What Fuels the Muse?

Click on image for link to the DIY MFA Book!

 

A thought-provoking question!  For Gabriela Pereira, author of the DIY MFA Book, she doesn’t believe in waiting on your muse to inspire your writing.

“I firmly believe that creativity isn’t something random that may or may not happen to us. I don’t believe in an uncooperative muse. Instead, I believe inspiration is something we make happen. Yes, there is something magical about creativity, but it’s also something we can harness, channel, even manipulate.”

So, how do I usually jump-start my muse whenever I need her?

*Music

*Walking/Exercise

*Daydreaming

Sometimes, I even do all three at once!  If I’m looking for a particular mood, I’ll select the type of music (via You Tube or Pandora) that fits the bill.  When I’m “blocked,” music or some form of exercise almost always work for me.  Other times if none of the above are successful, I’d take a short break and binge-watch a TV show in the genre I’m attempting to write.

What about you?  What fuels your creativity?

 

Advertisements

How I Became a Writer

 

***Would you like to join in this virtual Book Club?  Click here.

 

Becoming a writer (for me) didn’t happen overnight; but, the seeds were planted at an early age.  As a young kid, I felt different, acted different, and was treated different.  Why? Because of my inability to communicate with the world around me.  In fact, my Kindergarten teacher approached my parents to have me pulled from school as I was deemed as “unteachable.”

This all occurred during the mid-1970s in rural upstate New York.  My parents had just spent two years taking me to various specialists all across the state as well as Vermont; but, no one could definitively find what was wrong with me.  In the end, they told my parents that I had behavioral issues which should be directed at a psychiatrist.

Faced with one school unable to teach me, they decided to have an audiologist, Aubrey, to check me out as a second opinion.  She discovered that I had moderate hearing loss in both ears (over 65% loss) due to nerve damage.

After being fitted with hearing aids, I spent the next two years attending speech therapy in an effort to get me “caught up” as I was quite behind in speech development.   School was still a challenge not just in learning; but with having friends.  As a loner with maybe one or two good friends, I spent much of my free time with imaginary friends and creating various scenarios and settings for myself.   The only thing these tend to get me in trouble; one time it actually landed me in the ER!

In 5th grade, a classmate challenged a bunch of us to a contest to see who could write the scariest story.  I concocted one about a girl going into an old house and discovering a decapitated head in a fridge.   Everyone seemed truly unnerved by that one.  🙂

Just watching everyone’s reaction to my story made me feel good about myself for once; like I was actually good at something.  I also found that writing enabled me to bring the stuff I had in my head to life on a piece of paper.  Not to mention that it was much safer!

This one experience planted the seed within me to become the writer I am today.

 

What about you?  How did you become a writer?

 

The Last Child (Part Four)

 

As soon as the toboggan halted, the front door swung wide

and out bounded an elder woman, her hair as white as the snow;

but it was the smile that warmed her the most

for it reminded her of a mother she once had.

 

“Land sakes, Micah!  Get that child inside before she freezes!” The woman said.

“Yes, Ma’am” He replied with a grin.

 

In moments, she found herself in a plush sofa before the roaring fire

and a bowl of hot soup in hand.

 

“You must be exhausted, child.” Mrs. Claus said as she sat beside her.

 

Her mouth full of broth and vegetables, she only nodded.

“We’ll have you in a cozy bed in a jiffy.  It’s Christmas Eve you know.  All the children must be asleep before he can arrive!” Her grey eyes sparkled.

She swallowed before asking, “there are other kids here?”

The woman’s smile softened as she reached out to push a stray strand of hair from the girl’s cheek, “Oh, yes! And you will be meeting them all tomorrow.”

 

“Everything’s all set, ma’am.” Micah’s voice drifted from somewhere.

“Thank you, Micah. I’m sure Nick will be by tomorrow to see you.”

“I look forward to it.  Good night, and Merry Christmas ladies.”

She turned around in time to see the door to the outside closing.

