Monday, June 21, 2010

I'm Really Going To Do This. Really.

Over at The Literary Lab they are hosting a contest called Notes From Underground.

I am going to enter it.

No, really. I am going to enter it. I am going to write something, and let someone see it, AND let them pass judgement on it.

AND I will not pass judgement on it before they can do that. There you have it.

So join me, won't you? Hop your phobic self (oh yeah, that's just me) on over to the lab and submit something to the contest. You have until August 15th.

Seriously, how hard can it be? *wimper*

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Eating the Elephant

"How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time..."

So the writing draught started with losing my laptop, continued with massive amounts of busy life and work, and is thus ending with the reemergence of aforementioned laptop.

I'm now teaching my children how not to be overwhelmed when facing enormous tasks. Their elephant is a messy room. We have decided they will take one bite a day, and before they know it, they will have eaten the whole thing.

I have a herd of elephants... so, one might ask, how do you eat a herd of elephants?

Well, one bite at a time, of course!

My elephants:
The rest of the house that needs cleaning
The laundry of four people (my two sons do their own)
A stack of books that need reading
A novel that needs writing
A project at work that needs finishing
A project at work that needs starting
An anemic blog that needs attention

.....One bite down, a couple thousand to go.....

I will continue to schedule regular bites here until it no longer seems packaderm-esque.

Monday, February 15, 2010

In Today's News

Today's installment of inspiring news has been postponed until next Monday's installment.

I was hijacked in the nicest way possible tonight. Because of the wedding this weekend, and the Sunday packed with multiple church events raising money for my son's mission trip to Brazil, my husband and I really didn't even think about Valentine's Day per say. So my son and his girlfriend surprised us tonight with a candlelight dinner and a movie in our living room. It was so sweet!

Needless to say, I felt it was an event worth treasuring.

And nobody wants to hear about snowboarders complaining about their teammates pants being too tight.... lol

Well, just in case you do, here it is: Snowboarder Say What??

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Random Blarg

(because it's coming out, one way or another)

We shot a wedding today... 13 hours on my feet! It was beautiful, we got great shots, and we made some new connections, but YIKES!! My dogs are barkin'.

I'm going to bed, and hoping when I wake, my legs won't feel like somebody ran swords up through my heels all the way to my lower back..... aarrrgghhh.

We shall see what we shall see.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Come, Let Us Write Together

I missed our installment of "Let's Go To The Map" yesterday, I apologize. We'll get back on track and have one next Thursday.

Today we are writing randomly.
Here are the rules:

I provide three random words. You write anything, incorporating those three words. Then post a link to your work (wherever you post your story) in the comments section.

The three words are: marshmallow, houseboat, valentine

I remember when we were ten. Our families were poor, but we didn't really care. We had everything we needed, even if we couldn't have everything we wanted. It was a simpler time. At Christmas you put some rose quartz in a paper lunch sack, and it was the best present I ever got. You made me a marshmallow valentine in February, and we talked about how we would get married some day and live in a houseboat. I'm glad that only half of that came true. I don't think I could live in a houseboat. And just so you know, if you gave me rose quartz in a paper lunch sack every Christmas till death do us part, it would be the best present I ever got.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Share The Wealth

The link of the week belongs to Random Thoughts. One of my favorite daily reads, this blog is fun, informative, and chock full of inspiration. C R Ward is an incredible writer and I look forward to her installments of Space Opera, as well as her take on a different Poetry style each week. I have also used her blog structure as a model for my own organizational efforts.

A personal note to Ms. Ward: Love the new dragonfly, but I secretly miss the frog! lol

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

infinitesimal fiction

(it's like fiction, only smaller)


Sarah woke with a start. She shifted to look at her alarm clock. Seventeen minutes until it was due to go off. God bless it, had she finally reached the age where she started getting up earlier and earlier? The next thing you know she'd be eating dinner at four thirty and going to bed after the six o'clock news. She was only 49 for Pete's sake. Her husband was sleeping soundly beside her, his soft snore comforting. It was then Sarah realized that was the only sound she heard. The morning was eerily still. Dawn was creeping in slowly, pale light was visible between the slats of her blinds, but the atmosphere was uncommonly devoid of sound. No early birds chirping, no tires on the road carrying commuters to the office, no barking dogs. Weird, she thought. Suddenly, the alarm sounded, and she grabbed her chest with one hand while slapping at the clock with the other.

"Good night, Irene!" Sarah let out a long breath and chuckled to herself.

"What's so funny?" Abe wanted to know, looking bewildered and not quite awake.

"Nothing, hon. Just time to get up. Put the coffee on?"

"Yep, let me get it together here" Abe slipped his house shoes on and stood to retrieve his robe. Sarah loved the routine of it all. Like everything in the world was as it should be.

"Babe, they didn't throw my paper this morning." Her husband was also a creature of habit.

"Just go steal Dave's paper, he puts his straight into the recycle bin, I don't know why he even takes it in the first place."

"I'm way ahead of you, but the funny thing is, there aren't any papers on block, as far as I can tell. And another thing, I couldn't hear any cars in the neighborhood. I mean, not a sound. You know?"

"Is it a holiday and we forgot?" Sarah wondered aloud, but she knew in her heart that wasn't it.

In the following weeks they began to piece together some semblance of the truth. That same morning Sarah and Abe discovered that their neighborhood was empty. When a trip to the gas station and grocery store produced no signs of life they searched each store in the tiny shopping center, no closer to the answers they were beginning to be desperate for. It was as if everyone had stayed home. Then came the knocking on doors and windows, they left no house on their block untouched. When no one answered, they began checking for unlocked doors. They found several, and why shouldn't they? Nothing bad ever happened in this neighborhood.

