An Epic Amount of Support for “Devil’s Advocate”

Here is a post from a woman that has been working so hard at her creative endeavors that I want to help her out. Please read her post, watch her short film and VOTE. She really deserves to do extremely well in this competition. Thanks!

Aether House

Last Friday, I asked something of you guys. I saw that my short film, Devil’s Advocate, was ranked in the top 20% of both the Horror and Overall categories, and I said, “Hey, that’s not bad. I wonder if we could do better.”

Guys, you did better than better. You did outstanding.

On Friday afternoon, we were at #42 in horror, #23 in Female Filmmakers, #245 overall, and I think #33 in science fiction. I tweeted, I Facebooked, I instagrammed. I pushed and pushed and kept everyone updated on the progress as our little film continued to rise in the rankings. It was astounding. My network is not huge. I have 200 WP followers. I have about 120 FB friends and 450 Twitter followers (99.9% of whom never talk to me). There was no way I was going to have a significant response.

But just when I thought we…

View original post 279 more words

Full Disclosure

Yeah, I have a degree in journalism. In getting that degree I was taught that if there is any possible conflict of interest the writer must make a full disclosure statement. But now for the part that might seem weird to most, but maybe not my writer friends.

Full disclosure: I’m scared. And to be honest, as a writer, I’m not even sure of what. Rejection? Success?

I think it’s something unrelated, or maybe in between. All I know is this: For the last several months I’ve read through portions of my manuscript for Requiem for a Laborer. I’ve been able to make a few basic edits, correcting horrible sentenses, improper word choice, that sort of thing. But when it comes to making “flesh and bone” changes, I’ve been paralyzed.

Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way at all thinking that my work is beyond reproach. In fact, I think that like many writers (and musicians- I fancy myself a vocalist too. Blues, if you must know.) our own worst critics.

Every time I sit down to edit, I find myself thinking: Who would want to read this? Who would want to read a novel about a group of wannabe freedom fighters on a steam powered airship? Sure the aerial battle plays out super cool in my head but…      and the thoughts trail off…

At this point, I find myself thinking what right do I have to write a steampunk novel? Cheri Preist has it down with her Clockwork Century series but is there anything of real value that I can add to the genre? I feel like I have a different approach but  maybe it isn’t different enough?

And it is at this point that things get even more sticky for me. In college, (I graduated four years ago as a non-traditional student)  I was given very positive feedback from my professors, English professor Alayne Peterson,  about my writing. My thought? Oh, they’re just being kind. I’m really not that good.

Then again, maybe this is self-destructive thought. If I produce a story that a few people find entertaining I think that I have done my job. Maybe I could it evolve it into a series. Time and ability will tell.

So what brought me out of my writing funk? Well…

I was watching a #Joe_ Bonamassa Mountain Time video, awesome guitar work awesome musician. Beyond that, I don’t think I could really tell you.

I can tell you this, however, I am trying my damnedest to start moving forward with my writing.

Peace.

 

 

My mind is stuck in a bad place

Entertaining Stories

I was going to produce some more of my craziness tonight to talk about my writing. Maybe Lisa could have tea with the caveman character that mentor’s yak guy through part of his journey.

Something happened that keeps my mind focused on other things. Most of you seemed to like a post I wrote on December 12, 2015. This was a story about a guardian angel with a mild Christmas bent. You can review it here, if you’re so inclined.

Take a look at this diaper bag.

d13c5f1b-6cb6-4a42-90f5-b65dc67b37d1-large16x9_DIAPERBAG

It looks to be in good repair, none of the stitching is loose. It looks like a brand new bag to me. Someone bought it in anticipation of a new baby. The police found it alongside the street in Twin Falls, Idaho, on December 31st. It contained a dead newborn girl.

You can read the news article here, if you like.

View original post 602 more words

A Christmas Short Story

Happy Holidays to you all. Thanks for taking the time to read and follow my little piece of the Blogosphere.

I wanted to share this bit of a novel that I wrote a little more than a year ago. This excerpt is a holiday piece that I hope you will enjoy.

Peace to all.

It was late December. Katherine Hunter-Price closed the front door to her apartment behind her. She was sick to death of editors riding her ass as she was working on stories and once again being forced to put her feature stories on hold. It was the same frustrating bullshit she had to deal with for years now. This story was big. She knew that she was the investigative reporter to work it because she had the connections in the railroad that could get her information. To hell with them if they weren’t going to listen. Katty wondered if she would have had as many issues if her name was Samuel or Thomas.

