4/29/11

Elevator Stalking

One of the advantages of working for a huge company is that I can perfect my skill in elevator stalking.  Years ago I noticed that the minute people enter an elevator they look at the walls, at the numbers, at the ground, anywhere but at each other.  It they do happen to entertain a glance it's to offer a quick smile and return their attention to the ground.


I decided I would always be the one to break the ice.  When I walk into an elevator I say hello to everyone, comment on something I might spot, and establish a conversation that will usually draw in everyone.  My co-workers get a big chuckle out of it.  They feel shy in elevators.


The fact is that we all go through life ignoring each other, pretending we're by ourselves.  Where's the fun in that?  There are incredible people out there, so many of them it can literaly take your breath away.


I've discovered an old man who shares a love affair with life, a young girl who fosters a meth baby, two people that have recently fallen in love.  It's amazing.


From a writer's point of view I will say that an elevator is also the best place to pick up dialogue for any book.  Listen to those who share this world with you.  They provide tidbits that might become the stories of legends.


Have a great weekend!


STAY TUNED FOR MORE OF THE HORROR STORY ON MONDAY.

4/28/11

Poem Day

There was an old lady I used to visit. She was a very kind woman who happened to live with her husband and two sons, all of which suffered from severe Schizophrenia. She was the glue that bound them together. She fell into a coma after an intense heart attack. They say it helps if you read to someone in a coma. Sometimes they’ll snap out of it. That’s what I did, but her time had come. I wrote this poem while sitting at her death bed.
Reading over it today, I think I was trying to discuss her two choices. Either die or come back. Then, I asked her to take me with her.
 
 
CRY HIGH MIGHTY GULL
 
Hear the seagull’s cry, a thousand
flutters in my heart.
Where is she? Where has she gone?

Hear a life of tribulation, nestlings
gone berserk, chest without a heart to
fill it.

Cry high mighty gull for all to hear.
Wail of a great lady be resounded
among the waves amid the stars
where feathers touch.

Pierce your call of triumph
great queen of ocean sky.
In these I’ll see your eyes forever.

Toss mighty sword and torch of light
and let another rule.


With second thought and if you will
to prey upon the skies some more, take
up your light and raise your head,
and love me like before.

We shall fly on hand in hand
like sisters of the wind.

4/27/11

Horror Story 1, day 3

We left Jeremy on the bed fast asleep.  Unknown to him, a creature was lapping his face at leisure.

                                                                        *

The scent of the trail of saliva was too bad to ignore.  Jerry sat up with a start.  For a split second he beheld the form of a woman, but that minuscule fracture in time was enough to engrave her appearance in his mind forever.

The beast-woman was over six feet tall.  Her shoulders were broad.  Muscles sculpted her all the way down to her toes.  All of that seemed normal.  It was her face that gave him pause.  She had no eyes.  Where there should have been sockets all he could make out was flesh.

Who was she?  He surveyed the full expanse of his father's study.  Where had she gone?

The sound of a manic scream forced him out of bed.  It was his mother.  He hurried to her room only to find her sitting on the floor.  Her cream nightgown had been soiled.  After closer inspection he discovered it was blood.

"Jerry!"  She reached out to him.

Two lengthy steps led him to her side.   "Mom, are you hurt?"

"Did you see her?"  She shook him.  "Tell me you saw her."

"What was she, Mom?  Have you seen her before?"

"Only once," she said.  "She's the one who took your father."

He held her at arm's length.  "You said that dad was sucked into a hole.  You blamed it on moles."

"The moles belong to her.  She took him," she insisted.

"This is insane, Mother.  What could that creature want with dad?"

"Can't you see, Jerry?  Don't you understand?  She wants the same thing I wanted thirty years ago.  The mole queen was lonely too."

"Mole queen?  Jesus, Mom, you've gone delusional on me.  Stay here.  I'll call the cops."

She held on to his shirt.  "Jeremy, don't leave me.  Please, we have to find her.  She has him."

"Mom, Dad died that day.  Remember?  You saw his blood, his shirt remains."

"She has a cave somewhere like all other moles.   She has him."

"He's dead!" he insisted.

She shook her head, frantically.  "He's alive I tell you."

"How can you say that?"

"I just know."  She broke into sobs.  "A wife always knows."


TO BE CONTINUED....

4/26/11

Horror Story 1, day 2

Yesterday I left poor Tara staring at the hole that Sam was sucked into.  All that was left was his blood and tattered shirt.  I'm going to fast forward to 30 years later.

