It’s All About Passion

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My first banner seemed wild enough until summer arrived and the snow melted.

This week marks my 2nd blogiversary. First of all, I think it’s funny that bloggers are primarily writers and they can’t decide how to spell it. Is it with an i or an a? Google corrected it for me, so blogiversary it is.

I never thought I would be a writer. I am an artist and was a medical illustrator before becoming a full-time mom, but have always loved telling stories. Maybe it’s the Irish in me. After spinning one of my yarns almost three years ago, a friend of mine said, “You should really write these stories down.” Her words shocked me and a light bulb turned on in my head.

This happened at a time when I was often introduced to random strangers who asked, “What do you do?”

I never had a proper answer. I had been out of a job since my kids went to college and had been searching for a way to express myself.

You see, I had never really found my passion. I enjoyed creating through different mediums like illustrating, painting, gardening, cooking, decorating, and even sewing, but when thinking about turning any of these into a career, I would moan and groan and grumble. I enjoyed seeing the fruits of my labor, but didn’t enjoy the labor part of the experience.

I took my friend up on her idea. While outlining a snarky and satirical non-fiction book about women and life in Boulder, I plodded along. I was such a slow typist and changing anything was excruciating. Navigating the minefield of not being offensive to anyone while trying to avoid blowing up my relationships, took forever. It was hard enough to find the letters on my keyboard.

Then, I was told that no one would publish my book unless I started blogging to build a writer’s platform. I only knew blogging as a diary form of word vomit. I wasn’t that thrilled about journaling, but I read a few posts and realized I could choose my own focus – hence the Wild Ride!

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I loved this second banner, but I got bored, opted for vibrant color and cut off my hair.

When I started blogging here at WordPress in May of 2011, I could not figure out how to get views. Just when I was about to give up, I discovered the home page and realized tags were crucial to being visited. Remember, this is two years ago, way before WP created the Reader.

After writing blog posts for a couple of months, I reviewed my book proposal with anxiety. I found my voice and writing style right away since I write the way I speak, but the genre was wrong. I could feel it in my gut. Non-fiction is tricky. It involves real people, places and events. I had to be careful not to alienate any of them.

I was falling in love with fiction through writing 100 word flash on Fridays. The freedom of writing whatever I wanted allowed my vivid imagination to explore all kinds of exotic places and different types of characters, some of whom I admired, a few who made me laugh and others who came from nightmares and dark places in my mind. I loved this new creative medium.

Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I found my obsession and my passion.

I shelved my non-fiction project with a huge sigh of relief and had to choose which fictional idea to expand. Looking back, I could not have picked a wilder or more challenging story for my first book. What was I thinking?

I had to stop writing flash fiction on Fridays since the characters in my book would start partying down with the new ones in my flash and they would wreak havoc in my pea brain. I needed a split personality to deal with all of them and keep them separated. It was hard to stop writing 100 word fiction for my blog, but once I did, my book flowed.

Now my paranormal thriller is done and I am very excited about it!

Third try's a charm

Looking back on the last two years, my blog has changed how I define myself, the stories I want to tell, and the focus of my life. I am in the throes of embarking on a writing career which is challenging, humbling and more exciting than anything I have ever experienced professionally.

I am looking forward to querying an agent and getting my story out there. Will I take a break? Hell no. I have eight more books I want to write. Two more in this series, three which took a back seat when I drew straws for which one to write first, a screenplay, a historical fiction, a compilation and that’s off the top of my head!

Now when someone asks me what I do, I have an answer.

Have you found your passion?

Leaping for Love, Lust and Lulu on Valentine’s Day

Along with bushy eyebrows, Lulu had been burdened with helicopter parents. She never had a moment alone with little Harold. They had dated for two years without a single kiss.

Towering over him had been a turnoff. Sitting down put him at ease.

Harold came a-calling on Valentine’s Day. Electricity shot between them the moment he entered the room. She had to have him.

the date 1 Continue reading

Oh Thrill Me Baby!

October arrived at midnight like a blanket of fog cloaking the twisted path. I woke to this first day with a rekindled primal need deep down inside my core. Lust and longing permeated my senses. I needed an adrenaline rush.

Flooded by memories and covered by goosebumps, I realized there was only one cure.

I had to make a list of my favorite spine-tingling thrillers of all time. Continue reading

The Christmas Wish – 250 Word Flash Fiction

As Carol scrawled her signature inside the Thomas Kincade Christmas card, a chill sent a shiver like the touch of a cold fingertip along her spine. She buttoned her cardigan and folded the greeting card. While studying the picture of the artist’s painting, Carol smiled at the warm glow emanating like amber from the windows of the cottage nestled in the snow. She imagined the home filled with friends and family. Lifting her gaze through the window above her desk, dense fog and ice had collected on the gnarled oak trees and shimmered in the moonlight. Her heart ached with the familiar sense of loss. “I miss you, John.” She looked around her dreary home once filled with life, regretting her decision to skip decorating this year. What was the point?

She slipped the card into the envelope as a single tear slid down her soft wrinkled cheek. “I wish…” Her shoulders slumped and Carol sobbed.

A flickering light reflected in the window caught her attention. She spun around and a warm roaring fire glowed in the gas fireplace. Silent Night began playing on the radio.

“What the…?” Carol sprung from her chair and as she approached the hearth she heard the doorbell. She wiped the tears from her face, turned the brass knob, and opened the front door.

“Surprise Grandma!” Carol’s three grandchildren, her daughter, and son-in-law stood in the snow on the front doorstep.

“I’m glad you’re here too, John,” Carol thought as she looked up and smiled.

Is there someone you wish you could visit during the holidays?

 

Thomas Kincade photo of painting by wallpapers-free.co.uk

A Warm Welcome – 100 Word Flash Fiction

Jane’s special day had come again and she bounced through the house with renewed vigor.  It seemed like a lifetime had passed since she felt this strong. Her illness had dissipated. An old memory skittered back to her like flipping to a page in her blue velvet album. Continue reading

Vanished – 100 Word Flash Fiction

Tricia had wasted time choosing a costume and now darkness swallowed the winding country road. The party ended long ago while she lost her way. Fog enshrouded cornfields came to life as aged stalks resembled zombies. Continue reading

Is Anybody Home? 100 Word Flash Fiction

Justine pulled into Mr. Hanson’s driveway as the rain fell down in sheets. She retrieved the casserole from the passenger seat and then splashed through puddles to the door. She turned the knob and let herself in.

“Mr. Hanson? I brought your dinner!” A smell of mothballs and Lysol hit Justine like she’d been slapped. Continue reading