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Teaching a class tomorrow on the effects of domestic violence on children...  it is important information, but teaching this workshop always takes it out of me. Hard to talk about, hard to listen to, hard to present. The purpose, though, outweighs the sad part. Knowledge is power; if we know what we are looking when we see it, know what to do when we encounter it, know how to help children put the pieces of their lives back together, we can help. And that... is all that matters.
Deep breath.
Okay... I am ready.

Writer's Woes....

My Morning writing session so far:

" …Without thought to the wisdom of the dangerous enterprise (Character 1) left them arguing in the shadow of the threat and went out to face it alone…."

Character 2: He shouldn't do that! It’s reckless and stupid, even for him.

Character 1: I left already, look. It’s too late to stop me.

Character 2: Only because every paragraph has to be about you!

Character 1: Suck it up, pretty boy.

Me: Shut up and get back in the paragraph.

Character 2: Make me, writer girl!

Me: I’m warning you, I have editing software and I’m not afraid to use it!

Character 1: She always did like me best.

Character 2 : #*$#&_@#)&#!!!!!

Me: I will turn this novel around and we will go right home!

Character 2: HE STARTED IT!

Me: He did not.

Character 1: I am standing right here, stop talking about me like I’m not on the page!

Character 2: Oh? I thought you left already.

Character 3: (peering into the secret candy stash beside the computer) Are you going to eat those jellybeans?



In which I yam what I yam...

So, I spend a lot of time writing at the library because it is close to work and has wi-fi to distract me....er, I mean google to facilitate my research (coff coff), and there is this lady that is here most mornings.  I see her quite often at the table across from me and I have often imagined she might be a writer. She is scholarly, nicely dressed and well groomed, fairly serious but pleasant and clearly intellectual, with the kind of glasses that make you look even smarter than you are. She conducts research in heavy leather bound volumes, remains focused despite the lure of the internet, pauses to ponder what are clearly deeply philosophical conundrums and probably can turn a pretty phrase faster than Emily Dickenson. She has a spreadsheet, and post it notes,  diagrams and outlines (“circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back….”), and she sits in literary silence, where she types serenely, composes thoughtfully and apparently does not tear her hair, gnash her teeth or rend her garments in the search for perfect metaphors and elusive descriptives.  I peeked over her shoulder yesterday when I passed behind her and I am pretty sure she is probably writing the Great. American. Novel.

 I on the other hand, arrive at the library with a sticker emblazoned, battered laptop, licorice bears and cheddar bunnies hidden in my purse, and my headphones tuned to Abney Park, Eric Bazilian and Frenchy and the Punk.  I open my computer bag to a rush of trapped Starbucks scented air, spend forty minutes leaving smart aleck comments on Facebook before I get around to opening the current manuscript file, buy all my flash drives in bright jewel toned colors (and then lose them), scrawl bits of dialogue on the backs of my hands while driving (lest I forget them), and dress pretty much as one might expect with Steam punk, Stevie Nicks, Jane Austen and the lead singer from Coldplay as style icons. I am scattered. I am disorganized. I am colorful and erratic and ecstatically creative… I have also written  eight novels, a novel length web serial, two one act plays, a novella, several short stories and  the proverbial “rowth o’ rhymes” since 2010.

In the words of Robert Burns: “good workmen never quarrel with their tools.”

So good morning, elegant, intellectual, nice writer lady! I wish you luck in all your endeavors… but I will never be like you.

Now excuse me, dear, while I go paint colors on the sky.


Feb. 25th, 2014

I have decided that I am wearing this to the Historical Museum gig on Friday .... because nothing says "Old Time Gospel" like a steampunk gypsy ensemble! LOL! Well, okay, I might forgo the hat and goggles.
Or not.



Feb. 24th, 2014

Life may indeed be stranger than fiction. But Fiction is infinitely more entertaining.

At least... it is if you are doing it right!

In which my cowardice knows no bounds...

This morning when I went to the library to write (my usual morning occupation) I discovered two things.

The first was that of the three ladies working on the outdoor garden just before the library opened, one loved to sing and was happily doing so at the top of her voice, caring less than nothing about who heard her do it. I was snoozing in the car (I do this) with the windows down and a cool, rain scented breeze lulling me into a relaxed (pre-writing) state, and I dozed off and dreamed I was at the Renaissance Festival (where, I can assure you, I took many, many naps to the sound of distant singing!) but when I woke up (I actually have an alarm set on my phone that reads "Library Opens!") I discovered the voice I had heard singing was actually this woman crouched in the garden with her hands in the soil and her voice raised to the clouds. It was kind of a beautiful thing.

