Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Summer escape

Recently, when Aubrie over at Flutey Words asked if anyone wanted to review Jester’s Folly, the latest in her Carnival of Illusions series, I happily volunteered and ended up not only having the pleasure of reviewing that story, but also the first two entries in the series Seer’s Destiny and Chameleon’s Colors.

The series is a bright, breezy read that I enjoyed very much, a tour through a vibrant world where young women like Vira, Kaylee, and Mina, young women tormented and blessed by their unique circumstances confront issues of choice/decisions and their costs/consequences. Aubrie creates likeable characters in these young women, and asks the question: Is fate inevitable or can these young women face their fears and their mistakes to create their own fate?

The first two entries in the series have more of a fantasy element; Jester’s Choice a more straightforward tale of a young woman tormented by a mistake in her past. All three entries are tied together by the strong description and vivid imagery and relationships of the Masquerade Carnival, the world Aubrie brings to life.

If you get a chance to visit, I think you’ll enjoy the journey.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Celebrate Monday

Happy Monday everybody. I hope you all had a great weekend. It’s time once again as we start a new week to celebrate ourselves. Tell us about something good that happened to you. Something that made you happy. Something that you did that made you feel good.

It doesn’t have to be big news or anything earth shattering. Small is good, too.

I'm thankful beyond belief that the weekend is over. I've never felt more grateful or celebratory to see a Monday. I hope this brings the start of a better time. I'm still adding words to my WIP with a modicum of enthusiasm, so I hope that continues too.

What about you? What’s making you happy and/or going well in your life? Share it with us and celebrate yourselves.

Friday, June 25, 2010


This week I was gifted with the very lovely award above by both Callie over at Chimera Critiques and Julie Dao at Silver Lining. I have to share seven things and pass it on to fifteen others. Here goes:

1. This summer for me, change is the theme. We'll see how that works out.
2. I'm writing two online courses as well as working on the WIP.
3. I'm the only Leo I know that doesn't like the sun, the heat and the beach.
4. I love chocolate.
5. I love cooking and Food Network.
6. I spend endless hours watching HGTV.
7. I'm addicted to caffeine.

And now for the lucky fifteen recipients:

Summer over at ...and this time, concentrate!
Bossy Betty
Christine over at Christine's Journey
DL over at Cruising Altitude
Donna Hole
Aubrie at Flutey Words
Laurel over at Laurel's Leaves
Lois at Lotus Rising
Hannah over at Musings of a

Mia over at My Literary Jam and Toast
Patrick Tillett
Portia Sisco
Lola at Sharp Pen/Dull Sword
Courtney over at Southern Princess
Talli Roland

And that's all folks. Check out these versitile bloggers and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A little something

Mea culpa. My bad. I couldn't decide last night what to post today, and so I ended up not scheduling anything. So today I decided that since I haven't posted anything snippety lately, that I would put up a snippet of something old that may become something new. Here it is.


My lips curve and the smile is only a little sad with memory as she climbs into my lap, sharp elbows and knees as she maneuvers her way to comfort.

I smooth an unruly spill of dark chocolate curls beneath my chin as I rest my cheek on the top of her head and slide my spine more comfortably against the cool wall.

Arms and legs and boneless bodies pillow and cocoon and I remember chocolate as I bring my knees up to cradle my daughter as the others press close, claiming their spots.

I know this is how it goes, how it has always gone. Frightened children find each other’s warmth as they banish demons and monsters with stories shared in the dark.

Large, liquid eyes glow in the semi-light of the small fire in this cavern that has become this site of ritual, this place of sharing.

Cycles ago, I stopped wondering how this came to be.

“What do you want to hear?”

I never thought I had much imagination and while it took me a long, long time, I understand now that children grow into their stories. I think maybe I grew out of mine.

Or maybe I never had them, but I’d read them on Earth.

I can’t quite remember.

But long ago someone had shared them with me, fairy tales and myths, pointing to pictures and teaching me words, sharing simple, fundamental ones I could learn.

I’d never known whether it was because she knew I was pregnant or because she was just being kind.

“Tell us how we came to be.”

I’ve never had her way with words and I still wonder how this has fallen to me. I am not a story teller and I’ve never thought I was very good.