He was gone, and suddenly she felt sad.

 

“Don’t you worry, child. You will see him again soon.”

 

As promised, the woman had her tucked in a large fluffy bed a short time later.

“Drink up this hot cocoa, dearie. It will help you sleep.” Mrs. Claus handed her a tea-cup sized mug which she downed in one gulp.

“I don’t like to sleep.” She said as she laid her head on the pillow.  “Bad dreams.”

The woman caressed her forehead.  “You will have no such dreams tonight.”

 

True to her words, the first thing she saw once her eyes closed were flying reindeer with Micah leading them.

 


 

Interested in seeing this story in a video format?  Click here!

#IWSG Best Ways To Start a First Draft?

Click on the image to access this group’s official page

This month’s question: What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

 

For the past few years I’ve managed to keep a schedule of some kind for blogging.  This year, since I desire to convert a screenplay into a novel, I feel I need to set up a schedule for that as well.  Just figuring out the how part.

I joined a Facebook group, Finish Your Novel, a project really that’s dedicated to doing just that-finishing a novel.  It’s my hope that this group will help keep me accountable and moving forward throughout the year with my book.   I’ve been a writer for a number of years with short works published;  I’m ready to take the next leap to being a published author.

I think about setting aside three days each week to devote solely to writing the first draft.  Will probably do it chapter by chapter.  The challenge will be how to best incorporate the flash-back scenes since they will take place throughout the novel.  Also to keep me going forward, I plan to set a daily (or maybe a weekly one instead) word count goal that I can track via Word as well as a spreadsheet.

Now, the next question is–should I start by planning out the book (character development, outlining the story line/subplots, etc.) or just jump right in and start rewriting the story from the screenplay?

Hmm…

 

 

Story Saturday: The Last Child (Part Three)

 

Thick fur blanket cradled her body

in the long wooden sled

as they silently sped along

in the deep snow.

 

Micah stood behind her on the edge of the runners

while he guided the half-dozen dogs in front

white flakes filled the air with the wind whistling in her ears

rugged mountains loomed on the sides

blocking her view of the sky.

 

“We’ll be in Nordpolen soon.” Micah said “Just keep looking ahead and you’ll see it.”

 

It felt like they were gliding through a dark tunnel

but as she peered ahead, speckles of light slowly appeared

and suddenly they broke out in to an expansive opening;

there lied a village nestled on the banks of the immense mountains

which ran along the shores of a mirrored lake,

the lights from the buildings shimmered on its surface;

the sight made her gasp out loud.

 

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” Micah said.

“Oh, yes!” She replied.

“You’ll be staying at Saint Nick’s tonight.”

 

Instead of remaining on the main route, they veered off on a smaller trail

which took them through a dense forest;

for several moments, fear shook her body

as she watched moving shadows among the trees.

 

“You have nothing to fear.” He said.  “I won’t let anything harm you.”

She took deep breaths until her muscles relaxed, and heart slowed.

“Look, we’re here.” He said.

 

She glanced out and saw the wondrous sight;

stone walls cloaked by fresh snow, all lit up in white lights

revealed the way to a large rustic lodge

its front nothing but glass

in the center, an enormous decorated Christmas tree.

 

“Welcome to the Christmas Lodge.” Micah smiled.

 

 


 

Missed the previous two parts?  You can read them here!

Part One

Part Two

 

 

 

 

 

The Last Child (Part Two)

 

Nestled in the back of the sleigh, she heard

the jolly man called his reindeer by name

as they glided off the roof-top

and gave way to flight in the dark snowy sky.

 

Such a strange sensation

floating high in the air where peaceful quiet reign

leaving behind death and memories

of a life she once knew

now finished.

 

She sniffled but swore to not look back

in fear she’d break down in full-blown tears

and scare the good chap off

for sure.

 

“Look ahead, child.” The red cheeked man said. “A new life awaits you on the other side of the moon!”

