Wednesday, February 21, 2018

THE PERFECT LAZY DAY


And, there you go, that's my perfect lazy day. Snoozing in my hammock, by the ocean, as I sip lovely tropical drinks. As I gaze toward the ocean, my man comes out of the ocean to join me.
Aaaand scene.

In the real world, my perfect lazy day wouldn't be nearly as perfect. If I can swing it, Sunday is my lazy do nothing day. If I don't have to do anything then if it rains that makes it so much better. I love the sound of rain. It's so soothing.

The perfection would start with my incredible sister making breakfast, which she does quite often. We have hash browns, eggs, bacon and biscuits in reality and in the perfect. Oh and tea, we always have a pot of tea.

After breakfast, I might read for a bit, then I "meditate" which is code for take a nap. I might goof off on my computer for a bit, read for a bit more. We might watch something on TV or we could just sit together and read. Yes, we do this. 

We put together something for dinner then I'd take a shower and curl up in bed to read until I get sleepy and turn out the light. That to me is perfection. Okay, really the beach with Jason Momoa is perfection, but beggars can't be choosers. 

Check out what Jessica, Bronwyn, Kris, Torrance, and Jessica D think is the perfect day.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

FEBRUARY PROMPTLY PENNED


Welcome to the Random Wednesday Blog's Promptly Penned segment. If you've never been here before, it's where Bronwyn and Jessica toss out a prompt and we have to come up with a story around it. This month the prompt is: "Her/His life changed when s/he learned the monsters were protecting her/him."

Here is my contribution: 

Sebastian sat on the porch of his grandmother’s home and stared into the woods. He’d spent every summer with her as far back as he could remember. As soon as school let out, his parents would drop him off with his gran and they’d go. He really didn’t care where, since he loved his gran and loved her home even more. Or, not just her home, but the forest that surrounded it. As a child, he’d spent hours running and playing and exploring. He hadn’t thought it odd, that at six she’d let him go into the woods. She never worried for him. She knew, and he knew, nothing would ever hurt him there. Though he couldn’t remember why or even what he’d spent all that time doing.
The wind pushed clouds across the sky, causing shadows to race and frolic across the ground. Shadows. The first time he’d been aware of the shadows he’d been maybe twelve. Could be they’d always been there, but he just hadn’t seen or noticed. Didn’t matter since the shadows had saved his life. He’d ran across the street to head home and a car had come out of nowhere. At least, that’s what the neighbor had said. All Sebastian remembered was glimpsing the car and ending up in his own front yard. He hadn’t been hurt. He hadn’t remembered moving, but, somehow, he’d gotten out of the street without a scratch.
The neighbor had termed it a miracle, but the police had put it down to liquor since Mr. Webster was known to drink in the afternoon. Didn’t matter though since Sebastian had walked away unharmed. He’d seen them again off and on. And, anytime he had seen them, he knew he was protected.
The last time he’d seen the shadows he hadn’t come out unscathed, but he wasn’t dead. He should have been dead. No doubt about it. His unit had taken heavy enemy fire and he’d run out to grab one of his guys and drag him to safety. There’d been some kind of explosion and he knew he was in the kill zone. Instead, a shadow had come from nowhere and deflected part of the blast.
He’d still been injured. Injured enough that a medical discharge was forced on him, but he wasn’t dead and neither was the guy he’d gone to save. So, now he sat and stared at the woods. Hell, he wasn’t sure how many days his vigil had gone on. All he knew was he waited. He supposed he’d been waiting since he was twelve, since his life had changed when he’d learned that monsters were protecting him. Monsters. Yeah, that’s what he’d called the shadows as a child. He hadn’t been afraid, though, not of the woods and not of the monsters.
As the sun, sunk below the horizon, he ran his hands over his face. Fuck, maybe he was losing his mind. Every evening he planned to leave the next day, but when morning came he found himself sitting on the porch…waiting. He couldn’t keep this up. He had to go back and try to pick up his life. What there was of it anyway. He had job interviews lined up and he needed to find an apartment. He would leave in the morning.
He stood to go into the house and found he wasn’t alone. A young girl sat curled up on the porch swing watching him. Long, heavy dark hair with high sharp cheekbones, and luminous blue eyes—he knew her.
“Rhiannon,” he said, his voice low and harsh from disuse.
She smiled and his heart gave an odd kick.
“Sebastian, you remembered.”
He sank back into his chair and stared at her. “How could I not? We practically spent every summer together.”
She nodded. “Yes, until you no longer came.”
“My parents forced me to go to boarding school. They decided that staying with my grandmother all summer wasn’t healthy for me.”
“I missed you. I waited, but you ever came.”
“I’m sorry.”
And he was too. Rhiannon had been his best friend. They’d run through the woods together exploring. How had he forgotten her? And why did she look the same? Exactly the same.
“Are you real?” he forced himself to ask.
She cocked her head and held a hand out. “Come, take my hand and sit next to me.”
Not hesitating, he went to her and grasped her small, soft hand in his much larger one. Warm. She was warm and real. And smelled of flowers and growing things. He sank onto the swing next to her, but still held her hand. Her hand felt right in his. He twined their fingers together and studied her. She wasn’t a young girl, no matter her outward appearance. The knowledge settled around him.
“The shadows. Are they from you?”
“The Far Dorocha are mine. You were grievously injured.”
“Yeah, but I didn’t die. I should have died.”
She pressed her fingers to his lips. “Never say that. We made promises to one another. I promised to keep you safe.”
“And I promised to always be your friend. No, not your friend. I promised to always love you.”
The longer they sat together the more Sebastian remembered their summers. Even as a young boy, he’d loved her. They were halves of a whole. That’s right, that’s what his gran had said when he spoke to her of Rhiannon. Halves of a whole.
“And, do you?” she asked, softly. “Love me? Or, could you love me?”
Leaning forward, he pressed his lips gently to her own. Soft and sweet, her lips were so soft and sweet.
“I think I could. Yes, I think so.”
Cupping his face in her hands, she rubbed her nose against his. “Then, will you stay here so we can learn about one another?”