I don’t believe in monsters or bears or witches or children in forests or any of the other things I’d read about the last time I’d been on Earth.

“Once upon a time…”

“Why do stories always start that way?”

“Because that’s the proper way for a story to begin.”

Someone had explained that to me another lifetime ago. I’ve never had any reason to disagree.

“A long time ago, a very brave but very frightened…”

“How can someone be brave but frightened?”

I can create my own story now, my own fairy tale, even if it isn’t pretty or well done; even if I can’t tell how it will end.

Because I know now that even the end is never really the end.

“Courage isn’t the lack of fear. It’s how you handle the fear that makes you brave.”

I’ve always seen the end. It’s always terrified me.

“I’m not afraid.”

But I’ve long since decided that I’ll write my own ending.

I lift my eyes, watch wisps of smoke from the small fire in the center of the chamber curl up the chimney, seeking the freedom of the night sky, the pinprick of stars that have always seemed just out of reach.

I know it’s nothing more than the cave breathing, the movement into and out of this chamber due to changes in atmospheric pressure or temperature on the surface.

These are things I understand.

If I close my eyes though, it could be the soft sound of night cycle on board Kai; the gentle thrum of the great ship’s life around me, the re-circulating air that was the sound of soft breathing.

The flickering shadows could be the gold of her warm, welcoming walls.

I’d taken them for granted.

My chest is tight as I wrap my arms around my daughter and push quiet words that have risen from the ashes into the stillness.

“That’s because there’s nothing to fear here.”

Monday, June 21, 2010

Celebrate Monday

Happy Monday everybody. I missed you all and am thrilled to be back. And it’s time once again to celebrate ourselves. Tell us about something good that happened to you. Something that made you happy. Something that you did that made you feel good.

It doesn’t have to be big news or anything earth shattering. Small is good, too.

I’ll go first. My foot is healing and I’m up walking around. And with the time I’ve had to myself even with the surgery and the kids all home, I’ve managed to find the time to work on a novel I started writing bits and pieces of ten years ago. As of now, I have almost 18,000 words for it now, and pretty much everything laid out in my head. I’m hoping to have it ready for my crit group by the end of July so that I can take a look at edits while I’m getting ready for next year during August. It’s different than the novel I thought I’d be working on. I guess it’s genre, but I’m not too sure about these things. So we’ll see.

And speaking of time, given that I was pretty productive with it, I think I’m going to follow a lot of my fellow bloggers in our little corner of the blogosphere, and go to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday posting schedule. But I'll still try to get around to your blogs regularly. We’ll see how that works.

But enough about me. What about you? What’s making you happy and/or going well in your life? Share it with us and celebrate yourselves.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Celebrate Monday

Happy Monday everybody. It’s time once again to celebrate ourselves. Tell us about something good that happened to you. Something that made you happy. Something that you did that made you feel good.

It doesn’t have to be big news or anything earth shattering. Small is good, too.

I’ll go first. School is finished. And so is my surgery. It went pretty well, according to the doctor, but it’s been a pretty rough weekend and I’m thinking this is the perfect time for me to unplug and take a week to get myself together. So I’m going to do that and I will see you all next Monday.

But before I go, what about you? What’s making you happy and/or going well in your life? Share it with us and celebrate yourselves.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A word of caution

If you’re a writer and you want to be published and pay any attention at all to the state of publishing today, you’ve heard all about the pros and the cons, the benefits and the dangers of self-publishing and e-publishing. For those of you interested, James Scott Bell over at The Kill Zone has a word of caution for you. Check it out.

Are any of you thinking of self-publishing? E-publishing? Got any words of wisdom or warning?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The really big question

Sometimes they come to me in a dream. Sometimes I wonder what if? Sometimes I see something on TV, or at the movies, or online, or on the street. The voices in my head tell me. If you’re a writer, these are all perfectly acceptable answers to the BIG question: Where do you get your ideas?

Roz over at Nail Your Novel has a great post here about getting story ideas for free. Check it out and tell me: Where do you get your ideas?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tell me true.

I love dialogue. I love writing it. I love reading it. I love listening to it whether it’s in my classroom, the hallway, on TV, or walking down the streets of NYC. I love the words, the slang, the phrases, the rhythm, the cadence, the whole hidden conversations in our conversations.