 

Stare ahead she did at the bright orb with strange pot marks

’till its’ light completely immersed the sleigh

and in the next instance, she realized the moon

shifted from the forefront to their rear.

 

Once the sleigh touched ground

she saw a new landscape extend all about her

with snow-capped mountains and the glistening meadow

where a wooden toboggan waited.

 

“Micah will take you to my village, child.” The saintly fella said with a great smile.

 

With a wave, she watched as his sleigh flew away

feeling suddenly alone and naked

in a land strange and distant.

 

“Do not be afraid, child.”  a kind voice spoke.

 

She looked and saw a man with golden hair,

his gentle blue eyes met her brown ones

she gave a nod, and climbed in the sled

and off they started, on to her new life

what ever or wherever that may be.

 


 

 

To read Part One, click here.

#WEPFF December Challenge: With Every End There Is A New Beginning

 

Below is my poem for #WEPFF December Challenge- The End is the Beginning

Enjoy!

 

 

 

The End…

for all things, there is a season

this we’ve been taught

though we rarely dwell on

until it’s standing

dauntingly, devastatingly

before us

 

 

To let go…

the hardest of all to do

of those we love, cherish

for the heart, the flesh,

pain is undeniably real

as the knife

 

 

Look…

to the horizon,

the sky ablaze with vibrant morn colors

and remember, that for every night

there is a dawn,

and a time for new beginning

 

 

All that’s required of us

is not giving up

for the night will end

as any season

and with a new day,

healing and hope

Story Saturday: Santa-Zombie Story

Nearly a year passed since the start of the undead plague

she’s been on her own since

in an empty house, in a not-so-empty neighborhood.

 

 

Christmas Eve

she decorated the dead tree with handmade ornaments

made from cereal boxes;

took the last can of Spam as her treat for the white bearded man

and placed the plate on a table beside the sofa.

 

 

With a bat in hand, and the sounds of death rattling at the front door,

she fell asleep on the dusty furniture

in front of the cold, stoned hearth.

 

 

Rustling sounds awoke her

with a great start,

as she swung the bat through air,

a voice sounded,

a voice so beautiful and warm

it caused her eyes to sprang open;

bewildered, stunned

she stared at the not-so-frightful sight.

 

 

A chubby man dressed in a red suit

stood before her;

she blinked and swinted

thinking she’d died already or just dreaming

but saw that this was no dream

Santa,

he was really real!

 

 

He held out his hand,

“Come, let me take you to a wonderful place.”

 

 

In a blink of an eye, she found herself

on the roof-top

where a sleigh and eight reindeer stood waiting.

 

 

Santa, beside her now, smiled;

a smile she’d thought never would form on her lips again,

she returned with glee.

 


 

Note: This story has been renamed to “The Last Child” and a video portion of this story can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

Writing: Would You Do Things Differently If You Could Go Back In Time?

Click on the image to access this group’s official page

 

This month IWSG question is: if you could backtrack and do things differently as a writer, would you? 

 

Wow, this is a loaded question.  One I have pondered on and wondered about from time to time.  Who hasn’t?  Especially now that I’m in my mid (ish) 40s, this question keeps popping up in my mind.

My first inclination is to say “Yes!”

I’d have attended SUNY Potsdam (only) majoring in Journalism instead of bouncing around at least six different colleges and ending up with a degree in Physical Education (which I barely used).

As a journalist, I would have traveled the world.  In this reality, I’ve only visited one other country…Canada.

Perhaps I’d even started my own magazine or newspaper company.  Or, maybe even branched off into the publishing industry and became an editor or something.

And just perhaps I’d ended up living in Boston (one of my fave cities) where I’d pen my first and break-through novel that landed me on the New York Times’ Bestselling List.

If I’d done all the above, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

As a writer.  As a poet.

A mother.

A wife.

Living on a small farmstead in eastern North Dakota of all places 🙂  Writing full-time at home.

I’m richly blessed.  I don’t think I would give this life up to relive it as a different person.  It’s nice to dream about it, but that’s it, just a dream.