“Yes,” he replied, as he planned on calling and cancelling his job interviews in the morning. Because, he wasn’t leaving this place and this woman again.

Go check out the pieces by Jessica, Bronwyn, Kris, and Siobhan.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

BEST & WORST: WRITING PROCESS

Welcome to Wednesday! Or, even better, Happy Gwensday! And, we have a new feature for the Random Wednesday post, which, I think, is going to be an ongoing thing. Okay, just checked our list and yep it is. 

This first post is about what works and what doesn't in the writing process for each of us. Huh, I supposed if I actually wrote every day . . . 

ANYWAY, so let me start with what doesn't work for me. Plotting everything out on paper. That so doesn't work at all. I've tried believe me and all it does is make me:
This started all the way back in high school for me. The teacher would ask us to turn in the idea we had for a paper, then a rough outline, final outline, rough draft of the paper, final draft. Yeah, I had to write the paper once I got approval for the topic so I could do everything else. I am a total by the seat of my pants girl or pantser for short.
This doesn't mean I don't know where the story is going. I totally do. I always know how it ends. It's just that the journey may change as I go. The characters may do something unexpected and I want to be able to follow where they lead instead of forcing them to stay on the trail I've hacked out. Sometimes it's more fun and it certainly makes the book better for it if I wander into the wilderness and make a new trail.

What works for me is editing as I go. Okay, I don't work on the first chapter for a million years and then only have 1 great chapter. Yeah, that doesn't finish a book. Ever. I'll write about 35-40k, then go back to the beginning to make sure it flows, there are no plot holes, see if I want to add anything, delete anything, etc. 
I keep doing this until the book is finished. This also means that I never know how many words the book is going to end up with. Of course, that also means I don't feel as though I need to cut a scene short or not add a scene I think will make the story work better. Editing as I go, also means that I don't imagine every word I write is amazing. Not happening. If a scene or, hell, a chapter needs to be cut then . . . 

If it's a huge scene or a chapter, I'll save it, because I could end up using it later or, even, building another story around it. If not then it gets deleted and I go on with my life.

Go check out what Bronwyn, Jessica, Jessica D, and Siobhan chose as their best and worst.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

TOP 10: THINGS I SHOULD DO . . . BUT DON'T


As with every top 10 list, these are in particular order. Of course, it should be the top billion things I should do, but we just don't have enough space or time for that. So, here goes:

1. Exercise!! At one point, I worked out every day. Ran, lifted, aerobics--you name it I did it. Yeah, not so much now. I have a Garmin step counter deal, but, believe me, it hasn't motivated me to do more. Now, it's just proof of how lazy I am. 
I could so say that it's because it's winter. When I get home it's dark and cold and blah, blah, blah. We all know that's not true. 

2.Write every single day. I think that's more than enough said on that topic.

3. Eat healthier. I really try, but you know when someone has a birthday at work and they serve cake. CAKE!! Yep, can't turn that down.