At first they were uncomfortable with the invasion of privacy. Sarah even left notes of apology in the first few houses. She stopped when the overwhelming evidence of uneaten breakfasts, clothes laid out for a day of school or work, cars left in garages, told her they were really gone. And they were not coming back.

Eventually, Abe discovered there was no cell service, the television channels were all snow, and the internet was down. He wondered how long the electricity would last.

The fearfully cried together for a day or two, and then began pulling themselves together. They would drive to their daughter's colleges and hopefully learn of their fate. Surely, not everyone in the whole entire world was missing? Since there was no way to contact the girls, they would get into Abe's Dodge Ram 4X4 and travel from gas station to gas station. As near as they could tell, whatever had happened occurred just before six a.m., two weeks ago, and most gas stations were already up and running by then. The pumps were still working, and it didn't take a rocket scientist to go inside and flip the switch. Abe couldn't get his GPS to work either, so they would get a map from each place they stopped. The trip would be a grueling sixteen hundred miles, which equated to three days if they didn't stop too many times.

As they headed out of town, Sarah speculated. "What if they're gone, Abe?"

"Honey, I know this is hard but they're going to be there. They just have no way of getting hold of us."

"But what if?"

"Sweetie, I don't know," Abe shook his head. "I don't even know how to wrap my brain around being the only two people left on earth. Everything we know has changed, and our options have just become infinite."

"I'm just saying, we did a great job as parents and they turned out fabulous. I don't think I would want to press my luck, that's all."

"Good Lord, Sarah! I can't even think about what you're trying to say. You are saying that, for all intents and purposes, if we are actually the last people on earth, that the species dies with us? You wouldn't want to 'press your luck' ,so to speak, by having more children?"

"Yes, I guess that's what I'm getting at. I'm forty nine years old. You're fifty three. And besides, look what a horrible mess we humans have made of this world as it is. Maybe it could use some rest. Maybe that's why everyone is gone."

Abe sat silent, looking out at the empty highway as they traveled. He seemed content for the moment to just drive.

Finally, he nodded, a grim smile breaking the plane of his face. "Okay, then. Whatever the case may be, you and I will just enjoy whatever time we may have left. No sense in bringing in reinforcements, this earth can take better care of itself than we ever did."

"Good. If we get where we're going and there's no one to get to," Sarah felt a lump in her chest with that statement, "let's detour and see some of the vacation spots."

Then, like a light bulb had gone on, she said, "How funny. I guess, technically, this makes me pro-choice."

Word count: 996 (oooohhh, definitely Flash Fiction)

Monday, February 8, 2010

In Today's News


There's only one news item today......

N'awlins Saints win the Super Bowl!!!

Okay, there's lots more news today, but that one is upbeat, and happy, and a cinderella story, so we're going to focus on the good news today.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Snippet

Just Think...

you're here not by chance,
but by God's choosing.
His hand formed you
and made you the person you are.

He compares you to no one else -
you are one of a kind.
You lack nothing that
His grace can't give you.

He has allowed you to be here
at this time in history
to fulfill His special purpose
for this generation.

~Roy Lessin~

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Random Blarg

(because it's coming out, one way or another)

What a crazy week! I started out skipping my Sunday Snippet and opted for a more loose schedule between services. No problem, we have established how I feel about Sundays. I am proud of the way I stuck to my guns this week (or pencils comparatively speaking), in the face of my work schedule. Monday I worked 12 hours, Tuesday was 10, Wednesday and Thursday were 9 each. So if we do the math, I knocked out my 40 in 4 days. So, what to do with Friday? Normally, I would have had the option to take the day off, but there is so much to do, I dove into Over Time.

I did, however, take a long lunch to go to my daughters' school and enjoy elementary cuisine... and I use the term cuisine loosely. I forgot what it was like to appreciate a giant chicken nugget on a bun as the best thing I've had all week. Discerning palates develope later in life, in conjunction with the frontal lobe, I assume. It was still a good time, and I don't know if this is something to be proud of or ashamed of, but one of the girl's friends refered to me as awesome.

An additional bonus to getting time and a half on Friday is that I was at my desk to get the call from corporate, offering me the permanent position I have so eagerly been awaiting. That's right, I have been doing the happy dance every 5 minutes since. "Show me the benefits!!" It was a glorious day.

Then this morning my son did a presentation at our church association district meeting and we were able to raise enough money to meet the halfway mark deadline for his mission trip to Brazil. He is a sophomore who was chosen by our International Missions board to be a part of an annual teen group that is sent out to assist our missionaries in the field for two weeks. It is exciting and I am proud of the man he is becoming.

My husband and I have also answered the call to go on the 2011 trip to Cote de Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and do photojournalistic coverage of the mission. Hubby with the camera, and me as the journalist. I have never been more proud of the man, as he has always adhered to an old military stance of "never volunteer for anything". But here he is, ready to volunteer to fly halfway around the world and provide his services, free of charge. He deserves a big 'ol smoochy for that one!

For every God moment we have, it seems, the devil gives us a pinch. He is doing everything he can to discourage us and keep us from fullfilling our calling. When we got home from the meeting there was a letter in the mail stating that my husband's unemployment benefit has run out.


