Writers aren't exactly people, they're a lot of people trying to be one person. F.Scott Fitzgerald

Monday, May 30, 2011


       I confess I am 66 and I have a major crush on the British actor,Matthew MacFadyen.I saw him for the first time as Mr.Fitzwilliam Darcy in the 2005 production of Pride and Prejudice and fell head over heels with this extraordinarily handsome man with an amazingly deep sexy voice.Thankfully, he can act too and has been in quite a few movies.I now own all of them that are still available.I ordered  8x10 photos of him and they are framed and in my room.I watch P&P at least once a week and can't wait for the new 3D movie,The Three Musketeers, to reach the theaters.
      David Matthew MacFadyen is my ideal of the perfect man,he has it all as far as I am concerned.Tall, 6'3",dark hair,nice build,handsome,sexy voice,dreamy blue green eyes and a killer smile.
     I read what I call Pride and Prejudice "What If Books" and imagine him as the extraordinary Mr.Darcy and I cannot believe I am so smitten with this unobtainable man,but I can dream and he makes me smile.So I curl up with the movie or a P&P what if book and continue my secret love affair with this drop dead gorgeous man. We all have our dreams and in my dream world I am Lizzy to his Mr.Darcy.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


       I  agree to a certain extent with that old adage.Stress,despair, depression, over a period of time can shorten our life span.Yes, I will agree that adversity can make us more determined to succeed but it can also cripple us physically and emotionally.The solution in my humble opinion is to laugh.
      Watch a funny movie,listen to a really good comedian on television,whatever it takes to put a smile on your face and laughter.Research studies have proven that laughter can actually help cancer treatments to be more effective.
      Laughter can help the body heal faster after surgery,accidents,illness,chemotherapy,radiation,etc!

       It's difficult to stay depressed when you laugh and smile.The Irish are an extraordinary people.
when a loved one dies,traditionally,a wake is held.Not so different than our funerals,except the Irish tend to celebrate the deceased person's life more than many cultures.

     A Celie (huge party) or a wake, is often held at a home or a local pub.Everyone is welcome  to raise a glass and celebrate the life of the deceased.Everyone present has a story to tell and share about the deceased. Some are true and some should have been, no one really cares. The celebration of a life lived and the grief of their passing is shared by all and the sadness is made more bearable.
   There is no disrespect intended; only a sharing of a persons life with others who knew and cared about them.I think I would much prefer a party and celebration of my life,rather than the somberness of a funeral.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


       Relationships are at their best,wonderful,exhilarating and still remain treacherous ground all at the same time.We thrill to the sensations of being in love,agonize over the"what if it doesn't last" and at times find ourselves caught up in over thinking.what you may ask is overthinking? A good friend of mind explained to me that sometimes we get so caught up in the what if's we can't see what is really important in the situation.
       In a relationship,we question,where it is going,what might happen,what if we love more than we are loved,etc,etc!That is getting in your head and over thinking!
       Sometimes we should just accept what we are experiencing and enjoy it unconditionally.
My grandmother and mother used to tell me;"Don't Borrow Trouble"! Now at the age of 66,I finally really understand what the phrase means and what they were trying to warn me against.Unfortunately for me and several relationships the light bulb turned on too late!
      As I watch a loved one struggle with trying to have a relationship in a very difficult atmosphere,I am reminded of how important it is to realize that borrowing trouble will and can hurt both partners and destroy what could ,in time, be a wonderfully satisfying life together. 
    It is ultimately up to each partner to decide if a relationship and the other person is worth the work it will take to maintain it?
So I will close this post with a hope that my words will click with anyone who is dwelling too much in their head and not allowing room in their heart for someone they truly care for.

Monday, May 23, 2011


        I am a writer and I have always been a writer.However;after I retired I began a career as a writer. I started with a romance suspense because I love to read the genre and I understand a lot more about life and love than I did at twenty. I based my characters loosely on people I know or have known in my 66 years. I decided to base the hero on the men in my life I have admired and loved. I combined them all to make the kind of man who I wished I could have found and married. The heroine is a combination of me and the woman I wished I could have been. The secondary characters are all based on real people,the farm was real and some of the incidents are real. Does this make it truly a fiction novel? For the most part yes.The overall story line is fiction with elements based on true incidents.
     I fell in love with the characters and the story.I finished it ,revised and edited it as well as I could and put the manuscript in a folder where it remains five years later.

