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Archive for February, 2013

“You have another blog?” he’s stunned. “Why do I not know about this? I’m your biggest fan.”

“No,” I respond without hesitation, “definitely not. That would be my mother.”

“Well, I’m still a pretty big…”

“She doesn’t know either, if that makes you feel any better,” I shrug.

“Not really.”

“Anyway yes, I have another one,” I admit with a wave of my hand. “Just for fiction. It’s called The Wrought Writer. I thought I should separate my actual writing from my, well, babble. If you were paying attention there were clues…”

“Brilliant!” he exclaims, ignoring my innuendo. “You’re a genius!”

“Why?” Now I’m the stunned one.

Focus, of course!” Every successful venture needs focus!” He pumps his fist into the air.

“So, you don’t like my anything goes hazily themed blog?” My head tips towards my shoes.

“I do, I do! But, you should start another!”

Shouldn’t I be the excited one?

“I’m already drowning,” I confess. “I don’t think I need to add more water.”

“Definitely, another one. One with the other stuff…you know, the, babble?”

“But, that’s already on Hazy. Isn’t that kind of redundant?”

“But you somehow think putting your fiction on a separate blog is not?”

“Well, I guess it’s the same idea, but…”

“Self promotion is never redundant. Do people like your fiction more than your, um, babble posts?”

“It’s probably pretty even-steven, if I had to guess.”

“That settles it then,” he says confidently. “Go big or go home.”

And so, coinciding with my eightieth post, a few swift pushes and a shot of oxygen, at the ripe old age of forty-two, my new blog is crowning. (I knew I’d get a metaphor in there somewhere)

You’d think after branding three kids I’d know better than to open this can of worms but here goes…notions for names anyone?

Creativity is contagious Baby

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I’m trying to write today. Sound familiar to anyone? But…I’m having what I feel are typical writer ‘complications’. I am behind. On…pretty much everything in my life at the moment. Oooh, we say that, I know, but I’m for real.

My animals have no food. The people in my house have no real food. Those two sentences should probably be in reverse. No one has laundered clothes. Thank God the animals don’t wear any. Shame it’s not the other way ‘round.

 

My kids all need appointments of some sort. Some can’t see through their hair, some just plain can’t see and others will soon be gumming their food (food…they should be so lucky) if I don’t pick up the phone and commit to a sesh with that crazy tooth guy.

I know my list…much like Celine’s heart…will go on…and on, but I for one will try not to. I dislike negativity, I have a low tolerance for complaining and don’t even get me started on excuses.

But, but…but, I’m so very, well, distracted.

You know what I mean. At least I hope I’m not alone. I’ve left everything so long that there seems to be no rhyme or reason on where to begin. Everything is now a priority.

And yet, here I sit…shrouded by clothes of days gone by, threats of starving, shaggy, blind and toothless children not to mention animals that have resorted to fetching the keys and dropping credit cards at my feet, writing.

Tell me I”m not a bad person.

You don't find time to write

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She wrote thousands of words.

And unlike most other times, it took very little effort. They flowed as quickly as her willowy fingers could scroll them over the page. She didn’t look them up or second-guess, she simply wrote and wrote and as she did, her heart pounded with euphoric anticipation.

Within minutes the story had taken on a life and turned into something she alone, never could have conjured. The characters were vivid smudges of color on the chalky paper. Each one weird, wild and wonderful. Much to her delight, they twittered, twirled and twinkled in front of her very eyes.

Descriptions were riveting and the plot, engrossing. All awakened at her fingertips and she relinquished control of what was happening.

They took over. Grew more animated, more tangible. She felt a draft as they hurried past, saw the pores of their skin, smelled the booze on their breath. Heard them swallow as they ate the food from their plates.

She reached out, wanting to touch what seemed real, but her hand was slapped away. A feeling hard to describe, covered her like a blanket of ice.  Her skin erupted in fear and her heart, still pounding, skipped a beat, maybe two, in shock.

