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

Friday, September 30, 2011


Two days ago was the computer screw up from Hell.That being said,I will admit I did it to myself and spent about twelve hours trying to undo the mess I inadvertently made. I decided to follow the directions on a message I received a Hotmail message,telling me my Facebook account had been used by someone to open an account and gave me a link to follow to change my password.
I followed the link and changed my password and started a snowball effect that had me so confused ended up changing user names,other passwords and writing the info on sticky notes. However; apparently, I wrote down wrong information on some of the sticky notes and not enough information on the others.By the end of the day,I was frustrated,angry at myself and very discouraged with the huge mess I had inadvertently created.I am the first to admit that I am technology challenged.Actually,I am amazingly,frustratingly,notoriously awful with almost anything that is technology based.Occasionally I stumble upon the solution and accidentally fix the problem,but those instances are exceedingly rare.Operative word being RARE.
I finally gave up and put out an S.O.S. call to Mark,who is in my world,THE COMPUTER GOD!Once again he came to my rescue and fixed the mess I had created.By the time he left,I had a folder with a printed list of my user names,passwords,etc. I will endeavor to be more aware and carefully write down the correct information anytime I change passwords,etc.
I suppose you are wondering about my intelligence level. Well,I graduated from a university with a degree in nursing with a grade point average of 3.9 and made one of the highest grades in the state on my state board exams.I worked as a research study nurse for a number of years then as a Hospice case manager until I took early retirement due to work related injuries.

I am reasonably intelligent,but have a learning disability and dyslexia in math.Apparently I have a major disability with anything pertaining to computers.I read the" Dummy"how to books and manuals on computers and I they might as well be printed in ancient Aztec.I just don't understand the lingo no matter how often I read or reread the subject matter.The one class I found and attended was a complete failure.I couldn't figure out how to turn the computer on.You may laugh,but it was very traumatic to have the instructor lead the class in laughter at my total lack of computer skills.Needless to say,I never went back to that class.
Eventually,I bought and Apple, as they were called back then and I learned some basic skills. I own a Dell now and I can maneuver around and get some things done,but I am far from being able to do so many of the things I want to be able to do.Well,I digress.Back to my really horrible day.
I received and email that someone had used my Facebook account to get into Facebook and was told to follow the link and change my password.After screwing that task up and inadvertently, creating a snowball effect,by changing other passwords and forgetting user names and trying to change those I spent twelve hours trying to fix the horrible mess I had inadvertently created.
I finally,gave up in frustration and sent an S.O.S. email to my friend,Mark.I call him the Computer God. He always comes through and fixes whatever fiasco I have created while trying to fix something myself.
As always he smiles and laughs at me and then fixes whatever problem I have created this time.By the time he left,Everything was back to normal and I had a very nice print out of my sites complete with user names and current passwords. After a big bear hug and a reminder to write down any changes I make to passwords,etc.he got in his car and drove away into the sunset.Once again,he had ridden in,saved the day and rode away into the sunset. Thanks Mark
Just a closing thought,but maybe I change his name and should call him the"Lone Computer Ranger". Hmmm,probably no. Unless I write it down,I'll probably forget his user name and how to find him again!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I have been challenged repeatedly today while trying to use my laptop.Every site has asked for my password which I have to stop and find.Then Hot mail wanted my password.I didn't even know I had one so I had to start the process of password recovery which I am sure Satan thought up.Then I tried to open my bookmark for my blog(which asked for my user name and password)Hell,I didn't even know I had either one for my blog.Eventually I found it through processes too horribly frustrating to to even put in writing.
Then windows live asked me for my password,you got it,I had to go through the same frustrating process of ,I'll just use the initials for that which not be named,P.R.
Then I decided(Oh foolish me) to have a little fun and go on Facebook and read what was new.
OH MY GOD! the old easy to use,entertaining Facebook is GONE! In it's place is a site almost impossible to navigate around in and so changed,it is no longer a pleasant way to talk tofriends and see what they are up to.That was the straw that broke this camels back,to use an old expression. Gone was the user friendly,amiable,laid back site and is it's place is the Devil's spawn.A place I dare not go now.I am disappointed and not too surprised.Nothing simple can be left untouched in this day and time,or so it seems.Sigh! I am going to go now and watch a few romantic movies on cable.Hopefully the gremlins have not invaded.I wonder if I can buy an insurance policy against further changes in my electronic tools.If not maybe there should be!Some one could make a fortune inventing a way to help some of us who don't want some of these changes.Newer does not necessarily mean better!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