I love the variety of purposes dialogue can serve from exploring characterization to describing scenes and characters to giving us information to further the story. And when I write, I always write the dialogue first. If I can’t hear the dialogue in a scene, I can’t write anything else until I can.

Roz over at Nail Your Novel has a great post here on dialogue. Check it out and tell me: How do you feel about dialogue as an element of your story? How do you use it? Do you eavesdrop on people around you? Is it easy for you to hear when you write?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Terror Tuesday Blogfest

Mary over at Mary McDonald Has the Write Stuff is hosting the Terror Tuesday Blogfest today. Click here to go read the other wonderful entries. My entry is part of a short story I wrote a while ago. Another section of that story will be posted next month for Tessa’s Blogfest of Death. You still have plenty of time to sign up for that one. Go ahead. You know you want to.

When he wakes, he opens his eyes to nothing. It’s cold and dark. The pitch black gives way to a dull, gun-metal grey at the edges of his peripheral vision.

He curls in tighter to himself; pulls the filthy, threadbare blanket closer and listens to the harsh exhale of his breath. There’s a weight against his back, heavy, pressing close.

Brain still slow with sleep, scrambled from the remains of the dream, he throws back an elbow, rolls, and shoves hard against the stiff, formless shape. His hand falls, palm down, onto a sharp-boned, unmoving chest.

He rolls out of the blanket, rolls to his knees. Bright, dead eyes lock him in their line of sight.

He quits breathing; listens hard in the silence and the dark. There’s nothing beyond the sound of his own pulse pounding in his ears.

Fingers thick with cold and clumsy in the dark search blindly for a sign of heartbeat or breath.

There’s nothing. The body is cold and hard and silent.

He shifts on his knees, grabs the bottom of the thin, torn shirt, wrestles it up and off its unresisting owner and over his head.

Ignoring the stench that makes his stomach roll, he drives his arms quickly through the sleeves, pulls it down.

He slides down the body, yanks off worn boots; shoves bare feet into the rotting leather and freezes.

Still as stone, he flicks his eyes around the dark.

It’s quiet.

He moves again; pulls rancid pants two sizes too big off the corpse, rolls them up in the blanket.

He buries the rank bundle in the bag that’s filled with everything else in his life; crawls into the corner.

He huddles there, wrapped up in himself, listening for the sound of boot steps. As the stillness and dark congeal over him, he slips into faded memory from a long ago sometime that floats like ash on a cold wind.

He dreams in grey.

When he was small and hurt she would hold him. Soft, cool hands, satin-smooth and small, would cradle and caress him, and she would sing to him.

His eyes snap open, his head snaps up.

He can remember everything about her; the feel of her hands, the scent of her hair, the sound of her voice. Everything except her face.

Shrouded in the blanket and the rags he still feels the cold coming up off the stone, sees two burning eyes staring at him in the dark. A leaden cold that has nothing to do with hunger claws at the hollow in his gut.

It’s been a long time since she’s come to him.

He can’t remember how long.

He’d thought he’d stopped dreaming.

He should remember.

He pulls his bag and the blanket closer, his knees up to his chest, wonders if he’ll see her again.

He tries to pull breath deep into his lungs; can’t find any to spare.

The corpse watches him from the shadows. Once he took pity on the dead; now he wishes they would take pity on him.

He wraps his arms around his knees and waits.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Celebrate Monday

Happy Monday everybody. It’s time once again to celebrate ourselves. Tell us about something good that happened to you. Something that made you happy. Something that you did that made you feel good.

It doesn’t have to be big news or anything earth shattering. Small is good, too.

I’ll go first. This is it. My last week of school. Three days of finals. Getting my room closed up. And then I am out the door. Yes, I’ll be writing curriculum again this summer, no matter how much I say I won’t, but I’ll be writing other things, too.

What about you? What’s making you happy and/or going well in your life? Share it with us and celebrate yourselves.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Happy Saturday and a Blogfest

So I’ve got this rare Saturday post up courtesy of the lovely Rachel Bateman and her Beach Scene Blogfest. Click here to read the other beach entries by some really great writers.