                                                                          *

Sara sat on the wooden rocker.  The combination of motion and sound was lulling.  Thirty years had passed, but it seemed like only yesterday Sam had been swallowed by the earth.  The search had ended after the first two years.  The town believed her to have gone insane, but it was true.  She had been inches away from touching his shoulders when he was ripped from her grasp.

It was hope that kept her in the house, hope that wouldn't leave her.  Jeremy begged her to move in with him and the kids, but she refused.  It wasn't so much that she'd miss the house.  He was her only son and the spitting image of Sam, the man she would always love.

"Mom."

The baritone voice captured her attention.

"Jerry, when did you get here?  Where are the kids?"

"I'm alone, Mom.  I thought we should chat."

She frowned and considered rising from the rocker.  "I'm not leaving this house."

He crossed into the room.  "You can't stay here for ever.  You can barely move around on your own.  Let me help you."

"Jerry, go home."

"Mother, this is important.  For God's sake, think of your grandchildren.  If you die here by yourself the cats will eat you.  Then what do I tell them?"

She laughed.  The cheerful sound surprised her.  It held no place in the morose surroundings.  "Everyone dies, Jerry."

"Look, I'm spending the weekend."

"You won't make me change my mind."  She glanced at the window.

He followed her line of vision.  "He's not coming back."

He didn't wait for a reply, nor did she give one.   Instead, he entered the old study his dad had been so fond of.  He dumped his things on the bed and sat down to ponder the situation.  Having grown up without a father had been difficult on his mother.  She had scraped, saved and borrowed to keep him fed and clothed.  Now it was time he returned the kindness.  He grabbed the bag, pushed it to the ground and laid back on the bed.

It was still light out.  He hadn't eaten anything.  None of that mattered.  He was exhausted.  Sleep came quickly.  For one whole hour he snored unperturbed.  The altering of the curtain, the shifting of the mattress, and the hot breath upon his face all went unnoticed.  Then he felt the slimy tip of a tongue tenderly trace the curve of his jaw.

TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW...^-^....

4/25/11

Horror Story 1: Scary Stuff

I thought if would be fun to write a short horror story on this blog.  It usually helps me with creativity when I tinker with a genre I don't normally write.  Here goes.  Not plotting, just pansting.  Not editing, just writing, just having a good time. 


                                                      DAY OF THE MOLES


Tara leaned against the window.  The gentle breeze shook the curtains.  She frowned.  It would only take a few minutes for her hair to get tangled.  The rain had just abated.  Soon she'd be able to go outside and tackle the moles.  The ugly little critters had dug craters all over the yard.  She sighed.  She'd been blinded by love.  That's the way it works for young brides.  When Sam suggested they move to the country, well, she had been eager.  Anything to please him.  Besides, the country would provide a peaceful atmosphere in which to raise their kids.  They might even get a few dogs, but those damn moles had to go.

"Tara, you're thinking too hard again." 

The voice at the doorway interrupted her train of thoughts.

"Sam, did you call the exterminator like I asked you?  I can't do everything around here, you know."

Sam regarded his young bride.  His friends had teased him about marrying a woman half his age, but it had been out of his control.  One look at those golden curls and honey-coated eyes and he'd been smitten for life.  He reached out, took her in his arms, and silenced her complaints with a hardy kiss until she panted for air.  Then, and only then did he answer her question.

"They're only moles.  If you're so worried I'll go out there as soon as it stops raining.  You shouldn't get so wound up.  It's bad for the baby."

He rubbed a warm hand over the expanse of her belly.  She glanced down at the large fingers then up at the tender smile playing at the corners of his lips.  Her heart swelled.  All frustration was easily forgotten.  Before she could utter another word, he left her there by the window and hurried outside.  She tucked the curtain aside and watched him exit the house with a shovel in his hand.

Sam glanced at his wife then held aloft his shovel like a sword.  The theatrical gesture was mean to amuse her, but it made him feel like a knight.  He dug deep into the ground succeeding in scattering a few moles.  Casting the shovel aside, he dropped to his knees and peered into the hole.  He thought his saw a paw. 

A swift shove of his gloved hands found him elbow deep in dirt.  He dug to the right, then to the left, then straight down.  The scent of moist earth tickled his nose.  The air tasted like nature.  Immersed in the moment, he dug even deeper.  Surely, moles would not burrow so deep.

He made to straighten up but couldn't move his arms.  It was as if something were holding him still.  He tugged harder, but the thing wouldn't let go.  The moist earth that had just seconds ago offered so much comfort was growing warm, now hot.  He squirmed, turned his head about, called out to Tara.

