Jul 30, 2009


Today’s Passion For Poetry is exploring the Kyrielle.

The kyrielle is an old French form used originally by the Troubadors during the Renaissance era. The name derives from the Kýrie, which is part of many Christian liturgies. Kyrie is a derivative of kyrios, a Greek word meaning “Oh, Lord.” The Kyrie Eleison was instituted by the Catholic church as a liturgical form of worship and involves a congregational chanting of the words, “Lord, have mercy.” Consequently, many early kyrielles used the phrase throughout the poetic form as an homage to the Christian liturgy.

The distinctive feature of the kyrielle is that it has a refrain - the final line of every stanza is the same. In the original French kyrielle, lines were generally octosyllabic (8 syllables long). In English, the lines are generally iambic tetrameters. There is no limit to the number of stanzas a Kyrielle may have, but three is considered the accepted minimum.

Some popular rhyming schemes for a Kyrielle are: aabB, ccbB, ddbB, with B being the repeated line, or abaB, cbcB, dbdB.

Another variant includes a non-rhyming line appearing in the No. 2 position: axaB, cycB, dzdB.

If written as couplets, the kyrielle’s rhyme scheme will appear like this: aA, aA, aA, aA.

The following example of a kyrielle is by Thomas Campion (1567-1620)

A Lenten Hymn

With broken heart and contrite sigh,
A trembling sinner, Lord, I cry:
Thy pard’ning grace is rich and free:
O God, be merciful to me.

I smite upon my troubled breast,
With deep and conscious guilt oppress,
Christ and His cross my only plea:
O God, be merciful to me.

Far off I stand with tearful eyes,
Nor dare uplift them to the skies;
But Thou dost all my anguish see:
O God, be merciful to me.

Nor alms, nor deeds that I have done,
Can for a single sin atone;
To Calvary alone I flee:
O God, be merciful to me.

And when, redeemed from sin and hell,
With all the ransomed throng I dwell,
My raptured song shall ever be,
God has been merciful to me.

And here's a slightly less religious one by John Payne (1842-1916)

A lark in the mesh of the tangled vine,
A bee that drowns in the flower-cup's wine,
A fly in sunshine,--such is the man.
All things must end, as all began.

A little pain, a little pleasure,
A little heaping up of treasure;
Then no more gazing upon the sun.
All things must end that have begun.

Where is the time for hope or doubt?
A puff of the wind, and life is out;
A turn of the wheel, and rest is won.
All things must end that have begun.

Golden morning and purple night,
Life that fails with the failing light;
Death is the only deathless one.
All things must end that have begun.

Ending waits on the brief beginning;
Is the prize worth the stress of winning?
E'en in the dawning day is done.
All things must end that have begun.

Weary waiting and weary striving,
Glad outsetting and sad arriving;
What is it worth when the goal is won?
All things must end that have begun.

Speedily fades the morning glitter;
Love grows irksome and wine grows bitter.
Two are parted from what was one.
All things must end that have begun.

Toil and pain and the evening rest;
Joy is weary and sleep is best;
Fair and softly the day is done.
All things must end that have begun.

Jul 29, 2009

Whimsical Wednesday

Just a quickie today I’m afraid. I got a Human Resources exam to study for, and I do mean study! The instructor let us have a look at the marks from our marketing exams and it wasn’t pretty. :-(

The original intent of Whimsical Wednesday was not only to have something humourous, but for it to be writing related as well. The two clips I found for you today are technically writing related . . . they’re fractured fairy tales. (Anyone remember Rocky & Bullwinkle? Better fess up or next week it’s Dudley Do Right!)

Leaping Beauty

Jack and the Beanstalk

Jul 28, 2009

Random Tuesday

You know, you can learn a lot by checking out other people's blogs. For instance, one of the things I learned this year is about setting (and keeping) goals. Admittedly I don't do as good a job of keeping them as the folks who inspired me, but it has helped my writing immensely.

Something else I've learned, from Jamie over on The Variety Pages is that it's much easier to keep up your blog if you assign topics to each day. So far I've got recaps and goal setting on Monday, Creative Fridays, Whimsical Wednesday, and just last week I started a poetry thing for Thursdays.

And by the way, if you haven't checked her blog out already, do it now.

Go ahead, I'll wait.

She's posting an awesome serial story - a much braver author than I!