WRITERS BLOCK to me is one of the worse ailments that can happen to a writer.I know there are worse things that can happen but this affliction is downright scary.No one can predict it,no one knows when it will strike,how long it will last, or how to cure it.
July 5th,2011,I was writing away in my latest WIP and closed down for the night.I was moving into my new apartment the next day and there was a lot of packing and coordinating the move with friends who volunteered to help. Two days later I was moved in and spent the entire day unpacking and setting up my new living space.
Finances were tight but they would get better after I recovered from all the usual moving expenses and setting up utilities,etc! I loved my new space and the senior complex was brand new and perfect for me.I was on the third floor and had a great view.Life was good.
I took a break from writing and concentrated on organizing and reorganizing my apartment,shopping for new stuff I needed and wanted until I had to stop due to a low bank balance and a need to just chill out.
I woke up on a rainy August morning and decided it was time to" sit my butt in chair" and return to my job as a writer.I sat down at my laptop and prepared to open my latest work in progress,Evolution of Monsters, a story I loved writing. Two hours later after jumping up numerous times to do other stuff that I decided needed tending to such as going to the grocery store,putting all the stuff away then rearranging the cabinets again, calling the cable company to make sure they were still coming out the next day and eating a late lunch.
I decided to sit down and rest for a bit and before I knew it, it was after five p.m. and time to fix dinner for myself and spend the rest of the evening writing.

At seven I sat down in my new computer chair in my newly arranged office nook and opened my WIP on the laptop. Twenty minutes later I stopped staring at the same scene I'd been reading and closed my it down.I was tired,it had been a long day,I'd get a fresh start tomorrow.At least that is what I told myself.

The next morning I read and answered my e-mails. Wrote an posted on my blog,watched television,read,went shopping and ignored the nagging voices of my muses and the characters in my neglected novel reminding me that my story was waiting for me to start writing again. Oh I would sit down and stare at the desk top icons where each of my novels,finished and unfinished waited for me to revise,polish or write new scenes.I did none of those things.

July eased into August,then September rushed in and I had not written a single new word in my novel.I wrote new blog posts so it wasn't writer's block,at least that is what I told myself.Oh I opened my manuscript and stared at the words on the screen acutely aware that I had written a single word in it since the end of June! A lifetime ago for a writer who had written new scenes in her works in progress almost every day since September of 2007. It was now September of 2011 and I had not written a single new word in any of my works in progress since July 5th of 2011.
A life time ago to a writer who had always loved to write.Why wasn't I writing? Too busy,still settling in,I would get back in the groove as soon as the shortage of money from the expense of the move and setting up a new residence was resolved.At least that was what I told muself evry time I sat down in front of my laptop and did busy work,then got up and tried not to feel guilty about not writing anything in my neglected novels.
Then a few days ago I sat down with the intention to write new scenes in my newest novel,Evolution of Monsters, and sat there staring at the last page I had written. After getting up and closing out the manuscript without writing a single new word, I finally stopped deluding myself and faced the truth,I was experiencing the dreaded "WRITER'S BLOCK" for the first time in my writing career. I had heard of it,but never experiencing it myself,I was naive enough to believe IT would never happen to me.Well it had and I would have to deal with it.
Today is September twenty-fifth,Two thousand eleven and I am not so arrogant or naive anymore.What I am is a writer and I can and will be the best writer I can be and continue to write and grow as a writer and hopefully soon a published author.

