Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Publishment

*dances a happy jig*

I have another poem over at Every Day Poets! It's called Death March and sticks true to my horror roots, but has a dash of literary spice thrown in for kicks! I do have to say that the editors over there are wonderful. They really worked with me on both poems until I got them correct. Here's hoping to many more poems *clinks glass*

This is the last thing that I have gotten published since "the transition" but I do have some new things in the works, so cross your fingers for me and good luck to all of you waiting for your acceptances!

Happy writing (and poeming!)


Monday, October 11, 2010

The Breaks, Cracks and Damage

Holy crab balls has this been exhausting. Many people go through ups and downs, it is a fact of life that the deluge drops when everything around us is falling down. And eventually things re-situate themselves and there should be some lesson that has been learned, if we're lucky.

This being a professional blog (at least for me) I try to give glimpses into my life without getting intensely personal, but I suppose there will be times that it just can't happen. I am, only human after all.

This past month and a half has been a riot of chaos vying for my attention in one form or another. While I am still writing (small bits) there seriously has been no time for anything much more than getting dressed and eating. If I am lucky, I get to play with my sweet children. That is the moment where I get to unwind.

Two years and some odd months ago I woke up from a dream, wrote it down and BLAMO I was a writer. I had an identity a sense of purpose that I never had before. It was a growth spurt that I hadn't seen coming but something that I will never doubt about myself again. I am a writer. It was the first time in my life that I felt that I had something for myself. It was right and good and true. Yes, I didn't know what I was doing, I've stumbled and fallen along the way, but I know that with the hard work I will reach and achieve my goals.

Those goals have been put on hold for now, but I will still get there.

Within the last two years I have blossomed into a woman, into the quirky person who is no longer ashamed of herself, her ideas or her sense of being. It had taken thirty years in the making, but I am here and I have found it.

With this situation, I have started plucking the toxic people out of my life, it has been a hard transition with heartbreaking endings, but each lesson I learn has been pushing me forward towards the woman I see myself as. These past two months have been no different. With my child getting pneumonia, my house falling apart around me, plus a new job at full time hours and new responsibility, my children's school work, play work, my pets, my person has been tested, pulled and mushed back together into a slight lump of who I used to be. The mold of me is still here, I am just reforming and trying to used to this new life.

It is a transition, I know that once the dust settles I will be a bigger, better and stronger me. And I won't stop until I get there, I have a handful of amazing people who have been encouraging and cheering me on. They have seen my uglier moments, stripped down and raw -- slightly crazy (from lack of sleep or from coming home and finding my kitchen floor flooded and not being able to anything about it bc I had to take my son to get an x-ray) they have listened to my absent-minded rambling because my filter for "TMI" has been lost in the lump somewhere. I would not be able to be standing if it wasn't for them.

Thankfully, I know who I am. I do have my identity, my sense of self - the desire of respect, the willpower to hold onto what is most important to me. These are my bones. My skeleton. I am a mother, a writer, a woman. I am a good person, a kind person and a hard worker. I am diligent, strong and caring. I can find honesty even in the worst scenarios and I hold tight to the honesty because I am, nothing more than honest even when it makes me angry, when I want to be petty, selfish and flip the chaos the bird, I can't.

These are the things that get me through where sleep is now a commodity and life has no sense or reason. It is just a series of trials that are tossed at me, waiting to see when or how I will break. But the thing about the breaks, the cracks and the damage is that I know that I will always rebuild.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Tag! A Meme of Questionable Proportions.

My friend, Mr. Ben Solah, likes to play tag and I'm it! He stated something about people hating Meme's, but I find them quite enjoyable, although I haven't done one since I only had about two followers -- I believe it's time again, don't you? :)

1. If you could have any superpower, what would you have? Why?

The ability to absorb anyone elses power. Rogue is my favorite superhero. She rocks.

2. Who is your style icon?

"People either answered this as a fashion style icon, or a writing style icon. Both change for me all the time and depending on my mood." - From Ben, himself but it rings true for me as well.

As for writing, I have to say that I was literally blown away with Charles Bukowski's writing style the way it is haphazardly placed in such a strategic way that it appears unintentional, but know that it can not be.

With Fashion, I am currently in the moment of finding my fashionista style. I like the vintage look it's fun and quirky just like me. But I also love anything black, it looks fabulous on me. :)

3. What is your favorite quote?

Oh, geeze. There really are so many quotes, I'm afraid to pick just one. However I will go with the one which popped into my mind when I first read the question. Does that make it my favorite? I have no clue, but it must mean something, right?

"No one can make you feel inferior without your permission." Elenore Roosevelt.

I really adore the positive quality and the rightness of this statement, and once you get "it" it's hard to allow anyone else and their opinions bother you.

4. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

Hmmm... well, this is sort of an odd question, eh? No direct quote comes to mind but it has to be when my best friend Andrea, told me what she really thought about me and I was shocked to find out how she saw me in such a positive light that it brought tears to my eyes.

5. What playlist/CD is in your CD player/iPod right now?

I don't have an iPod, but I do have an MP3 player which contains: Amanda Palmer, Regina Spektor, Sonic Youth, Rufus Wainwright, David Bowie, Ingrid Michealson, Vampire Weekend, Kate Nash, Mirah, Ben Folds, RadioHead, Primative Radio Gods, The Dresden Dolls, PJ Harvey, Pixies, Lily Allen, and Danny Elfman.

6. Are you a night owl or a morning person?

That is a tough question. I have to say that I am salted of both night owlish qualities and chipper morning qualities. I'm a friend to both, and it just depends on the day (she says writing this at 2:46am)

7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?

I always believed that I was a cat person, but I have to say that in the last couple of months my pup, Riley, has really been there for me when I've needed her. She senses things that my kitten, Agador just doesn't seem to want to be bothered with, and while I appreciate his independence I certaily adore Riley's loyalties.

8. What is the meaning behind your blog name?

The meaning behind my blog, well anyone who knows me for more than a passing comment knows of the crazy warble and fantastic random garble in my head. It only seemed appropriate that I honor it with the title for my blog. I had an instance last year where I had to start a new blog, thankfully, I got to use a similar and better title. :)

Now it’s time to tag other people… (I always hate this part, bc I love all of the blogs I follow.)

Laurie Dalzell

Lee Thompson

Aaron Polson

Alan Davidson

Bea Sempre



Cate Gardner

Demon Hunter

Paula Ray

Mercedes Yardley

Mailie Mac

And that's it, please feel free to take the Meme for yourself, and considered yourself "ghost" tagged if I didn't toss your name up there, you are still "IT!"

AHAH! And a must note right here ---> Mr. Lee Thompson and I are throwing a contest, sadly I have been slightly lax in promoting it (slaps wrists with a ruler, bad Kara! Bad!!), but there is still time, please show us your talents and pop over here (CLICK!) to see the rules, regulations formulas that will help you win the kickassidness prizes that Lee is giving out to those deemed most talented (yet there is no crow but other stuff that is almost as good such as -- 1st Place: A One-year subscription to Dark Discoveries (or another mag if you're already subscribed to DD. If you are, great! They rock!); 2nd Place: An awesome Tee from The Bag and The Crow! Mine makes me look edgy! You want to look edgy too, don'tcha?; 3rd Place: An awesomely random book, but I can tell you this: It will be from the super cool Tasmaniac Publications. I've got a ton of their books and they're dyn-o-mite. :)), enter! Do it! What's the worse that could happen??

Have a great and wonderful day, lovelies!

Happy writing :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Work

I've been hinting with each post that my life has had some upheaval, that things are never what they seem and that I will soon be working my way back into the writing world, the community I miss so very much. While all of those statements are vague but true, I have to say it's going to take some work.

Precious planning and baby steps have gotten me to the point where I am at least ready to blog again. I am working more, and spending more time with my children as a single parent. My life has been turned upside down and while I understand the harder times that may befall on me, I am pleased with the new challenges, tasks and life set ahead of me.

Things are slowly working their way back, where I want them to be. Where I've been striving to get to for so long to be honest it *is* hard work.

Not that any one thing that I have to contend with is difficult. I received a new position at my job, it's an adjustment and temporary, but I'm excited nonetheless. A lot of change has come my way in a brief and short four weeks. Being a parent to my children is nothing new, writing is a little over two years old and keeping my house in order is something I did frequently as a stay-at-home mom.

Most of the transition I am feeling is just that... my feelings. And thankfully, for me, I have wonderful people in my life to help me sort out the muckity muck -- the being hard on myself for not being "supermom" right away or even just taking the time it takes to make my way into my new life. I have most of the stuff down pat, which is part of the reason I do become hard on myself, because I do know I can do it. I have done everything I need to take on this new endeavor with flying colors. I am just not ready to do it. It's the waiting that's grating on me (no, I did not mean to rhyme, but it adds a little funness to the post, don't you all agree?) every time I think I get a handle on something, a little pebble comes in and trips me. I stumble a little, but I keep going. I know that only baby steps will get me there, one goal at a time and to be cliche, one foot in front of the other (yes, I know I can do better, but a little cliche goes a long way sometimes.)