We are going to lose our minivan and be left with the Dodge Dakota 4x4 pick-em-up truck. Thankfully it has a slightly extended cab, so there's a back seat. We can fit all 5 of us semi-comfortably. My oldest son, 19, is living a bohemian lifestyle and has his own car, so we don't have to try to accommodate him. While I hate the idea of forfeiting a vehicle, it will save us a payment every month and licensing fees, and insurance. What the devil meant for evil, God will use for good. There are a lot of people with way bigger inconveniences than mine... I for one am going to count my blessings.

Tomorrow there will be church where I'm facilitating a new study for Sunday School class, then we're going to a Girlscouts self-defense class, and then Super Bowl party with friends. And somewhere in there we will squeeze in a winter storm with 6 inches of snow accumulation. I just hope it's pretty like the storm on Friday. I may or may not get to the Snippet again.

We shall see what we shall see.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Come, Let Us Write Together

Here are the rules:

I provide three random words. You write anything, incorporating those three words. Then post a link to your work (wherever you post your story) in the comments section.

The three words are: penthouse, minnow, bridge


Paul sat on the arch of of the bridge, his feet dangling. He thought of his past life, how he had taken for granted the ease, the abundance, the people. He had been a wealthy man. A man of means, respected and envied. Paul once owned a penthouse, cars, a yacht. Yet now, as he stared out at the murky waters, he wondered where he might lay his head tonight. This river called to him, its current beckoned him. He knew what he must do. Paul rose to his feet, uttered a quick prayer, and cast his line. The little minnow on the other end disappeared beneath the surface. "Come on, baby, you can do this," Paul called to the universe. It would take a miracle, but he was going to eat tonight.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Let's Go To The Map

('cause you can never know too much)

Apologue - (from the Greek "απολογος," a "statement" or "account") A moral fable, usually featuring personified animals or inanimate objects which act like people to allow the author to comment on the human condition. Often, the apologue highlights the irrationality of mankind. The beast fable, and the fables of Aesop are examples. Some critics have called Samuel Johnson's Rasselas an apologue rather than a novel because it is more concerned with moral philosophy than with character or plot.

George Orwell, Animal Farm
Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book

An apologue differs from a parable in several respects. A parable is equally an ingenious tale intended to correct manners, but it can be true in the sense that "when this kind of actual event happens among men, this is what it means and this is how we should think about it", while an apologue, with its introduction of animals and plants, to which it lends ideas, language and emotions, contains only metaphoric truth: "when this kind of situation exists anywhere in the world, here is an interesting truth about it." The parable reaches heights to which the apologue cannot aspire, for the points in which animals and nature present analogies to man are principally those of his lower nature (hunger, desire, pain, fear, etc.), and the lessons taught by the apologue seldom therefore reach beyond prudential morality (keep yourself safe, find ease where you can, plan for the future, don't misbehave or you'll eventually be caught and punished), whereas the parable aims at representing the relations between man and God (know your role in the universe, behave well towards all you encounter, kindness and respect are of higher value than cruelty and slander). It finds its framework in the world of nature as it actually is, and not in any parody of it, and it exhibits real and not fanciful analogies. The apologue seizes on that which man has in common with creatures below him, and the parable on that which he has in common with God or with God-like virtues and thoughts.

Now, I thoroughly enjoyed learning the difference between apologue and parable. However, I have already worked 40 hours for the week, and am currently attempting to bake cookies for a child's school event tomorrow, dealing with the finances from hell, and deflecting the laser beams of a grumpy spouse.

And I'm a dissdent writer. The idea of attempting my own apologue at this point is laughable. However, I would love to see someone else's attempt. Be sure to post a link to your work in the comments section.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Share The Wealth

Today's link of the day goes to The Dissident Writer's blog, created by Emilie Cross. This blog is dedicated to those of us who sit staring at the blank page, compelled by some masochistic force to write... something, anything..... and yet allows us to delete it when we determine it is utter crap. If you think you may be a dissident writer, but are not sure, take the assessment here.

If you are a writer who eats, sleeps, and breathes writing, and from whom the words flow like milk and honey wrapped in love, you should visit the blog for entertainment value. But if you feel you may belong to the group of dissidents, join us and embrace your anti-calling.

Emilie has graciously invited me to contribute to the blog, and as soon as I write something coherent, I will certainly post it!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

infinitesimal fiction

(it's like fiction, only smaller)


If you had told Charles even three hours ago that he would be experiencing this moment, he would never have believed you. His mind drifted to this morning when he and his beautiful Belinda had been looking for trinkets at a quaint little shop in China Town. She had wanted a Hanfu, and whatever his buxom blonde wanted, she got. He had also picked up a jade and sandstone chess set, a teak back scratcher with a jeweled handle , and an assortment of incense cones. Funny, that he now recalled the shop keeper trying to give him a bundle of bamboo sticks. She had instructed Charles to burn them to keep away evil spirits. As his eyes began to glaze, his brain fogging, he envisioned the unlit bamboo on the kitchen island next to the empty wine bottle. He sensed the lifeless body of his fiance beside him, and he reached up to grab at the hardened fingers around his throat. Charles felt the splinters embedded in his hand, and wondered where he had put that damn lighter, just as the darkness claimed him.

(word count: 185)

Monday, February 1, 2010

In Today's News

50 Years Ago Today -- The Greensboro Four

On February 1st, 1960, four black college students attending North Carolina A&T staged a sit-in at Woolworth's whites-only lunch counter.