But first and most important of all in my recovery, is to take that first step and begin writing new words in my novel,Evolution of Monsters.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I love to write and I always have.Writing has been the one single dependable thing in my roller coaster life.Whatever chaos was going on,I could escape for a time in the fantasy world of my choosing by writing. I could lose myself in the world of words creating characters who were heroes and heroines,creating a world and lives for them and telling their story. For a time, I could lose myself in them and their world.I lived and breathed their life story and created a world just for them. I put them up the proverbial tree,threw rocks at them, then figured out how to get them down.
For a time I lived vicariously through them.I loved my characters and would become them.It was important to become them,live inside their heads and know them intimately.Who they were,what they wanted most in life,what was important to them.Know their inner most secrets,their weaknesses and their strengths.
They weren't just fictitious people to me. Each one became very real. It didn't matter whether they were villain or hero or if loved them or hated them, each one was important and had a reason to be there. They had a story to tell and each was important to the whole.
As each novel drew to a close and ended,I flt as though I had lost a vital part of myself.I had become so thoroughly enmeshed with the characters, the hero and heroine and their life,I actually felt I had lost the most vital and thrilling part of myself.The person I had become,the heroine of the story and the life I created for her and the hero was over.I had lost a vital part of my life and the person I had become because I had become the heroine and loved the hero with all my heart and soul,just as she did.
It was as though I had lost the real me and stepped into a strangers body and life. A life and person I no longer recognized nor wanted as my own.I wanted the person I had become after so many months.I wanted to be that person and live the life I created for her. I wanted the man who was the love of her( my) life back.I wanted their life,their passionate love for each other,even their arguments and separations,which had become more real to me than my own life back. I was not ready for this thrilling surrogate life to end.
Maybe all writers don't get so caught up in their story,but I am willing to bet many of us do.
Well,I suppose you are wondering,how did I resolve my disorientation,heartache, grieving for that lost life and longing for the deep love and passions of my hero and heroine ?
Why I did what any writer who create and fall in love with new worlds and characters to inhabit those worlds do. I started a new book with the same characters.
We writers are gluttons for punishment or we probably wouldn't be writers!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where was I on 9/11?

I showered,dressed for work,fed the cats.I worked as a Vitas Hospice RN Case Manager in southeast Texas and sat down in front of my television with my Dr.Atkins diet shake to watch the morning news.I never dreamed I would end up watching the worst tragedy in the history of the United States since the Civil War. I was watching the news cast and I remember the look of shock on the two anchor peoples faces as the first plane hit the tower of the World Trade Center, then the second tower exploded. I remember thinking,briefly, that it must be a trailer for a movie.
The shocked look on the anchors faces told me it was real.I sat there, numb and watched the news cast until my pager went off. The message was from my Team Manager we were summoned out of the field and into the office by our team manager.I continued to sit there as the rest of the horrible events played out over the screen and the reports were beginning to come into the station.
I left my apartment and drove to our office,still in shock I think.I discovered as I opened the door and went inside that what I had seen was all too real.Lynn,my team manager had a small television on.Me and the rest of the team of nurses sat there with tears running down our faces as the television revealed the entire horrible,inconceivable event on the small screen.
the main office of Vitas issued a message that the office was closed for the day and absolutely no nurses were to go out in the field.All of the families with patients at home were notified by the main office that the nurses would call later and check on the patients.
Any patients having emergencies would be transported by ambulance to our in-patient unit in north Houston.Nursing home patients had their own staff and were notified the Vitas nurses would not be out in the field making visits. At the time no one had any idea how many cities might be targeted and the south Houston area was known as the main area for oil and gas refineries.
By one pm,our time,our team manager told us that we were to go home and call our hospice families and nursing homes to check on our patients and families who had patients at home.

I don't remember the drive home,but I remember sitting down in front of my television and watching the continuous coverage of the awful,heartbreaking events.It still didn't seem real. The footage of the planes, the explosions,the people leaping out of windows trying to escape the inferno and the people on the streets running for their lives still looked like scenes from a movie.

