Monday, September 29, 2014

unexpected inspiration

I had the sweetest idea for a nibble-sized story, so I've been working on it. The rough draft is done and now I just have to figure out the title. It's a little bit Halloween-themed, so I should have it posted up sometime in the next few weeks. Just a little fun. If I can figure out a title!

the long gaze toward the trees

Another photo from my drive this past weekend. One of the vendors sold handmade wooden benches. They're very rustic. I bet sitting on one while eating an ice cream (or drinking a coffee if it were chilly) while staring out at a vista of colorful foliage would be very restful.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

more autumn sights

I have a nice drive through some scenic areas yesterday and took some photos. There was an apple festival happening and I stopped to see what was interesting. One of the stands was selling mums, so I could a lovely photo of a giant cluster of lush mums. And then off to the side, in a swampy area, there were some cattails, which I also photographed. Here's to a great hooray of a weekend!

Friday, September 26, 2014

autumn is creeping up on us

The trees are changing color. I see splashes of red and orange among the darkening greens. Yellow is curling into all the leaves as they fall and blow all over the sidewalks. The season is definitely changing.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mums the word

With the weather changing, so do the plants. Now is the time that the mums come out. I don't think of them as especially beautiful, but they really are. They are hardy and earthy, not fragile, but very sturdy flowers. And they come in more colors than ever.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Miss pell tells you how to spell, not misspell

My spelling isn't fantastic. I'm pretty good, most of the time. I definitely know I have a few words that I always have to double check. (Sandwich. I always seem to want to put an extra "h" in there. Sandwhich??)

So, I appreciate these helpful, though antagonistic, comic reminders of how to get my spelling mojo on.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

autumn has fallen, goldenrod alights

And my condolences to those who have goldenrod allergies.

It is a weed, but in a meadow, all clustered together, it is a beautiful weed.

in a coffee shop, just like a writer

Through a series of events and commitments (doctor appointment, terrible traffic, and a dinner date later) I can't quite make it home, so I have sought temporary refuge in a coffee shop with wifi.

I have a large coffee, and have splurged on a raisin cinnamon bagel, and I'm sitting at a table with my laptop. I have an unexpected half hour of free time.

I feel like all those writers from countless tales and movies. I feel like I should be writing something dissonant.

Instead, I will blog and check e-mails and relax. Dissonance would additionally require a beret, which I don't have.

Monday, September 22, 2014

and the submissions are in!

I emerged victorious over my editing yesterday, and I spent some time to also develop the summaries and e-mails that go along with submitting things. The rest of this week is going to be very busy for me and I was not assured that I'd have time for any more editing. I was concerned that I might not even have proper computer time, so I felt that I wanted to get my submissions in now, even though there's still about a week left before the deadlines.

It would have been rough if I had stories all ready to go and just missed out on submitting them because of other obligations and no computer time. So, I make that satisfied hand-slapping together noise that signifies a job well finished, and I am going to breathe a sigh of relief.

This is actually quite good. I've written somewhere around 10k words this past month, and most of it in the last two weeks, for two separate stories, and that is quite enough for me! I need some writing down time.

Now I am off to bed, and for once, it might actually be on time!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

color scheme coming back around again

I'm not entirely sure what it is lately, but as I'm writing stories and filling in details, I seem to be lured back to the concept of pink.

How Sweetly the Whippoorwill Sings was *full* of pink. (See icon for the full pink effect!) And now my latest horror story has had some substantial pink creep into it. Of course, being horror, you know it is not for the same reason as Whippoorwill. Pink definitely has a lot of meaning.

these two things are not the same....

Editing. These two things are not the same:

Jack held out his left arm, fish clenched.....

Jack held out his left arm, fist clenched....

**keeps typing**

today is for editing!

Today: I edit!

I've got two short stories that need some serious editing and today is the day. Of course, yesterday was supposed to be the nicer of the two days and I wake up today to bright sunshine and warm temperatures, so I am a bit miffed about that. It is supposed to rain later, though.

In addition, today is also for eating. I already had pork and sauerkraut is the slow cooker. Also planned for today: apple pie with the last of the apples picked two weekends ago and tomato soup with tomatoes from the garden. I've never made the fresh tomato soup before, so my fingers are crossed that will come out all right. Luckily, the basil is still doing well (even with these recently cold temps) so the soup should be well flavored.

Then: editing!

I have to do all that editing....

Saturday, September 20, 2014

the harvest is thinning

With the cold weather we're having, the garden has been covered with sheets for a few nights, and I'm plucking as much as is ready. I think this weekend might be the end, although today should be warm, so I'm hoping for some last minute on-the-vine ripening.