As she stared in horror, the longhand scroll she’d so relished penning, rose up off the page united, and slowly, deliberately made its way around her thin, long neck.

“This is our story.” the robust rope seethed. “You can’t force us to do anything.”

The linked words were frayed at the edges and as they tightened, the delicate skin on her neck began to burn with the friction.

“Your words are ours now. You are ours now.”

As she lay limp, breathless and seconds from lifeless, her once enraptured heart finally stopped beating as she herself, became a part of the story that was never really hers.

Rope 3

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The cut on her finger hurts like a son of a bitch. One of those tiny slices so fine it’s almost invisible, but oh, it throbs and stings. As she squeezes the skin around it open and closed it moves like a beak. She imagines it’s squawking; a relentless seagull tormenting her.

“I want that fry. I want that fry!” he goads, angrily swooping to and fro against the brooding, clouded sky.

She looks around for the French fry, but finds nothing. The bird screeches louder and louder. She covers her ears and rocks back and forth.

“Go away!” she whispers. “Please go away.”

She swats at the air around her head, catching her frizzy hair between her fingers, pieces of it slithering through her slit skin. Taking a long, kinked strand, she pulls it taut until it snaps. It falls to the floor, once one, now two.

“You see?” she asks, “You see what I did to that piece of hair? You’ll end up just like that hair if you’re not real careful!”

But the gull taunts on.

Squawk! You don’t need that fry! You’re way too fat to eat that goddamn French fry! Squawk, squawk!”

The bird’s incessant cackling simmers into salty grains of laughter that spill down and stick to her slick skin. Swiping away, trying to rid herself of the bitter granules, she slowly realizes that she’s the fry.

Long and droopy, now cold, she falls to the floor. The nasty gull comes real close, and spreads his great, gray wings. They span across her from tip to top. His beak sharp and piercing drives right into her middle and she can feel him lifting her.

As they fly higher and farther away, her other half gets smaller and smaller on the ground below.

Once one, now two.

Seagull with a french fry

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A very nice tribute from a fellow writer…

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Sad and hidden

She wrapped herself in the crooks of looks and nooks of books, cloaked her face with hair misplaced, hid her smile, for a while, in the cover of much denial.

She grew small it seemed. Making her way, suppressing things dreamed. They laughed at things she thought she’d hid. Talked of things she never really did.

Friends were enemies and enemies the same, taunted by voices not knowing her name. Lonely a thing she came to grasp well. A soft blanket she knit out of personal hell.

She didn’t know kind and missed out on close. Pieces of heart limply strung by a ghost.

Until a day one reached out. Offered the help she’d long lived without.  A strong hand extended, a friendship made. A thing never had, a wish that wouldn’t fade.

It’s all it took to live and love and because of this she rose above. The hurt, the pain all overcame. The weak, the cursed, all reversed.

She ate from the orchards of strength and pride, found a new life, chose to decide. To believe she had worth and deserved a new birth. To start things anew, become what is true.

Not one to forget what it is to be small; she’ll be never be far. A net for a fall.

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Write for yourself 2

Lying on a puce polyester couch, worn notebook propped on thigh, a gnawed nub of a pencil in hand. Just Another Day or maybe The Heart of the Matter floating through the air, perhaps the T.V. is sputtering an only occasionally heard word of Bay Watch or Chicago Hope. Wide windows, silvery sun, cobalt canvas, blanc billows, the occasional bird and me. Welcome to the seventeenth floor.

And, it was just me. No Internet, no social media. Hell, I didn’t even have a cordless phone. I was writing for me. Anyone ever reading it not even a morsel on my mind. An easy task, back in the day.

I understand the quote is bigger than this. There are complex layers beneath its simple veil. It’s saying be true to yourself, write from your heart, don’t sell your soul, undress word by word. I won’t vouch for anyone else, but I’d like to think most, if not all, writers aspire to this. Raw and real. Revealed.

