Saturday, July 31, 2010

Milestone Blogfest and more!

Today I'm making timely use of Donna Hole's Milestones Blogfest! A chance to toot your or someone else's horn! I plan to do both and very simply.

As of this week, I now have 50 followers. I like to think of that as a milestone in bloggerland. And I want to thank all of you who have stopped by, read my rambling prattle and decided it was interesting enough to stick around to read more of said prattle. Again, thank you so much for stopping by and staying.

I would also like to send a shout out to all the lovely bloggers who have and will be holding blogfests in the near future...

* DL at Cruising Altitude has a prize filled High Drama Blogfest August 7th!

* And at A Little Slice of Nothing, "The Weather Blogfest". Due August 14.

* The Literary Lab's second annual Genre Wars Anthology presents "Notes From Underground" contest!

Literary Lab Contest Button

* Jen at unedited, is throwing the Guess That Character Blogfest August 19th and 20th.

* And check out The Funniest Blogfest Ever at Thoughts by Lilah Pierce, held on September 1st.

Missed any? I will be happy to put them up on my Blogfest and Contests tab!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WIP Wednesday: There is nothing to fear but fear its self!

While stumbling about the net while Under the Steps, I came across a fairly straightforward little piece on Writer's Digest's website about the obstacles we directly and indirectly set to sabotage our writing dreams. Top 10 Productivity Pitfalls for Writers to Avoid by Sage Cohen. Read the 10 and I swear you'll find at least half you've done to yourself at one point in the writing process. I did and have. But the one I kept coming back to was #3.

3. Fear. Risk is the hinge on which productivity turns; if we aren’t in danger of failing, we aren’t growing. When we let fear prevent us from taking steps that could bring our writing dreams closer, we limit our opportunities to succeed.

Now I will be the first to accept my old moniker "too stupid to be afraid" and will proudly tell the tales of facing down 6'5 schizophrenics and chasing off thieves with office implements, but I do fear... I fear success. Why that is will have to wait for another day. And I know I'm not alone, which in the end does make me feel better. And seeing those 1o pitfalls spelled out so clear also made me feel better.

Better??? you ask?

Because facing a fear (or issue) with all the lights on, makes me feel braver. When something is spelled out in black and white its no longer allowed to linger in the hazy shadows of anonymity. And if you can clearly see the obstacles you have placed before yourself...

Then you can figure out how to get around, over, under or through them.


Now a small bit from my WIP, Ghost Mountain. I have been trying out POV's other than my MC Wyatt. This is Mary (heroine) quietly watching Wyatt, her old childhood friend and high school heart break, for the first time in 15 years.

"She found him standing out in the square, staring up at the night sky like he was about to howl at it.

He was taller than she remembered, broader in the shoulders too. His once enviable dark mane was now cut so short it followed the lines of his scalp. And even if she hadn’t seen his shoulders slump when he turned away from the stars, she knew he’d become a whole lot older than he was suppose to be."

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sunday Sermon: Pick up those Pennies

"If you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted with pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It's that simple. What you see is what you get."

--Annie Dillard

How we use our time and opportunities has a great deal to do with how we perceive them. Make a meal of every crumb of time. Use it. Treasure it. Own this belief when tackling any WIP or life in general. MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME!!!!!!!

Dramatic? I have to be when reminding myself of important lessons I am stubborn learning. Let's see if we can all do better.

Just a quote that needed repeating (for me).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Finds & Friends: Authonomy, Legend Fire, Etsy and a Thanx!

Hello from my cluttered little base of operations Under the Steps. Napoli the Cat,if you can see him in the pic, says hello too. I hope your end of the week was worth the fight to get to it and success to your weekend plans.

Now I have some finds and a thank you to share today.


authonomy is a on-line community for writers, readers and publishers, created by book editors at HarperCollins publishing.

For the writer, authonomy is a place to expose your finished or close to finished works to the reading public, other writers, publishers and agents. You can set up your own on-line profile, get and give reviews of other works, all the while competing for a spot in the rankings and the possibility of getting your book noticed by agents and publishers alike.

It's different and maybe not for everyone, but its a site worth checking out.

LegendFire is a free, author-driven, online creative writing community. Its a fairly cozy spot for authors and poets alike, from a broad range of genres. You can exchange feedback, offer and participate in writing challenges and contests, participate in interactive writing projects, find resources and make friends in the writing community.