It was to be the first of many such sit-ins that culminated in the July 1960 desegregation of that lunch counter, but also spurred young African-Americans to more than 70 sit-ins in 15 cities and 5 states across the south. Greensboro, North Carolina became one of the major catalysts of the Civil Rights Movement.

It was the second darkest era in our nation's history. (The era of war on Native Americans is a topic for another time.) To this day, the United States has not again seen any people group as down-trodden as the African-Americans of the Pre-Civil War era through the 1960's. There are still instances of persecution, racism, and prejudice; there is ignorance in every culture that breeds hatred against other perceived inferior groups. But it seems that we have grown enough, matured enough as a nation that we can honestly say that all people truly are created equal, and that the ignorant are the minority. They may still have a voice, as protected by the First Amendment, but the voices of the majority are louder. The voices that say to everyone, "You are my brothers and sisters, we are equal in all, and we will work together to make this a place of freedom and peace."

So we celebrate the "pioneers" who took a stand against the tyranny, and who empowered others to do the same. The heroes who used non-violent protest as a vehicle to show us that the human spirit is stronger than any hate, any ignorance, and it can rise above, lifting us out of the shadows.

Inspirational barely describes it.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Random Blarg

(because it's coming out, one way or another)

This has been an interesting week. At work, I got my interview for the permanent-employee version of my job. I feel really good about it, and unless they find a better me than me, I think it's going to go in my favor. I love my job, and for multiple reasons I want this, one of which is health insurance for my family.

We spent the latter half of the day today watching our girls in their school variety show, and shopping for necessities. We barely have the means to do that anymore, since we are in the thirteenth month of my husband's unemployment. But, any time we have a little bit extra, we usually head over to Walmart or Target. This has been a rough year. I've never actually felt so close to poverty before. We've had to tighten our belts before, but I've never had to choose between bills and food until now.

So there are times when I am so stressed and so exhausted that the idea of writing seems like a sweet dream I can vaguely recall. But this week, I have stuck to my guns and have followed my organizational plan. Some of my writing I'm happy with, and some has been crap. (Speaking of which, I am following a new blog at Dissident Writers. I am definitely highlighting this on a Wednesday!) But overall, it's a WIN for the week.

I don't know if I'm going to be able to always keep up, but I am going to try. I have learned to persevere in life, and I will continue as long as I can. I can only imagine that exhaustion will be my biggest obstacle.... if I miss a post, it's because I've passed out on my way to the computer!

We shall see what we shall see.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Come, Let Us Write Together

Here are the rules:

I provide three random words. You write anything, incorporating those three words. Then post a link to your work (wherever you post your story) in the comments section.

The three words are: nostril, rooster, cannon


He pinched the bridge of his nose, squinted, and tried to think through the pain. Was it another sinus infection? It would be the third one this year, and he was tired of the migraines. This condition was starting to interfere with his life. Wasn't that a sign of a serious problem? He could feel a sneeze coming on and uttered a silent prayer. The snoring, the infections, the migraines; how could he get some relief? The tickle started in his nostril. Then he could feel his eyes start to itch and water. He opened his mouth in a half yawn, and sneezed loudly. The rooster was propelled out of his nose like a cannon shot. Almost immediately the headache began to disappear, and he was breathing easier. As a giant, he thought he should try to learn how to deal with this kind of thing, but the truth was, he probably needed to address the snoring. Preventative measures would pay in the long run. It was such a relief to find out it wasn't the bird flu.

Yikes. Thank goodness it's just a writing exercise to get the juices flowing! lol

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Let's Go To The Map

('cause you can never know too much)

Peripeteia [per-uh-pi-tahy-uh] (Greek, Περιπέτεια) is a reversal of circumstances, or turning point. The term is primarily used with reference to works of literature. The English form of peripeteia is peripety. Peripety is a sudden reversal dependent on intellect and logic. In modern Greek περιπέτεια means adventure.

Aristotle defines it as "a change by which the action veers round to its opposite, subject always to our rule of probability or necessity." According to Aristotle, peripeteia, along with discovery, is the most effective when it comes to Drama, particularly in a Tragedy.

There is often no element like Peripetia; it can bring forth or result in terror, mercy, or in comedies it can bring a smile or it can bring forth tears (Rizo). This is the best way to spark and maintain attention throughout the various form and genres of drama.

Peripeteia includes changes of character, but also more external changes. A character who becomes rich and famous from poverty and obscurity has undergone peripeteia, even if his character remains the same.

When a character learns something he had been previously ignorant of, this is normally distinguished from peripeteia as anagnorisis or discovery, a distinction derived from Aristotle's work.

Because I am exhausted, I can't wrap my brain around writing my own example of this; however, here is an excellent example already written :

The earliest use of peripety in a murder mystery was in "The Three Apples", a medieval Arabian Nights tale. After the murderer reveals himself near the middle of the story, he explains his reasons behind the murder in a flashback, which begins with him going on a journey to find three rare apples for his wife, but after returning finds out she cannot eat them due to her lingering illness. Later at work, he sees a slave passing by with one of those apples claiming that he received it from his girlfriend, a married woman with three such apples her husband gave her. He returns home and demands his wife to show him all three apples, but she only shows him two. This convinces him of her infidelity and he murders her as a result. After he disposes of her body, he returns home where his son confesses that he had stolen one of the apples and that a slave, to whom he had told about his father's journey, had fled with it. The murderer thus realizes his guilt and regrets what he has just done

I love this example because it is like reading the origin of drama. There are so many stories that follow this outline, in one form or another. My story is a beloved adopted child, and reading the original idea is like meeting one of its birth parents.