I like this reality better.

What about you?  If you had the opportunity to go back and do anything differently as a writer, would you do it?

 

 

 

Thankful Tuesday

 

Hard to believe that it’s nearly Thanksgiving (US).  Where has the year gone?  Since I may go “quiet” here for the next few days, I’d like to list some of the things I’m thankful for.

First, the usual:

*Family

*Faith

*Friends/Community

Without any of these, I would not be where I am today.

 

Next, the more contemplative ones 🙂

  1. I am so grateful to be living in the rural country now instead of the city.  Here, my anxiety level has dropped dramatically, and I feel that my life has been more enriched and healthier.  I love seeing my son reveling in the freedom to play outside and not worry about various dangers.
  2. Here I can immerse myself in nature and the seasons which all fertilize my imagination, and allow me to create more abundantly.  No booming rap music next door.  No noisy traffic outside our front door.  No fighting neighbors over POA regulations.  Just peace and quiet.

Also…

 

My struggles fuel my writing.   They enable me to be a more compassionate and empathetic person.  To be more thoughtful of others.  They also help in creating more realistic characters.

In other words,

 


 

The next chapter of the interactive story will post on Friday!

December 1st!

Here are the two previous chapters:

A Snowy Reunion  (chapter one)
A Catch-Up Affair  (chapter two)

 

Story Saturday: The Old Tumbleweed Ferris Wheel

 

The Old Tumbleweed Ferris Wheel

 

Ferris wheels I used to enjoy

until I met Tumbleweed

strapped in cages

spinning in all directions

while the wheel turned

clockwise

Then sudden it stopped

leaving my brother and I

hung upside down

at twelve o’ clock

The strap across my laps

had come undone

now literally dangling

 untethered

To ease our nerves

we sung

You lost that loving feeling

till the cage reached

six o’ clock

Needless to say

I never rode another

Ferris wheel

since that day

A Catch-Up Affair (Interactive Story Continues)

 

Chapter Two

 

 

The four-some now seated in chairs around the large oval oak table as the waiter retrieves the menus.

“I will get your orders in.” And the short black man walks away.

Julie’s brown eyes carefully study the faces around the table as she slowly sips at her wine. “So, Brad,” and turns them solely to the man sitting to her right, “What on earth have you been up to since I last saw you?”

Brad grins as he leans back. “Nothing exciting.  Just work.”

“Doing what?”

“Integrated marketing.”

“Marketing, huh?” She purses her lips, “For whom?”

“Altvision Communications.” He replies as he bit into a breadstick.

“Wow, one of the four media giants.” Her smile widen as she fingers her glass.  “You must be one of the lowly assistants working his way up the career rung by now.”

He chuckles, “Hardly. Try the Director of the Marketing Department.”

“Di-rec-tor…my heavens, that’s a far cry from being a lab rat with Dalton Co-Op.”

“A lab rat?” Eddie’s hazel-green eyes sparkle as he stares at Brad across the table.

Brad lets out a laugh, “That’s Julie’s way of calling any desk clerk who worked for Dalton back in the day.”

“They were directly responsible for polluting all the lakes upstate which cost taxpayers well over a billion dollars.”

“And you don’t feel the least bit guilty for forcing them out of business and driving hundreds of people out of work?”  Brad asks, the smile now gone.

“What they were doing was criminal, and it was my job to expose them.” Julie’s eyes now slits.

“Yeah, well, the timing couldn’t have been worse.” Brad grabs another breadstick. “You could have at least waited until after Christmas to break the story.”

“Are you a reporter?” Eddie’s interest now piqued as he focuses on the curly red head between Brad and Laura.

Julie shrugs, “Yeah, a crime beat reporter,” and takes another sip of the red wine.

“You don’t sound very enthused.” He says.

“It’s a job.”

“Don’t let her fool you, Ed.” Brad points a half-eaten breadstick at his friend. “Journalism’s in her blood just like her father, and her grandfather.”