The site does represent a fair share of genres, but its especially friendly to the sci-fi, fantasy and horror folks. Stop by and check them out!

Now I know you folks have spotted my Etsy shop add at the right of my blog, Salvaged Beauty by Nicole Murray. This is part unabashed plug to get you nice folks to visit my small and fairly new shop. Yes--yes it is!


It's also a invitation to all of you out there who have considered selling the lovely things you create with your own two hands. You know what I am talking about. Those great handmade gifts you give to your friends and family on holidays and birthdays. The jewelry or cloths you make for yourself, but everyone compliments. The skill or project that you always thought you might be able to sell if you just had a good place to do it. Etsy could be that place for you.

I have found the site easy to navigate and I enjoy having a spot to show and sell my jewelry and art projects for only a small fee and a bit of my time. I have found the selling and buying community on Etsy to be supportive, resourceful and inspiring. And of course Etsy is a great place to find one of a kind handmade gifts, vintage finds and a wide variety of art and craft supplies.

So push the Etsy icon. I know you want to.

And my thank you goes out to the lovely Tessa at Tessa's Blurb who awarded all participants in her Blogfest of Death. Thank you Tessa!

My entry...

And as always, check out my Contests, Blogfests & Sales tab at the top of my blog. I add new when I find them.

Have a great weekend folks and thank you for visiting Under the Steps.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

WIP Wednesday: A Character Named Dialogue

"My most important rule is one that sums up the 10: If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it." And "Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip." -- Elmore Leonard. "Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing,"

I am of the camp that believes dialogue should sound like it's being spoken by a living breathing person from inside the page and not being recited by the living breathing person holding the book. Not only does dialogue set a time and place, it also brings characters to life (the whole speaking to you from the page thing).

Dialogue done right, should help the reader enter into the story and into the minds of the characters in it. But of course to do this mind manipulating feat, one must butcher spelling and defy the Grammar Police. Not something that comes easy to the timid or better educated of us. I am neither, BTW. *smirk*

My question is, while writing my present WIP, how far can I take this defiance without turning off future potential agents and publishers? Or is my defiance of proper grammar in dialogue (the rest I will fix in editing...PROMISE!) a important feature of my writing voice and I should just flow with it?

Chime in if ya like. It's something that's been concerning me while I type away Under the Steps, so I know it's been a concern to some of you out there.

I leave you with another rough bit from my WIP Ghost Mountain, illustrating dialogue as I like it.

‘Maybe I would have avoided the whole bloody mess if I’d just let Old Ginny have her say.’

Sheriff Wyatt Paxton popped the empty shells from the shotgun and into his pocket. Evidence bags hadn’t made it to Mercy Corners.

‘And bloody…,’ Wyatt roughly ran his hand over the back of his buzz cut and turned to survey the nightmarish scene around him ‘Not the whole la-tee-da English cussin bloody. I mean bloody as in the nice little old church lady went ape shit, shot up her neighbor Old Man Mirty and half his beef cows due to the fact she felt I didn’t let her make it clear at the town meetin how much she didn’t want trespassers on her property—bloody!’

Settling the double barrel at his hip, the young Sheriff could only shake his head in disbelief. The buzz of horse fly’s resonated in the cooling fall air. The smell they came looking for—brown and black mounds of flesh, sinew and bone, lay scattered at the outskirts of Ginny’s vegetable patch and past the first row of corn. Further out into the yard, just a stone’s throw away from his fallen heard, lay Titus Mirty slumped up against Ginny’s outhouse. One shot taken to his head from off of Ginny’s back porch. Wyatt had to admit old Ginny was a hell of a shot if she had been planning it.

“Teddy, see about callin’ Marcus and the boys down from Fairways farm. We need these cows buried. And tell ‘em Doc’s off for the weekend so he might want to stop by the coroner’s office for a body bag.”

“What about Ginny, Sherriff?” Deputy Reed sidled up to his boss, earning himself a hard glare from the man. “I mean I know she’s bat nuts but look what she done…?”

Wyatt walked away before his deputy could continue and approached the back seat of his Wagoneer. Ginny was a whole lot quieter now. She’d taken to muttering under her breath while she sat cuffed and rocking in the back of the Sheriffs SUV.

“Ginny.” Wyatt opened the back door. “Ginny?”

“Why Sheriff, have ya seen my Pa? He’s lookin’ for his shotgun…”

Wyatt leaned heavily on the open door, said shotgun in hand.