I hope you learned something interesting today, I know I did!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sharing The Wealth

(so many resources, so little time)

Today I'd like to highlight the blog of published author, Erica Orloff. Please click the link and enjoy her down to earth posts, laced with excellent 'been there' advice and her uncanny knack of taking every day life and turning it into a lesson in writing.

She also has handy links to resources and other blogs, a few of which you may see here some Wednesday.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

infinitesimal fiction

(it's just like fiction, only smaller)

I cannot believe it, but I finally wrote something!! The idea of a bite sized story really helped me not be overwhelmed. So much so, that I think I did NOT write Microfiction. It ended up being 619 words! Which, correct me if I'm wrong, is actually Flash Fiction.

Still..... WOW! I wrote! I am posting my story below, so please feel free to comment and/or let me know if this is Flash ('Cause I'm pretty sure it's not micro.)

by CE Wood

Kris looked around the room and tried to hide her disgust. She didn’t belong here, with this group of freaks. It was harsh, but brutal honesty was always more appropriate than a sensitive lie. She reached up to touch her temple. A wisp of honey gold had escaped from her bun. She tucked it behind her ear and adjusted her glasses.

“Well,” a low, smoky voice slid past her ear. “Where have you been?”

Kris looked up to see a tall platinum blonde dressed in black leather leering from under enormous fake eyelashes.

“I’m sorry, have we met?” Kris was uncomfortable.

“Oh, no, I would have remembered you. My name is Carlotta. I meant, ‘Where have you been all my life?’”

Kris looked around to see if anyone was paying attention. She couldn’t decide what was more humiliating, that she was being publicly ogled by an Amazonian Marilyn Monroe, or that she was seriously considering turning to the circus for help.

Carlotta followed her gaze. “The boy is Tony. He’s twelve and he likes to play with fire. To his left is Jess.” The young woman was hunched over, her black greasy hair almost concealing her face completely. She clutched her wool sweater closed, quietly weeping. “She never stops. I don’t think her daddy was a nice man.”

An involuntary shiver shot down Kris’ spine. “Across from Jess is Mattie. Steer clear, she is one pissed off chica.” Mattie was glaring at Jess, her face carved into deep grooves of rage.

“Would you just shut up, already? Jesus! How much longer do I have to sit here listening to your pathetic whining? Get over it!” Mattie’s wild, red hair shot out like a halo of flames. Jess seemed to shrink impossibly small, her body wracked with sobs.

There were six other people Carlotta had yet to introduce; wouldn’t one of them say something, anything?

“Stop,” Kris whispered. Mattie’s head whipped around and Kris could feel the full weight of her wrath bearing down.

“What did you say?” The wild look in her eyes made Kris want to run.

Kris calmly gathered herself up, smoothed the front of her suit jacket, and walked to the door. Through the tiny, rectangular window she could see a nurse studying someone’s chart. She lightly rapped on the door, trying to catch the nurse’s attention.

Carlotta sidled up beside her and gently trailed the backs of her fingertips down Kris’ cheek. “Her name is Joanne, but she can’t hear you,” she purred.

Kris could feel the panic tightening in her chest, her breathing turning quick and shallow. She slapped at the door with the flat of her hand. “Excuse me, Nurse Joanne? Can you hear me? I’m ready to go. Can you come open the door?”

Behind her she could hear Mattie raving at someone, Jess’ sobs had turned into a wail of despair, Tony was going from person to person asking for a lighter. So much noise. Everyone was trying to be heard over one another, the sound rising to a fever pitch.

Kris curled her hands into fists and began pounding with all her might. “Nurse!” she screamed, “Nurse, please! I don’t belong in here, I don’t belong with these, these people! Can’t you let me out? I demand to be released from this room!”

Joanne glanced up at the little window. “Ed, I need you to prepare a sedative please,” she called to the nurse’s station. “It seems Ms. Doe is experiencing some anxiety.”

Ed approached with a syringe. “Should we bring her out of the room?”

“No, the doctor needs to conduct a full examination, and until he can determine a prognosis, we have strict orders to keep her in solitary confinement.”

Monday, January 25, 2010

In Today's News

The Power of Words -- Plane Crashes Off Lebanon Coast

The tragic story today was the fateful flight of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 that crashed just after take off, two miles off the coast of Lebanon. The plane carried 90 people; 21 bodies have been recovered, so far no survivors.

Plane crashes are reported with regular frequency, statistics given, articles contain personal information about passengers, to help humanize the story and help the reader feel connected, invested. This particular article, however, contains a subtle element of mystery. Out of the 1,153 words that comprise the article, two small paragraphs leave the reader with a sliver of doubt as to the circumstances surrounding this supposed 'accident'.

'Lebanese President Michel Suleiman said terrorism was not suspected in the crash of Flight 409. "Sabotage is ruled out as of now," he said.'

The statement was tucked in between talk of a country in mourning and an aircraft with a spotless inspection record. It was followed later with the following information:

'The plane was carrying 83 passengers and 7 crew, Lebanese officials said. Aridi, the transportation minister, identified the passengers as 54 Lebanese, 22 Ethiopians, one Iraqi, one Syrian, one Canadian of Lebanese origin, one Russian of Lebanese origin, a French woman and two Britons of Lebanese origin.'

The questions left in the wake of 9-11, even 9 years later, surface with a few well-placed words. 'Terrorism', 'Sabotage', 'Iraqi', 'Syrian'. With no proof to the contrary, even in the face of wicked weather, poor visibility, and high winds, the reader is left with a sense of reasonable doubt.

