Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

I have missed a few posts due to various things. We walked in the Turkey Trot again. It was snowing on us and that was a cold walk indeed - but it did stop and we got back to have the traditional dinner. Kelly helped out by doing the turkey and everyone brought something. I produced a pumpkin pie but forgot to put sugar in it, which apparently really confused our Mexican guests who didn't know what to put on it. (I threw mine out and so did everybody else.) Well, we had apple pie and cookies anyway.
Unfortunately, Art did something to his back while putting the leaf in the table and has been in pain ever since. The problem is that at our age, it is dangerous to move at all! To prove this theory, I slid down a driveway doing a corkscrew motion and thus also became a casualty with a strained/broken foot.
Anyway, we are dealing with it and it didn't stop us from having a very nice time at Ed's where we gave the kids their Christmas gifts. It was a little early as it had to be held on December 13th. However, I guess the kids don't care when they get gifts!
It feels a little odd, though, to have our Christmas over already while everybody else is running around and Christmas carols are still playing. At least I don't have to shop for presents - something that, at this time of year in the stores, must be like the running of the bulls at Pamplona. Hallelulja.
We will have a Christmas dinner, though. Then, on into 2015.
I've been studying meanwhile with a group under Michael Hiebert and Yvonne Rupert, two writers who are sharing their expertise on the Writers Village University. So much to learn! I hope I can really put it to use. It's easy to say you know something and totally different to use it. Come on, brain, wake up!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Zombies are coming

Well, I mean the Halloween zombies. I think they are having a parade in Flemington and will be appearing in a race before their big event on Oct 31st when they will be going door to door. They do get around for people who are actually dead! Blame it on Michael Jackson who sang that wonderful song about them. We once had that as our music for a Zumba class. I was disappointed that it was only once that that happened. Imitating a zombie walk is quite easy for someone of my age. We usually had salsa type music which, if you have ever tried it, really shakes your booty and other parts.
OK, now we plunge into the pre-holiday race to the end of the year. I am taking on a writing course while (naturally) working on something else fairly intensive. And actually wondering if I can fit in NanoWrimo. I'm not sure what makes me do these kinds of things. I don't think I was always like this. But everybody else these days is multi-tasking like mad so I would feel left out if I didn't at least try to exhaust myself and have a nervous breakdown.
We also usually participate in the Turkey Trot, a local run for charity. We walk, of course, since running is far, far in my past. Not that I ever actually got the chance to run except for one little race at my school, which I won. And that was the end of my racing career. Might as well go out on a big finish.
Do people ever get to sit around anymore and just chill out? I'm not sure. We live in an area where there are many McMansions which have lovely front porches. I've never seen anyone sitting on them. I imagine the people are sitting on planes commuting and sitting in cubicles somewhere afraid to leave early because the boss is still there working late. Such is life today.
Anyway, I'd rather be busy myself rather than doing nothing. So bring it on, Holidays, Zombies, Turkeys and whatnot. I'm getting ready.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Summer is Gone....Almost

I haven't posted here in a while. My new laptop is running Windows 8.1 and I am running from 8.1. I think it takes a bigger brain than mine to handle it. I could not get into this blog to post anything. Don't ask me why....many things seem to happen and I have no explanation for them. I only hope to just go on.

Anyhoo, as somebody said, here it is Labor Day weekend. It is rather strange weather - both hot and cold. More like Cape Cod, when the sea winds kick up in the evening. Wish I was there but haven't been able to go this year. I'll count my blessings, anyway. We are planning a Florida trip next year again so our vacations seem to be transitioning from summer to Winter, due to Art's aversion to the cold.

As for writing, I have things to work on but finding time to do it is becoming critical. I simply can't be in several places at once and it's really starting to bug me! Anybody got that space / time thing solved yet? Let me know if you do. I always fantasized about having a robotic twin who could enjoy doing mundane chores for me. One way to multiply yourself. And who knows, maybe the limited robots of today will in the future achieve this. I really miss the Star Trek episodes - they had that thing down pat.

