, was allowing his fingers to entwine with her own and hold tight. She simply needed to trust…"


As for this past week and weekend--and the reason I've been off the grid more than usual. Jim and I headed off to Cherry Springs PA, about 3 hours from our home in Ohio. Once again we enjoyed some camping, hiking, stargazing and a whole bunch of astrophotography (i.e. half our gear consisted of astronomy, computer and photography equipment).

We stayed from the 1st to the 6th. A long hall this time but worth the stay.

These are just a few images I took of our camp site on the astronomy field, the valley below our elevation (2,300 feet), and a few misc photo's including a engineered image my husband took of the Milky Way last trip.

photo by Jim Murray

And then, when we got home Monday, we unpacked some of our gear and headed off to the county fair...

Come one, come all! Welcome to the 164th year of the Canfield Fair!

For every year I have been alive I have gone to this mainstay of Mahoning County. One would think I'd tire of the giant pumpkins, row after row of animal barns, craft barns and exhibits, rides, funnel cakes and tractor pulls but alas I have not nor do I see this happening anytime soon.

The fair represents something to me--something pure and happy and unchanging in its way. And after 164 years, it is nostalgia of the very best sort for this country girl. And the best way to say so long to Summer and greet the Fall.

And these last few years, I have found a way to participate in this event. By entering the Fine Arts and Photography exhibit with my husband Jim.

My entries this year...

I hope all of ya had a great Labor Day weekend and I'll type at ya Friday!


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