4. Take better care of myself. I'm not talking about exercise or eating healthy, but being kinder to me. Sometimes it's easier to be nice to those around me, than to be to myself. Does that make sense??

5. Save money. I have a retirement, but it's certainly not nearly enough. I really should save more, but it ends up looking more like:

6. Actually publish a book. 

7. Save to travel to Scotland. I've always wanted to go. My dream is to touch Hadrian's Wall. And, this has been a dream since I was a child. Don't ask me how I learned what Hadrian's Wall is, since I have no idea. But, as long as I can remember, that has been my biggest need/want/desire.

8. Spend more time outside. I'm indoors all the time. Whether it's for work, or traveling, or once I get home. I rarely spend any time outdoors, but I need to. I used to hike, but that kind of slipped away. I have this thing about bugs. I mean a huge thing about bugs. So, when I've hiked before it was in the winter. No bugs. So, I need to get back to that. You'd be surprised the things you can see in the winter. For instance, no bugs.

9. Craft more. I actually love crafting and enjoy it while I'm doing it. So, I should do more of it.

10. Get out more. I have clinical depression and it rears its ugly head quite a bit. When I'm in the middle of it, all I want to do is hide away. I lose touch with people that I love. I just stop communicating. It takes so much energy to get up and go to work and do the things I have to do, that once I'm home I just can't people anymore. I hope they understand. It's not that I don't want to talk to them or hang out or whatever, but I just don't have the energy.

And, there we go, the top 10 things I should do, but don't. Now, go see what's rocking with Bronwyn, Jessica, Kris, Torrance, Siobhan, and Deelylah

Sunday, January 28, 2018

CRAFTING: FAIRY DOOR FOR MID-WINTER


A friend of mine asked for a tutorial for the fairy door I made, so here it is. First thing you need to know, is my crafting skills are limited. I can do a bunch of stuff (knit, make jewelry, make soap, and so on) but I'm not amazing at any of them. I enjoy doing it and so I learn enough to not kill myself. 

Second, my sister and I celebrate a made up holiday we call Mid-Winter. If you want to learn more about it, check out this post. And, if you want to celebrate, then go you! If you read the post, you'll know I have decorations for Mid-Winter, but I love Fairy Doors and none, obviously, exist for Mid-Winter (weirdly enough, they don't exist for fall either). So, I set out to make my own. If you wish to make your own, it's really easy. 

The first thing you need to do is find a small door, any kind of door that makes you happy. Sis ordered a set of 6 doors for me from Amazon. Here's what they look like out of the package:
Totally no thrills, no frills. But they're really cute. 

Next, since the colors for Mid-Winter are an icy blue and silver, I went into our craft stash and found blue paint I thought would work. I was stunned when it was the EXACT color I wanted. When you find your color just paint the entire door. I even painted inside the little windows so no wood would show through.

Now we come to glitter and Mid-Winter is nothing without glitter and sparkle. I knew I wanted to use blue and silver glitter so I decided that the window needed to be silver.
I dumped some glue, I used Elmer's School Glue, onto a paper plate and painted the window using a small paint brush. You want to make sure you cover the entire surface or the glitter won't stick very well. Don't be stingy with the glue.
Once the glue is in place, dump that glitter on. I had a paper plate under the door so I could dump the unused back into the container. If you see spots that didn't get glue, just dab some glue on. If you pick up some glitter no biggie. Then, toss glitter on those spots.
Next, I pulled out my blue glitter. It's really fine and I prefer it since it's easier to dust on. The color is also perfect for Mid-Winter. I can't remember what we bought it for originally, but I'm so glad we did.
Then, I covered the rest of the door with a good amount of glue. I used a larger brush to cover the entire surface.
Thankfully, the glitter has a shaker lid and I shook that stuff all over the door. Not thick like the window, but just enough to give a good coat. Then I turned it over and dumped off the excess. If I saw a spot that didn't get covered I shook more out, until I was satisfied.
Next, I added a door knob. Since I make jewelry, I have a LOT of beads. I dug out a fairly large, kind of flat, crystal
And using hot glue, stuck that where I imagined the knob should go. Yeah, no measuring, nothing scientific. Just eyeball that sucker and glue

A few years ago, Sis and I made our own holiday houses, basing them off the old Putz houses we had as kids. We bought a gob of different holiday/winter themed scrapbook stickers. We just happened to have a large package of snowflakes
I decided to stick them on the door in a random way. Not too many, since I didn't think it would look good and not all lined up either. 
And, voy-ola it's a Mid-Winter Fairy Door! I plan on making doors for spring, Ostara, summer, fall and on and on.  