“Ginny, your Pa is dead. Has been for some fifteen years…”

“There’s my daddy’s gun!” The frail little woman smiled brightly, ignoring the stated facts. “You know how he won that state wide skeet shoot with that gun? Or when he shot that interlopen bear trying to get at our pigs?”

“Ginny” Wyatt Paxton was never one to humor anyone’s delusions or false hopes and he wasn’t about to start now. Squatting down on his haunches, Wyatt met his prisoner and old friend eye to eye.

“Why did you shoot Titus and his cows, Ginny? Did Titus get in the way when you were shooing the cows? You shouldn’t have been using that shotgun to go doing that. Your daddy wouldn’t have approved and if ya had called me…”

Without warning the old woman’s smile turned saccharine to sour. Before Wyatt could stand away, Ginny leaned forward in her restraints and spat in his face. Wyatt reeled back and stood, wiping away the spittle, shocked.

“Don’t go saying what my Pa wants! He can speak for himself!” Ginny howled, bringing the deputy to his sheriff’s side. “He told me to protect what’s ours like he did the day of that bear. And those trespassing cows got in the way of MY bear!”


Shortly after the boys from Fairway’s arrived, Wyatt had his Deputy take Ginny to the clinic a county over in Essexville for a psych eval. It knotted his gut to think little old Ginny so gone she could kill her neighbor over cows, but if bothered him more to think her a cold blooded killer. At least being crazy meant she hadn’t been herself.

Wyatt stepped onto Ginny’s porch and into the house while the workmen made short work of the fallen herd and their master. The screen screeched then slapped behind him. His eyes fell to the far wall of the front parlor.

Pictures, a littering of faded and worn frames covered the wall with faces, some familiar and most gone from this world. Ginny was the last descendent of the Kale family line.

Wyatt had been thinking of his own long gone kin a lot these last few months; in passing and sometime in dreams that woke him up drenched and heaving. But he wasn’t thinking any of his dead to be alive. Maybe with him because the dead never do leave when their held onto too tight, but not here on this Earth wanting to be heard. Hell, Heaven knew Earth was better off with most of his kin gone from it.

Reaching out to one of the frames, Wyatt tilted it straight and then stepped away from the dusty and crowded shrine.

And even if the dead were speaking to him too, he’d never listened to them when they were living. Why start now?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Shakespeare and THE BLOGFEST OF DEATH!

"Alas! poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning?"

In Act V of Shakespeare's Hamlet, the titled character finds the unearthed skull of a old friend and wistfully reminiscences about the lighter, happier times spent with his dead but not forgotten friend. I personally took from the scene, that Hamlet once found good lessons to be learned from this old friend--the jest and light heartedness he attempts throughout the story. Knowing this person had a positive impact on him. And now, holding his friends skull in his hand, even good memories have a haunting effect on him.

I feel that my MC Wyatt (Ghost Mountain) is going through a similar painful remembrance of his not long dead Uncle. In his case he misses him and hasn't dealt with the loss, so much so even good memories--and the positive life lessons this kind and funny man gave him--now hurt Wyatt to even think on. Before the story begins, he has already chosen to block out the things that hurt and that means the good stuff too.

"There's a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will."

What tragedies (death) does is change us--alters relationships and life paths. I hope to have my hero believe more in personal choice than in divinity or fate. Unlike our poor Hamlett.

Below is my entry for The Blogfest of Death at Tessa's Blurb. It's a flashback to the night Wyatt's Uncle was killed. This flashback occurs when Wyatt visits the property for the first time in over a year since that night. He stops by the property after leaving a domestic dispute call that's left him shaken and confused. This way too real remembrance of that night will not help my MC's mental state, but I hope it will illustrate how memories are becoming too real to those having them in Mercy Corners.

So read up and please stop by Tessa's Blurb linked above and read all the rest of the wonderful entries being born into the blogisphere this weekend!

Wyatt stepped further into the overgrown clearing on autopilot, wide eyed but seeing nothing but the past.

The sunny fall afternoon faded quickly to night, the grass under his feet sunk away to charcoaled wood and rubble. The heat of flames joined the slick of sweat on his skin. And the buzz and chatter from his portable, along with the building breeze, grew into the paralyzing scream of a man.


The newly appointed Sheriff of Mercy Corners dodged the town’s two fire trucks and jumped over hose, slamming into the shoulders of Volunteer Fireman and neighbors alike to get to his Uncle Will.

