quotes

A lesson in Life

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✌🏻advice from the queen herself #pattismith

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Open Call. Paid Writing Gig.

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I am honored and excited to announce that I have been chosen for Lead Editor of Feral Cat Publisher’s  upcoming anthology titled Bubble Off Plumb.  If you aren’t familiar with the term, it means things being not quite right. 

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Open call for submissions is on going. They are looking for original short stories that are odd, twisted, or unsettling.  Maximum word count is 5,000.  Deadline is September 30, 2018.

Did I mention this is a paying gig? Yes,  I did.

Selected authors will receive an advance of $0.03/word of final, edited version of their story, plus a pro rata share of downstream royalties less up-front expenses, plus one paperback proof copy, and wholesale unit rates when purchasing extra paperbacks.

Enough chat from this blog. Head on over to Feral Cat Publisher and get the details you need.

One more thing, and I only mention it because it threw me, the email for the submissions is  submissions @ feralcatpublishers.com  You need to remove the spaces.

Of course, read the submission process before submitting your story.

Happy writing and good luck.

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journal

When It’s More Than You Think

Way back in time in my early twenties, I was at an open market and found a beautiful tapestry. A forest scene with bears would go perfect with the saloon style bar or so I thought. I lost the bar, but I kept the tapestry all these years. It still hangs on my wall. I didn’t ever think of the artist or the history behind it until my daughter sent me this picture from Masha and the Bears. The grandkids were so excited to see Grandma’s tapestry on the video. I had no idea there was a puzzle. I had to know more. img_66881

Took forever to get a freeze frame that would show me the title.

Turns out to be a famous painting.   Morning in a Pine Forest was painted in 1886. It was painted by two Russian artists, Ivan Shishkin and Konstantin Savitskiy. Ivan painted everything except the bears. Both artists signed the painting, but Savitskiy’s name was erased by an art collect, Pavel Tretyakov.  (According to my internet research.)

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The photo doesn’t do the tapestry justice. The colors are richer. The funny thing is that both my daughters found it to be terrifying. Maybe they were concerned I would take them to the forest and leave them there. Probably shouldn’t have read them Hansel and Gretel with so much glee.

journal · quotes

Crash and Burn and Emerge Again

God and a writer have something in common. They both create worlds. They both create people. They both intervene on individual’s lives, both blessing and cursing them.

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My first story that I began a gazillion years ago had a working title of House. I fell in-love with my character Victoria. She was gorgeous with flowing auburn hair, smart, compassionate, and brave. The story placed Victoria leaving the library when the limousine cut in front of her blocking her way. Two men headed toward her. And this is where the story stopped for all time. I would not continue because I know what was in store for Victoria. I couldn’t let the scene happen. I wouldn’t hurt/kill her.

Some would say that as the author I have the ability to change the trajectory of Victoria’s path. I could. However, it wouldn’t be true to the story. The readers might not know, but I would.

I find myself in this position once again while writing the sequel to House of cb386-front2bcoverRedemption. The words were flowing. I was getting to know the characters. Everything was working the way it was intended.

And then came the dilemma and I chose to be selfish.

You see writing House of Redemption was a bit of therapy for me. The sad fact is that you can’t flay a pedophile in the real world and not go to prison for it, but you can do a lot worse to the kiddie fiddler when you are writing fiction. I enjoyed the scenes of Tom getting his ass kicked more than I should. And here comes the dilemma.

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It was my intention that the souls would remain in Blackstone Resort. Now ghosts, they would relive their vision of Hell. The remaining survivor (no spoilers here) would find a way to free the trapped souls.

And then I came upon the conundrum. If I free the souls, that would mean I also release the pedophile from his hell. I’m not ever going to be ready to let bygones be bygones. He will suffer forever in my fictional hell because I know the (long list of profane name calling) POS isn’t suffering from his crimes even if he is serving in prison for the rest of his life .

The alternate ending is the souls are not released. It’s all or nothing and if I choose that ending, the survivor is now damned. What Hell does this character inherit during the remaining years and worse after death?

As in my first story, I love my character. I cannot , I will not, damn my character’s soul. I will not free the pedophile.

The characters that haunt me will join Victoria and remain frozen in time.

On the day I decided to stop writing the sequel, a message popped up on my phone screen. It said.

Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.

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When I wrote House of Redemption, I wrote it as a stand alone story. It was never my intention to write a sequel and considering how much time has passed since the novel was published, I don’t think I was meant to continue the storyline. Best to leave it to the reader’s imagination as to what comes next.

I’m ready to stop looking back. I ‘m ready to start fresh. Ready to begin a new adventure.

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journal

Apathy

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I had the upward peak of writing. The thrill of words flying onto the page. I had the excitement of getting to know the characters and being on the inside of their plan. And now here comes apathy sticking it’s dirty muddy finger in the cake batter and swirling it about. Here comes the feelings of just don’t care. The cast of characters can float in limbo for all time. Could note care less. Don’t want to play anymore. Don’t want to write anymore.

I lie to myself. I do care. And I can’t stop writing.

It’s a pile of crap. 

Yet another lie. 

And even if it was true, first drafts are always crap. 

You’re fat. 

Now you’re just being mean. 

What’s next?

I’m going to take a step back. I’m going to finish the painting of the ocean front. I’m going to find the dress/shirt patterns. If time allows, I’ll do a few more projects. 

You’re fat and slow. It won’t happen.

I love you too. Some of it will happen and while I do the painting or sewing or clearing, my characters will talk to me and I will note what they say and the words will flow again as the house becomes alive.

You won’t let it. The house scares the shit out of you. 

People are going to die in that house.

And that’s what scares you. You like your characters.

I don’t want to like them. They’re bad people. 

They don’t want to be bad. They don’t think they’re bad.

They’re assholes. 

And they will die. 

But will they stay dead? 

Will they?

My characters haunt me.