Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I actually did it! My first NaNoWriMo ever and I won!
Even having my husband home for almost two weeks and having the kids all get sick with a stomach bug one after the other didn't stop me from finishing.
It was exciting, exhausting, draining, all those -ing things.

I set aside a project that I've been working on for a year so I could do NaNoWriMo. I started something completely new.
Regulator Seven, the story I set aside, is a Sci-Fi story.
The one I decided to work on for NaNoWriMo is Zombie Fortress. Horror, non-fiction, reportive--whatever.

It started out as a non-fiction sort of thing, but it needed way too much research to be able to finish it in time. So, I started with the fictional narrator. He's great!
Zombie Fortress isn't what I intended, it's close, but not quite. I just can't stay away from the fiction.

The non-fiction started out as a sort of how-to manual on building a zombie-proof fortress so you can survive the zombie apocalypse. I got that part right. But there is just so much stuff that goes into a how-to that there was no way it would get finished.
The author of the manual started out as me. But when I realized I couldn't finish, it morphed into the voice of a long lost author who never finished the manuscript.
It became a manuscript that was found in an abandoned compound by an archaeologist.
The archaeologist is the narrator. I've named him Dr. Ulfric Lockwood. I think it's the perfect name.

Now I have to go back and do revisions and lots of editing to make it work exactly the way I want it to.
That means I have to figure out how to hook the printer to my mini laptop. I do believe I have to download the program for it since the mini doesn't have a cd/rom thingy. But after that's done, I get to print out the novel and get out the highlighters and scissors. That's the fun part, hehehe.
Yup, I'm a visual writer. I need to see the story in front of me in total so I can see what doesn't fit. Then I cut it all up and tape it together. I highlight the best parts and takes tons of notes.

Then the revisions begin. I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with this one!

My new favorite character? Why, Dr. Ulfric Lockwood of course!

Thank you to everyone who cheered me on!

Monday, October 31, 2011


I signed up for NaNoWriMo this year.
I'm Excited.
I'm Terrified.

I'm running around pulling my hair and muttering to myself about it.
Ok. I should have done this sooner. It's intimidating to think that for all the writing I do I wont be able to finish on November 30 with the necessary 50,000 words. I know I can do it, but the fact that I'll be held accountable by OTHER PEOPLE this time is seriously giving me fits.

Deep breath, let it out slow.
Calm and Center.

Nope. Not helping.
I'm perfectly aware that this is not a race to see who's best and brightest. It's just the opportunity for us to get something done for once. To 'Free The Beast'. To work on that totally off the wall idea that's been sitting in the corner pouting for the last (6mo, 5yrs, 20yrs).
We wont be judged on style or genre or theme. No one is going to throw a fit over my bad grammar.
It's a place for us to post a word count and have the competition be only for ourselves. To see just how far we can go. Most of the stuff that comes out of NaNoWriMo will be utter dreck. But that's o.k.
Some of it will turn out to be treasure in disguise.

Whether or not my work for NaNo will be a treasure or drivel is anyone's guess. I'm willing to try, if only to find out for myself what I can do.

I'm Excited.
I'm Terrified.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Does My Wardrobe Reflect My Authorly Coolness?

In a word-NO.
No, it does not.

It reflects my MOMNESS.
I wish it were otherwise. But right now, that is the role I'm in, so that's what I dress like.
*sigh* I need a makeover.

One that gives me an air of Authorlyness. Is that a word? Too bad, I said it.
One that says "I'm dangerous for your mind"
A look that says "I'll write you into my book if you piss me off. Then I'll torture your character beyond belief"

I need a look that projects condescending writerly badassness. So I can intimidate you with my big words while I sip overpriced cappuccino and frown about the state of literary slovenliness on the bestseller list.

Anybody have any intimidating big words I can borrow? Oh, and can I borrow a few bucks for cappuccino?

But really. For practical Mom purposes and to satisfy my OCD about preparedness I'll probably end up looking like a cross between a female Indiana Jones and a Supernatural Monster Hunter.
Look out Zombies! I'll rip your heads off with my trusty whip!

