"Always bear in mind, that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing"
-Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Signs of Sarcasm

Today has been a busy day.
I started the morning editing a paper for my daughter's's college English class.  It was left open on my computer so I couldn't help myself.  I hope she is receptive! (secretly I rather enjoyed it)

After that, I worked on my book for awhile.  Currently, my word total resides at 47,734 words.  The words flowed free this morning, unencumbered by any chores that needed to be done.  I was free for the day.  As the story begins to wind down to the end it picks up in pace and intensity.  I find the words coming faster than I can type them.  I should hope for this type of writing forever!

I perused facebook for a spell and came across some funny things I thought I would share.  I am a huge fan of sarcasm and wittiness so these were perfect.

I hope you enjoy.

For when average fucks just won't work

We need more signs like this one

In my day they were only worth 500

My favorite


Urination is allowed

What color is your dress?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Books, Books and More Books

First things first, let me apologize for my lack of blog commitment this week month, posting and commenting both.  I have been busy in other wards of this institution known as writing.

This blog is only one of a few areas that need to be watered (and weeded) from time to time.  Any and all spare time (or creative spark) has been delegated to work on my book which is progressing along.  I hope to be further along than the current 41,467 words, but things have not been as fluent for me as of late.  I'll spare you the details.  Although I don't know when it will end or even how it will end, I feel as though I am roughly half way there.  Who knows, the story could take a turn and end up 120,000 words.  I honestly don't know.  The words that hit the screen every time I write truly dictate the outcome.

March is fast approaching with six more days to go.  After March is April and the A to Z Challenge.
I will be doing a Theme Reveal on March 23rd.  This year's theme is unique and I'm not really sure anyone out there will be doing the same thing as I am.  Stay tuned for the reveal.

Also, the last week of March is planting week for me.  I will be starting seeds for my peppers and tomatoes that will be planted in the garden mid-May.  Always a special time of year for me and I look forward to that as well.  March and April will be quite engaging for me.

I have three books planned for this year, should I have the determination and grit to get them done.
It will be a marathon year if I do.  With plans of purchasing an "Up North" retreat, gardening and summer chores, writing, and then all the everyday stuff like work, it will be an incredible challenge.

"How do you plan on getting it all done?" you ask.

Well, for starters, the kids are pretty much out of the house and if they are home they require little or no attention from Angel and I.  A quick meal and they're usually headed out the door.  As it is we only see Joe once a month or so.  (oddly enough he came over tonight for dinner)

Angel is still working two jobs and so she is never home.  When she does get home, I have already gone to sleep.

There is nothing to keep me from writing every day.  I just need to focus and concentrate.

So I have set a goal of a minimum of 1000 words a day.  1000 is not very much and I expect most days to be well over that but in the instance that I should be tired or mentally worn out I can still whip out 1000 words quick enough.

I am currently reading three books right now.
I just finished a re-read of another today.

On Writing-Stephen King.
I read this one a long time ago but on advice, from a good friend, I brought it back out.  It helps to stabilize the mindset while writing.  I just finished it this morning after starting on Friday.

Revival-Stephen King
I don't always treat myself to store bought best sellers.  It can be kind of pricey, but I picked this one up for $20 so I don't feel too bad.  I am just 100 pages in but so far I like it.  Not sure where it's going yet but I'm interested enough to find out.  I have always been a huge King fan.

Reichold Street-Ronald Herron
This book was penned by the father of my brother's best friend and he lives in the town I grew up in.
I love books with kids as the MC and Ron does a great job of this.
Another 'so far, so good' book.
Reichold Street Link

The Snowman's Children-Glen Hirshberg
I have just opened this one.  If it reads half as good as the inside cover than I will be in for a treat.
Mid 1970s Detroit.  A serial killer on the loose called the Snowman.  Two young friends bonding together to save the life of another.
The Snowman's Children Link

Yes, I find it easy to read several books at once.  I don't have any problems getting lost within them.
The more you read the better you write...right?

I have also purchased a few books to help me out on my writing journey.
A nice handy grammar guide (which I'm lousy at)
One about setting and description
One to help with dialogue (although in the current book there isn't much)
And one for later down the road during the second draft/editing process.  I haven't even opened that one yet.

That is what I have been doing lately.
How about you?  Any grand plans?

Now where did I put that book?

Have a great week,

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Unhallowed Birth

The wind howled outside and snow blew off the roof into my face as I waited for the dogs to emerge from the darkness, their morning rituals complete.  The temperature hovered at -12 degrees.
The blackness was complete out there in a world of white.  Ironic at best.

Back inside, I brewed a cup of coffee and stoked the wood stove.  My aging body welcomed the heat from the cast iron stove.  I stood next to it, rotating around, warming all sides as I sipped the coffee.

I had awoken an hour earlier and while I laid there in bed I tried to figure out what had broken my sleep and why my mind raced so desperately to try and remember it.  It was a story.  I don't think it was a dream, my dreams fade too fast for memory to collect them.

