From the Weekend

This past weekend was full of trying to keep up with writing assignments for a free online class (there is no grading/credits on this one.) In the (approximate) words of my Critique Circle friend Sassy: if this welcome week is supposed to be fun and relaxed, I’ll be dead by the end of the actual course.

The creative writing course runs for eight weeks, so it’ll run into NaNoWriMo. Uh-oh. We’ll see if I can pull this thing off.

But back to the weekend.

I have another writing project stewing in my brain. Because ninety-three weren’t enough. It’s dystopian. Yes, I know that fad’s on the way out. But I don’t write to the fads 🙂 All’s well.

Did I mention that THIAG has been subbed? No? Well, now you’ve been informed. That makes 11+ pieces out in the publishing world, waiting for answers.

That’s all-ish. Have a great week. I’ll maybe see you Friday (my eyes are EVERYWHERE), but until then…

Keep your pen on the page,


For your viewing pleasure:

A little old man singing about whipping mayonnaise. <–That’s a clicky, just fyi. Seriously, who doesn’t love to watch a 98-year-old gentleman get the words wrong to a pop song?


A Freebie Friday = Random Writing

Unedited/uncensored writing taken from writing group over a week ago. Rough. Very rough. You have been warned.


He couldn’t decided between the white and the black.

One shirt screamed “Hipster! Goth! Beatnik!”

While the other, also a button-up, said “Formal! Respectable! Promotion!”

Henri wished the clothes on the rack would stop talking to him. It was making it hard to think.

He finally decided to buy them both. He took them home, showered, and started to get into his white shirt.

“Sweat stains!” said the black shirt. “You will sweat right through that, and Angelique will be disgusted.”

Angelique was his date that night. The black shirt had a point, so he started to put it on.

“Hot! Too hot! Black absorbs heat, white reflects it. Pick me!”

The shirt also made a valid point.

“You guys,” said Henri. “My date is in twenty minutes. You gotta be quiet and let me think.”

* * *

Angelique walked into the restaurant ten minutes late. She spied Henri across the room. He was being handcuffed. And he was naked.

“What the heck?” she asked. “Why are you naked?”

“Well,” Henri replied, “I couldn’t decided on the black or the white. And then my pants went at it. I figured nude was the best, fairest option.”

Angelique left. Her boyfriend was insane.


The Hemingway Way

It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.

Do you take Hemingway’s approach to writing? Zipped lip? Or do you share your struggles?

I’m somewhere in the middle. I share some of my struggles, but I won’t post the how-to books I’m reading on GoodReads. It’s crazy. I think it boils down to pride and fear, fear that people will be like “She had to read a book on how to write? Really? Pfft. I’m not picking up any of her books.” 😦 That would make me sad. Very sad. But I want to boost my “Read” list on GR, so what’s a girl to do? (Well, that comes down to pride, pride at how many books I’ve read.) Le sigh.

As for those who are readers and do not flourish the pen as a hobby or for a living: would you think less of an author if they admitted to their struggles? Would it make them seem more approachable? Or would it make you lose faith in them?

I’m curious for answers and reasons! Please share 🙂 and…

Keep your pen on the page,


Why Writing a Blog Post at 4:00 is Just Wrong

Sleep-deprivation. This brain = caffeine-free. The mission? To prove that I can write a coherent blog post without legal addictive stimulants and, oh yes, that thing called sleep. Took me a moment to come up with the right word, but I did, points me.

So, how do I prove that I am perfectly capable of not babbling on about nonsense that makes me laugh like a hyena (spelled on first go–booyah) in heat? I almost said dry heat, but you did not hear it from me. Oh, wait..

Coherency! That is my mission. Let me start again.

I am tired. I am bored. I am decaffeinated (shoot, took TWO tries on that one–I hate twos.) And I am out to write my second blog post for the week, because that is what I do. But at 4:00 am? I am sooo going to regret it when I open my browser in the morning. And by morning, I mean the real morning, when NORMAL people get up.

So, progress (distract them, throw them off the scent of your unawakefulness–DANG not a word–by throwing to-do lists and statistics at them. Yes, Precious. That will work just beautifully.) …

Revised the first 2.5 chapters of TWG (I would give the meaning of the inititals–coherent?–but I am fond of keeping people in the dark.) Things are progressing nicely, imho. Hopefully, with James Scott Bell’s help (love his books, btw–self-help for writers, wot wot) I will come out with a passable 1.5 draft…which then will still need to be sacrificed on the altars of something clever here.

Did I mention I’m caffeine-free?

Progress! THAT thing.

Short story is almost written for anthology (fingers crossed.)

Other short story for other anthology needs to be plotted and written before November 1.

And speaking of November…NANOWRIMO!!!!!! I haz a story. Well, novelette in mind, actually. 12k max, to be vague.

And now I really must off. Note that I did only minor editing as I went. The rest is full of sleep-deprived wonderfulness. Enjoy my incoherency…Shoot. Did it again….


An Ode to Monday

The love of Monday is the root of all sorts of evil.

Monday, a day only its mother could love.

O cruel fiend, robbing us of the weekend! Thrusting us bleary-eyed and sleep-drunk into the week! A pox upon thee!

Can we say drama much? How my Monday started (it’s 5:06 as I type this):

  • No sleep
  • I read over 100 pages of All the Light We Cannot See
  • Cat vomits on floor
  • I clean up said vomit
  • And someone calls us at 1:00 AM–TWICE. Barbarians!