The young woman hurried out of the house.  She almost stumbled over the threshold trying to reach her beloved.  Two yards separated her from the broad expanse of his shoulders.  She reached out.  The piercing sound of his scream paralysed her with fear.  Two seconds later, when she could finally propel her legs forward, Sam, the man who had become her life, had been swallowed by the ground.  All that remained was a tattered shirt and a puddle of blood.

4/20/11

The Open Window

I believe that the majority of situations and things we encounter in life are tools to be used in improving ourselves.  This goes for religion as well. 

I was raised Catholic.  After the whole two paragraphs containing mild sexuality issue I was even placed in Catholic school. Oh, I loved it.  Every opportunity to grow closer to God was...well a godsend.  Since then, I've expanded my views.  To judge one religion or forgo understanding the other seems like a waste.  If you don't keep an open mind you might be missing half the story.

This poem seems at first like a secret affair of two young lovers, but it’s actually religious. Toward the end it sounds rather suicidal to me. The problem is that I never once thought of taking my life when I was a depressed teen, but I did want relief from my loneliness.


THE OPEN WINDOW
 
A smile or two set me aflame last night
I didn’t know I would see you there.
You were quiet, gentle, with a tender stare.

You reach out to me to run to your side.
I was afraid at first, a bit hesitant, but that
smooth twitch of your lips brought me peace.

I didn’t know what to say, but I saw you
Standing there expectant, and I ran to you.
I squeezed myself tight to the warmth of
your body.

Then I saw it, your wondrous smile,
and I cried.

What were you doing there? It was only
an open window, and the moon became
your face. I was standing there pleasantly
in your arms.

You said, “Don’t worry.”
I said, “Lord, I know I’m safe with you.”
Then I spread out my arms, and I flew.

Now my soul is still flying, and it finds
it’s resting place near that open window
where you held me in your arms, and
where I felt your love a second time.
 

4/18/11

SEX

I think writing about sex is an issue for many writers. 


How do we know when it's too much?  What can we make our characters do?  What should they show?  Should I be descriptive, explicit?  Well, should I put his hand here?  Should I make her say this?  Isn't it all remarkably like porn?  I was always afraid of making my characters seem stupid.  I would write a scene, then reread it. 


"Great heavens," I would say.  "If I read that out loud I'll be giggling like a school girl."


Now I reread my bedroom scenes and there is some really hot stuff in there.


I did two things to help me on this quest to better perform in the literary bedroom.


1. I asked questions.  No, not questions from other writers or agents, etc.  It started like this. 


I was in bed with my hubby...ahem...just laying there, and I decided to ask him how it felt to be a man.  It was a good question, I thought.  I obviously don't possess his equipment. When I stand, my body is heavy in different areas than his.  I wanted to know the nitty-gritty stuff, things girls aren't suppose to know just cause we're female. 


It took him several attempts to answer.  With each new answer, the burrow in his brow intensified, but I gained new knowledge.  Then, I asked him what men talk about amongst each other when women aren't around.


"Good God," he said, "you're not putting that in any of your books.  Are you?"


"Of course not, honey, but it's beyond my control if one of my characters chooses to experience it."


He wasn't much help in that department.  It's a good thing I have brothers.  You wouldn't believe the things men talk about in secret.  I made a vow not to reveal it in this blog.  However, this knowledge has been so helpful in creating my male characters.


After that, I read what I could on the subject of men and how they differ from women.  I reached down into the psychological level.  I invaded the man cave.  I do love men, but I'm thankful each new day for being a woman.


2. I picked up several books from romance writers. 


There are two extremes. 


I had one writer who would stretch a romantic scene for 20 pages.  It took her five pages to remove a scarf of undo two buttons because the guy was too busy either kissing or caressing. 


My reaction:  Will you hurry up and get to it already.


By the 20th page, she had delivered the scene beautifully.  I had to fan myself for about 5 minutes.


The second writer was so brief that she left me hanging.  She got right into it.  I felt cheated.  Toss that book aside.


I felt my place was somewhere in the middle.  The reader knows best.  We don't want to be bored to tears, and we certainly don't want to be left in a state of frustration.


When I picked up the third book, the main character was having an orgy.  When is it too much?


Today's society is not so prim.  Everyone is having sex.


I decided the best way to tackle my problem was to keep it natural.  We use real experiences to write well.  Why not do the same for sex?


Just something to think about.  Now a quote from someone who knows.


                                                      *


A promiscuous person is a person who is getting more sex than you are.


