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Showing posts from 2011

Too pooped to post....

I think it's safe to say, the month of November kicked my butt.... both literally and "literary-ly", as evidenced by the fact that I haven't even posted since Nov. 28th... *sigh*

Between, NaNoWriMo, guest blogging, a major (read: exhausting) week-long, out-of-town project for work, I had precious little time to do much more than work and sleep....

And, now, the holidays are upon us... greatly restricting what little free time I might have to post... *double sigh*

Retail management + Christmas = No Time, No Life, No Sleep

So, if I am mysteriously absent for the rest of the year, fear not.... and if you find me snoozing in the corner, just step over me....

All good things must come to an end....

So, I've been really bad about cross-blogging all of my guest posts at Vie Hebdomadaires... thought I would try and correct that.

Here are the links to my guest posts, should anyone wish to have a look see. And, even if you'd rather not read all my ramblings, definitely give the Vie Hebdomadaires site a chance, it's a pretty novel idea to pass a blog around to 52 strangers around the world!

Anyway, on to the links:
Day 1--And, the mysterious stranger behind the mask is....
Day 2--Dinosaur digger, or treasure hunter....
Day 3--Of the trouser mind, or rigidly defined....
Day 4--And on this day.....
Day 5--Ask me once, I'll tell you my name, ask me twice, I'll tell you the same.....
Day 6--Not a good idea to let your mind wander, unless you're sure it's strong enough to be out on its own....

Thus ends my adventures as guest blogger of the week!

Adventures in guest blogging....

I've been honored with a request to guest blog this week over at Vie Hebdomadaires. It is an intriguing little premise that brings a new writer to take the reins every week. In essence, the blog morphs and evolves into whatever personality the guest blogger brings to the table and then, once the guest blogger selects another person to pass the gauntlet to, the blog morphs and evolves once again. It'll be interesting to see where this little blog goes in the weeks to come....

First post is up, an introduction post, give it a look see if you'd like and if anybody would like to be considered for the title of guest blogger starting next week, let me know!

Oh me, oh my, how the time does fly.....

So, I woke this morning, and would have sworn to anybody who asked me, that it was only the day after Halloween. As my last post was dated 10/31/11, I had no problem whatsoever believing that today was November 1st..... but, it's not----


How a person goes about losing 20 days when they are not in a coma or some other unconscious, time-suspended kind of situation, is beyond me... clearly.

But, a lot of things have whittled away the time and I was completely unaware of how quickly the month was passing.

Nanowrimo started on the 1st. This is year 5 for me and the first time that I've ever started without a clear plot in mind... of course, that didn't mean I would easily give up. For the first week, in fact, I was right on schedule, my daily 1667-word goals adding up quite nicely.

By week two, I found myself hotel-bound in Edwardsville, Illinois working on a bookstore remodel for my company. Anyone who's ever worked in book retail knows it isn't the easiest …

The Jack o' Lanterns Walk at Midnight...

In the clear, crisp air of All Hallow's Eve, there's magic brewing in the stories we weave. The black cat's smile hides a witch's grin, and you'll never know where your pumpkin has been.
The smirk that crawls o'er his bright orange face, sings of secret plans in a dark gathering place. At least, you think, that's what he's trying to hide, didn't you, yesterday, leave him on the porch's east side?
This morning he rests on the westernmost edge, Watching the sun's descent, why does that fill you with dread? The silky, black feline winding circles 'round your feet, mews softly in rhythm to the wind's moaning beat.
The thumping of tree limbs against the wooden fence gate, drum out a message, you're sure, of your horrible fate. The scratching of twigs against your window's dark pane, like bony witch-fingers, claw at your brain.
Only one thing to do on this most horrible night, to survive, in one piece, the most dreadful of plights…

A Forest Lullaby.....

Sleepy heads and sleepy limbs, speak soft, the fall of night.
Darkened quilts of nighttime sky, coax from the world, all fight.
Shall I sing a melody? the night wind whispers soft.
Or, read a cozy bedtime tale? on branches, high aloft,
the fairies perch on shivering twigs, their hands caress the leaves.
The trembles still in peaceful night, Sleep well, oh mighty trees!

Time undefined, Universes unaligned.....

**Caveat--- The following photo was this week's prompt for Bluebell Books' Short Story Slam... the piece that resulted was not what I originally intended. It's obvious the photo is meant to evoke feelings akin to warmth and happiness, and as much as I wanted to write a warm, happy piece, I could not. There is nothing typical about the ramblings, other than they belong to my typically rambling sub-conscious. I couldn't even make it a decent poem *sigh*
And, as I write this caveat, I'm seriously contemplating whether I should even post this....