There is little that I am afraid of, being stuck in the same place is one of my true fears, it grips me wholly and completely and helps add a certain panic to an already intense situation. But, I believe, once I get over that and start to trust in myself -- know that I am not going to become stuck -- once again, I will find my balance.

Once I accept this, the work will come naturally. And only with work, will I be able to achieve myself.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Publishment!

Hey! There's a new poem of mine up at EveryDayPoets! This is one where the editors were very wonderful and worked with me to help me get the poem just right!!

With A Full Heart

Another Love poem, but it has a nice little dark tinge to it!

Thanks for reading!!

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Break

And it's official. Two months, almost to the day, my brain has ceased to pass words to my fingers. Yes, I've had little blurbs here and there and it's been rough, my life has taken an unscheduled, but absolutely necessary stop. It wasn't a block, it was more of an emotional strike. With all that has been going on, Mackenzie (my muse) had kindly scooted back to the corner to sit within the shadows. She's sipped on red wine in her leather boots, patiently braiding and unbraiding her auburn hair, catching flies between chopsticks, flicking her nails, doing interesting things that she has yet to share with me. Her patience waning.

Before my little break, I was under the assumption that I wrote because I wanted to, not because I had to. I'm not a "have to" kind of person, I've stricken those words from coming cross my lips for several different reasons. Plus, I'd gone many years without writing and while there was a piece of me missing, I wasn't completely unhappy. However, now that I have gone on the great journey, traveling through my mind in a gossamer string of cleverly webbed words, nothing feels the same.

And now, I have to say, I was wrong.

I have to write.

It's not as though I'm suffering from physical withdraw, not at the current moment anyway, it's more of a metaphysical angst. The pain in my heart because I've not written much over the past two months is great, and I never thought I would feel something like this.

Yes, I know, it's different.

The past few days have actually been almost excruciating, Mackenzie whispering small thoughts to me in her fantastic way, buttering me up for the time, in a few days I'm assuming, when I'm ready to jump back on the writing wheel. It's a feeling that is enthralling, yet scary. I'm not one that gives up - breaks are, sometimes, an evil we all may have to endure at one point or another. I'm not beating myself up for it. My RL wouldn't have been able to take the strain of another obstacle added, in my case it was not a decision I made willingly, it just sort of happened. But now, I know, I'm ready for the break to end. It's time, and I believe that with a certain amount of semblance in place that I am ready to take on the words and thoughts, the musings and whispers of my muse. I can only imagine where she will take me, or where I will find myself again. I'm looking forward to it.

Slowly, but surely I will work my way back, I'm ready!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Playground...revisited.

Ahhhh, the leaves are changing colors, big yellow monster's are swallowing small children into their bellies, taking them to a place where they will be tortured with books and learnin'. Now, that my children are back in school and life has started to situate itself in the way that it normally does after a typhoid, I would like to revisit and recycle this lovely blog post. It's one of easier times, innocence and the surprising nature of childhood behavior. Please enjoy...

The Playground

Once a month I go to my son's elementary school to help out with lunch-- there are no hairnets or rubber gloves on when I go. The parents help out, its something nice that our school does, the are parent involved and lets the kids know the parents care. It's kind of fun actually.

I don't do anything super great, get spoons and forks when they are needed. Say "Yes" when they ask to go to the bathroom, open up packages or milk if it's warranted.

But as I walk around the lunchroom, the murmurs of children combine together in a cacophonous tone which reverberates off of the walls and I find myself not bothered, instead I tune out the pandemonium and watch.

Children have the most interesting way of doing things. Their minds work in wondrous ways. They allow curiosity of the unknown drive them, not caring about the world around them. If they want to mix chocolate milk and ranch dressing together, eat it (or drink it) they do. They get so excited and proud of the mystery fluid they concocted, they feel the need to tell someone about it. OR if they can't eat the apple their mother packed for them, because their teeth are missing, they figure out another way... using a spoon no less.

Not sure many adults would think of something so far away from the norm. They would, most likely, find a knife and cut the apple in several pieces. It is more practical that way. But kids don't care about practicality, they set their sights and won't worry about the obstacles... they just do.

As we move out to the playground my fascination grows. Watching the girls run as fast as they can, remembering the feeling of the wind whipping through my hair and just how freeing it really felt. Never losing my breath afterward, I would just pick up and start running again. Not bothering with the people surrounding me, not worrying if they were watching me or not. I just ran because it felt good and I liked it.

Kids pick up all sorts of things outside. Amazing things that, to them, are treasures. I have seen them bring small trophies up to the TA with so much excitement they are practically shaking, only to show a sunflower seed someone must have dropped while eating a snack. It doesn't matter, they won't think about where it came from, instead they will place it in their pocket and keep it as a trinket for a short while.

Now that spring is here and the ground is no longer wet, the kids play this marvelous game. I was told it was a twist on dodgeball, because instead of throwing it, you kick the ball. If the other team catches it then the kicker is out.

But these kids changed the rules.

They play differently, they separate into grades, there is no picking... no one is chosen last. One grade on one team, the other grade on the other team. They kick the ball and catch it, and kick it again. No one wins, no one loses, no one scrutinizes, a never ending game of fun.

I'm told that they changed the rules of their own accord, they didn't want anyone's feelings to get hurt and this was their decision. I've been told that teachers and the principal even have tried getting them to play different games ie. football, basketball, soccer. But they always go back to this game... it is incredible really.

I think we forget, when we grow up just how good it feels to not have any worries, to be carefree, yes... not everything is hunky dory for kids. But do you remember what it was like to peddle your bike so fast up the hill that you thought your legs were going to fall off, just to see if you really could jump it at the top? Do you remember how it felt if you did get off the ground, even if it was just a hair? It felt like you were flying...

When does the innocence go away? Why does the outside world effect us so much? Is life really so stressful that we can't just let go and feel the breeze in our hair again? What are we afraid of?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Strange Awards :)

*Cranks the rust off the unused door of bloggy*

*flexes fingers*

Aaaaaaand GO!

Hello my bliggidy blogger friends, I have not forgotten you!! Nor have I forgotten my blog, big changes in my RL have caused me to cease and desist on more the more pleasurable aspects of my life at the moment. But onto bigger and stranger news!!! (Thanks to Mr. Alan W. Davidson and Onipar for my doubly nominated Strange award!!)

The 'Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits' award is given to only the strangest of folk, and as the recipient of such you are deemed very strange indeed. Congratulations. Now you must go forth and celebrate the strangeness of friends (and strangers - strangers are always allowed) by nominating blogs run by strange folk. *Beware, some people don't like you to refer to them as strange…Try to avoid them if possible.

Note that Cate Gardner's short story collection 'Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits' is forthcoming this October from the fine folks at Strange Publications.

Some rules:

1. Add the logo of the award to your blog post.

2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you (don't mess with strange people).

3. Nominate seven other blogs telling us why you think the recipient is strange enough to deserve the award.

4. Leave a message for those nominated on their blogs.

5. And, if you email catephoenix(at)gmail(dot)com and tell her you've received the award for your strangeness, she'll enter you in the biggest kick-ass Strange Men competition ever. Details over at (click on the award link on the home page)

So them be the rules behind this strange contest. Do check out her link as there a some cool prizes available.

And so I bequeath this award, and all the accompanying strangeness, to the following people who are among the most strange that I know (and adore like crazykins)...

1.) I would like to extend this award to The Loverly Miss Shadowflame for her blog The Darker Side of the Fire, she lurks in the shadows, writes wickedly, and has amazing insights... stop by, be amazed and impressed by her amazing impressive strangeness!!

2.) Miss Bettielee of the Far Seeing Fariy Tales, never in all my life have I been as bowled over in hilarity with Bettie's great humor and strangly, fabulous words!!

3.) Mr. Lee Thompson, in his quest to love the world strange and make his dark path as enjoyable as possible Along This Path so Darkly

4.) Miss (I-got-nothing-but-harsh-truths-and-strange-funniness) Bambi, for the strange way she reports the news in the world today over at Bambi's BlogAssPhere

5.) Miss Tyhitia Green for how strangely she writes her obfuscations of reality! Obfuscations of Reality (strangely, I'm still trying to figure out what Obfuscations means :P)

6.) Miss Effie Collins, because anyone whose met her and loves her knows how wonderfully strange her Little Bits and Pieces are!

7.) Mr. Ben Solah, for the strange yet passionate way he blogs about his strange and political passions! Benjaman Solah

Of course, I would like to give out more awards, but I am a by-the-rules kind of girl! Be strange all of you, and love it!! Have a wonderful day to everyone!! Soon, I will be back, changed, strange and new things are abound! Make sure to pick up Cate's book pre-order it now!! 'Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits!!'