                              ~Victore Lownes~

4/15/11

Date Night

Nothing is quite as important as spending time with those you love.  In order to satisfy that agenda, my husband and I have designated Fridays as date night.  That means no writing for me and no sports of any kind for him. 

Finding a new place to eat that we both agree on can be tedious.  He eats anything  under the sun.  I watch my carb intake and frown on fried foods.  Sometimes we get creative and venture far away from  home.  One day, we  happened upon a place called Shucks.

They serve seafood.  Now, I spent most of my life in Florida.  I had my pick of restaurants by the ocean, juicy oysters brought out in buckets, jumbo shrimp.  Cool, I thought.  Bring it on.

We entered the super-busy establishment.  It took us about 45 mins to be seated.  That was just enough time to debate over the items on the menu.  There was an appetiser titled "roundabout".  It contained samples of oysters from 3 coasts.  Hmm, okay, variety. 

They brought us  a tray that resembled a garbage can lid.  On it were 12 perfectly arranged oysters.  My hubby and I exchanged a glance.  We waited for the waitress to leave.

He leaned forward and said,"I thought you said they were going to be cooked."

I peered into those hazel eyes and scrunched up nose and said, "How was I suppose to know you midwesterners serve raw oysters?"

He snorted.  "It's a delicacy."

I frowned.  "So is escargo.  You don't see me sucking on any snails."

"Should we send them back?" he asked.

I shook my head, disgusted.  "Oh no.  We're eating these babies."

I took in the complete view of 12 raw, watery oysters, with a hardy accompaniment of horse radish.  1/2 for him, 1/2 for me.

I opened a napkin. slipped an oyster on it, smashed the water out of it, stuck in onto the back of my tongue, and quickly swallowed.  It helped not to breathe.  While the others followed, I watched my hubby devour his oysters like a pro, commenting how the horse radish enhanced their flavor.  This from the man who won't eat green beans.

Note to self:  When in Nebraska, eat beef.

I joke about the midwest, but I've lived in Nebraska for 10 years now and would not trade any of these precious moments.

We spent about $100.00 that night.  We laughed hard and even cried a little.  Horseradish will do that to you, or it could just be the gagging reflex.

Time for a quote.

                                                                     
                                                                      *

Chains do not hold a marriage together.  It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.  ~Simone Signoret

4/14/11

Dance with an Angel



Long before I stumbled across Neale Donald Walsch’s book, I became addicted to angels. Not only do I have several books on the subject, I also collect figurines and pictures. When the world continued to shun me, angels became my refuge, especially the one I call my guardian, who shall remain nameless. He has made his way into all of my books, and I wrote this poem for him.

This is a brief dance with an angel as experienced through the eyes of a young girl. To me, it always depicted innocence, yet there was a secret longing. She wanted to be more than flesh. She longed to embrace his reality.




DANCE WITH AN ANGEL


Tonight let me dance with an angel.
The floor will be lit just for us.
Spectators will be gathered around us.
We’ll even hear their applause.
Across the room we will turn and glide,
lost in each other’s embrace.
What could they be celebrating,
the onlookers will say.
He will smile and conquer my heart
with his charm.
Speechless, I’ll reach out and take
his arm.
I see and idea allowed birth in his eyes.
He raises my body to teach me to fly.
Hey, I don’t have wings so don’t even
try.
Look again was his quick and ardent
reply.
There were butterfly wings sloping
over my sides.
Then he lifted me up to the skies.
We’ll fly to the peak of the mountains
and soar upon valleys so wide.
We will play with the air’s sweet caresses
and even try racing the tide.
We will do loop da loops on the rainbow
and sunbathe on a cirrus cloud.
We will travel the air rubbing elbows
and laugh with the love we’re allowed.
Then he brings me back, sets my feet
on the ground.
I like it up there. I don’t want to go
down.
Don’t leave me sweet angel, you’ll
tear me apart.
I’ll always be with your, just look in
your heart.
I still see my angel and feel his embrace.
He filled up my heart with his infinite
grace.
He vanished before me, fingers still on
my face.
His kiss was so sweet. I’ll remember the
taste.
Before my eyes he appears no more,
yet I know for eternity we will soar.
 
 

4/13/11

About Souls

I have enjoyed the privilege of having animals in my life.  I've had ferrets, birds, cats, fish, and dogs.  They've taught me so much about human kindness.  My experiences with them have led me to write them into my books.  


Unconditional love comes in many guises. 


These are my babies. 
heart failure.  I held him in my arms as the vet administered the injection that put him to sleep.  I watched his
The tri-colored sheltie on the right is Xanadu.  I lost him three years ago to congestive  eyes glaze over, heard his last breath, and felt the moment life left his body. 