“I see.” Eddie drinks from a bottle of beer. “A generational legacy that you don’t seem to relish much of.”

“It comes natural, and it made sense at the time.” She says.

“Writing comes natural to Julie all right.  Did you know she’s also a published author?” Laura smiles at Julie who frowns back.

“Oh, really?” Brad says, “What do you write?”

“Guilty pleasure.  Let’s not make a big deal out of it.” Julie replies.

“She writes horror.” Laura answers for her friend.

“A crime beat reporter slash horror writer.  Wow, never saw that one coming.” Brad sneers.

“Whatever.” Julie flicks her long hair off her shoulders and turns to face Eddie. “What of you?  Let me guess, an international spy?” She asks in a leering tone.

“You’re not too far off the mark.” Eddie replies. “I’m a freelance Threat Analyst.”

“What the heck is that?” Julie’s nose crinkles at him.

“Mainly I hunt the web for any malicious activities, and put a stop to them.”

“That sounds–interesting I suppose.” Julie says.

It was Eddie’s turn to laugh as he drinks more of the beer. “Oh, it can get very interesting.”

“What about you, Laura?” Brad asks.

Laura leans forward as she studies the flickering candle at the table’s center which casts shadows across her fair face. “I’m currently doing my Forensic Pathology Residency at North Peak’s Regional Medical Center.”

“Fascinating.  We have a budding doctor with us.” Brad smiles at her.

“You did it.” Eddie says. “You’ve accomplished one of your dreams.” His warm smile causes Laura’s cheeks to color.

“It’s still a work in progress, but yeah, I’m getting there.” She returns his smile.

His expression then grows more somber. “I’m sorry I haven’t kept in touch. I never meant to leave like that.”

Laura shrugs, “You had a family emergency that required you to leave the country.  Besides, it was for the best.  For us, anyway.”

Eddie nods. “You’ve always been so understanding, Laurie.  You deserve someone to be equally so.”  His accent now more pronounced.

“Oh my, here’s our dinner!” Julie blurts out as the waiter came to their table with a tray full of food.  “I’m starving!”

 

End of Chapter Two

 

Be sure to vote below!

 

 

*Note: You can also follow this story over at my other site — Story Interactive  🙂

Writing: NaNoWriMo So Far

 

Today I’m sitting on 3,374 words which is quite poor IF I was shooting for 50,000.  I could be called (sort of) a NaNo Rebel in that I’m marching to my own tune this month.  I’m juggling three different writing projects:

  1. Serial fiction, The Hidden Realm: I haven’t started to work on this yet but the plan is to finish the second half of Part One.
  2. Novelette, Untitled: written 2,417 words so far.  Genre: suspense/thriller
  3. Interactive story, Untitled: wrote chapter one, A Snowy Reunion, which has posted on this blog earlier in the week.  Genre: TBD

Speaking of #3, be sure to read the chapter and vote in the poll included to determine future outcome of the overall story line.  The poll closes soon so I can start writing the next chapter so don’t wait any longer!  🙂

What about you?  How’s your writing going so far this month?

A Snowy Reunion (Interactive Story)

*Am starting a new story, an interactive kind, which means feedback from readers will determine the direction of the story.  Read the first chapter, and then answer the poll.  Your input will determine the story’s results! Enjoy 🙂

 

Chapter One

 

Fluffy white flakes drift from the sky on to the urban landscape below.  Mazes of paved and cemented pathways spread across the city like a grid, nearly all are inhabited by flickering white and red lights.  While the heavens fill with solemn hushes, the earth brims with noise and movements among the living and their worldly gadgets and possessions.

On a particular street level, two women walk briskly, huddled deep in their coats and scarves.  White mists emanating from their faces as they huffed.

“I can’t believe you talked me into going out tonight!” The shorter woman says.

“Nonsense, Laura.” replies the other. “You work too much.  Besides, I haven’t seen Brad in years.  I’m curious to see how rich and successful he became.”