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Workload.... wk... *cough* it's been too long

And so, my faithful blog has not abandoned me like I had abandoned her for two and a half weeks. She was still sitting here patient and waiting for my humble return. Which I have. RL is not threatening to tip the scale at the moment and I can take some time to blog about my loverly WIP "Cinder" and the words I have not quite, but still, kind of written.

*Flips back through the archives*

Goals from June 9th (wow! that was a long time ago*blushes*)

Write outline for new novel wriggling in my noggin.

Sadly, over the almost three weeks since I've posted a "goals" post, I've only written 10k. So that goal was busted a long time ago. However, I did manage to get two flash pieces out one coming in just under 1000 words and the other 743 words. AND I wrote out a skeleton of an outline for the so called "new" WIP.

I have been writing, just not as much as I had been. BUT now that the skirt has been straighten, I will attempt to keep this goal thing going, it's good for me.

"Cinder" has taken on some interesting twists and turns. My once small fear of not having enough words to fit 90k is squashed. The story has bloomed over the last few weeks, which may have been why I had hesitated on it for a squinch. The ideas needed to fester, boil, and ultimately ferment. I'm happy with the changes and the WIP is now, 66,957 and pretty.

Plus, I have written every day this week which is a bonus, I like to keep a steadiness when it comes to writing. I've always found it better for my progress. But I won't beat myself up if I skip a day or two here, my brain is a very complicated place. Far be it for me to judge the way it works.

New goals for new week 11:

8000 - CINDER
Sub out "Lana Plays with Matches"

For now, that's it until I get back into the swing of the fabulous blogging world!

Take care! Happy writing!!


Friday, July 9, 2010

The Momentum

The last three weeks have been a whirlwind of board-games, play-doh, fireworks, walks, good food, pleasant news, and very little internet time. Now, summer vacation is rightly in check, I have found my footing.

I am sorry to say that my forward thrust on CINDER has slowed, but still in process. Producing only two chapters a week, it is resting at a cool 63,000 words and I should be able to finish it up within the next month with the firm routine I've set out for myself.

Although my blog has been on slight hiatus, I've had a lot going on in the writing world and I'm quite tickled. Daily Love has published my first ever lust-type poem "The First" (don't get excited, it's not what you think), and my fellow blogger buddy Alan W. Davidson-Conversations From Land's Edge, is wrapping up the final week from the winners of the blog contest. I am happy and surprised to say that my story "The Light and Shadows of Independence" placed third amongst a myriad of high talent. Check out the other stories that placed and received honorable mentions, you won't be disappointed. I also got word that two poems I have been revising finally got picked up by the wonderful people at EveryDayPoets. The editors there are truly wonderful and I'm giddy that they chose to work with me on the poems. No word yet on when they will be published, but I will keep bloggy updated!

I will be able to settle back into my old-new routine without much fret or struggle on my part and I can't wait to get back there, catch up on blogs and see what my other blogger buddies are up to. Plus write every day. My life moves more fluidly with a routine and I as long as I am in forward motion, I'm a happy bee.

Have a great day! Happy writing!

Oh! Please enjoy the musical stylings of one Ms. Amiee Mann!

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Ramble... horror musings on my mind.

*blows dust off of blog*

Wow, it's been awhile! Sorry Bloggy, I didn't mean to neglect you, I promise! Will you every forgive me?

*blog turns nose up and sniffs*

Ah... well, what can I do?

I know!

*scene fades into background gray*

I was not what one would call a 'normal' child. I spent a good deal of my youth, adolescence, and teenage years in my room, by myself. Playing with invisible friends, devouring a mixture of RL Stein, Christopher Pike, and The BabySitter's Club. Walking through the woods of my back yard, wondering what darker things lie beneath the trees. The only scary movie that ever scared me was The Dark Crystal (And it was bc of those damn puppets *shudders* blech) . I couldn't get enough of the fascinating beauty that was the shaded side of life. I was enthralled, entertained and I hungered for more.

Yes, I was afraid of Santa Clause, the dark and bugs. But that's not what molded my mind to work the way it is. I simply was born this way.

Where other girls were having tea parties, dressing up and playing barbies, running around carefree willy-nilly, I was playing funeral, "Go to The Hospital and Die," and my barbies were kidnapped, tortured and then they managed to find their way out of the horrid mess all on their own. I loved my barbies (so much so that I didn't stop playing with them until I was fourteen), I just played differently than other kids.

I don't know what caused my love of all things macabre, I don't know why my mind works this way. It simply does, and I'm proud of it.

Many people who truly know me aren't surprised. But if you see me on the street, you wouldn't know that I was a person who enjoyed the twisted and sick over a love story. I'm a petite, brunette with chocolate eyes that sparkle. I love life, I always want to help people, I want to give and I'm actually so peppy sometimes I make myself a little sick.

I have had people, close friends, ask "Why can't you write something happy?" I've had a parent ask what they did to make my mind this horrible way. And yet, I sit back and think what's wrong with the way I think? It's me... it's who I am, and I am not going to apologize for it. If I can accept it why can't they?

Why in the world do people have to judge one another? I write horror. It's what I do, most of my main characters wind up dead in my short stories. Or they wind up with severe damage. I think it's more real that way.

I was never a girl who believed in faerie tales because it always seemed like the princesses got the short end of the stick on many sides, happy endings with their man, who came to their rescue. That was never for me. I still get pissed when I watch Disney's version of Sleeping Beauty and Flora and Fawna give Brier Rose "Beauty" and "Song" before "Intelligence," I don't understand it now, and I didn't understand it then, even when I was six. Happily Ever After's don't exist in real life. There is no riding off into the sunset to live eternal bliss. That's just not how life works.

That is a part of the beauty of horror. While some of it is far fetched, there is a realness to it, an honesty that I have always truly respected, even when I was a child. Yes, it's fiction and fiction can be whatever we make it. But people, start remembering that just because we (horror writers/movie makers) think something, write it down and make it a story that doesn't mean that I'm actually going to chop my kids and husband up, bury them in the back yard, only to have their vengeful spirits come back to haunt me and drag me to hell... anyone who truly knows me knows that I'm a kitten. Sweet, lovable, cheery and I'm a good person.

Imagination is a wonderful thing and if we only stop looking at one another, let our minds work in they way the are supposed to, I would think that the world would be less harsh.

*Bloggy hugs Kara*

See! Now we've made up! Yay!

OH! And I've got a poem up at The Cynic Online! (sort of goes with the blog post.) Check it out when you get the time!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Publishment.... new poem up @ The Cyinc Online

Hey!! I have a new poem up at "The Cynic Online/Cafe Del Soul" called Making Room - this one's not so dark, erm... well.... it talks of burning flesh and devil's, but in a *good* way! Take a gander if you have the time and Thanks in advance!

I'm particularly excited about this because not only does "The Cynic Online" have really good poets/poems, but they also have great stories! I'm hoping once I get a few more shorts in order that I'll get a certain one published here as well. The stories are entertaining, not so horror-ish, but cynical nonetheless, well worth a read if you get a moment.

Other contributing poets :

Life's Decisions by Anthony Dedakis;
The Purple Flower by Maxwell Baumbach
Goat Rider by Scott Gray; Reality by Nabanita Deshmukh;
Write Yet Another by James Dye; Hard Work by Alphonso Amos;
Climb Into a Rainbow by Tom Snee; Making Room by KM McElhinny;
Model Citizen by Tarik Linthicum; Truth by Marc Carver;
The Rain by Steve De France

Have a great Day and Happy Writing!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The "Black Rainbow" by: Miss Effie Collins

Hey all!! Part one of the the four part novelette BLACK RAINBOW is now available for a read-a-roo at Piker Press.

Fox Thomas is back from the military. Living with his mother and brothers again, with not much to look forward too. Now, all he has is time. He's not one to chase rainbows, Fox doesn't believe in gold or luck, until little Emma, all grown up and married walks his way.

The ending to part one will leave you drooling for more. Read it! You won't be sorry!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Word-Love

This morning I got a hankering to blog about my love-o-words. I'm a writer, it goes without saying, right? Probably.

A simple post-twenty minutes tops. Or, it should have been, anyone who reads my blog knows that nothing ever runs smoothly for me. :D (Which just comes with being a parent, I'm going to assume).

So far this morning I have had three false starts. Yes, a cartoon called "Chuggington" for background noise caused my distraction the first time, now I have music playing softly in my ears. Then a crying, overtired boy who doesn't want to be in bed, but has no other choice, because he decided to wake up at three o'clock this morning and have an intellectual conversation with Mommy about tornadoes and weather, has turned the lightest of issues into the death of an imaginary friend (or what it would be like). I've since calmed him down, and got him to lie down for a little while. Just to rest (bc sleeping is the worst punishment in the world for my kids).

