Week 42 2016 Gearing up for #NaNoWriMo and Halloween 

So I made it one chapter through the workshop and had a mental breakdown and decided to give #NanoWriMo aka National Novel Writing Month a go. 

So I am heading to the beach for Halloween and first week of November to immerse myself in trying to complete a first draft of my book in a single month. 

A win is considered 50,000 words.  I will need more in the neighborhood of 100-125k to accomplish a serviceable draft. Putting my inner editor on hiatus will be a challenge, but I need the discipline. The old adage is you have a lifetime to complete your first publishable book, and only a year for every subsequent book. Well, that seems pretty standard for the authors who stay published for many books after their debut. So I hope this helps.

If you are doing NaNo, you can find me under E.M. Goldsmith. We can be buddies if you like. 

Week 39-41 2016 – Workshop Time

It is the part of my writing process where I put my current book through a vigorous writing workshop so the blog will be on hiatus until such time as I am done. Frankie will let you know what is happening in the world as she sees it. At the moment, she sees naptime as this week’s great event.


Given my exhaustion, the slow pace of revisions, work load, floods, and the havoc my demons are causing, I think the blog will be hovering at this same place for a few more weeks. Then we will come back up for air and see if there is anything new under the stars.

Week 38 2016 Green Tea & Demon

img_0110So there I was picking through World Market for candles, teas, and coffees. I had a solid plan for a long weekend of writing and plotting and such. I toyed with the idea of taking the show on the road and heading up to the mountains, but my pug poo-poo’d the idea. Hiking might be involved, she said. Having almost been eaten by both a box turtle and fox recently and close to our abode, she did not want to add almost eaten by a bear to her adventures.

Also, in truth, I thought I might be more distracted by the mountains than the life that buzzes around my house. So I got just the right candle “Green Tea and Demon” – I am hoping demon is some kind of French flower and not the essence of malignant divinity. I decided either way, I would be in good shape. After all my WIP involves demons, but as it turns out, the demons in my book don’t smell near as fine as my new candle.

I have so far managed to get a lot done and still another day and a half of writing remains. I entered a writing contest (flash fiction) just because it’s good practice. I did about 3000 words on my WIP, a few thousand words worth of research and backstory (nothing a reader will see but helps me write the meat), and this blog post.  My WIP, at long last, has a title, one that I like. My new book will be called The First Idyll until such time as a publisher or one of my demons convinces me otherwise.

yourbookyourbrandI feel so confident about this book that I went on and purchased Your Book, Your Brand by Dana Kaye for when I finally secure my amazing, not-to-be messed with agent and  soon after, land a publishing contract. Stop laughing. It could happen.

Your Book, Your Brand comes at the recommendation of literary super-agent and attack shark, Janet Reid’s Blog. Writers, you guys read this every day, right? It’s fine if you don’t because then, well, less competition for me.

dixiedupreeSpeaking of super sleek writers, it is almost October and there is a great book coming on Oct 25th by one of the Reef’s finest. Donna Everhart has penned The Education of Dixie Dupree  which has been selected as an Indie Next, a very big deal.

If you already know me, like in real life and see me pretty often, you’re getting this book for Christmas. Surprise. Otherwise, go pick it up. Looks like it will be a doozy of a read, one that is sure to sing like Harper Lee or Flannery O’Connor in tone with the masterful voice of Donna Everhart. I know of which I write. Donna hangs out at the Reef, and the stuff she writes, I mean to tell you. This woman can spin a yarn.

Until next week – provided the angels see fit to keep me from being devoured by the demons that haunt me.


Week 37 2016 – Summer’s End

autumnskyA specter of summer looms about though the children have started back to school, the sun is disappearing a bit earlier, and now Frankie and I only walk in the dark. The autumn is my favorite season. Something about the fresh crisp and darkening days of harvest and turning leaves and the way the old year dies has always spurred the life inside me.

There is nothing more glorious than a full moon in the first chill of autumn when the snakes all go to ground, the last battle with the summer biting bugs is won, and the burn of the sun lingers in strength. It is also the time when my creative juices flow at full capacity. Yes, I am pleased the summer is at its end.

For me, life exists somewhere between biting cold and stifling heat, long bright and short dark days, reality and fantasy, good and evil, kindness and cruelty, and living and dying. In the shadows is where I am found because it is there all great stories bellow and yearn to be told. There is no drama in places of pure light or utter darkness. Only when one opposes the other and creates the shadows where we all must dwell is there a tale worth telling, worth reading, worth heeding.

Week 36 2016 – 15 Years Ago

Alan Jackson will be taking over today, September 11, 2016. Damn, it still hurts.
 “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?”

911_planeWhere were you when the world stopped turnin’
That September day?
Out in the yard with your wife and children
Or workin’ on some stage in L.A.?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin’ against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor,
Or did you just sit down and cry?