But before reading mine, I have to remind you that I suck at naming characters. So in the interest of saving my own sanity, I simply picked some names. These names have in no way any relation to anyone living or dead. Anyway, that’s my story and here’s my entry.

A Night at the Beach

“Hey, guys.” Jack dropped another armload of wood next to the campfire. “A little help?”

“No, tanks.” Donnie V plunked the just shuffled deck down on the blanket in front of Sam. “We’re good.”

“Yeah.” Sam tapped the knuckles of his loosely curled fist on top of it. “We’re good.”

“No.” Carefully feeding branches into the fire, Jack glared at the group on the blanket. “I mean I could use a little help.”

Joe rearranged his chips. “We’re busy.”

“You’re playing cards.”

Fanning her cards out, Lola began reordering her hand. “Strip poker, baby.”

“Hey.” Jack threw up his hands, palms out. “There’ll be no stripping. My wife is here. And so’s my kid.”

“Ah, no worries, mate.” Em wagged her eyebrows at him. “I’m sure it’s nothing Annie’s never seen before.”

“And TJ?” Shannon waved a hand in the general direction of over there as she fished in the ice chest for another beer. “He’s over there poking Ray.”

Jack’s head snapped to the right. “Yo, TJ. Stop poking the nice man.”

Snagging the beer from Shannon, Annie slid up to Jack’s side. “For god’s sake Jack, give it a rest.”

“But babe, it’s already dark and time’s wasting.”

“Fine. We’re all here.” Dropping gracefully on the blanket, she folded herself comfortably, knees pulled up to her chest, arms wrapped around them. “Go ahead.”

Jack dropped down next to her. “It was a dark and stormy night...”

Nanse pulled her marshmallow out of the fire. “Why is it always a dark and stormy night?”

“Who’s telling the story here?”

“She’s right you know.” Courtney speared a marshmallow and poked it carefully into the flame. “All your stories start out like that.”

Jack dragged a hand down his face. “That’s because spooky campfire stories are supposed to start like that.” Chewing on his thumb, he ran his eyes around the group. “I suppose you think you can do better?”

Tara snorted. “Well, duh.”

“Fine. Go ahead. You tell the story.”

DL stepped out of the shadows. “Anybody seen my S’Mores?”

Annie lifted a hip and slid a cautious hand underneath it. “I think I found it.”

“That’s all right, you can have it.” DL waved a magnanimous hand before rummaging in the marshmallow bag. “I don’t want it anymore.”

Jack’s arms shot out and banded around her as he breathed low and harsh in her ear. “Not now, babe. Too many witnesses.”

She stilled in his grasp and settled for leveling a double-barreled glare at DL who was already happily toasting another marshmallow in the fire.

“I’ll start.” JP knocked back the last of his beer and tossed the can onto the pile at the edge of the blanket. “Many years ago, two warriors from rival villages got into a terrible fight. Knives pulled, they battled back and forth with the ferocity of hungry hounds, each tearing at the other with their knives…”

“Knives?” Reaching over, Tara thwapped DL in the head as he tried to steal her beer. “Please.”

DL made a sound somewhere between a croak and a quack as his head snapped. “What?”

“They always say knife in these things when it’s really not.” Tara held up a thumb and forefinger spaced closely together. “And then it’s some little bitty Swiss Army knife.”

She snagged a marshmallow from the bag, flicked her matte black Tanto open with one hand. “Now this?” She skewered her marshmallow. “This is a knife.”

“Who are you?” Em asked. “Crocodile Dundee?”

“Now that’s what I’m talking ’bout.” Tara held her hands up, about shoulder width apart. “He had a knife.”

“TJ.” Annie’s sharp voice split the air as she flowed to her feet in one fluid motion. “Quit poking Ray. He’s…sleeping.”

Standing and stretching, JP reached over, plucked the stick out of TJ’s tiny hands, and poked at the body with it. “I think he’s dead.”

Annie pulled the stick out of his hand and pointed to the mountain of beer cans just off to the side of the body. “He. Is. Not. Dead.”

“I’m just sayin’.” JP’s words floated back as he turned and wandered off toward the cooler.

Annie poked at the body again. Picking TJ up, she settled him on her hip, looked at Jack and shrugged her free shoulder.