The funny thing is that upon my third attempt, I found stumbling words, my hankering long gone, the easy flow of fabulous evaporated to the place where unwritten words go. (Does anyone know? I haven't figured it out just yet. My two wavering ideals are either they hop from brain to brain until someone uses them, or they turn into Muse dust). And so the reason for the actual ramble of this post is because I remembered things seem to flow easier if I follow an actual train of thought than trying to force anything.

Hence the "fun" fumbling anecdote of nothing quite important, but still somewhat pertinent for the development of this post. (heh, you should see the first couple of drafts from my stories...)

A few months ago while I was reading POETS AND WRITERS magazine they spoke of a fabulous little word site called WORDNIK. It's cute, new and interesting. While I don't recall everything the article said about it, I do remember that where some sites only have a capacity for a certain number of words, Wordnik has an obscene amount. (Again, the numbers have dissuaded me)A little blurb from the "About" page...

**Traditional dictionaries make you wait until they've found what they consider to be "enough" information about a word before they will show it to you. Wordnik knows you don't want to wait—if you're interested in a word, we're interested too!

By "information," we don't just mean traditional definitions (although we have plenty of those)! This information could be:

* An example sentence—we have tons of examples and gobs of other data for most words. But even if we've only found one sentence, we'll show it to you. And we'll show you where it came from.
* Related words: not just synonyms and antonyms, but words that are used in the same contexts. Cheeseburger, milkshake, and doughnut aren't synonyms, but they show up in the same kinds of sentences.
* Images tagged by our friends at Flickr: want to know what a pout looks like? We'll show you.
* Statistics: how rare is tintinnabulation? Well, we think you'll see it only about once a year. Smile? You might see that word many times, every day.
* An audio pronunciation—and you can record your own!
* Something YOU tell us! Use the "Comments" and "Contribute" links to tell us something—anything—about a word.

Does that mean that there can be something in the definition that isn't kosher? Maybe, but I haven't seen any inconsistencies yet. Check it out when you get the time.

Learning new words gets me geeked. I enjoy it, and I was curious to see what other resources everyone else uses as well. Let me know if you're feeling generous. My word-o-the-day emails consist of one from Merriam-Webster, and the other from WordNik. They have entomology, different meanings, and pronunciations. Which is always fun. The best ones, or the ones that strike my fancy the most go into my "favorites" list, (a handmade list that holds such words as chrysalis, mirth, casket, valise, noetic, macabre...etc), along with my daily word fix, I also frequent Thesaurus/ (which also contains a translator and an encyclopedia), and a rhyming dictionary at the ready. (Plus, The Bookshelf Muse does great things with descriptions along with The Non-Verbal Dictionary)

I supposed it goes without saying that I love word games (ie. Scrabble, crossword puzzles), and I make up my own words too (I think every writer does that tho, it comes from the creative part of us. jazziment, synopsisize, publishment... etc, nothing fancy, just play, if you will).

And I also have four dictionaries (one - the twenty pound, unabridged 2001 Webster dictionary), two thesauri, and three foreign language dictionaries (Russian, Italian and Gaelic).

I prefer the term multi-faceted abnormal, thank you very much. I'm a word-geek and I'm proud of it!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The WorkLoad.... wk 10.

*snurffle* I can't believe I've been doing this for ten weeks. It seems like it's been so much shorter *sniffle* but time does have a tendency to slip away *sniffle* from us doesn't it? I had this whole long schpeal planned out for my blog today since RL has stolen my blogging time, yet again. *snurffle* (Sorry! I'll catch up soon, I've not forgot my favorite blogs! *sniffle*)And today has been no exception, although I'm not short on time today the crappy weather has me down for the count with a full head of "swell-Kara's-sinus'-up-to-push-her-eye-balls out-of-her-head-itis" it's no fun. But I must stay on track less I fall of the face of my world *snurffle* and have it crumble into nothingness. (trying to rebuild from nothing is harder than staying on track, even when I feel like my head is about to explode). *aaaachooo!* (and possibly a tad over dramatic...)

Kay last week's goal:

Sub one thing out.

Done and done. *sniff, sniff*

I wrote over 12k last week for CINDER, leaving me at 43k for the WIP so far and I subbed three things out (poems) I have gotten responses back and one was accepted while the other two would like me to rework/tweak the poems a little more. So no rejections on that note. A positive there.

New goals for next week... *Aaaccchhooo!*

Write outline for new novel wriggling in my noggin.

(I'll add the links to my other blogger buddies a little bit later. *snurffles* )

Have a *sniffle* good day!
Happy writing.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Workload... wk 9

Yup. I shot myself in the foot.

Well not literally, I'd actually like to say that real life shot me in the finger :D That's a little better. Last week I'd decided since I'd written 10k that I should make it my goal and then Hades unraveled in my house and exploded. I barely had time to write this past week. Regardless, I actually did edit and crit a couple of different works. So I wasn't completely out of the writing loop. I did however only manage to get 3k written.

The meager amount, does push me up to 32k for my WIP which rocks. This week is week four, and so I'm hoping to keep the ball rolling and stick to an even 8k, if I surpass then it's my surprise right?

(nod along with me people, it'll be easier if you just agree with me :D)

I did manage to finish my poetry revision, I am now waiting for an answer from a question I sent to the editor. I'm hoping it got there. I always worry whether or not my queries/submissions arrive at their destination. Does some evil hand of fate will snake it's way through the interwebs and pluck it into a black hole because something out there likes to torture me...

Oops. *blushes* Now I've gone off tangent, I should get on with this week's goals before boredom/fear sets inside you from the severely damaged warbling's which ride around my head.

New Goal:

Sub one thing out.

That's it. I'm trying to get the rest of my life into neat folds at the moment and I'm going to stick with what I know I can do for now.

Have a great week and Happy Writing!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Publication -- My poem over at SNM Horror!

Hey everyone! My poem SYMPHONIC DEATH, is over at SNM Horror Magazine!

Other contributing poets:

Mike Green - Her Unsober Ways, Effie Collins - Brothel of Wicked Fantasy, Thom Olausson - The Blood Curse, Michael Hanson - An Artist, Kurt Newton -Holocaust Beauty Pageant, John Boden - Scree, Damien Grintalis -Terrible Beauty, K.M. McElhinny - Symphonic Death, Theresa Newbill - Black and White, Steven Marshall - A Thought in the Black

Happy writing!

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Animation

I'm a very animated person.

I have the stereotypical folly of an Italian moving their hands when speaking. Not only do I move my hands, but the more excited I become, the more animated I grow. Pacing, moving about the house or my environment. I use a lot of space to keep up with my mind. If I sit still I wind up flubbing my thoughts, and am unable to focus on the conversation. Which annoys the conversationalee who thinks I'm not listening. I understand, I wouldn't want someone not paying attention when I spoke. So I move or do things to keep the conversation flowing. In my small circle of friends/family, Dramamine has been mandated from the conversational journeys I take them on.

I don't find this particular attribute to be irritating, and the good people in my life do what they can to cater to my special quirk.

Recently, I've noticed this habit incorporated through my writing. When I'm sitting in front of the keyboard, enmeshed within my story and stumble on what the next word will be, I start moving my hands if the subject in question is touch. I pull my face with the emotion of the character, I get goosebumps for a certain situation, hold my breathe with a character under tension, release a breathe in relief...shrug, wink, furrow my brows, etc...

Not only do I hear the characters voice, see the sights, smell the smells, but now I'm expressing their emotions. It's possible the characters are trying to over throw me and take my body for their own personal conquest in world domination...

Happy writing!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Workload... wk 8

Another week, more numbers, some goals met, one not so much. I have no cute stories or witty commentary to feed anyone today. Mackenzie, left me word-drunk. I've been forehead deep in my story. It's been an interesting ride. I've discovered a new (quite creepy) character, not sure what's in store for her, where she came from or what she is going to be for MC, but anyway you slice it, very exciting :D

My goals last week:

CINDER - 8000
Sub pieces out (I will do this!)
Two poems

Instead of 8k for CINDER, I managed to do 10+. I honestly didn't think I would hit 8, then I had two killer days where I wrote an amazing amount. I'm closing in on 30k within the next couple of days. YAY!!

I'm happy to announce I did sub out a microfiction piece and three poems. So that goal was done. (Only took me two weeks to do it. But hey, late is better than never!)

No poems this week tho. I have two brewing in my head, but I got a revision request from a zine that I've been dying to get into so I'm going to put all of my focus on that poem until it's just right.

This week's goals:

Finish and sub out poem.
Beta one story.

Also, the end is coming near for May's Shock Totem Flash Contest. We've been on pins and needles wondering what's the who from the stories. They were all incredible pieces and I can't wait to see who the lucky winners are. I'm just jazzed I got to be a part of it and the feedback for my own story will surely help my writing.

Don't forget to pop over to Mr. Alan W. Davidson's blog for the flash contest over there!

and of course, those valiant writers who are still posting their goals as well! Give them some love too folks! K. Allen Wood, Shadowflame, and Effie (plus when you stop over to Effie's blog, you can listen to her wicked story on ShadowCast). Hugs are nice but kind words are even better...