Ok, just ignore the weird visual there. I don't mind.

I know I wont look like the cyberpunk maven I want to be. I just don't think I can pull that off. I can try.
But, uummm, No.
And that "Authorly" snob look? Nah, I'm too much of a snarky smart ass.

I'll stick with Monster Hunter.
Besides, the weapons are way cooler.

Is your wardrobe a reflection of who you are? Or does it reflect who you want to be?
You know the old saying --"Fake it till ya make it."
If you worked in an office job you would want to impress the bosses with a good wardrobe that was professional. It would make them think you were serious about moving up in the company and would make a good representative for them.
So why not do that for yourself?
Give yourself that little boost by dressing the part as often as possible, it will build up in your psyche.
The next time you meet a new person and they ask what you do, you will answer just a little more confidently
"I am a Writer"

Friday, July 15, 2011

On The Road or A Traveller's soul

So this post is about working from home. I warned you, it's about to get personal.

I live in my R.V. 
That was a situational decision. It's much cheaper to live this way than to try to rent a house or apartment. On our small income there was no way to afford even the cheapest of places and where we lived at the time of the decision the 'Government Housing' list was a mile long with a three year wait. *Sigh*

Living with friends and relatives, while cheap, was a nightmare. Three small children do not a good roomate make. Bless You all loved ones who put up with us while we were in the slump and practically homeless. 

So. R.V. it was. My mom helped with the cost of getting set up, we gave away, donated, threw away almost everything we owned. The rest went into a mini-storage.
I had expected to be upset and mourning the loss. Instead I felt liberated, free, as if a great weight had been lifted off my shoulders. 
My husband was away on the road for work so I bought and hauled home the tiny R.V. trailer with my mom following close behind in her car, in case I had a problem. It was exhilarating. It was exciting! It was the bravest thing I could remember ever doing.
I moved myself and my children into the trailer. Lucky for us they were small enough that it wasn't too tight a fit. The closest r.v. park was in the next town over so that's where we went. South East Texas is not exactly a resort area. 
Within weeks my husband changed jobs. Again. It sucked. 
Some things happened. Not exactly bad, just disappointing and depressing.

We made the decision to move to Oklahoma. Our families hated it. They were angry with us.(side note; we both have large extended families and most of them live in SE Tex. so leaving the bosom of relatives was frowned upon even if it meant we had to be dependent on them forever.) (families, gotta love 'em)
But it was the best thing to do at the time. Had to follow the jobs.

Since then we've moved several times and changed trailers and travelling companions. We've made friends in the oddest of places and been blessed with help out of the blue and at the least expected moments.
Someday I'll tell you all how I became a believer in Santa Claus again. 
Someday I'll tell you about the strip club owner that tried to recruit me.
Someday I'll tell you how I sweet talked a tireshop guy into not charging me for a tire to replace my flat spare.
Someday, someday, someday I'll write memoirs that will make my great-grandkids blush and say "Hell Yeah, what a life!"
Somewhere along the way I realized a few things.
I realized that I love travelling. 
I realized that I had been a traveller my whole life and not known it. 
I realized that I thrive on adversity and conflict. 
I realized that I am strong, independent and capable.

But after all this time I'm stuck in one place. I now have two r.v.s and two trucks. And a trucker husband who is never home. My eldest is old enough to get a driver's license but, hell, I can't trust him on a bicycle so I'm terrified of helping him get his license.
I'm feeling that itch. That urge. I can't explain it. Four years we've been here in Cheyenne and I absolutely love it. But there is something calling me. Something that says it's time to move on.
Four years is a long time in one place. As an adult I don't recall ever being in one place more than four years. As a kid I was constantly shifted from one parent to another. From one place to another. 
I learned to live out of a backpack and not treasure any one possession too much for fear it would be lost.