The second thing I discovered (upon stretching and climbing out of the car) was that the local Friday morning writers group (which I have been threatening to join for ages) was meeting in a room off of the children's wing in... oh...five minutes ago, and I hung my head in self imposed shame. I felt trapped by my own intentions, guilty for not going in, busted by my own brash bragging that I was going to  attend "one of these days"....  I did not actually make it through the door - they had already started and I felt funny walking rudely in in the middle ("Hi! You don't know me but I'm here to crash your writer party!") but I eavesdropped outside the window shamelessly for a few minutes. There was a man in there reading from one of his work-in-progress, and he had a lovely reading/speaking voice; deep and resonant with expression and a pleasant, rhythmic cadence. The idea of the group (apparently) is sharing your writing and being offered polite, helpful constructive criticism (polite, helpful constructive criticism makes me cry) in a group setting (yeah, that's me, over there, hiding behind the Caldecott winners on the third tall shelf, pretending to read "Corduroy" and "Where the Wild Things Are" in Spanish....). I think it is possible that I might actually have made it in the door after a few minutes of hemming and hawing (Oh look! And here are the Newberry Winners on this OTHER tall shelf over here....Did you know Neil Gaiman's Graveyard Book won in 2009? I did.) but over by the childrens circulation desk a burly man and his loud voiced assistant were assembling metal shelves for DVD's, and the metal to metal hammer blows drove me away after five minutes with my hands over my ears. It really was hideously loud in the middle of a LIBRARY... and didn't they  know I was trying to eavesdrop? Hmmmph.

 I will not attend the writers group next Friday morning either (for those of you that are wondering) because I have work meetings all morning, but the Friday after that? Well... who knows.

Anything is possible.


Feb. 20th, 2014

Quite without meaning to, I seem to have taken a four month sabbatical from live journal, in the process breaking my own avowed intention to NOT become “one of those facebook  people”.  I my defense, I left live journal  (as usual) at the end of October in order to do National Novel writing month in November (the thirty day/50,000 word challenge leaving less time for journaling in any case) but somehow I just never got back on the live journal horse (so to speak) and I find myself regretting that. I miss hearing what all of you are up to, seeing your pictures, hearing your thoughts, connecting with you… so I am going to try to be a better blogger (bad blogger, no cookie!)

I am, of course, still writing. The (last) novel was finally finished at 157,000 words and I am now 70,000 words into the sequel, and have the next sequel already in the works (since this is apparently doomed destined to become a series, eh elfinecstasy?) This – I have just realized, means I have written 227,000 words since July (along with another 6000 words of random short story) which actually isn't too damn shabby, is it? I am also editing my 2012 novel (Whispers on the Windowsill) and engaging in several other bits of literary endeavor, bolstered by enthusiastic support from elfinecstasy and razzle .  All in all, there is much writing afoot. In the meantime, how are all of you? I am going to try (first) to catch up and then (second) keep up with live journal, and can’t wait to hear how everyone is and what you are up to (though I know for a fact a lot of you are busy shoveling snow!)

Er.....  good luck with that.  ;-)
Sometimes, the art of writing is an act of creativity,  magic and flight..... and sometimes it is more a matter of putting your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keys and getting the words on the screen.

Guess which kind of day this is?

I am SO tired....

What am I going to do?

I am going to write anyway.

Was there ever any question?
All set up on the NaNoWriMo website (fasten your seat belt, here we go again!) for NaNo novel number seven in November. Oh! And I wrote the (virtual) back cover synopsis (below) !
This novel is a prequel to the one I wrote for the July NaNo challenge....er.... that I am still writing (cough cough)
....Adventure was not an unexpected circumstance, sneaking up on unsuspecting innocents in the middle of the night; it was in fact a foregone conclusion. Even if Arrington Pentecost had not been born to be a hero, even if Algernon Vaudeville had not agreed to a foolhardy proposition, even if Jacob Damascus had not appeared on their doorstep, orphaned, frightened and undeniably desperate; adventure would have found them. The appearance of a pretty girl in fear for her life only compounded it. Caught up in a whirlwind exploit of master criminals, steam powered technology, double crossing enemies and triple crossing partners, Pentecost, Vaudeville and young Damascus quickly find themselves careening from train robberies and daring rescues to a desperate search for answers to the secrets that had cost the lives of a mysterious group of vigilante heroes, slain in the dark of the night for defying an evil Consortium. The adventure would have found them anyway; they just went out to meet it.....

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