A little something from Ricky Gervais and the fabulous show EXTRA'S to keep your warm fuzziness lasting through the night.

Thanks All! Have a great week!
Happy writing.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Contest - On Conversations from Land's End

Mr. Alan W. Davidson, fine author of Conversations from Land's End will be having his blogoversary soon! To celebrate he's hosting his first ever flash fiction contest on his blog and he wants YOU to send in your best holiday flash pieces to him.

The contest is Holiday themed, to celebrate The Victoria Day Weekend, (Memorial Day in the US) and his year anniversary. The Deadline is June 20th. Check out the prizes and everything! While spitting on any judge is not allowed there are many other fun things you can do to torment the nice people who are helping Alan pick the winners.
(for a full list of rules click linky)

Go and join in the fun Peeps, Alan is a right nice fellow and won't bite (even tho his stories do!)

happy writing and good luck to all who join!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Day... Sunday March, 23 2010

I have been in a blog funk as of late, coming up with plenty of ideas to spout out to the kind readers of my page, but nothing has come to fruition. The Vocabulary (about my geeky love of words), The Running (where I compare running to writing), The Negativity (where I talk about the negative effects our thoughts have on us and how we combat them each and every day), The Critiques (where I discuss how I learned how to crit before I learned how to write a proper story and how important it is to me). Lots of ideas, and yet nothing to show for it. I'm sure those ideas will blossom in my lil brain soon enough, but for now a little story about my day.

Everyday can not go as planned. ("Ain't that the truth!" someone screams over from left-center). Today was like this for me. I woke up at six o'clock feeling rested, finally over my insomnia episode, and started to plan out what I would do today. Wake up, start laundry, eat breakfast, sweep, dishes, get kids dressed, go running, make brownies with the kids. My brother and his newly blushing fiance were coming over at noon so that gave me plenty of time, and we would have brownies to celebrate the occasion. :D

It was a sound plan. Then I fell back asleep.

I shot up out of bed at 9 am. My children were nestled in front of the television watching old episodes of Tom and Jerry, munching on cereal. Unfettered that mommy had slept in.

I didn't allow that to bother me. I had lost three hours, but still, I could do what I'd planned if I timed everything properly. I got myself something to eat, took my vitamins, read and started the laundry. I sat down to write, figuring a short half an hour while breakfast settled in my stomach would leave just enough time to go running and then make brownies.

The phone rang.

"Hey! We're on our way over!" said the blushing fiance. "Is that okay?"

"Oh, I thought you were coming over at noon?"

Nope. Turned out it was already ten thirty, and my brother had told me between eleven and twelve. They were already in the car, on their way over to my house so I couldn't say, "No, it's not okay, I have plans! The brownies aren't made yet, I'm not even dressed!" So instead, I said "Sure, come on over!"

I threw on some clothes, kissed the computer goodbye, (writing would have to wait), and brushed my teeth. Just as my foot hit the kitchen to clean, they walked through the door. Scratch the kitchen...

I will spare the details of the visit. However, they asked me, my husband and children to be in their wedding. :D (Keep reading, I promise it will be worth it).

After they left, I was starving, but I wanted run. If I ate first, I would have to wait again so, I would eat as soon as I got home. On my run I decided it was time to push myself just a tad harder. So I decided to run to the center of town (not far, probably a mile and a half one way).

When I run I always prepare myself for many things. Running is pretty uncomfortable, I've learned to make myself as comfortable as possible ie., dress for the weather, take my allergy medication before I go, use the bathroom. All of the things, which help make the process harder, I remove from the situation.

I couldn't find my running pants, I threw on sweats, and left my house. After a while, seeing as I hadn't eaten, my brain got fuzzy. A little voice in my head pulled me to the right and said "You should turn here! It'll make your run shorter!!" I ignored it. I was slightly heated from the sweats but I knew I could push through the discomfort. I wasn't having a problem breathing, I was just hot. Running does that to a person :D

I kept going. Thinking about my blog and how it would be a great story to tell all of you how I pushed myself and how good it felt to do something I didn't think I could accomplish. I would prove it to myself that things weren't as hard as they seemed to be in the moment.

At an intersection, a little voice said "Turn left here! You're not going to make it!"

I shrugged the voice off again. Negative thoughts are always trying to beat people down and if we listen to them we'd never accomplish anything.

Seeing the traffic light pole ahead told me I was in the center of town. "See?" I thought, "It didn't even feel like it was that long." And it hadn't. I hit the pole, turned and continued to run home. Three seconds later I realized I had to pee. Bad.

If anyone has ever run in CC, they'd know that it's okay to pee your pants (at least it was on my team, I never did, but plenty of the guys I knew had) as long as you kept going. But, I couldn't pee my pants. I was already dizzy, weak and peeing my sweats was not a good idea considering I would have to RUN home in wet sweats, when I was already shriveling under the hot sun. I held it, kept running and made my way home feeling a grand sensation of accomplishment, knowing that I did what I didn't think I could. I felt great for proving to myself I could run three miles with no problem, not listening to the little voice in my head that told me to turn around. I stretched and ate lunch and now I've never been better.

....Not quite. :D

Any woman whose had a child knows how impossible it is to hold your bladder. By the time I hit the funeral home I could barely contain it. Without my permission my bladder leaked and then let go at full force. Yes, I peed my pants. I also gave up trying to run in wet sweats. I hadn't prepared myself. Not only that, I haven't been running long enough, sleeping enough and eating well enough to have been able to attempt this run.

The funny thing, is that I thought I would be hard on myself for walking the rest of the way home, peeing my pants and not accomplishing my goal. However, I wasn't. That surprised me the most. Then I realized that there are times when we push ourselves TOO hard. And everything backfires on us. I can laugh at myself now because while yes, I am a thirty year old woman who peed her pants while running, in public, no less (and now writing about it on my VERY public blog) I'm not embarrassed. The fact of the matter is that I tried. I tried, and failed, but I didn't cry, I didn't get embarrassed, and I didn't become defeated.

It happened. There is nothing I can do about it, and at least tried. When I got home I showed my husband, my kids laughed and my daughter gave me a hug.

But I learned something today, (ah-ha! the point you're saying) just because I didn't finish my goal today doesn't mean I won't be able to do it tomorrow. I will be able to run this route again, I just have to give myself some time. Not push too hard and always, always, always remember to use the bathroom before I leave the house.

I am now showered, sitting here writing a non-writing blog entry (hope I didn't gross too many people out btw) and posting a completed post.

Have a great day folks!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Workload... wk 7

I believe this post will be short and sweet. Still not much energy, but I think I'm going running later. I've either been sleeping like poo, or completely overstimulated. It's funny being me these last couple of weeks. :D

On a different note, I believe I caught up with everyone's blog. If I missed you I apologize, it wasn't intentional.

Onto the goals, last week:

Beta two stories.
CINDER - 8000 words
Sub out two things
Two Poems.

Whan, whan, whaaaannnn.... I didn't sub anything out. Nor did I write poems.

I did manage to write 8280 words for CINDER and 1696 words for a collaborative piece I've been working on and off for the last couple months. Bringing my word count to 9976 for the week!

My beta work is finished as well!

And that's about all yo. Now I'm feeling like K. Allen Wood, he says that his word count posts are always boring... maybe I should throw up a fun picture... *looks for a picture*

Hope you all enjoy Artie. He's the strongest man in the world.

Eh, I know, I know a weak try at humor. But I couldn't leave my post with just the numbers and goals. And Artie can pump up any post :D

Now for next week. I'd love to actually have a week where I hit 10k, but that goal will have to wait until my head is less fuzzy...*wonders* does anyone ever get used to insomnia? I'm going to shoot for 8k on CINDER again.


CINDER - 8000
Sub pieces out (I will do this!)
Two poems

And that's about it. Write good words! Visit the folks who are keeping track too!! Darkly Shadow, Deadly Effie, Shady K. Allen Wood,

Happy writing!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Workload, wk 6. (late, but never better)

First off I have to apologize for not reading anyone's blog this week. I have been having a hella time sleeping; my brain shut down Tuesday and didn't start back up until this morning. Much apologies. I will catch up, I promise. :D

Onto writing news. MC has taken a new and interesting path with the start of this WIP. I'm enjoying it, she isn't a victim anymore (yay!! no more whiny girl, which is what I disliked about her the most). She's become tarnished, complex and she's gotten some deeper (much darker) layers. I think it's fabulous. Mackenzie, my muse, is back in full force. Today, when I was writing chapter six, it was very hard to stop. *Sigh* I do love that. (the only reason I did stop was bc my daughter woke up from her nap mind you).

Let's see... *looks back to last weeks goals* AH-HA!

CINDER - 8000 words + outline
Sub out two things
Two Poems.