“Really, Julie, you’re just too shallow.” Laura scoffs. “There are more to men than sex and money.”

“Don’t forget power.” Julie raises a hand covered in a black leather glove.

“See?”

“You’re one to talk, dearie.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Laura smirks.

“Okay, how about Scott Mendler?” Red ringlets flickering across her cheeks.

“Him? The Pharmacist? Oh, c’mon! He didn’t know right from left!”

“Oh? Let’s try this one…Frank Aleman.”

“Computer repairman.  Too boring.” Laura says.

“Todd Blankenship?”

“Too skinny.”

“Stanley Cougler?”

“Too weird.”

“Nicholas Stem?”

“Kissed like a girl.”

Julie stops suddenly. “And you know this how?”

“Kidding!” Laura grabs her friend’s arm to prod her along once more. “I still don’t see your point.”

“My point is that you’re just as shallow as I am when it comes to men.” Julie says.

“Are you saying we’re hopeless?”

“Nah, just haven’t found the right ones.”

Laura shakes her head. “I’m starting to believe there’s no right one out there.”

“Perhaps we’ve been looking at the wrong ones.”

“Or perhaps I need to shorten my ‘qualities desired in an ideal mate’ list.”  Laura frowns.

Julie suddenly stops.  Again.

“Now what?” Laura asks.

Julie glances behind them. “Been having this feeling that someone’s following me all day.”

“Halloween’s long over.” Laura says.

“Yeah.” The red-head turns back around. “Probably just my imagination.”

“Comes with the territory for being a horror writer.” Laura replies.

“Well, that’s not all I do, honey.” She sneers.

“That’s even creepier.”

“Yeah, whatever, speak for yourself.” Julie pulls at her friend’s arm. “There it is. Let’s run…I’m freezing!”

The two women carefully jog across the icy road hopping from one section of tire-tread pattern on the ground to the next to keep from slipping.   Once they reach the other side, they stood briefly at the wooden door with “Carroll’s Diner” etched in it.

And pushed it opened to enter inside.

************************************

 

Carroll’s Diner’s rustic interior immediately warmed up the women as they peer into the dining section for familiar faces.

“I think I see Brad at the bar.” Julie says as she immediately heads in that direction  with Laura following close behind.

She quietly approaches a dark blonde-haired man and taps him on the shoulder which causes him to stir instantly.

“My god!  Isn’t it jolly ol’ Julie!” His hazel eyes twinkling as he pulls her in to his arms for a bear hug.

“Easy there, Brad.  You might break some ribs.” She giggles into his musky-smelling neck.

“Sorry, my bad.” And moves her to a more steady position, standing in front of him. He then notices a woman besides her. He blinks a few times before speaking. “Laura Hines?”

Laura smiles sheepishly. “Yeah, that’s me.”

Brad cocks his head slightly as he takes turns studying both women. “Friends?”

“Hard to believe, Bubba boy, but yep, we’re good friends now.”  Julie smiles widely.

He shakes his head slowly and let out a low whistle. “I thought you two hated each other during college.”

“Old history.” Julie replies as she winks over at Laura.  “It’s a long story.”

“I’ll drink to that!” He turns and picks up a shot glass and downs it in one gulp.

“Hey! Not so fast!” Julie pouts as she makes herself comfortable on a high stool. “I’ll have what he’s drinking.” She tells the bartender.

“Make that two.” Laura says as she sits on the other side of Julie.

Julie glances around Brad. “I thought there were two of you.”

He nods. “There is.  He had a call but should be back any time.”

“Who’s back?” Comes a husky voice rich in accent.

The women both peer around Brad to see a gorgeous man taking his seat at the end of the counter.   Golden brown skin.  Dark black hair which even partially covers his face, but one could still spy the dimples in his cheeks when he smiles.

This time it would be Laura speaking first.

“Oh. My. God.  Eddie?” Her voice rises several decibel.