But what about Tuesday? Hmmm. Trivia Tuesday perhaps? I could impart all kinds of weird and wonderful things . . . Tidbit Tuesday? Help me out people, give me some ideas, otherwise you might want to avoid Tuesdays altogether. :-)

Speaking of tea . . . oh, wait a minute. I wasn't speaking of tea, was I? I was going to suggest Tea Party Tuesdays, but that would imply something to do about either tea or parties, and if I was going to do that I'd just send you over to Jamie's Tea On Tap which is an awesome blog about tea (I never realized there were so many blends out there!)

Anyway, back to my tea thought . . . Nope. Sorry, I waited too long. It's slipped my mind now. Damn, I hate when that happens! Was I going to mention how I start my day with a cup of coffee but I prefer tea the rest of the day? Maybe I was going to go on about how I can drink my coffee cold, but still haven't found an iced tea I like. Well, unless it's a chai tea frappuccino from Starbucks. :-)

Meh, it couldn't have been that important, I guess.

Anybody catch Torchwood, Children of Earth, last week?


*sigh* You missed a totally awesome mini-series. Poor Captain Jack, what they put him through! If you're interested, you can still catch it online HERE At the very least, check out the Doctor Who special that was on this weekend. Or, if nothing else, you can catch David Tennant (Dr. Who) and John Barrowman (Captain Jack on Torchwood) at the San Diego ComicCon. And if you're very patient, you can see them share a kiss.

Jul 27, 2009

Migraine Monday

Yes, it’s been one of those days, which was preceded by one of those weekends. Is it just me or has the up and down weather been creating an abnormal number of migraines this summer?

Anyway, I’m feeling much better now so I thought it was time I got around to posting.

Last week kind of fizzled out on me.

Fiction-wise I’m sure you noticed I missed Creative Friday, which I’m thinking of re-naming Flash Friday ‘cause I’d like to start doing more flash fiction. The problem is, I’d also like to start marketing some of my flash fiction and if I do that I can’t have it on my blog. It’s a catch-22 situation that I can get around by compressing a longer piece into a flash so it’s more of an excerpt. Or expanding a flash into a longer piece. Or something like that. . .

No, I don’t really know what I’m talking about. We’ll see how it goes. :-)

So no Creative Friday last week and I did not finish my outline for the Starlight Series. I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t even work on it. I did, however, get three reports done for my Human Resources course.

I did much better poetry-wise last week. I did finish a poem for my poetry group, however I’m not happy with it so I’m going to work on it some more. I also have a poem coming out this week in poetryz’own and three more were accepted for future publication.

I was just about set for the AW anthology when I realized that three of the poems were still under consideration elsewhere, so I’m having to come up with replacements for them before I can fire off the submission.

Goals for this week:

Get that submission done for the AW anthology
Something new for Flash Friday
Work on expanding the piece I posted last Saturday
Three more assignments for Human Resources

I also have a quiz on Wednesday and an exam on Thursday so I’d really better be prepared to get off my lazy butt this week!

Jul 23, 2009

Haiku! Bless you!

Yesterday, my BFF and I were sitting in the back yard enjoying the fresh air, and in the course of conversation I was whining complaining mentioning that I was having a bit of trouble reconciling my prose writing with my poetry writing. It seemed to be either one or the other with me.

I got to thinking about this later, and then I got thinking about how much easier it is to keep my blog up to date when I have set topics to post about, and then I got thinking that hey, why don’t I pick a different form of poetry to write about each week? I could talk a bit about the form, then write an example . . . Not only would it stretch me as a poet, it would also ensure I wrote at least one poem a week.

So today I’m having my very first Passion For Poetry day. :-)

Today’s poetry form is the Haiku. The word “hai” means unusual and “ku” means lines. The master Masaoka Shiki told his disciples that they had only to look carefully at one scene in nature to be able to produce over 20 haiku. Shiki himself wrote tens of thousands of haiku over his short lifetime of 36 years.

When the Japanese artistically write haiku on a shikishi (square paper), they divide it in many lines; but only for the appearance. Traditional haiku is written on one line. In translations, Japanese haiku are printed in three lines because this helps to express the subtle nuance of the break, hard to show in one line in a language other than Japanese.