Here's a photo of the small batch of cherry tomatoes and ground cherries that were picked.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

paperback sale at Dreamspinner

A quick sales-pitch word for anyone interested -- Dreamspinner is doing a promotion with 35% off paperbacks. Good until Sunday!

Almost everything I have is an e-book, but I actually do have one short story in an anthology that is in paperback. (My first ever, I cherish it!) Snow on the Roof

first draft done! and the intriguing implications of a bi-literate brain

I ended up rewriting the entire last third part after much thinking and while I am satisfied, I still think it needs a hearty scrub-a-dub to get out the bossy bits. ;)

So, I've got two rough drafts to smooth out before the end of the month -- a nice weekend project, I hope. They would both benefit from sitting for a day or two. And I have a very short rough draft of an extra that I worked on last weekend as a freebie for How Sweetly the Whippoorwill Sings. (Pretty sweet, huh?)

I also had a mysterious mark on my To Do List that said "September 16th Due Date" and I can't remember why I wrote that down. Did I miss a deadline? I can't remember! I hope it was not something really, really important but I don't know. :/


In other news, I heard a most intriguing news piece on the radio today:

Apparently reading on a screen and reading on paper are *not* processed the same way within your brain. They are working on what that means for us.

What do you read on? Paper? Screen?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

things I love: wool socks

The heat was off at work today and it was uncomfortably cold. I was very glad I had on wool socks today.

Monday, September 15, 2014

you know what's freaky? writing. writing is freaky.

I've been creepily humming along on my creepy story. Up to 3k+ on it.

I'm always amazed (and creeped out) by the ways things change as you write.

When I first started: Oh, that's an *awful* concept. i can't sleep unless I write some of it. One pov, okay, I can do this.

The next morning: two povs, seriously, and a twist, and ewwww, the concept got creepier.

Today, day three: right, so, third pov, they aren't all going to die.... Is there going to be actual romance here, or just me feeling like ants are crawling under my skin? Right then. On with the rescue!

How is it writing something can change so quickly as it goes and your brain makes all these freak connections, and the next thing you know, you have more characters, you've trimmed out a side-line bit, and your focus is suddenly on something different? (Yet still creepy. The basic concept makes it so.)

Even freakier? Three days ago, this story didn't exist.

I think a goose just walked over my grave. *shivers*

Rec: "Our Secret Weakness" by Suki Fleet

I'm so glad Suki Fleet posted this link. Her story "Our Secret Weakness" is just a gorgeous little gem. The language in it is so delicate, it's like tissue paper kites in the seaside wind. And that's sort of how I feel when I read that story, light and airy and sadly beautiful. Go read it, it's free!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

sometimes I creep myself out

I was all set to snuggle into bed last night (coughing and hacking as the cold is still in residence) but my brain had other ideas.

I'd finished up two writing projects and each need to sit for a good while before I can return to them with a fresh eye and I'd been perusing submission calls, nothing coming to mind. And then, BAM, creepy horror story!

I considered trying to sleep anyway, but awful, creepy plotting thoughts would *not* abate.

So I stay up late typing away (1500 words) just so i can stop thinking about creepy things and finally call it quits. So, of course, I wake up too early this morning, and the brain (she's the boss, really) says, oh, yeah, and I forgot to mention, here's the *twist*.

I staggered to the left, I stumbled to the right...but I made it back to my computer. And now I'm another 800 words to the good.

I write very linearly, even if I know what comes next, and I'm now at a pivotal point where things get *action-packed*. So I'm taking a break.

I hear food is a good idea if you want to keep yourself functioning. Any truth to the rumors? ;)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Review: In the Doghouse by Chris Quinton

I wanted to give a solid shout out to Chris today. She's been my friend and mentor for a number of years and I've been super lucky to have her cheering me on not just because she's a fantastic person and wonderful friend but because she's a creative, amazing writer and author.

So, today, I'd like to take a moment to talk about her recent story "In the Doghouse", which came out as part of the Dreamspinner Press' Not Quite Shakespeare Anthology.

"In the Doghouse" is the adventure of Jerry Thorne trying to keep a beloved racing greyhound out of unkind, nefarious hands while hiding out in the only safe place he can find—that of a friend and longtime crush, Mike Brown.