Hope you enjoyed this and it makes sense. If you have questions, you're more than welcome to hit me up in the comment section or on my Facebook page.

Friday, January 26, 2018

JANUARY CHECK-IN


Hello!! Can you believe the first month of the year is already over? So crazy. I actually didn't have a list of things I wanted to accomplish this month. Hell, if I could manage something I'd be happy. Yeah, I know, I'm so easy to please.

I wanted to blog every time this month. Needless to say, I missed that. I had email issues and decided to go into my account and then I couldn't remember my password. I tried to change it and it wouldn't let me. So, I was locked out of my email. Long story short, it took two days and phone calls to finally get back into my email. By that time, I was exhausted. 
Okay, fine, I actually forgot. Exhausted, forgot, it's pretty much the same thing. 

Okay, huge win (and yeah, when I typed that, it came out as wine) anyway, I worked on Entangled!!

So, that IS a huge win or wine, whatever, for me. Wine!!!

Next month, I plan on blogging each time we're supposed to. That's 7 times. Yeah, I can totally do this!! And, I'm going to try and finish Entangled. Not, like, fake finish it, like before, but really and truly finish it. For total realz!!

Okay, so now go and check out how my amazing friends Bronwyn and Jessica did this month.

Monday, January 15, 2018

JANUARY'S INSPIRED BY A MELODY . . .


This month's song we're writing to is Florence and the Machines Dog Days Are Over. I love this song! It makes me really happy, which is probably why my piece reflects that. Oh, if you don't know the song, here's the lyrics and the video.


Okay, so here's what I wrote, it's short, but I think it works. Oh and it involves my couple from last month. Hope you enjoy it.

Rain streamed down the window as Cara felt as though she were going to cry. Of course, it would rain. Why not? It was only one of the most important days ever. She never thought she and Spencer would get here, but they had. And she’d wanted the day to be perfect. Thunder chose that moment to rumble loud enough to shake the room she stood in and she couldn’t help but laugh. Nope, not going to be perfect.
“What are you doing?”
Cara glanced over her shoulder at her best friend. Maeve had been with her on ever step of this journey. Hell, she’d been there when Cara had first met Spencer. She had been the one to encourage her to go out with him, even though he wasn’t like any man she’d ever dated before.
“Cara?”
“Why did I want an outdoor wedding? Why did I think it would work out?”
Maeve smiled. “Because you wanted to be different.”
“Oh yeah, I’m different alright. Pretty soon, I’m going to be walking down a mud aisle, as rain ruins my dress, then get struck my lightning. Because, yeah, that’s my luck.”
“Ah, we’re having a pity party. I hadn’t realized that.”
Cara rolled her eyes. “Maeve, I’m serious.”
“And, so am I. If we’re having a party we need music.”
Saying, this she moved to where Cara had set up her MP3 player and stopped the classical music that had been coming from the mini-speakers. After a moment, Florence and the Machine’s song Dog Days Are Over issued from the speaker.
Maeve bounced over and grabbed Cara’s hands. “Dance party instead of pity party.”
“I’m not in the mood.”
“Oh, but you are. It’s your wedding day. You’re marrying a man that is totally crazy for you and you’re crazy for him. You’re surrounded by people who love the both of you. What’s not to be happy about?”
Thunder chose that moment to rumble across the sky, followed by a bright flash of lightning. Maeve quirked an eyebrow and rolled her eyes. Against her own will, Cara laughed. What else could she do? It wasn’t like she could control the weather.
Maeve pulled her to the center of the room and began to dance, if anyone could call what Maeve did that. Mostly, it involved bouncing around, flailing around like a deranged Muppet. When her best friend flashed her a huge smile, Cara laughed and began to bounce and flail her arms too.
The two women bounced and flailed as the rain poured down and Cara decided, what the fuck. Maeve was right. She was marrying the man she loved, no matter what happened.
Spinning, she found Spencer leaning in the doorway, clad in his tux, watching her with that look. The look that told her he wanted nothing more than to strip her down and devour her. Oh yeah, she could so get with that program.
Stepping in, he took her in his arms and spun around as Maeve danced around them. It was going to be okay. No matter the storm or anything else. She and Spencer were okay. Hell, they were better than okay.
“I love you,” he said. “We’ll figure this out.”

He took her lips and Cara knew he was absolutely right. They would totally figure things out.

Now go check out Bronwyn, Jess, Kris, Siobhan, and Deelylah