Friday, November 9, 2018

A Drippy, Dreary Day & This Writer’s Joy

The first half of my title sort of says it all about the weather. I’m not complaining. This is perfect for cozy writing time, hence the joy. To be honest, though, there is no imperfect weather for me to write except in the case of an active local tornado season.

Back when we lost power from a hurricane blowing through the Midwest one autumn I wrote with pen and paper. These days I have the option of using my offline AlphaSmart3000, a unit once no doubt used in a library or school (there is a number written on the bottom, I presume so a teacher or librarian could keep track of their devices). That brings me to a question.
Distraction Free!
Should I set aside the laptop, brave the rain, and take my AlphaSmart someplace bright and cheerful where I can people watch?


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Party Like It’s 1999

Last night I acted like someone aged thirty, not a woman on the cusp of fifty. Today my body feels it, though not too bad. I’m recovering.

And I had a wonderful time.

Palaye Royale came to town again, performing at the same venue as last March. This time, they were the headlining act. Three bands opened for them, all with a majority of female members. I don’t know if this was intentional, though PR frontman Remington Leith made mention.
From Last March - Em smirking at left
Rem on the right, my fat self in the middle
Whatever the case, they all rocked the house. I liked that there seemed to be a bluesy thread to some of the groups’ songs, not unlike many PR tunes. Without a doubt The Haunt, Dead Posey, and Bones kept me on my feet before the main act.

Well, truth be told, there was nowhere to sit. For whatever reason, the back bar and upper balcony were closed off, perhaps due to the somewhat smaller crowd. I’ve learned that comedy clubs rope off unsold seats so people pack tighter together. Proximity, it seems, makes reactions more contagious.

I basically danced around for four straight hours.

Of course Palaye Royale did not disappoint. Besides several well known favorites, the guys performed some new music not on either “Boom Boom Room: Side A” or “Side B”.

It was a blast, even if I didn’t get to talk to any of the brothers this time. I did see drummer Emerson Barrett up close.

When he walked past me toward the entrance I followed. ~grin~ He went for a discussion with their merchandising guy but took time for a few photos. Seeing how much meeting the band means to these kids both in person and online, I hung back to give youngsters opportunity. When Em said, “one more” and pulled a very young girl out of the small crowd I could only stand there smiling.

What a nice man.

Their planned meet and greet got postponed by a late arrival, so I headed home at eleven instead of getting in line with all those young girls. Again, it seemed only fair to give them the chance I received months ago.

Today a brief consideration to hit the gym is off the table. It’s taking a minor effort to stand for any length of time. Heh… So, it’s back to writing for me. Meanwhile, I’m trying to decide how to count my activity on the ActivTrax fitness software.

Do you thank it fair I count last night as two hours of light exercise?


Saturday, November 3, 2018

Do You Like Science Fiction? Own a Kindle e-Reader?

I wasn’t very imaginative with this blog post title. But this is me promoting a friend, author Daniel Coldspring. The first novel of his three book science fiction series “After Terra” is available as a Kindle e-book now for FREE on

It’s a really exciting time. Daniel moved to Ireland with his lovely new bride this past mid summer. I miss write-ins with just the two of us, but seeing the happy couple in August warmed my heart. His second book, complete with his autograph, is on my nightstand.


My favorite part of his debut “Year 200” are the characters. There is a lot of depth to each person. The story is like icing on the cake. You can read my review here.

Did you know today is the tail end of Irish Book Week?


Friday, November 2, 2018

Opening Scene – Setting the Tone for ‘Awakening Arick’

In an unprecedented decision, I’m opting to share the beginning of my story written yesterday. The following is around 570 words, so don’t feel obligated to read the entirety. It does include mild profanity (the… uh… opposite of heaven mentioned twice in the first sentence). Hope you’re having a good Friday!


“Lita, where the hell have you been? Why the hell are you limping?”

“Nice language, Ben. Here’s your beer,” I said, plunking the six pack on his kitchen table. “I think I sprained my ankle.”

“You’re such a klutz.”

“Yeah. Maybe.” I waved a backhand over my pained leg. “But this wouldn’t have happened if you had come to my house like I wanted. The fridge is stocked with all the beer you can drink.”

“I’ve told you before, Lee. I’m more comfortable in my own place.”

He still didn’t honor my request for even so simple a thing as not using that stupid nickname. I shook my head and closed my eyes. This rundown apartment in a smelly tenement was all he could afford. The clutter could be helped but he junked his place up the second I finished tidying. He cracked open his third or fourth can of Bock.

“Besides,” he continued, “nobody told you to walk to the store.”

“It’s around the block, Ben. For crying out loud. And I wanted to clear my head.”

The man had the nerve to snort. I could almost hear his standard joke about there being nothing in my head to start. Purse in hand, I pulled out my car keys. He blinked at my hobble toward the door.