Jack blew out his breath through clenched teeth. “Could we get back to the story, please?”

“Ooh. Ooh.” Courtney’s hand shot up. “I’ve got one.”

JP glared. “But I wasn’t finished.”

Courtney patted him on the back. “That’s ok.”

Jack threw up his hands in disgust as Annie settled back down next to him.

Putting her finger to her lips, Courtney shushed the group and started her story. “She lived deep in the forest in a tiny cottage and sold herbal remedies for a living.”

“Sounds like Nanse,” Portia mumbled around the marshmallow in her mouth.

Annie’s head snapped around to target Jack in her line-of-sight. Jack bumped his forehead repeatedly into her shoulder.

“Did she have a third eye?” DL asked.

Courtney’s voice rose with her eyebrows. “How do I know?”

Upending her bottle, Portia drained the last of her beer. “You’re telling the story.”

“It’s not Nanse.” Courtney threw up her hands, palms out. “Anyway, folks in the nearby town called her Bloody Mary and said she was a witch.”

“See?” Portia nodded. “Coulda been Nanse.”

“Amateurs.” Lola shook her finger around the circle on the blanket. “You’re all amateurs. Sit back and let a professional handle this.”

“But I wasn’t finished.”

“Yes, you were.” Lola flipped the flashlight up and held it just under her chin, giving her face an eerie glow. “The reports had been on the news all day, though she hadn’t been paying attention to them. Something about a crazy man who’d escaped from an upstate asylum. They were calling him Hook Man since he’d lost his right arm and had it replaced with a hook.”

“Ooh, ooh.” Summer bounced up and down on the blanket. “I know this one. I’ve seen the movie.”

Tara threw the bag of marshmallows at her. “We’ve all seen the movie. We’ve all seen all the movies.”

Shannon grabbed another beer. “Hey. I like those movies.”

“Could we get a little focus here people?” Jack leaned over and rested his head on Annie’s shoulders, lips close to her ear. “Tell me again why I thought this would be a good idea?”

“Because you always think your ideas are good ideas?” She bounced TJ on her knee.

“You’re a rock, babe.”

“I love you, too. Now hand me a beer.”

“Hand me one, too.” DL held out his hand. “I’m still shaking sand out…”

“…of your ass?” Annie snickered as she tossed him a beer.

“Very funny.” DL caught it one handed. “Why anyone would play in this sandbox...”

“Hey.” Susan thwapped him upside his head. “We play in the sandbox all the time.”

“What?” Jack’s head came off Annie’s shoulder.

“Sarahjayne and me.” Susan’s finger wagged back and forth. “You know our blog? The Sandbox Challenges.” She pointed a forefinger. “You must have heard of it. We write stories.”

“Hell, yeah.” Sarahjayne stabbed a marshmallow and waved it at Jack. “She writes romance. I’m literary angst.” She jabbed it into the fire. “Except when she’s literary angst and I’m romance.”

“Literary?” Annie rolled her eyes. “Angst?”

“I do not do angst.” Susan glared at Sarahjayne. “And I do not do dark.”

“Dude, you killed blind Jack’s dog.”

“I was blind?” Jack looked at Annie.

Annie looked at Jack. “We have a dog?”

“I was in pain.” Susan shook her finger at Sarahjayne. “You kill babies.”

“Well, duh.” Sarahjayne knocked back her beer. “And planets and…”

A huge smile split Susan’s face. “I love our sandbox.”

“I do too.” A low-rolling evil laugh erupted from Sarahjayne. “What are we gonna do next?”

“Listen to the next story?” Lola’s voice floated between them, an order not a suggestion. “Has anyone checked on Ray?”

Summer popped her marshmallow in her mouth and then reached over to poke the body. “He’s still dead.”

“He. Is.” Annie handed her squirming son to her husband and reached for another beer. “Not. Dead.”

Summer just shrugged. “Whatever.”

Shannon raised her hand. “I’ve got one.”

Sarahjayne reached for another beer. “Does it have a dead dog?”

Susan threw a stick at her sandbox partner in crime.

Shannon began her story in a voice low and slow. “A young woman lay suffering on her deathbed, her still born baby lying against her chest.