My outline is resting at a cool 19,372 words, which takes the story up to chapter 20. I'm thinking this novel will have about 90k and 27 chapters. That of course is ballpark, bc I really have no idea. For the actual WIP, I wrote 9985 words so I surpassed my goal of 8000 and I'm heading into chapter seven. *shakes with anticipation*

I did not sub out two things. No excuses, I just didn't do it. I've got a handful of things ready to send out this Monday.

Poems, I wrote nine instead of two. I'm finding that every other week short word bursts come to me in a deluge. So, while I'll still have a goal for poems, it may not happen every week.


Onto brighter goals.

For next week:

Finish Beta's (two stories) DONE!
CINDER - 8000
Two poems
Sub out the prepared poems, and microfiction piece.

The crazy kids keeping track of their goals are doing a heck of a job as well. Stop by and see them too! Mr. K. Allen Wood, Lady Shadow and Lovely Effie

Enjoy your week folks! Happy writing!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Issue # 2, Shock Totem is almost here!

In light of recent events... (ie. seeing this wicked cover and deciding to blog about it). I have opted to delay my workload post for a couple of days. My friends over at Shock Totem, horror and macabre magazine, have been working hard to get out their second issue and here is the cover.


It should be done very soon.

Now we just have to wait. With the little teaser, here is some information about issue 2.

Author's published in the issue include: Cate Gardner, Grá Linnaea & Sarah Dunn, Nick Bronson, Christian A. Dumais, David Jack Bell, Ricardo Bare, Kurt Newton, Leslianne Wilder, Vincent Pendergast

Contributions by: K. Allen Wood (editor's note), John Boden (conversation with James Newman), and the lovely Mercedes M. Yardley (Abominations: Hide the Sickness: an article)

In addition: Strange Goods and Other Oddities (Reviews) and Howling Through the Keyhole (Author Notes)

**Artwork for the cover done by Hicham Haddaji. (oops! forgot to put that in, sorry Hicham!)

I've personally had the opportunity to read some of these fine people's work either at Shock Totem or elsewhere. Each and every author brings a unique style and creative prowess with the stories I've read. I assure you that there will be plenty of macabre and horror to go around.

If my feeble attempt to sway you with words hasn't helped, pop over to the Shock Totem Shop and pick up the first issue, wet your taste buds, and get ready for #2! The front cover is just as gorgeous as this one, but you're going to have to take a look see yourself to see if I'm telling the truth or not. (You can also find these lovely magazines at Barnes'n Noble or Amazon)

Along with the issue Shock Totem is a great place to hang. People are friendly with a dry, dark wit I adore. The mag has gotten great reviews from lots of different peeps, and I am super glad I found it to help hone my writing skills. Stop by and stay for a bite. (Don't worry, we'll only take your arm or a finger).

As for my goals. just wanted to say that yes, I met them and I'm going to throw up the # 8000k once again. The WorkLoad will be in a couple of days. Just enjoy this post until then! Thanks folks!!

Happy Reading! Go buy your copy of issue #1 today!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Dirty Comments....

LOL, every time I hit a certain number of comments I get these wonderful "remarks" in Chinese. Of course, it's spam. So I'm going to figure out how to use a slight moderation. I'm not a firm believer against porn, the comments are easy enough to ignore(that's what the delete key is for), everyone has a right to see or do whatever they wish. I just don't want it on my blog. At first they were little blurbs. Out of curiosity, I translated them through Google. Now, the blurb gods have grown angry with my delete key. They've turned lengthy and into advertisements for their videos or photos.

From this: "Life is a walk in moonlight."

to "Romantic moonlight forum 85cc adult movie area pastes a movie area Yuan really crisp yellow movie night of chatroom night of sentiment video Internet forum night of fervor chatroom one-to-many beautiful woman video one-to-one video one-to-one video to chat clearly the one-to-one video spicy younger sister video and music video chatroom sweetheart treasure direct seeding to paste the piece to play the beautiful woman person video net beautiful woman short film free to take a look at the video to make friends net 50024 rainbow avdvdsex888 free to look that movie Asia Asia dvd the disc hundred matter free av video chats the net free on-line aa piece to take a look at 85CCsex to paste piece net s383 sentiment color clathria ka ripe female autodyne sex free adult movie situation work place happy thing video swim suit Xiu to develop the net to make friends the free adult movie, 104 free becomeThe human sentiment color literature novel video anchor escapes clothes Xiu gogo2sexplus28 forum Mick to synthesize the forum chatroom to make friends av adult net g8mm middle video bad friend forum video beautiful woman msvt the person chatroom video net to like the chatroom network help handing over 168 forum spicy younger sisters to paste the chart Hsinchu help to hand over the 38ga piece to download the national biggest club ok video, video hot dance Xiu"

No offense to the woman trying to make money, but they can do it somewhere else. My blog isn't a freeway for their ventures anymore.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Bullet

I bit it.

The bullet I mean. I threw in the towel with my other WIP. I'm starting over. I know, I know it's usually the kiss of death when it comes to WIP's. Every article and book I've read on writing speaks true against it. I understand what I'm going to put myself through. I just can't justify spending anymore time on a story where my MC keeps saying "I don't know what's going on... but I'm going to find out." (and then she doesn't).


I was becoming defeated and yes, while I'm sure that happens with everyone, I was beginning to grow beyond frustrated. My new outline is firmly in place, along with word count goal. My characters are laid out. I just have to write the story. I have a great resolve in doing this and I've set my finishing goal for September.

This may be unprecedented, but I'm following my gut. It's going to get done. The characters are still talking to me. Albeit they aren't as nice as they once were because I haven't figured out their story yet.

I'm not even going to reference the rough draft. I'm going to view this as a completely different story. All of what I knew has fallen away anyway. So I'm starting over. I want to get this story done. Sticking with the original draft won't get me there. I can feel it. As for now I have no word count on my new MS and I wash my hands of the other one.

On a different note, (haven't figured out how these subjects go hand in hand, but I'm sure they do) I have not been sleeping well. I'm currently in my second week of not smoking and the withdraw symptoms are starting to take a toll on me. I'm irritable, and I can't concentrate on much. However I know these side effects are only temporary and my goal to quit will only get me further improved clarity for other aspects of my life. But the lack of sleep mixed with the lack of nicotine is a fine cocktail for a cranky Kara. Even with the patch. Which is wonderful btw, I highly recommend the patch to anyone who wants to quit smoking and doesn't have a heart murmur (I had a friend use the patch who had a murmur and the results weren't pretty. That's all I'm saying. I'm not a doctor of course).

The craving to have a cigarette is basically void. Which is fabulous because I'm not fighting the undying need to have just one more hit AND the bitchy symptoms. Yes, I'm craving coffee (which is so weird bc I don't drink coffee ever) and Tollehouse Softbatch chocolate chip cookies, but that's it despite the sudden burst of frustration over something which normally wouldn't frustrate me. All temporary things. And the irritation doesn't last long. As long as I let it out. :D (poor McElhinny household).

Between the lack of sleep and the nicotine withdraw I don't need another frustration. I actually have a decent bit plodded out in my outline so I'm pleased and the beginning is much better already. I promise, to myself that I will finish this novel. It may have a different name in the end. But I will finish it.

*spits the bullet out of her mouth*

Now, I can rest a little easier, and maybe get some sleep.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Workload... wk 5 (oops! last week was 4)

**Warning! Post is linked up! :P**

So I'm in the middle of writing chapter seventeen of Cinder and I can't seem to stop drifting. I've got about 1k under my belt so I'm sure I'll be able to focus on it, in a little while anyway. I thought I'd get this started.

First off upon Mr. Aaron Polson's recommendation, I changed my goal to 7k instead of 6k. Turned out to not be so hard after all and according to my wordcount sheet I wound up with 8611 (thanks Aaron!) words on Cinder for last week jumping from chapter twelve to chapter seventeen.

It would have been higher except Shock Totem is holding their Bi-monthly flash fiction contest this month; I am bound and determined to participate this time. The story started out as 2045 words and I've managed to whittle it down to 988. Saturday I poured over it, neglecting Cinder and yesterday, I edited. So there were two days not spent on my WIP. However, I'm pleased with the results of this challenge. I think the most important lesson I learned with it is that I'm really growing as a writer.

I've also decided that Cinder needs an outline. My characters are jumping all over the place and I can't seem to keep up. I had one when the story was third person, and I pretty much know what's going to happen, but my MC and her buddies are running a muck without a leash. I'm going to finish up my chapter (or hit 2k today) then sit down to loosely plot out this story.

I'm a fairly organized person. This may be why I've been having trouble reining in the edges of this WIP. I don't stick true to the outlines once the story takes off. I'm not OCD over it. I just think it helps me lay the frame of the story down without freaking out about what's going on.

Overall goals from last week:

11,055 words all together
1/2 poem (my goal was two poems, so I failed there)

As for my poetry, I wrote a half of a poem this past week and I got three of the seven I wrote last week ready for sub. Onto better news!