Yet, here I am. Stuck. I'm getting antsy. I'm getting nervous and stressed. The truck needs repairs before it can haul another trailer. The smaller trailer can't get registered for the road and I can't even sell it (Don't ask, it's too complicated.).
And my husband seems to be stuck working in Oklahoma again. Far away from us.
I'm at the point that I want to give away a bunch of stuff just to be rid of it. Including the small r.v.
The bigger trailer is more trouble to pack up. And heavy. But it suits us.
I'm doing all this alone for now.
Alone with three kids and a neurotic cat.

The original idea after moving here was to purchase property and settle down. It never happened. Now I wonder if I would be feeling this way if we had. Would I still watch the cars on the highway and wish I could be on the road again? 
Or would I have settled into life as a landowner and been content with the occasional road trip?
I don't know. I don't know a lot of things. 
I do know that I'm sick of sitting here waiting for something to break loose. I'm sick of doing this alone.
I'm sick of the people around me questioning everything I do despite the fact that I have proven myself a thousand times over.
While I wait and stress and pace and wish I could just pack up and go, there is only one thing I can do for myself. One thing I have control over.
My writing. It is a bright shining light in the darkness. Not because I see it as a money maker although that would be nice. But because I decide what happens in that world. I make things happen.
Good things, bad things, indifferent things. They are mine to create.
I have limited control over my own life right now. So I express everything through my characters.
My frustrations and fears. My hope as well as my anger.

Life is a journey.
Life is an adventure.
At least I keep telling myself that.
I have a quote that I love, can't remember where I found it:
"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "....holy shit....what a ride!!!""
by Mavis Leyrer of Seattle, age 83 (at the time of the quote)

I try to be prepared for anything.
 Broke down, broke and stranded? check the backpack for water, snacks and an extra blanket.
 Run out of food before payday? homemade biscuits and gravy, Y'all. easiest, cheapest thing to make that fills ya up.
Plumbings busted? Truck Stop shower. 
Computer crashed? Go use the library computers.
 Zombie attack?  Well..er..RUN LIKE HELL! I can't help you with that one.

The world is a wondrous place and I'm glad to be in it. Shitty economy be damned. I love my life despite the bad times. I may be having a little trouble right now but things will get better. I know they will.
I have faith. I'll be on the road again soon.
And I have a computer and net connection so I can complain all I want and you can't do a damn thing about it!LOL!

(BTW, Santa Claus drives a big black SUV)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

There Will Be Cursing, Violence, and Sex Scenes

Ok. So to have those three things I have to turn off my inner critic.
Not the one who tells me all the negative things about my writing ability but the one who talks in my Pentacostal Grandmother's voice.
The one who is shocked when my characters so much as give each other 'The Look'. The one who faints at the sound of the word Fuck. The one who shakes her finger at me and tells me I'm going to Hell (with a big H)  when I add all the violent blood and gore that is involved in real, harsh, hard-core, conflict motivated life.

Don't get me wrong, I love her beyond words. But if I'm going to build a world that is real and believable I have to, I MUST, include the real things that real people do in daily life.
Real people get in fights.
Real people curse.
Real people have sex.

Real people stand on the side of the road by their yet-again-broken-down-truck-with-an-r.v.-attached-to-the-back and scream cuss words at the mechanic who assured me,...errr...them, it was fixed and kick the side of the thirty year old truck until dents form all over it.

Real people go to strip clubs, get blind stinking drunk, and shove wads of bills down the almost non existent g-string of a hard worn stripper just so she'll wave her tits a little closer.

Real people get in fights with each other and break skin and bone and smear blood everywhere in an attempt to prove who's the baddest badass all while cussing like the proverbial sailor and hoping the hot guy/girl onlookers appreciate all the work that was put into the badass wardrobe/hair.
Real people go to war and kill other people.
Real people are drug dealers and scam artists and gigolos.
Some Real people are sociopaths who don't give a damn about anyone or anything but themselves.

And yes, Real people get up early some mornings to attend church/temple/mass and pretend life is perfect and they are better than the world they live in for just a minute.

