Tuesday, September 16, 2014

With This Ring - MASH Stories

Most people probably wouldn't take the word "gruesome" as a compliment, but it was absolutely the perfect word used to describe my flash fiction piece, "With This Ring." 

Don't worry - it's not graphic or gory. It's just...dark. And creepy. And you'll probably think twice before carving the initials of you and your loved one in a tree trunk ever again.  

"With This Ring" is up over at MASH Stories. It's been shortlisted for their current contest, so if you do give it a read - and you like it! - your vote would be greatly appreciated. 

And the contest - MASH Competition #4 - is still open, so all of you writers out there, go give it a shot. I'd be honored to have my story alongside any of yours.  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Motivational Monday


YOU DON'T KNOW WHY YOU STARTED YOUR NOVEL, 
YOU NO LONGER REMEMBER WHY YOU IMAGINED 
THAT ANYONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT, 
AND YOU'RE PRETTY SURE THAT EVEN IF YOU FINISH IT 
IT WON'T HAVE BEEN WORTH THE TIME OR ENERGY 
AND EVERY TIME 
YOU STOP LONG ENOUGH TO COMPARE IT 
TO THE THING THAT YOU HAD IN YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU BEGAN - 
A GLITTERING, BRILLIANT, WONDERFUL NOVEL, 
IN WHICH EVERY WORD SPITS FIRE AND BURNS, 
A BOOK AS GOOD OR BETTER THAN 
THE BEST BOOK YOU EVER READ - 
IT FALLS SO PAINFULLY SHORT 
THAT YOU'RE PRETTY SURE THAT IT WOULD BE A MERCY 
SIMPLY TO DELETE THE WHOLE THING.

WELCOME TO THE CLUB.
THAT'S HOW NOVELS GET WRITTEN.
(Neil Gaiman)

Yes. Just . . . yes. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Motivational Monday . . . and Some Sunflowers


HAVE COURAGE FOR 
THE GREAT SORROWS OF LIFE
AND
PATIENCE FOR THE SMALL ONES;
AND WHEN YOU HAVE LABORIOUSLY
ACCOMPLISHED YOUR DAILY TASK,
GO TO SLEEP IN PEACE.
GOD IS AWAKE.
(Victor Hugo)

These words fill me with such a strong sense of peace. They give me permission to accept all the good I did that day, to recognize all the not-so-good, and then to let it all go. 

We are often so incredibly hard on ourselves, in many, many ways. Let's give ourselves a break this week, and as often as we can.   

*****

This supportive, amazing corner of the blogging community, which I am honored to be a part of, recently lost a well-liked member. I didn't really know Tina Downey but the outpouring of grief and shock that filled blog posts over the last few weeks showed just how important she was to so many. In honor of Tina, sunflowers will bloom all over the blogosphere today, providing virtual warmth and sunshine and joy to all.




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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

IWSG: Novella or Bust!


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So far this month - yes, I know it's only the 3rd but bear with me - I am feeling . . . cautiously optimistic about my writing. 

I'm working on a novella. (That's what I'm calling it since it's less overwhelming than novel.) It's an idea I've been kicking around for awhile, one I'm really excited about writing. It's got good guys who might be bad, bad guys who might be good, old people, kids, and a storm. Oh, and zombies.

Since I know a lot of us struggle with our writing now and then, and this is the Insecure Writer's Support Group post, I wanted to share two reasons why I'm feeling better about this project: Scrivener and Rachel Aaron's ebook 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love. (Please note - I don't get anything for mentioning them. I just find them useful.)

Now, I don't use most of the bells and whistles of Scrivener, but I'm already more organized than I've ever been with a mansucript. I watched the ten minute tutorial on the website that shows the very basics of the program and I was good to go.

For me, Aaron's ebook is about much more than increasing my daily word count. I've used it to plot my story way more than I usually do, to plan better for actual writing time, and to remind me how much I truly enjoy the process of creating and telling stories.

So, please keep your fingers crossed for me and my novella this September! It's going to be a wild ride, full of ups and downs...and zombies. Don't forget the zombies.  

Monday, September 1, 2014

Motivational Monday


NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.
THE WORD ITSELF SAYS
'I'M POSSIBLE'!
(Audrey Hepburn)

For some people, Fall feels like an ending - to warm days at the beach or pool, to cool evenings sitting around a campfire, to vacations, to gardening, to more peaceful (maybe), quality family time.

Now, I love the Fall. It really doesn't make any sense why I do. Our weather in FL doesn't get cooler until October, so there's no nip in the air until then. We don't have kids so there's no back to school excitement in our house (although, all the sales on school/office supplies thrill me!) The "snowbirds" start flocking back for the next 5-6 months, increasing noise and traffic and crowds everywhere. And as whispery and rustling as the palm fronds are, they don't turn gorgeous colors.

But here's the thing - for me, Fall doesn't feel like an ending; it feels like a beginning. A sense of starting over, of newness, of rebirth and renewal. I am filled with hope. Suddenly, I can breathe again. 

We all have so much to look forward to. It's okay to mourn the Summer, but let's look with joy to all that's ahead. I'm looking forward to working on new writing projects, to celebrating birthdays and holidays, to bike rides and walks on the beach with my husband.

What are you looking forward to this Fall? What fills with you joy just thinking about it? 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Summer Reading - The End

Back at the end of June, I wrote about my favorite books of the summer up until that point  in time - Summer Reading - Part I. Here's the wrap-up - from the end of June until August 28th - of the some of the best books I've read this summer -

*****

That Night by Chevy Stevens - I'm not sure she'll ever be able to top her first book, Still Missing, but this thriller comes very close.


*****

Someone Else's Skin by Sarah Hilary - Sarah was one of the first online writers/bloggers I "met" more years back than I care to admit. A few months ago, I saw an ad for her book on Shelf Awareness and promptly added this gripping, compelling mystery to my TBR list. Add it to yours - you won't be sorry.


*****

Torn Away by Jennifer Brown - this YA novel is an utterly heartbreaking story of loss and an amazingly hopeful story of love. This is my new favorite Jennifer Brown novel and easily one of my favorite books of the year so far.


*****

Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf - I read this with my heart wedged up in my throat. If you ever saw a news story and thought something along the lines of "How could he/she do that? That would never happen to me" or "I would never let that happen," think again. Accidents - terrible, horrifying accidents - can and do happen to the best of us. This novel reminds us of that, and shows how healing and hope can still be possible.   


*****

Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work by Tim Gunn (with Ada Calhoun) - A big part of the reason I enjoy watching Project Runway is Tim Gunn's always dapper, always encouraging presence. I use his catchphrase - "Make It Work" - for everything from writing to making dinner. This is a fun read, not only because it's got behind-the-scenes stories of Project Runway, but also because it's full of wisdom and humor and heart.   


*****

Have you read any of these? Do you think you'll give one or two of them a try? What have you read and loved this summer?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Motivational Monday


PROMISE ME
YOU WILL NOT SPEND SO MUCH TIME
TREADING WATER AND TRYING TO
KEEP YOUR HEAD ABOVE THE WAVES
THAT YOU FORGET, TRULY FORGET,
HOW MUCH YOU HAVE ALWAYS
LOVED TO SWIM.
(Tyler Knott Gregson)

I forgot. 

I forgot how much I love to write, to imagine, to dream, to play. 

I got so caught up in all the stuff that goes along with living a creative life that I forgot to actually create. 

I got so caught up in all the stuff that goes along with living a life, that I forgot to actually live.  

This summer, I started to remember. 

This fall, I start to swim. Again.

If you've forgotten, too, it's not too late. It's never too late. 

Join me.