**I received two acceptances from The Cynic Online, my poem Making Room will go Live on June 16th and my other poem Faeries Aren't the Same Without Wings will go live on July 1st. I was tickled. I heart those poems but I didn't really believe they could get published. Which goes to show I am still learning.

(I think I'm going to start a drinking game. Every time I say "I'm a new writer" or "I'm still learning" ya'll can take a shot! It'll be fun :D)

So now I'm off to work on chapter seventeen which I'll finish by the end of the night. Don't forget to stop by K. Allen Wood's, Shadow's and now Effie's blog to root them on (though Effie wants to be kicked in the pants, I think she did a great job last week) with their wordcount. Ben Solah only posts monthly goals but he kicked April's ass so if ya have time congratulate him as well.

Next week's goals:

CINDER - 8000 words + outline
Sub out two things
Two Poems.

That's it for now.

Happy writing!

Oh, and one more thing. THE CLOSED DOOR post made me realize that I've been freaking out once a month about writing for the last couple of months. I'm going to start a Feature Monthly Post called THE FREAK OUT or THE PANIC pt___<--insert # here.

(If anyone else has any better names please feel free to toss them at me. I throw like a girl, but I can catch very well.)

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Closed Door

I wish I could go back two years ago and have the innocence I did when I wrote the rough copy of my WIP.

At the moment I have a battle raging in my head. One that is fighting the "Closed Door", it wants me to start from the beginning. To get my words straight and clean. Get everything perfect and do it right! BUT the other side is telling me that there is no need for that. This is the second time I have re-started this WIP. If I start again, I will plunge myself back into a deep portal of the never-ending story and Cinder will never get done.

I seem to keep forgetting that I write a jungle of words only to have to weed through them afterward.

When I first started (before I was comfortable enough to call myself a writer) I let the characters speak to me. They showed me and I would write it down. My motto was "It doesn't matter, I'll change it later..." now I'm doubting myself. I know more now than I did then and I'm left wondering if ignorance is bliss.

Of course I don't really believe in blissful ignorance however, I do think there is something to it. I want to shed the nagging doubts wreaking havoc on my brain and just allow the words to flow. Who cares if I write the same thing over three times? I'll fix it in the rewrite. RIGHT? (not yelling at ya'll, just trying to make myself see the point).

That is correct. For now I have to plug away, pull forward and keep going. This story needs to be finished. It NEEDS to have an ending (and a middle). I want to see what happens and let the story pour out, without second guessing every word written. I want to feel like I'm accomplishing something.

BUT I AM. That's the part that is killing me the most. I've written over 1800 words today and I'm not done. There are bits and pieces of solid plot. I have ground to stand on. The characters are still talking to me. I just don't know where they're taking me. Maybe that's what I'm doubting...

I'll drive myself into a slow pit of madness if I continue to allow the nagging doubt to get to me.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Workload... wk 3

And in now traditional fashion I have moved onto week three. Week three is always a big week because once a human does something straight for three weeks more than likely it becomes a habit. Just a little fun fact for anyone who didn't know that. I'm chock full of useless knowledge.

As for my goals I exceeded some and didn't crack a shell at the others.

The goal I failed in (always save the better news for last) is my short story Idle Parts. I didn't even dent it this week. BUT I was on vacation for four days so I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I still ended up writing every day. Just not that story.

I ended up with seven poems when my goal was two, while they still need work, at least I got them out and some even have potential... or so I was told :P

And for CINDER, I wrote 5440 words yesterday. It was my first day back, and I had two hours to myself in the morning, then a couple more hours later. These do not include any edits for this story because I'm writing it with the door closed.

"Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open" Steven King's On Writing book. The best advice he ever received. I'm following it. :D

So I'm deep in the throes of chapter thirteen and things are already taking form much different then what I expected. I'm rolling with it and I'm going to finish this draft sooner rather than later. I'm not worrying about anything just letting the words flow from my brain through my fingers and I'll fix it when it's finished.

Other than that, not much more to report.

5440 - CINDER
7 Poems
250 - microfiction piece
4 wonderful days spent in New York City.

Also, Ken A. Wood is still keeping up with his goals as well... pop over to EyesoreTimes to keep him on his toes!

OH. I guess I should write goals for this week as well... (duh! *slaps forehead* that's why I STARTED this thing in the first place)

Goals for next week:

CINDER - 6000
Two Poems (plus others from this week tweaked up)
Flash piece/challenge finished. (This one's between me and another writer for fun.)

And that's about it. I'm still trying to play catch-up from the vacation. So we'll see how it goes.

Happy writing!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Challenge

Last fall a writer I know started to keep track of her output on FaceBook. I was quite impressed with the numbers she was putting up. So, I challenged myself to keep up with her. (Of course she didn't know it at the time, but we spoke about it briefly and she was doing it to push herself. In turn her actions pushed me as well.) To my complete and utter amazement I did it.

She is an incredible talent and has since landed herself an agent.

Sadly, for me she's stopped posting her output on FB. However I have since completed a NaNo challenge, written poetry and have done many things I didn't think were possible with my writing.

The challenge I put to myself showed me I really can do anything if I tried. Yes, I had help. There are many people contributing and supporting me and for that I will always be eternally grateful.

Since this fall I have stopped dabbling with my writing and really come to terms with the possibility if I work hard enough I will be able to attain my goals.

I'm not boasting. I still have a lot to learn. I have only just started to come into my own. And it will take time (as much as I hate to admit that. :D) But I'm willing to work for it.

I set goals for me to push myself. While it's not an original idea I've started doing so on FB. It helps me feel like I've accomplished something. And now I see what she was talking about.

The hardest part challenging myself was that afterward I had stories but nothing to do with them. I've gotten rejection after rejection. I freaked out because I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. I battered other writers with questions of how I could be a better writer, what markets should I sub to, what lesson was I learning?

Then my panic ceased. I sat back and looked at what I'd done to myself. I was waiting for someone to give me an answer. Then I realized I had to find it for myself.

No challenge or goal can be reached without stumbling that's just not how life works.

I've since started revising, reading articles every day (those of you who haven't been over to Magical Words really should give it a try, published authors giving advice to writers on writing. It's incredible.) I found some good writing homes with amazing people who are willing to give and take. They are also great cheerleaders. I've opened my ears to critiques and I have listened to advice on which books give the best advice.

I have really started to study the craft without going to college (bc there is no way I could afford it right now) and I've started to pay attention.

Then I got my first personal rejection with an invitation to send the story back if I chose to revise it.

It was gold to me.

And it was good advice. I'm awaiting the response still, but I feel like the story I reworked (with a little help from some fabulous ladies) really is the start of my writing career. While it might not fetch a big price, I've taken the first step in the right direction.

I don't think I am the only person out there who can do this. I know anyone can. Challenge yourself. It doesn't have to be writing, it can be anything you think you can't do, but want to. There is nothing to be afraid of, failure is apart of life and if you/I fall, get back up and try again until you reach whatever light you want.

You might find it's not as hard as your mind made it out to be.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Workload... wk 3


I have been putting this off all day although I'm not entirely sure why. But it doesn't matter because I'm here now!

This past week was rough writing wise. I got two short stories done, but Season's End still needs edited. I don't think I've worked so hard on a story to date. It makes me feel pretty good. Hard work will do that I guess.

Turned out I lost two day because of RL matters and so while I didn't accomplish everything I'd hoped for I believe I did okay. I knocked two stories off of my list which makes me have a sense of accomplishment and I "tried" to fix up the last three poems. I hate giving up on stuff, but I believe these three will make their way to my trunk. (shhh... don't want them to know that tho.)

On a better note, I wrote four poems, and collaborated one with a friend. Plus one of those poems got published! (See post below for link to poem.) So all in all while it was a wee bit harsh things turned out alright.

And I'm finally ahead of where I started three weeks ago. YAY!

For my short stories, I don't want to put them on hold because they've been on hold for a long time and with each little bit I write, I get better BUT... I'm going away this week for four days and will not have access to a computer. However, I will have access to a pen and notebook so we'll see. I would like to at least get Idle Parts into the second stages.

Short Stories:

The Gardner - ?
Idle Parts - 2615 first draft down.
Candy - ?
Poisoned Soul - round three.

The last three poems are done being edited. So I will simply say I'd like to get two more poems done.

And for the big one!

CINDER. My WIP. The reason I started writing in the first place. She's ready and ararin' to go. Last week I said I'd like to lay down 4k. If I accomplish this feat I will be tickled. That may mean my shorts go untouched but I'm not sure what's going to happen so I don't want to leave anything out.

My output last week:

5631 - Season's End (this does include edits, just not final)
2456 - Going Out of Business (done and done!)
3 poems edited
4 poems written

I've started becoming more organized as well. I made a word count chart for my WIP and stories so I will be able to track them more easily.

My goals for this week are:

Idle Parts - to be done
two poems of any flavor
CINDER - 4000 words.