Just to show you how complex this really is, here’s a verse by the master Japanese poet Basho. I've shown it first in Japanese, then with the English translation, and finally as it would appear in English.

kono | michi | ya | yuku | hito | nashi | ni | aki | no | kure

this | road | : | go | person | nonexistent | with | autumn | s | evening

on this road
where nobody else travels
autumn nightfall

Here are some of the more common rules for the Haiku:

The poem should be 17 syllables in three lines, usually in a 5-7-5 format.
Use a caesura (pause), usually in the form of punctuation.
Try to use a season word (kigo) or a seasonal reference.

If you want to try a truly traditional Haiku, here’s some more guidelines:

Avoid all reference to yourself.
Focus on showing, rather than telling.
Write only what can be said in one breath.
Write of the impossible in an ordinary way.
Use lofty or uplifting images.

Here’s a couple more examples, in a more familiar English format:

The sea at springtime
All day it rises and falls,
yes, rises and falls

Looking for the moon
In a lonely autumn sky
- mountain castle lights

If you’d like to read more about the Haiku, try one of these links:

Chinatown Connection
Haiku Poetry and some very interest links for information about Japanese culture

Japan, Past and Present
Rules for writing Haiku

Writing and Enjoying Haiku
When I clicked on the link it took me to a scanned copy of the entire book. Read and enjoy!

And just for fun:

The Genuine Haiku Generator
Peter’s Haiku Generator
Haiku Generator
(a little more hands on, you get to choose each line)
The EMO Haiku Generator
This one was fun!
Here’s mine from this site:

so sad and alone
Watch the life you could of had.
Death is no escape.

Anyone who wants to give a haiku a try, feel free to post your efforts in the comments!

Jul 22, 2009

Whimsical Wednesday

Anybody remember MC Hammer with his "Can't Touch This?" I found an updated version:

I give you: MC Grammar:

“Can’t read dis.”
Daaaa na na na… naaaaaa na.
“Can’t read dis.”
Daaaa na na na… naaaaaa na.
“Can’t read dis.”
Daaaa na na na… naaaaaa na.
“Can’t read dis.”
Daaaa na na na… naaaaaa na.
The spelling’s butchered so hard
makes me say, “Oh my lord!
What is this garbage here?
Wanna cover my eyes, burst into tears.”
I can’t…ignore this stuff.
My inner grammar-nazi makes it too rough.
Capital “I”s are somethin’ we need,
and that’s the reason why (uh!) I can’t read.

And now, I thought it only fitting, the Grammar Police

Jul 21, 2009

July Blog Chain

Once more into the breach my friends! Yes, it’s time for the AW Blog chain. This month each post is answering a writing question put forth by the previous poster. It makes for a great variety of both questions and answers!

My question was posed by the previous poster in the chain, jen.nifer over on Live I Must . You can check her chain post HERE . Her question to me was:

If you had to publish a book for writers starting out (think King’s ‘On Writing’ or Bradbury’s ‘Zen In The Art……’), what kind of approach would YOU take?

Funny you should ask . . .

When I first started writing, I spent a lot of time reading books about writing, reading magazines about writing, and looking up information on-line about writing. Many a tree was sacrificed to the almighty photo-copier in the name of research about writing.

In other words, I was doing pretty much everything except writing! It got to the point where someone suggested that I had enough information to write a book about writing and that maybe I should give it a try. Fortunately, I didn’t get very far.

Why do I say fortunately? Because there’s a lot of writing information out there already. Most of it really good information, some of it not so good. There are countless books and magazines and websites, the market is saturated with information about writing.

Come closer and I’ll let you in on a little secret. You ready? This is what I learned from all those books, all those magazines, and all those photocopies. There is no secret. A writer is someone who writes. It’s as simple, and as complicated, as that. Yes, books can help you with the mechanics of writing, but they cannot show you that by putting these particular words together you’re creating something powerful. You can only learn that by doing.

These days I only have five writing books on my shelf and two of them are grammar books. The others, for those who are curious, are: On Writing, by Stephen King; On Writing Science Fiction, by the editors of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine; and Creating Short Fiction, by Damon Knight. Out of the 20 years worth of writing magazines I’d collected, I have maybe a dozen and to be honest, I’m not even sure where they are.