“Hello, Laura.” His smile held as his deep hazel eyes meet her blue ones.  “It’s been a long time.”

She shifts in her stool but never moving her gaze away from his face.  “Yes.”

“Hello? Pheromone city!” Julie butts in effectively slicing the momentary connection.  “You two know each other?”

Laura’s smile wavers as she fingers her glass that mysteriously appeared seconds earlier. “College.”

“History?”  Julie whispers close to her ear.

Laura nods once.

“Well, I’m Julie Yourdon.” In her next move she turns to the dark hair man, and gives him her most alluring smile.

“Eduardo Santa Perez.” He bows his head to her. “A pleasure to meet you.”

“Pleasure’s all mine.” Julie mutters under her breath as she sips her liqueur.

 

End of Chapter One

 

 

 

*Note: You can also follow this story over at my other site — Story Interactive  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing: Slow Starts

 

Snow came way early this year in my neck of the woods (as shown above).  In fact, here in North Dakota, we went directly from summer to winter.  There was NO fall.   According to the local weatherman, we’re to get an additional 3-6 inches of the white stuff between today and Sunday.

Ugh.

Originally, I’m a northern-climate gal having been born near the border of Quebec, and grew up in the Adirondacks so I’m no stranger to the cold and snow.  However…I spent nearly 15 years in North Carolina before moving up here so my body is still trying to get re-acclimated to the changes.

I’ll get there eventually.  🙂

Whether it’s the sudden changes or getting older (I’ll take the former thank you very much), I’ve been slow getting started with NaNoWriMo this year.

Sitting at 500 words on day 3 kind of slow.

But, at the very least, it’s a start.

I will be working on two writing projects.  One’s projected to be about 7,500 words while the other around 10,000 so most likely I won’t win this year.  That’s okay just as long as I get the drafts of these two completed by November 30.

The 7,500-word novelette is inspired by the TV show, Deadly Women, I binge watched the past several months.  It’ll be a slightly different genre than I’m used to writing, but so far, an enjoyable experience.  I plan to post the synopsis later this month.  My goal for this story is to hopefully either self-publish it, or place it on Channilo.  In the past, majority of the stories I wrote have been horror and/or young-adult with sprinklings of science fiction and fantasy.   This particular story is Suspense/Thriller with some Romance.

Stay tuned.

The second project is a serial fiction I started last year called, The Hidden Realm, which is a fantasy/horror story.

Click on image to start reading it

 

During this month, I plan to finish writing the second half of Part One.   Writing serial fiction is tricky for multiple reasons; one being that it requires long-term commitment to post a new installment in a timely manner until either the story’s completed, or you give up on it.   I’ve written several in the past, and gave up on them all mostly because I either got bored with it, or got stuck on the storyline.  I hope by writing large blocks of the story in a short time and then posting them in small increments will enable me to actually finish this one.

We’ll see.

 

I will post more on both stories throughout the month of November.

 

What about you?  What are you working on this month?

 

 

 

 

I Fear I’ll Never Publish a Book

Click on the image to access this group’s official page

 

This month’s question:  Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

 

 

I’ve participated in NaNo nearly every year since 2008, and I will do so again this year.   I won twice, first time in 2008, which was the most complete first (and only) draft I’ve written.   It’s an apocalypse-science fiction story I titled Hope Falls.  It’s to be the first book in a series.  I believe it has promise only that…

It’s still sitting on my hard drive (have a binder with printed pages as well–somewhere).

I love to see it published.

Why haven’t I done it yet?  I mean, it’s only been NINE years.

Honestly, the editing/revision part scares the crap out of me.

Shorter works I can handle.  Just not sure how I’d handle a book-length editing process.

I feel like a wuss.

A coward.

And I’m worried.  Really worried.  If I’m this frighten over one manuscript why would it be any different with another?

Am I a lost cause?  Can I break this rut I’m in?

I’m a published writer in that I have short fiction and poetry published in multiple zines (both online and print).  My next goal is to be a published author.

