Thursday, April 27, 2006

What is this? Who wrote this?

I'm at the point now that I've written enough short stories, articles and other writing projects that there are things I don't remember writing! I came across this little diddy and still can't figure out why I wrote it. After revising it slightly, I remember writing parts of it, but it's all a blur. I have no idea where this came you know what I mean?

Title? If I posted this early on in my blog days, forgive me...I can't remember ;) I think I wrote that already, right? See what happens when you approach 40? Enough goes...

The tall, wet grasses brush against my old cotton sweats as I run, slipping and sliding on the slippery trail. Branches from large old trees bend and twist as I make my way alongside the stream, which is partially frozen with water still flowing. The scene of the stream, the glistening trees and squirrels scattering as I press forward should comfort me. I yearn for peace. I race to find it. Instead, strands of cobwebs fill a deep empty abyss that should be a normal functioning brain. Lead weights attach to my eyelids. I stop running and wipe beads of sweat off of my forehead. I close my eyes and take a deep breath filling my sore lungs with sweet, fresh air, exhaling to the point of a sigh.

Why can’t I escape my body and rise high above the trees to the heavens and leave this pain behind? I wonder. And, I want to continue my run. I want to scream-the kind that hurts your throat and takes your breath away. Instead, with heavy tight shoulders, I fall to the hard, icy ground. I sit in a pile of coldness and look at the whiteness and wonder how it can appear so bright when all I really see is a blackness that won’t go away.

An imaginary mass of misery and darkness swirls above, through me and finally rests on my shoulders. I can’t touch it, but sense its long, sharp teeth ready to devour me like the big bad wolf in an old nursery rhyme, which actually reminds me of another time and place-my youth and happiness, now a thing of the past. The powerful pull of restlessness takes over. A single tear falls down my face. No more will follow. Tears won’t take it away. I know.

This thing of unrest and heaviness consumes my thoughts. I want to grab and shake this endless stream of emptiness and loneliness. I want to place this crazy ball of destruction into a sling, fling it over my head and watch it sail.

I stand and spin round and round, hold my head and yell, “Move on! You can’t have me. I have so much to do.” Only silence follows. This is all too familiar.

Little gray and white sparrows flutter in the trees and bushes next to me and somehow, I know the cloud of gloom will not pass until it has dumped its ugly contents on me. I shudder and feel goose bumps rise and scatter across my skin. I sigh and remember I’ve run into the forest near my home and know much time has past as I see the moonlight peaking through the snowy twigs. I notice puffs of my breath steaming the air around me.

A light crunching sound behind me, my whole body stiffens. I hold my place, too afraid to move. And, suddenly I see them. A wide-eyed doe and her fawn stand motionless about fifty yards and stare at me. The burden once weighing on my shoulders has been lifted. Once again, I remember what peace feels like, if only for a brief moment in time.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006


You know, I was re-reading my old post on time management last night, and I couldn't help but laugh at myself. I know better. Really I do. Trying to manage my time? I must be out of my mind...I thought of this post as I sat on my couch watching American Idol, (yes, I'm a fan-had another embarrassing post on that, too.) and folding two loads of clothes in between clicking my email and critting a few stories on my lovely "wireless" lap-top. Time manage? Yeah right...all this after my son's track meet and mopping the floor, getting supper ready. (that all after working all day :) Heck it will take me longer to figure out my schedule of events than it would just to do what I can. Right? Excuses, excuses, excuses...

Anyhoo, if I ever type up such a stupid post again, someone out there in cyperspace, come over here and give me a little pinch or something...I was going to say smack on the head, but I might just have another stupid post so I have to be careful...

I know what you're thinking...she's lost it...


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Books, books, books...

I just wanted to pass along a couple of good books that I've recently read.

The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova

This was a difficult and LONG book for me. I struggled through the historical parts, but the book is well-written and while I also struggled with the different POVs, it was suspenseful and interesting. (Although I must confess skimming over some of the historical parts-shame on me because the novel is beautifully written.) It was good and spooky! Believe it or not, it was a book about the history of Dracula (and variations thereof) mixed with a fictional tale about him.

