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…
Continue reading “Author Talks with her Protagonist: Persistence & Humor”
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.
Continue reading “Poison Ivy & Procrastination: Writing Snares”
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”
There are gulpers and there are chippers in this world. I am a gulper. There are no stages, no stepping stones of graduated achievements with how I proceed. There is simply the goal and myself, whatever it may be. Everything between me and the goal must be overcome. And now, today, this very instant in fact! Definitely not tomorrow or a wishy-washy “sometime later, honey.” I will stay the course, finish strong, even if doctors and nurses hurry behind me with a crash cart and tranquilizer darts. Reality be darned!
All this I thought today during my first 10k, walking at a steady pace with my saintly husband* and tolerant Labrador. And then my Lab, during mile six, laid down in the middle of the road during a water break. She peered up at me and my so-called goals.
“Go ahead–try to move me, human,” my Labrador taunted me from the ground. “But you’re going to carry my 55lb butt back to the air conditioned car. And then I’m gonna pee all over your azaleas you just planted so lovingly…”
Continue reading “Labrador Lessons III: Pace Thyself, Human! (Our First 10k)”
I broke a drinking glass this morning, right next to my Labrador walking alongside of me in our dining room. My groggy brain fired information; I saw the spray pattern and I grabbed my dog’s collar. We performed a very quick, prayer filled maneuvering around the glass shards. All I thought of was her paw pads, calloused but delicate and sensitive, being cut open and bleeding. We both escaped harm and the glass was cleaned up, with multiple passes of the broom, vacuum and a damp cloth.
I’m awake now, life. And thank you, gravity. You made life interesting once more.
Continue reading “Broken Glass & Writing”
I hate the phrase “make time”; there really is no such thing. I will take “finding time” and “carving out time”, but never “make time.” Spare me these so called inspirational, guilt-inducing quotes of cotton candy nonsense. I can’t help but sigh and roll my eyes at these stupid, pushy sayings. I really hate what they imply: “You’re failing.”
These phrases often appear aimed at women. I see them on home decor, workout shirts and hear them pronounced in churches. Women are underpaid, overworked and already wearied by the many demands of a fickle, patriarchal society. We are poked at daily for never being “good enough”, aka a man. The world needs to back off and leave us be.
Women will never be men and maybe–just maybe–we were never intended to be. Our needs and bodies are different; our dreams, goals and ideas, too. Lipstick is our warpaint and pantyhose our nearest weapon of strangulation. Just try putting us into a box again. We can make that into a coffin for you, complete with curtains and a pearl necklace.
My, this blog entry took a turn. Let’s return to the main trail, shall we? Just step over the corpse twitching there…
Continue reading “Writing Tips & Self-Care: Finding Time & Avenues to Write (Hold On)”
Are you sweating to the tunes of the typewriter, wondering exactly how your novel’s going to wrap up? Are you thinking you never properly learned your native language and have no business even being near a phone book? Is your dog staring at you, waiting for his walk, fifth potty break of the evening and is demanding his share of the num num installments?
Well, fellow writer, print and post these ten gems at your writing desk and party on with your semicolons and syntax editing. We’ll get there, yet!
Continue reading “Witticisms to Keep on Writing!”
This morning I’m combing through my novel, M.B., for what is probably the three hundredth time–without exaggeration. If you want to write, and write well, get used to this process. As you scan back and forth over your novel’s pages, like a scanner hovering silently over the moon’s craters, you will find mistakes, blip and puddles that will need to be fixed, altered or mopped. This is good, normal and part of the writing process. I enjoy the process and bring tea, snacks and Enya music along for the ride. Make yourself comfortable and go.
Here’s some ways how I go about the revision and editing processes…
Continue reading “Combing through Novel Drafts: How I do it”
Today was my seventh time donating whole blood. I have a personal goal to continue donating blood as long as I’m able. I’m screened thoroughly each time, I’m thanked as well and needles and blood have never made me queasy. I find blood fascinating actually; all that rich redness is beneath my skin, all day, every day, working to keep me alive and functioning. For that I’m grateful. Dracula is, too.
Continue reading “Blood Donation & Character Development”
We’ve owned our Labrador Retriever rescue mix for about a year now. We will celebrate her adoption day soon. During our time together she continually developed her resume and list of self-appointed duties. These duties culminated into a steadfast guarding of her people who feed her and take her on patrol marches around the parameters of her territory. Our Lab is a gentle soul, but grows protective and suspicious of the outside world. It is a scary time, after all. She reads newspapers; she knows. Continue reading “Labrador Lessons II: Bark at Suspicion”