“Damn it…WILLIS!” Wyatt jumped to the first fiery step of the salt box house he and his Uncle shared and was caught in a flying tackle that pulled him backwards and to the ground before he could reach the second. “No…!”

“Wyatt we tried. We tried…” Tim Clark, friend and Fire Chief, still held onto Wyatt’s middle, while two other sets of broad hand came down on his arms and shoulders to pull him further away from the flames. “It’s too late, Wyatt.”

Wyatt slowed his struggle long enough to look into the smudged and desperate face of his childhood friend. He’d never seen a lie in his friend’s eyes. He saw none now.


His Uncle’s dying shrieks set off another fight to hold Wyatt to the ground and away from a heroic but certain death. Mere moments after, the second floor of the old farm house fell into the first, sending out a spray of sparks and flame.

Wyatt sank slowly from his friends grip to the ground. No more sounds but the pop and crack of fire could be heard from Willis Paxton’s childhood home.

He had stayed on his knees that night and his friends let him, with no attempt at comfort. There was none to be had and even if they had tried, he wouldn’t have felt it or anything else for that matter.

The young Sheriff was on his knees now, the wisps of stray weeds and wildflowers bent and danced on a sunny fall afternoon breeze around him. The only burn Wyatt felt now was in his eyes and throat and the sun beating down his back while he slumped beside the year old rubble of his family’s life.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Finds and Friends Friday: An Award and BLOGFESTS!!!

Hello folks. First, I figured out how to work my new Net Book Webcam this morning (Does that look like a morning face or what?). I am happy that my Net Book bits work, but taking my own pic this way felt kinda--oh, I don't know? Vain?!? I really am a young old fuddy duddy.


This Friday Under the Steps I have a award to pass on to some nice folks and a update on any Blogfests you might not have found on your own. (If you have one I missed, lay it on me and I will add it to the list. Thanx!)

Not long ago The Words Crafter at The Rainy Day Wanderer awarded me The Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you my blogger buddy. And with this particular award comes a few rules:

  • Thank the giver(s) and link back to their blog(s).
  • Share seven things about yourself that others probably don't know.
  • Pass along to eight (originally fifteen) bloggers. Criteria: Adaptable, Flexible, Multifaceted, Resourceful, Multi-talented, and Versatile Bloggers.
  • Comment on their blogs to let them know about their award.
Again, thank you Words Crafter!!!!!!! And now a little bit about me...

  1. I grew up poor. As in lived in a trailer, grandma had a outhouse till I was 12, rural poor.
  2. I worked in the Mental Health field for over a decade. Started while I was still in college.
  3. I have 3 cats. Napoli, Angelina, and Isis (or Issy The Flying Cat)
  4. I really do enjoy being married.
  5. I wrote fan fiction under the name Ann Pendragon.
  6. I once chased off a group of drug addled teenagers trying to steal my car with a pair of scissors and a whole lot of obscenities. It was at a job site. The car was a piece of shit, but it was my POS.
  7. Up until I was a pre-teen I wanted to be a paleontologist, a archeologist or a cop. A secret agent on really energetic days. I switched up these dreams about every other month. ;-P

NOW, the 8 lovely bloggers I shall pass on The Versatile Blogger Award... (And I hate picking people for these things because I know I have left someone out that I also enjoyed very much!)

Roland at Writing in the Crosshairs

Lydia at The World is My Oyster

All the lovely ladies at Prairie Chicks Write Romance

DL at Cruising Altitude

B.E. Sanderson at The Writing Spectacle

Luli at Ler, comer e amar

cArLa at pApEr cLiPPiNgS oF a WaNdEriNg ArTiSt

Raquel Byrnes at Raquel Byrnes

...lord that was tough. I had to pull a couple out of a proverbial hat because its hard to choose.

Now winners, enjoy and go share the award and a bit of yourself!

AND some upcoming blogfests. Take the pics and post them on your own blogs to spread the fun!!!

* Looking to kill off a character? Do it here. The Blogfest of Death at Tessa's Blurb. July 18th!

* Festival of the Trees is having a call for Submissions: Festival 50, Trees Through a Child’s Eyes Fest! July 29th is the deadline.

*And July 31, toot your own or someone elses horn at the Milestones Bogfest! Brought to you be Donna Hole.

* DL at Cruising Altitude has a prize filled High Drama Blogfest August 7th!

* And at A Little Slice of Nothing, "The Weather Blogfest". Due August 14.