Sarahjayne jabbed Susan with the stick. “Dead baby.”

Susan rolled her eyes.

Shannon ignored them. “Her young husband crouched close, stricken with grief as his beautiful wife hummed a lullaby to her dead baby, her voice getting fainter as her own death drew near.”

“Ooh, ooh.” Summer bounced up and down where she sat. “Romance and angst.”

Jack and Annie looked at each other and scooted back a little further on the blanket.

Portia’s scream split the air as a shadow fell over the group.

“I don’t feel so good.” With those words to remember, Ray planted his face in the blanket.

TJ poked him with a stick.

“For god’s sake, Jack.” Annie grabbed her child and disarmed him.

“This is the last time I am ever doing this.” Jack winced, raised both hands and rubbed hard against his temples. “Why can’t it ever be easy?”

Friday, June 4, 2010

TGIF! and a Blogfest

The lovely Amalia T. is hosting her Dream Sequence Blogfest today. Click here to read the other wonderful entries by some really great writers. As for mine? It's part of a bigger something written a while ago. Anyway, happy Friday. Enjoy the blogfest and your weekend.

Your hand wraps the gearshift and your foot flexes against the accelerator as you slip through the sleeping city.

“John, John, John…”

Green lights stretch out in front of you, beacons in the pitch black that presses in on you. Dark, dull buildings stand silent sentry, and a line of parking meters and naked trees mark your passing.

“What’s the matter Harve? You don’t like the ride?”

“On the contrary, John, I love the ride and I love riding shotgun.” A long arm reaches out and a forefinger stabs random buttons, surfing late night FM stations again. “It’s such a beautiful night.” He settles back against the leather seat and sighs. “The sky is as black as Zoë’s hair. You should really…”

“No, no, no, no, no.” You force your fingers to relax, give up their death grip on the steering wheel. “You do not get to talk to me about Zoë.”

His slow, Southern drawl hangs in the space between you. “She walks in beauty like the night…”

“Give it up, freak.” You bank your irritation, let it ride. “You have no idea…”

“Which way, John? Right or left?”


“There’s a fork in the road up ahead.” Harvey waves a dismissive hand. “Which way? Right or left?

You pull the car gently to the right as he opens the glovebox and begins going through the contents.

“Someone has to make you see.”

“Let me guess.” You keep your eyes on the road, your voice flat. “That someone would be you?”

“You really should pay more attention to her, John. And to what you’re doing.” He shifts in his seat, cocks a thumb and forefinger at you. “I’m not your enemy.”

“Tell me the truth, Harve.” You slide a sideways glance at him. “What the hell are you doing here?”

“You know I’m only here to protect you.” Mirror-flat eyes lock you in their line of sight. “Among other things.”

“Don’t worry about me, Harve.” You flick your eyes forward and stare hard, navigating by the spill of light from streetlamps. “I’ve got it covered.”

“Right or left, John?”


“Right or left?”

Another turn off and the car drifts to the left. Suddenly you’re on the parkway.

“All roads lead to Zoë.”

“I’ve told you before.” You turn and give him your best double-barreled glare. “You do not get to talk to me about Zoë.”

“Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right…” He drums a back beat on the dashboard. “And there she is, stuck in the middle with you.”

“I know what you’re doing.” The cold in the pit of your stomach claws its way up and out, sets up camp in your chest. “It’s not going to work.”

“You know that I’m only trying to protect you.” He jabs a long, strong finger into your shoulder. “Among other things.”

“Haven’t you learned? You…are mistaken.” You roll tight shoulders, crack your neck, and blow out a harsh, jagged breath. “I don’t need your protection. Or your help.”

“Yes, John. I do learn from my mistakes.” The unpleasant smile curving his lips doesn’t reach his eyes. “Unlike you.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“So much you misunderstand about me.” The observation is friendly, almost. “As if I didn’t know what Zoë is to you. If I wanted to…”

“You stay away from her, you freakazoid son-of-a-bitch.” You think the growl you hear is you, your self-control slipping.

“Right or left?” Harvey points forward at the orange barrels almost immediately in front of you.