Where there should be light, darkness settles. Where there should be love, a pitted emptiness grows. What I would give to hold you, what I would give to have known you.
Wrapped in blinding thickness, like cotton-wool stuffed between the ears, the mind pads into oblivion, bones rattling where there should be no sound.
Choking on the words offers no comfort, if it were so simple, an end would be swiftly sought. But, it's n…

Countdown to insanity.....

Less than a month and the madness will begin....

I've actually become quite attached to the feeling of spiraling madness that comes with participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), linked here. This will be my fifth year to partake in a month-long feat of literary abandon, the purpose of which is to come away with a 50K-word manuscript. That's right, you write a novel-length manuscript in 30 days.

I have never written at such a frenzied, feverish pace, but, from year 1 I was hooked---addicted---obsessed. The adrenalin rush to write so much in so little time is beyond wonderful---it is such a high (there really is no other way to describe it). 

This year's idea came from one mind-numbing day a couple of weeks ago. An injury at work had me side-lined for a couple of days, and I fought against my boredom, constantly. I couldn't seem to make my mind focus. The problem, mainly, is that I require so many things going on, the panicked fretting that I won't get…

Further adventures of NYC Midnight...oh, and Daleks!!!

FenCon Day 2:

By the second day, I mustered enough courage? stamina? to attend some actual panels. They were entertaining, instructional and enlightening. After dinner, I began to wish I could have a do-over as I suddenly realized how much I was missing by allowing myself to be overwhelmed the day before... *sigh*

The first panel I attended, impressed upon me the importance of word choice--- specifically in the realm of context. One of the panelists used as an example, a mistake she herself had made. The lines of discussion previously had been about ensuring that you were using the correct word. She wanted to point out that you could use a word, that in terms of definition would make sense, but, which might have a more accepted definition that would take the word out of context. Her beta readers were quick to point out the mistake she had made. In a love scene, she described the man caressing his lover's "spare breasts"--- the author, had of course, meant to illustrate t…

Root Beer ... AND... NYC Midnight Round 2

FenCon--- Day 1

Made it to Dallas around 3-4p this afternoon and while milling around, waiting for the room I reserved to finally pass inspection so I could unpack my suitcase, I realized how overwhelmed I was by the sheer level of activity. There were so many panels to choose from, so many cliques of authors, readers, Steampunk devotees, etc, that I couldn't see which way I was walking.

I finally settled into my room, with the intent of clearing my head and accepted that I would probably not be attending the 3 panels I had asterisked on my program guide for today.

I was/am okay with that... I'm in Dallas, things will get better....

Annnnnd, the evening became much, much, much better.

     For anybody that may ever stay in the Dallas Crowne Plaza hotel... you MUST have McArthur's (hotel restaurant) Sweet Chocolate Creme Brulee... with raspberries.... It. Is. Heaven... in a ramekin! I spent an entire hour trying to stretch the experience of it.

And, as if I didn'…

Judges' reaction to NYC Midnight entry....

The good thing about the NYC Midnight contest is the feedback that comes with every entry. There is a forum set up on the site, explicitly designed for competitors to post links to their stories to receive peer feedback. And, as a bonus, the judges send an email with their own feedback. 

This is a new experience for me. Most of the competitions out there that I've entered feel so very distant. You send your story into the ether of blind-judging and wait until the "winner announcement date" to know whether or not your story sucked--- and when you didn't place, there's nothing to indicate how close you might have come to placing. 

There is a sense of community at NYC Midnight, one that is intent on encouraging writers and developing writers with constructive feedback. 

I've included what the judges said about my piece. Apparently, I understood the Romantic Comedy genre better than I thought I did. And, the parts the judges felt needed work were exactly what I alre…

NYC Midnight Round 1 Results are in....

The officials just posted the results for Round 1, which took place last month over the Aug 19th- 21st weekend. For Round 1, my assigned genre was Romantic Comedy, my assigned location was A Hair salon, and my assigned object to include was A Box Of Tissue. The resulting story, A Night In Before The Night Out, placed 11th. Not a stellar showing, but, as it was my first attempt at NYC Midnight challenges annnnnd as I have never written a Romantic Comedy in my life, I think I did fairly well--- especially considering that any story ranked 16th+ did not receive any points for this round.

In hindsight, my story was grossly lacking any sort of conflict or plot movement, and as Romantic Comedy isn't a genre I read, I was at a loss as to what the story should contain. I think the judges were a bit too giving, or lenient, in assigning my ranking in the group.

Round 2 starts tomorrow night... while I'm attending FenCon VIII in Dallas. It should be interesting to see how I fare trying t…

7X7 Awards

David Macaulay, from Brits in the USA, passed this little award on to me about a week ago.... and, it's taken me that long to come up with the posts that are part of the award's requisites.