I haven’t seen Bradbury’s book Zen In the Art of Writing, but I highly recommend Stephen King’s book On Writing. As King himself says, it’s not so much a “how-to” book as a “how-he-did-it” book. If I was ever foolish enough to attempt an instruction book of my own, I would definitely model it after Stephen King’s. But really, what can I say except, get writing!

Next in line for the blog chain is Fame/Infamy over on Ambiguous Vindication and my question is:

Do you believe in writer’s block, and if so, what do you do to combat it? If you don’t believe in writer’s block, do you ever suffer from days where the writing just doesn’t want to come and how do you overcome this?

Don't forget to checkout the rest of the participants in the blog chain. You won't be disappointed!

DniC: Four-Lettered Words
Big Words: The Graveyard
Fokker Aeroplanbau: I'm Always Right, Far Right
harri3tspy: Spynotes
Razibahmed: Blogging37
Forbidden Snowflake: Delirious . . .
bsolah: Benjamin Solah, Marxist Horror Writer
jen.nifer: Live I Must
Lady Cat: Random Thoughts
Fame/Infamy: Ambiguous Vindication
Rosemerry: W.I.P.
aimeelaine: Aimee Laine
Proach: Deanna's Information Center
Apelle: Ghost Words and Other Echoes
lostwonderer5: Lost Wanderers Writing Blog
upsidedowngrl: UpSideDownGrl's Writing Blog
JamieMT: The Variety Pages

Jul 20, 2009

By The Pricking of My Thumbs

. . . something wicked this way comes!

Okay, so maybe not. I just had that quote stuck in my head and I thought if I wrote it down I could get it out again. :-)

It may interest you to know that the first time I read that line was in Ray Bradbury's brilliant book, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and so I'd always attributed the line to him. However, the quote is actually from Shakespeare's MacBeth, Act IV, Scene I :
By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes:
Open, locks,
Whoever knocks!

Now that that's out of the way, let's get down to brass tacks. How did I do goals-wise last week?

First and foremost, I got my Marketing paper done. All 2000 words of it. And let me tell you, it wasn't easy because my heart really wasn't in it. The information we were given was six years old and out of the three pages of the source article we had to come up with a five page paper.

I also got some poems submitted to poetryz'own and finished one of the two poems I'd been working on. And let's not forget Friday's fiction piece, which finally made it up on Saturday. :-)

I did not get my submission made to the AW anthology, nor did I get the Starlight outlines finished.

So, those two things will move to the top of this week's list of things to get done. I also want to finish that second poem and I'll need to come up with something new for Friday's post.

Wish me luck! :-)

Jul 18, 2009

Creative . . . uh . . . Saturday

It's not that I forgot to post yesterday, it's just that I started working on my post and the story I was going to offer up, and then I got distracted by a migraine, which was triggered by my sinuses, which were triggered by the weather. Yes, it's a vicious cycle.

This morning the phone woke me up at a God-awful early hour and as I was trying to get back to sleep I started thinking about the story and the next thing I know I'm cursing under my breath as I'm headed down stairs to work on it before I forgot the pearls of wisdom that popped into my head.

I spent the next couple of hours working on the story but I could feel my sinuses and head gearing up to cause trouble, so when I came to a spot where I could stop I took the last of my sinus medication and a couple of macaroons and went back to bed for a couple of hours. Macaroons work far better than aspirin. :-)

This is another horror story, and I'll warn you right now it's a work in progress. The asterisks in middle are to mark where I may be adding to this story in the future . . . or not, like I said, it's a work in progress.

* * * * * * * * * *

She awoke in silent darkness, unable to see, unable to hear, unable to move.

Where was she? How did she get here?

She couldn’t remember.

Sensation returned slowly. Her tongue felt too thick for her dry mouth. Her arms and legs tingled as feeling began to return to them. She was aware that her chest rose and fell as she breathed, but she could see nothing, hear nothing. She could feel, but she couldn’t move.

It was like being in a sensory deprivation tank. Wait . . . how did she know that? What else did she know?

She could tell she was lying on her back, in the dark and the silence. There was a feeling of space around her. A warehouse? A cave? Beneath her was . . . earth. Packed earth. A cave then, or some place underground. But she still had no idea how she got here, unable to move, unable to see, unable to hear.

Holly. Her name . . . her name was Holly. Her memory was staring to return. Her name was Holly and she was a reporter. She’d gone to the park to investigate the strange disappearances.