    I have another romantic suspense I am working on,that lost my attention after it took a wrong turn.I can hear the voices of my characters pleading with me now and then to dust them off and bring them out of the dark and into the light and finish the revisions I started a few years ago..I will soon,I promised them again as I have for the last two years.

    That out of the way, I have a quick story to tell that I think a lot of writers will identify with.

         I had a dream and woke with a premise for a story that I felt was really different. Maybe not totally unique,but definitely different.I suppose it would fit under speculative fiction with elements of romance or maybe a paranormal romance.It is definitely a ,"what if novel", with a different spin.     
       Now this is the part that blindsided me.  I had one of those moments a few days ago while writing a small scene in "Evolution of Monsters".

      I sat down one morning and started working on my latest novel "Evolution of Monsters". I had left my hero and heroine facing an important life changing event when apparently I entered what I call,"THE ZONE!"Most writers know about entering that state in writing where the subconscious takes over and writes.Minutes,hours or maybe a lifetime passes until either you  snap back or drift back to awareness and stare stupidly at what you have written that you don't even remember writing.

         I wasn't aware I was gone until I blinked and I was back. I was surprised to find that I had written over three pages about two of my secondary characters and started to remove the entire episode,almost an entire chapter until I read it again, out loud this time, and realized it was pretty darn good.  
        Strong,emotional,pertinent to the story and very touchingly romantic.I still don't know if I will keep it in this story or save it for a book of their own.Either way the scenes were and still are between two important secondary characters who have an unrequited love for each other. I had written over three pages of scenes about why they weren't together, how they felt, and what caused them to finally get together and what happens between them.

        I was surprised to find that I had written this touching,very emotional encounter about them and had not even thought about doing so.I started to remove the entire episode,almost an entire chapter, until I read it again, out loud this time, and realized it was pretty darn good.Strong,emotional,pertinent to the story and very touchingly romantic.I still don't know if I will keep it in this story or save it for a book of their own.Either way it was an event that has happened to me before and I pray will happen again and again.Some of my best writing has been when I slip into that "subconscious writing mode".
     I wonder how many other writers and authors have had this same experience or one similar?

Friday, May 20, 2011


          Pain, I am told and have found  it to be true, is relative to the person experiencing the pain and their own personal pain threshold.
       Well Duh,I would say that is a No-Brainer. Of course, we all have our own personal pain threshold and conception of where our pain should rate on the charts.The old charts had numbers from 0-no pain to 10- severe pain.Some individuals rate a stubbed toe at the highest level on the chart while another person might rate the same exact injury as a 2 on the chart. Pain is definitely subjective.
        Many health care workers,now use the smiley /frowny face chart with the numbers assigned to each expression having the same rating as the original numbers chart. We humans have different conceptions of how much pain we are actually having and where we rate it on the 1-10 scale depending on our mood, the circumstances at the times of the injury. Were we ill,embarrassed, terrified,angry,inebriated,depressed,who was watching,etc.!
     Now all that being said, I have had four C-Sections, my tonsils removed, total knee replacement, shoulder surgery for a 3rd degree tear in my rotator cuff(shoulder) and dental implant surgery.
      None of the pain from those procedures can compare(in my opinion) to this infected tooth with severe inflammation in the gums and surrounding tissues. I rate this pain at a twelve even if it's not on the stupid chart. And, as for the smiley, frowny, face chart, I raise my one finger salute to you and say,Put That! on your chart!
      Obviously my mood is a cross between ill and irritable and choosing the one finger salute to rate the pain.At the moment, I not only look remarkably like an English Bulldog, I have the temper and irritability of a really pissed off  Pit Bull being teased by an intruder. Hopefully, the  pain pills will kick in,the antibiotic will be effective and I will feel much better just in time to go back to the dentist, who,unfortunately,will  have to inflict more pain. And,so it goes as the circular cycle continues,at least temporarily. I HOPE!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