Something was out there.  In the cold and the darkness.  I couldn't see it for the blowing snow and I couldn't hear it for the howling wind but I could sense it...almost smell it.  Putrid and rotting, it permeated even the iciness of the air and my nostrils flared.  I dared not go back out for a second look.  Whatever it was, it was best left alone, to decay in the dark.

I sat down to write this morning-in the wee hours before dawn when I'm at my best.  When my mind is clear and focused and the troubles of the day have not yet encumbered my soft mind.
I stared at the screen, unable to write-what I was supposed to write.  My mind kept drifting back to whatever was outside.  That smell...that feeling.

And so I began to type and what came out was more monstrous than even I had thought possible.
While this story impaled itself across my monitor, my other story, The Lion and I, sat lonely and cold inside my hard drive.  I shouldn't have switched.  I should have trudged on and let this other thing slip away into the darkness but alas I could not.

I was too afraid to let it go.  Afraid the darkness would eventually come back two-fold and when it did, my keyboard would be unable to stop it.

But I am excited.  A new birth has befallen my study.

I should probably close the door.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Hand Fed Lions

Well, as some days do, this one got a little better.  I've managed to salvo out a few words and I'd like nothing more than to share them with you.

Another teaser, but a good one!

Excerpt from The Lion and I


When I arrived back at the lion he was sitting up, on his bottom, and staring at me again.  I wondered how he knew I was coming, then I noticed the wind.  It was blowing right at him, where before it was blowing the opposite direction.  He knew I was coming before I even rounded the tip of the island.  Cursing the evening trade winds I proceeded.

When I was within thirty yards he stood up.  I stopped, almost wet myself, and braced myself to run.  The uncertainty in my mind was overwhelming.  I had spent all this time making him well and now I wished I hadn't.  I wished I could put him back in his cage, box him up in that awful crate and send him on his way again.  I knew as certain as I knew my own name that this lion was going to attack and eat me.  I mean he had to, it was his job, wasn't it?

I stood frozen with fear and he sat quietly, tail swishing, watching me.  A coconut fell from a tree somewhere up in the forest and he turned his head to investigate the sound and that's when I noticed it.  Two long strands of drool hung from his mouth.  It was only when he twisted his head did the sunlight catch it and make it obvious.  He was hungry and he had smelled the fish long before I arrived.  His anticipation, like Pavlov's dogs, had caused him to drool.  I might make it out alive yet.

Summoning up what little courage I had, I began to walk toward the lion, slowly at first and then with more normal strides as my courage began to strengthen.  I resolved that I would befriend this lion or he would simply kill me.  At this point in time, either was acceptable.  Living here, alone and dying a long slow death without company or just getting it over with.

When I was within a few paces he sat back down on his haunches.  Was he trained to accept food I wondered?  I left the fish wrapped up in the leaf and gave it a toss.  It landed at his feet.  He sniffed it and looked up at me.  It was at that precise moment that I really thought it was over.  The hair stood up on the back of my neck and goose shivers ran down my spine.  He should have gobbled up the fish, not just sniff at it.  

He glared at me for an agonizing three seconds and then with his paw he gently pulled on the leaf until it unrolled.  He looked up at me again and for the first time I heard him make a sound.  He huffed, deep from within his chest, and then ate the entire fish with one bite.

After licking the leaf  a few times, he turned around, laid back down and put his head on his paws.  I was thrilled I was still alive but more overjoyed that I may just have a chance at befriending the lion.


Keep visiting for more sneak peeks and teasers from upcoming novel, The Lion and I.

Thanks again!

The Stinkhole

I have to say, I'm just not feeling it today.

I look forward all week to Friday mornings (should I not have to work) and spending the morning in my study writing away and creating imaginary places where whimsical things happen.

But this morning the spark has somehow been extinguished or if it is still lit then it must be hiding in some covert corner where I cannot catch it and breathe life into it, fanning the flames of my artistry.

I tested the waters this morning and I discovered that they were cold and appeared lifeless.  Although there may have been some infinitesimal microscopic protozoa lurking about, I could not coax them into splitting and generating more life.

Therefore, I surrendered.

I checked my Twitter feed and likewise, was disinterested in that as well.

Facebook was just an assemblage of the same old cliches and Youtube videos that everyone has already seen, yet they keep popping up like that flare of cursed chin acne from high school.

I think the next best thing would be an attempt on filing my taxes.  That seems like fun said no one ever.
I 'll wait until April 14th.

I visited the blogs I will be responsible for during the A to Z challenge.  It just so happens that three of the ten are from the same person.  Hmmm.

It's cold outside right now.  8 degrees.  Snow will start soon.  1-3 inches expected.
The temperature today will top out at 19 according to my weather center.  A whopping high of 5 degrees for Sunday.

Icicles, icicles all about
where is spring?
Give us a shout!

I did read something this morning that was alluring, fascinating and thought-provoking.
It seems as though it may have stalled my current state of imagery and swapped it for another. (yes that's how ingenious it was) Now I find myself wanting to write about it and not what I'm supposed to be writing about.

Check this out!