And all this before a coffee. Only, I don’t drink coffee–usually. And Mondays really aren’t that bad. For me at least. Why?, you ask. Well, that’s another post for another day 😉

Wishing you a happy week, lived on purpose, and a happy New Year to my Jewish friends and readers!

Keep your pen on the page,


Free Friday Read (Because I Felt Like It)

(This was written in last week’s writing group. We were all given the same opening line and were told to write the rest of the story until time was up. The following came from goodness knows where.)

Lace ties unraveled from her hair.

Rapunzel had been living a lie. Sure, she was stuck in that tall tower with the witch as her warden, and there really was a real prince who visited her every weekday when the witch was out. The lie? The lie was…complicated.

Her hair, her glorious golden locks, were full of lice.

Her Prince Charming, who climbed the long tresses hadn’t noticed…yet. Perhaps he figured that his raging case of itchy scalp was the fault of his faithful companion, a man named Philoneus, who was cursed to walk on all fours for the rest of his days, unless he found someone to love him just as he was–but that’s a different story for a different day.

Rapunzel had tried everything to get rid of the lice: shampoos, tea tree oil, hexes. But the lice were still driving her bonkers.

It came down to this: would she do what needed to be done to save her sanity and end the wretched itching? Or would she keep her true love?

“Sanity before hu-MAN-ity.” She lifted her straight razor and went to work on her hair. “Goodbye, Prince Charming, never to climb my locks again. Farewell.” The blade snicked across her scalp, golden waves tumbling.


Say Something Funny, Beth


^ How I felt inside every time a certain relative asked me to “Say something funny, Beth.” Apparently, as a child, I was a comedian. NOT. Did you know that it’s hard to be funny, I mean LAUGH OUT LOUD funny under pressure when you’re ten and only know booger and knock-knock jokes? And puns. Oh, the puns! But that was the request. At night. When I was trying to sleep. Oy vey.

And now as I sit typing this post with no general direction in mind, I wander off the path of humor and look at the flip side of the coin: …silliness. You thought I was going to say something dark and gloomy, didn’t you? I almost did. I deleted it. It’s easy to be silly. ANYONE can be silly. It takes talent, finesse, perhaps even pain to make someone humorous. It has been said that most comedians suffer a great deal in some form or other (okay, there’s the darkness.) It also said that comedies are harder to pull off than dramas, but I digress.

I guess I’m just writing this to say that kindness is so important. “Be kinder than is even necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” Funny people may be funny to alleviate the suffering in others, because they’ve been there and don’t want others to have to experience it. Thank them. Be kind and generous to them. Be kind and generous to everyone, but the next time someone cracks a joke at their own expense, look deeper.

I liked the quote from the new live action Cinderella movie: “Have courage and be kind.” I can think of nothing better to end this random, wandering post with.

Keep your pen on the page,

P.S. Happy Labor Day! I hope you’re enjoying a long weekend. If you’re working, thank you 🙂


The 7/7/7 Challenge

I have been challenged by fellow Critique Circle writer John Berkowitz to complete the 7/7/7 challenge (note I did not say 666. Well, now I did.)

The rules of the 7/7/7 challenge are as follows:

  • Go to page 7 of your work-in-progress
  • Scroll down to line #7
  • Share the next 7 lines of your manuscript in a blog post
  • Tag 7 other writers (with blogs) to continue the challenge.

Here are my seven lines from my work-in-project The Warring Goblet, fantasy:

            “You’re worried, Aidan Ingledark.”

            “Am I now?” he said, moving to the door. “I’m sorry, Tris. I must leave at once.”

            Tristram opened his mouth as if to object, but closed it. “I understand. Farewell, friend.” He took a seat and finished Aidan’s brandy.

            With a frown, Aidan again made to leave, but the seer stopped him with her words,

            “I know where you sent them.”

            Aidan stood in the doorway, his fingers tingling. Thump, thump, thump went his heart.

And now I get to tag seven lovelies to challenge (no pressure in accepting, you guys; this is just for fun.) Here they are, in no particular order:


The First Hour of My Wednesday (9/2/15)

(Written in writing group today. The prompt was to write, in detail, about the first hour of your day. I had maybe eight minutes to write the following by hand.)

8:00 AM – Eyes open. “Ugh. I am not doing this. Can I sleep longer? Hey, I only got four hours. I think I can sleep in.” Beth gets up, sets alarm for 8:30. She enters a state of semi-drowsiness. The alarm goes off. “Ugh. Fifteen more minutes? Yeah, fifteen more minutes.” She gets up and sets the alarm for 8:45.

At 8:40 she is still lying in bed, anticipating the hellish beeping sound (“Who makes alarm clocks so annoying? Couldn’t I be coaxed to wakefulness instead of being jolted by BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! It’s no wonder I keep breaking alarms.”) She gets up, makes her sluggish way to the water closet, greeting her tabby on the way. He looks nonchalant. He looks like he slept well. He must have. He slept part of the night on Beth’s pillow. Sleeping shouldn’t feel like yoga, but some of the positions the cat forces Beth to sleep in…

Groggy and zombie-ish, Beth takes care of certain–ahem–business. Goes back to her room–again, sluggishly–puts on clothes, body spray, etc. Sits at her computer–the chair is in shreds. Thanks, Cat.–and finds an email from Ruthie in her inbox. She smiles sleepily, answers the missive, and wishes oh so much that she were back in bed.