* The Literary Lab's second annual Genre Wars Anthology presents "Notes From Underground" contest!

Literary Lab Contest Button

Check back for more Blogfest and Contests. Just go to my Contests,Blogfests&Sales tab at the top of my Blog!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

WIP Wednesday: Cut, Paste and Blend

I am a member of two writing groups, Focus on Fiction at my local Barnes and Noble and the IWWG (International Woman's Writing Guild). I love the companionship I have found in these groups and both afford me wonderful contacts, a test audience and editing staff, a sounding board for my creative gripes and useful knowledge about the writing world. Not to mention I enjoy being all those things for the others of my group.

Well, my FoF group and soon my IWWG group, enjoy writing prompts and take home assignments. Recently I have been using some of these prompts as scene starters for my WIP Ghost Mountain. I complete my assignment, I get a audience for my story and I have another scene for my book. TA DA!!!!!!

Of course the scenes I have created from these prompts are in no particular order in my story. Like so many other scenes we write when something inspires us on a lark, I find myself stowing away these scenes and sprinkling in bits of them as I write my WIP. Cut. Paste. Blend!

Below was a prompt I assigned my FoF group a couple months back. I gave them three pictures and asked them to write a scene from the POV of the person or persons in it. It went off well, being that the creative mind is a visual mind. I chose the woman looking out over a lake to a mountain. Go figure.

Do any of you have a great cut, paste and blend story or have a piece that still needs a home? Do you do this sort of bit and piece writing or are you a shoot straight through sort of writer?

The scene below is in the running with two other "finally we are together" moments I have written for my MC Wyatt and his gal Mary. It's from Mary's POV. It's rough and I have a few issues with it, but it also has enough merits not to be embarrassed by it. Keep in mind, it is at the end of the story and there is a bit of spoiler in the scene.

Thanks for stopping by Under the Steps.

A scarce grin lifts my lips. I can still hear Aunt Sissy grousing about the meal I didn’t eat to Mr. Morrell in the B&B’s back kitchen. I didn’t want supper or the coffee that now grows cold before me, but she made them just the same.

Sissy wants to take care of me. I understand. And I understand that worrying about me right now is easier than distressing over all of the wondrous and insane things that have occurred these last few days. So I am happy my eating habits have given my dear Aunt’s worrying a narrower focus, but I can not help but envy her for it.

Leaning further onto the porch rail, my stomach empty and my head full, I watch the colors of evening continue to dim and darken into dusk over what remains of Mt. Hesper. To think only a month ago, it was just a silent sentry on Mercy Corners horizon and not the hiding place of a possible threat. We now know our mountains secrets and all questions have been answered. All but one of my own...


Pinching the bridge of my nose, I close my eyes in attempt to give my thoughts their own focus.

Wyatt Paxton, Mercy Corners Sheriff, town hero and my long lost childhood friend and heartbreak. He’s the reason why my appetite and my heart feel so ill tonight. Why I wish it was only the unbelievable events of this past week that’s left me spinning still.

I finally know why Wyatt left me and Mercy Corners all those years ago. He became a Marine to be a better man than his father, although I never had a doubt the kind of man he would be. And he left me because he believed—my self sacrificing, frustratingly stubborn and oh so stupid Wyatt—believed that I deserved a better future than barefoot and babies in a small town and a better man not to have that with.

So I know why he did the things he had done. My question left unanswered tonight—hell, since coming back to Mercy Corners—has everything to do with ‘what now?’

Pulled from my thoughts, I hear what sounds like Brownie dog scratching at the kitchen screen door. I reach for the table light and set off down the veranda and into the house. Aunt Sissy and Mr. Morrell must have just left for bed. All I see in the kitchen is the dim light of sunset bouncing off the floor tile and Brownie’s tale wagging in and out of sight just past the entryway.

“Brownie what are you...”

My hands still over the dogs collar before I can pull him away from the screen. A shadow stands at the edge of the back stoop.

“Wyatt, is that you?” I know it’s him, but still I don’t open the screen door.

The shadow nods from the bottom of the steps and my chest tightens. I can just make out the glint of his big black eyes in the dying light.

“Wyatt, you live here too. Why don’t you just come in?” My eyes are more focused now and I can see Wyatt’s head lower and his broad hands squeeze the hat he holds. But he makes no move to step forward and I make no move to open the door.

“Wyatt—Wyatt, talk to me...” I didn’t want it to sound like a plead, but it couldn’t be helped.