It affected me greatly to lose him in physical form.  


Three days after his death, I heard him barking so loudly it woke me up from deep sleep.   I realized he had come to reassure me that he was okay.  If any fool tells you that animals don't have souls, tell them they're wrong.  They just haven't looked deeply enough into a dog's eyes.


The recollection still moves me to tears.  Everytime I see or hear a spirit, it only serves to prove that we are more than just our flesh.  If we were to aknowledge how wonderful we truly are, we would never harm each other.


I opened my eyes, glanced over at my husband.  He moaned and shifted in bed, but then again, he never did train himself to awaken to the sound of barking. 


I pasted Xanadu's picture to the other one using a stitch program.  My husband told me it doesn't match.  He looks bigger than the other two, and the snow is whiter.


He just didn't understand.


"What do you mean?" I asked.  "It matches perfectly.  Xanadu looks larger because he is in a higher place.  The snow is whiter because snow is always brighter in heaven.  The other dogs are barking up at him."










I adopted Deedra, my golden sheltie on the left from a sheltie rescue.  She had been abused and neglected.  It took me a year to get her to trust me, four to get her to trust my husband and everyone else.  Now she is a totally different dog, and I am so proud of her achievements.  She suffered through Xanadu's death with me.  


I adopted Stryker, the bi-black sheltie from the Humane Society after asking Xanadu to bring me a dog of the precise color and age.  I found him 6 months after his death.  He is only a few months younger than Dee.  They are now inseperable.  


When I write, I do it in a dog room/office.  As I sit at my desk, it's with two fluffy poochies at my feet.  It's my little piece of paradise, and I wouldn't have it any other way. 


And now a quote from an animal lover.




  Lots of people talk to animals.... Not very many listen, though.... That's the problem.  ~Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

4/12/11

Ghost Stories

I decided to make this paranormal week. 


In light of my decision, I thought it best to tell a few ghost stories, experiences from my childhood.


Before my great-grandmother bought her house, it was used as a midwife center.  Stillborn babies were buried in the yard.  At night, the rocking chairs will rock by themselves, and you can hear the sound of children playing down the hall. 


During the Summer, when I was a child, we would vacation in St. Lucia.  The beach was lovely, and the cabin spacious.  There was an outhouse in the back.  The use of the outhouse was forbidden after a few ladies complained of getting their butts slapped by naughty ghosts.


One of my uncle's wakes was performed at his house.  Imagine our surprise when we caught his spirit standing beside his bed looking at his body.


When I was 12, my mother tood\k a part-time job at night cleaning offices.  So that she could spend time with me, she took me with her a few nights.  Offices are freakin haunted!  While she was using the sweeper on the carpet, the ghosts were running down the hall. 


While we were having dinner at my parents, a lady walked through the main door, past the kitchen and disappeared into one of the bedrooms.  She was a ghost.  We just looked at each other and kept on eating.


When I was 13 I was in a swimming pool.  My mother started sweating cold and praying.  There was a foul, smelly ghost beside us.


When I was twenty, I found myself in a bad part of town.  I entered an abandoned building.  There was no one there but me and a friend.  A spirit found it necessary to tell me that we were in danger.  He filled the entire room with awful body odor.  We got out of there fast.


Aside from fireghost, I've seen a spirit walk into my step-son's room.  He didn't sleep for a week after I told him.  We couldn't figure out why he was carying a book.


A few days after my father-in-law died, my husband saw him running down the stairs.  After his mom died, our bedroom was filled with the scent of lilacs.  He still smells it from time to time.


Days after my husband's cat died, we were laying quietly in bed when the cat started meowing.  This time, we both heard him.  He just came to say he was alright.


All these stories are true.  I'm not making any of it up.


Here's a quote from a wise man.




This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.

                                                 ~Dalai Lama~

4/11/11

Ghosts and Stuff

When we hear the word ghost, we immediately scoff.  Traditional upbringing has taught us to ignore the supernatural.  Realists and skeptics alike turn their noses up.  Yet, every religion recognizes the existence of a soul.  A soul is a spirit, which is just another word for ghost.  Many try to divide the two by saying that ghosts are Earthbound spirits.  I disagree, and furthermore confess to being somewhat of an expert on the subject. 


I grew up in a household where it was acceptable to believe in all things supernatural.  Around the age of 3 my mother told me of the existence of God, so I started talking to him, and everything else around me.  I'm not like the kid from the "Sixth Sense."  I'm no medium or ghost whisperer.  We all possess clairvoyant abilities.  Like all talents, they have to be developed and nurtured.