There’d been no witnesses to the disappearances. Police were baffled. The hookers and drug dealers faded into the background, unwilling to get involved. No one else was talking.

Mostly she’d interviewed street people. Their stories ranged from government conspiracies to vampires and werewolves. All except that last man, the wino, only he’d been stone cold sober when he told her that what was taking those people was far worse than any government, more ancient than any vampire or werewolf. Then he’d warned her to stay away from the birch grove in the park and she’d laughed . . . until his eyes began to glow.

She shivered in the dark. The old man had done something to her, pulled her in with his eyes. The world around her had spun, faster and faster until her only anchor had been the light of his eyes.

* * * * *

Cool air kissed her skin causing goose flesh to rise, making her aware again. She was naked. Naked and alone in the dark and the silence. Was she alone?

She could feel another presence nearby, maybe she wasn’t alone. Or maybe it was just her imagination, running in circles.

No, there it was again. The heat of another body, moving, circling her. She could feel the faint vibration of its steps. Did it know she was here? Was it able to see her? She might have whimpered, but she couldn’t be sure.

Her body jerked involuntarily as a tongue rasped across her skin, hot and moist. Human? Animal? She had no way of knowing, could only quiver in fear. Tears leaked from her eyes as the tongue rasped again, this time across her breasts, then again, lower.

Two tongues now, touching her, tasting her fear. No, wait. The second one was dry and scaly, like a reptile. It moved across her skin sinuously, like a snake or a . . . tail.

Panic set in. She could feel her heart race. Her mouth opened and the scream ripped through her, but there was no sound. Just implacable, utter, silence.

Why is this happening to me?

It was her last coherent thought before the pain boiled through her and carried her away.

Jul 16, 2009

Mmmmm, Muffins!

And yes, before you ask, this is going to be one of those long-winded stories of mine that is probably better suited to my every day blog, but in light of the fact I’m sticking to my rule of posting only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays over there, and the fact that I really can’t think of anything else to post about, this is what you’re getting.

Now, where was I?

Oh, right. Muffins.

Yesterday the daughter stopped by in the hopes of me helping her make some corn meal muffins so she could use up the last of her strawberries from her jam making venture. Being the thoughtful mother I am, I pointed out that I had some serious studying to do for a quiz, plus assorted other stuff to do. Being the thoughtful daughter she is, she ignored me. :-)

So I took a break from studying and decided to get the baking stuff ready before she got here. This is the part that’s making me twitch as I type. Anyone who’s easily grossed out, skip the next paragraph.

We’ve got a moth problem in the kitchen. Those little moths that get into food. I’ve been meaning to clean out the cupboards to discourage them, but I haven’t got around to it yet. Or should I say, hadn’t. I pulled out the package of corn meal from the cupboard I keep my baking stuff in and out flew several moths. That’s not the worst part. The worst part was the moth larva inside the package. All together now: Ewwwww! I also discovered some zip lock baggies with nuts in them that the moths had got into. I pulled everything out of that cupboard and there was a veritable nest of larva. Ever seen a moth larva? They look like maggots.

Okay, it’s safe for the squeamish to start reading again. To make a long story short, the daughter dropped off the strawberries and figured I could probably make the muffins on my own. It took me several hours to clean out that cupboard and a trip to the dollar store for glass jars for my spices and plastic bins with snap top lids for the dry goods (which I mostly just tossed without looking too closely at). I did not feel like making muffins when I was done. Of course I didn’t feel like studying either, but that’s another story.

Anyway, I took a baking break from studying today and made a double batch of corn meal muffins with strawberries in them. Very yummy, if I do say so myself.

I don’t know what was with me the past week, but I’ve been extra tired and very unmotivated - not just unmotivated in my school work, but unmotivated to write or pretty much do anything else. However *knock wood* something changed today. I don’t know if it was the extra long shower I started my day with, the extra large coffee, or something else altogether, but I’ve got more energy and ambition.

I’d like to strike while the iron is hot and get some writing done, but I’ve got to get some studying done first. The final exam for Marketing is tomorrow and I don’t appear to have retained anything from the textbook.

Jul 15, 2009

Whimsical Wednesday

Apparently I have post performance anxiety this week. In other words, I’m having trouble coming up with post topics. So once again I’m relying on my good friend YouTube for Whimsical Wednesday fodder.

