Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Submitted! (Halloween story)

The scariest of days arrived--the day of submitting!

I've been working on a Halloween story for submission, and this week it finally got shaped up, and now it is shipped out!

This is the one where I was mulling over the whole schematic theme of temptation, and I spent a lot of time brainstorming how to work with the initial core idea to reshape it so that I could write about something slightly different. I think it came out very well.  Interestingly enough, the original idea, though a bit on the steamy side (that's good) would not have had the character depth (that's not so good) that the story ended up having.  In fact, as I've been working on this story, I was pleased to have several little things to put in the story that could mean sequels -- or at least a follow up novella-type thing where I could more fully explore some of the juicy stuff I just hint at.  I was already just about at the length limit for the submission, so for once, as is not usual with me, I was full up!

This story itself is really more just dashing adventure, with adrenaline-fueled kisses, and a common(ish) nightmare creature, which must always be amped-up into an even *scarier* creature.  So I did that, too.

*fingers crossed* that it reads well, otherwise, I'll be back to the editing draft!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

last minute editing

Late night at regular work, but I'm home and making some last minute edits, as well as drafting up my submission letter.

In some ways, the letter is harder than the story!  You *know* that someone else is going to read that, and it is critical! Every time I draft a letter, I have a very distinct memory of being in grade school with a pencil and the old-style paper they used to have us use, and very carefully working off a letter template.  I learned all my letter writing skills in 3rd grade! 

My intention is to have everything done, give it a once over tomorrow, and submit. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

2nd rough draft done

I did a big edit late last night on my Halloween short story and I'm much happier with it now.  Hurray for editing!  It still needs some more spit and polish, but it can wait one more night, and then get its last scrub.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Victory with the rice cooker!

I found I had misplaced the directions for the rice cooker, but lo, the internet has many gifts to give, and one of them is instructions.  So, I learned the proper ratio of rice to water, and attempted to cook.

Success! (Just in case anyone was concerned for my safety.)  The rice came out perfectly. 

I may need to use this device more often.

I fear the rice cooker

So, I need to cook some rice.

And I was given a rice cooker as a present a while ago.

Usually I just cook rice in a pot on the stove -- with a very fine colander, you can cook it just like pasta, and you don't have to worry about matching up amounts of rice and water.

But I really do want to be able to use this fantastic rice cooker device.  It will mean I won't have to heat up the kitchen with a boiling pot of water, and should give me really delicious rice.

I can use other appliances just fine: crock pot, blender, toaster, immersion blender, food processor. But there is *something* about the rice cooker that is just very intimidating!

Wish me luck!

Friday, July 26, 2013 good

I had a plan.  I was going to go for a bike ride, hit the grocery store, and spend some time at the library, writing and finishing up my story.


My couch called its siren song to me.  I said, I can take a 20 minute nap and then do those things.

But the couch is more like a quicksand swamp, and I slumbered in its embrace. But it was so, so good.   

I will just have to be extra productive tomorrow!

Sometimes you just have to allow yourself to enjoy the nap.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

oh boy, edits!

It's going to be a busy weekend.  I've got edits to do on my charity story *and* I need to figure out how to write the gosh-darned ending to the Halloween story I've been sweating over.  I know how it is supposed to end, but the words to take through the maze of actions keep eluding me.  Like a not-so-funny game of catch-me-if-you-can.  I'm even considering writing the ending out in *long-hand*. I've heard that changing how you write can access areas of the brain differently. 

I've been a keyboard writer pretty much from almost the beginning (once I got a computer in my room and could type in private instead of in the shared space in the middle of the living room). It is odd to contemplate how words might feel coming out long-hand instead of the easy flow of typing.  Not to mention that I can actually touch-type, and don't have to hen-peck at the keys with two fingers. The connection there is almost instantaneous, seriously. Plus, there's also the very serious matter to decide upon: printing or cursive.  Printing will be legible later on, but cursive is faster.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

writing spot

My library stays open late a few nights of the week, and I thought I'd try going there to write and see if the ambiance agreed with me.

Arriving only to find you have the wrong day of the week and the library is closed is very, very sad indeed.

I ended up getting a chunk of story done anyway, but it was with the same old writing spot as ever.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Apparently I have a zillion things to do other than write.  I'm at a pivotal moment in the current draft and instead of being bold and plunging forward--which means that instead of the filmy, insubstantial mist of an idea of how the story goes in my brain, it would become written in stone.  (Editing...I know...but somehow it feels different.)  So instead of taking the bold step of actually getting past the high adventure/drama spot, I am: jogging, biking, eating, playing, fishing, napping, shopping, walking, showering, eating (again), visiting, clearing off the table, doing dishes, doing laundry, looking for old documents, eating (once more), and showering and going to bed.  I'm too tired to write.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

critical mass of tomatoes

Each summer I plant more and more tomatoes, with the hopes I will reach some indefinable limit where I have enough for myself and can start to give them away to friends.  After all, what would be better than being handed fresh, summer-warm garden tomatoes?  But I just can't!  I never seem to have enough, and want to eat them all myself!