Abruptly he steps up to the closed screen and I involuntarily flinch. His frame fills the door and his face is now inches from mine. I see things I recognize in his eyes and things he has never let me see. With each exhale of warm breath into the cooling evening air between us, I know my last question needs to be answered tonight.


I can do this. I have been through an earthquake, had half my loved ones in the hospital, was nearly buried alive and faced down a UFO, just within the last week, so I should be able to ask a question?

“Wyatt, do you still love me?”

Wyatt’s eyes close and I can feel his ragged breath warm my forehead through the screen. My own breathing has already ceased. And then he gently nods and I hear a soft but solid “Yes”.

“Wyatt, do you want me?” I swallow hard when his eyes draw open and I see my answer long before he gives it.

“So much” a wistful glint lightens his gaze and I can’t help but brightly smile. “So very, very much.”

I clear my throat and straiten my shoulders while reaching for the door latch. “Then I think you better step back Sheriff, so I can open the door.”

Monday, July 12, 2010

Weekend Recap: Paintbrushes and Predators

This weekend I enjoyed paintbrushes and Predators *evil smirk*. The paintbrushes were a part of my Volunteer gig at my old Alma Mater Youngstown State University. The Summer Festival of the Arts played out this year under blue skies and packed full of Art Booths, Food Vendors, Performance Art, Children' s crafts and clowns--a lot of clowns.

On that note, say hello to my new friend. We met while I was helping ankle biters--said lovingly--make beautiful messes at the Children's Craft tent. He squirted me in the face with fake ketchup (later he gave me the secret recipe) and I told him his monkey needed feeding. I think he was attracted to the bright, coma inducing colors of my above shirt *rolls eyes*. (Really, I loved the shirt. I felt very safe walking across traffic.) Ya gotta love fast friends, art fests and the projectile stage prop.

All kidding aside, I volunteered last year at a friends insistence and plan to do so from now on. It's just that much fun to me. The kids, the art and the crowds make for a wonderful weekend. And YSU always had a beautiful campus. It's a great place to do time in the name of art and volunteerism.

And it was a great chance to talk to other Artisans and vendors. Next year I thing I may set up my own tent for Salvaged Beauty. Help the Children's tent set up first and then sell my pretty bits of jewelry and art. So maybe...
...and the paintbrushes I promised you.

Now the Predators. I am a huge fan of nail biting action and of course Science Fiction. No matter how many high heels I've bought or chick flicks I have watched, my thirst for blood and bullets has only grown, much to the delight of my husband.

I blame my father for that. Early on I was armed with a pocket knife, good aim, a independent attitude, the mantra 'Don't you ever start a fight, but you sure as hell better be the one to end it' and a steady diet of Rambos, Die Hards, Lethal Weapons with a education from teachers such as John Wayne, Bronson, Eastwood, Lee and Schwarzenegger. So no matter matter how much Jane Austen, high heels or pretty things I place my life I shall always yell proudly.....LONG LIVE ACTION!!!!

The new reboot of Predator definitely appeased my old school action sci fi lust and gave me a new look at a favorite actor Adrian Brody. Some critiques may have originally paned him "he's no Arnold" and "The Pianist Guy who kissed Hale Berry at the Oscars?", but I loved him as Royce the MC. He looked the part and moved like the part of a professional killer. He behaved the part as a dark, skilled, all business soldier turned merc who'd become a predator of men because he felt he could not be anything else. A quote he gave in explanation of his 'predator' status amongst men...
"Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter."--Ernest Hemingway (from "On the Blue Water" in Esquire, April 1936)
Add a few other well cast killers--predators in his or her own right, throw in alien hell dogs, nasty Predator aliens and a insain Lawrence Fishburn and it was a satisfying evening of popcorn and mayhem.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday Sermon: The Hope to Be Found in Love

"When the universe was young, and the stars were barely new, when the oceans began to crash upon the shores of worlds unknown, and the suns began to rise on the new ground they watched over, a story began. When the world was light and hope and joy and love and creation, remembering, remembering remembering.

This was their time."

Their Time is © 2006 C.M. Williams

My muse for love stories is fed by many things, but hope is what drives them home to me. Hope that is stronger than the ocean waves and just a tireless. Hope that can be trampled, distorted and buried but still can be seen glimmering silently--waiting for the chance to grow again and conquer.