It is the power of words. A writer who wields them wisely, can affect the world around her.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Snippet

"But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife." ~ 2 Timothy 2:23

The good news is we have a guideline for reducing the stress of always being right.... it's called doing the right thing. No need to argue, keep the peace and that's what you'll have!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Another Goal Met!

Starting tomorrow, this blog is officially organized! Woo hoo! I now have a set of themes that I will be adhering to so I can stick with the writerly theme, and not just randomly spill whatnot on the page. And it will also help me to improve my writing and head in a forward direction.

So here it is:

Sunday Snippet (so sayeth the Spirit)
I will share a brief verse, and may or may not comment on it. Sunday is my one day of total communion with God, so while I will still take a moment to write, it won't break my worship.

In Today's News (inspiration can come from anywhere)
I will share a news item from one of many sources and editorialize it in some fashion.

infinitesimal fiction (it's like fiction, only smaller)
I will post my attempts at microfiction. yeah. actual writing.

Sharing The Wealth (so many resources, so little time)
I will post a link to another author's page, or editor, or agent, or writing resource site, whomever has inspired me to share, and give a brief description of what you're about to read, and why.

Let's Go To The Map ('cause you can never know too much)
I will choose some literary term, or genre, or writing style, anything that is researchable and fact driven, as opposed to my limited knowledge or opinion, and explore it. There may be examples, or I may call for comments suggesting the next topic. It's fun to learn new things, and remember old ones.

Come, Let Us Write Together (collectively inspired by three random items)
I will post three random items. For example, pillow, sand, anvil. I will either write the words, or post three photos of random items, and then write anything that comes to mind using those three items. The call will be for others to write anything as well, and post a link to their musing in the comments section.

Random Blarg (because it's coming out, one way or another)
This will be my weekly opportuntity to clean out the ol' brain pockets. I'll basically be journaling on Saturdays, and maybe I'll write about writing, and maybe I won't, depending on what's been churning around up there, waiting to get out. I figure that Saturday may be a great time to read other blogs, but it's also a great time to get your writing done, so if you're busy creating, you won't be missing anything major over here. Except my terribly witty repartee....

So, there we have it. Goal #4 from my New Year's Post is checked. Albeit, two weeks late. Some things really are better late than never, though, and I am throwing myself a party in my mind!!

And also, look how much I wrote!! YAY!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Organizing My Thoughts

I am resolved to organize my blog posts by theme, as that would give me some definite direction, and hopefully would keep me from randomly rambling about nothing just because I have a goal to write every day.

So I'm doing some brainstorming right now about different themes:

Microfiction - definitely one day dedicated to that, just gotta pick a good day (and I'm going to try not to blatantly copy someone else's themes, so if I do, it's purely by accident)

Links - I don't do poetry, but I absolutely love to read it and C.R. Ward at Random Thoughts does this great weekly poetry thing where she explores a new style and then writes an example of it... LOVE it! I follow several blogs that regularly grace me with inspiration, and I could do a day dedicated to one or more inspiring links, or I could do a link-a-day kind of thing.

Sunday Snippet - It's hard for me to do anything on Sundays, and frankly I try not to, it's the one day I can dedicate wholly to God, and I don't like to cut in to that. But I can share a quick snippet from the Spirit, and that helps make it part of my worship.

Random blarg - I will have to have a day where I just regurg whatever is trapped up in ye old brainoceros... could be intermitent and disruptive, could be held in check for a scheduled day, I don't know, maybe both.

Education - I fall into the 'some college' category, and while I have limitless potential for intellegence, I can always be more educated. I might pick a day where I explore some new literary topic, do the research and post the results, expanding the collective knowledge or, more likely, just mine. I love learning new things, and it would be cool to remember some old ones too.

Rant like a crazy woman day - oops, no... don't know where that one came from... probly it's just today....

In Today's News - I don't know, just popped into my head, but nothing is on accident, so we may have to have a look-see.

So far, I've got 5-ish out of 7 days. What else can I do? I'm probably going to have to look around at other blogs and glean some ideas without getting too copy-cat-esque. But, hey, there's nothing new under the sun, right?

I think that was very productive brainstorming. I have somewhere to start, and something to toy with. Maybe I can throw together a tentative schedule for tomorrow's post?

We shall see what we shall see.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's Good To Have Friends

To laugh at your jokes, to share a good cry, to swap dorky husband stories, and to smack you on top of the head when you tell them you logged a whopping 87 words during NaNoWriMo and you might have scriptophobia.

Those are good friends. The kind who don't say, "No, really, those 87 words were very good ones!", but still trust you to Beta read their WIP. Friends who say, "I have a great book for you to borrow that will help you get over yourself and put some actual words on actual paper."

I have really good friends.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Wow. So, I just became a huge fan of Microfiction, when I read a piece by Emily Cross. I was inspired to give it a shot. I think it would be a great starting point to get past my phobia. Perhaps I will do one microfiction piece a week, and post it as part of my organizational plan for this blog. I am closer to meeting that goal, and I could use any boost of confidence I can get right now.

I am closer to getting my permanent position at work, I feel extremely confident in that world. But the real world contains a great deal of stress, and if I could just get my creative life flowing, I know the stress would dissipate.

I'm reading some very inspiring stuff in the writer blogs I follow. I know, somehow, I am going to get these stories on the paper.