But in two days it would be Christmas. At least, she had a couple of parties she was invited to. Being with friends would break up the stress of dealing with work.

Katty looked out the window and saw that it was late dusk. She smiled to herself and tried to remember that the scientific term was for this time of day from her astronomy class that she took as a science elective: Was it Astronomical Twilight? She giggled to herself. How long had it been since she had taken that course?

After putting on her ski jacket and pulling on her boots, Katty stepped into the refreshing chill.

The air was completely calm. The only air moving was her own breath. She took as deep a breath as she could manage, arching her shoulders back. She smelled with wonder the scent that was only in the air around Christmas. She closed her eyes. There wasn’t a single solitary sound to be heard.

When Katty opened them, she looked at the color of the sky.  She marveled at the beauty; the silver of the rim of the horizon, the red-gold of last bits of broken sunlight, the pale blue above that darkening trough blue-green to electric to royal, and finally to the deepest, inky indigo. Katherine imagined a time before she was Katty. One Christmas, when a very young Kathy Hunter-Priest wondered if this was what is must be like to be inside her mother’s huge turquoise pendant looking out.

Christmas. The word had awoken an old memory…

Her daddy had given her mommy that necklace for Christmas when Katty was what? Eight years old? It had come in a black satin gift box that had silver letters printed on she couldn’t read, with a picture of a funny looking kachina that she giggles at. Katty remembered when her mommy opened the box and showed her little girl the gift, Katty could only stand agape. The turquoise stone seemed bigger than the palm of her hand and too magical to touch. The stone was mostly a gorgeous blue-green but mixed with shimmering pools of pure blue. An irregular web of copper looked like it was straining to hold the two colors of ice together and protect it from melting.

Katty remembered asking her mommy if she could touch the piece of jewelry. Her mommy said she could and Katty was surprised that if felt not like the ice of a frozen Wisconsin lake but warm from her mother holding it for her to see.

“Would you like to try it on, Kathy?” Her mother asked, smiling warmly at her your daughter.

Kathy couldn’t speak but only nodded, surprised at the offer. She lifted the necklace over daughter’s head and the two of them laughed together when the beautiful pendant fell to near the little girl’s tummy.

Katty was mesmerized by the night and the happy memory. She stepped off the sidewalk and listened to the snow crunch beneath her snow boots. The walked a few steps farther into the snow and began to dance to an old holiday song that came into her mind. She whirled and twirled in small circles all the while thinking of happy memories from her childhood and this time of year when almost everything held a magic of its own. She made turns with her arms stretched over her head with her eyes closed.

This time, when she opened them she was cognizant that the sun had completely set and that the sky had become completely dark. She didn’t feel that this was the kind of frightening dark of a woman walking home alone late, but the comforting dark of a little girl in her favorite pajamas, nestled deep in a down comforter after mommy had tucked her in and daddy had kissed her good night.

Katty walked through the bare trees of the little woods near her home. She had just walked around the trunk of a large ancient oak when she startled and was startled by, a pair of cottontail rabbits. She laughed quietly to herself as she tried to follow the rabbits, just to see where they were going. As they would hop a few yards ahead of her she would do her best to follow them as quietly as she could. The two rodents became bored with this game quickly and bounded off in different directions. Katty laughed in spite of herself. As she turned to go home she came upon a fallen branch that was as long as she was tall.

Taking hold if the branch she amused herself by making snowflake designs in the ice topped snow with its sharp point. After a few of these, she tried to draw a simple rabbit’s face with the long ears and whiskers and nose with a smiling mouth but was made to stop by her own laughing at the silly look of her attempt.

As she walked home, Katty became acutely aware that she had not let herself have the fond fun of a child in months, no… years.

As she walked up the steps to the stoop of her apartment she took a last look at the night sky and the made a point of taking in the beauty of the stars, even if most of them were washed out by the city lights.

In her living room, she shook off her coat and the chill of the night. Making her way to the kitchen, she decided that she would make hot chocolate, to warm herself. As the water was heating up she looked out her kitchen window and noticed it had clouded over; started to snow. As she mixed the water hot, chocolate mix and tiny marshmallows the snow picked up and had become big fluffy flakes.