When we fall in love, hope is what we carry, like a torch (maybe a pocket lighter at first...depends) But we carry hope that this new thing we have found that fills us, distracts us and rearranges our lives will not leave us and drop us back to where we had already been. Love changes us, and I have met few who do not hope for that to some degree.

I don't care if you are a cynic or a saint, we all want to be something more and for some of us that is being someone better. I believe love does that or at least I hope...

Big Island of Hawaii/N.Murray

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Zombie Luv Flash Fic Contest

I know its a little late in the day (I went to the site and found the contest already closed????)but I'd like to put out my entry for the Zombie Luv Flash Fiction Fest

Oh well. I have never written a Zombie fic and it was fun. So here we go, in all its sick glory. I promise I know how to write happy stuff!!!!!!! Just not today.
What Lonely Wanted

She was special. She was special before the world went into the shitter. Back in the day, any guy would have given their left nut to be with Missy McQueen and now… Well, Chaz Dooley was going to give a lot more.

Chaz leaned his shotgun against the steel gate forgotten and then tossed his jacket up on the fence never to be worn again. Stepping into the corral, a deep guttural groan greeted him from the far end of the paddock. Chaz smiled wistfully.

They had been together before; she was his second living dead girl. Hell, there were more living dead girls than the ones with heart beats these days, so a guy had to take his chances “dating”. Chances being cornering, roping and then gagging the date so extremities weren’t eaten. The rest was the “dating” part.

“Missy, I’m back. I told ya I would be back.”

Dark ruby eyes glowered from the shadows, sending a groin tightening chill up Chaz’s spine. Stepping closer he could see that she was nearly free from the bonds he had left her in earlier this week. Her long flaxen hair hung in clotted dreads and dirt. The last outfit she wore before her change torn asunder by her months questing for flesh and brains and Chaz and her ‘lovemaking’.

Chaz took in an adoring sigh and came up to his captive/loves gagged maw. “I missed you and now I’m going to join you my beautiful girl.”

This last month, life in Tulsa had taken to a whole new level of living dead apocalypse hell. Besides Chaz, only a handful of humanity was left within the city limits and with no contact from the rest of the world abroad it was looking pretty bleak. All of his friends, family, even most of his enemies were now dead or living dead. Just this morning his Mom wobbled by the house and he threw her a rat for breakfast.

Chaz was lonely and people like Chaz made lonely an obsession. He ached to be a part of something because the living crowd he was presently a part of was dwindling down to dust.

And when he ran into Missy or ran from Missy a month ago while looking for canned goods down 5th street, he knew he had found that something—that someone he was needing.

Missy had begun to thrash and gurgle. The gag in her mouth was now bit through in anticipation and the ropes anchoring her to the barn fence threatened to give. It’s what Chaz wanted. He wanted her to free herself and come to him—embrace him in her fierce primeval grip and claim him.

“Take me Missy.” Chaz raised his arms up and out, welcoming his becoming. “Take me—make me one of you so I’m not alone…”
And she did.

Some would say Chaz Dooley was a fairly sick SOB for loving a Zombie like he did. Others would say he was just crazy lonely in a world gone mad. I’d say Chaz found Zombie luv.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The "I Can't Say It" Blog Fest AND Wednesday WIP!

Shelley at Stories in the Ordinary is hosting the "I Can't Say That!" Blog Fest today. Follow the link and stop on by. Check out the other wonderful and varied offerings from other writers in the blogisphere.

Since said Blog Fest fell on a Wednesday (Wednesday WIP), I wrote mine as yet another scrap to arrange into my WIP (and edit later when I have more of that chapter). I even had a place for said scrap before I wrote it, just hadnt gotten to it yet. The below bit will be in my WIP 'Ghost Mountain and will be used as a flashback later in the story. A scene that helps the reader better understand why my MC Wyatt made some of the choices he did.

Enough chat. Here we go...

"Ya tell people what they’ve meant to you, boy…"

Wyatt shook away his Uncles words and stood a little straighter in the doorway of his father’s hospital room. ‘I can do this.’

“So ya just gonna slouch there moping? You were always such a god damned mope.”

“How would you know Eli, you haven’t seen me in six years…”

“That was your choice, boy. You and that milquetoast brother of mine. I say you deserve one another.”

It WAS Wyatt’s choice and it was his uncle who gave it to him—his Uncle, Ms. Sissy and Mary. A chance at a new life away from this man.