I do hope to allocate writing time some way. I always want to have the perfect setting, quiet and me in the mood. But I need to get over that if I'm going to write anything. There is no perfect time - get over it and just BICHOK, which I am told, means "butt in chair, hands on keyboard.". That's all you need. Well, this seems to have turned into a pep talk...for me. I need to get back to poor Zee, still making his way through the forest and still to meet the challenges of his lifetime.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Summer is here

The first hurricane of the year (at least that made the news) is Arthur and has brought a little rain and a little wind, going out to sea. This weekend is supposed to be very nice, following this. Today is July 4th. Happy Birthday, USA!
I see I haven't posted anything since April. I am working on a continuation of the Skydean story because it seems there is still more to that. I was wondering if I should write a prequel but there were some difficulties to that, once I thought about it. More consideration might provide an answer. I'm not sure how well prequels work, anyway. I don't think the Star Wars ones were any way as good as the original, not that I'm comparing myself to them! Once time goes by, as it did in that case, things change. The audience changes, too.
I'm very aware of the changes that time bring right now. That's what happens when you get older, I suppose. I now see new generations discovering the same things, making the same mistakes, and hoping the same hopes. Learning the same old things that the previous generation spent years learning. Too bad we can't know these things earlier. If we closely studied history, maybe. But I digress and am getting farther from the point. If I have any point!
For me, wondering what to write about is a big deal. I understand that some people have hundreds of ideas swirling in their brains and they just need the time to put them all down on paper. How I envy them! But there must be lots of us who just slog along and hope to get somewhere some day. I think the slogging is the important part, really.I am not going to get anywhere by studying the dust on my computer keys, am I?
There was a saying during WWII - a song, I think, that the singer was coming home "On a Wing and a Prayer." That sort of describes writing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It's Done!

Last year, I was enrolled in a writing class given by Michael Hiebert, himself a noted novelist. It was a journey for all of us, an experiment and voyage into uncharted territory. And it was worth it.
Now, the result is "The Way Back," a book of stories all involving a journey of some kind. Not necessarily actual journeys. Some were about people who discovered and achieved something about their own characters. We studied the "Hero's Journey ", a concept that is an age old way to tell a story.
So, my own story is included in this book, now available on Amazon as a paperback book. The link to it is

If you are looking for some creative stories on this topic, you might consider our humble efforts.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring arrives

I don't know of any other year when Spring was so eagerly awaited. Our "Polar Vortex" has been with us most of the winter. As far as I know, this term was invented by the weather forecasters to describe the extremely cold weather we have been having here on the East Coast.
So, finally, I was able to shed my outer coat today. Unfortunately, I spent most of the day indoors and tomorrow it's supposed to rain again. But we have to look on the bright side. Spring is here and as far as I know it will stay that way. It is now April 3rd. One year long ago, we did have a whale of a snowstorm on April 7th. The schools were closed. However, so far, so good.
I haven't written anything lately but am contemplating some old work and wondering if I can finish it. I do have a story in an anthology that is going to press and when it is ready, I'll provide a link here. I think, if you buy this book, you will have an enjoyable read. The stories were all part of an advanced class where all the students worked together but separately to create them. Each one is entirely different but based upon the idea of a journey. The journey is not an actual trip but rather is the idea of becoming something more. I'm looking forward to actually reading their finished form myself.
Well, it's been a long day today and I wanted to just set something down.

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started." Mark Twain

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

An Oldie but Goodie

We are currently renting the DVDs of "Smallville" and enjoying them. I didn't know much about the plot other than that it had something to do with Superman, which really seemed a little odd to me. But when we started watching it I was impressed with the writers' ability to take something which had been done over and over and make it seem fresh and new. And really, that is what good writing is all about. Maybe that is part of the reason that the series had a long run.
In this story, it is all about Superman as a boy before he becomes the well-known Man of Steel. I think it is a lot of fun because the viewers are in on the secret but few others in the story are. When he uses his growing super powers, he tries to keep it a secret but as the story goes on, this is naturally becoming more difficult. Some of the well-known characters are changed in various ways but this doesn't seem to matter somehow. It's a classic that you can enjoy just because it is timeless. The Superhero must be a character that goes back to our beginnings. And somehow, there seems to be a little of the appeal of "Back to the Future" in this show. It combines sci fi somehow with a downhome background. Just fun to watch.
I wish there were more movies and shows that were just fun and creative rather than anything else. But then I also wish to win the lottery. I can dream, can't I?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Is it Over Already?