“Shit.” The sibilant hiss hangs in the sudden silence as you pull the car hard to the right, pissed because the freak next to you is settled comfortably riding shotgun while you’re sweating bullets and lost on an endless looping freeway.

“Champagne dreams, John. Reality escapes you.”

“I’m sorry you’re so disappointed.” You dig deep and find some control again. “What did you expect of me?”

“You to see reason. To be reasonable and to see the truth.”

“What truth would that be?”

“You can’t protect her, you know. You can’t be her savior.”

You wait a beat, try to breathe. “Fuck you.”

“Right or left?” Harvey shrugs and points again, forcing your attention forward.

The concrete divider is coming up fast.

The car veers sharply to the left and suddenly your heart is in your throat and your stomach is in knots as you hear and feel the sickening crunch of the body meeting the front end.

You see it launch in the headlights and come to rest as your foot tries to go through the floorboard on top of the brake and your arms lock in a wrestling match with the steering wheel.

The car fishtails and spins wildly to a halt at the side of the road and you are out of it and moving before conscious thought has returned.

“Oh god, oh god, oh god.”

You skid to your knees at the side of the mangled body, unaware of the blood pooling beneath it and staining your pants. Shaking with adrenaline and fear, brushing the long twisted hair from the join of neck and shoulders you reach out gently place two fingers at what should be the pulse point.

There is nothing.

Oh god, oh god, oh god. The refrain runs like a freight train through your head.

“John, John, John.” Harvey’s voice cuts through the white noise and screaming in your head. “You only see the curve, not the road ahead.”


“You can’t protect her. You can’t be her savior.”

Your gut is sending a message your brain won’t accept as you reach trembling hands out to gather the broken and bloody body to you. Cradling the twisted and bent form against your chest, you reach up to gently brush the eerily familiar hair from an obscured face.

You wake drenched in sweat, cold and clammy, pulse roaring in your ears as you jackknife to a sitting position.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Six months

Given all the end-of-the-year whining and worrying I seem to have become mired in due to the heat, the humidity, the mad push toward final exams and closing up the classroom, the lack of progress on my WIP, as well as all kinds of other things, I thought I’d take a break from it.

I read somewhere around the blogosphere that most blogs fail within the first six months. In my current state, I missed celebrating the fact that I started this blog on January 1st and that June 1st was my six month anniversary. That I’ve made it here is in no small part due to the warm, kind, generous welcome and interaction all of you have shared with me. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support as we all take our writing journey together. I really do look forward to continuing that journey together.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

No more words.

There are times, an increasing number of times it seems, when at the end of the day, after talking, and talking, and talking some more to students, parents, administrators, husband, kids, that I have no words left. No voice to speak, no brain cells to rub together for thought, nothing to put fingers to keyboard to write or blog. You're just empty, empty, empty. Burn out, balance, call it what you will, it seems an occupational hazard for bloggers and writers. And it seems to be running rampant through the blogosphere.

Copyblogger has a great post about what you can do when you run out of content, words, knowledge. Check it out and tell me: Has this ever happened to you? Where do you get your inspiration, knowledge, words, content, ideas, whatever you call it, to write and/or blog? What do you do when they don’t come?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Summer presents unique opportunities and stresses for me. Every summer I tell myself I’ll take the time to write. And I do. I write curriculum. I design online courses. I attend seminars, take courses, create documents I’ll need for classes along with all the normal running around with loved ones that is normal for this time of year. We all have these kinds of obligations that take precious time. And we all make decisions about how to parcel our time out. I’m in the process of trying to figure out how I’ll find the time and the energy and the brain power to finish my WIP this summer.

And if you look around the blogosphere you’ll see a whole host of others who are trying to deal with the whole time management strain balancing blogging, writing, real life, and the very real issue that the more followers one has the less time one has to comment and maintain the online relationships one had when starting to blog in the first place. Faced with all that and burnout, bloggers are starting to unplug more regularly, for longer periods of time, or in some cases closing their blogs all together. I’m thinking myself of how I’m going to schedule my blogging this summer as well.

Write It Sideways has an interesting post here about the reasons writers should blog. Check it out and then tell me: What are your blogging plans for this summer? In general? What stressors help you decide? Does where you are in your writing journey play a role in your decision? Or are other considerations more important?