What can I say? It’s early and I have school in half an hour.

These three cartoons of Simon’s Cat are surprisingly true to life. Multiply them by five and you’ll get an idea of what it’s like living in my house. The last one is particularly true. :-)

Jul 14, 2009


I had no clue what I was going to post about today. Some days are like that. Fortunately, Benjamin Solah gave me a meme of five words to “waffle” about. Thank you, Ben!


Yes, it was my decision to go back to school at *mumble* years old, but was it the right one?

When I have a week like this one where I have to readjust to getting up early, a quiz on Thursday and a paper due as well as an exam on Friday, I feel like I need a sanity check (which I just had this afternoon and my doctor says I’m good for another three months). But I have to admit that I enjoy getting up in the morning with a sense of purpose and the more I have to do, the more I get done. Does that make any sense?


I’m actually surprised at the number of writers who scoff at the idea of a muse. Do I really think that one of my cats turns into that hot guy at to the left of this post? Of course not! Although it’s fun to imagine he could if he wanted to. ;-)

To me, the muse represents the drive that makes me a writer. It’s that little voice inside me that tells me “enough with the spider solitaire already, get writing!”


I wrote my first poem when I was eight years old. I do not remember the poem itself, but I remember it was about how my cat Tobey was always jumping up on my lap every time I sat down, and that my teacher was impressed with my strong sense of rhyme and rhythm.

Most of the time, poetry comes easy to me. I think this is why I used to discount it as true writing. If I don’t have to slave over, it can’t be any good, right? I think the turning point for me with my poetry was the PAD Challenge. So many people, writing so much poetry! And some of those prompts were pretty darned hard! But it made me start to feel like a real poet.


Setting goals is easy, it’s keeping them that’s the hard part. I used to set myself all kinds of goals, but I’d pretty much keep them to myself. That way, when I wouldn’t reach them, I was the only one who was disappointed in me. Now I’ve learned to set more reasonable goals and I post them where all the world can see. And if I don’t reach them? Surprise! No one’s disappointed, they just encourage me to try again.


There is so much to say about sci-fi that I don’t know where to start.

When I was a child my favorite cartoons were the Jetsons, Roger Ramjet, and Space Ghost. I used to beg to be allowed to watch the Saturday afternoon monster movie, which was more often than not about monsters from space. I was the kid who loved the Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, and Star Trek.

I wish I could remember the first science fiction book I ever read. Was it the Chrysalids, by John Wyndham, in highschool? I do remember a year or so after that reading the Gor series by John Norman and my English teacher being horrified - not by the content, but by the terrible writing in those books. I read the sci-fi books he recommended and it opened up a whole new world for me.

The first short story I ever wrote was science fiction. It was a terrible space opera with lots of action, and everyone ended up in suspended animation in the end. The first novel I wrote was also science fiction, as were the next couple, all appallingly bad.

Life took several unexpected turns and I got away from science fiction, but it’s started to creep back in lately. We’ll see where it takes me.

Jul 13, 2009

Better Late Than Never?

I have a very good reason for not posting earlier today.

Last week my internet connection became steadily worse as the week wore on. By Friday it was a crap shoot whether I’d even connect or not and by Sunday I had no internet at all. But all is good now. Cogeco sent me a shining hero in the form of a technician who replaced my modem and now I can happily surf with the best of them again. :-)

I didn’t really set any goals last week, did I? So it looks like I only have myself to answer to for how much (or how little) writing I got done. Yes, I admit it. All that free time and I was a bit (maybe we should make that a lot) of a slacker in the writing department. Did a lot of reading though.

I doodled around with some poetry and pulled a couple of short pieces out of mothballs to have a look at . . . pretty much the only new stuff I wrote was the flash piece for Friday.

So, let’s set some goals for this week, bearing in mind that I’m back in school, I have a marketing paper due at the end of the week and I have an exam on Friday. This doesn’t bode well for goals when I’m already lining up excuses, does it? ;-)

I want to finish the outline for the Starlight series that the people I threatened bribed begged asked to vote on chose as my next WIP. Because I still don’t know whether this will be a three part story or a trilogy of novels, I need to outline all three parts.

I also need to finish the two poems I started last week and I want to finish up my submission for the AW poetry anthology. I have the poems picked out, I just have to write up the biography to go with them. I also need to pick some poems to submit to poetry’z own, which is the poetry magazine put out by my poetry group.