Of Chris' many talents, perhaps the one I most admire (and yes, covet!) is her ability to write sharp, brilliant dialogue. When the characters speak, you really hear them in your head, and their words are vibrant and descriptive. "In the Doghouse" is written in the first person, which plays to Chris' strength because it is basically the main protagonist bringing the reader along on an adventure. You read everything through Jerry Thorne's perspective, with all the missteps and emotions that make up his history. When he doubts, you know why, and when he grows bold, you urge him on.

It's a short story, but it is densely packed with adventure and drama, a villain that makes you want to hiss and boo, and emotions that swing the gamut to end at a satisfying conclusion. Along the way, Chris hits that sweet spot for romantic erotica, with that perfect blend of emotion and grit.

Not to be forgotten, of course, the story features a swift and soft-eared greyhound named Spot. I'm a soft-touch for dog stories, and it is obvious Chris knows her details when it comes to the characterization of dogs. Spot is adorable and very real, and I want to take him home with me.

oh, that was a pleasant surprise!

Still staying home today with a cold. (I was supposed to travel to see family, but I didn't want to bring them my company *and* my germs.) So, I'm now sitting on my couch with a quilt over my lap, a cup of tea at my side, and my laptop. I'm going to try and edit today. Writing might be a bit much (it really is a quiet activity that requires a lot of stamina and concentration and effort), but I think I can manage some editing.

It is a bit cool here today, so I've got my little electric heater going just to take the edge off, and I went to retrieve a hat (white, knit, with a darling pom-pom at the top) and a pair of knitted fingerless gloves. Well, I had stored them with one of those neck wraps that you can put in the microwave for soothing muscles, and mine is full of flax and lavender. And now my hat and knitted gloves also smell divinely of lavender and flax. It is *wonderful*.

Sometimes it really is the smallest of things that can make you happy.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Rainbow Book Reviews: Nuts, Bolts, and Chihuahuas

I was surprised to find my short story from the Dawg Days Anthology had gotten a review! And it is a very nice review.

Go and read for yourselves!

Steampunk Friday (and I still have a cold)

The cold is still hanging onto me with cursedly strong fingers. But on the good side, today at Love Romances Cafe, it is being celebrated as Steampunk Friday.

Although I haven't tried to write any yet, I do quite like the whole Steampunk genre. The melding of fashion, form, and function into this particular style is fascinating and quite beautiful.

Here are two photos I've taken that seem quite steampunk-ish to me. Inspiration for others, perhaps?

Some baggage, which makes me think of all the traveling done in Steampunk stories. And an astronomical gizmo.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

caught a cold; slept aaaalllll day

It's been a rough week. I caught a cold earlier in the week and fought it, but today it took me down. I've been sleeping all day. It is funny, because I'm home for once instead of rushing about, but I'm home for a reason. So, even though it seems like I could sit down and write, I haven't the energy for it. I had plans for so many posts...I will try to get to them later this week/weekend.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

back to writing

I got just over 1k words done today! But I got up to the hard part -- *ahem* -- yes, the sex scene. More than one way to be difficult, eh? ;)

Going to take a break and hope I can come back to it later. (Oh...the puns...they just show up...must be in the mindset....)

And, anyway, on another matter, keep your fingers crossed for me, I took a chance and submitted a het story for an anthology. I know, het, right? Bizarre! But sometimes there is inspiration enough to spare. Though m/m is my bread and butter, and my knife and jam, and my basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella.

Hmm. I might be hungry.

more book mash poetry

Apparently I'm becoming some kind of guerrilla photographer of random book mashes in other people's spaces. Again, this one isn't mine, but I came across it stacked randomly on a coffee table when I was visiting. Paris. 50 Games to Play With Your Cat. The New Feminist Agenda. Personal Finance for Dummies Good Things.
I think it is that last line that makes it. All summed up. Good things, good things.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

unicorn bell interview

I meant to post this link a while ago and as usual I'm swimming in a multitude of tasks! (My home needs a good organizing. I was thinking tonight as I ate supper that the things within it had been swirled around during my comings and goings and coming-back-agains.)

Unicorn Bell did a series of posts of different authors answering the same questions. Here are mine!

There are so many interesting answers to the questions. I know it is true, that each of us come to writing from a different perspective, but it is very apparent even in the simplest of questions how similar and different views can be.

And the whole blog is worth perusing. Very interesting stuff there!

Monday, September 1, 2014

book mash poetry

I heard about doing this on the radio. Go scan your bookshelf. Books in order will become apparent in some kind of poetry. I did a quick view of the nearest bookshelf (not my own -- that'll wait until I return home) and came up with this:

Explosive eighteen. Death benefit. What to eat now?

A little gruesome, but entertaining!