The point is that I can't let squeemishness prevent me from telling a story that makes you FEEL something. I can't let it stop me from expressing my own feelings through the art of storytelling.
So I turn off the Voice, put on my headphones and start writing.

And I secretly hope my Pentacostal Grandmother NEVER reads my stories

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

World Building

Why is it that I start working on the world building for my current project and I get inspiration for the project that got shelved?
I'm wondering if it's because I finally found the zone where the creativity is flowing like the Mississippi.
At the moment I have more ideas than I know what to do with. So I write them down in as much detail as I can without getting caught up. Even though I really, REALLY want to work on some of them right away.

I'm doing everything I can to stay focused on Regulator Seven and just get it Finished. There are so many things involved in world building that I forget until I reach that place in the story. Such as 'Hmm, they live in underground hives, where exactly do they get food?' I solved that problem by having a certain amount of hive colonies dedicated to farming. Then came the transportation problem 'How do they get from one hive to another if they can't travel for long periods of time overland because of recurring severe weather conditions?'
Again, had to come up with an underground solution. Still working on it but something very similar to a subway is in the works.

My word count on book one is stuck at 26521 for the moment. That's just the meaty core of the book, the actual sitting and writing out scenes. It doesn't include all the words I've written as notes. It doesn't include the 3ring binder I started to keep up with all the details and all the pages I've filled with research. It doesn't include the pictures I've cut and collaged into that notebook to give myself a clearer picture of my characters and the world they live in. (I'm very visual)
I feel guilty when I don't sit and write but I know I have to give myself a break. I. Am. World. Building.
I need to do these things to give myself a solid foundation. It's work. It counts. Even if I enjoy it and it doesn't feel like work.

I've labeled a page for each issue that I have to deal with in creating a world.
So far this is what I have:
  1. Geography
  2. Climate
  3. Housing
  4. Social Order
  5. Government
  6. Law Enforcement
  7. Communications
  8. Transportation
  9. Economy
  10. Waste Management (in an enclosed environment)
  11. Technology
  12. Religious Beliefs
  13. Education
  14. Medicine
  15. History
  16. Art/Entertainment
  17. Clothing/Fashion
  18. Military
  19. Food/Beverages
  20. Literature
  21. Employment
  22. Weapons Technology

WHEW! That's a lot of stuff! And I know I'm nowhere near finished with the research. Good thing I've given myself a year to finish the first book.
I hope that it'll get a little easier once I get the preliminary building out of the way. Granted, the reader will never see ALL the tiny little details that make the world work. I still need them for frame of reference. So when I need to get my character from one hive to another I'll be able to write it out as if it's no big deal. Once I get done worldbuilding for book one,  I'll have all the foundation pieces in place for easy reference in writing book two.

Yes. There will be a book two. There will be short stories set within the world of Regulator Seven. I love my Main Character and the world she lives in that much. I have to write about it, if only to preserve my sanity.

Maybe it's ambitious. Just a bit. I've never once been accused of lack of vision.

Do you world build?

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Special 40th Birthday Post

A summary of my birthday so far:

Wanted to sleep late--cat woke me at 4am instead
Wanted to stay home and lounge around--ran out of propane for cooking and had to go buy more.
Only put on powder and mascara--too lazy to get all fancied up.
Fixed my hair--well, eh, I wet my hands and ran them over my mop of a coiffure.That counts right?
Couldn't find clean socks so I went sockless, in boots, with my favorite easy to wear dress--Don't Judge Me!

Stopped at the bookstore to buy myself my favorite magazine and ended up buying a cheapie book too--It IS my B-day ya know.
Narrowly avoided buying myself an overpriced, gazillion calorie frappuccino.

While at the grocery I bought enchiladas, chips and soda, cookies & cream ice cream forgot the coffee creamer and almost forgot the propane.(The whole reason I got all dressed up to begin with)---Mmmm, Birthday dinner!