But, I did take pause. Fast forward to today. Can you imagine not thinking of the public while you write? I really can’t. Like now…you’re all here with me. Our room is dimmed in tea-stained light, our toes, a touch cold. Shitty Kitty is curled up on our bed and we’re bathed in the white screen-glow of Robin Williams fighting the good fight as Mrs. Doubtfire.

What’s that you say? You didn’t want the Shitty Kitty? Yeah well, me either, but that’s neither here nor there. You’ll have to take it up with our kids. Maybe you’ll have more luck with them than I (obviously) did on the issue.

Now, where were we? Oh yes…

I write a sentence…a word…I stop. I ask you what you think. If you don’t like it, I try again. Eventually, we agree and a piece is born. It’s a harmonious working relationship, rich with compassion, fused with contentment and compromise.

I write for me, I edit for us and I surrender for the kids.

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The Next Big Thing 1

An intriguing writer, new friend and born-to-be soul sister from, get this, Northern Ireland, approached me about taking part in a trending blog hop called The Next Big Thing. Flattered, proud and utterly gobsmacked, I accepted before she could change her mind. To peruse Lesley’s charismatic utterings on the subject simply click here.

Lesley Richardson is a writer from Bangor, Co. Down, who is currently writing her second novel, The Possibilities of Elizabeth. Her first novel, Biddy Weirdo, is yet to be published, but Lesley and her agent, Susan Feldstein, are hopeful that that will soon change.

Represented by the Feldstein Agency, Lesley has received a grant from The Arts Council of Northern Ireland and a writing bursary from North Down Borough Council. She launched her blog, Standing Naked at a Bus Stop last year.

Lesley’s Links:

Standing Naked at a Bus Stop  

Twitter 

Agent, Susan Feldstein 

Giddy with possibility, I rise to the challenge of fulfilling this blog hop quest:

  • What is the working title of your next book?

I currently have two WIP’s; About Face and Hazy Shades of Me

  • Where did the idea(s) come from for the book(s)?

I wrote About Face in 2009, coming up with it literally on a whim as I sat down to start my 50,000 words for a NaNoWriMo challenge. The words streamed onto the page, because you see, Lenore Nashun, my main character, looked a little less than friendly unless she was smiling. I simply had to come to her rescue and prove to readers her cool exterior was actually hiding her warm heart. The story took on a life of its own, as they most often do, and ended up being a mixture of mystery, romance, life lessons and love.

Hazy Shades of Me is a compilation of emotions and experiences morphed into short bites of metaphors. The title, obviously my blog name, could seem a short cut, but honestly, I thought long and hard and I feel it’s what fits best….for now.

  • What genre does your book fall under?

About Face is definitely Chick Lit, although that classification is somewhat forbidden these days and Hazy Shades of Me, is well, shorts of all shades in abstract form.

  • What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie?

Ryan Gosling. Really, he’s probably much too mature to play an aspiring young buck at this point, but I’m assuming it would mean I’d get to meet him, so I don’t care. Besides, as you’ll learn when you read my novel, make-up can work wonders.

Sorry, what’s that? The question refers primarily to the main character? Oh, okay. Well Jennifer Lawrence would be a pretty good pick.

  • What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A young woman’s journey in finding herself through expression and oddly, a fundamental freedom from its hold.

  • Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Oh, to have the luxury…I would dearly love for it to be rep’d by an agency. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

  • How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

About Face: 30 days as per the NaNoWriMo guidelines, then add on the last four years for editing!

Hazy Shades of Me is very much a work in progress, still to be completed.

  • What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I’m not sure about specific titles, but I tend to think Jennifer Weiner and Sophie Kinsella style when I read About Face.

As for Hazy Shades of Me, I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever read a book of short story metaphors. I guess I have some research to do!

  • What inspired you to write this book?