The idea of the 7X7 award is simple enough... you list the blog post from your archive that most represents the 7 categories provided, and then you pass the award to 7 other bloggers--- simple....

At least, I thought it would be, but then I was stuck trying to figure out what blog posts I had that would even qualify ----

---- then I realized that it's all subjective and meant to fun, so I just picked some that came close.... some of these posts, I'll admit, I had forgotten that I wrote. Funny what you stumble across when you start researching your own archives.... 
But, back to the point of this post--- links to my category-specific blogs :
Most Beautiful: As you pass my grave, with all your thoughts on me....This was a hard category to select a blog post for.... when I think about b…

Stupid ol' clouds, why you got to rain on my parade??

Figures.... this weekend is setting up to be an Epic Win, and I have to set myself up as an Epic Fail....

So many wonderful things are aligning in my microcosmic/nerdy universe for this weekend that I can hardly stand it... and lo, I am hardly standing at all *pathetic sigh*

September 23rd kicks off----

     1/ FenCon VIII in Dallas, linked here. It'll be the first time I've seen a literary convention and the first time I've seen any part of Dallas, other than the airport. I can't wait for this road-trip!

     2/ The second part of the First Round of NYC Midnight Flash Fiction contest, linked here. I don't really know how I'm going to manage to get this story written in 48 hrs while the convention's going on--- let's hope the hotel's WiFi doesn't flip out--- I blogged about the first part of the First Round here, and posted my first round story, here, if you'd like to give it a read.

    3/ Season 7 of one of the few shows I actually try to …

Dying to get in, or dying to get out....

It was a day for death....

.... if there could ever be such a day---

It struck me as odd, on the way to work this afternoon, the number of death-related references I passed.

On any regular day there is the occasional, even incidental references to death--- passing conversations, news reports, mortuary advertisements--- but, today, the frequency of reference was enough to give me pause.

First, there was a church marquee that asked the question: Where will you spend eternity? Not an off-hand question for a church marquee, but, most of the churches near my house use quirky, play-on-word slogans to entice new followers. This was the first time I could recall such an ominous line.

Then, there was the cemetery that I pass everyday. Most times, the cemetery is quiet--- perhaps the occasional  burial. Today, however, the cemetery had seen FOUR new residents move in. The funerals had just finished, the mounds freshly formed, the tents still sitting over the graves.

Finally, another 5 miles dow…

Where were you the day the world stopped.....

I recall the day being very quiet, as if the world had stopped breathing.

When the tragedy actually occurred, I was most likely asleep.

The first moment I realized what had happened, I was in my dorm room. Having just showered, I turned on the television while I finished dressing for class. The only thing I really remember is being completely dumb-founded. I stood for a few moments, watching the news feed play and replay the collapsing of the towers and I couldn't move.

Even though my brain and eyes struggled to convince me that what I was witnessing wasn't real, my heart and legs had already succumbed. I sank to my bed and for a full minute, I stopped breathing. Things like this don't happen... not here. Tragedies like this occur in other parts of the world ... not here. 

I don't remember how I got to my lab that day, I'm not even sure if I was on time. But, I do remember that we didn't have much of a class that day-- everyone made it to the lecture, they jus…

Monster--- A book review

Just finished A. Lee Martinez's engaging story, Monster.
I will freely admit that I don't dabble in the world of SciFi on a regular basis. It's nothing personal against the genre, just not overly fond of the alien world-building that so many times can weigh down an otherwise pleasant story. 
There is a certain finesse, which is necessary to introduce a new set of  'rules' outside our comfortable reality. Some authors have that finesse, others don't. 
A. Lee Martinez has that finesse. 
The title-character, Monster Dionysus, a human-like entity who changes colors every time he wakes, is a member of Cryptobiological Containment and Rescue Services (CCRS). He spends his nights, with the help of his inter-dimensional paper gnome helper, Chester, bagging cryptos. Got a problem with Yetis raiding the ice cream freezer at your local grocery store, just call CCRS and they'll contain, bag and remove your unwelcome intruders. 
Monster's tedious job and tedious re…

Remember and Return.....

I've settled my heart in the memory of your sigh,
the subtle caress of your lips.

I've eased my mind's worry in the warmth of your smile,
the soft embrace of your kiss.

But, the time of our parting has been of a length,
that I scarce can recall your words' sound.

And, I fear in the depths of this consuming absence,
your passions withheld, your spirit's now bound.

I have not the strength to fight such a foe,
as wild and untamed as the sea.