We will start with Microfiction.... I know I can do that, for pete's sake, I just wrote 175 words in this blog post alone! Well done!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ooooooohhhhhh.... An Idea!!

So, I had another story idea. This one is for a fantasy story, and I might actually write it down! No, really, I might.... unlike the science fiction story idea that I haven't written down because I can't reconcile it in my mind.

This is my problem. I can't get the words on paper. I get an idea, and mull it around, it starts to take shape, and then there's always some kind of roadblock that causes me to abandon the idea before I even write it down. I start to open my word program, and I open spider solitaire instead.

It's getting serious. I'm feeling extremely oppressed, and I stopped even looking at my Artist's Way books after the first morning of pages. I don't know what to do. It's like I'm afraid to write.

So not only am I stressed, but I feel stupid. Afraid to write? What kind of weird, irrational phobia is that? Obviously, I'm writing my blog, is there a separate phobia for fiction?

Some research needs to be done here, because I really feel like there's a great story inside my head just waiting to get out.

Monday, January 18, 2010


The downside is that I now have to work four tens if I want a full paycheck, but the upside is I got the day off.

The downside is I worked for three hours of it trying to meet a hard deadline on a photography project, but the upside is I never have to touch that project again.

The downside is I am starting to loathe shooting weddings, but the upside is I am starting to realize what kind of work I really want to focus on. (No pun intended)

It has been an interesting day. And now it's over, along with my three day weekend. It would be easier for me to list what I didn't do than what I did. Which is my idea of a perfect long weekend!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

What A Moody Day

I'm actually in the throes of inspiration right now, which is hilarious because this morning I was so depressed I didn't want to get out of bed. Which in turn is somewhat hilarious because I'm not a depressive personality. I am normally an upbeat, positive, optimistic, glass-is-half-full kind of gal.

So I guess I will spell out the condensed version of what is going on:

I'm an artist at heart. A writer/photographer. I was enjoying the stay-at-home-mom thing and focusing on the photography business I started with my husband, while he worked full time. The crumbling economy gave way under our feet and he lost his job 12/31/08.

After the third month of unemployment we began to realize how much we took for granted, and how little we were actually prepared for this kind of crisis. I had worked before as an administrative assistant, so we decided I would try to go back to work until something came through for the hubby.

I got a job almost immediately (and miraculously, actually) but that is a story for another time. I have been contracting to a financial institution, and doing so well they want me to be a permanent employee. This is a fabulous opportunity and I really like working there, but let's face it, a full-time day job, four kids, all the activities that come along with family, and all the responsibilities of a wife, mother, and bread-winner..... it's killing my artist.

We are in my husbands 13th month of unemployment, and every month I hope we can make it on my paycheck and his unemployment. Well then, you say, the writing and photography would be a great way to supplement the income, yes? Sure, if the photography business was established enough to be making a profit, and I wasn't so blocked that I can't even write my ideas down, let alone write anything worth selling.

Hence, the laying in bed in the fetal position until three in the afternoon. No worries for the family, my youngest is eight, nobody's immediate needs were being neglected, my husband was up to take care of things today. At one point we were all laying around together watching the episode of Extreme Home Makeover we DVR'd on Sunday. I wasn't being totally anti-social, I'm just exhausted, and worried, and giving myself a break. I'm allowing myself to throw a pity-party every once in a while.

I just can't always say, "Everything is going to be okay." Don't get me wrong, it IS going to be okay. Life WILL go on, and we ARE going to make it. I am just allowing myself to occasionally feel like crap because it's so challenging. Every so often, I have permission to stop being strong, have a breakdown, and feel sorry for myself.

And the reason it's okay? I never feel hopeless. It might be rough, it may feel unending at times, it can be frustrating, and embarrassing, and I can feel helpless.... but there's always HOPE.

Hope is the thing that keeps people going, turns ordinary citizens into extraordinary heroes, and can be the thread we cling to as we dangle over the abyss of despair. As long as I am clinging to that thread, I have a little leeway to bend. Without it, I would end up broken.

Now, believe it or not, that WAS the condensed version!

On to my inspiration. I have been following Merc Rants blog She is doing a serial fiction piece that I love and, since I'm neglecting all of my duties as a homemaker, I decide to look at the other pieces on the site she's posting to, The Silver Blade. I read a piece called She Fills The Sea, in the Science Fiction section, and I am just enthralled. I love the story, I care about the MC, and at the end of the piece, I want there to be more. (Just like Hero's Choice - can't wait to see what happens next!)

I'm telling you, it got my creative juices kicked up a notch.

I feel less hateful, I feel more encouraged, I got an idea and I want to write it down. It's progress.

Maybe not the greatest start to a weekend, but it's already starting to turn around. As I'm dangling from my thread, I can kick at the fingers snaking up from the abyss, and maybe, just maybe, swing to safety.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Three Day Weekend

I've found that working for a financial institution has definite perks. One of which is we get every holiday on the calendar off... with the exception of, maybe, Bastille Day. So, I get Monday off with all the waste disposal coordinators, postal employees, and educational participants of the chronologically limited variety.

So what exactly am I going to do with three whole days off?

My intial reaction is, "Absolutely nothing!" And I would be lying if I said I wasn't seriously tempted to leave it at that. However, there are things that need to be accomplished, and things that would benefit from some attention.

We shall see what we shall see.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Making It Through

Today my recruiter took me to my favorite Chinese restaurant for lunch, I had a superbly productive day at work, and found out my friend got the promotion she wanted.

It's going to have to do.....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Day The Stress Level Went Through The Roof

That would be today.