“So you think showing up at your daddies deathbed is gonna make it all better then!” A harsh bark became a fit of ragged coughs. Emaciated, life worn, cancer riddled and as mean streaked as he always was or would be, Eli Paxton bent forward in his hospital bed clutching his snot rag to his mouth and then spat another clot of blood into the emptied bed pan in his lap.

Wyatt made no move to help the man, nor did he leave. He was here to tell Eli—this never-was-a-father-by-a-long-shot man exactly what he meant to him. How after all Eli had done, it would not stop Wyatt from becoming a better man than the man who bore him. Wyatt was going to tell him so he could let him go…

“And you brought that Givens girl with ya.” Eli nodded past Wyatt to the young girl down the hospital hall. “I heard about you two. My do-nothing mope of a son fornicating with that uppity little Givens girl.”

“Leave her alone…”

Eli snorted at Wyatt’s disdain. “Oh I am certain her pa is none too pleased. Already knows what kind of mate Paxton’s make. You’ll mess her up good, boy. And you’ll run just like your mamma.”

Silence fell between the men where Wyatt had wanted his words to begin and underlying fears found their way into Wyatt’s heart. He wanted to tell his old man he’d never run. He wanted to shout that it was Eli who chased his mother away. And he wanted to swear he would never hurt Mary—never Mary. But the words didn’t come. There would be no strength in them and his Uncle always told him saying nothing was better than saying something you didn’t feel.

Not long after, Wyatt stepped out into the hall knowing if he’d said how he felt to the old man the words could have built in strength. Maybe he would have believed them in time if he’d just said them aloud. And not long after Mary wrapped her arms around his ridged form in support, did Wyatt realize he would let his father’s dying words come true.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Paying Forward: The Bloom of an Idea Award

I have recently won a couple awards and both were the pay it forward type in one way or the other. I thought that since I reached my 20th follower this past week, I would give a award to all of you who clicked 'follower' when I have so few, inspired me by something you wrote on your own blogs and made me a follower of you.

The Bloom of an Idea Award goes to those who gave me something to think about--from your own post or a comment on my own. I am glad to have you and hope to hear from all of you soon. And I hope you enjoy this thank you.

My new friends...

Roland D. Yeomans at Writing In The Crosshairs
Stephanie at Stephanie Boman
Lydia Kang at The Word is My Oyster
Susan Fields at Susan Fields
Shelley at Stories in the Ordinary
B.E. Sanderson at The Writing Spectacle
The ladies at Prairie Chicks Write Romance
Andrea at Andrea Pearson Books
Alexandra Crocodile at Friends & Crocodiles
Jen at unedited
Diamond at Diamond-Yup,Like the Stone
DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude
Mia at My Literary Jam and Toast
Anne Gallagher at Piedmont Writer
Doris at "Hold my hand": a social worker's blog
Julie Musil at Julie Musil
Elliot Grace at So close, but...
The Words Crafter at The Rainy Day Wanderer
Melissa at From my somewhat serious mind
Angela A at Highly Active Imagination
Janet at Janet's Journal

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday Sermon: We hold these truths to be self-evident...

Now it can never be said you didn't read this important document. What better time than this day. Happy Independence Day all.


The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

—John Hancock

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Friday, July 2, 2010

Finds and Friends Friday

First the friend. Alexandra Crocodile awarded me a very lovely bit of blog bling today. A wonderful surprise at the start of a 3 day weekend. Thank you so much and I will be happy to pay it forward this weekend to 15 other followers (and followed since I'm still new). Alexandra hails from Norway and is a student, a writer(loves mystery), a hat and chocolate and cat lover and the custodian of a very lovely blog Friends and Crocodiles. Check her out!

And my find is The Muse Online Writers Conference. A FREE (Free till August 15th) online writers conference coming up October 11 through the 17th. Sign up now and enjoy a full week of online seminars and meet and greets with published writers and writing professionals. I signed uplast year and enjoyed the comradery and the info. Definitely check it out.

Well then, off to the races. Type ya Sunday and Happy 4th!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Best Bead Give-A-Way Ever!!!!!!

The Best Bead Give-A-Way Ever!!!!!! At Denise Yezbak Moore's Blog Bling It On!

Winner will be Announce July 2nd. You still have time to enter!
Facebook counts as a share. The weight of the beads are 7 1/2 pounds! Well OVER $350.00 worth of beads out of my bead stash! Some still have the tags on them! Followers have a vote. Split the stash 6 ways for more happy or one big prize. Sign up today! There is still time.


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