Me, by Katharine Hepburn

I've been fascinated with Katharine Hepburn for as long as I can remember. I was recommended by a used bookstore clerk this particular book since it was written by Katharine herself. I highly recommend it as well. I read it in two days. Although I wish she would have written more on her relationship with Spence, I found the book to be fascinating and Katharine very witty-quite hilarious at times. Her life was grand. I'm going to rent her older movies-if I can find them ;) I've seen a couple with her and Spence. Loved her with John Wayne, in Rooster Cogburn and also in On Golden Pond.

I'm in the middle of Scott Turow's, Reversible Errors.

Any recommendations?? Reviews??

ps-I also picked up Dan Brown's, Angels & Demons...see earlier posts on my review of his book, The DaVinci Code and my issues with it. Okay, I had to get it out of curiousity!

I'm officially addicted to books-please someone, please stop me. I can't stop going to the library, Barnes & Noble, and now Ludington has a used bookstore, which I love...not good. Not good at all. Oh well, guess there are worse things, right? Oh yeah, wouldn't want to forget my writing bookclub...yikes!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I've been Tagged
Ok. This is the first time I've gotten tagged in bloggyland. I got tagged by to tell six random things about myself, and then tag six more people. First you post with your six things, then you go to six other blogs and let them know they are tagged and to find the details on your blog. So here goes:
*My favorite hobby is genealogy (other than writing :)
*I am one of those low carb and low sugar freaks
*I love chocolate-see how I contradict myself :)
*I am inching closer & closer to 40
*I love my RV and vacationing in Ludington MI
*I am addicted to books & writing

I'm tagging Dave, Dana, Joy, Diane, March, (not sure if I can do the same as you Cindy, but don't have a ton of blogger pals...

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Why doesn't there seem to be enough time in the day? If I do find time, I'm too tired to accomplish everything I want. Yikes! One might consider this a sign of unrest, but I sincerely have so many things that I want to do. And although I am quite busy, I am at peace most of the time.

I try to organize and prioritize (as I've mentioned before about my writing projects), but I'm talking in general now. Let's face it, writing is only one small part of my life. I talk about writing quite a bit here, but I have so many other interests. Trying to prioritize and make time for everything just seems harder at this point in my life. I didn't have time to think about my priorities before because I had so many immediate needs that were obvious. Now I can pick & choose a little bit more, but then I'm unfocused.

My children are getting older so it should be easier, right? Not happening yet. Of course they are still living at home. I don't see any changes in the amount of laundry, that's for sure. ;)Remember washing the little ones clothes, maybe you're at that point in your life now, enjoy it. At least the clothes are small. :) Towels, towels, towels...I ought to have nightmares about dirty towels squeezing the life outta me. There is always a load that needs to be done.
But, I digress.

I'm going to try a schedule or goal list of some sort to list everything I want to do and see what happens. I hate to resort to list making because I think we are robbed of some joy if we get too carried away with just checking off the lists in our life. But I'm going to give it a try and see what happens.

Here's what I'm thinking on days I don't have anything scheduled in the Evening during the week:
8-4:30-Work ;)
4:45-5:00pm-Pick up Cody from practice. Ask about his day etc. Any homework?
5:00pm Dinner/misc chores-dishes, sweeping etc.
6:00-Check with Cody to make sure homework is being done or done. Game?
Misc chores-check on laundry, bills/misc paperwork, check schedule for next day to see what Cody is doing in track (practice or meet), CS/church duties (any cards to mail-anyone to check on?)
8:00-Spend time with Cody-ask about homework, play a game, if he will :) Watch television/read newspaper? Relax...Start looking at writing projects or read one of my books.
9:00-Writing/Devotional-will need sep outline writing project needs and devotional time. I'm currently working on a study guide on Luke. I normally spend an hour on that daily.
10:00-Television program/news-misc. writing if not too tired. Check emails. D. Check schedule for the next day.
11:30-Night night time

Weekends...that's a whole different world...that's when I do the most of my chores (too long of a list) and writing projects. With so many other things to do, it's extremely hard to focus. Can't plan ahead too much. I try to plan at least one thing together each weekend with Cody-he's a teenager so it's tough. This Friday, I'm talking the afternoon off and concentrating on just him! I'm taking him shopping for a few things he needs, going out to eat and to a movie. Tough to do at this age, but I feel it's very important! I'm trying to hook up with my daughter this weekend also-we need to connect.