The stinkhole

My good friend and writing buddy Jenny Pearson, who resides on the other side of the continent has been writing flash fiction every day based on a picture.  15 minutes every day...GO!

This one, in particular, (there is another as well) struck an imaginative chord with me and I think would make an excellent story, be it short or long, there is something here worth discovering or digging.

While her writing is titled Across The Lake, I much prefer The Stinkhole.
Yes, I know I can't just change the title of her writing but trust me, she isn't going to care.

I think, in this particular style of writing, it's her job to spark and it's our job to fan the flames.
In this one, she has succeeded quite well!

I just wish I would have thought of it first (jealous grin)

So there you have it.  If I can't write anything good this morning then I will give you somebody else's in lieu.

Cheers and happy reading/writing

photo courtesy of Jenny Pearson

Friday, February 6, 2015

Welcome to The high Cost of This Low Living

I have been successful probably because I have always realized that I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly.
-Edgar Rice Burroughs.

This year marks a return, for me, to the A to Z challenge.
During the month of April, the participants will post every day, except Sundays, and each post will be in conjunction with the alphabet.
First post begins with A, second with B and so on.  On the last day of April (the 30th) the post will be related to the letter Z and the challenge will end.

Sounds easy enough, right?

Well, if done right, with a plan, it can be...sort of.

You can pre-write all your posts and schedule them to be published on the corresponding days or you can wing it, which is generally how I choose to do it.

Winging it has been fun for me, although I admit, I did get into a little debacle when I had to work late or something came up that I couldn't sit down and write.  More than once I found myself sneaking in a little blog time at work in order to meet the deadline.

I was usually amazed at what would print out on the screen when I just let 'er rip.

Whatever your style may be, the challenge is a lot of fun, and I enjoy reading many of the blogs on the list.

This time I will be a bit more involved with the challenge.  Not only will I be participating, I will be an Ambassador for Arlee Bird's team. (the originator of A to Z)
My general responsibilities will be to visit blogs and make sure everyone is up to snuff and following the rules and guidelines set forth here Sign up list and guidelines.

I look forward to reading and visiting with as many as I can.

I don't, as of yet, have a theme or a category picked out for my challenge yet.
My blog is not really a one direction type of blog and so, generally, neither is my challenge!

Feel free to browse my blog.  There are so many interesting things.
Here are just a few, that show the diversity, to get you started.

Enjoy your challenge and if  you didn't sign up you probably should!

Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Another Sneak Peek

Today I give you a sneak peek of a page out of my new book, The Lion and I.
The story has been progressing well and this morning I almost reached the 30,000-word mark.
There has been a lot of back story and if I am lucky enough, that you buy a copy when it is finished, you will see the story is told in three different views.  I have been anxiously awaiting the writing of this part and thought I would share this little snippet with you. (unedited)

If you would, for a moment, pretend you have just flipped my book over and are reading the back cover it would read something like this.

Pete Vandross is not your ordinary veterinarian, he has been hiding secrets from everyone, including his wife and business partners.  Soon his addiction will come to light and when he makes the ultimate mistake, it forces him to strike a deal with the underground Las Vegas crime syndicate.  
Pete is forced to accompany an unidentified package deep into the South Pacific Ocean, where fate and tragedy collide.  It may just change his life forever... if he gets to keep it that is.


When I peeked my head over the top of the beached crate I was aghast at what I saw. 

Inside of the crate was a large cage.  It was made of steel bars, spaced about a foot apart, with a horizontal brace welded half way up. The bars were not too thick, maybe an inch around and covered in rust.  They reminded me of the steel that was used in concrete work.  Re-bar I think it was called

The cage had the same bars for a top and on one side was a door.  Wrapped around the edge of the door was a chain.  Securing the chain was a heavy brass padlock.  

Inside of the cage, secured to the side with heavy wire, was a giant canister, made from some sort of metal.  I couldn't tell, but it was silver and had deep gouges etched into it.  From the bottom of the canister a skinny tube protruded.  It looked like the world's biggest hamster water bottle. 

Next to the oversized water bottle was a crudely made trough  which I imagined held food at one time but was now empty.

At the bottom of the cage, lying in a few inches of dirty seawater, was a lion.
The seawater was mixed with feces and, by the smell of it, had been there for quite some time.  The lion's hair was matted with it and the poor beast was covered in his own filth.  Streaks of white powder encrusted his body from the salt deposited by the evaporating seawater.

 It appeared to be dead, but I wasn't sure.  It wasn't moving and the stench rising from the crate was overwhelming.

I grabbed on to the iron bars and pulled myself up on top of the cage.  My arms couldn't hold me up any longer and I wanted a better look.  The lion's back was covered in scars and some of them, judging by the red welts and scabs, appeared to be only a few weeks old.  
A chain, choker style, encircled his neck and I could see where it had rubbed the hair from his neck.  

I was saddened by the sight of this once magnificent beast.  His suffering was now over and although my heart was heavy for him, I needed to find a way to get him off the beach and back out to sea.  The last thing I wanted on my beach was a several hundred pound rotting lion carcass.

Coming to you summer of 2015