Peripheral vision is a wonderful thing.  Many can attest to seeing shadows out of the corner of their eye.  Once they turn to face the entity directly, it's no longer there.  That's because spirits move faster than we do, and they don't really want to be seen.


I remember being around 10.  I had just returned home from shopping with my parents.  It was about 9pm and pitch black out.  While helping to put away groceries, I distinctly saw the form of a man run down the street and crouch behind a bush.  In a pitch black night, the being was blacker than black.  I pointed him out to my mother.  She nearly wet her pants.  That is the quickest we ever unloaded groceries.


I usually slept with the light on.  It's a little more scary to hear them than it is to see them.  The light helps.  Besides, as soon as the lights went off, someone would make pounding noises on the kitchen table.


As a child I was afraid of such things.  It's human nature to fear what we can't understand.  As I got older and studied more on the subject, I learned respect for non-corporeal beings.  I don't catch a glimpse of them that often, but when I do, I consider it a gift, a privilege.


My husband and I have a camper at a campsite by a lake.  Last Summer we bought a fire pit.  It was small, cute, and fresh out of the box.  We lit it up and stoked that fire.  Now, I love photography and video.  Put me on the back side of a camcorder and I do silly things.  Well, I decided it would be fun to pull out my cell phone and record our first campfire. 


Below I have included a copy of that video for the pleasure of all who love the paranormal.  This is my actual video from my cell phone.  I have shown this to everyone at my place of employment.  I've had skeptics sweating for an explanation,highly religious people rubbing at their goosebumps.  My husband wanted to go home and not sleep in the camper that night.


"Don't worry honey," I said.  "I'll protect you."
 My step-son refuses to believe it, then he looks at again, and again.


Watch the video carefully.  It's only about a minute.   Toward the last 10 seconds, keep your eyes on the top right hand corner.  You will see a spirit run from the corner and down into the fire.  I call him the fireghost.  I'll tell you the same thing I told my husband. 


"Don't be scared.  The spirit just thought our fire was pretty too.  He wanted to warm his hands."


Enjoy.


video


There are more things in heaven and earth, Horation, than are dreamt of in your philosopy.

~Shakespeare~

4/7/11

MINE ENEMY AND FRIEND

Let's talk about the villain and that conversation I was having with  my friend about how I choose my characters.  How do we create such a being?  Is he a product of our imagination?  Is she a photocopy of someone we've seen somewhere?


I created and encountered several villains in my writing.  I guess what matters the most is, is this someone that we not only hate, but that we love to hate?  What if we complicated it still?  Maybe we love to hate this person, but there's a reason why they act the way they do.  Something is broken in them, cracked, faulty.  Maybe they didn't begin life as a villain at all.


Hero and villain walk the same line.  All it takes is a little push for them to choose what side of the spectrum they really belong in.


Let's pose a scenario.


Hero:  Great guy, has countless blessings descending upon his shoulders.  Things are going perfect for him.  He falls in love with the perfectly proportioned female, is financially secure, respected by all, makes the right choices always.  He has nothing to fear, but everything to lose. 


What if one by one we take those things away from him?  Well, our hero is a fighter.  He'll wage war, break more than a small sweat, anything to regain his loses.  What if we make it imposible for him?  What if we let the obstacles wound him?  He's walking that line.  What will he do to regain his status?  What will he do for the one he loves?  Will he kill, mame, rape, steal?  Doesn't that make him a villain?


Villain:  Bad guy.  The world has kicked him to the curve.  This is someone found constantly coniving, coveting what he doesn't have, whether it be position, money, power, or a woman.  This person kills because he can, no regrets.  He mames, rapes, steals.  The world is his pot of gold. 


What if we complicate things?  Let's drop a baby at his doorstep.  (God no!)  He is presented with a being whose life is completely dependent on him.  What will he do?  We expect the villain to pick up the child and toss it in a dumpster somewhere, but...  What if the villain starts to remember how he was treated when he was a child?  What if he sees the baby as a golden opportunity?  There's a choice.  He's walking that line.  Will he change, alter his ways?  Will he even consider it?  Maybe not, but it will give us a glimpse into his heart.  And just for a moment, a brief moment, that small spark fashioned the start of a hero.


In my first book, there are two villains.  The first is a woman.  She didn't start out evil.  As a matter of fact, she had everything going for her, even the hero.  I wrote her in with the intention of getting her out of the way.  I messed with her head by ruining her perfect world.  She crossed the line, and it only got worse from there.  By the time the first hundred pages went by, I was delighted to kill her.  I even used my heroine to do it.  She can be a little bit dark.  She walks the line too.