“Where are you going?”

“Where I’m more comfortable.”

“Where’s that? Your fancy house in the country?”

“Anyplace you aren’t, Ben. I’m done.”

At least he had the grace to gawk. I shut the door on his fat grimace.

Not for the first time, I found myself grateful for never having given him a key. Of course I had his inferiority complex to thank in part.

“Funny,” I muttered to the worn stair treads, “he never minds me earning more money when it comes time to pay the liquor bill.”

Ascending to the ground floor hallway, I looked up in surprise. An aged woman stood with a little dog at her feet, clapping her hands. The light smacks wouldn’t carry far. Her bright smile would show on satellite.

“It’s about time you left that no good bum. You ever notice that he only drinks the cheap stuff when you’re not around?”

I blinked at her. She had a point.

“You deserve someone who doesn’t take you for granted.”

“Thank you. I agree.”

“Good luck, my dear. I hope to see you around sometime. Now go find a good man. Or woman. Maybe a parakeet. Anything would be better than Ben Transon.”

In my mind I pictured the attractive fellow who caused my misstep leaving the market. He didn’t so much as glance in my clumsy self’s direction but I saw the way he looked at a woman who might have been his grandmother. He held her bagged groceries while she got situated on her powered wheelchair, then he secured them in the attached basket and made sure she crossed the street safe before going on his way.

Ben couldn’t be bothered to carry his own booze. On that note, what was I going to do with all that beer I’d bought in an attempt to lure him over? Over every season, Bock came out with some limited edition brew. A summer shandy took up refrigerator shelf space next to this autumn’s pumpkin spice.

Reaching my car, a solution occurred to me. Of course! My friend Nan invited me to her neighborhood block party.

Those were always BYOB affairs.


I’m always curious as to whether the occasional use of italics, especially in dialog, is distracting or useful. I guess you can tell which way my opinion leans.

What do you think?


Thursday, November 1, 2018

November Again

Hope You Had a Happy Halloween!

Hard to believe the year is coming to a close. Time moves so fast since I left the workforce. I’m blessed to have so much time to write for my enjoyment.

On that note, November means it’s time for National Novel Writing Month. I believe this is my eighth year of participation. The goal is to write fifty thousand words before December rolls around.

To be honest, I almost didn’t sign up this year. I wanted to work on unfinished tales from my series. There are so many project ideas resulting from prior writing challenges (I also wrote fifty thousand words for ‘Camp NaNo’ in both April and July).

A friend changed my mind. It will be his first attempt, and he told me he looked forward to my encouragement.


How could I back down after that? So, I am setting aside my beloved series and plan to rewrite something else started many years ago. Back then inspiration came from another writer’s original characters shared, of all places, on a fanfiction website (now defunct). I wanted to finish his or her story, in fact.

But this talented person (whose interesting pen name was DonkeyJaws19) was nowhere to be found to ask permission.

Thus, a very different original tale came into being. Today I’m going to start fresh on ‘Awakening Arick’, a tale of magic and love, adversity and discovery. Arick is a very special young man with no clue as to his potential.

First, I need to clean my two fresh water aquariums. It should have been done a week ago. If I start writing now there is a good chance the chore will be postponed yet another day.

I can’t have that. Guilt is weighing my mind as it is. But once I get moving the whole process only takes about an hour.

Wish me luck on the challenge. Should be fun.

Do you keep fish tanks?


Monday, October 22, 2018

Do Not Disturb – or – Another Reason to Love My Life

The other day I lamented about my spouse bringing home some groceries other than what I requested. Since that post started to get long, I decided to edit out some of what I wrote. This is both a defense of him and, of course, another expression of gratitude.

s not to like about a guy who tolerates my obsession with Palaye Royale (see below)?
A Boy and His Dog, Because I Can...
For starters, let me tell you he used to call me whenever a question arose regarding my shopping list. For years I counted on at least one telephone call whenever he went solo. This is no longer the case.

I think two reasons come into play.

The first is that my cheap Tracphone often jumps to voicemail before I have a chance to pick up a call, so there’s a time lag in communication. Also, he knows I hate interruptions when writing and subscribes to the (doubtless now frowned upon) old adage: Happy Wife, Happy Life.

There is an underlying tease between us that I’m no fun to be around when I’m grumpy. Who is? Ultimately, he wants me to live a life of peace and comfort. I feel the same toward him.

The bottom line is about respect in our relationship.

I have mentioned to him that it might be best he just not buy a product when in doubt, but I am not going to full-on berate him for taking chances. It’s rather appreciated when he steps up and makes a choice without a consult. Too many times we have gone back and forth on where to dine, for example, neither of us willing to make a decision.

So now I’m going to heat up a soggy, cheese filled soft pretzel stick and not complain. At least I won’t be hungry for a while.

Do you dread or enjoy grocery shopping?