Vacations go so fast, don't they? We were looking forward to a cruise and now suddenly, it seems, it's over. Just as we were getting used to being waited on hand and foot. Someone ELSE cleans the cabin, makes the food, does the laundry and looks eager to do anything you want them to. Yes, I call that a vacation. We did have a wonderful time going to the Caribbean on Norwegian Gem. Now that we are older people, we don't get out to much entertainment so this is also something that is constant on a cruise ship. I like music and I like to dance so when the opportunity availed itself, I would join in. Art not so much, but he did make the effort. Also, for the first time, I travelled around St Maarten on a sailing catamaran. This kind of boat seems to have a very smooth ride and it's ideal if you want to swim off it. (We did.) There seemed to be lots of catamarans around the Islands.
One thing that reminded me of a book I wrote (Deep Blue Murder) was that just as we were leaving the harbor at Phillipsburg, St. Maarten, an announcement was made of a possible man overboard. Then about an hour later, after all ships in the area had been alerted, including the Coast Guard, the port was shut down, and the ship stopped, it was determined to be a false alarm. I had someone disappear in my book but I made it happen under cover of darkness so it would have been hard to say when it took place. It surprises me how many people actually do manage to fall off ships. It can't be an easy thing to do as the railings are quite high.  However, who is to say what happens if people are drinking or have sinister plans for someone. I'm not trying to scare you, now! Or am I, hee hee. No, real life cruises are by and large really great fun.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sailing, I'm sailing

Soon, I should be heading South towards the Caribbean, on quite a large ship. I'd really like it to be smaller, but the options were limited. I feel by turns apprehensive and excited. I  usually feel like this when leaving home. I'm looking forward to something new, and yet leaving our home and pets isn't easy. Maybe it's just that doing something new and moving out of my comfort zone isn't a thing I do easily. I like new things but the unknown then plays a part. Probably this goes with having an imagination. One of the books I wrote was inspired by a cruise some years ago. Things do happen on cruise ships and things happen TO cruise ships. It's not that I am unused to ships. I travelled across the Atlantic back and forth from Ireland to the US three times. Not in recent years, though. If I get back to Ireland now, I'll probably have to fly, which is a whole other thing. Anyway, it will be good to go somewhere else. If you write, you really need to get out and about and the older you are the fewer options you might have. Of course, that being said, some older people never stop travelling! If you have the money, why not? It's good to go somewhere else even if you just go to another town. It seems to jog you out of your routine and it seems to me, that's what  you need if you want to write. Another perspective, maybe. Come to think of it, it might be good for anybody to get out of their rut.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter of 2014 and a new title

Well, it's been a while since I last posted here. I wanted to wait until I had finished the latest book which is.....ta da.....a fantasy novel! I'm going out into a new area here and I hope it will be well received. The idea first came to me when I took a writing course and somewhere along the way, this idea of a place where winged horses lived just wouldn't go away. So, I worked on it and the result is "Heart of Skydean." It's actually a story of how two people come together for reasons of security and self-preservation and find more than that. I've just now sent the book out as an ebook to Smashwords and Amazon, so we'll see how it fares. It was fun to write, anyway!

We've had some weird weather here in the Northeast, from below zero to almost 60 degrees, and that was all within the space of two weeks! They say the cold came from the Artic and hopefully, it has gone back there. I'm hoping no mean and nasty storms develop this winter. I'm glad that I am able to keep on working at my writing no matter if I can get out of the house or not. That is, as long as the electricity stays on. We live in a rural area where we have a water pump that depends on the electric current to give us water, not to mention keeping our furnace going. Without these two things, if it gets cold enough, we have to leave and go elsewhere. So, here's to at least normal weather if not good weather!