        I am a wood carver,stone carver and writer. I am also a compulsive organizer.I have been known to go out to my workshop(this was six years ago when I still had a workshop) to carve and end up re-organizing the entire workspace for hours without carving a single item.
      When I was working as a hospice RN,I would organize my paperwork and re-organize my work desk every few days.Now that I am a writer and hopeful author of fiction I often sit down at my desk and end up spending more hours reorganizing than I do typing new words on my manuscript.
       I find that I cannot work or or concentrate in a messy,cluttered,unorganized area. My thought processes seem to mirror my environment. Many years ago a Native American Elder,a Lakota Sioux Chief,told me." living in a cluttered space clutters the mind.Organize you space and your mind will follow suit." I really believe that is true,at least for me it is.
     Of course I will admit that there are times when I sit down in front of the laptop and find myself reorganizing my work space instead of writing new scenes in my latest novel.I admit I cannot get up in the morning and leave my bed unmade.
    I like to organize and I want things organized the way I want them to be.If my space doesn't look and feel right I am physically uncomfortable until I can reorganize it.
   My youngest son was diagnosed with ADHD,attention deficit disorder. I understand that it can be an inherited disorder. His father  and I both fit some of the guide lines they use to diagnose the disorder,but not all of them.I can sit for hours and write new scenes.I can read an entire novel in one sitting or watch a movie without putting it on pause to go do something else.
     So,I suppose there is no definitive answer to the question. I think it depends on the moment. Sometimes I am procrastinating because I don't want to do the job. There are times I can't face the real issue that the story I'm halfway through with just isn't workings and I use organizing as a distraction.
     I procrastinate  and reorganize instead  when I just don't really want to clean my workspace. Then there are those times I look around me and see how much better and more efficient an area would be if I reorganized everything another way.I can't concentrate on whatever i was working on until I reorganize. Maybe that could be considered a compulsion.if it is,I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing or a good thing. I prefer to think of all these thing as part of my eccentric,loveable, quirkiness that makes me who I am and gosh darn,I like me!  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Scary World of a Writer or Pulling Your Pants Down In Public!

          I am following my dream of becoming a writer. let me amend that slightly. I have always been a writer in my heart.Songs,stories,poems,etc! when I retired a few years ago I decided to write a novel with the hope of becoming a published author. Five years later I have three full length novels written,working on two more and a book of my original bedtime stories for children that is turning out to be a novel about fantasy characters that is suitable for children of all ages.
        I know in my head I won't ever know if my books are publishable unless I actually send them out into the world to be judged.I can't seem to make that final step and submit a query to an agent or send anything to a publisher. I don't even have the courage to join the local query group.
       Why? Several reasons come to mind.First, I suppose I am terrified that I will find out my writing sucks and my novels are poorly written and weak on characters,plot and the overall story is boring. I cannot be objective about my own writing and I'm too chicken to put it out there and find out the truth.
     What if I am a lousy writer? What if I'm really good? Which prospect is scarier? I don't really know is my best and most honest answer. I read a quote a year or so ago that said writing and publishing a book is akin to pulling your pants down and exposing yourself in public. Now I truly understand what they meant.
         I have decided while writing this blog post and really taking a good honest look at myself, that I am going to start by attending the next critique group meeting. No one can cut you down to size and deflate your ego faster than a room full of writers or build your confidence in yourself as a writer faster. Few writers have never received a rejection notice on their long hard road to being a published writer and that's probably why they are quicker to offer a kind word of encouragement along with an honest critique of your work.
        Okay,okay I am going to pee or get of the proverbial pot, take a deep breath and take the next step; and seriously look at agent lists, online submission requirements for agents and publishers in my genres and decide which way to go.
        Lord just putting that down in print makes my belly and chest tighten and my heart beat faster.Scary is a mild word for how I feel at this moment.Hopefully it will get better as I enter the foray and have a few hits or rejections under my belt.So long for now friends.I'll post how things turn out and my progress after I actually do some of the things I've said I'll do.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


       Haven't updated in a bit,which is unusual for me.Thought long and hard about what I wanted to talk about and decided I wanted to talk about being in a situation where you had to make a choice between the lesser of two evils.Maybe it's a marriage that in spite of trying,and a child together, you just couldn't make it work. Staying together for any reason other than love and respect for each other is never going to work.Eventually someone, even the child,if not everyone is going to be hurt and unhappy.
      A clean amiable parting of the ways is best for everyone,but that rarely occurs. In the majority of divorces, one partner is going to be left and devastated. Maybe they are still deeply in love,or maybe they are afraid of being alone, or jealous. Whatever the reason for the split, the partner left behind is usually the one who eventually becomes the angriest,most bent on causing pain and a wide range of problems for the partner who instigated the separation.
     The child is caught in the middle and occasionally used as a pawn in the painful game of marital/divorce chess.Either or both partners can and usually do go through varying degrees of the stages of grief:
1.Shock or Disbelief 2.Denial 3.Anger 4.Bargaining 5.Guilt 6.Depression 7. Acceptance and Hope.