Writing is a long-time love, but NaNoWriMo is what brought it home for me in 2009. I bought ‘the kit’ as a sort of gag for both a friend and myself. We had been talking about ‘writing a novel’ for some time and I thought it would be something to give us a giggle. To my surprise, she took me seriously and the next thing I knew, we were scribbling 1,667 words a day. More if, heaven forbid, we had to resume reality and miss a day here or there.

  • What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

My characters are tangible, likeable and sincere. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy a mystery slash romance involving mannequins?

The metaphors are, of course, open for interpretation and can mean what ever the reader needs them to, which makes them universally relatable.

Both ideas are fresh, interesting and original.

This is my time to sign off and pass the torch over to a few more stellar stars…again Lesley, thanks so much for the support.

Dex Raven:

Dex writes dark fantasy and horror, when his muse, Violet, cooperates. When she doesn’t, he still attempts to write with varying results. He has a thing for classic monster legends, Egyptian and Nordic mythology, coffee, sarcasm and words that end in “esque”. He is currently working on two books: a fiction/non-fiction mash-up and his first novel.

You will find his fiction as well as his thoughts on the writing process on his primary blog, Dex*Raven

Dex’s (other) links:

LIVE LIKE A GROWNUP

Dex on facebook

Dex on Twitter

Gabriel Lucatero:

My name is Gabriel Lucatero, an aspiring writer. Although Spanish is my first language, everything I write is in English. I don’t really know why I chose to do it that way, but I did it. I’ve studied the language for over 8 years and have written short stories (and a novel in progress) for the last 4 years. I like to write horror with a little bit of mystery thrown in. It was just recently, last October 2012 to be exact, that I decided to show my work to the world. “How else will you ever get published, duh!” I said to myself when I realized that my work couldn’t ever be read if it was in a dusty old drawer.

Gabriel’s Links:

Gabriel’s Blog

Twitter

Gabriel’s Motivational facebook Page

Jennifer Findlay:

I’m just a mom on a mission to spread pearls of wisdom and random photos from her couch, with coffee in hand. I’m an artist at heart with a passion for photography and painting (which I don’t do nearly enough).

I detest doing laundry, especially ironing, and I loathe cleaning out my counter compost bins. I think there’s a mouse in our crawl space, and I’m hoarding a stack of old Weight Watcher’s books that I got every time I joined. Just keepin’ it real.

My favourite time of day is right after I drop off the kids at school, and I have an hour to myself just to sit with my dogs, coffee and computer, while I live vicariously through blogs, Facebook and Pinterest. People are just so damn fascinating.

Jennifer’s Links:

Coffee & Couch on WordPress

Coffee & Couch on facebook

Coffee & Couch on Pinterest

Coffee & Couch on Twitter

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I thought I saw you.

Reflecting in a clear glass window. Plummeting a midst a thousand drops of rain. Whispering woes beneath a wavy, weeping willow.

Yes, you were there.

In the scorch of a sun and the pale of a moon. In the cool curl of a surf pitched too soon. In the sting of the sheets that scratch my fire-singed skin. And deep inside my sorrowful dreams.

I thought I saw you.

Inhaling the steam from a pot of simmering souls. Gulping the wine from a goblet made of tolls. Thieving existence from treasure troves. Wrenching my love when you thought it was exposed.

Yes, you were there.

Aching at the feet of those you’ve wronged. Riddled with regret and pained by loss. Wishing away what refuses to be gone. Teasing the hearts of those who’ve longed.

I thought I saw you once.

But I never really saw you at all.

Veiled Statue 2

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You’ve been scrubbing your teeth, swilling the swash and downing the whiskey and water in an attempt to rid the aftertaste of my defeat from the back of your tongue. Like me, one click and you were sunk; immersed in the deep of my abyss.

Swamped.

I feel guilt. I gave no warning. I offered no escape.

Today is a new day. I found a ladder. Grab a rung. We’ll raise a glass at the top.

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