Author Talks with her Protagonist: Persistence & Humor

I’m having a hard time wrapping up my final edits on my horror novel, M.B. Finishing a book, I’m finding, is like letting go of a friend. Anne is the name of my protagonist and she’s modeled a bit after me (but not entirely). We’re both intelligent women, both love old houses and each of us have our quirks. And our stubbornness.

I’ve been visiting Anne at her house, dragging my feet around her hallways while she pecks away at her laptop busily. Anne works as a freelance programmer inbetween renovating her house in her semi-retirement. I tend to mope and throw myself across her couch, counters, floors and rugs. I hide behind her long curtains and look out onto her front yard and the tree I placed at the edge, just outside the front row of bushes. Anne ignores my antics politely and reminds me to wipe up my smudge marks I leave on her windows.

Anne’s blunt and direct, like me, but slightly more patient. One of our latest conversations went a bit like this…

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Like a Stone (Audioslave) & The Hobbit: Writing Resets

I’ve been listening to Audioslave’s “Like a Stone” song on repeat over the past few weeks. My guess is the melody helps my brain reset and settle into a meditation of sorts. I am enamored by the lyrics of this song and I find myself thinking of the rabbi with dusty sandals I follow.* I also can’t get over the fact how the vocalist is sitting in a chair during the first minute of the music video, belting out those beautiful, passionate lyrics. That is incredible talent and I remain steadfastly in awe.

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Flash Fiction Aug. 9th: “Peering Through” (horror)

Here’s my horror take on this week’s Carrot Ranch’s flash fiction. Thanks for reading.

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Summer Poetry Contest Entry: The Chair

My entry for KaylaAnAuthor’s Summer Poetry contest. Click here for details on how to join in and to check out the other entries.

Thanks for reading.

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Poison Ivy & Procrastination: Writing Snares

There’s a saying in North America for poison ivy: “Leaves of three, leave it be.” Poison ivy, as the picture shows, has the infamous three leaves on a stem. Many people (but not everyone) are allergic to the oils the leaves produce. Unlucky wayfarers come across the ivy usually in forests, overlooked fence corners or in neglected flower beds.  Rub against the plant’s leaves and the oils will give you a rash, blisters and itchy skin.

Gardeners must cut the ivy carefully, bag it and throw it away. You never burn the ivy–the smoke carries the oils and if you breathe it in, a reaction can happen internally. Clothing and skin must be washed immediately. Then bring on the pink Calamine lotion and prepare for a couple of weeks of healing while dodging inquiring stares. Avoid questions of people asking why exactly you look like a pimply young piglet and smile at the ignorant treating you like a contagious leper.

Crack on.

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Book Update & Thoughts on Bugs Bunny

On this side of the screen, I received my manuscript for M.B. back from my editor. I’m going through it slowly, combing through the suggestions. I’m plastering over plot holes, sanding down sentences, squirting oil into squeaky words and listening to see when the engine hums. M.B. is a horror novel with a sprinkle of mystery. It’s partially a reflection on the world and how vulnerable people tend to be treated (not too great).  M.B. has lots of layers of meaning, some tucked behind dark places. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.

I’m aiming for an early to mid Fall publication date. It will start as an ebook and then will become available in print later. More on M.B. to come as publication approaches. Continue reading “Book Update & Thoughts on Bugs Bunny”

Flash Fiction: July 19th

Saddle up and head over to Carrot Ranch to join in. I enjoy the community and you may, too.

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Fatigue: A Story of Susie Bee (Part VI, Conclusion)

It was Dewday, the day before the bee’s extended hibernation. All the year’s filings were done, all the t’s crossed and i’s dotted with beetle ink. Susie’s staff and fellow bees were lining up with quilts and scarves, preparing to help warm the queen through the coming winter months. The grand harvest party was beginning and would end with hibernation. The hive was warm and glowing with hundreds of wax candles. The Bee’s Knees Dance would start later after the parade.

“Susie, aren’t you coming?” a fellow worker bee called out. Her name was Petunia. Petunia was only three weeks old and had a grin the size of a rose on her face.

“I need to finish my reports. You go on ahead,” Susie called from her typewriter, waving an antennae in greeting. “Have fun!”

Susie waited until the hive quieted, the workers all gone from their units. The band started down the hall and a pleasant buzzing began, punctuated with congratulatory speeches from their queen. It had been a good harvest.

Susie rested her head on her arms, waving her antennae in time to the music. She felt peace.

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Me, The Hose Bin & Writing: The Battle Continues

I have a hose bin. It’s a quaint, pretty thing. It was a requested birthday gift, three years ago, something to help the Saint and I maintain our yard. Think of a beige plastic box with a feeder reel, a rod, a lid and a hand crank lever. You hook up the hose to the back, hook that up to your water spigot, and bam–you have a stored hose. Roll, unroll and off you go.

I used to think these watering hose bins were classy things. Instead of having hoses laying in driveways baking in the sun, or shaded underneath awnings like an idly waiting Boa Constrictor, hoses could be contained and camouflaged in garden beds. No more tripping, more more lugging, no more unsightliness. No longer do I entertain such foolish notions. This summer, as I stood shaded by my Japanese Elm tree, I went to war with the hose bin yet again. And I wondered exactly, just exactly, how many times a hose can get stuck and refuse to come out!

When the Saint came home from work, I merely pointed to the hose bin. By this time it was knocked over, dragged across the landscaping rocks and pinned between the front porch corner and an unlucky Holly bush. In my hands, I grasped about four feet of green rubber hose–a hard sought victory, a well earned prize.

My patience had disappeared.
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