Week 45 2016 Furry Friends

So we are in the home stretch of 2016 which will be known as “The Year That Shall Not Be Named”  The best way to keep everything in perspective is our pets, the best of friends. Obviously. All decent people can unite around our precious furry friends. They never care who you love, who you vote for, or what you look like. They even forgive us our deplorable lack of fur. And they think everything we say is wonderful and important.

img_0186I emerge from a weekend of writing feeling hopeful. I did not much add to my word count, but I finally knocked my internal editor out until such time as December 1st emerges.  I think I will get this draft knocked out during NaNoWriMo. It will be rough but I have it on authority that December and January are excellent for editing. Take care everyone. Soldier on.

Week 44 2016 Wake Me When Apocalypse is Over

So I got 10,000 words and some change in first 5 days of NaNo- well short of what I had hoped. Now I am back at work and up against a day of false choices- certain death or big ass danger.  I just want to drown in my WIP.

Friday my pug was attacked by a Pit Bull on the beach. The attacking dog was off leash and attached unprovoked. Frankie did not even fight back- she didn’t know how. Thank God for her big thick collar and leash. I managed to throw the attacking dog away from her, and snatch my dog from dire injury.  Frankie will recover well – just a bite but boy did it scare me and distract me. The place I have loved most lost some of its magic. Monsters are everywhere – even in dog shape. 

How do you block out the world when writing? My usual methods, candles, music, and darkness aren’t getting it done. Perhaps, by next week I can go back to ignoring the world. Although, I might move for a better view. I hear Scotland is nice, cold, wet, and green with plenty of whiskey and tea for a writer. Ah well, on we go. 

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 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 33 2016 – Turtle

BoxTurtleI am in full writing mode these days so it is hard to break for these posts. I am absorbed in my new book so much that I must set two alarms to remind me when it is a weekday and when I must attend my day job. My pug is forced to listen to me tell her the tales I am recording. I have fallen so deeply into my new book that I am scarcely aware of the world around me, so much so that this week when walking Frankie, we were nearly devoured by a giant turtle.

Yes, I know the turtle would not really eat us, but it was huge and what the hell was it doing there on our path? The place I walk Frankie at twilight runs along a ridge, quite a steep climb up from a creek. I suppose that is where the turtle came from. It was just sitting there right on the path making its slow trudge to wherever, mouth open probably more to breathe than to take a bite out of my pug.

IMG_0440We scurried away from the creature, all the while my childhood yelled at me. Had a been a kid, I would have picked up the beast and carried it home with me, created a little sanctuary for it to the chagrin of my mother who at times thought I was playing the part of Noah and preparing for the next flood. Once I had a been a true child of nature. Now I am a slave to mortality, a freak of what time has made me.

Frankie and I returned home from our walk, me feeling that awful twinge that sometimes haunts me. Time is passing. It matters. I am no immortal. Frankie curled up in her customary place, her bed by my writing desk and dreamed as I wrote. The next night the turtle was gone.

Week 32 2016 Love and Rubbish on the High Seas

I am the least romantic person on the planet. My boys complain at my lack of finesse while simultaneously claiming romance is for books and not the lives of wild and free adventurers like themselves. 

“We’re pirates!” They say. “We got us some passion, and this tripe is how you record it?”

First, they are young men with a boat. Not pirates. Well, not really. That will come in time. Maybe.

Part of my problem is that I get seasick,and we’ve been in choppy waters all week with a crew of fairly novice sailors. 

 I am green about the gills and so Emmett and Cappy’s seductions are of limited concern at the moment. And Emmett is not going for my girl, damn that boy. He’s going to ruin everything.  I wish Emmett’s twin sister, Lucie were here. She’d set him straight, but she’s clear on the other side of the world. And Kidd, he’s just laughing at both his friends. 

Emmett is so angry. He doesn’t say it, but he’s angry at his father. He isn’t thinking beyond his anger and those dang hormones. He’ll regret that in time, but talking to him is like talking to a wall. His father has loved one woman his whole life. That it wasn’t Emmett’s mother is sad, but should not have earned such wrath. Phineas Tunvel is a good man. I hope Emmett sees it one day and abandons this self-destructive path he’s on. That little vixen that tempts him so will be nothing but trouble. 

Ah well, I will sort it in the end, but I am considering reading a bit of romance to help me out. I probably have a fever. I never read romance. Suggestions?