     These stages are usually felt by both partners and can jump back and fourth until finally they both come to terms with reality. that doesn't mean,both partners get over the break and get on with their lives in a timely manner. they don't usually go through the stages the same way and they usually
don't get over the stages of grief and loss in the same amount of time.
    Sadly some get stuck in anger and vindictiveness and make it their mission in life to make the other partner miserable and inflict as much pain as possible.

There are no winners in a divorce,there are merely, survivors who are, hopefully, able to eventually find happiness.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


       I want to tell you a very old tale. I don't know who first told this tale or when it was told.I imagine an aged Native American grandmother gathered the children in her tribe around a campfire on a moonlit night and told them this story.
     "Old coyote was always hungry,very greed, and lazy.He preferred to doze in the sun or a warm cave most of the day until hunger rumbling in his empty belly sent him on a search for food. He would travel near and far until he found another who had hunted and then sneak in and steal their hard earned food.
      Coyote was never satisfied with what he did have. The cave another animal had was always better than the one he had. Another female was much prettier than the one he'd picked. The mouse that got away was bigger and would have been much tastier than the one he caught.
    One fine October day,he set out to find food to add to the  very small cache in his cave,before the deep snows came.Coyote thoroughly disliked winter.The bears,mountain lions,fox,all the hunters he depended on to catch food that he could steal, slept in their warm caves and rarely ventured out into the freezing weather to hunt.
     He searched the forest, but found no animals but foraging deer and a few wild turkeys and mice. It never occurred to the lazy coyote to catch any of these creatures and provide his own food.  Clouds,dark, and heavy with snow began to cover the sky and chase the sun away. Belly growling from hunger and frustration,he nearly wept as he headed back to his cold,less than adequate,empty cave.His last mate had grown weary of his laziness and roving eye and left him.
    A few miles from his cave he spotted a large cluster of wild grapes still clinging to the bare vines winding around a huge tree. As luck would have it the tree grew next to a large pond,just beginning to ice around the edges. Coyote sat down and stared at the cluster of grapes for a moment,decided how to reach the grapes without getting wet. Grinning,he circled the tree,keeping his back to the huge pond,he leaped and landed on solid ground with the cluster of still juicy grapes in his teeth.
    Smug with his victory,he started to head home and realized he had made an error and the shortest way home with the heavy cluster of grapes was to swim. Turning his back on the cold water,he headed up the longer trail leading to his warm cave. He had gone a short distance when the cold winter wind shook large fat snowflakes from the heavy clouds.he knew he would soon not be able to see the trail and could become lost in a blizzard.He had no choice but to swim across the pond and take the well traveled shortcut home

     Coyote took a firmer grip on his prize and entered the icy water. He had gone a very short distance when he noticed a huge cluster of grapes in the mouth of another coyote floating just under the surface of the pond. The cluster of grapes was much bigger and the grapes were much fatter and probably much sweeter.He opened his mouth to grab the grape away from the other coyote and to his surprise he sank under the cold water and surfaced without the huge cluster of grapes.

     Struggling to the other side he collapsed on the snow covered bank until he had the strength to stand.
Coyote glanced back at the tree with the now empty vines and down at the cold dark water beginning to freeze.There was no sign of the other coyote or the grapes, in the water or any signs he made it to the bank and escaped with the grapes. The greedy intruder had made it to shore with both clusters of grapes or sunk in the cold deep water,taking both clusters with him. He shivered in the growing dark and cold, turned tail and slumped home,hoping the greedy intruder and the grapes were swallowed up by the cold dark water.
   It would serve him right for stealing food someone else had found and worked so hard to obtain.

        Now I think the moral of this story is very obvious, but it can differ according to the  person reading it and what they are experiencing in their own lives.

        Note: some people always want what they don't have and only see the worth of what they have when they no longer have it.That "pasture" on the other side of the fence can look so much bigger,greener, more lush, and tastier that the one they are currently in.Think a moment before you leap, it could be an illusion.
        Maybe it is greener and lusher because it has fertilizer(Shit) that you can't see until you are in it.
 Why do you think the old saying "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence", is actually a warning to look closer before it is too late and you wade in and discover the hidden stench of shit.