Have answered back to tons of Happy Birthday wishes from friends and family and received homemade cards from my kids.
In moments I will sit down to a dinner cooked by kids instead of me. I made it easy with the frozen enchiladas, lol! I'll have ice cream for desert. (glad I resisted that frappuccino)

I can now call this the best 40th birthday ever.
Hope your day was as good as mine!

Update: to top it all off I got to watch Neil Gaiman read an excerpt of his work at Wits (online at least,lol)
Definitely the best birthday ever!


What gets you writing?
What makes you sit down and begin that new story?
Is it life experience, a chance encounter, a sudden light bulb of inspiration?
Do you wait until the muse is yammering away or do you make the decision that 'today, I am writing and damn the consequences'?

For me lately it has been anger and frustration. Life throws curve balls and you just have to take the chance and swing away. I can't change the situation I'm in without major pain and anguish for everyone involved so, for now, I swing away. I don't know if what I'm writing is brilliant or pure crap.
I'm taking that chance. Writing to relieve the pressure of emotion has always been my way, my haven, the only way to get everything out and not go punch someone in the face who truly deserves it.

I know, you laugh, I'm sure you've had that urge too! Hahahaha!
When I was young I would write poetry, then drop it in the fireplace or tear it into little pieces and flush it down the toilet. I can't explain why it was necessary to destroy my work, that would take too long here. Besides you don't need to hear my sob story, you've probably got your own.
When one of my old friends asked what I write about (years ago) I told her that if she were to read my poetry, she would never speak to me again. I was that harsh in releasing every thought onto the page, even about my supposed friends.
I never kept a diary. Too risky.

Now I write with the intention of releasing it to the world. I'm terrified.
I'm terrified of how others will judge my work. I'm terrified that what I've written will be deliberately misinterpreted.
I'm terrified that you'll hate it.

I'm also excited. I'm finally going for the home run. I'm tuning out the inner critic, that voice of a person from my past who never found anything good about me. I'll swing at that curve ball and hope to send it out of the park.
I'm saying 'today, I am writing and damn the consequences'

My muse is giggling an evil giggle in the background and wringing her hands in that evil genius way.
Concerned about my sanity yet?
Or has your muse handed you the bat and started chanting 'Swing Away!'?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Easily Distracted

Okay, so I get to the writing time, make sure I have all the things in place and the little *before writing* rituals are done, sit down, put my hands on the keyboard aaaaaand.....uh, what's that noise?

Type a few words,
Why does it smell like that in here?

Type a few more words,
I hate that song, gotta change it.

Finish typing the sentence,
Seriously, what is that smell?

Begin typing the next sentence,
Ooh, gotta make note of that for the other project!

Finish next sentence,
Did my phone just beep? wonder if I got a message.*checks phone for the umpteenth time*

Type a few more words,
I can't stand it! What is that noise?!

This happens every time I start writing. Even when I have the crazy inspiration I need to get through the next few chapters. Yes, even when the muse is yelling at me to WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! I wonder if I'm the only person this happens too? Surely not.
Once I get focused I'm fine, I'm in the ZONE. I can write when the wind is screaming around the R.V. in an attempt to blow us over. I can write with the kids fighting, the t.v. blaring, two different radio stations and another t.v. blaring, the cat fussing and the phone ringing every five seconds. Oh, and let's not forget TweetDeck, e-mail, and Facebook notifications popping up.

But until I get to that zone of total focus I am so easily distracted it's not even funny. It doesn't matter what's going on around me. Peace and quiet or chaos and destruction. It takes me a while to find that space in my head, that quiet, undistracted place where I can hear my characters clearly.
The only thing for me to do is tolerate the annoying little things that annoy me and just keep typing. Even if the first few paragraphs are complete and utter drivel. I have to trust that I will find that zone eventually and hope that the words that flow out are as brilliant on review as they seemed to be when I was blindly writing them.

So I keep typing. (ooh, look, the bunnies are out!) and typing (blech, my coffee's gone cold) and typing (did my phone just beep?).