I fear that dream may never come true.

 

 

A Halloween Haunt Story

 

*Note:  This story’s inspired by the very first short story I ever wrote decades ago.

 

 

 

Penny, the new kid on the block, stood in front of an old, rickety house along with two new-found friends.

She swallowed hard as she stepped up to the front door.

“Don’t be a scaredy cat and go in!” Darla called out.

Inside the dank-smelling entryway, cobwebs littered every nook and cranny.  Dark and not a living soul present as the young girl walked down a hallway.

A movement on her right caused Penny to pause.

On the long, narrow table sat a huge glass platter with a steel cover.

The cover rattled ever so slightly.

She slowly reached for the metallic lid, and lifted it.

The first thing she saw was the wrinkled balding head, and in a great start, she released her grasp on the heavy top which landed on the hard floor with a thunderous clang that echoed throughout the building.

Her brown eyes widened as she stared at what sat on the glass dish.

A head of an elderly man who appeared to be asleep.  His skin pallor and sunken except for one eye where folds of flesh drooped.

The sight had her rooted to the spot as she held her breath fearing that any noise would awaken him.

Suddenly, his eyes sprung opened.  Black as coals they completely mesmerized Penny…

Until the mouth opened and an evil cackle bellowed from it.

She turned and ran screaming out of the house, and didn’t stop screaming until she reached her friends down on the curbs.

 

What dismayed her further was that they were laughing.

At her.

“It’s not funny!” She said.

Darla, the brunette, giggled through her hands but it was the blondie who spoke.

“If only you could have seen your face!” Roxie said as she wiped the tears from her eyes.

Penny glared at them.  “You knew about this?”

“Oh yeah.” Darla finally replied. “Old man Marco’s been doing this every year for years.”

The red-head folded her arms at her two so-called friends. “And where does he usually pull this prank?”

“In the kitchen. On the table with the red cloth.” Roxie answered.

“Well, his head was on a platter in the hallway between the kitchen and living room.” Penny stated. “And it did NOT have ANY table cloth.”

Roxie and Darla looked at her.

“Go on.” Penny pointed to the house. “Go check on the old man!”

Clasping each other’s hand, the two girls walked across the front yard, and through the door way disappearing into the murkiness.

Penny continued to stand with her arms folded, and waited.

 

Moments passed before screeching screams sounded through the house, and the pale-faced girls galloped outside, nearly colliding with Penny.

Unmoved, Penny asked, “Well?”

“Th-that wasn’t Marco!” Darla said. “And-and there was no body under the table!”

“But the head is real, right?” Penny asked.

Both girls nodded in earnest.

All pairs of eyes turned to the house just as the front door creaked shut.

 

 

The Tree

 

She'd been locked in the house for months 

as the undead raged outside

 

Famished and dehydrated 

she stared out the bedroom window 

and spied the pair again

 

For days, these cats roamed out 

on the limbs of the enormous hardwood tree 

as she wondered how they're surviving the apocalypse

 

Today, she decided to find out and proceeded

to climb out the second floor slim windowpane 

 

As she dangled on the limb, she glanced below

 

There her momma stood, gaping up to her daughter 

mouth opened and gnawing as if ravenous with 

flesh-thirsting hunger

 

She scrambled up on the branch 

and glanced towards the tree's core

 

A small hollowed hole revealed the bloody mass of flesh and bone 

and it was then she realized what a grave mistake she'd made

 

Dark Places #WEPFF: Black Heart

 

Today, I’m participating in the above contest/bloghop for WEP (aka Write…Edit…Publish).

 

Black Heart

 

Real love I’m undeserving of 

as torment and abuse 

are all I’m able to offer 

 

 

Such a sweet angelic soul 

he was 

I allowed fear and envy 

to rule 

 

 

Now standing at his final  

resting place 

pain, regret, tears fill my core  

 

 

Darkness now my only 

companion 

life ever fleeting 

death 

can’t come soon enough 

for this black-hearted bitch