My second villain was a man, a warlord.  He followed orders from someone too dark to explain.  Well, not true, I describe him somewhere around book 5, I think.  Those who follow orders feel justified because they're doing it for the greater good.  But what is the greater good?  Isn't it all a matter of perspective?  Doens't that point of view changed as we evolve.  I presented the villain with his only weakness, a woman he adored and was completely against his crazy crusade.  That pure love made me not hate him for a heartbeat, and then I hated him again for other reasons.  When I killed him it was a pleasure.  I used my hero to do it.


Writing is fun.  If I didn't have a day job, I'd probably spend all day doing it.


Well, time to hit the gym now.  Stay tuned tomorrow as I post my first poem from that sad teen that everybody hated.


Here's a quote from a fellow poet who was an expert in looking within the human heart.
                                                                       
                                                                           *
If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.


                                                 ~Henry W. Longfellow~

4/6/11

Choosing the Right Character

When I first started writing my stories, I shared them with a very good friend.  She was someone who  never judged me.  Intrigued with what she considered an awe-inspiring skill, she asked me how I chose my characters.


Well, my heroine was actually simple. 


I created her out of my feelings.  No one will ever know her like I do.  She possesses my passions, my fears, my code of ethics.  She is also real, forward and makes her own way.  When I make her dance over a page, she's acting out my very desires, thinking my thoughs.  I know what she likes to eat, how she prefers to dress.  She's funny, witty, sweet with an undelying naughtiness.


Choosing my hero, well, that was a different story all together.  That's where the fantasy begins.  He's not a shifter by any means, but he's also not altogether human.  I should start from the begining, with my friend's question.


"How did  you choose your hero?" she asked.


"It was easy," I said.  "I slept with him."


"What!?"  That was her response, but having become familiar with my eccentricity, she waited for my reply.


"Well, not for real.  This is fiction."  Let me explain.


There were three men who interviewed for the position, in my mind's eye.  Consider the fact that I have owned my heroine, so I know what she prefers in her counterpart.  These three, who have all made it into my books, have distinct personalities.  There was only one way to figure them out.  I took them all on a date.


Bachelor number 1 was flirtatious, powerful, and offered a slightly complicated relationship.  I wanted to play with him, but it wouldn't lead to anything serious.


Bachelor number 2 was brainy, kind, and left me gaping half the time with his acquired knowledge.  I wanted to be his friend and use his toys.


Bachelor number 3 liked Chinese noodles.  He enjoyed mixing silk and leather.  His passions ran deep, along with his temper.  There was something in his eyes, a certainty that he would know exactly what to do and what to say.  He held the world on his shoulders.  Although he could handle it, he was secretly vulnerable.  I needed to look deeper.


I let him take out to dinner.   He wore one of those ruffled shirts that have no place on such a brawny man, and he looked fantastic.  Leather pants hugged his hips down to his ankles like a glove.  He poured me wine, a fine Merlot, rich, dark, full-bodied.  He raised the cup to my lips and leaned forward.  His eyes crinkled at the corners as I took that first sip.  His lips tilted up just a fraction.


"Why are you doing this?" I heard myself whisper.


He leaned even closer, licked his lips.  "I'm a filthy, lascivious, fornicating feline.  What's your excuse?"


That's when I knew he was the one.  He was secure.  Life was at his fingertips.  He was perfection.


I took him home and ravished him in the shower.  He's been my hero ever since. 


I get involved with  my characters.  It's how I make the stories work. 


Artists will submerge themselves in their art.  They will paint their bodies, stroke a brush against canvas relentlessly night after night before collapsing in a heap of exhaustion.  During that time they might refuse to eat, bathe, sleep.  That is passion, devotion, love for the art.  Eccentric you say.  You betcha, and it's what works for them.  I respect that.


Writers write all the time, even when they're not holding a pen or stroking keys.  They think about it, construct plots, carry pages of dialogue in their purse that they've scribbled on a pad in the spur of the moment because some great scenario just leaped into their heads.  Well, at least I do. 


I could be at the mall and wonder what my characters will wear, be watching a TV show and consider how they would react in  a certain situation.  If I'm at a restaurant, I wonder what food they would order from the menu or how so and so's hand would look while petting my dogs.


I love it, the whole process of writing, except for the querying part. 


I'm going to close this post with a few words from a fabulous man.  He's a buddy of mine who happens to make a guest appearance in one of my books.  Centuries later he still has me in awe because of his liberal views of life.