Of course, I've had a few set-backs.  Moles (or voles, how does one know?) seem to eat them, there's blight, and rust, and weeds.  Drought, and green, squatty worms.  Beetles of an awful sort.

I'm eagerly awaiting the tomatoes.  Right now they are all green, with the slightest hint of blush, the promise of orange and red.  And there will never be *enough*.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

caught in the rain

I went out for a very nice walk--well, mostly nice, a very nasty fly followed me for a good long time.  I must have looked a bit silly as I kept wiping the top of my head with a hand to send the fly away.  It'd just buzz off and then come right back to the top of my head.  But, almost done with my walk, it started to rain, and then that fly was no where to be found.  Where do they hide?  I finished my walk, quite drenched, but fly free. 

Tonight, hopefully, I'll get to writing.  I'm working on a Halloween story.  It's rather less spooky than just a tad frightening, though.  Those two are close cousins, but there is a distinction.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


I just watched the documentary First Position last night, which followed several different young people as they competed in solo ballet at the Grand Prix ballet competition, an opportunity to be noticed and to get scholarships or even possibly hired into a company.  I am just so amazed by the dedication that these young athletes had.  You get into their heads a little bit by watching the documentary, and wonder, could I have done that if I had a passion?

Then, I needed to get up early to go walking with a friend, and I almost canceled because it was early and I was tired...and I think the distinction must be the passion.  (Or I'm just not that passionate about walking.) It's amazing that there are people out there with that much energy and dedication, to push past the boundaries not just of their bodies but of their own personal willpower.

a blank page

I do a lot of plotting in my head, and I get all excited about the characters and the ideas and the concepts, and the little bits and bobs, where I think, oh, yes, I should put that in there.  So how come when I am faced with a blank page, that I end up looking at it blankly?  There should be some easy way to download thoughts to the screen!  Snap, snap, engineers! Get crackin'.   (Of course, that's a whole genre of futuristic horror stories, right there!) Ha!

Thursday, July 11, 2013


I went to a gathering this evening (something like the Tupperware parties, but this was for jewelry) and had a lot of fun.  And the food was divine!  Fresh strawberries with real, fresh whipped cream.  Tiramisu. Three types of cheese, crackers, and really fresh red grapes that just about burst in your mouth when you bit down on them. A chocolate cake that was super gooey and amazing. It was all really decadent, but I enjoyed it. 

Of course, being a writer, and it being a party, I had one ear open to listen to the cadence of how everyone spoke to each other!  Writing research never stops.  Not even for the gooiest of chocolatey cakes.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

one for a story

Life is full of experiences that get tucked away for a story somewhere, and today was one!  I was swimming at the local swimming hole, and had my head in the water coming back toward shore, when I look up to see a dog about to jump on my head! He looked like a very nice dog (let me be clear, I love pups), but they do tend to have sharp nails when they swim, it really is a doggie paddle. I do have to laugh at myself -- my words of outrage were like this: "Oh, hello! Oh, hi!" to the dog. The owner called the dog back (dogs can swim a bit further up the way, but aren't supposed to be in the people area) and gave a swift "sorry about that" and they were gone.  The dog did catch me along the back of one hand and I have a little bit of a scratch-welt there, but it isn't too bad.  It'll be gone in a day or two. I was quite worried he'd scratch me more severely, but I was able to push back a little, and actually sort of provided a platform for his front paws and held him up in the water, so he wasn't actually paddling into me. But I did think, if I wasn't me, if I was older or younger or less skilled of a swimmer, it could have been a much worse confrontation.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

story accepted!

My short charity story was accepted! *dances and twirls*

So, now I'm off to go swimming, and then nose to the grindstone, and maybe some writing time tonight!

Monday, July 1, 2013

pondering the next project

The next story I am thinking of starting would be a Halloween one -- and I am having some good brainstorming ideas, but they all seem to be variations of the same theme.  Temptation.  There'd be a different ending, and a different avenue to get to the ending, but yet, the theme would be very similar to other recent stories.  I realize that writing can go in cycles, and I must be stuck in this same thought process, but how do I get out?  I think up some good ideas, and when I examine the concept, turn it over and over and tease out the core of it, I find it to be too similar. 

I need to figure out a way to switch over into another theme, something with a different flavor to it. So, the brainstorming goes on. And on.