I have not the will to stand at your door,
and demand your decision to be,

As one or the other, the sea or my love,
I know I would fail to win thee.

My only request, when you've ventured enough,
Remember! And, return unto me.

NYC Midnight First Round entry....

Assigned Genre-- Romantic Comedy Assigned Location-- A Hair Salon Assigned Object-- A Box of Tissues Word Limit-- 1000 Time Limit-- 48 hours

A night in before the night out
As Friday night routines go, ours has become quite the sacred ritual. And, here we are again, Amy, Ella, Kenneth, Bruce and me—the five hopefuls—busy performing our weekly rite, with more hope than we should probably allow ourselves. Sharon’z Stylez: Salon and Boutique, the name was Kenneth’s idea, mostly, only a minor tweak to his original idea. Not sure how much business a hair salon with the name, Sharon’z Stylez for Slutz and Stiffz would draw.“What? It’s catchy!” Always Kenneth’s defense. Five chairs, one long and well-lit mirror, five friends and a couple shared bottles of wine, the occasional bottle of hair dye and enough pheromone-laced cologne/perfume to set the local zoo into a midnight orgy—a typical Friday night. Thank God we’d had sense enough to post a strict five o’clock closing time on Fridays. We tried the…

A spot of poetry....

I want to move you with my words, let my thoughts run through your veins. I want to tell you all the stories, give you the secrets to the game. 
I want to show you where the time stops, and holds itself inside. I want to let you feel the depth in which the universe confides.
Through me you'll see the darkness fade, all fears will fall away. Through me you'll hear the night wind as it trips along to day.
Through me you'll know what depth you have, how far your heart can soar. Through me you'll sense the future, in the ghosts you once adored.
For you, the worlds will open, the ragged path an easy task. For you, the heavens whisper, all our hopes have come at last.
For you, I give my heart, my soul, without the endless strife. For you, I give my everything, my hopes, my dreams, my life.


There are secrets we fight to find. There are burning questions that drive us into manic episodes, frenzied and frazzled, hoping we might learn the answers.

Some answers we stumble upon quickly, easily. This boosts our fragile ego, convincing us that we could find all the answers to the universe, if given enough time.

We are blinded by our own magnificence and don't think for a second that the answers came so quickly for a reason. What if there are buffer questions? What if the answers you've 'found' were set before you to find... so that you might be distracted by their shiny brilliance, by your own shiny brilliance?

There are secrets we fight to find because they aren't meant to be found. Answers that are better left unspoken. What horrors would be unleashed on the world if there were no mysteries in the universe? What horrors would mankind unleash with the knowledge of the universe at its fingertips?

Bitter Honey

Weaving dreams of beguiling gold,
a future's price for happiness.
What secrets do you, determined, hold?
asks the summer wind's soft caress.

A guarded name,
a hidden hope.

Spinning wheels clutching time,
grasping straw that falls away,
What dreams may come, we soon may find,
won't recall at end of day.

A cherished life,
a memory lost.

Saving the world...

So, there's this nifty little community called NYC Midnight. For the last few years, they've sponsored a Flash Fiction Challenge. I missed the deadline to register last year by a day, so I was more than determined to get promptly registered this year---- well, I almost missed it again. In fact, I think I slid in with only a couple of hours to spare.

But, in the realm of deadline challenge writing, hours equate centuries of time.

I registered, and waited. Not until the exact stroke of midnight on the start of the challenge weekend do we know what we will be writing. Everybody starts on a "blind", as it were, even-playing field. When the hammer falls and the emails are sent, a countdown clock begins--- it's quite ominous actually, one feels the pressure of saving the world as the clock ticks down the seconds.

48 hours. That's it.

Think you can save the world in 2 days?

Oh, but wait... Just like any other dramatic hostage, 'fate-of-the-world-in-your-hands…

And the beat goes on... somehow

I've been out of the blogosphere for a few days. Seems there are times when I can't focus my mind on the task at hand, as it were.

Or, like now, something happens that gives me pause--- a pause that often interferes with my mental day-to-day workings.

About 5 days ago, riding home with my husband and father, we happened upon a traffic back-up. For the fifteen minutes or so that we crawled along the highway, we speculated about what had caused it. Minutes later, we were deafened by the sound of sirens flying past us--- and we knew it was a wreck.

We pass them pulled over on the side of the road, fenders dented, doors crushed... rubber-necking passers causing more of a hold up than the wreck itself.

The wreck that day was different.

As we finally came upon the scene, my stomach sank. It wasn't a "car" wreck. Sprawled across the two-lane highway--- a motorcyclist lay--- his twisted bike in one lane, his twisted body in the other lane. And as I live i…