The true extent of the horror was being revealed in front of my eyes on my big screen television by new footage and copy read by shell shocked appearing reporters and trusted tearful news anchors. The rest of the afternoon and night is a blur of speculation,news reports,interviews of shell shocked people,new footage and tragic reports.
I don't remember when I finally went to bed or if I slept. However;I will never forget that day and the images I saw. The planes, the explosions, the collapse of the towers and the shock on the faces of New Yorkers running for their lives,the grim heroic faces of the police,the firemen,and emergency personnel.No American old enough to remember that day will ever forget where they were on that day and what they saw and the emotions they experienced.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I have had a vivid imagination as long as I can remember.At four my mother said I made up my own bedtime stories. At six I made up elaborate scripts and browbeat mt friends into acting them act in our everyday play.Cowboy and Indian scenarios,hero rescuing the helpless female,lone hero riding into town to mete out justice and sweep the lovely heroine off her feet.Handsome teenage boy gets the girl. I was always the hero,the handsome teenage boy or the brave handsome hero. As I got older the stories changed and became more elaborate. I continued to coerce my younger sister and some of my friends into acting out my scripts.
Being a died in the wool Tomboy,I was never the helpless female. I viewed girls as silly creatures who squealed,fainted when the going got tough and fell down when escaping danger. Why would anyone in their right mind want to be a female?Females stayed home,had crying ,smelly babies,cooked,cleaned house. They always had to be taken care of,protected and constantly rescued.
Obviously they were physically weak and not very intelligent. Why would I want to be a girl?I wanted to be the hero and when we acted out my elaborate scenes I was always the dashing,handsome,hero,who rode in, saved the day, and rode away.No mushy stuff though.Yuck! I certainly wasn't going to kiss a girl or a guy for that matter!

When my mother and father divorced and she married her boss,we moved to my stepfathers farm.Now I was alone,no friends lived nearby and I turned to my imagination and my writing for company.I rode my horse over our 500 acres pretending to be a lone hero, a dashing bandit or whomever my imagination conjured up at the moment. Gradually,I began to accept that not all females were helplessly inept and forever needing to be taken care of and rescued.I began to incorporate strong females into my scenarios.
Day after day,I wrote poetry,composed and sang songs as I rode over our farm.I Occasionally I would write some of them down,but for the most part they existed only in my head.

Eventually I began to write down some of these stories,poems and songs. Before I knew it ,I developed a strong need to write.I soon discovered that I could not ,not write. I would become restless until I picked up pen or pencil and committed whatever I had written to paper.
The farm is long gone now and I have few of the stories ,songs and poems I wrote in those young years.But I kept the most important thing.My love of writing.The thrill and yes,even the frustration of writing a story still have a powerful hold over me.
A physical and emotional need to tell the stories that circle around in my head and whisper seductively to me until I have no choice but to bring them into the physical.

My physical tools have changed and I rarely use paper and pencil now to write a new manuscript.I use my lap top and print out hard copies every few days.However; occasionally,I find a pencil in my hand as I scribble down the latest idea for a new book, a song and rarely, a new poem.I write notes on index cards and stress over plotting,conflict,sentence structure, character arcs,etc. etc!
Writing is hard,lonely and often frustrating work. Occasionally, everything clicks and the story flows almost effortlessly from my head and appears on the screen.However; some days nothing works and every word is like forced crocodile tear, obviously faked and inappropriate. Stubbornly keeping my butt in the chair, eventually, with great effort they come, one hesitant word at a time, until my head aches and I am exhausted.
On those days I wonder why in the world I ever wanted to be a writer.What masochistic tendency compelled me to want to be a writer? I decide I will never be good enough and I should just stop trying. Then the magic happens and the words,as seductive and compelling as a lover's touch, begin to whisper and flow as the story pulls me in and I am lost in the writers zone once again. The outside world and all of the frustrations disappear and my fingers fly over the keys.As the words fill page after page, I remember once again, why I wanted to be a writer.

I don't think that writers have a choice. I truly believe that writers are born and will eventually succumb to the siren call of the muses.It is who and what we are.Ink flows through our veins and we have to write to survive the onslaught of ideas and the insistent clamoring of new characters to be brought to life.

Stephen King once said, and I paraphrase."Writers cannot, not write".