I guess I should include my marketing paper in there somewhere too. It is writing and I do need to get it done this week. I pulled out the assignment on the weekend, read it over, and the first thing that popped into my head was: “I am so screwed!”


Jul 10, 2009

Creative Friday

Oo[s! I was just doing my daily blog reading and realized I haven't posted here yet. In my defense, this is my last real day of vacation so I slept in and then had to take Panda to the vet for her water treatment. Mental note, cats in a hurry to get home from the vet do not appreciate going through the drive-through at MacDonald's.

Today's story was written for the June horror prompt at AW. It needs some work, but I was trying to keep it short. The prompt (in a nutshell) was: You’re familiar with the scenario: Individual(s) endure some trying experience(s) that propels them to the point of some kind of mental breakdown, which then, in turn, causes them to do something they would never have done under ‘normal’ conditions.

* * * * * * * * * *

Class Time

“All right, everyone. You need to pay attention to this video, there’s going to be a couple of questions about it on the next quiz.”

The class groaned in unison and stopped what they were doing to turn their attention to the television at the front of the room. Economics was bad enough, but videos about it were even worse.

Once again Claire had to wonder what the instructor was getting paid for. The woman liked to video tape crap off the television for them to watch in class - interviews, debates, editorials - and then she put random questions about these programs on the weekly quizzes. They were supposed to get class time to do their work, but how was that possible when they were always watching stupid videos?

The television itself was small and hard to see, and the way the classroom was laid out, half the class had trouble even seeing it, let alone paying attention to it. The fat girl in the row in front of Claire shifted in her seat. Claire’s hand tightened on the pen she was holding. She didn’t know the fat girl’s name and, quite frankly, didn’t really care. The stupid cow took a sadistic delight in blocking Claire’s view of the television.

Over the last few weeks Claire had tried moving to a different seat, but was told that wasn’t allowed. She tried explaining the problem to the instructor but the instructor was built on the hefty side herself and told her she’d just have to deal with it. Once she even tried tapping fat girl on the shoulder and asking if she’d mind moving to the side, but fat girl told her she couldn’t see if she did that.

Last week Claire slid her chair so far over she almost ended up in B.O. girl’s lap. The girl gave her a “look” and a snide, “What’s your deal?” Claire mumbled an apology and gave up trying to see around fat girl. She failed the quiz that week.

Today’s video was another one of those stupid debates about the economy and how to fix it. Claire stared at the back of fat girl’s neck, at the roll of fat just below the short, dark, hair. Sweat glistened on the porous skin, it was warm in the classroom today. It was too bad fat girl wouldn’t just drop dead.

She shifted minutely to the left and fat girl leaned back in her chair, blocking the entire television. A slow rage began to fill her. What right did fat girl have to keep her from an education? She paid good money to be in this class, she wasn’t about to let some fat cow flush all that money down the toilet.

Claire glared at the back of fat girl’s neck. A freckle stood out on that pasty skin, like a tiny, little target. Her knuckles whitened as her hand tightened further around the ball point pen.

Slowly and quietly, Claire shifted to the right. Fat girl bent forward, pretending to work on her computer. Again, the television was blocked. Claire felt her rage simmering over.

She imagined stabbing the pen deep into that freckle. This was not the first time she’d imagined it. This time, however, she imagined the blood spurting in a glorious arc as fat girl squealed like a stuck pig before slumping forward, leaving an unobstructed view of the television.

She really couldn’t afford to fail another quiz.

Jul 9, 2009


Yes, I know. What a scintillating post title, but hey, I'm still on vacation here! :-)

Earlier in the week, Benjamin Solah stole borrowed a post from Jodi Cleghorn over at Write Anything so I thought it was only fair that I steal borrow it from him.

To keep you from getting utterly confused, I'm taking my quotes directly from Jodi's site, although feel free to follow the links above to check out the original posts. The ellispes indicate where I've cut words out for the sake of brevity.

. . . In a nutshell – write what you know. But what if there are things you don’t realise you know?

A few weeks ago I had the delight to befriend emerging novelist Holly West via Twitter . . . West’s post is based on questions posed in literary agent Donald Maass’s book Writing the Break Out Novel . . . the questions West posted and answered on her site seemed to me to be valuable to writers of both long and short prose alike.