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Chat With The Muse

Do you see your muse as an actual person?
I do. 
We have a very stormy relationship. Sometimes we get along great. The writing flows along, pouring out of my imagination and onto the screen with nary a thought to the outside world. Other times, well, I'll just say she gets all pouty and refuses to help.
On those days it seems nothing I do will please her. Tempting chocolates? nah. Strong coffee and lots of quiet time? nah. A change of music and a quick reread of a favorite paperback? Nope. What? did you get your rag or something? *stink eye directed at me*

I can even see her perched on her cushy, gold velvet covered, imaginary ottoman. Arms crossed, half turned away from me, with a pouty look on her face. 
What did I do this time?
I have no idea. Honest.

So what do I do to get her back in the mood? I can try to ignore her. Doesn't work, I just get more frustrated. Dammit, we have work to do!
Seduction?( would you like a glass of wine, dear? how about a foot rub?) Again, no.

I try conversation, instead. Breakthrough! This is how we get back on track. Communication.
Sometimes the muse wants to talk about things other than work. Like when I'm going to take her somewhere interesting. (We're not so young anymore, my sweet, strip clubs and wild bars for body shots are out of the question)
So I came up with a list of conversation topics to help keep the lines of communication open.

1. Why in the world do you dress that way? (she likes to shock people and get attention)
2. How did you become a muse? (that was an interesting story)
3. What's the best thing about being a muse? (manipulation)
4. Who inspires you? do you have a muse? (she refused to answer that one)
5. When is the best time for you to be inspiring? (varies)
6. Where is your favorite place to go when your not with me? (she only smiled at that one and got all dreamy)

I'm sure you could (and should) come up with your own conversation starters for when your muse stops talking. Don't forget that they need breaks and vacations too. 
On the other hand, don't let your muse bully you either!
You're the writer, the muse works for you.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Visualizing the World of the Story

 So here I am writing along, riding the wave of storytelling magic when- Screeech! I'm stuck. I can totally visualize the world of my MC, but when I try to see the Destiny Rebels I hit a blank wall. I can't figure out where, geographically, the lair should be hidden. I can see many of the rebels themselves and each of their personalities are coming through loud and clear. I can picture the walls and the hallways, the graffiti and maze of wiring rigged to steal resources from High Command and the sub-hives. I just can't see where the place is in the grand blueprint of Regulator Seven's world.
 I go to the magazines for help. I have quite a few. I look at photos of buildings and maps and archaeological sites and take a peek at fashion mags (just in case I get an idea, ya never know). Nothin', nada, zilch. I get blank looks from all the pretty people in the mandatory spammy ads.
 I look on the internet. I get lost in all the info.

 Then I decide maybe it's best if I just wait it out. Not get ahead of myself. I'll write down each scene of the lair as I get it and just file it with the rest of the 'to be added' scene cards. Sometimes when I'm writing I just have to let the world speak for itself. Like exploring a new city for the first time. You know where you want to go but the map is outdated and when you ask the locals for help they just frown and give you that 'stupid outtatowner' look. The only way to get there is to fumble along, watching for street signs, taking wrong turns and backtracking until, finally,suddenly, you see the destination.
 So for now, I wait. The next time Seven is chasing a fugitive through the streets and alleyways of a sub-hive I'll pay special attention to the little signs. I'll watch for code in graffiti, out of place people, dead end alleys that shouldn't be there and listen to the intuition of my MC. Because, of course, she knows this world better than I do.


Welcome to my blog. This is the area I will use to complain about generally everything. I often struggle with the writing process and sometimes it helps to go somewhere just to complain about it. I'll hit up any and every subject I feel like talking about and I might talk about my work-in-progress too. Be warned. Works-in-Progress can be like children--sometimes you love them so much you can't stand it, other times you wish they'd hurry and grow up and move out so you can turn their bedroom into the (insert needs here) room.  You may comment as you like, but please, no spamming or flaming. If I think comments are inappropriate I will delete them.