And that's about it.

Have a great day! Happy writing!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The First Poem Published!

Hey All!!! Got my first poem published over at Spilled Coffee! I'm super happy to say, that yesterday the line breaks were messed up, and with a polite note to the editor, he fixed it up toot-suite and it's now back to it's original form!

Take a gander if you have the time :D

The Phone Call

Thanks! Happy writing

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Song #6

Right around the time I said goodbye to bands like Color Me Bad and EnVouge, (I was twelve) and took up to listening to the likes of Tori Amos, Liz Phair, The Pixies, Nirvana, R.E.M., NIN, Smashing Pumpkins and many more bands I do not cringe at the fact that I listened to relentlessly; I discovered a very special secret.

The song #6.

Each time I would unwrap the cellophane from my CD, my favorite would always be #6. At first I thought it a coincidence. Being a teenager I shrugged it off because I had much angsting to do. I couldn't be bothered with something that might make me happy.

As I grew up and dropped the veil of anger I pretended to have, I started to take notice. It wasn't EVERY CD, but most of them. Sometimes the faves would switch to another song on the album, but it was always #6 that got me into it. I then started to think of it as a little special secret, that maybe my favorite musicians were trying to do something nice just for me. (I also had a very overactive imagination when I was a kid :D)

Happy Phantom made me fall head over feet for Miss Tori Amos, following that with The Wrong Band on Under the Pink, and of course who could forget Mr. Zebra on Boys for Pele?

Rocket on Siamese Dream, Smashing Pumpkins. Polly on Nevermind, from Nirvana.

And it's carried on in it's traditions...

Regina Spektor's Begin to Hope - Hotel Song
The Dresden Dolls' The Dresden Dolls - Slide
Rufus Wainwright's Want - Natasha
Radiohead's OK Computer - Karma Police

Now, I won't go into the complete list of all of the different albums with song #6 as my favorite. That would take a long time and a lot of researching because sadly, while I have a wonderful memory, I am no Mensa candidate.

I just wanted to shout out a little tribute and throw in a random blog because, well, it's what I do. :D

Thank you Song #6. I've loved my little secret and now I get to share it with everyone else.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Workload.... wk 2

So... this whole goal thing? Totally working out, sort of. I have been working steady for the last week and though I've made progress I'm also standing in the same place I was. How does that happen you ask? (Believe me, I'm still scratching my head at it) However, for a little refresher... here we go.

Last week my goals were to start revising my short stories. Which I did, three of them, but they still aren't done yet. So though I worked, I'm in the same place-ish.

I've already gotten a rejection for one short which wasn't on last week. That's getting thrown up for this week as well... added goalage. :D (I wish there was a way to make devil horns cause adding goalage seems so very ominous to me :P)

Short stories: edits/revisions

Going out of Business - DONE @ 2456 words 4/15/10
Season's End - 2770- second round down, staring third round later today.
The Gardner - ?
Idle Parts - 2615 first draft down.
Candy - ?
Poisoned Soul - round three.

*Now, for my poems I actually exceeded my goals. *throws confetti up in the air* I finished four, subbed out three and wrote roughly three new poems. However, I'd like to do at least three more this coming up week, along with fixing said poems below.

Poems: edits

Confusable Mess
The Shelf
Borrowed Flesh

Also last week, I said that I would like to start posting goals for my WIP/Novel CINDER. Which I fully intend to do, though I'm not going to start writing it until next Wednesday. (That is a promise to myself. Revising and Edits are something I have to learn how to do, but I really miss writing as well.)

Starting Next Wednesday April 21st: I will write at least 4000 words for my WIP (for the week, not in one day.)

SO now to my revelations; I was freaking out because I have all of these amazing writers around me getting things published all over the place and I wondered what was wrong with me. HOWEVER! Now I realize I have to chill out. I haven't even been writing for two years yet. Comparing myself to others is not the most healthy thing and if I work hard, I know that I will get what I want. It's just not my time yet. I don't have to be an anomaly, I can just be me. I don't have to keep up with everyone. I have to put in the time, realize how to make my stories good and then it will come.

Let me tell you, when I had this little epiphany it just about blew my mind. I feel relaxed, I've slowed down and I'm really taking revising and editing seriously. This is my chosen path, the thing that makes me feel whole, and I don't need to race against anyone. *sigh of relief*

As for my output last week:

6000 words written between three short stories
3 poems edited
3 poems written
1 story crit'ed for a friend

I'm okay with this. I'm doing what I need to do and I'm also learning in the process.

**Don't forget to pop over to Lady Shadow's and Mr. Ken Wood's site's and cheer them on for posting their goals as well!! ***

... and Ken? I don't know... what doya wanna wager?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Gore vs. The Creep, and The Why?

There has been a lot of discussion of gore vs. lit. horror at the writing places I've been frequenting lately. I've been asked by members at both the df_underground and Shock Totem what flavor I (and the other users) like my horror. The other question thrown up for us is "Why?"

First off, the Why - I've always had a dark sense of the world at large, it is cold and crusty place that is what makes me feel at home. Now, I don't always need to write dark tales, I've been dared by some lovely people to write with not darkish themes, and those have turned out alright. But my home really is in the shadows that creep through the house when there is a thunder storm, or the dark corners, long forgotten in a damp basement that everyone is afraid of.

Does this make me or the other people I associate with "Bad?" No. Not at all. If anything, I believe it makes us stronger because we are ourselves with open arms, despite the strange looks, or the questions of "Why can't you write something Happy?" It's not really about happiness. I know plenty of people who write darkly who are pleasant and singing most days. We just think differently than what is considered the "norm"

Now for the other subject of this post. I enjoy gore, but only on a humorous level. In movies it's usually overdone to gross out those who can not stomach blood- letting. When I first started writing (I don't think that will ever get old. Sorry if people are tired of it, I'm still in awe that I found my nitch) my story came out dark, but I didn't think it could be horror because it didn't have gore.

For those of you who know me better than others, I tend to be a tad neurotic and a touch paranoid and that spawns a panic inside of me that could throw me off the course I was originally on (I've since worked on this problem and it happens a lot less frequently) and so, I started adding sprinklings of blood and bitty pieces of flesh to "spice" up my writing.

It was a rookie mistake on my part to be completely honest. Then, as I settled into my gut wrenching, blood-spilling self I found the term "Literary Horror" it was creepier, darker and richer. Filled with unsettling obstacles that really took me out of my own dark place and thrust me into a abyss where no light could ever go. I was fascinated. I loved it, and I started thinking I could never write something beautifully tragic.

Then I muffled the damn nervous voices (got me some duct tape and wire) in my head and really took a look at what I've written in the past. Only about four stories out of fifteen or twenty have gore. I realized where I had gone wrong, and again it pointed to the place where I should have trusted my instincts.

So I've grown in my writing, and I now know what the true meaning of staying true to yourself means. I love literary horror because it sneaks up on you, it makes you feel uncomfortable, and puts you in a place one would not normally want to be in. It makes you face things you don't want to. And frankly, while I am still learning, I am looking forward to the day where I get to place a reader inside of one of those little boxes to torture them as well.

Gore will always be there. It helps hone action scenes, and once in a while I still purge my brain of the icky and groady. But mostly I still with the creepy. It's just the way I roll.

So I pose to everyone the same questions bestowed upon me. Why horror? And which do you prefer? Gore or Creep? There are no wrong answers, only opinions :D

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Workload

I've never posted goals on my blog. Then this past week hit me, I haven't written ANYTHING for my WIP in two months (seriously!?! it took me five weeks to get the rough draft out!) I've been plodding away at short stories and poems or not writing at all. I became very sad, but then I realized maybe my novel characters are hiding behind my short story characters.

What I have set for myself is a challenge of sorts, last week I started revising my short stories and tinkering with the loose ends of my poetry (they are no good to me sitting around, unfinished in their folders) after those are done, I believe I will find my novel again.

So far this week I've revised two short stories and I'm moving onto my third one today. I'm still in the learning process, but it's been a true delight for me to sit back and examine the finish products of my hard work. Honestly, I was afraid I let them "sit" for too long. But now that I'm back at them, I'm tickled with the results and I'm finding that maybe too long is just long enough.

I am going to post my workload onto my blog to track my progress. I believe this will help be keep going so I can get back to my WIP, because I miss it so.

My current workload: (titles are always subject to change)

Short stories:

Season's End - 2770 DONE!
The Gardner - ?
Idle Parts - 2615 first draft down.
Candy - ?


Faceless(previously named - Memories Untold) -done!
Confusable Mess
Bound -- Done!
Little Blue Pill - DONE!!
The Shelf
Black Nest - done!!
Borrowed Flesh

Not too bad, now that I look at it. However, new ideas are popping up every time I turn the corner. I hope that I can keep them at bay until I finish these latest revisions.

Next week I hope to set word goals for my WIP, I'm ready to get cracking on it - she's stewed for long enough.