9-11_flagfireDid you weep for the children, they lost their dear loved ones,
Pray for the ones who don’t know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below?
Did you burst out in pride for the red, white, and blue
And heroes who died just doin’ what they do?
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters?
911towersI’m just a singer of simple songs.
I’m not a real political man.
I watch CNN, but I’m not sure I can tell you
The diff’rence in Iraq and Iran.
But I know Jesus and I talk to God,
And I remember this from when I was young:
Faith, hope, and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love.
beingtold911Where were you when the world stopped turnin’
That September day?
Teachin’ a class full of innocent children
Or drivin’ on some cold interstate?
Did you feel guilty ’cause you’re a survivor?
In a crowded room did you feel alone?
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her?
911pentagonDid you dust off that Bible at home?
Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened,
Close your eyes and not go to sleep?
Did you notice the sunset for the first time in ages
And speak to some stranger on the street?
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow,
Go out and buy you a gun?
Did you turn off that violent old movie you’re watchin’
And turn on “”I Love Lucy”” reruns?
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some stranger,
Stand in line to give your own blood?
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your fam’ly,
Thank God you had somebody to love?
I’m just a singer of simple songs.
I’m not a real political man.
I watch CNN, but I’m not sure I can tell you
The diff’rence in Iraq and Iran.
But I know Jesus and I talk to God,
And I remember this from when I was young:
Faith, hope, and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love.
911newyorkafterI’m just a singer of simple songs.
I’m not a real political man.
I watch CNN, but I’m not sure I can tell you
The diff’rence in Iraq and Iran.
But I know Jesus and I talk to God,
And I remember this from when I was young:
Faith, hope, and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love.
And the greatest is love,
And the greatest is love.
Where were you when the world stopped turnin’
That September day?


Week 35 2016 Georgia Tech Beats Boston College

TechBeatsBCOk, so I was pulled out of my current WIP (work in progress) to see that college football has returned. May the Lord have mercy on my soul. For some reason, it was decided this year’s season should start in the UK. My parents are in Ireland because heaven forbid my father ever miss a Georgia Tech game. My grandfather played football for Georgia Tech. My family has had season tickets since Jesus was a boy.  Tech won and my parents are having a good time. So I can return to ignoring life on this planet. Almost.

NemoSharkJanet Reid, attack shark and agent extraordinaire, Queen of the Known Universe, has returned from her August hiatus with her wisdom for writers. She is now swimming around New Leaf Literary, whipping the young agents there into shape or maybe making them get her Scotch and cake. I’m not sure. The details aren’t clear.

Anyhow, I need my queen’s blog much the way an addict needs their heroin. Did you know there are meds you should not mix with heroin? There was an article going around the school district I work at this week. Although I’m pretty sure you probably shouldn’t mix breathing with heroin if you wish to keep breathing.

My real world friends do not understand me at all. The Reiders at the Reef keep me focused. I love them all. I am horrible about telling them how much they inspire me and help me keep going. My rapid descent into madness (inevitable for all writers) is entirely their fault. How I adore them all, and one by one they will all appear in my books so that they can die spectacularly. Or maybe live forever.

Perhaps, only other writers can understand this process that turns your life’s priorities into something that might lead to your own death quite as readily as a badly mixed speed ball. (I read too damn much Irvine Welsh).  Damn be all this eating, sleeping, bathing, and all else when you just need to get it all written down.

My daughter is so worried about my obsession over my current WIP that she and her friends dragged me out to a concert on Thursday night. Do not worry. I was not thwarted. I have figured out how to write on my phone. Until the battery died. How my daughter laughed at me while using stealth to ply me with copious amounts of damned good beer. I did enjoy myself, I think, but after my daughter dumped me in an Uber and sent me home well past midnight, I spent another two hours writing.

IMG_0581It seems after a whole lot of beers, adequately performed live music (a Fleetwood Mac cover band of all things), some dancing to the point that I pulled every muscle in my sad excuse for a flesh sack, I can write some pretty damn alarming and downright erotic scenes.  Who ever said dino-porn was dead? However, there was a price to be paid the next day. Let’s just say the dog had to walk me.

I am not so young that I can recover quickly from that much sleep deprivation and debauchery. I wish I could find a way around that because I really do my best stuff after 1 AM and I am due at my dread day job at 7 AM most weekdays.  My nemesis and savior both reside between 1 AM and 7 AM. Ah well, life goes on as does this untitled could be a masterwork, could be masturbation piece that I am working on. I head into a brutal but usually fair writer’s workshop starting tomorrow. I anticipate an awful big needle bursting my over-inflated bubble. But hey, it’s part of the process.

Week 34 2016 – Distractions

I do not know about other writers, but for me, the most difficult thing about writing a new book is the distractions of life, having to eat, drink, sleep, work, socialize. If only I could manage without all those things hindering my progress, I might already have a functional draft. I tried to set my minions to taking care of some of these menial life tasks, but they only took my coffee cup hostage. So I’ll be spending another week in obscurity.