The three questions which appear on West’s website, from Maass’s book are:

What are your top three novels?
What do they have in common?
What do you bring into your novel from your top three favourites?

Did everyone understand that? Okay, so here's my answers:

What are your top three novels?

It would be easy to just pull the first three Charles de Lint books off the shelf and go with them, but after careful consideration, I’ll limit myself to only one of his, the first one I ever read, Moonheart. The next book on my top three would have to be The Woodwife, by Terri Windling. Third is The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas.

What do they have in common?

It’s easy to see what the first two have in common, they’re both urban fantasy, but what about the Count of Monte Cristo? It turns out the common thread in the Count was just as easy to find. All three are about ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances.

What do you bring into your novel from your top three favourites?

I do see the influence of all three in my own writing. Even though I gravitate towards romance and the paranormal, I tend to write about ordinary women caught up in unusual circumstances. Looking back at some of my earlier work, I find this has been true of all my fiction writing. Like my three favourites, I try to make the situations plausible, as if they could really happen under the right circumstances.

Now, go think about what your three favorite books are and how they've influenced you. And while you're at it, check out Ben's blog HERE , the Write Anything site HERE and Jodi's blog HERE .

Jul 8, 2009

Whimsical Wednesday

Today’s whimsey is dedicated to my newlywed daughter and my favorite son-in-law.

First we have: The Man Song

And just to keep things fair, we have: The Woman Song

Jul 7, 2009

Workin’ On the Railroad

I’ve been workin’ on the railroad
All the live long day . . . .

The daughter’s wedding is over and the dust has settled, so it’s time to get things back on track. The problem is, it’s a little hard to get back on track when the pieces of the track are scattered hither and yon, and the train itself lost sections all over the place.

My every day blog was even more neglected over the last couple of weeks than this one, although I did manage to sneak on the net once in awhile to post comments on a few of my favorite blogs. Today I spent a lot of time catching up on my blog reading, though I didn’t do any commenting yet.

Needless to say I got no writing done during the days preceding the wedding. I didn’t even keep up my journal. I did jot down ideas for a couple of poems, and I had an idea for the June prompt over on the horror writers board, but that’s about the extent of it.

I admit that the last couple of days I haven’t done much of anything other than read, but after the frantic pace of the past couple of weeks, I felt decided I deserved to relax a little. However, that is all going to change tomorrow. Time to get writing again.

No excuses, just writing.


Jul 4, 2009


Here's some pictures of the Canada fireworks to celebrate. I guess our family must like fireworks for our anniversaries, the husband & I got married on Canada Day, and the daughter is getting married on Independence Day. Hope everyone's holidays are happy!

The daughter's getting married today!

Jul 2, 2009

Serves Me Right

As you may or may not have noticed, I’ve been a bit absent from the ‘net these past few days. Life, the universe and some really outrageous bad luck have been conspiring together. I was going to take the rest of the week off and start fresh on Monday, but whilst stealing a minute to check some blogs I usually read on a daily basis, I discovered that Benjamin Solah tagged me. And you know me, I just had to respond. :-)

Here we go:

‘Sometimes you can learn more about a person by what they don’t tell you. Sometimes you can learn a lot from the things they just make up. If you are tagged with this Meme, lie to me. Then tag 7 other folks (one for each deadly sin) and hope they can lie.’

Pride: What is your biggest contribution to the world?

My very existence makes the world a better place to be.

Envy: What do your co-workers wish they had which is yours?

My co-workers wish they had my awesome luck for being in the right place at the right time to get all those promotions.

Gluttony: What did you eat last night?

I went to William’s and had a slice of every kind of cheesecake they make. Then I went back for seconds.

Lust: What really lights your fire?

I love those pro wrestlers. All those bulging muscles and their dedication to a real sport. Come to mama!

Anger: What is the last thing that really pissed you off?

Finding that million dollar lottery ticket. Excess money is so not worth the trouble!

Greed: Name something you keep from others.

The million dollars I got when I cashed in the ticket. I may be pissed off, but I’m not stupid.

Sloth: What’s the laziest thing you’ve ever done?

I phoned my daughter to come over to make me a cup of tea (she really does make a good cup of tea).

I, in turn, tag Jamie, Karen, Ciara, Nancy, Amanda, Kahley, Jewell. Have fun guys!