I want to cry, and scream, and throw things, and collapse. I can't do any of those things. Geez, I CAN'T IMAGINE WHY I'M CREATIVELY BLOCKED?!?!?!?!?

The economy has brought our family to it's knees, God is keeping us from being totally destroyed, and I'm the only person in this house who has learned anything from the experience.

OMG. I can't believe what a spiral I'm in.... from Hope to Despair in 12 days.

I can't wait to go to work tomorrow so I can be with sane, rational people who appreciate my hard work and give me money.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


For every two steps forward, there is one step back. The good news is that means we're still making forward progress. But it also means for every two WINs, there's one FAIL.

Earlier today, had a couple wins..... so you can guess what happened this evening.

Plus, two days in a row I have NOT completed my morning pages..... grrrr.

And I am finding the term "starving artist" can be quite literal, even for one with a full time day job.

We'll try again tomorrow. Maybe instead of a rollercoaster, I could ride the train.

Monday, January 11, 2010

In Today's News

This morning I already had to skip my morning pages.... geez, what a surprise.

Two of my friends got promotions at work (my promotion is in progress as well.)

A coworker had an excellent idea for a children's book.

My husband is picking out new photography equipment.

We had to have a talk with my son regarding his grades.

I watched a movie with my daughters.

And Sarah Palin signed on as a commentator with Fox News.... ummmm. yeah.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Mornings Are Changing

Because of The Artist's Way Morning Pages, I now have to get up an hour earlier each morning to write. I'm not saying this is necessarily a bad thing except for a couple of issues.

1. I am so NOT a morning person.

2. Did I forget to mention, I'm NOT a morning person?

Yeah, I hope I survive this.....

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Recon Mission

Briefly, last night I lay down momentarily, and fell dead asleep. No post due to unconciousness.

Today, however, I have begun a mission. A reconnaissance mission to locate, recover and heal my inner artist.

I have begun my course with The Artist's Way.

Somehow, I am going to get my writing and my photography on track and out there. I am committed.

Or I should be....

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Just In Time

Almost missed writing today!

PS. I'm being haunted by my story!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Weirdo Ideas

I got up this morning and several weird things were running around in my brain. The first of which was a song, that went, "Clap your hands everybody, everybody clap your hands!" It took me ten minutes to figure out it was the song that Lambda Lambda Lambda performed at the annual Greek Games during Homecoming, in the movie Revenge of the Nerds.

Nooooooo, that's not weird at all.......

Also, while getting ready for work, a story idea popped into my head, and it won't leave. It insisted on being mulled, and added to, and fleshed out, even during my drive to work. And it could best be described as a horror story.

I don't write horror! Do I?

The story centers around an odd household item..... it won't go away. It jumps up and down and shouts and waves its words around. I think I'm going to have to write it.

Ooooh, though, I got a great and absolutely normal email today entailing the delivery of my oh so fabulous book order from Barnes & Noble on Friday. YAY!!

Now, it's time to get the hubby to let the dog out before bed, because if she gets me up in the middle of the night one more time this week, I'm going to be writing a true crime novel about the demise of a black laborder collie.......

Aaaaaccckkkkk! I'm Late!

I was reading some blogs I follow and looked at the clock to discover that I am minutes late for posting on Tuesday!!!

I am going to count this entry as Tuesday's in my heart, and still do one for Wednesday. When I will also have more time to think it through, as opposed to scrambling at the last minute.....

Plenty of time since we very well may be snowed in tomorrow! yay! I love timely and season-appropriate weather. :^)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Monday Mania

So, by the time Monday night rolls around I am usually a blob of mush. Mentally and physically.

I did, however, come up with two new story ideas today.

Most importantly, I used my Christmas gift (a gorgeous Barnes & Noble gift card from my in-laws) to order The Artist's Way, the AW Workbook, and the AW Morning Pages book!! Yeah, baby!! I can't wait, they should be here by Thursday!

I am still working on some form of organization for my future blog posts, but currently my brain has seized and all I've got is blah, blah, blah.......

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday Snippet

I usually try to leave Sunday open and committment free, so on any given Sunday I may just throw out a sentence or two.

Perhaps I will use it as an outlet for my spiritual life. It just popped into my head and is starting to take root...... I'm liking it!

I'm going to rename the Sunday posts going forward, stuff still mulling around in the old brain factory, but starting next Sunday it'll be something new.

It's a perfect day to start with this:

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." ~ Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

What an awesome promise to lay claim to in the beginning of the New Year!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

One Step At A Time

Day 2 of the New Beginning.

Yes, I have written in this blog two. days. in. a. row.

{angel chorus sings, "Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!"}

I am one day closer to achieving my goals for the year!

"See the good all around you, even if you have to squint...."

Friday, January 1, 2010

Behold, All Things Have Become New

Welcome to 2010!

While I have never believed in the "New Year Resolution" (my resolve is subject to whim, it seems), I do believe in setting achievable goals. Most recently I have learned how to divide these goals into smaller, bite-sized chunks, lessening the chances for fail even more.

So here it goes.

Goals for January 2010:

1. Write something, anything, every day - in this blog.
2. Create a new story idea, and write down the main idea.
3. Create a character chart for one new main character.
4. Organize ideas for my blog entries to make follow a weekly pattern by 1/8/10.

Okay, there you have it. Four new goals in the new year. At the end of January, I will give a report on how I did, and set new goals for February.

I'm feeling pretty good about my new strategy, let's just hope it isn't as fragile as my resolve.