She set the steaming mug down on her coffee table and made her way to her bedroom where she changed from her clothes into warmest, most comfortable pajamas.

Katty made her way down the stairs, turned on the table lamp sat on the couch and opened a book.

She smiled. She put the book down and leaned over and turned off the lamp. Then she went into the closet and pulled out an oversized down comforter. She turned high back chair toward the picture window and fully opened the blind. Picking up the comforter she spread it over the chair and dragged the end table next to it. Sitting down, she wrapped herself in the comforter and picked up her mug.

She watched the snow in the quiet and the dark. But this was not the quiet of someone forced to be alone but the quiet of meditative prayer. This was not the dark of a fearsome city street, but the dark of a little girl snuggled deep in her warm down comforter. This is how the hardened and jaded journalist, Katherine Hunter-Priest, fell asleep. Safe in the arms of memories she thought were long forgotten.

 

Am I Too Far Gone?

Right now I keep paging through the manuscript for my current novel, “Requiem”. I am having a problem with what to correct and what to pass over because this is just a first draft.

So at this point, I am asking myself: “If I am asking myself these questions, am I honestly into my first revision?

I know that this may sound like silly semantic questions, but there is a purpose here. It has to do with achieving goals and how I define them. I set the goal for myself that I will have the first draft of this novel done by the first of the year.

But what is bothering me is that I still have holes in the story that I need to fill, but I keep getting pulled into what I see as glaring problems; mostly with mechanics.

I have it in mind that I should work from the biggest problems. i.e. plot holes, faults in character arcs and the like, but I keep getting sucked into the minutiae of misspellings bad punctuation etc.

Is this just a problem for me? Good Lord! Is it possible that I am whacked, even by fiction writer standards?

*shudder*

How does anyone else decide where the first draft ends and the rewrite begins?

Maybe I’m taking the whole dilemma too seriously.

Perhaps it isn’t even a dilemma?

Or perhaps my little red choo-choo has gone chugging around the bend. O-o

In any case, a happy week to all.

Serendipity

I was writing out my page number goal tonight for my novel “Requiem” when I, well stopped. I couldn’t think of anything to continue writing.

I read what I had written and…

I loved what I had just written as a closing to my novel. It all fit almost perfectly! I couldn’t believe  it.

This ending provided the two things I was worried about. Namely: having some sort of emotional closure for the climax and enough of a cliff hanger to justify a second book.

Sometimes things just work out. You don’t know how or why, but you’re just damned glad when they do.

Why I Write

I have been back to writing after taking a break after National Novel Writing Month. I’ve gotten out just a few more thousand words, but I’m going to be picking up that pace. Now the goal is to have the first draft done be the end of the year.

After that, some time off, no more than a week, and then the process of the first rewrite.

Why do I write, though? Why do I feel that I really need to sit at a computer and pound out thousands of words that it’s quite possible no one will read?

To be honest, there are times when I’m not sure.

But when I become quiet and introspective, like I am now, today, I think that I write as a means of coping with my depression. And, yes, I am working through a bout of depression.

Photo of Depression

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

I believe the greater part of why I write is it often feels that it is the one thing in my life that I have complete control over. And it’s just that easy. And complex. I work in a factory where I am trying to get promoted off the production floor, I have a family with three cat’s included, and for the most part, it all goes pretty well.

I just feel that there should be something thatI have complete control over. Is that wrong, maybe even egotistical?

During times when I have the companionship of depression, the feeling of needing to be in control takes on an added depth. Like I am missing something by not being in charge or I would feel better if there was something that I could control. This goes beyond the control inherent to the creation of characters, places, and events. I mean I am in control of the process. I decide when and how much I write, when I rewrite and edit, what mood I want to evoke and with what words, who sees my work and when.

Underwood typewriter

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

Yes, I understand when I turn my work over to beta readers and editors, that they have criticism and suggestions. There again I have the right of refusal. I don’t have to listen. Although it would be in my best interest to do so if I would ever want to become a published writer.

That is so much unlike how I perceive other aspects of my life. I have to do what I am told to at work. It is a very good idea to do my best to get along with my family and happily be engaged with family obligations. Things I have to do to be a good person.

So I am now off to write some more today. Here’s to a better tomorrow.