Of course this is on non-track meet days . Then everything shifts by at least two hours... See my problem??

How do you fit it all in? Any suggestions?


Fellow bloggers,

I need your help! Do you have any recommendations for an agency for a children's book that I'm working on-possibly illustrated, not sure on that yet. I'm in foreign territory here. I have the Writer's Market book that I'm searching thru right now, but it would help to have a recommendation! I also have publisher listings but most do not accept unsolicited works.

Any suggestions?? Your help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in Advance!!


Saturday, April 01, 2006

A writer's journey to becoming published: Critique & Hope

Crit, crit, only seems appropriate I bring this up since I am receiving critique on my story, "Big Girl" with mixed reviews today. What a rush! This comes after my posts on "triggers" and the need for writing practice. Big Girl came from the trigger, "Dancing in the moonlight" for one of the challences at the Notebored. I received critique there right away and with their encouragement, I revised for what I thought would be a final draft. Stop there?

The Process-
You could start sending your story out to as many places you can find. But is that the best way? Not to get sidetracked but it's important to target your submissions to the proper genre and markets. This is assuming you know what your work is already: short story, flash, non-fiction, anecdote, novel etc.) No need to send your short-story to a magazine that doesn't print them. Sounds simple right? Nothing in the writing industry is simple-that's for darn sure. But after you've pin-pointed down your genre and market(s), this is the perfect time to post your final draft with writing groups. Stop at just one? You could. But I don't.

I had submitted Big Girl to two magazines previously but one rejection came back about a month ago, stating it was too long for their needs. After that, I figured I'd better d.check it with the Notebored again. I'm still waiting on the other magazine, but it too will probably reject the story. After receiving more feedback, I revised- yes, again. I decided to give this draft a shot with the critters at SS_Main (yahoo) writing group. I am still receiving crits today as I type this. Awesome.

Why take the abuse?
I just can't express to you how important it is to get your final draft in front of at least one writing group that you respect. As I've stated in another entry, it's a tough process especially on your first writing group submission, but the rewards are longlasting. Although my previous published works hadn't been critted, I am a firm believer that for fiction, it is a necessity.

Let's face it, we can get too attached to a story even when it's fiction. Maybe the grammar needs a second look. Wouldn't it be nice to know if your readers care about your MC? Does that analogy work or is it cliche? There are so many areas that need to be assessed for overall balance. And remember, "The flaws are in the writing, not the writer." p14-Getting Published, Paul R. Martin

What story?
Yeah you know that story. The one you want to see in print with your name in big bold letters-you can admit to me. The one you just can't let go. On certain days, you want burn it, hit the delete button sending it to another world, but you can't. You want to submit it somewhere, but you're just not sure it's good enough. Well, it probably isn't-YET. Get that story in front of a group and see what happens. Even if the crits are tough, which to be honest, they usually are. It is always helpful. You may not agree with all of the feedback (I guarantee you won't.) but when you really think about what people have to say, you'll notice that you're learning about what readers want and not what you want. Sometimes we're in tune with what our readers want and sometimes not.

There is hope! The story that won't leave you alone is the one that needs to be published! I'm still working on it, but I am hopeful that my short stories will be published. Pick your genre/markets, making sure word count is accepted and story is appropriate for the markets you've chosen, get your final draft in front of critters and polish with an unbiased POV. And then submit to appropriate places. The Writer's Market book is a must for this point in the process.

So what's stopping you?


Enjoy the Journey!