                                                                          *


                          I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your
                          right to say it.


                                                          ~VOLTAIRE~

4/5/11

Poem 1: CRY LITTLE KITTY

I mentioned before that I wrote poetry during my teenage years. This is one I wrote for a friend. Oh, there was the occasional few who were drawn to me. They were usually kids who had encountered their own brand of cruelty. I discovered that these individuals who the world deemed less-than-perfect were beautiful people who felt their emotions deeply.
I’m going to call my friend Stacie to protect her identity. At the time I wrote this poem she was living with a guy, someone much older. Somehow she came across a tiny kitten that had been abandoned by it’s mother. She kept it for exactly two days feeding it from a bottle, but the man she lived with grew angry because the kitten kept them up at night. The selfish bastard made her choose.
She had no one if he left her, so she did something many girls do in her situation. She betrayed herself. They took the kitten in the car with them, drove to a fancy house and dumped the kitten in the backyard in the hopes that the people living there would happen upon it and take it in. It was a gamble. Then, they drove away. She never knew what became of the kitten but blamed herself often.
When she finally told me the story she had been crying for days. Both her actions and her grief broke my heart. And so I wrote this poem for her, the kitten, and so many others that are taken for granted. I have made no alterations to the poem since the day I wrote it when I was about fifteen.
 
 

CRY LITTLE KITTY
 
Cry little kitty, cry because your mother’s womb has brought you to a cold and heartless world.
Cry little kitty, for the breast that once nursed you abandoned you to the cruelty of human hands.
Cry little kitty, for in a world where kids go hungry and people exploit each other no one will hear your little kitty cries.
Cry little kitty because I hear you, and my tears go with you, and my memories will always have you.
Cry little kitty that your little grey eyes and your pink button nose feel the hatred inside human hearts.
Cry little kitty, for here comes the master to take you in his arms, caress your little kitty head, and give you his love.
Now little kitty, cry no more.

4/4/11

Psych 101: Fantasy

Back in my college years, a long, long time ago, I tinkered with the idea of becoming a psychologist.  I thought that I could offer advice, a shoulder to cry on for those damanged souls.  I was just starting to break out of my shell. Mother Theresa was in my heart.  Then, my sociology teacher said something extraordinary.

People spend 90% of the time thinking about sex.

What?  The man was either delusional or high on something.  I've yet to find evidence to the fact.  There is no way in the world.  People just don't do that.  Come on.  What a waste of time.  Never pose such a scenario to someone with an overactive imagination.

"That can't be right," I finally said.  Then, I cocked my head and pictured him in speedos.

Note to self:  Eliminate speedos from all future fantasies...hmm, unless they're strapped to Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, that guy from Pearl Harbor, or some other hottie.

It's no wonder that when I tell my friends that I write fantasy, they glance around, lips quivering, cow-eyed, and consider sticking their faces inside a desk drawer.

"No, no," I say.  "Not the stuff you think about 90% of the time.  You know, the genre, fantasy."

Definition:  Fantasy is a genre of fiction that uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in fictional worlds where magic is common. Fantasy is generally distinguished from science fiction and horror by the expectation that it steers clear of (pseudo-)scientific and macabre themes, respectively, though there is a great deal of overlap between the three (which are subgenres of speculative fiction).

It's like a thin line you walk.  Careful which way to sway your hips.  I am confused about something.  There are agents out there that say they don't represent fantasy or science fiction, but they will represent speculative fiction.  If the two are subgenres of the one....well, you see my confusion.

I began writing a spectacular paranormal romance,which wasn't a romance at all, eventhough there's a hot thriving love story in it, because there's not a real HEA until the second book.  It became fiction. 

Wait, you throw in an alien or two, another planet, then it has aspects of science fiction. 

Now, insert a unicorn, a secret power, go do something crazy like toss in a tiny purple fairy who chugs beer, hocks loogies, and curses in five languages just because he can, and ouila, we have achieved fantasy.

Note to self:  Annihilate nasty little hocking fairy before he finds his way into any of my books.

I can't seem to help myself.  No matter what I try to write, it becomes fantasy.  Everything else just seems so dull in comparison.  So I've embraced it.  I am a fantasy writer.  There is a series of ten books waiting to be published, and I continue to query my little heart out. 

Tune in tomorrow and find out how I chose my characters.

As for psychology, eh, Ziggy Freud lost me at penis envy.  In honor of my college years, here's a quote from a shrink.

 "I must learn to love the fool in me the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promise, laughs and cries."      I Like this quote I dislike this quote

                                                       ~Theodore Isaac Rubin~