Category Archives: Inspiration

Back in the saddle again…

(Ha ha… my title just makes me picture the opening to an episode of Supernatural…)

Well, hello, all…  It’s me… I’ve been gone for far too long… my energy is returning — it was all I could do (out of curiosity, I googled this idiom) to keep my eyes open, being pregnant while caring for a 3-year old — and, with it, my creativity and inspiration… so, my writing has FINALLY resumed!

Yay! I even made my husband smile in the car the other day on the way to dinner… I was sitting quietly, listening to the playlist he had made me (music helps, don’t ya’ know) and thinking about my work-in-progress, when an idea occurred to me and I had to write it down. I grabbed the notebook/journal out of my purse but couldn’t find a pen, so I fumbled (quite frantically, in fact) around in the console area between the seats, dropping his iPods (yes, he has two — he loves music). When he asked me what I needed, I just said, “Pen,” (because I was afraid if I said more, I’d lose my train of thought) and finally held up the pen that was supposed to be in my purse to begin with. As I began writing, my husband said it was like watching a painter get inspired… 🙂  He was happy for me. And the whole thing felt great.

In related news, I have finally managed to write the final scene for CREEPING SLOWLY & EVAPORATING. Yay! I now have a complete first draft!

Now, I just need to keep it up. And that is the plan… I also hope to keep the blog a little more up-to-date. We’ll see how that goes.

Until next time…

Just wanted to share…

Joanna Penn of “The Creative Penn” shared this on Facebook and I just HAD to share.  So if you want to learn how to write up to 4,000 words per day (or at least a lot more than you already do) read this, and reap the benefits of daydreaming… I’ve got the daydreaming part pretty well down, I just need to utilize it!  🙂

Enjoy!

Meeting (ever so briefly) a Favorite Author…

Hello All!  Long time, no write?  Sorry about that…  I assure you, I am as sporadic as my blog posts… 😉  Ha ha, just kidding… mostly.

Late last week, I saw that Charlaine Harris would be discussing and signing her latest Sookie Stackhouse book at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington, KY on Saturday, May 5th.  “Wait.  What?  Why didn’t I know about this sooner?” I asked myself… probably out loud, as I’m prone to talking to myself… aren’t we all?  In any case, I forced it to the back of my mind for a couple of days, got all excited about seeing The Avengers at the Bourbon Drive-in (it was awesome, by the way!) and slept in on Saturday morning.  While I was in the shower, I decided I’d just get ready as if I was going somewhere and (on a second’s notice) left a little after 4pm.  The signing was supposed to start at 7pm… and Lexington is about 2 hours away from where I live…  So…  Off I went.

I bought the book and was granted a ticket with the letter “Q” on it… After the discussion, they would begin calling letters to line up for signings…  The discussion was fun and interesting… of course, mostly about the book and upcoming projects.  There will be only one more Sookie novel, and Ms. Harris is starting a new series.  Oh, and big news for fans of the Harper Connelly series… it’s set to be a TV show on SyFy!  I love those books!

Anyway, after the discussion, I figured it would be a while before my letter was called, so I got a bite to eat and sat down in a quiet corner and started a new story myself (more on that later).  Finally, a little before 10:30pm, they announced for those holding tickets lettered “Q” to line up…. Yay, great!

The closer to the front of the line I got, the more nervous I became…  Okay, breathe… (alright, I know some of you are probably saying, “Oh, come on… you’re not another one of those people, are you?  Nervous to meet someone because they’re famous or whatnot…” No.  It has absolutely nothing to do with who she is… but that fact that she is a human being at all.  I get so scared when I have to talk to other people.  I’m shy, alright.  It can’t be helped… Anyway….)  So, I get up there and ask my one question I’ve been wanting to ask, “Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?”  (Ha!  I actually managed to ask my question!  Yes!)

She smiles at me.  “Yes.  I do!”

I smile back… though for the life of me can’t remember if I reply beyond that.  Maybe I said, “Great!”  … but I’m not sure.

“Read everything you can get your hands on.  Then sit your butt down in a chair and write,” she says (as close to her exact words as possible).

I left, taking a few more calming breaths and asking myself, “What did I say?”  I really couldn’t remember anything beyond my question, her answer, and smiles.  But, like I said, that’s about how nervous I get around most people… Okay, okay… Maybe I got a little more nervous in her presence.  But it was also very exciting… the whole experience but, especially, meeting an author I (as both a reader and a writer) admire.  And I got some much-needed writing time out of it!  So, yay me!

In any case, her advice is what you will get from a lot of writers, agents, and the like:  Read read read, write write write!  And repeat!  Good advice, all around.

So, yeah… that was my weekend.  How was yours?

The Cat’s (Last) Meow

As all artists know, our lives influence what we create… whether we create visual, auditory, or literary art, life fuels creativity.  Today, my life was altered by the passing of my dear feline friend… Gidget.  For those of you who hate the word “pet” because it does not properly encompass all that they are to us, you will understand this the most.  For those of you who don’t get that the connection can be just as strong as with a human being, and sometimes more so… this probably isn’t the post for you… and that’s okay.  Carry on… I’m sure the next post will be  less pet-centric.  Now, on with my tale….

Gidget came into our lives almost exactly eight years ago…  I’ve always loved cats and was living with my boyfriend (now my husband) who also had an affinity for feline kind.  Anyway, my aunt’s cat had recently had kittens, and she had promised me one… when I arrived to look at them, two remained, and I couldn’t choose between them… So I took them both home with me.  One, all white but a grey spot atop his head, I named Ghost.  The other, grey and white, my aunt had been calling Gidget because she liked the name… and I didn’t want to change it.

So, I returned to our pre-/mid-renovation home, two kittens in hand…  and I haven’t looked back since.  (He-he… sorry, I had to throw that in.)   In the next two years, we picked up two more cats (one was adopted, the other we found on our back porch in the middle of the night with a broken tail) but these two were what started it all.  Our first “pets” away from home, in a new home, on our own… no one else’s.  Of course, they were automatically family but quickly became our friends.

Gidget was the fearless one… and Ghost only went where she went.  She was unafraid to love us from the start and unafraid of us loving her… Ghost had to be coaxed… but eventually came around.  They spent every moment together as they became adult cats, spending the first few months climbing up everything, including us.  As we renovated our house, they had countless adventures.

When we brought our third cat (the adopted one… Little Bit) into the house, Gidget disliked him immediately.  He was flashy and flirty… and obnoxious… and a bit of a bully…  But I truly believe she was happy, as long as she was with us.  Of course, she couldn’t have been too excited about the fourth cat (Joey, the baby), especially since she was now outnumbered three-to-one.  But she soldiered on….

All of our cats grew to be quite large, but Gidget was a smaller cat with a very large, round belly… something we have blamed on spaying… and the vet that performed the surgery… she was never quite right physically after that.  But we did what we could to make sure our feline friends were healthy, from spaying/neutering to regular vaccinations and check-ups.   In any case, that was often the first thing people noticed about Gidget — her size.  But it didn’t take long for them to realize she was the sweetest, most lovable cat pretty much on the whole entire planet (you get the idea…).  🙂

And, oh!  Have I mentioned how smart Gidget was?!  This cat could get out of just about any situation.  At first, we couldn’t figure out how she was getting into or out of certain rooms… Then, one day, we saw her jump up and hit at a doorknob (over and over again, if necessary) until the door opened…  Yeah.

But late last year, we noticed a lump on her shoulders… and when we took her to the vet, cancer was the diagnosis.  We were shell-shocked but had hope… until just before we planned on starting radiation and a chest x-ray showed the cancer had spread to her lungs.  With feelings of guilt (for not catching it soon enough), anger (at the universe and the vaccinations that seemed to cause it — Vaccination-induced Sarcoma — we now suggest to any cat-owner reconsider vaccinating their indoor cats unless absolutely necessary), and a great deal of sadness, we took her home with the sole purpose of keeping her comfortable until the time came…  Well, today what that day.  It was quick — almost too quick, even with all the time we had since her prognosis — and we’re still a bit shocked by it all…  But aren’t we all when we lose someone we love?  We can never be truly prepared… even when it is “just a cat”…  Of course, we all know she was more than that.

Sure, she could be pushy when it came to lovins… but she was quiet and bright and strong (mentally and physically)… and stubborn and perceptive… and so many things.  She will be missed in all her kitty simplicity and complexity.

When it comes to our animal friends (especially when we’ve lost one) we sometimes might wonder if the short amount of time we have with them is worth the loss we suffer through in the end… It is.  Every moment we experience in their presence is a gift.  Their lives may be short but their love can have as much impact as that of any person.

For such a small creature, Gidget came with much impact…  And, though I am hurting, I am grateful for that.  So, I have written this post (and wow, you’ve read so far now — thank you!) not only to help me deal and begin to heal, but to honor the memory of my friend and companion.

GIDGET  (2004 – 2012)  We love and miss you… Thank you for sharing your life with us.

Happy Halloween!

Autumn is my favorite season, and Halloween is (in my opinion, anyway) the most fun holiday! Both are great inspirations for my writing.

And now that Halloween is here, National Novel Writing Month is one day away. I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this year… for the first time… and my story will involve vampires… That’s right. Vampires. I love just about anything to do with vampires… maybe they’re my guilty pleasure… However, I just don’t find them all that scary… I think we need some more super scary vamps out there right now… though I’m not sure that is possible and doubt mine will be. Then again, I’m not so sure I care about that… vampires are so much fun.

Which leads to my pondering… If I could write about any “monster,” it would be vampires… However, when I really want a scare, I go with zombies all the way. Yep, zombies are the thing that get my heart pumping… When I’m outside, late at night, walking my dog… waiting for her to do her “thing”… zombies are what I imagine lurking in every dark corner of my backyard… pulling themselves up over my fence… pushing their way through the closed gate… crawling out from beneath the decking around my pool. Every time my dog stands alert, I freeze and peer intently into those shadowy spaces. I try to keep my back to the house… silly, I know… Then, I imagine… what if… What if a zombie did make it’s way over the fence? My dog would protect me… right? Would she go at ’em, hackles raised and snarling? Or would she whimper and run away? Leaving me to take care of myself… I figure, if it’s the first, I’d have a very good chance of getting to the back door, locking it… maybe I’d make it. If she cowers, my chances of survival dwindle.

Of course, I know zombies aren’t real… but, of all the fictional characters out there, the idea of them scares me the most. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I LOVE zombies, whether in literature or film. We all love to be scared (well, the popularity of horror films is proof of that).

So, my question for you is… what is YOUR choice of monster this lovely Halloween?